Jenny Kukucka Memorial Public Service Award 2006: Caleb Reynolds

Our next award has a very special place in the crew’s history. It was named for a crew member killed in a car accident in October 2004. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Her death drove the crew to carry out a comprehensive driving safety campaign at three schools last spring. Our first award was presented to Tok Kim, who coordinated the safety campaign. For this year’s award, we checked everyone’s participation in service activities – Tok kept a record – and then looked for the crew member whose attitude about service also matched his or her deeds. Please help me congratulate this year’s winner, Caleb Reynolds.

First, i want to say that while Caleb was chosen, there easily could have been several people up here. This crew has recorded an extraordinary year of public service, beginning with the finishing of the crew DVD for the council last august and ending with providing habitat meals. In between we helped provide parking for the Columbia kennel club dog show, helped park cars and raise walls for habitat for humanity, collected can goods for scouting for food, emptied a truck full of pumpkins and helped sell them for our sponsor church, collected hurricane Katrina relief, and went store to store to buy cigarettes as part of the youth tobacco prevention campaign.

Caleb was there for most of it and now ironically is vice president of administration, whose job it is to coordinate service projects.

You’ll notice that this plaque is bigger than the rest. There is a reason for that. Part of the venturing oath is a promise to help others. It’s also part of the venturing spirit. A willingness to think outside yourself. The best leaders are those who genuinely care for those they lead. A former scoutmaster friend of mine always used to end his letters with “the servant of all is the greatest of all.” i believe that.

Caleb has not come by this attitude without help. His older brother is nearing eagle and has received lots of accolades for his leadership of this crew. His father is a doctor and his mother a dedicated teacher. And Caleb, through his diabetes has understood the importance of the public working together to help others.

One other thing about Caleb. He smiles constantly, not just with his mouth but with his eyes. And he smiles even in the dreariest of service. When i asked Tok, last year’s recipient of this award, what came to mind when he thought about Caleb’s participation in service, he said his energy and enthusiasm. All of those qualities are important for a leader coaxing a group through service to others.

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