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Volunteers Receive Highest National Scouting Award – The Silver Beaver

The Silver Beaver Award, the highest form of recognition that a local council can bestow on a volunteer, was awarded to three African American volunteers from the Sam Houston Area Council: The Reverend Nathaniel Davis Sr., Rita Ferguson and Wallace C. Henderson. The ceremony, of 31 recipients, was held on Monday, October 18th at the Chapelwood United Methodist Church and drew support from over 300 friends, family members, and Scouting leaders. John B. Walker, Chairman of the Board; Stan Stanley, Council Commissioner; and Thomas O. Varnel, President / Scout Executive presided in the Court of Honor ceremony.

Rita Ferguson has served for eight years in the inner-city Skyline District. She is currently the District Training Chairman. a Unit Commissioner for Troop 20 and member of Troop and Crew 30. She has assisted as a Cub Scout Camp director and a Merit Badge Counselor. Serving in the W. L. Davis District and assisting Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church’s Troop 242, The Reverend Nathaniel Davis, Sr. has been involved in Scouting for 42 years as an Assistant Scoutmaster and as the Troop Chaplain encouraging Scouts to complete their God & Country award. Wallace C. Henderson has served in the W.L. Davis District for 38 years. He has served as Committee Chairman for Cub Scout Pack 242 and Boy Scout Troop 242, chartered by Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church where 62 Scouts have achieved the Eagle rank. He currently serves on the District Advancement Committee and is a Merit Badge Counselor. For a complete list of recipients, visit

In 1931, B.S.A. President Mortimer L. Schiff recommended to the National Board that an award be devised for recognition of distinguished service to youth in the area of a local council and the concept of the Silver Beaver recognition was established. The Sam Houston Area Council has participated in this recognition program since its inception, presenting Silver Beaver Awards in 1931 to W. A. Childress and to E. A. Hudson. Beginning with those first two awards, more than 1500 adult leaders in our Council have been recognized in this manner. Although presentation is made by the Council, all nominations submitted must be approved by the National Court of Honor before the award can be presented.

The Sam Houston Area Council
Sam Houston Area Council is one of the largest councils in the United States with over 47,000 traditional registered Scouts. The council relies on over 20,000 volunteers and 1,723 chartered partners to deliver the six traditional Scouting programs: Tiger Cubs (1st grade), Cub Scouts (2nd thru 5th grade), Webelos (age 10 yrs) and Boy Scouts (5th grade and up), co-ed Venturing (age 14-20), Exploring and Learning for Life. The council serves 16 counties and 72 school districts throughout the Houston and surrounding areas. With more than 300 councils throughout the United States, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

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