We could use a few more Jimmy Stewarts in the world.
The Oscar-winning actor, philanthropist and military officer was a Scout in Troop 3 of Indiana, Pa. — about an hour east of Pittsburgh. As an adult, he was a dedicated friend of Scouting and received the Silver Buffalo Award, the BSA’s top honor for adult volunteers.
In a 1980 speech, Stewart called the Scout Oath, “40 words … that can make an awfully big difference.”
Stewart died in 1997, but his spirit of citizenship endures in a number of tangible ways, including the James M. Stewart Good Citizenship Award, available to members of Scouts BSA.
The award, launched in 2003, was created through a partnership between the BSA, the James M. Stewart Museum Foundation, the Stewart family and the BSA’s Penn’s Woods Council (now part of the Laurel Highlands Council).
How to earn the James M. Stewart Good Citizenship Award
Registered Scouts can earn the James M. Stewart Good Citizenship Award by completing all of the following requirements:
- Take the Jimmy Stewart Museum quiz
- Write an essay of at least 500 words on the importance of citizenship in Scouting
- Perform a good citizenship project in the community in honor of James M. Stewart
Learn more and order award materials at the official site.
Meet a recent recipient
Earlier this year, the award caught the eye of James Sgoupis, a Scout in Troop 715 of Brooklyn, N.Y.
On a family vacation, James visited the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa. He was inspired by what he saw.
Once he returned to New York, James assembled candy jars and made chocolate lollipops. He sold the sweets, with all money going to food pantries run by the Salvation Army and a local church.
“It’s a great badge, and it shows that even though Mr. Stewart never made it to Eagle rank, he accomplished enormous things throughout his life,” says Toni Sgoupis, James’s dad.
Could you pass the Jimmy Stewart quiz?
To earn the award, Scouts must complete the 15-question Jimmy Stewart quiz. Scouts may use the official booklet about Jimmy Stewart or find answers online.
But just for fun, can you answer these three sample questions from the test? Try not to Google.
8. Jimmy earned the Best Actor Academy Award for appearing in the film: _____.
11. The giant rabbit displayed in the museum is named _____ and was a co-star of Jimmy’s in the 1950s film of the same name.
14. There is a _____ award displayed in the museum that Jimmy received from the National Council of
the Boy Scouts of America for his many Scouting achievements, great citizenship accomplishments and for his “distinguished service to boyhood.”
Scroll down for the answers.
Jimmy Stewart on the Scout Oath
In May 1980, Stewart received the Los Angeles Area Council’s Distinguished Scouter Award. In his stirring acceptance speech, which you can read here, Stewart explained what the Scout Oath means to him.
“Every Scout should always try to do his best,” Stewart said, “long after he hangs up the uniform and goes out to shake hands with the adult world.”
8. The Philadelphia Story
14. Silver Buffalo