Earning the Special Needs Scouting Service Award

Special Needs Scouting Service Award medalDistrict and council volunteers who look over nominations for the Torch of Gold or Woods Services Award may learn of Scouters who don’t receive these awards, but deserve recognition for their service. These Scouters may qualify for the Special Needs Scouting Service Award (SNSSA), an earned recognition. It may be presented to adults, volunteer or professional, who show outstanding service and leadership to Scouts with disabilities.

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Be sure your council presents the annual Torch of Gold Award

BSA Torch of Gold logoThe Torch of Gold is a council award given annually to an adult Scouter for dedicated work for youth, particularly Scouts, with disabilities. It is not an award that is earned by simply fulfilling specific requirements. It is given in recognition for service in multiple areas for many years. The nominee should show a level of dedication and service comparable to a Scouter receiving the Silver Beaver Award, but for service specifically in the area of working with Scouts with disabilities.

A Scouter must be recommended to his or her council by another individual. Although there are specific criteria for this award, each council should have its own selection procedure. The nomination form can be found at scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-495.pdf

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Mary Lynne Capen receives the 2018 Woods Services Award

Mary Lynne Capen, 2018 Woods Services Award recipientReprinted 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.

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Special Needs Scouting Service Award Medal and Device

Include the Torch of Gold in Spring Council Recognitions

Torch of Gold Award medalThe 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.

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Annual Torch of Gold Awards

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.

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