Meet Grand Canyon Council's 2020 Honorees
Congratulations to our 2020 Council Honorees who received the following council awards and recognition for their outstanding contributions, dedicated years of service, and leadership to youth and Scouting in Grand Canyon Council. Throughout 2021 we will feature two of our distinguished award recipients in Grand Canyon Council Connection.
2020 Distinguished Service Star Award Honorees
Congratulations to Timothy L. Smith and William J. Popescue for outstanding Council, district, or unit service for more than fifteen years! The Distinguished Service Star is a lifetime achievement award presented in the same manner that Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature! Please join us in recognizing Timothy L. Smith and William J. Popescue!
2020 Meritorious Service Star Award Honorees
Congratulations to Allyn Calhoun, Carolyn Brandenberger, Christopher R. Kaup, Dave Alexander, Gary Mack Jones, Glen M. DePhillips, Jacob R. Benyi, Jess Rankin, John R. Adcock, Kathleen Polowski, Orvell Franklin, Jr. , Peter Zipp III, Sondra Wendt, and Tim Wolfe for outstanding Council, district, or unit service for more than five years! The Meritorious Service Star Award usually precedes the Silver Beaver and follows the District Award of Merit. Please join us in recognizing these deserving volunteers!
2020 Silver Beaver Award Honorees
Awarded to Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service at the Council level. Congratulations to our 2020 Silver Beaver Award Honorees: James P. Bradley, Lynda Diane Hale, John McKenna, Gregory Phillip Randolph, Donald Richards, and Wes Morrill! The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service! Please join us in recognizing our through and through 2020 Silver Beaver honorees!
Learn more about our 2020 Council Honorees and their impact on Scouting
Allyn Calhoun – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Currently serving as Council Training Chair. Allyn’s significant contributions to Scouting lead from his passion for training. He initiated the 100% Trained Leaders program which will result in a better program for all Scouts. Allyn helped develop the NYLT Campsite at Camp Geronimo and has been part of the Scoutreach Unit Troop 4 at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections for the past 7 years. As he supports their rank advancement and teaches outdoor skills to the boys in the unit, Allyn has made a significant impact in their lives and instrumental in acquiring needed equipment and supplies. Featured in Volume 2, No. 5 | February 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Carolyn Brandenberger – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Currently serving as the University of Scouting, Baden Powell College Dean. Carolyn has served in Scouting for over 26 years in a wide variety of volunteer areas. She embraces a love for training and initiated the Council Wood Badge Coordinator role while modernizing supplies and equipment for this important adult training program. Carolyn most enjoyed working with National Office of Philanthropy sharing the Scout story with potential donors. Her favorite role was a Tiger Den Leader and experiencing 13 little boys grow into fine young men. “It was so worth it.” Featured in Volume 2, No. 5 | February 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Christopher Kaup – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Chris currently serves on the Council Executive Board, representing Grand Canyon Council on the ad hoc committee of local councils in the BSA bankruptcy case. Most important is what he refers Scouting as “a positive platform for positive peer pressure”. His experiences in Scouting as a youth impacted him throughout his development and led to his ability to share these positive influences all his life! “What I have found as an adult when I was brought back into Scouting is that Scouting continues to be such a strong platform for positive peer pressure for all the youth I have seen, and for myself.” Scouting is facing profound challenges and Chris feels honored and privileged to serve on the Executive Board to help guide the council toward change for our future in the Grand Canyon Council. Congratulations, Chris upon receiving the Meritorious Service Star Award!
Cyrus Wes Morrill – 2020 Silver Beaver Award Honoree
Wes serves as the Camping Chair and an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 39 in Lost Dutchman District. He works closely with our Council Camp Ranger conducting property improvement checks, offering construction support, and instituting safety measures for all our camps. As a lifelong Eagle Scout, Wes enjoys mentoring youth on their Eagle Scout journey, serving on NYLT staff and developing camping programs within his district. Wes serves his Unit by guiding youth to utilize their critical thinking skills to be better at their outdoor skills and improve their own leadership skills, guiding them to grow into a more efficient patrol in organizing and planning outdoor activities. As a servant leader, Wes has helped out at OA fellowships as camp medic as needed and is deeply involved in his community, sharing what he loves and has learned through Scouting, teaching his teaching and sharing his and Scout Spirit to everyone!
