Appreciation award ideas

As we head into another year, packs and troops will be holding Blue and Gold Banquets and Courts of Honor where we recognize our Scouts for their achievements. We should also remember to recognize our adult volunteers, because without them we wouldn’t have a Scouting program.

Recognizing Scouts is easy. The badge of rank, belt loops and pins, and merit badges are symbols of what they’ve accomplished. Recognizing adults is a bit more difficult. Sure, there are certificates that you can buy at the Scout Shop (or print your own). There are established training awards (square knots) and leader recognition awards, and many districts have an informal volunteer recognition award that units can nominate their volunteers for. In our district, it’s called the Trailblazer Award and is sponsored by the Commissioner staff. Each unit can nominate up to three adults to receive the award and they are recognized at the district’s annual volunteer dinner in the spring.

Beyond the formal awards, however, there are many ideas for informal recognition of those adults who make your pack or troop go. In this post and a future one, I’ll list some of the ideas that have  been around. You might have seen some of these (or even received one yourself), or heard mention of them at an adult recognition class session at your council’s University of Scouting.

  • Banana: For having the greatest ap-peel, a wax banana, mounted
  • Bearable: For bearing up under pressure or making life more bearable, a small stuffed bear holding a tire gauge, mounted
  • Best foot forward: For always stepping up or setting the example, a one-foot ruler or a sock with the toe cut off
  • Big heart award: For real dedication, a heart pillow or a red heart candy box
  • Eggs: For doing an eggs-cellent job or an eggs-citing idea, a plastic egg, mounted
  • Fizz: For adding sparkle and pizzazz, a small box of Alka Seltzer, mounted
  • Helping hand: For always being willing to help, a stuffed glove mounted on a dowel
  • Ice cream cone: For being able to “lick” any job, an ice cream cone with cotton wadding, mounted
  • Key: For being the key to success, a real or toy key, mounted
  • Knot: For tying it all together, a rope square knot, spray-painted gold, and mounted
  • Life saver: For someone who helped out and made a difference, a roll of Life Savers candy
  • Marbles: For doing a marble-ous job, a bag of marbles
  • Noteworthy: For being noteworthy, a small note pad mounted
  • Needle and thread: For keeping everyone in stitches, a spool of thread and a needle, mounted
  • Nuts: For being nuts to take on this job, or us being nuts about you, some walnuts mounted on a plaque, or a jar of peanuts
  • Roll: To say your “roll” is important, a large Tootsie Roll
  • Rose: You “rose” to the occasion, a plastic or fabric rose, mounted
  • Shining example: A mirror or mylar film mounted on a plaque
  • Spark: For adding spark to the program or for being the spark that got something going, a spark plug mounted on a plaque
  • Stake: For those with commitment, a “stake” in the Scouting program, a tent stake mounted
  • Stuck: For someone who “stuck with it”, a glue stick mounted
  • Toilet paper: You handled the important paperwork, a roll of toilet paper (or paper towel)
  • Well done: For a job well done, a piece of burnt toast, preserved and mounted

What are some of the awards you’ve given your adult volunteers? Please leave a comment below. I’ll have more ideas in a future article.

Image: Parvin Flicker, Creative Commons 2.0 license

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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