The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1929 as a means of recognizing Scouters who provided distinguished service to youth on the local level. The award is presented by the National Council, upon the recommendation of the local council. It is the highest honor that a local Council can place upon a volunteer. Initially, the silver medallion was only presented to men, but in 1974 the requirement was changed and allowed it to be presented to both male and female Scouters.
To be nominated, Scouters are selected by their peers, who are past recipients of the Silver Beaver Award. Annually, volunteers nominate both men and women of exceptional character, who have consistently provided noteworthy service and leadership to youth through scouting and community involvement.
The nominees are reviewed by the Council Awards Committee, and the most outstanding men and women are selected to receive the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver Selection Committee consisted of three males: Bernard W. Lockard, Jr., Chair; The Honorable Norman Krumenacker, III and Byron K. Custer, III.
Father Joseph T. Orr, Pastor of St. Matthew Church in Tyrone, received the Silver Beaver Award for his exceptional character and service around the community. Fr. Orr has served the Scouting Chaplain for the Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown since the early 1990s. He has served as the Executive Officer of Troop 300 since 1999 and Pack 300 since 2001, and Venture Crew 300 since its inception in 2005.
Fr. Orr service includes Diocesan Scouting Committee, Religious Board of Review and also serves on the Catholic Scout Retreat Committee since the early 1990s. He is an active leader and participant at each Scouting youth retreat annually.
Fr. Orr’s service to the Boy and Girl Scouts has been very honorable in the fact that he received the St. George Award from the Boy Scouts and the St. Ann Award from the Girl Scouts.
Through the years Fr. Orr has been instrumental in providing counsel and support in creating new units and assisting in reorganizing faltering units. He refers to Scouting as “youth ministry with a plan.”
Michael Yeaton, another local recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, has served in the Penn’s Woods Council in many capacities. His commitment as a Scoutmaster of Troop 3103 and Venture Crew Advisor of Crew 3103 has shined brightly for him in his life, bringing out his true love of Scouting.
“I’m truly honored to have received this award,” Yeaton stated. “It’s something you don’t apply for, so I was very surprised and honored to be a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.”
Yeaton has chosen the life of being a Scoutmaster for himself and his family. His love for Scouting has given him a new meaning to life and will continue to participate in the Scouting program even after his children are finished.
Yeaton has served as the Penn’s Woods contingent leaders to Philmont Scout Ranch, is a Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow, provided leadership for the Venturing Winter Weekend and actively supports the camping program at Camp Seph Mack. Yeaton has also served as a development project manager at Camp Seph Mack and also provided leadership to Chief Logan District Klondike Derbies for the past eight years.
Yeaton has also been a part of the Tyrone YMCA, serving on the Board of Directors. He also served with the Tyrone Community Players theater group as a set builder and is an active member of NOCTI, which is a program at the Tyrone Area Vocational School that provides “real world” influence to instructional trades where professionals practice their trades and asses the work performed by students.
“Once I started helping with my sons in the Scouting programs, I was chosen as a leader and I absolutely loved it,” said Yeaton. “Instead of buying a sports car or spending money on other prized things, I went camping with my sons and will never regret it. A lot of good came out of the experience in Scouting not only for me but for the children who volunteered to be a part of it as well. It is a lot of real life adventure and prepares children for things to come in their futures.”
Mike and his wife, Dawn, beyond having four children of their own, have also served as foster parents for the past six years.
Yeaton’s involvement in the Scouting and the community has earned him the honor of receiving the Silver Beaver Award, which was given to only the ones with exceptional character and involvement in the community.
“I would like to thank everyone who considered me for the award,” Yeaton stated. “Being involved in our Council isn’t the easiest way to catch everyone’s attention, but they do watch over us and do care about what we do, which makes me extremely proud of the Penns Woods Council.”
The two award winners have served the Tyrone community for years and continue to show their excellence in the Scouting program. Both Fr. Orr and Yeaton are great role models for the youth, the Scouting programs and in the community. They show their passion and commitment in what they love best, giving them the right to have been honored the Silver Beaver Award.