Every year in June our crew holds an awards cookout. In fact, this year’s cookout was right here and we presented a lot of awards. But one of the major awards was left out. And I thought it would be appropriate for this award to be presented tonight. The award is the Advisor’s Award, which is presented to a first-year member who has shown the most promise in leadership, service and spirit in Venturing. I thought this was appropriate to award tonight because it’s the only award we reserve for a new member. We didn’t award it in June because our recipient could not be in town. But he’s back now and I would like him to come forward, Jake Boyle.
Jake has always stood out in this group and not just because of his red hair. In fact, when he joined last year – when he was right where all of you were in this circle deciding whether to join – he had some sort of Mohawk thing going on. I’m always interested in hair styles since I don’t have any.
Anyway, here is a little about Jake and why he is being presented with this award.
Tonight completes his first year with us. Jake has been a regular at most of our meetings and events. He has convinced his older sister, Becky, to chaperon some of our trips.
Life is full of choices. And struggles. And early on last year, Jake was faced with both in school. He’s a smart guy but just wasn’t applying himself. And that was jeopardizing his future with us. He faced a choice. Not to apply himself and say goodbye to the crew or to do the work, study hard and stay. And he made the right choice, improving his school work. One teacher said he went from OMG to a 91 overnight. That in turn allowed him to continue with us and he became one of our most active crew members. In fact, he was one of the finalists for the most active crew member award presented at our awards cookout. That’s something else he didn’t know until tonight.
Now there’s some irony in him receiving this award because the last recipient was Anna Speare. And Anna and Jake were quite friendly for much of the past year.
When I asked Jake what trip he liked most, he said one of his favorites was our ski trip. It was actually a national convention of Venturers and Explorers in Gatlinburg and we did some night skiing. Jake decided to try a little more difficult slope and fell and his ski hit him in the face near his eye, giving him a nice purple bruise for a souvenir. That’s very much Jake. He went for it, got hurt but instead of complaining, it became a favorite trip.
For his cheerfulness, regular participation, willingness to tackle any adventure, it is my honor to award Jake this year’s Advisor Award.