What do Robert Baden-Powell, Jimmy Stewart, Neil Armstrong, and Bill Gates have in common?
All are recipients of the Silver Buffalo Award, Scouting’s highest honor for adults.
Late last month, 11 more joined the prestigious list. More on them in a second.
But first, peruse the names of people who have received the award since 1926, and find several you’ll recognize.
Here are a few that stood out to me:
Scouting founders/legends: Baden-Powell, James E. West, William D. Boyce, Norman Rockwell, E. Urner Goodman, “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, and many more.
U.S. Presidents: William Howard Taft and every president from Calvin Coolidge to George W. Bush, with the exception of John F. Kennedy.
Entertainers: Walt Disney, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Burl Ives, and more.
Athletes: Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, and Archie Manning.
Coaches: Vince Lombardi and John Wooden.
Astronauts: Jim Lovell, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong.
Surely you recognize several others on the list. But what about the people who aren’t familiar to you?
Was their mark on Scouting any less significant? No way.
Each of the almost 700 Silver Buffalo recipients from the past 85 years has helped make Scouting the nation’s top youth-serving organization.
That includes the 11 who were selected for 2011.
After the jump, you’ll find a list of these recipients and what they did to deserve Scouting’s top honor. Join me in congratulating the impressive Silver Buffalo honorees.
2011 Silver Buffalo Award Recipients
Edward H. Arnold – Lebanon, Pa.
He committed a total of $11 million through donor-advised funds to support Scouting in local councils and has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Dutch Council, Lebanon Valley College Trustees, University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries, and others.
Stephen L. Bowen, D.V.M. – El Centro, Calif.
He was chairman of the Merit Badge Midway at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree and oversaw the teaching of more than 100 merit badges, including Scouting Heritage, the badge whose creation he had spearheaded a year earlier. Bowen has served the San Diego–Imperial Council in many capacities, including as a Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, and Explorer post Advisor.
Dale and Gail Coyne – Plainfield, Ill.
Through Dale Coyne Racing, Scouting came out a winner during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series. More than 222 million viewers saw their No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car during the racing season. The Coynes hope this type of exposure will expand the scope of modern-day Scouting through the BSA STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) initiative.
William M. Finerty, D.P.M. – Defiance, Ohio
He has served as camp physician for the Black Swamp Area Council and has served as a world jamboree assistant Scoutmaster. He has served on the Interamerican Scout Committee since 1999 and the International Committee since 2000. He also took Scout training teams to Russia as part of the Siberian Scout Initiative and participated in six national jamborees.
Marshall E. Hollis, Pharm.D. – Ripley, Miss.
He has served as a member of the national Health and Safety Committee since 2002 and has been on 10 visitation teams to BSA high-adventure bases. He has served on 12 national and world jamboree staffs, and he participated in the development of the BSA’s Fieldbook and the Camping and First Aid merit badge pamphlets. He also is a Cubmaster.
Robert S. Rownd – Akron, Ohio
He has served the Buckeye Council as chairman of the council’s Building Committee, district and council Sustaining Membership Enrollment chairman, council vice president of finance, council executive vice president, and council president. Beyond the local council, Mr. Rownd has served Scouting as an area president and vice president and as a national jamboree staff member.
Walter Scott Jr. – Omaha, Neb.
Scott is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and former CEO of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. He has served as chairman of the Mid-America Council, and was a co-founder of the council’s Heritage Society endowment fund. In 2010, he became a major donor to the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.
Robert F. Sinclair – Yakima, Wash.
Sinclair is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and has endowed numerous fellowships. In more than three decades as a Scouting volunteer, he has served at multiple levels and currently serves on the executive boards of the Grand Columbia Council and the Western Region. He also serves on the Philmont Ranch and International committees at the national level.
W. Scott Sorrels – Alpharetta, Ga.
He has led the Southern Region’s Winterfest program since 1983. A Southern Region Board member since 1998, Mr. Sorrels became the first national commissioner service chairman in 2008. In his first year, he helped increase the number of new unit-serving commissioners by more than 11 percent.
Mary E. Stevens, Ph.D. – San Rafael, Calif.
She created Technology Quest at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, where sponsors such as National Geographic and LEGO engaged Scouts in science activities. She also established the 100th anniversary “Get in the Game! With Geocaching” initiative and helped develop the Geocaching merit badge.