Dennis and Geri Perkins of Alamo, long-time local Boy Scout volunteer leaders, are going to be awarded the Silver Beaver Award at a special ceremony in Orem, Utah, Sept. 23. Lincoln County is part of the Cathedral Gorge District of the Utah National Parks Council.
The Silver Beaver is the highest award for volunteer adult leaders, given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service.
Introduced in 1931 and using the United States Military as the model, Silver Beaver awards are the highest ones in the BSA.
The medal consists of a silver beaver pendant suspended from a blue and white ribbon worn around the neck. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot, with a white strand over a blue strand, on the BSA uniform.
The Perkins has been involved in Scouting for many years, including helping to initiate Troops in Eureka and Carlin, and for the past 16-17 years, in the Pahranagat Valley.
Local Cathedral Gorge District Advancement Committee Chair Mike Sparrow said they even worked in Scouting-related programs while serving on an LDS medical mission in the Marshall Islands.
This will be the first of these special awards ceremonies the Perkins have ever attended.
Dennis said he got involved in the Explorer Scout program while living in Las Vegas in the early 1960s, later moving to the 11- and 12-year-old groups. “And we have been involved with Scouting anywhere we’ve ever lived,” Geri said, “both in Utah and Nevada.” The Perkins’ two sons even earned the Eagle Scout award.
Dennis said one of the things that have been most important to him as a Scout leader is, “that you could get young men that were interested in getting ahead to learn, and you could actually see the growth in them and they would actually achieve.”
Geri said, “They start out so scared, and by the end of their two years they can just do everything. Also, they learn the value of working together as a group. You can accomplish much when you do it as a group. It’s an important skill for boys to learn. They are not out in this world by themselves. They have friends, brothers, and many others to help them achieve something.”
Perkins said it was long ago he was asked to be a volunteer. “I never chose any of them. It was always because somebody came and said, ‘We’d like you to do this for us,’ and we have both done it to the best of our ability.”
Geri, for the most part, has not been a leader, rather she has acted as a secretary and record keeper. “We just did whatever they asked us to. But I have gone on some of the camp trips, too,” she said.