Allow me to brag about my dad, who gets the Silver Antelope today

Thirty-two incredible Scouters will receive the Silver Antelope today, but forgive me for focusing on one in particular for a few minutes.

My dad, Don Wendell, is one of eight Scouters getting this prestigious regional award from the Southern Region today at the BSA’s National Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

The Northeast, Central and Western regions each will honor eight Scouters as well. (See the full list of awardees at the end of this post.)

The Silver Antelope recognizes a Scouter’s service at a regional level, much like the Silver Beaver does for council service and the Silver Buffalo for national service.

In a few hours, my mom, Kay, and I will beam with pride as the yellow-and-white medal is placed around my dad’s neck.

He’s earned it.

After nine years as a youth in Scouting (don’t worry, Dad, I won’t say which nine years) and earning the Eagle Scout Award, he rejoined the movement in 1990 when I was old enough to be a Tiger Cub.

Since then — that’s 24 years, for those of you counting — he’s shown tireless dedication at the unit, district, council and national level.

He was the Stadium Experience Chairman at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, heading up the big stadium shows and daily activities. He currently serves as advanced leadership chairman of the National Volunteer Training Committee. He’s a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

He’s been instrumental in the continued success of the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience and Philmont Leadership Challenge. He was a design team member for Philmont Leadership Challenge, Trainer’s EDGE and the National Youth Leadership Training Course Director’s Conference. He’s been on Wood Badge staff six times, plus three more as a course mentor.

I’ll stop there, but know that I’ve only scratched the surface here. He’s done things in Scouting that I, his own son, didn’t even know about. And we talk all the time.

You know, based on his Scouting résumé it almost seems he’s actually enjoyed Scouting even more now that he’s no longer my Scoutmaster, but he swears that’s not true.

And besides, we’ve been able to enjoy several great Scouting experiences together as adult Scouters, including staffing the 2005, 2010 and 2013 National Jamborees.

That’s after attending the 1997 and 2001 jamborees together when I was a youth member.

He was course mentor when I took Wood Badge in 2012 and again when I served as a troop guide in 2013. And in March we took a father-son vacation to London and visited Gilwell Park.

Without him, I might never have joined Scouting, and even if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have gotten as much out of it. With him, I’ve seen my time in Scouting as an Eagle Scout and beyond develop into a dream career.

It’s not just me. He’s helped countless other youth — directly and indirectly — through his 24 years of service. The great news for all of us is he’s just getting started.

Congrats to my dad and to all of this year’s Silver Antelope awardees. See a full list below.

2014 Silver Antelope recipients

Northeast Region

  • Ronald Adolphi
  • Gerard G. Case
  • Rick Hillenbrand III
  • Thomas Kehoe
  • Bernard W. Lockard Jr.
  • Brian McAuliff
  • Andrew Miller
  • Peter Pape

Central Region

  • Richard Tucker Boeshaar
  • Richard B. Northrup
  • Len E. Roberts
  • James Henry Simpson
  • David L. Steward
  • Marvin “Stoney” Stonecipher
  • David R. Weyrick
  • Kristopher J. Zahrobsky

Western Region

  • Paul Clyde
  • Frederick Grimm
  • H. Ken Hayashi
  • Eric L. Hiser
  • Doris R. McCarthy
  • Paul L. Moffat
  • Daniel Walters
  • Martin M. Webb

Southern Region

  • Keller S. Carlock
  • Charles A. Garwood
  • Thomas C. Harrison
  • Stanley L. Kynerd
  • John “Jack” Metcalfe
  • William H. Tally IV
  • Donald C. Thom
  • Don Wendell