The 41th Annual Blue Elk District Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held Jan. 27 at Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, and emceed by Joe Wilkinson. Dinner Chair Jim Beachner noted the “Olympics: Aim High” themed event was attended by approximately 200.

The event was opened with a flag ceremony by Eagle Scout Zac Jones, and the invocation was done by Eagle Scout Joel Martin, both from Troop 266 at Oak Grove Community of Christ Church.

Dan Giles, Director of Field Services of the Heart of America Council, was introduced as a Special Guest of The District.

Blue Elk District Key Leaders Chairman Bill Essman, Commissioner Kerry DeHaan, and District Director Jon Wilson as well as Vice-Chair of Programs Chris Bradshaw, Vice-Chair of Finance Jeff Grub, Vice-Chair of Operations Mike Brady, and Vice- Chair of Cub Scouting Scott Smith, were sworn into their offices by Eagle Scout Collin Kehl of Troop 266.

In a special presentation Austin Terryberry, of Pack 221 sponsored by St. Mary’s Parents for Catholic Scouting in Independence, was recognized by Dan Giles for being the top Trails End Popcorn salesmen in Blue Elk District and the Heart of America Council. He sold over $7,878 worth of popcorn.

Blue Elk District was recognized by the Heart of America Council with the Gold Level Journey to Excellence Award for the third consecutive year.

The Blue Elk District 2017 Pinnacle Awards are given to the top Pack and Troop who have recorded the most advancements per registered Scout though the year. This year’s awards were presented to Pack 383, at East 39th Street Community of Christ Church who recorded 1.56 advancements/Scout, and Troop 347, at Pleasant Heights Community of Christ Church who recorded 1.08 advancements/Scout.

The Torch of Gold award was given to individuals that have a record of rendering outstanding service and leadership to Scouts with disabilities. Recognized in 2017 were Stacia DeHaan of Troop 692 at American Legion Post 499 in Blue Springs, and Peggy Ann Johnson of Troop 229 at First Christian Church of Independence.

The Silent Service Award was given to individuals not registered with the Boy Scouts of America but have given of themselves on behalf of the Scouting movement in 2017, but behind the scenes. Recognized Saturday night were Dan Moran by Troop 228 at Christ United Methodist Church, Cristina Kehl by Troop 266 at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Jamie Burkett by Troop 310 at Faith United Methodist Church in Grain Valley, and Crystal Smalley by Troop 201 at Maywood Baptist Church.

Recognition for registered adult leaders that have gone above and beyond the call of duty is the Scouter Spirit Award. The 2017 award winners were Kenneth Kuhlman of Pack 282 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Kyle Sallee of Troop 266 at Oak Grove Community of Christ, Robert Bicknell at Troop 228 at Christ United Methodist Church, Cristena Morgan, Noel Gardner, and Gary Riebel of Troop 692 at American Legion Post 499, Jason Burkett of Troop 310 at Faith United Methodist Church, Regina Branstetter of Troop 492 sponsored by John D Snow DDS, William Cantwell Unit Commissioner, D. Patrick Farmer of Troop 332 of Blue Springs First United Methodist Church, Michele Fowler of Crew 334 at Ridgewood Community of Christ Church, Scott D. Howell 3rd of Troop 282 at Trinity Episcopal Church, David McLean of Troop 362 sponsored by Knights of Columbus 6508, and Jeffrey Newhard of Troop 201 at Maywood Baptist Church, Thomas Seck of Troop 865 at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, and Aaron Burgess of Troop 306 at North Spring United Methodist Church.

The highest award the District can bestow is the District Award of Merit. The 2017 awards were presented to Lowell D. Brenton of Troop 228 at Christ United Methodist Church, Chuck Ruedi of Troop 692 at American Legion Post 499, and Barbara Todd of Pack 266 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church, and Robert Todd of Troop 310 Sponsored by Friends of Pack 310.

The Master of Ceremonies Joe Wilkinson was pleased to recognize the young men in the district that earned the rank of Eagle, the highest rank in Boy Scouting. There were 106 in Blue Elk District this year.

The 2017 Blue Elk District Eagle Scouts were:

1042 – Alexander Reilly, Adam Scantlin; 1082 – Elijah Gibson, Jacob Tallman; 1138 – Morgen Adair, Adam Solimani; 1161 – Zachary Ashurst, Jeffrey Parker; 1173 – Walker Hahn-Armstead; 1175 – Cordale Killian, Jacob Krahenbuhl, Brendan Oehrke, Donnie Rickman III, Carl Westmoreland Jr., Mitchell White, Braden Williams, George Wood; 1178 – William Auch, Jacob Boucher, James Day, Ethan Fetters, Brock Leochner, Joseph McCubbin, Nathaniel Schwaller, David Vest Jr.; 1201 – Cooper Hill, Dakota Lepker, Mason Luttrell, Jay Mitchell, Gabriel Valdez; 1206 – Alexander Babcock, Phillip Bailey, Kyle Dickmeyer, Austin Ford, Riley Rexford, Addison Wilson; 1216 – Matthew McLean; 1221 – Spencer Engelman, Cory Gumminger, Derrick Jackley, Drake Leighton-Floyd, James Mader, Braden Mills, Jacob Rittel, Parker Schwart; 1223 – Isaac Brown; 1226 – Wyatt Ethington, Austin McGrath, Caleb Michell, Austin Todd, Hunter Todd, Nicholas Wheeler; 1228 – Jacob Crozier, Xavier Lambros, Adam Magee Jr., Michael Willis, Matthew Willis, James Wyman.

1229 – Tyrus Cunliffe; 1255 – Spencer Cole, Ian Cuthbert, Patterson Fallis, Zachary Grover, Henry Harrell, John Janisch, Nicholas Smith, Johan Wesemann; 1257 – Tristan Graus; 1266 – Joseph Campbell, Charles Grewell, Tanner Hoover; 1282 – Nicholas Arnold, Tristen Johnson, Joshua Joyce; 1310 – Joseph Gleich, Nicholas Paul, Joshua Paulsen, Dakota Staggs, Joshua Womack; 1312 – George Horsey; 1332 – Michael Baldus, Jeremiah Barnes, Jack Farmer, Nathan McGhee; 1362 – Michael Bledsoe, Joseph DuPont, Phoenix Radford, Nathaniel Rockwell; 1381 – Christian Fannin, Ethan Schultz; 1382 – Jason Payne, Garrett Thomas; 1492 – Joshua Rieck, Tyler Wilds; 1605 – Jacob Dwyer; 1692 – Patrick Downton Jr., Joshua Gilliland, Patrick Kruse, Peyton Temple; 1763 – Deacon Howe, Jackson Lindstrom; 1764 – Brooks Bowne, Colton DeLaMare; 1865 – Caleb Drake, Joseph Smith, Jacob Straub.