Sapona District Adult Leader Recognitions

posted Feb 23, 2018, 3:34 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Jan 6, 2019, 8:49 AM ]
Greetings Sapona District Scouters: 

It has been two weeks since we held a delightful Sapona District Banquet.  Our banquet Chair, Linda Bowman and husband Chuck Bowman, ensured we had a delicious meal aided by Mr. Danny Hunt, caterer, and members of the Sapona Chapter of Itibapishe Iti Hollo Lodge, Order of the Arrow.  Our hosts were First United Methodist Church of Salisbury and Scout Troop 442 and Pack 442 sponsored by the church.

During the evening, the Sapona District honored our Class of 2017 Eagle Scouts.  Special guests, Mr. Frank Merrill, representing the Salisbury Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and Mr. Brad Walworth with the Salisbury Elks Lodge #699 also had special presentations and awards to recognize our Eagles.

Central North Carolina Council Vice President Ryan Mills presented the William T. Hornaday Award for conservation to Eagle Scout Jared Hensley. 

A copy of the Banquet Program is attached for you to enjoy and has additional details.  A very special thanks to Marny Hendrick, Sapona District Vice Chair, for crafting our program and also for crafting an expert script for the evening which kept the program on track and flowing flawlessly.

While Scouting is devoted to the young men and women who are in our Scout Units, behind them are Adult Scout Leaders who guide them and selflessly devote themselves to our youth.  At the District Banquet we saluted all Adult Scout Leaders.  In particular, we recognize those Adult Scout Leaders who have been nominated by their peers and have distinguished themselves during the past year in their positions.  Below are the leaders in specific Scouting roles who were recognized at the Banquet, along with our District Scouter of the Year and the two Scouters recognized with our District’s highest honor, the District Award of Merit.  I have included the citations from their nominators.

Please join me in congratulating all of the honorees, Scout and Scouter alike, for their leadership and service to Scouting.

Gratefully yours,

Joe Gettys

Sapona District Committee Chair

Lion Den Leader of the Year 

The Lion Cub Scout program began as a pilot program by BSA in 2016 and our Council was one of a select few in nation to be authorized to offer it. The Lion Den leader, known as a Guide, has a to be a special and experience scout leader because they are giving a group of five year old kindergarten boys, and their parents, a quality program. Our first ever Lion Dean Leader of the year fits that mold perfectly. He has five years of experience at many roles in his Pack and on the District and Council level including Pinewood Derby Chair, Webelos Resident Camp, Cub Scout Day Camp, Tiger Den Leader, Friends of Scouting, and Scouting for Food. Our winner took on the Lion Guide role with the same enthusiasm he has always shown…making fun-filled den meetings a true adventure for the Lions and their families. He offered a wide range of activities to introduce the Lions to Scouting including pinewood derby, science projects, community service projects, camping, hiking, plants, first aid and much more. We salute him for his creative leadership and congratulate or 2017 Lion Den Leader of the Year:

John Barber, Pack 306


Tiger Den Leader of the Year 

A Tiger Den leader is important because, even with the new Lion program, it is most often the first contact a boy has with our Scouting program. Our winner for 2017 actually started as a Lion Guide and this past year took over as the Tiger Den leader for his pack.  He also attended roundtables to learn more. He involved his Tigers in many community and Scouting activities including Gold Rush, Webelos Woods, Cuboree, Day Camp and The Veterans Day Parade. His Tigers also participated in Scouting for Food and placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  He is truly a dedicated Scout leader who sets the example for others. Please congratulate our 2017 Tiger Den Leader of the Year:

Jim Shepard, Pack 306


Wolf Den Leader of the Year

Our Wolf Den Leader of the year is an Eagle Scout and the father of one Lion cub and a Wolf Cub.  He has served as a leader for two years plus serves a committee member and assist with the Pack parade float and Christmas Party. He and his scouts attended Gold Rush, Cuboree, and Day Camp, placed flags at the Veteran’s Cemetery for Memorial Day, and took part in the Veteran’s Day Parade. They also volunteered at Rowan Helping Ministries and Food for Thought. We salute him for his dedication to his Den and Pack.  Please congratulate our 2017 Wolf Den Leader of the Year:

Justin Farris, Pack 306


Bear Den Leader of the Year 

As we all know, sometimes being a good scout leader requires teamwork, not necessarily a two-headed monster, but leaders who work well in tandem. That is the case for our Bear Den Leader of the year.  Our winner  is an Eagle Scout who has completed Wood Badge in addition to leader specific training, His Bear Den participated in Cuboree, Scouting for Food, Food for Thought and the Camp Card fundraiser.  He has three years of experience as a den leader at various levels. His partner in the Den also happens to be his wife, who helps plan all activities and den meeting. Together they provide a fun learning experience for their Bear Den. Please join me in congratulating our Bear Den leader of the year:

