Hodag Award makes comeback to recognize volunteer service

Thirty years ago a unique award was introduced to recognize volunteers that provide service to camp properties. The award was presented in the form of a pin. After a six year hiatus, the award has been reintroduced.

Many have asked what a hodag is, and what is the significance to camp service. A Hodag is a hoe-like tool with an elongated blade used for planting  trees, a common tool in early Northwest forests. For Scouters today, it symbolizes service to forest and recreation areas, making it a minature hodag tool a perfect presentation piece for camp service.

There are two awards, Silver and Gold available. While the previous awards were based on age (silver for youth and gold for adults), the new program offers both awards to youth with these new qualifications:

Silver: Be age 14 or older; provide 25 hours of service* at council properties.

Gold:Achieve Silver Hodag Award, provide 25 additional service hours*, and participate in at least one Adopt-A-Project (see ranger for project list).  *hours for Hodag credit should not also be counted toward rank advancement requirements.

Starting on the Hodag Award is easy. A record card is available at www.cpcbsa.org and from any camp ranger. Two service programs are also in place to give volunteers easy ways to get started:

Work Weekends are great times to get together with other Scouters in service to camps. Info on work weekends is available at cpcbsa.org

Adopt-A-Projects are special projects identified by camp rangers as ones that a pack, troop, family, service club, or other group could ‘adopt’ and successfully complete. Some are complicated; others easy...all are fun to accomplish as a group. Ask the ranger at your favorite camp for project ideas, or visit www.cpcbsa.org/adoptacampsite  for more details and a list of project ideas. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be helping to improve your camp properties for Scouts today and into the future.

by Mike O’Brien, Camp Baldwin Property Commitee Chariman

[ Originally published in the summer 2007 edition of CPC Times. ]

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