Dave Alexander – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Dave is a member of our National Executive Board and has served on our Council Executive Board. He lives the Scout Oath and Law every day of his life. Dave’s love for the Scouting program is all about the youth we support, guide, mentor and teach, which translates to his strong principles about “giving back” as a servant leader. As the largest contributor in our council, Dave says, “I really care about Scouting … because of what it did for me as a young man. I became an Eagle Scout at a very early age. My father joined Scouting in 1914, 4 years after it was founded, and at the time I didn’t know what Scouting really was. My father lived the Scout Oath and Law and his mentorship took me that way. It was so natural, it felt so good to be myself, and I want to do that for other young people around the world.” Congratulations Dave upon receiving the Meritorious Service Star Award!
Donald Richards – 2020 Silver Beaver Award Honoree
Don Richards is currently the District Commissioner for Gila River District. He is one dedicated Scouter who leads by example for both youth and adult members. His encouragement of youth OA members in the Council to attend the Western Region National Leadership Seminar (NLS) was transformative. He volunteered with another adult to be “Dorm Leaders” and gave guidance to the OA youth at each station while providing the best experience for each Cub Scout in attendance. Working with adults as a Commissioner Don has participated at the Grand Canyon Council’s College of Commissioner Science as both a student and instructor for a number of years focused on service to units, in addition to Baden Powell University and Cub Leader PowWow. Don attended leadership training at Philmont and was part of the Council Philmont 57 in 2014 focused on our vision for the future. Throughout his tenure, Don has mentored many Scouts in several districts; some of these Scouts became Eagle Scouts. Before mentoring, many of the Scouts were discouraged or disillusioned for various reasons. Don’s love for Scouting and commitment to guide youth gave him the opportunity to work with them and they “caught the Scouting Spirit” once again. You could say that Don Richards works at “full throttle” to help Scout Units and our youth succeed!
Gary Jones – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Gary has served in Scouting for about 34 years as a direct leader of youth, while at the same time, serving every role in the District Program Area ( Camping, Training, Advancement, Activities/Civic Service), FOS and Commissioner (both District and Roundtable). Gary has been to 3 Jamborees, and in each one he served as either a Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster, in addition to his experience as a WoodBadge Course Director. Needless to say, Gary is a remarkably busy Scouter who loves the program and has given years of time and talents in many areas. Some would call him The Pied Piper of Youth as he has recruited many kids over his years in Scouting. He has helped grow the program as a Youth Leader by drawing boys in with his Baden Powell Patrol Method and fun/adventure Scouting approach. Gary is currently the Scoutmaster of Troop 54, the same Troop he grew up in and earned his Eagle Scout in 1973. Congratulations Gary, for your dedication and your many years of service in Scouting as you so deservingly are awarded the Meritorious Service Star!
Glen DePhillip – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
If anyone were to receive the Academy Award for being helpful, courteous and committed to everything they do, the winner would be Glen DePhillips. While serving in several districts over the past 9 years, Glen has been instrumental in developing successful camporees, supporting units through summer camp and has always enjoyed being a merit badge counselor, working with youth. Glen is currently developing a new member training course for parents new to Scouting. At the district level, along with supporting the district committee, Glen served in Unit Service as an ADC, Roundtable Commissioner, and currently serves as a Unit Commissioner in the Sonoran Sunset. Glen is passionate about Scouting and we are so fortunate to have him and his many interests, gifts and talents as a volunteer in our Council. Congratulations Glen for receiving the prestigious Meritorious Service Star Award!
