Last evening, April 23, our Troop received the GOLD Journey to Excellence Award while Eric Rankin received the Unit Award of Merit, Larry Te Grotenhuis received the Spirit of Scouting award, Aaron Van Beek received the Scouter of the Year award, and Greg Van Beek received the Scoutmaster of the Year award! We are blessed to be in a community and Troop where so much time and commitment is spent by ALL our volunteers. Congratulations Scouters on your awards and congratulations Scouts on another great year of Scouting! Below is what was read for each of these awards.
Unit Award of Merit - Eric Rankin
With a retired service in the Navy, the 2015 Unit Award of Merit has been a key part in the religious, patriotic, and outdoor skills development in our Scouting program. With his knowledge from his time in the armed forces, he has given of his time mentoring the youth in our Troop to better their best and to be Prepared for Life. He also has voluntarily driven groups of Scouts that could not leave with the rest of the Troop to Wisconsin and Oklahoma, at his own expense. He truly cares about the Scout in our Troop and has given more than his "hour a week" to the Scouting program with his time, knowledge, and love for the great outdoors. He is currently working on setting up a backpacking trip for our Troop as a way to give Scouts an experience that they could not get in Sioux Center. Congratulations Eric!
Scouter of the Year - Aaron Van Beek
Nominated by his own brother, this Scout writes: The spirit of Scouting thrives in my brother. He has changed our Troop in so many beneficial ways, more than I can count. He plans trips, meeting, activities with our Executive Committee and helps run the Troop's website. If he wouldn't have done all these things I wouldn't have enjoyed Scouting as much as I do today. Before he started doing all this, we had about 10 Scouts. Since then our numbers have more than doubled. He shows true Scout spirit. He could be doing college activities or having a job but he chooses to stick with Scouts and does his Good Turn Daily. He lives the Scout Oath and modeled it every day and many people look up to him. Congratulations on the 2015 Scouter of the Year Aaron!
Scoutmaster of the Year - Greg Van Beek
When Greg took over, our Troop only had 9 boys registered and was teetering on the verge on closure. Under his leadership, the Troop slowly gained Scouts and support. This leader played a huge role in raising awareness in the community about the Scouting program and how to instill values and leadership in our youth. This Scoutmaster has assisted in developing an excellent support system and encourages parent involvement as well as Scout responsibility. This Troop is truly Scout led! He acts fairly, commands respect but is also approachable and willing to help. He shows a true spirit of Scouting and proudly wears his uniform and expects the Troop to do the same. Several other leaders also commented that Greg is the individual that stand out because he makes everything fun, whether they are Raking and Running, or having canoe battleship (and getting dumped out by the Scouts), there is always a lot of laughter and fun because that is the type of environment that Greg creates. Congratulations Greg on your much deserved Scoutmaster of the Year award! Thank you for all you do for our Troop and community!
Spirit of Scouting - Larry Te Grotenhuis
The Spirit of Scouting award this year went to Larry Te Grotenhuis, Troop Committee Chair. In his time in Scouting, he has served as Assistant Scoutmaster for 2 years, Scoutmaster for 3, Committee Chair for 2, Committee Member for 21, and as Troop Chaplain for 25 years! He is a member of the Order of the Arrow, father of 2 Eagle Scouts, a regular adult leader at meetings and long term camping, a janitor at his church, EMT for many years, and serves on the Heritage Village board. A member wrote, "I have worked with Larry for over 10 years. He has helped many boys become great young men. I have also seen him reach out to counsel boys who were having trouble as well as helping boys advance to the rank of Eagle." Another wrote, "The poem 'Maybe Just One More' comes to mind when I think of Larry. Each year, he continued to come back to our Troop and most years attends summer camp. Every Eagle Scout Court of Honor I know this individual is thinking about that youth's story and probably saying, 'This is the last one, I swear...' but yet he continues his journey with our Troop." Congratulations Larry on the 2015 Spirit of Scouting award!