Scouting has been with Big Pine United Methodist since the beginning of the church. Just about every year the church uses a Sunday to recognize Scouting, particularly the pack and troop 573 that the church charters. This year, along with recognizing our young men, we were able to recognize Gary McKee for his many years of dedication to Scouting. The award is the God and Service Award and the information and requirements are this:
The God and Service Award is a national recognition awarded by churches and national youth agencies cooperating with Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.). It is given to acknowledge distinguished volunteer service by adults in ministry to young people through service to the Church and one or more of the national youth agencies (Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Camp Fire USA, American Heritage Girls). Self and spouse nominations will not be accepted.
A God and Service recipient should:
1. Have a minimum of 5 years of service to the church.
2. Have a minimum of 5 years of service (be fully trained and exhibit past and present leadership) in the youth agency (BSA, GSUSA, CFUSA, AHG). (Gary has 20 years volunteering and he was a scout in his youth)
3. Encourage and assist young people in earning the God and Country award. (Since coming back to scouts 2 years ago, Travis has earned his. Others are interested)
4. Promote religious observances at youth agency functions at all levels.
5. Encourage youth to participate in community service projects.
6. Recruit volunteers to give leadership to national youth agency programs.
7. Promote the organization of youth agency units among churches other than his or her own congregation.
8. Be a person whose Christian example is highly regarded by others in the church and whose lifestyle is a model for young people.
Personally, I don’t know what I would do without Gary in the troop. His experience and judgement have been a Godsend to me. He is open, honest, and tells me like he sees it even if it is not what I want to hear. It is what I need to hear.