D1-Farmington BayDistrict Information2014 District Award of Merit Recipients

2014 District Award of Merit Recipients


Roy Barrus

Roy enjoyed or at least endured a 50-mile hike through the High Uintah mountains of Utah.  He was grateful to see young men’s hearts changed as testimony, in the guise of stories, were shared deep into the night around campfires. 

On another trip, young men and fathers were challenged to get up before the sun the next morning, find a secluded hill side to pray, read the scriptures together and share testimony as the sun broke over the horizon.  They then hiked into Little Wild Horse slot canyon for lunch and a testimony meeting.

Nighttime capture the flag was played in the Florida everglades without any one encountering snakes or alligators—at least not those who made it home.  Roy did awake to a large raccoon climbing over his sleeping bag to get to the food in his backpack.

The following are Major Injuries Sustained by Roy on Scout Camps

Torn Retina – Winter Camp
Separated Shoulder – Capture the Flag
Ruptured Biceps Tendon – British Bulldog
Ruptured Calf muscle – Paint Ball

Roy Barrus

Tommy Brady

This is Tom Brady—quarterback of the New England Patriots.  He simultaneously manages the offensive line, running backs and wide receivers.  Oh wait—wrong guy. 

This is our Tom Brady.  He is also a terrific quarterback.  He simultaneously manages his scout troop, his work and his beautiful family.  When I spoke to him at our recent district Klondike event, he advised me that he had helped to transport his troop to the event site, get registered, set up and settled.  He then returned home that night to help with Brooklyn, twins Drew and Tess, and recently born Bridget, all of whom are under the age of five. 

Of course, his wife Nicole who I know was a good soccer player in her youth, deserves at least half of the award as she supports Tom and helps juggle all of these duties.  Tonight, he is in attendance here while his troop is camping out and preparing to snowshoe tomorrow. 

The picture shows a hike to Kings Peak last summer.  Tom went up the weekend before to bury a backpack containing Hostess cupcakes, root beer and birthday gifts for one of his scouts which they retrieved near the end of the hike to the delight of the hungry boys.  Nine boys reached the Kings Peak summit as part of the 72 miles each hiked with the troop in 2013.  Sixteen members of his troop have become Eagle Scouts and 8 more are Life Scouts who are completing their Eagle requirements.  What a quarterback.

Tom Brady

Terry Brown

Terry has always loved scouting, the outdoors and the excitement it brings. He talks about some of his great scout leaders still so he has great memories growing up.  As a father he was definitely a hands-on example. He would work alongside the boys and teach them how to work and have fun probably more by example than words.

When Terry first served as cub master he loved every minute of it and you could tell. He is now serving a second time in that position and is very thorough in his preparation.  No pack meeting is ever too much trouble. He spends countless hours in making sure everything will not only be fun for the boys but also there is something to be learned or to challenge the boys to be better.  150% effort and planning is never too much for him.  He was once told to be a great cub master you just have to act like a 9 year old….and his wife reports that, “he has no problem doing that!”

Terry is friends with the youth he is working with. He talks to the boys whenever he sees them and makes an effort to be connected…whether it is cubs or varsity scouts, he shows interest in them. They know he truly loves them and is interested in their lives and what they are accomplishing. 

Terry Brown

Maria Hodgson

Maria used to be an eagle and a good old eagle too.  But now she’s finished eagling—she don’t know what to do.  She’s growing old and feeble and she can eagle no more.  But she’s going to work her ticket yes she can.  Please join me, “Back to Gillwell.  Happy Land.  I’m going to work my ticket if I can.”  Being a member of the Wood Badge fraternity is wonderful. 

Maria is a terrific primary leader with responsibility over cub scouts.  Of course in cubs, Maria is used to being “Akela” and having the cub program planned and run by adult leaders to benefit the cubs.  That is the way it should be in cubs.  At Wood Badge, our senior patrol leader was explaining and demonstrating the use of the patrol method in troops, teams and crews where adult advisors provide training to the youth leaders but the youth leaders gain leadership skills by running the program and conducting the meetings.  Maria raised her hand and said something like, “I know why men are over this scouting program.  I would never be able to do the patrol method and just let the young men run the program.”  She recognized that if the adult advisors ran the program with the older youth, it would likely be a better, more effective and more efficient program like the amazing, high-quality cub programs that she runs.  However, she also recognized that there is no better way for young men to become great leaders than by practicing leadership.

She has used that training to make a significant, positive impact in her den, pack and zone and to become a tremendous resource to those with questions about scouting.

Maria Hodgson

Tyler Rockwell House

Tyler House has loved scouting since he was a youth. Because of the great leaders he had during that time, he seriously considered, but ultimately decided against, becoming a professional scouter.