Greg P. Randolph – 2020 Silver Beaver Award Honoree
During his 8 year tenure as Scoutmaster, Greg shepherded 38 Scouts to achieve their Eagle Scout Rank. During that time, he served as Scoutmaster at Geronimo for 30 to 60 Scouts each year learning about the outdoors and earning Merit Badges at camp. Greg has worked on the Council Finance committee to assist with innovative ways to raise monies for the Grand Canyon Council. Over his years of service Greg’s commitment to serving our council finance committee along with his dedication to the youth in his troop are two extremes in the Scouting program, and yet are significant aspects of what we do to grow the leaders of tomorrow. Congratulations on receiving the Silver Beaver Award, Greg! You are truly an inspiration to all of us.
Jacob Richard Benyi – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Jacob’s impact to youth as the Council Commissioner may not be so direct and obvious, however, Jacob’s 20+ years as a Boy Scout has had a significant impact on our council, our district leadership, and his continued participation in the unit where he earned his Eagle Scout Award, giving back as a volunteer serving the youth in Troop 648. Jacob grew up in Scouting and has a strong, dedicated appreciation for the program in his youth and subsequent years of service. Jacob represents the natural qualities of leadership – inspiring and visionary while at the same time, thoughtful and thorough. He was one of 57 volunteers and professionals who gathered at Philmont Training Center in the summer of 2014 to set the future for our council. As a Leadership Academy graduate in 2017 Jacob has also been an instructor, a dean, and the chancellor on the staff of the College of Commissioner Science for the past 5 years and successfully spearheaded the council wide initiative, University of Scouting in early 2020. Unit service is his strength, always there to help others, with experiential understanding of how Scouting works to benefit our youth. The results he produces confirm these points, which is why he has continued to rise in leadership positions. He takes his role very seriously and invest untold hours to ensure the success of our Council. It is with our most sincere gratitude and appreciation that we award Jacob Benyi the Meritorious Service Star. Congratulations Jacob!
James Patrick Bradley – 2020 Silver Beaver Honoree
James Patrick Bradley from Lost Dutchman District, Silver Beaver Honoree, is currently a Merit Badge Counselor for Troop 39 as well as a District Committee Member. James has given substantially to the youth of the council by providing training and service to both adults and youth of the council. He genuinely believes that every youth deserves a trained leader and concurrently believes that every adult deserves a trained youth! James encourages all adult leaders to take Wood Badge. His involvement in Order of the Arrow allows the youth of the organization to lead a program and determine what they want to accomplish. James has attended and volunteered to support the youth at Braves Pow Wow for the last five years. He has volunteered as an advisor for Ordeals since joining the Order of the Arrow. James has volunteered in the kitchen for Order of the Arrow events for the last three years, in addition to other duties he has had the various events. Congratulations James for your many years of service and for your love and support of Scouting in Grand Canyon Council.
Jess Rankin – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Jess Rankin, Meritorious Service Star Honoree, currently Scoutmaster of Troop 531, Advisor of Crew 1912 and a Merit Badge Counselor. Jess’ contributions are everywhere he sees an opportunity to add value to serve and guide youth. He previously volunteered as a Scout-O-Rama Committee Member and has taught Cubmaster classes at Baden Powell University in addition to being involved with developing promotional videos for Wood Badge. For several years Jess and Troop 531 have partnered with 5 other troops in the council, participating in the annual Scouting for Food Program along with celebrating Scout Sunday on the first Sunday in February. Jess’ contributions directly impact the positive elements of Scouting and his aptitude of servant leadership continues to be passed down to others compounding his impact on an even greater youth audience. Congratulations to you Jess for your commitment, support and dedication to the Scouting Program in Grand Canyon Council. You are making a HUGE difference in the lives of the youth you serve, every day in many, many ways! Thank you!
