Venturing Leadership Award 2017: Austen Speare

Our next award is the Venturing Leadership Award, which is a meritorious award presented to a Venturer, who in the eyes of the Council and national BSA officials, has shown an exemplary dedication to Venturing and outstanding leadership and service.

Please help me welcome our recipient, Austen Speare.

And for this ceremony I would like to ask Mr. Nates and Austen’s parents to come forward.

Austen has a long and storied Scouting career with Venture Crew 312. In fact, there is no one I can think of who so deserves this honor more than  Austen.

His leadership tenure has included election twice as president.  He is a graduate  of both ILSC and Kodiak advanced leadership training and has been recognized by the crew with induction into, and permanent membership in the Corps of  Discovery, a national society dedicated to encouraging servant leaders.

Last summer he was given the National Medal of Merit for helping to save a drowning swimmer during one of the crew ‘s trips. He also has been the recipient twice of our Officer of the Year Award and Outstanding Crew Member   Award.

Austen has just finished his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, where he is majoring in violin performance and is an accomplished musician. He has remained active in the crew since attending USC, continuing to serve as a leader, helping with service and offering help to younger officers and crew members.

One of the wonderful things about Austen is how he has continued to be involved with the crew even as a college student, when most of our members fade from view. He volunteered to be a quartermaster after attending USC and was super at the job. He has remained a participant in our adventures this year, going with us on the raft trip and teaching the other youth how to play cards.

This award is meant as a capstone for someone who has not only achieved great things, but contributed great things to Venturing and to Scouting.

I’d like to read a letter received from Doug Stone, Scout Executive with the Indian Waters Council.

Dear Austen,

It is a high honor to present you with the Venturing Leadership Award on behalf of the Indian Waters Council, Boy Scouts of America. While I regret that I cannot be in attendance at the Crew cookout to present this to you in-person, I know well the incredible leadership and hard work you have shown in your involvement with Venture Crew 312 over the years, and that you are very deserving of this award.

You have risen to leadership roles both formally and informally among your peers within the crew and in the community. In your daily life you exemplify the high ideals of Scouting and we are very proud of you!

The recognition of the Venturing Leadership Award is a rare occurrence presented to only a handful of Venturers in the state of South Carolina each year. It is presented for exceptional service to the Venturing program and for living up to the Scout Oath and Law.

You are being presented with a framed certificate to commemorate this occasion and your achievement, and for your uniform, we present you with blue and white medallion, reflecting the importance of the leadership you have shown in your Venturing involvement. The square knot patch may be worn over the left uniform pocket as an adult member of Venturing or other Scouting program, as well.

Congratulations to you, Austen, and thank you for your outstanding achievements in and leadership of the Venturing program. The very best wishes of the entire Venturing and Scouting community are extended to you on this occasion as you continue on your journey in Venturing and in life.

Sincerely yours,

Douglas W. Stone   I Scout Executive

And now I would like to ask his parents to place the medal over his head.

Mr. Nates will now present Austen his framed certificate and uniform knot that he can wear.

On behalf of the Indian Waters Council, the Boy Scouts of America and Venture Crew 312, I congratulate you on this award!

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