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Boy Scouts Twin Rivers District holds honors banquet
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Ty LaValley gets his pin for his National Medal of Merit. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Twin Rivers District of the Coastal Georgia Council Boy Scouts of America, held its annual Eagle Scout and adult volunteer recognition banquet at Springfield United Methodist Church. The event was attended by 126 Scouts and Scouters from the local district.

Twin Rivers District was honored to have one of its leaders, Ty LaValley, recognized by the BSA National Council in receiving the National Medal of Merit. The BSA National Medal of Merit honors Scouts, Venturers and Scouters who have performed an act of meritorious service above and beyond what is normally expected of a youth or adult member of the Boy Scouts of America. An act of meritorious service demonstrates exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others and does not necessarily need to involve rescue or saving of lives, but must demonstrate some aspect of Scouting ideals or skills. The award presentation was administered by Archbishop Gregory A. Francisco Sr., bishop emissary for the Diocese of Katakwa in Kenya, Africa.

The Patterson Legacy Award was given to Clayton Dasher of Pack and Troop 691 of Marlow and Kenneth A. Luikart of Troop 665 of Rincon. In 2015, Twin Rivers District developed a perpetual honor award, awarded annually, for Scout leaders recognized for having had a significant influence and leaving an indelible impact on the Scouting program, as well as providing a positive example of Scouting to community, civic and church organizations.

The Patterson Legacy Award was developed in honor of James Franklin Patterson Sr. and Michele S. Patterson of Guyton. The Patterson family has been involved in the Scouting program since the early 1990s and has devoted time and support to Pack and Troop 295 of Guyton.
Among many of the highlighted recognitions during the evening’s festivities, honoring the district’s class of 2015 Eagle Scouts took center stage. The local West Chatham Detachment No. 1326 of the Marine Corps League honored the Eagle Scouts with official Marine Corps League award certificates and commemorative coins. The special awards presentation was presided over by Marine Corps League past commandant and scout coordinator Bob Edwards. Assisting with the cercmonies were Larry Quigley, junior vice-commandant, and chaplain Tony Supthin. A special commemorative recognition award plaque was presented to the Marine Corps League for their outstanding and faithful support of Scouting in the local area.

Twin Rivers District 2015 class of Eagle Scouts are: Daniel Logan Fowler of Troop 165, Dewayne Scott Nease III of Troop 165, Marcus Elliott Brunson of Troop 233, Christopher Aaron Stefan of Troop 295, Dakota Andrew Scott of Troop 295, James Lemuel Nevil IV of Troop 342, James Howard Bradley of Troop 357, James Nash Welch of Troop 648, Thomas Lee Fisher of Troop 665, Madison Grant Mettler of Troop 665, Jason James Saturday of Troop 665, James Claxton Jones of Troop 691, Garrett Gregory Fish of Troop 691 and Samuel Addison Stone of Troop 935.

Two Scout Leaders were nominated and approved to receive the District Award of Merit provided by the Coastal Georgia Council and Twin Rivers District. This award is reserved for Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level. The award is made available annually on the basis of one for each 25 traditional units or fraction thereof. Recipients of the award were Mary Jo Stottlemire, Troop Committee member of Troop 165, assistant training chair for Twin Rivers District and Unit Commissioner for Pack 357, and Jimmy Center, assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 295 of Guyton.

LaValley, currently serving as District Executive for Twin Rivers District, served for one year as a full-time missionary, assigned to the West African country of Ivory Coast where he was the Scout ministry coordinator for 4,200 United Methodist Scouts. Together, with a national team of French-speaking Scout leaders, he led them in creating a religious awards program, organized efforts to combat Ebola and malaria through peer-led educational programming, promoted peace efforts, and orchestrated building of a church from the ground up. He is also the only non-Ivorian to complete a Wood Badge leader’s training course in Ivory Coast.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were William Griffith, Carla Ormes, Stephen McDonald and Richard Morriss. The District Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals on an annual basis who have demonstrated a lifetime of distinguished service with more than 15 years of registered service and enthusiasm in the Scouting program at both district and unit levels. These individuals have had a positive impact on large numbers of Scouts and Scouters over a long period of time.

Scout volunteers, dedicating their time beyond the call of duty, were honored for dedication in providing Scouting opportunities on unit, district and council program operation levels for multiple years. Recipients of the Scouting Hero Award were: Lorie Autry, for camp-based Cub Scout program operations; Bob Colbert for camp-based operations as a BSA/NRA Shooting Sports Director, Cherie Gresham for High Adventure Coordinator of the Council’s sea kayaking program; Noe Klumpp for shooting sports supervisor and district outdoor activities; Richard Seagroves for support of camp-based shooting programs; and Kris Shaw for support of camp-based Cub Scouting activities and programs.

Scout leaders who have made a significant impact and noteworthy improvements in their unit operations over a period of years were recognized for dedication and support. Recipients were: Jason Hall, Cubmaster for Pack 691; Benji Nelms, Scoutmaster of Troop 650; and Malissa Hall, Venture Crew advisor for Crew 369.

Newcomers to the Scouting program in unit leadership roles were recognized for their service and enthusiasm. Recipients were: Anthony Parker, Cubmaster of Pack 295 of Guyton; Alex Grovenstein, Cubmaster of Pack 337 of Brooklet; and Roger Lafond, Scoutmaster of Troop 665 of Rincon.

Individuals responsible for operation of multiple after-school Scout-based programs in Bulloch County School areas were recognized for their leadership roles. Recipients were: Jodilynn Saxon, coordinator for Pack 9058 and Will Britt, coordinator for Pack 912, both serving in the Statesboro area.

Twin Rivers District recognized many of its adult leaders for serving on staff at Scout-related programs conducted at the Black Creek Scout Reservation, located in Screven County, during the 2015 year of operations. Recipients for this award were: Jilliane Banks, Mark Bennett, Kenneth Bennett, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Centers, Ahnjayla Centers, Richard Daiss, Deanna Edwards, Sam Edwards, Jim French, Stephen Hill, Gary Keyes, Noe Klumpp, Tyrone LaValley, Thomas Mahoney, Stephen McDonald, Benji Nelms, Anthony Parker, Frank Patterson, Michele Patterson, John Pratt, Nick Scovanner, Linda Scovanner, Richard Seagroves, Wesley Shaw, Rhonda Stafford, Mary Jo Stottlemire, David Stottlemire, Scott Trowell, Freddie Tuten, Michelle Tuten and Joey Wise.

Units that offered assistance during annual programs at Black Creek Scout Reservation were also recognized for dedicated service and support of camp-based programs. Unit Recipients were: Troop 141, Troop 165, Troop 295, Troop 650 and Crew 369.

Many other honors and recognitions were extended to local Scout leaders during the banquet for services rendered in supporting the youth of surrounding communities in the Twin Rivers District.

Twin Rivers District banquet committee expressed its thanks to the following: Guyton Methodist Scout Foundation, Springfield United Methodist Church, TeeZer’s Team Sports of Springfield, members from West Chatham Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1326, Billy Dasher of Springfield for providing the banquet meal, and to private donors who financially supported the event.

Francisco was the guest speaker Additionally, he represents the Anglican Church of Kenya as archbishop for the U.S. armed forces. All U.S. aspirants to this ministry from the Anglican Church of Kenya are coordinated through him.

Twin Rivers District provides Scouting opportunities for both youth and adults in and around the surrounding counties of Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Evans, Screven and North Bryan. Twin Rivers District is one among five districts that serve the youth of the Coastal Georgia Council, BSA.