Distinguished Service Star Recipients: Celebrating Jacob Benyi and Gary Jordan

Highlighting Decades of Dedication and Leadership in Scouting

The Grand Canyon Council created the Distinguished Service Star in 2016, the highest Council Honor. This award honors volunteers with at least 20 years of truly distinguished service to Scouting at the team, community, or council level or for their overall service to Scouting. Their ability to deliver character, leadership, fun, and growth to youth within the council demonstrates their dedication to their years of service to others. Nominees must be registered Scouter and render outstanding service beyond the expectation of their Scouting position. Training, honors received and their dedication to Scouting is significant. The Distinguished Service Star is typically, but not always, awarded after an individual has received the Silver Beaver Award.

This year we want to recognize two long-time and very dedicated Scouters who received the Distinguished Service Star in 2023. Here we want to acknowledge them and their achievements while celebrating their contributions over many years in Scouting here at the Grand Canyon Council.

Jacob Benyi lives in Scottsdale, is an Eagle Scout, and has been involved in Scouting for over 35 years. His primary Scouting role has been serving as Council Commissioner for the last four years. Jacob’s significant service to youth in Scouting includes mentoring more than 30 Eagle Scouts, participating in 3 Philmont treks, and working with his Troop for the past 24 years. Receiving the District Award of Merit, Meritorious Service Star, and Silver Beaver, Jacob is committed to growing our youth into great leaders in our Council. For Jacob, “Scouting is meaningful because it contributes so much to the growth of leadership and character in the young people of today.” CONGRATULATIONS, Jacob, upon receiving this distinguished award, for your years of service in our council, and for the incredible impact you have bestowed upon the future of our youth.

Gary Jordan lives in Laveen and has been a Scouter for many years. His current Scouting role is leading the Heard Scout Pueblo Rifle range and Council firearms, in addition to helping with the council’s monthly rifle merit badge classes and open shoots. In years past Gary served as a Scoutmaster, Unit, and District Commissioner Chair/Co-Chair. He has helped support District and Council Camporees along with helping the Ranger at the Heard Scout Pueblo with repairs and projects. Gary has received the District Award of Merit, the Distinguished Commissioner Award, and the Silver Beaver Award. Gary believes that Scouting is still a valuable youth program as it provides our young folks with many opportunities to explore our great outdoors, develop new hobbies, and identify potential career paths, leadership opportunities, and so much more. Says Gary, “As the old saying goes, it takes a community to raise a child.” For Gary, he is extremely proud and happy to be a part of our (Scouting) community. Thank you, Gary, for your commitment and dedication to Scouting for so many years, and sincere CONGRATULATIONS to you upon receiving this great honor from the Grand Canyon Council.

We are thrilled to announce that the nominations for the Annual Council Honor Awards are now officially open! This is your chance to recognize the outstanding individuals who dedicate their time and effort to serve youth and Scouting in exceptional ways.

Nominations will be accepted from May 1 until October 15 of each year. During this period, we encourage you to reflect on the remarkable contributions of those within our Scouting community and submit your nominations accordingly. The Grand Canyon Council takes great pride in honoring volunteer Scouters who demonstrate exceptional service and leadership qualities. Through their commitment, they inspire and empower the youth in our programs to reach their fullest potential. Here are the prestigious awards that we will be presenting:

  • “District” Award of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Star
  • Silver Beaver
  • Distinguished Service Star
  • North Star
  • BSA Alumnus of the Year
  • Commissioner/Coach Award of Excellence in Unit Service
  • Distinguished Commissioner/Coach
  • Silver Antelope
  • Silver Buffalo
    Remember, the impact of your nominations is profound, but we kindly request that you refrain from notifying a nominee of their nomination. This precaution ensures that disappointment is avoided should the award not be granted.

Let us come together as a community to celebrate and honor those who embody the spirit of Scouting through their selfless dedication and service. Nominate someone deserving today!