John McKenna – 2020 Silver Beaver Honoree
John McKenna, Silver Beaver Honoree currently serves as the Roundtable Commissioner and District Vice Chair for the Gila District. He has been with Gila River since its inception; the second volunteer to accept a role with the district. John has been a key leader on the team of bridging our districts together since the merger of the districts. He brought Chandler / Gilbert with him to the Salt River District folks to help establish our District. He has been a leader on training and Roundtable support for the district for 40 consecutive months! John directly supports and guides our Cub Scout leaders as a co-lead for our Cub Scout Roundtable and as lead Roundtable Commissioner. He has directly support units as a Unit and District Commissioner for the past 7 years as well. John also served at both R-C Family Camp and Camp Kaibab Cub Scout Program as he continues to share his volunteer gifts with our Scout Families. In addition, John served as the Associate Advisor of Communications for the Wipala Wiki Lodge. For the many diverse areas of service along your years of commitment and support in Gila River, John, we heartily CONGRATULATE you upon receiving the Silver Beaver Award! Thank you!
John R. Adcock – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
John R. Adcock, received the Meritorious Service Star from the Sonoran Sunset District for his dedication and service to our youth as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 526 for 15 years! He is also a Merit Badge Counselor in the district. As a paramedic and firefighter, John has always been available to give of his time and expertise when Camporee staff and Webelos Crossover organizers request him to participate staff as the Paramedic/medical help over the camping weekends. Throughout his life, Mr. Adcock has shown his dedication to the flourishing of individuals other than himself by making himself available to those in need, those in training, or those who need someone to talk to. He is an exemplary figure both in and out of scouting, whose vast contributions and exact hours volunteered cannot be calculated. He exemplifies what it means to live a life in service which is why he is so deserving to receive the Meritorious Service Star Award. Congratulations John!
Kathy Polowski was awarded the Meritorious Service Star Award as a volunteer in the Gila River District for her years of service at the Unit, District and Council levels. Kathy cheerfully supports many areas within the council such as Assistant Council Commissioner, District Member at Large, Program Chair, Merit Badge Counselor, Unit Commissioner, Committee Chair and Committee Member for Pack, Troop & Crew P132, T565, and C2009. As an Assistant Council Commissioner, Kathy’s contributions to leadership transcends through Commissioner Service which directly impacts our youth. Kathy lives the Oath and Law daily which translates to her continued commitment to ensure integrity and strong character directly to the youth and to other volunteer leaders. Aligned on these principles, Kathy works hard to ensure the mission is shared, follows and sets the example for all leaders, volunteers and community. Kathy is currently the Chairperson of the Interfaith Committee in our Council. Her role as the Council Interfaith Chair in support of Religious Emblems, Awards and Achievements by coordinating events, dinners and activities brings alive “A Scout is Reverent” along with Duty to God programs and the Ten Commandment Hikes available to our Scout families every fall. As a mentor to all, Kathy serves Scouting gracefully while her dedication to youth and families stays strong. It is for this and many, many years of her service to Grand Canyon Council that Kathy receives the Meritorious Service Star Award! No matter what volunteer position Kathy holds, she is the image of a true and faithful servant leader, always willing and able to help in any way she can… and she does! Thank you, Kathy!
Lynda Diane Hale – 2020 Silver Beaver Honoree
Lynda Diane Hale, received the Silver Beaver Award in 2020 as a Unit and District volunteer in the Pinnacle Peak District. She currently participates as a Council and Unit level volunteer, leading and coordinating Council Cub Outdoor Programs that serve every Cub Unit. Her experience with Cub Scouts is vast and wide over many years in many different volunteer roles. We are so fortunate that her leadership and guidance supports our Cub Scout Program that serves every Cub Pack in the Council! Lynda has provided service to youth by directing Cub Day Camps, ensuring a quality program for the Cub Scouts, volunteers, families and unit leaders. The success of these programs for Cubs is truly her passion and it shows! Not only has the Lynda supported District committees and units as a commissioner, but she has also stepped up and most recently helped facilitate a very successful virtual Cub Day Camp while we experienced COVID lockdown. Thank you, Lynda, for your time, commitment, dedication and passion for Scouting. Your years of service extend well beyond the event or program… you make a different by impacting every youth, our volunteers and our Scout families. Thank you and Congratulations on receiving the Silver Beaver Award!
