On Saturday, May 7, the Otschodela Council Boy Scouts of America recognized more than 60 volunteers and community organizations that support scouting at its annual volunteer recognition dinner at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Silver Beaver Award, according to a media release. This is the highest recognition a council can bestow upon an individual for service to scouting, youth and their community. Those recognized include Dennis Porter of Sidney and Ken Ainslie of Springfield.
Porter has been an active member of the Boy Scouts of America since his youth with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs at Sacred Heart Church in Sidney where his father served as scoutmaster, according to the release.
During his 25 years as an active adult volunteer, he has served as committee chairman of Pack 34 Sidney and assistant scoutmaster of Troop 34 Sidney where his son, Mark, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Porter expanded his commitment to scouting in 1999 serving as a unit commissioner and from 2000-04 as chairman of the Foothills District covering Delaware and southern Schoharie counties.
As chairman, Porter implemented many programs that Scouts continue to take part in today, including the Swim for Advancement program and COPE Course at Henderson Scout Reservation, the release said.
In 2005, Porter became a member of the Otschodela Council Executive Board and serves as council treasurer.
Longtime friend and Scoutmaster of Troop 34 Roy Nabinger presented the Silver Beaver Award.
Ainslie has been active in the scouting program since 1986 when he became den leader for his son, Kenny, in Topsham, Maine, the release said. As a member of the military, Ainslie and his family moved often, but he continued his volunteer involvement in scouting as a Webelos leader and then assistant scoutmaster in Chesapeake, Va.
Upon moving back to Otschodela Council, Ainslie became assistant scoutmaster for Troop 7 in Fly Creek and in 1996 he became scoutmaster for Troop 47 Springfield, which he has held for 15 years. During his tenure, 17 young men have attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the release said. Ainslie has been recognized for his service to youth as a Brotherhood Member of the Onteroraus Lodge, Wood Badge Beads recipient, 30-Year Veterans Award and the District Award of Merit.
Friend and fellow scouter Patti Tabor presented the Silver Beaver Award.
Otschodela Council also recognized the volunteers and community organizations who have helped scouting in their communities. Those receiving the District Award of Merit included: Lisa Huyck of Franklin and Heather Mann of Oneonta.
The William H. Spurgeon III Award for outstanding service to youth in the Exploring program was presented to Carol Bowker of Masonville.
A special recognition for 70 years of service to youth was presented to Ed Roelle of Sidney.