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.
Excerpted from Scouting Magazine, March-April 2018
On Action Point, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, there stands a bronze statue of young Stephen G. Marriott (1957-2013) in his Scout uniform. Stephen was a business leader, Distinguished Eagle Scout, and advocate for people with disabilities. His statue overlooks the site of the Disabilities Awareness Challenge during the 2013 and 2017 National Scout Jamborees. In the future the site will contain a permanent facility dedicated to disabilities awareness.
The forthcoming center will give Scouts the opportunity to experience some of the disabilities that people with physical challenges must live with every day. Scouts will take training and complete exercises to help them get a feel for what it would be like to have these kinds of challenges.
There is now a medal available for the Special Needs Scouting Service Award: Item #641463, available from Scout Shops. The design features an international logo for Scouting with disabilities. A device with the same logo is available to wear on the Scouting Service Award square knot: Item #641462.
Previous recipients are eligible to wear this new medal. It must be special-ordered by the Council.
The Torch of Gold is a council-level distinguished award of the Boy Scouts of America to recognize adults for exceptional service and leadership in working with Scouts who have disabilities. Each council may recognize one Scouter per year with the award. Details are listed on the nomination form, available online.
The nominee must be a registered Scouter with at least three years of volunteer service supporting Scouting with disabilities. The service may be in any Scouting leadership capacity related to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers with disabilities, including educating other Scouters about disabilities and working with youth who have disabilities.
The Torch of Gold is a distinguished award of the Boy Scouts of America to recognize adults for exceptional service and leadership in working with Scouts who have disabilities. Each council may recognize one Scouter per year with the award. Details are listed on the nomination form, available online.
The process takes place entirely within the council. Typically the council’s Disabilities or Special Needs Committee will collect nomination forms and choose a recipient.
The Boy Scouts of America presents the Woods Services Award to one adult each year to recognize exceptional service to Scouts with disabilities. Nominations should be received by the end of this year to be considered for the 2018 award. Each council may submit a single nomination each year. The online application form provides complete instructions.
There have been many questions about the Special Needs Scouting Service Award. While we are still seeking clarification from BSA’s National Service Center on some points, we provide other details below.
The latest information has been posted to Awards Central at Scouting.org.
[Updated 28 Mar 2017, 6 April 2018]