Orvell Franklin, Jr. – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Orvell Franklin received the Meritorious Service Star Award as the District Commissioner in the Central District. He has been involved in numerous Council level activities and committees that significantly support our future and direction. Orvell was one of 25 volunteers invited and participated on our year-long Vison 2040 Leadership Planning Team which set the vision and developed the Strategic Plan for our Council for the next 20 years. As the Central District Commissioner, Orvell’s knowledge and team spirit coupled with his love for Scouting and Unit Service translates to an awesome commissioner corps. “His energy and excitement for Scouting never goes unnoticed.” Orvell is also a Unit Leader and dedicates much of his time supporting both Pack and Troop 787. His commitment to serve with his son, Jaden since 2015, has given him the opportunity to fully embrace Scouting in his life and the values it brings. Congratulations, Orvell and Thank YOU for your continued service to Scouting!
Featured in Volume 3, No. 1 | October 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Peter Zipp – 2020 Meritorious Service Star Honoree
Peter Zipp received the Meritorious Service Star Award and serves in the Sonoran Sunset District. He has volunteered as Treasure for our Council, among many areas of leadership at both the Unit and District levels. As Council Treasurer, Peter’s leadership in council budgeting, finance, audits and reporting had a direct positive effect on how the council and its strategic plan support our youth. Peter is currently a Merit Badge Counselor for Troop 90. In whatever role he serves, Peter is always very energetic in his pursuit to make Scouting better for every youth and adult he works with, both at the unit and district level. Additional roles he has served include Unit Commissioner, Venturing Crew Advisor, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster and Pack Trainer, among other volunteer positions. Peter’s love for Scouting goes well beyond his volunteer position. He is the person you could always rely on to help out with anything asked. This included Camporees, Scout Expos, Roundtable, OA youth participation and so much more. Peter was always there for the youth during district events – willing to lead the scouts on outings, including back packing and long term camping trips. He continues to be a vocal advocate for the Scouters on the troop committee as a fun, well respected volunteer who exemplifies the Scout Oath and Law as he leads our Scouts and Scouters. It is for these reasons plus the many years of service that Peter has given and his passion for Scouting, we heartily Congratulate him on receiving the Meritorious Service Star Award!
Featured in Volume 3, No. 1 | October 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Sondra Wendt received the Meritorious Service Star Award and serves Scouting in the Pinnacle Peak District. She currently serves as Troop 834 and 3834 Treasurer and as the Council Fundraising Chair for the past 5 years. Here she uses her leadership and organizational talents to guide and coordinate council fundraising events; dates, logistics, training and kick-off events, while providing ongoing communication through Facebook with our district fundraising chairs which, in turn, directly support our units. Sondra gets things done! Serving at the unit level, she has been instrumental in recruitment, fundraising, and serves as the unit committee chair which positively impacts the unit level. She was key in growing Pack 536 on the recruitment committee, while supporting the program in the role as Committee Chair. In 2018 Sondra received the Pack of the Year award from Pinnacle Peak for membership growth and providing an excellent program for the units she serves in the district. In addition, she started female Troop 3824 in 2019 which continues to thrive and grow today. Sondra is a blessing to our council in so many wonderful ways. Her enthusiastic smile and positive attitude coupled with accomplishing huge financial wins for our council while increasing membership in her local units demonstrates awesome Scout spirit and leadership within our council. It is for these reasons, and so many more, that Sondra heartily received the Meritorious Service Star! Congratulations, Sondra!!