David Basinger, Pack 375 and his assistant and wife, Sabrina Basinger


Webelos Den Leader of the Year 

Our winner has been very involved in all aspects of his Pack for the past several years including one year as the Wolf Den Leader and another as Bear Den Leader. Now he continues that excellence as Webelos Den Leader. He has served on the Pack Committee, as Holiday Caravan parade float coordinator for his pack, and as Nova Mentor and Instructor for the pack. He has served as an instructor for God and Me in the Pack and has served on the staff of the Sapona District Cub Scout Day Camp. His training includes BALOO, Certified Range Instructor and Den Leader Specifics. His Den has participated in Gold Rush, Webelos Day Camp, Scouting for Food, Placing Flags at the National Cemetery, and the District and Council Pinewood Derby. He also has served an instructor at Cub and Webelos Advancement Day for two years. As an NRA certified instructor he has overseen many ranges including sling shots, BB’s and archery. He also com0leted Wood Badge in 2017 and is currently finishing his ticket.  This is a great and inspirational example of a fully involved and dedicated Scout Leader. Please congratulate our 2017 Webelos Den Leader of the Year:

Darren Shell, Pack 306


Cubmaster of the Year 

Our 2017 District Cubmaster of the Year stepped up in a significant way in the past few months when her Pack needed a Cubmaster. She went way outside her comfort zone to take on this important leadership role and assure that the Pack continued to have a fun, quality program. Her Pack is lucky to have her. She has completed BALOO Training and Cubmaster Specific Training and regularly attends our Roundtable sessions. She has also involved her Pack in the District Cub-O-Ree, Gold Rush, Webelos Woods, where she taught First Aid, and Webelos Day Camp.   We thank her for her leadership and for keeping her Pack strong. Please congratulate our 2017 Sapona District Cubmaster of the Year:

Jodie Sain, Pack 320


Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year – 2 winners

Sometimes in the awards process we receive competing applications that are really difficult to separate and make a fair decision. That was the case this year with two highly qualified leaders nominated for Assistant Scoutmaster.  We resolved that problem by giving the honor to both of them. Assistant Scoutmasters are indispensable assets to any successful Troop and so often they are unsung heroes as well.

Our first Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year for 2017 has served his troop in that position for five years. He has completed Leader Specific Training, Outdoor Leadership skills training and earned his Wood Badge beads in 2015. He has attended summer camp with the troop three times while also participating in numerous backpacking trips, bicycle trips, service projects and just about every other unit activity. He faithfully attends weekly meetings, troop committee meetings and Boards of Review.

Our honoree took the position of Troop Chaplain and in that role he compiled a book entitled “A Chaplain’s Devotional”. It contains over 100 pages of songs, poems, prayers, benedictions, responsive readings, inspirational stories and a guide to preparing an inter-faith worship service. This book is used in Troop Worship services when camping. Like most scout leaders, our honoree became involved because of his son’s involvement.  That joint journey culminated this past October when his son received his Eagle Scout rank.  We thank him for his inspirational service to scouting and congratulate our 2017 Assistant scoutmaster of the Year:

Michael M. Hollingsworth, Troop 448


Our second Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year for 2017 qualifies as a veteran because he has nine years’ experience as a Cub Scout Leader and now five years as an assistant scoutmaster.  He is fully trained as both a cub and boys scout leader including Outdoor Leader skills, Wilderness First Aid, and is a BSA Cope/Climbing Instructor Level 2. He has also completed Wood Badge. He has taken leadership roles at Camp Barnhardt summer camp, at Gold Rush, the Aviation Camporee and Advancement Days in the District. In his unit he was the leader for a 50-miler canoe trip and serves as technical advisor for construction aspects of Eagle Projects. He led the unit in placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day, in observing Flag Day, in Scouting for Food and serves as a merit badge counselor.  He is obviously invaluable to his troop and we congratulate him as our Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year:

Steve Wolfe, Troop 442


Our Scoutmaster of the Year is another veteran scouter with five years as a Cubmaster and now five years as Scoutmaster of his troop. Significantly he is not only a role model for his scouts but a mentor for other scout leaders at the Troop and Pack Level. He has earned the Scouters training award the Den leader Training award, Cubmaster of the Year and now Scoutmaster of the year. He completed Wood Badge and has served on Wood Badge staff. His unit partners with a local civic club to work on behalf of Food for Thought. His troop has a very active and varied outdoor program and he pushes his scouts to succeed. Like a good scoutmaster he gets to know each boy personally, their likes and dislikes, their strengths and fears, and even their activities outside of scouting. We thank him for his outstanding leadership, mentoring efforts and involvement at many levels of our Scouting program. Sapona District is proud him with our 2017 Scoutmaster of the Year award:

Jason Kepley Sr. Troop 320


Unit Committee Leadership Award

            The backbone of our Scout units is a strong unit Committee and appropriately we honor a Committee Member of the Year again here in Sapona District.  This individual, like most committee leaders, has a wide and varied scouting background. He just took over as his troop’s Committee Chairperson and if it was up to him, most meetings would take place somewhere out in the wilderness. Since joining the troop leadership in 2009, this man has backpacked over 350 miles, camped over 50 nights, been on at least four biking trips, and has been part of a crew at Philmont Scout Ranch not once, but twice. His training includes Outdoor leader skills, Scoutmaster specific training, Trek Safely, Weather Hazards, Wilderness First Aid and CPR training. He participates in Scouting for Food each year and the Big Sweep. He got his troop involved in the Carolina Orienteering Club and leads orienteering activities several times each year. Under his leadership at the committee level and with the boys, the Troop is in great hands. Please congratulate our 2017 Unit Committee Leadership award winner:

