Outstanding Officer of the Year 2016: Sarah Harrison

The Outstanding Officer of the Year Award is presented to the Venturer who, in the view of the advisors, has most demonstrated leadership, service and spirit while serving as a Venturing officer.

Now normally this is a tough choice to make. We often have two presidents during the school year. Our crew has a legacy of a deep leadership bench.

So selecting a winner is rarely easy. Please help me congratulate this year’s recipient, Sarah Harrison.

Sarah has been with us for about four years. She’s been elected twice as treasurer, once as first vice president and was elected last year as president.

Just because you are president doesn’t mean you have a lock on this award. But most presidents are in contention because it is the most challenging job in the crew.

You are responsible for 12 officers and every action and event of the crew. And that is never easy. Junior officers don’t always communicate or show up when they are supposed to. Plans sometimes have to be changed at the last minute. And you are responsible for the crew, always.

And for Sarah, this has been a family event. Her dad has been one of the advisors for years, her mom is our treasurer and her brother joined last year.

Given her wishes, Sarah might not spend a lot of time in high adventure activities. She’s happier off a trail, with friends, on a computer, watching a movie or playing a video game or at the zoo.

But she led the crew as president and if that meant backpacking, absolutely not her favorite activity, that’s what she did.

But here’s something else interesting about her, she loves volunteering.

Last year, she was our recipient for the public service award. Not just because she participated in our community service activities but because she went far beyond that.

Most of you are familiar with the service hour requirement in high school. For her program, she is required to put in 30 hours during the school year.

Last year, Sarah completed  160.

She completed a project for Corps of Discovery last year, the only member  of the crew to do so during the school year.

She has helped for years with a Cub Scout Day Camp, not because we require her to or school requires her to. She does it because she likes helping the little guys.

And she also has been a zoo volunteer for years.

Sarah likely could have been re-elected president but from the outset imposed terms limits on herself and said she would only serve one term. She has continued serving, however, as the crew historian.

For her excellent leadership, spirit and service to the crew, I am proud to declare Sarah our 2016 Officer of the Year!


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