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.

National Sea Scout Leadership Award


  • T.W. Cook, Southern Region Commodore 
  • Mercedes Matlock, National Boatswain
  • Charles D Wurster, National Commodore


  • Natasha Leahey Sayles
  • Rachel West National Boatswain

Silver Buffalo Award

Silver Buffalo Award1929

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


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


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


William C. Menninger
Topeka, Kansas
Neuropsychiatrist; Scouter


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


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


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


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


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


Robert J. Sirhal
Kingston, R.I.
Sea Scouter; Training Visionary


National Venturing Leadership Award

National Venturing Leadership Award


Jimmie Homburg, National Commodore
Christopher K. Sokolov,  National Sea Scout Boatswain
Robert French,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 
Jim Elroy,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 


Jeremiah M. Crabtree,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 
Bruce Johnson,  Northeast Region Sea Scout Commodore
Ronald L. Sunker,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 


Katie Hagen,  National Sea Scout Boatswain
William James,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 


Cyrus Lawyer IV,  National Sea Scout Boatswain
Cassie Johnson,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 


Wm. Lee Popham,  National Sea Scout Committee Member 
Christopher A. Kerzich,  National Sea Scout Boatswain


Jesse Milton,  National Sea Scout Boatswain


David George,  National Sea Scout Boatswain
Dan Wilson


Doug Bowman,  National Sea Scout Boatswain


Monica Traylor,  National Sea Scout Boatswain


Vanya Keys, National Sea Scout Boatswain


Eva Hogan,  National Sea Scout Boatswain


Matthew Miller, National Sea Scout Boatswain


William McElligott, National Sea Scout Boatswain


R. Keith Christopher, National Sea Scout Director
Peter Schmidt, National Sea Scout Boatswain

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