Faith in Scouting: Meet your 2017 National Duty to God Award recipients

Some Scout volunteers make the last point of the Scout Law their first priority.

The four individuals who received the 2017 National Duty to God Award are perfect examples.

The National Duty to God Award, first presented in 2016, recognizes adults who help young people better connect with their faith. In short, these Scouters make it easier and more fulfilling for a Scout to be reverent.

I blogged about the National Duty to God Award in February when the BSA’s National Religious Relationships Support Committee was looking for nominations. The committee received nearly 20 nominations, each describing the work of a deserving Scouting volunteer who has served for 10 years or more.

The award can be presented to up to four individuals per year. Here are the 2017 recipients.

Ronald L. Adolphi, Ph.D

Dr. Adolphi’s unwavering dedication to faith and Scouting has enriched the lives of thousands of Scouts and Scouters for many years. He continues to make a difference in the lives of others, setting the example and remaining loyal and committed to God through his church, community and numerous youth and civic organizations.

  • Founding member of the National Lutheran Association on Scouting in 1980 and served as its first president.
  • Appointed by the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) to serve on the President’s Task Force on Scouting.
  • Received the Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver, and Silver Antelope awards.
  • Bestowed Syracuse University’s Leonard F. Keenan Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to Young People.

The Rev. Robert J. Thornton

The Rev. Thornton’s life and ministry has been devoted to building positive relationships between individuals and groups in communities where he has served as pastor. His exemplary service and leadership has transcended race, ethnicities, genders and religious affiliation. He stands as a reminder and inspiration that, as Scouts, we are all God’s creatures united in one brotherhood to seek a worthy, purposeful life.

  • Served for three decades as the director of Scout ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
  • Served as the interfaith chairman for two councils and has been a religious instructor at the Philmont Scout Ranch.
  • Has been the church’s primary representative to several other youth agencies, including the Girl Scouts, Campfire Boys and Girls, 4-H Clubs and American Heritage Girls.
  • Served as the national endorsing agent for all Disciples of Christ chaplains in Scouting, as well led the religious awards program for over 25 years.
  • Received the Silver Beaver Award, the Christian Church God and Service Award, the Roman Catholic Bronze Pelican Award, and the Jewish Shofar Award.

Syed E. Naqvi

Naqvi has been passionately involved with Scouting since joining the BSA in 1979. He places a strong emphasis on community service, tolerance and world friendship. He inspires a spirit of sturdiness, self-reliance and the need for cooperation among all people.

  • Established the National Islamic Committee on Scouting in 1980, as well the religious awards for youth and adults, bridging the gap between the program and the Muslim community.
  • Has significantly grown the number of Scouts and units at mosques and Islamic community centers for the Monmouth Council in New Jersey.
  • Serves as chairman of the National Islamic Committee and has been the Islamic chaplain at six National Scout Jamborees.
  • Received the Silver Beaver Award, Greater New York Youth Council’s Professional Excellence Award, the Silver Medal Award bestowed at the World Jamboree in 2015 and the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award from the Asian American Outreach organization.
  • Co-founder of the World Islamic Movement of Islamic Scouting and, in 2016, founded the first Islamic National Scout Jamboree, serving as its Deputy Jamboree Chief.

The Rev. Donald K. Hummel

The Rev. Donald Hummel is a faithful servant to God and Scouting. He has been the heartbeat of the Northern New Jersey Council for almost 60 years. His long and distinguished career as a servant of God and numerous service and leadership honors and recognitions have demonstrated his passion for faith, community, education, and outreach to youth since 1964.

  • Assisted the Philmont Scout Ranch as chaplain every summer since 1992, as well serving as chaplain at many National and World Jamborees.
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope, Silver Beaver, Silver Sage, and Bronze Pelican awards.
  • Holds leadership positions on many Scout executive boards and councils, including the Northeast Executive Board and International Catholic Scouting Foundation.


About Bryan Wendell 3286 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.