The local Boy Scouts of America named Steve Anderson and Neil Garbacik “Scoutmaster of the Year” and “Cubmaster of the Year” respectively for their work with Lake Orion youth during the 2020 to 2021 program year.
In Scouting, Scoutmasters and Cubmasters are adult leaders responsible for working directly with the youth, providing direction, coaching and support. While Scoutmasters work with youth ages 11 to 18, the Cub Scouts program serves elementary age groups.
Anderson has led Troop 186 since stepping up in 2016. It has become one of the larger troops in Scouting’s Pontiac-Manito District, which serves Oakland County. District Commissioner Lonny Johnson said Anderson ensured the unit never faltered in providing opportunities for its youth through the pandemic.
“Over the COVID period he continued the troop’s outdoor program,” Johnson said. “He even took a group of boys to the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia for summer camp.”
Garbacik’s Pack 233 earned regional attention for its resilience and retention rate during the pandemic, likewise continuing to provide safe program opportunities for young people. Johnson credited Garbacik with “holding the pack together.”
“Scouts is more than an extracurricular activity,” Garbacik said. “It’s a life experience for everyone involved. Receiving the award is a testament to the parents and scouts of Pack 233 and their cooperation to make the program that we did. It takes a pack to run a pack.”
Johnson and District Chairwoman Jennifer Sanker presented Anderson and Garbacik with their awards at the Lafayette Grande Banquet Hall before an audience of Scouters from across Southeast Michigan.
The awards ceremony concluded with a call to action from the district’s senior leadership. As Scouting looks to expand its presence in Oakland County, Johnson stressed the need for committed adult leaders.
“Scouting doesn’t go forward without quality volunteers to provide program for the youth,” Johnson said. “That’s my humble opinion; the BSA cannot provide program without the wonderful work and effort from our volunteers.”