And now I would like to ask Sylvia Bennett to step forward.
Sylvia joined us in 2008, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Cynthia.
Her first year or two she seemed to fall a lot and scream. In fact I knew Sylvia was nearby whenever I would hear that scream.
But she matured and started looking at leadership positions, her first being quartermaster in 2010.
Then in January 2012, she was appointed Chaplain’s Aide, a position made for her. Trying to fill this position, most presidents can tell you, is a tough job. It tends to be the last one to fill and sometimes is the result of presidents asking someone rather than volunteering.
Many youth who join the crew do not go to church and for some, the only experience they have with religion or worship is our devotions on trips. So it is an important job to lead that activity.
Sylvia wanted to do it and it showed. Her devotions covered subjects ranging from anger and reconciliation to problem-solving and kindness.
She often used skits to make the devotions interactive and fun, the first chaplain’s aide to do so.
She currently is serving as crew guide, a position in which she monitors first-year members and attends District Roundtable meetings or other meetings for which our crew must send a representative.
But she also invented an additional duty for herself, assistant chaplain’s aide, to fill in when the chaplain’s aide can’t make it. She did so on the bike trip earlier this year.
One of our most active members, Sylvia also created a niche for herself on our Haunted Forest Trail, acting as a guide who takes groups through our trail. She’s done an outstanding job at this, helping to control the flow of little ones on the trail and keeping folks in order.
When it came time to name Sylvia, I was reminded of something in the Native American culture. Indians believe in beings much like angels that are assigned to Indians before they are born. Their job is to watch over them, teach them and guide them on their life’s journey, almost like a combination of Chaplain’s Aide and Crew Guide.
So it is my honor tonight, Sylvia, to award you the Hopi name, Alo, which means “Spirit Guide.”