Reprinted from the Summer 2018 edition of Abilities Digest
Mary Lynne Capen of Patriots Path Council, Northeast Region, is 2018 Woods Services Award recipient. The award was presented at the BSA National Annual Meeting in May.
One award is granted nationally each year to the nominated BSA volunteer who best exemplifies exceptional service and leadership in the field of Scouting with disabilities. The award is sponsored by the Woods Services and Residential Treatment Center of Langhome, PA, in honor of Luther W. Lord, a pioneer in Scouting with disabilities.
Mary Lynne began her Special Needs Scouting career in 1990 when she became a commissioner, den leader, Webelo’s leader and committee chair for several special needs units. That was just the beginning. For more than 7 years, she coordinated the Scoutoree and Fishoree and continues to volunteer for those events. She has also managed a council wide Disabilities Awareness challenge.
She has taught Special Needs related topics at University of Scouting for more than 10 years, and Merit Badge workshops, Belt Loop Bonanzas, and Elective Extravaganzas for over 5 years. She has been a Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge Counselor since the days it was called Handicapped Awareness Merit Badge.
Mary Lynne has rewritten programs so they better meet the needs of Cub Scouts with special needs. She learned American Sign Language so she could work with a unit of deaf Scouts, as well as be an interpreter.
In addition to all she has done for her council, Mary Lynne has served on the National Disability Awareness Task force. In her position there, she helped rewrite or update the Disabilities Awareness Manual, the Registration beyond the age of 18 form, Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge, and the new Cub Scout manuals.
Nominations for the Woods Services Award due December 31
Every council is authorized to submit one nomination for the Woods Services Award every year. An appropriate nominee would be recent recipients of the council’s Torch of Gold Award. The nomination form and instructions are available at filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-258.pdf. Nomination forms should be signed by the council’s scout executive and received at the National Service Center by December 31.