Troop 940 Awards

Troop 940 Distinguished Service Award

The Troop 940 Distinguished Service Award ( formerly The Thurber Award) was created to recognize the significant contributions of an adult Scouter in Troop 940.

The Award: Silver Statue of "The Boy Scout", (formerly Porcelain Statue of Norman Rockwell's "The Scoutmaster" and Name recorded on a permanent plaque.)

The Requirements:

  1. Always exemplifies the Scout Oath and Law.
  2. Exemplary Scouter providing motivation to and sparking the interest of Troop 940 Scouts.
  3. Responsible for creating, leading, and implementing significant additions or improvements to the Troop Program and Operations.
  4. Provide significant financial contributions to Troop 940.
  5. Active in Troop 940 for a minimum of 8 years.
  6. Hold Significant Adult Troop positions for a minimum of 5 years. (Positions such as Chairperson, Scoutmaster, Ass't Scoutmaster, Quartermaster, etc.)
  7. The candidate(s) must be approved by a sub-committee established by the Chairperson and consisting of up to 5 people who were recipients of this award or are knowledgeable of the functioning of the troop.


Troop 940 Award Recipients

Bob Thurber   1998

Al Coutinho   1998

Bill Leach   1999

Gary Bolte   2000

Matt & Terri Baroch   2002

Dale Obermeyer   2008

Mike Byrne   2009

Bill Peck   2010

Dave Neidich  2011

Bill Sieber  2011

Mary Lynn Neidich 2014

Mike Dye 2014

Paul Harper 2016

Jay Needleman 2016

1998 Troop 940 Distinguished Service Award

He was a Scout as a youth where he first understood the principles of Scouting. He loved the outdoors-all of it-from camping to sailing and every activity between. And to top it all off, he was blessed with two sons who also loved the outdoors. He wanted them to grow and love Nature and he understood that Scouting was the way to accomplish this goal.

He volunteered to be the Weblos Den Leader. Every event was filled with discovery as he turned his basement into a learning experience. His patience was overwhelming, but he wanted outdoor adventure.

He started off as our Troop Outdoor Adventure Chairman. Of course that also includes the position of Troop Quartermaster. The Troop bought a trailer, actually a converted pop-up camper. It had no brakes and was very heavy. He brought the 4 wheel drive truck from work to tow it. Over the years it needed 4 sets of brakes. Several years later the Troop bought a new trailer, again his truck was the only vehicle that could move it. At Venturama, the brake wiring was blowing fuses, so he rewired the entire system. He also kept the trailer registered in his name and paid all the license fees and insurance. He built three additional Patrol boxes and a table out of plywood and he even rented a garage to store everything. He never accepted reimbursement. (He felt that his participation was repayment enough).

The Outdoor Chairman would always take off Friday to insure that our campsites were reserved. It didn't matter if we went to Pigion Forge for Fly-a-Way, Hocking Hills or Morgan Canoes, when the troop arrived, the campfire was burning.

In 1987, our rappelling program was limited to a 20 foot hill at Hocking hills. The adults were terrified of that cliff. It would take all day to get 15 scouts down. Of course we only had one rope, Swiss seat harness, beaner, gloves and a helmet. Each Scout was belayed from the top and bottom. While we were working on the rock, he moved down 50 feet and found a 30ft high cliff and set up shop. He was fearless. He soon bought his own equipment and started after the higher cliffs. He would hang off the edge of the cliff so he would be under each rappeller saying come on down, I'm right here, you'll be OK. That's a lot different from pushing someone off a cliff from the top telling them to hang on, they will be fine. His Rope Captain concepts created the Rappelling Program we have today with Scouts rappelling off 160 foot waterfalls or into 140 foot caves. Some people thought that we were sacrilegious calling him the ROPEGOD. It was just our way of showing respect and absolute awe.

He brought his SCUBA equipment to a YMCA lock-in for everyone to try. He patiently took each Scout down to the deep end to go under. What an experience! 15 people have been SCUBA certified since then.

The Troop went caving-commercial caves that you walk though-with electric lights. He lead us Spelunking to Pine Hill Cave in Kentucky, rappelling into 140 foot "wet" caverns. This also redefined the words "dirty clothes".

Once while canoeing at Morgans, he found a cemetery headstone in the river that some vandals had dumped. He got it into his canoe and brought it back to Morgan.

At Eagle Courts of Honor, we used to have a microphone off stage for someone to read the Voice of the Eagle. He recorded it over music making it professional and very meaningful. This recording has been used at more than 35 Courts of Honor including District Ceremonies.

At Camp Randsburg, he found several sailboats in desperate need of hardware and several sails were torn. The staff was too busy and inexperienced to fix them. He went to a local hardware store and purchased the required fittings. He then asked his wife to bring out their sewing machine so he could mend the sails. The catamaran was beautiful in it's new rigging.

Every summer the PLC gets together and plans the next years activities. Most of the time we met at a local hotel and had donuts, pizza and swam in a pool. He decided to go to Lake Cumberland. He rented a speedboat and took everyone skiing. Of course he was the best skier in the troop. Everyone else tubed. Not to be outdone, the following year he took the PLC Whitewater rafting. He initiated the first PLC Training session.

The troop adults went trough the Camp Friedlander COPE Course. He climbed the rope/timber ladder in record time. At Camp Crooked Creek, he again best the entire camp staff.

For one Scoutarama Demonstration he brought a complete TV Studio and let Scouts film one another. What fun. Another Scoutarama, we were displaying Rappelling, guess who rented the scaffolding. After two Scoutarama's, the Family Jamboree was started and for the past several years he lead the Rappelling demonstration. Approximately 4000 people have rappelled off our towers. Many troops in the area have used our program as their guide.

During the District Flight of Eagles Camporee "Campfire" we needed additional equipment for the stage show. He brought us speakers and lights and helped run the video and sound. This helped make the show very professional.

When our Scoutmaster of 7 years (Bill Leach) said it was time to find a replacement, no one wanted to try to the shoes. In an effort to show that it wasn't too bad, he wrote down his duties. The two-page list that resulted was a 40 hour per week job. The search became even harder. Then we decided to break down the job into smaller bits. He organized and wrote the first set of job descriptions for the Troop handbook and documented all the required duties which could be broken down and more adults could share the responsibilities.

He was responsible for many other high adventures, from climbing Mt. Washington to canoeing in Canada, but the bottom line is that if he was there, everyone in the troop has a sense of security because our ROPEGOD was present.

Troop 940 has instituted a new award. Tonight, we present the first THURBER AWARD In honor of Mr. Bob Thurber's outstanding contributions to Troop 940.