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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

MARION ZIEGLER OF North Branch won the Nav-a-Len District’s Award of Merit during the local Boy Scout district’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday in Rock Hill.

Leaders Are
What Make Scouts

By Ted Waddell
ROCK HILL — April 19, 2002 – The Hudson Valley Council Nav-A-Len District of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) held their annual recognition dinner Saturday night at the Dodge Inn in Rock Hill.
Taking a cue from the David Letterman Show’s “Top 10,” master of ceremonies Frank Demundo got a cowboy-style round of applause (after all, the theme of the annual event was “Western Night”) with his stand-up comedy routine on the “number one reason” why folks signed up for Scouting: “It only takes an hour a week.”
On a more serious note, in her opening remarks, Judy McLaughlin, chair of the district’s advancement committee, said, “We have survived another year in our district, council and in the world. Things have changed tremendously in our world, and many of us wonder what else will happen. As the leaders, teachers and mentors to the young men in Sullivan County, we have continued to learn, work and play hard.
“We have chosen to do this so that hopefully we can provide a safe haven for our youth,” she added. “A place where they will learn life skills, values and grow to be better prepared for the ever-changing world we live in.”
Then it was back to comedy. The “Old Goat Patrol” was established many years ago by the Nav-A-Len District as a light-hearted way of paying tribute to some of the organization’s elders who have dedicated themselves to serving young Scouts.
Honored as members of the “Old Goat Patrol” for the 2001-2002 Scout year were Charlie Gambino, Bob Owens and Ruth Owens.
“Spark Plug” awards were presented to “individuals who have given that little extra, or have demonstrated enthusiasm which adds ‘spark’ to their units.” The award was created by the district’s oldest Scouter, Seymour Feldberg.
Recipients of the 2001-2002 “Spark Plug” awards included Cub Packs - Bill Roe (P92), Lesia Williams-Cunningham (P98), Joe Taylor (P98), Paul Brustman (P113) and Craig Burkle (P113); Scout Troops - John Johnson (T95), Barbara Sims (T95), Mike Perniszi (T98), Bernie Woloszczak (T98), Jerry Broskin (T101), James Burns (T102), Joe Buchner (T102) and Peg Geisel (T106); Nav-A-Len District - Dan Burns, Jr., Judy McLaughlin, Bob Owens, Ruth Owens and Marion Zeigler.
According to Dan Burns, Jr., Nav-A-Len District executive for Sullivan County, the local district was founded about 41 years ago after the merge of the Lenape District and the Nav-A-Sink District.
Today, the Nav-A-Len District is comprised of 10 Cub Scout Packs, 8 Boy Scout Troops and a Venturing Crew for older boys and girls The programs provide a wide range of experiences to 379 kids and young adults in the district.
Nav-A-Len Cub Scout Packs include P86 of White Lake, P87 of Grahamsville, P92 of Wurtsboro, P98 of Mountaindale, P101 of Rock Hill, P102 of Glen Spey, P105 of Livingston Manor, P106 of Jeffersonville, P113 of Callicoon and P196 of Liberty.
Boy Scout Troops include T92 of Wurtsboro, T95 of Liberty, T96 of Liberty, T98 of Mountaindale, T101 of Rock Hill, T102 of Lumberland, T105 of Livingston Manor and T106 of Jeffersonville.
The Venturing Crew is #456.
Eight of the ten Cub Scout packs were recognized as district honor units, while seven of the eight troops received the award.
Recipients of the Annual Nav-A-Len District Awards (comments are from the presenters) included:
• Tiger Den Leader of the Year: Bonnie Kane of Cub Scout Pack 92. “This new volunteer stepped forward without hesitation to give her time as Tiger Cub Leader. Knowing fully that she would have her hands full with 12 eager first graders . . . she willingly accepted the task of being among the first to pilot this new program.”
• Den Leader of the Year: Joe Taylor of Cub Scout Pack 98. “His special quality is that he shows our Scouts that life is not just about ourselves. If we take a moment to listen to or help someone, our world is a very rewarding and nice place.”
• Webelos Leader of the Year: Cathy Edminster of Cub Scout Pack 98. “Having been a Tiger Leader and Den Leader, she is always ready to help the other leaders and constantly offers helpful suggestions. . . . She works very hard to ‘lead by example,’ she works hard to teach the boys how to be good Scouts and good people, and through her example the boys are headed in the right direction.”