Don Rankin, Troop 448


Unit Commissioner of the Year

Unit Commissioners are the glue that holds the District units together and although we never have enough of them, we have some outstanding leaders providing outstanding service to our troops and packs. Our honoree this year is dedicated to his commissioner duties in a quiet, behind the scenes way.  He uses his extensive scouting experience, his computer skills and his calm demeanor to serve his units, his fellow commissioners and our district at a high level. He has attended four years of Commissioner College, serves on our District Committee and our District Eagle Board. He is a longtime assistant scoutmaster and committee member for his troop. He is a great family man and the proud father of one of our 2017 Eagle Scouts. Please congratulate our 2017 Sapona District Unit Commissioner of the Year

Mark Liddle

Sapona Assistant District Commissioner


District Scouter of the Year

The District Scouter of the Year award recognizes an Adult Leader who offers overall excellence and service to our scout program at the Unit, District and Council level.  Our winner tonight has set the standard for dedication and leadership over a long period of time. She has been a Cubmaster for 8 years and in that time has consistently demonstrated what a quality program is all about. In the beginning she took over a Pack of 8 to 10 boys with a couple of leaders and today she oversees a group of 50 cub scouts and 10 leaders. Under her leadership, the unit has been fully involved in Scouting for Food, the Postal Carriers food drive, Food for Thought, the Veterans Day parade, book collection for the orphan home, and placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day. Her scouts have participated ion, and she has been a leader in the Gold Rush, Webelos Camporee, residence camp, day camp and the Pinewood derby. She has been named Cubmaster of the Year and her unit has achieved gold level in the Journey To Excellence program for three years. She is obviously fully trained and a faithful attendee at our District Roundtables. The mother of an Eagle Scout in the class of 2017, she has another son getting ready to cross over the Boy Scouts. Accordingly she is giving up her Cubmaster role this year and is moving her talents to the Troop level. The Boys Scouts will be much better for it. We thank her for her outstanding service and are pleased to recognize her as our 2017 Sapona District Scouter of the Year: 

Stephanie Mesimer, Pack 306



The District Award of Merit is the highest honor we can bestow on an adult leader in the Sapona District and is a way to properly recognize our dedicated volunteers for a high level of service. Tonight we are pleased to bestow the Sapona District Award of Merit to two outstanding volunteers.


District Award of Merit

Our first recipient of the District Award of Merit for 2017 goes to a lady you all know well. Her background as a Virginia State Trooper and a First Sgt. in the US Army tells you what kind of take charge leader she is and our scouting program is so much better for her efforts. She began her involvement at the Cub Scout level with her grandson and husband and has been a den leader, committee member and chair and pack treasurer. She completed Wood Badge in 2015 and her leadership involvement is expansive beyond the pack. She has chaired the Gold Rush games three years, and as instructor at Webelos resident camp, a Cub Scout Day Camp and at Cuboree. For the past three years she has served as Chairman of our District Pinewood Derby and assisted with the Council Pinewood derby. Under her leadership our Scouting for Food program has reached record heights including the just completed effort that collected almost 30,000 pounds of food for Rowan Helping Ministries, the Salvation Army and other local food banks. She has also involved our local scouts in assisting the Postal Carriers with their food collecting drive as well. She is an active youth leader at St. John’s Lutheran =church, a school volunteer and a faithful volunteer in veteran causes, including Gold Star Families. This is an indispensable volunteer here in the District and in the Council and the scouting program is so much stronger because of her efforts. Please join me in congratulating our 2017 District Award of Merit winner:

Ann Barber, Pack 306 and Sapona District Committee


District Award of Merit

Our second recipient of the District Award of Merit for 2017 has been a faithful and consistent leader in our District and Council for almost two decades. This is a recognition that is long overdue.  The father of an Eagle Scout, he began as a volunteer leader in Cub Scouts and then as an assistant Scoutmaster and Committee member at the Troop leader. In recent years he has worked behind the scenes in a significant way to assure that the Scouting program in Sapona District and the Central NC Council remains viable and strong. As a Friends of Scouting leader, including District Chairman for the past three years, our honoree as led the effort to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the scouting program over the past 10 years. Through his own generosity and his efforts to reach out to others to support scouting he has significantly helped keep scouting financially healthy. His influence extends far beyond scouting as a leader in the business world and in the community. He is a former member of the State Board of Education and is the CEO of a successful business here in Salisbury that reaches across the country. Through his company, he created a unique childhood literacy program called the Appleseed Project. The program places mobile interactive touch screen readers in the hands of thousands of local children to give them much needed literacy skill building tools. It is obvious that this is a “big picture guy” and the Scouting program in the District and Council are much better for it. We thank you and salute you with our 2017 District Award of Merit.         

Mr. Greg Alcorn,

Sapona District Committee & Central NC Council Executive Board

Sapona District,
Feb 24, 2018, 6:54 AM