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Catholic Committee on Scouting honors leaders

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

By Mike Dyer

ARCHDIOCESE — Adults who have been instrumental in helping to positively influence children and young adults were recognized for their efforts at an adult leader recognition dinner on Nov. 8 at Bishop Fenwick High School. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk presided at the Mass.

“He had a great homily for us,” said Steve Richter, who is involved with Boy Scout Troop 18 at St. Saviour Parish in Rossmoyne. Archbishop Pilarczyk was presented with a gift of thanksgiving for his many years of support for the Catholic Committee on Scouting.

“Seeing so many other scout leaders willing to step out there in faith recharges the batteries of these committed leaders so they continue their good work,” said Joe Schneider, a scoutmaster at St. Bernard Parish in Taylor Creek.

Winners of the St. George Award, the highest recognition the Catholic Committee on Scouting gives volunteers, pose with their awards. (Courtesy photo)

The Catholic Committee on Scouting is part of the Boy Scouts of America. The committee supports the work of the archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The committee partners with the Boy Scouts of America to provide leadership and training for Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venture Crews that are chartered to parishes and other Catholic organizations. There are 103 area parishes that directly sponsor some type of scout unit.

Schneider, the chairman of the local committee, said the ceremony was a great way to recognize those adults who have dedicated their time in service.

“The scout leaders and pastors that we recognized on last Sunday ‘get it,’ ” Schneider said.  “They see scouting as part of any parishes’ comprehensive youth ministry plan and its potential to evangelize and deepen parents, scout leaders, and scouts’ relationships with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When scout leaders live their faith openly in scout meetings and campouts they become a witness to other leaders and scouts of God’s love for His people.”

On Nov. 8, the local committee recognized 69 adults. Some were presented with the Archbishop’s Certificate of Recognition. Others were presented a Bronze Pelican or St. George Award, which is the highest recognition the committee can give a volunteer in Catholic scouting. It is a national award that requires nomination by an archdiocesan committee. There only 11 St. George Awards bestowed locally in a calendar year.

Kevin Scott, who is involved with the Boy Scout Troop 694 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Anderson Township, said the day provided fellowship and the opportunity to recognize what others are doing in the area.

“I think it’s personally a sign to come together and see what level of commitment and support” individuals have shown over the years and their commitment to the youth, Scott said.

Scott helps with a troop that has 74 boys. He finds it rewarding to help youth through the application of Catholic teachings and to help them discover moral and ethical decision-making principles in everyday situations.

“(It’s about) what would Jesus do and the Catholic way,” Scott said.

Schneider said the activities of scouting help to develop and nurture a young person’s faith and explain how to apply grace through life experiences.

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