National Award Honorees

In the rich history of Sea Scouting, many leaders have worked tirelessly to improve the program. The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has established several awards to recognize these efforts.

Since 1926, the Boy Scouts of America has bestowed the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth. Each year, this award for truly noteworthy and extraordinary service of a national or worldwide character is made to men and women associated with Scouting and to others not directly associated with Scouting. This award, Scouting’s highest commendation, recognizes the invaluable contributions that outstanding American men and women render to youth. The service must be national in character and can be directly connected with the BSA or independent of the movement.

The first Silver Buffalo was conferred upon Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement and Chief Scout of the World. Other award recipients have included Charles A. Lindbergh, Norman Rockwell, General Colin L. Powell, James A. Lovell, Jr., Walt Disney, Hank Aaron, Bob Hope, Marian Anderson, Vince Lombardi, and Charles Schulz.

In 1998, the National Venturing Leadership Award was established to recognize youth and adults for dedicated service to the national organization. Parallel awards are available at the Council, Area, and Region level. Recognizing youth and adults for their service works to both motivate others to be servant leaders within the organization, and recognize members already serving as leaders in the organization. After the separation of the Venturing and Sea Scout programs, the Sea Scout Leadership Award was established to recognize notable leadership within the program. 

National Sea Scout Leadership Award

  • T.W. Cook, Southern Region Commodore, 2018
  • Mercedes Matlock, National Boatswain, 2018
  • Charles D Wurster, National Commodore, 2018
  • Natasha Leahey Sayles, National Council, 2017
  • Rachel West National Boatswain, 2017

Silver Buffalo Award

Silver Buffalo Award

Howard F. Gillette, 1929
Chicago, Illinois
Banker; Promoter of Sea Scouting

James Austin Wilder, 1929
New York, New York
Developer and Organizer of Sea Scouting

Alfred W. Dater, 1932
Stamford, Connecticut
Utilities Executive; First Chairman, Sea Scout Committee

William C. Menninger, 1944
Topeka, Kansas
Neuropsychiatrist; Scouter

Raymond F. Low, 1946
Omaha, Nebraska
Business Executive; Scouter; Sea Scouting Enthusiast

Paul A. Siple, 1947
Arlington, Virginia
Geographer; Explorer; Author; Member, First Byrd Antarctic Expedition

Sheldon Clark, 1949
Chicago, Illinois
Business Executive; National Sea Scout Commodore

Thomas J. Keane, 1962
Forest Hills, New York
Naval Officer in Two World Wars; Veteran Scouter

James A. Lovell, Jr., 1992
Chicago, Illinois
Astronaut; Communications Executive; Distinguished Eagle Scout

Robert J. Sirhal, 2015
Kingston, Rhode Island
Sea Scouter; Training Visionary

National Venturing Leadership Award

National Venturing Leadership Award

  •  Jimmie Homburg, National Commodore, 2000
  • Christopher K. Sokolov, National Boatswain, 2000
  • Robert French, National Committee, 2000 
  • Jim Elroy, National Committee, 2000
  • Jeremiah M. Crabtree, National Committee, 2001
  • Bruce Johnson, Northeast Region Commodore, 2001
  • Ronald L. Sunker, National Committee, 2001
  • Katie Hagen, National Boatswain, 2002
  • William James, National Committee, 2002
  • Cyrus Lawyer IV, National Boatswain, 2003
  • Cassie Johnson, National Committee, 2003 
  • Wm. Lee Popham, National Committee, 2004 
  • Christopher A. Kerzich, National Boatswain, 2004
  • Jesse Milton, National Boatswain, 2006
  • David George, National Boatswain, 2007
  • Dan Wilson, 2007
  • Doug Bowman,  National Boatswain, 2008
  • Monica Traylor,  National Boatswain, 2009
  • Vanya Keys, National Boatswain, 2011
  • Eva Hogan, National Boatswain, 2012
  • Matthew Miller, National Boatswain, 2013
  • William McElligott, National Boatswain, 2014
  • Keith Christopher, National Director, 2015
  • Peter Schmidt, National Boatswain, 2015
If you find an entry missing from this list, please contact the webmaster.