• Assistant Cubmaster of the Year: Anthony Nittoli of Cub Scout Pack 92. “He has been instrumental in reorganizing the new leadership and keeping the Pack running smoothly. . . . He also remains Den Leader for our Bear Den, working diligently with the boys to progress in rank. . . . He gives completely of himself to Scouts without any complaints.”
• Cubmaster of the Year: Jerry Broskin of Cub Scout Pack 86. “This volunteer began his adult Scouting experience when his older son started Tigers in 1996. . . . When his boys started in Cub Scouts, he was like many other dads, just wanting his boys to go through the program. He quickly realized that the program cannot run without dedicated volunteers. His involvement on Pack, Troop and District levels shows his true dedication to bringing the youth of our county the best possible programs BSA has to offer.”
• Pack Scouter of the Year: Frank Demundo of Cub Scout Pack 92. “This fine person has been involved in Scouting for about seven years. . . . He has a great love and tremendous talent when it comes to writing, staging and putting on ceremonies. Whether it be Pack, Troop, Eagle or District events, he has always been ready, willing and able to step up to the microphone and ‘perform’.”
• Pack Committee Member of the Year: Mary Snedeker of Cub Scout Pack 106. “Mary has been very instrumental in the revival of Pack 106 in Jeffersonville. She has brought with her the history of the pack, and has willingly shared her knowledge of the program with the new den leaders. . . . Mary has served our Troop and Pack over the past years in a very quiet manner. . . . It is this attitude that exemplifies the true Scouting spirit of service to others.”
• Scoutmaster of the Year: Burt Robertson of BSA Troop 106. “On numerous occasions, he has given his personal time to those boys who may need a little extra attention. He has continuously gone out of his way to help the boys who have trouble ‘fitting in.’ . . . Burt has made our Troop very visible in the community. . . . He has helped instill a sense of civic pride and sense of service to others as being a very important part of everyday life.”
• Scoutmaster of the Year: Ron Meyer of BSA Troop 102. “Ron’s ability to plan and organize events is exceptional. . . . Weekend camping and community service are a large part of Ron’s life. . . . He is very aware of advancement, and sees that the boys are actively involved in merit badge activities . . . a natural leader who has helped the boys make ethical choices while having fun and learning skills. He instills the values of the Scouting program in each and every one of them.”
• Troop Scouter of the Year: Cindy Robertson of BSA Troop 106. “She has been a backbone of Troop 106 by serving in various positions on the committee . . . instrumental in setting up and helping to organize many of the Troop’s activities. . . . Along with all the hats she wears, she also wears the hat of the Scoutmaster’s wife. Cindy works very closely with Burt in all aspects of planning for the successful running of Troop 106. There are oftentimes when troop activities take precedence over family activities.”
• Troop Committee Member of the Year: Sally Darling of BSA Troop 106. “They say an army advances on its belly. A scout troop advances on its paperwork and record keeping. The ability to sift through countless forms, the knowledge and understanding of the rank requirements and the patience to keep up with the changes are the qualities that set [Darling] apart from the others. . . . Her dedication and willingness to continuously go the extra mile sets a wonderful example.”
• Nav-A-Len District Award of Merit: Marion Ziegler of Cub Scout Pack 113. “Having attended many training programs, this individual shows the desire and willingness to gain the knowledge needed to continue to provide the best possible program to our youth . . . [and] has been involved in Scouting since 1992.”
Ziegler has served in various capacities with Pack 113 of Callicoon, and is a committee member of Troop 106 in Jeffersonville. She also took on the challenge of setting up the district merit badge guide.
“I love Scouting and everything it does for the great kids in the community and the district,” said Ziegler after receiving the prestigious award. “I really love doing it.”

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