MUNSTER | “Thanks to the Scouting program and the Venture Scouts, I’m not afraid to try new things,” said Terres Gacek as she was recognized recently at the Calumet Council’s Annual Eagle Recognition Dinner for becoming the first female Venture Scout in the council to be awarded the Silver Award.
Gacek is a Venture Scout from Venture Crew 422 out of Midlothian, Ill. The Venture Scouts is the Boy Scouts of America’s Co-Ed Scouting Program.
Both male and female scouts 14 to 21 form Venture Crews. The Silver Award is the Venture Scouts equivalent, and is just as challenging to receive, to the Eagle Scout Award.
Honored along with Gacek were the 68 Calumet Council Boy Scouts who received the Eagle Scout Award in 2012, marking the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award.
Held at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, this year's recognition dinner drew the largest attendance in Calumet Council history with more than 250 guests.
Guest speaker Dr. Mark Kevin received his Eagle Scout Award in 1979 with the Chicago Area Council. He shared his experiences helping the people of Ghana, Africa, as well as 34 other countries worldwide.
“Being an Eagle Scout has always taught me a sense of service,” said Kevin, inspiring him to co-found Anidaso Health, a program that has provided the people of Ghana with free medical supplies since 2005.
“You wouldn’t believe how little they have compared to us living in the states,” Kevin said. “It really showed me how much the little things can make the biggest difference.”
Another program Kevin is in involved with is the Children of Abraham. Formed in 2004, this U.S.-based nonprofit organization sends $80 million worth of medical supplies to assist 34 countries around the world.
“I do this because you not only need to take care of yourself, but you need to help others,” Kevin explained. “That’s what being an Eagle Scout is all about, taking care of others as a citizen of the world.”
Recognized as the Eagle Honoree for the Eagle Class of 2012, John Brown received his Eagle Scout Award in 1949 and has been described by his peers as a true Eagle Scout.
An Eagle Scout is someone who stays true to their obligations, said Brown. “Being an Eagle Scout means you need to have humility, be a good citizen and to show love for other people.”
Brown has attended four World Jamborees and 23 National Jamborees and has received numerous awards during his years of scouting. He was honored for his constant contribution to the Scouting program and to his fellow Scouts, always being willing to lend a hand.
“This is my favorite event of the year,” said James Lakeman, chief scout executive of Calumet Council, as he gave the closing remarks. “These Eagle Scouts here among us tonight, they are our brand.”
Lakeman said he believes that the reason so much effort is put into becoming an Eagle Scout is because it is an investment in the future. “This is what it’s all about,” said Lakeman. “Scouting is about the future.”
For more information about the Boy Scouts of America and the Venture Scout program, visit www.calumetcouncil.org. For more information about Anidaso Health and Children of Abraham, visit www.anidasohealth.org and www.coa-worldwide.org.