Featured in Volume 3, No. 2 | November 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Tim Smith received the Distinguished Service Star and currently serves in the Sonoran Sunset District. He has been involved with many levels in the Scouting organization, from Area President to Pack Cubmaster and many volunteer positions in between. From a family of Scouters, Tim brings a broad base of knowledge, leadership and Scout experience over many years of service as a Scout leader. This especially includes his understanding as what it means to be a Servant Leader as seen in his interactions with many Scout families and volunteers throughout our Council. Tim lives and loves Scouting! He serves on the National Council and here in Grand Canyon Council, Tim’s role as Council Commissioner guided and focused our Commissioner Service to ensure our Scout families have what they need to grow and thrive in our program. Over the past 10 years Tim has served many in other Council positions; the Executive Board, the Executive Committee, VP of Operations, Camp Commissioner and Advancement, all of which require leading volunteer teams to effectively serve our districts and units to be their very best for our youth. Tim’s leadership at the district level continued to support the units as Chair, Eagle Scout counselor and Order of the Arrow coach, and founding Venture Crew 2090. He currently supports Pack 64 and is the Charter Organization Executive, bringing his years of service to the unit level to grow Scouting in the Sonoran Sunset district. We can all look to Tim as a great example of dedicated Servant Leadership in Grand Canyon Council, contributing much of his life to serving others, with both our volunteers and with the youth we serve. Many of us have experienced the imprint of Tim’s legacy as we continue to promote the Scouting movement! It is with great admiration, honor and gratitude that Tim Smith receives the Distinguished Service Star for his many years of service to Scouting and his community. Congratulations, Tim!
Featured in Volume 3, No. 2 | November 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
Tim Wolfe received the Meritorious Service Star in 2020 and currently serves in the Lost Dutchman District as the Vice President of Operations. Tim is an Eagle Scout and comes from 5 generations of Eagle Scouts, and knows the commitment, the investment and the journey to achieve any goal. Tim’s role as a key council leader and board member influences volunteers and youth throughout the council. Scouting is such a big part of who he is throughout his many years of service and history of Scouting in his family. In the leadership role as Vice President of Operations, Tim brings the fundamentals of Scouting; guiding and coaching others to ensure the program stays strong and flourishes. As a member of Order of the Arrow, Tim inspires leadership in the volunteers he interfaces with, while ensuring all youth facing leaders in the districts (and in turn, the units,) continue to deliver Scouting. As a founding father of the Lost Dutchman District, Tim’s leadership supported the creation of a strong, healthy district that maintains the values of the Scout program while encouraging unit leaders to serve at the district level. Tim has been involved with Troop 653 for 21 years in numerous positions. Working directly with the youth and seeing them advance and grow within the troop speaks to his passion for the program and dedication to serving youth. Tim enjoys the outdoors and has been to Philmont 3 times, Boundary Waters 3 times and Seabase once … earning him the triple crown patch for high adventure. Congratulations Tim on receiving the Meritorious Service Star; for your dedication to youth and their successful future by embracing the responsibilities of servant leadership.
Featured in Volume 3, No. 3 | December 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
William Popescue received the Distinguished Service Star in 2020 and currently serves in the Sonoran Sunset as the Charter Organization Representative for Troop 526. To say that Mr. Popescue is a Troop Committee Member is grossly understating who he is, what he does, and how he has contributed over the last 35 years in Scouting. He was an integral part of establishing Troop 526 and has supported the growth of this strong, healthy troop into what it is today. He continues to work diligently behind the scenes not looking for recognition but always wants to make sure that our youth and scouters have the best program possible. William has received numerous awards that he has not sought after but have found him through his role as a servant leader. His tireless work within the district, troop and Order of the Arrow has brought financial stabilization as well as a strong brotherhood for those privileged to have been elected to this National Honor Society in Scouting. His character exemplifies the Scout Oath and Law while his passion for scouting draws people directly to the adventures of scouting. Our troop, district and council would not be what it is today if volunteer leaders like William Popescue were not willing to dedicate their time, knowledge and share in the vision for the betterment of scouting. Congratulations William for receiving one of the highest council honors and for all you have brought to our youth and volunteers in Grand Canyon Council! Thank you for continuing to make a difference!
Featured in Volume 3, No. 3 | December 2021 of Grand Canyon Connection
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