Tuesday Talkback: Does your district awards banquet have a theme?

Tuesday-TalkbackA red carpet, a limousine and people showing up in tuxedos — not exactly typical sights at a Scouting event.

Doing the atypical is exactly why the Foothills District awards banquet is such a success.

The district, part of the Atlanta Area Council, uses themes to make the annual dinner a can’t-miss event. Their most recent banquet had the theme “Hollywood Nights: Where Our Volunteers Are Stars!” That explains the limo, red carpet and fancy clothing. (See a video of the event here.)

In past years they’ve done a Western theme, a baseball theme, an outer space theme, a Wizard of Oz theme and more.

Mike Menninger, a volunteer in the Foothills District and one of my favorite commenters on this blog, shared his district’s story and asked what other districts do.

Read his account and then share your district awards banquet tips in this Tuesday Talkback.

Mike’s email

Bryan,

I was wondering what other districts in the nation do to present the District Award of Merit and other district awards.

For example, our district hosts an annual banquet at the beginning of our Scouting year in February. We try to create a themed event and dress it up accordingly. This year it was “Hollywood Nights: Where Our Volunteers Are Stars!”

One of our creative leaders made a “Hollywood” hills backdrop but changed the Hollywood to our district name, Foothills. We had a red carpet, a limo out front for faux arrival pictures, large stars on the walls with Scout leader pictures and little themed Oscars to give out. We even encourage folks to dress up. We had several tuxes and bow ties that night.

In addition to the District Award of Merit, we honor community organizations that have assisted the Scouting program (like Roundtable and Eagle Board of Review locations), present Heroism awards, and thank our district professionals. We’ve also created a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor longtime Scout leaders.

Our District also created an Unit Honor Roll with requirements that go above the Journey to Excellence’s Gold requirements, as well as a Good Egg Award where units can nominate any adult for their services.

In the past we’ve had various themes: Western, Baseball, Outer Space, Wizard of Oz and more. We try to make it a fun and exciting night with good food and laughter.

So I’m curious what other districts do — which is, of course a sneaky way of looking for ideas for next year.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike Menninger

Your district awards banquet ideas

How does your district turn a typical district awards banquet into an event nobody wants to miss?

Share your ideas — themes, special awards, guest speakers, etc. — in the comments.

About Bryan Wendell 2843 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.