Outstanding Crew Member 2017: David Jeffrey

One of the most special awards we give out each year is the Outstanding  Crew Member of the Year. It’s given to that crew member who has most demonstrated outstanding leadership, service and spirit. Someone who lives the Venturing Oath each day. What makes this award so special is that the winner is selected by secret ballot by the youth, not the adults.

Please help me congratulate this year’ s winner, David  Jeffrey.

I’m not sure this was a good idea because his head might swell some more but he is who the youth  chose.

More seriously, David is up here because he has done an outstanding job serving the crew.  It’s just that  simple. He’s currently  president  and served previously  as first vice president.

David also is near the end of his Eagle Trail, waiting for his board of review to determine if he really does know the Scout  Oath.

Of course, we couldn’t present this award without teasing him about a few things. Like throwing up in the Sophas car one year after apparently eating too much ice cream at Legacy.

Or his tendency to try to talk faster than his brain can form the words, which somehow has translated into texting bizarre messages that require a code sheet.

Or his hoarding of food, which came under fire one year at Stone Mountain when other crew members felt he ate a lot more than his fair share of baked beans.

But all kidding aside, David has some extraordinary  gifts.

He served one year as a chaplain’s aide and previously served as treasurer. He was a good treasurer and a great chaplain’s aide. His maturity and speaking skills are unusual for someone his age.

His devotions for the most part were succinct, relevant and well prepared. He’ s a smart young man, polite and extraordinarily responsible.

For the past six months he has served as president, responsible for 11 other officers and leading the crew.

He cares a lot about those he leads. In fact, not too long after he became president he got a little down about whether people were listening to him and whether he was doing a good job, not realizing that very same feeling usually happens in crew presidents.

His desire to make the crew run better has led to officer electronic chats, a terrific innovation. He hand writes all the officer agendas for our monthly planning meetings.

He recently completed his Eagle project in which the crew helped him build three picnic tables, two benches and a high table for Spring Hill High  School, where he attends.

Something else about David that is noteworthy is that he never complains. Most in the crew know this but he and members of his family cope with a condition that requires him to avoid gluten, in other words, anything made with wheat. If you stopped to think about it and you won’ t if you don’t have this disease, lots of things at restaurants and cafeterias include  gluten.

So the officers when planning menus for trips try to consider him and devise alternatives. And because cross contamination can be just as big an issue, he also sometimes has to cook by himself. He doesn’t complain. He just does what he needs to do.

The winners of this award, in my experience, are mostly chosen because  they have earned the respect of crew members. The kind of respect you get by helping others without being asked. By offering to do tasks assigned to others.  By being a friend to all and listening to anyone, even if what they say is not what you want to hear, by smiling even when you don’ t feel like  it, by encouraging the group and reaching out to those who need someone to talk to, in summary, by serving those you lead.

For his service to others, for his outstanding sense of responsibility and leadership, I am proud to proclaim David our 2017 Outstanding Crew Member of the Year.


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