An experience he had while serving in the varsity scout program some years back demonstrates why he still wants to be involved in scouting. Tyler had gone with his varsity team on a backpacking/fishing trip to the Four Lakes Basin in the Uintahs. They hiked for a good portion of the day to reach their destination, set up camp, and had dinner. After dinner a few of the boys went fishing. As the boys were returning, Tyler noticed that one of the boys in particular seemed a little down. He asked what was wrong and the boy explained that he hadn’t caught any fish and the trip wasn’t going to be any fun as a result. Tyler invited the boy to join him for the fishing trip in the morning and promised that he would help the boy catch fish. The young man was not overly optimistic, but agreed. Tyler showed the young man how he rigged up his line and what fly he was going to use and asked if the young man would like to use the same thing. The boy declined, saying he had his own fly that he wanted to use. After Tyler had caught the first 2 or 3 fish and the young man hadn’t had a bite, he again offered the use of one of his flies – which the young man again declined. Finally, after Tyler had caught 8 or 10 fish, the young man finally asked if he could borrow a fly from Tyler. The fishing derby was on! The young man caught several dozen fish that day and had a great time.

Young men want and need positive influences in their teen years to help prepare them for life. Adults serving in scouting, using the principles taught by the Boy Scouts are able to provide that. Tyler is just happy to be a part of it!

Tyler House

Jeff Howes

Aside from rattlesnake tales that get scouts to bed at an earlier hour and pranks involving carnivorous animals eating tents, Jeff was always one to jump into Steiner Lake with the boys or play "King of the Raft" at Bear Lake. He is famous for cooking at scout camps and we have had more than one mother request recipes for Brother Howes's macaroni and cheese or curry or chili verde. Jeff is known to continually encourage the young men to work on their Eagle...even when not holding a scouting position.

The boys have learned to respond that the Personal Management Merit Badge that Brother Howes teaches is their favorite merit badge (that response may have something to do with Jeff handing out candy to the boys who admit that his class was the most fun). From playing a rough game of dodge ball with the youth (and ending up barely able to move the following day from playing too hard) to comforting the scouts at camp who are homesick, Jeff has always had a knack for relating to the youth and it is very evident that he loves them and wants to see them succeed and reach their full potential.

Jeff Howes

Michael Nyborg

The photo is from a Varsity/Venture hike through the Tetons this past summer. The young man in the photo has juvenile diabetes and this was the first scout adventure of his life. It was physically demanding and they weren't without challenges, but the young man absolutely loved it.  It is hard not to love the Tetons though.

The photo was taken just as they were beginning their final descent on Day 3 of the hike around the west side of the Grand out to Jenny's Lake followed by spending the evening at the Teton Base Camp and rafting down the Snake on Day 4 before heading home. And now I quote, “Ahhh....just thinking about it makes me want to go again....until I remember how hard the hiking was.”

You can tell that Mike is a great guy.  Even his mother-in-law likes him and is here to support him.  She turns 96 on Sunday.
Mike Nyborg

Spencer Packer


John Redd

John knows how to get to the heart of a boy.  Whether it is Mountain Man Hash, Beef O’ lay, Russian Apricot Chicken, Cobblers and upside down cake, or Dutch oven popcorn John has the YM’s attention.  John loves the outdoors and spends time with the YM teaching them and watching them learn. 

On one occasion during a backpacking trip to the Uinta Mountains one young man got wet in the middle of a rainy night.  The young man hollered for John at 1:00 a.m.  John, along with other leaders got up and took care of the situation.  They built a fire, the YM was comforted and new sleeping arrangements made.  The young man, now a returned missionary, still remembers and talks about that night and the care and concern that John and other leaders demonstrated.

In 2007, John arranged a summer camp where he took 35 young men in his unit, Scouts to Venturers, to central Utah.  He taught them all how to build a bow drill fire.  Each young man had to take a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of cotton wood that was 12 inches long and whittle it down to a ¼ inch dowel.  This took the YM 2 to 4 hours to do but they were all able to get it completed, all were able to start a fire using their bow and drill and all earned the ember award.  With positive encouragement John is willing to help young men accomplish their goals.

John Redd

Lyndon Ricks

The final award of merit recipient tonight is, well, me.  The process must be rigged—don’t you think?  As a young man, I promised my dad that I would earn my Eagle Scout award in exchange for the opportunity to attend the 1969 National Jamboree.  I broke that promise as I came home from the Jamboree and never earned another merit badge.  However, I finally repented in 2010, the 100th anniversary of scouting, by completing all of the requirements to earn an Eagle Scout award, including the 16 remaining merit badges and a significant service project.  The 50-mile bike ride on 50+ year-old legs would have been much easier when I was younger. 

The Jamboree that I attended was such a great experience for me then that I am working hard now to help many more young men have a Jamboree experience by recruiting for the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan.  We are planning to take many young men who will be between the ages 14 to 17 as of July 2015.  If you know of any youth or adult advisors who would like to have this amazing cultural, spiritual, missionary prep experience, please have them contact me.  Also, if any of your units need to buy any tents, sleeping bags, backpacks or other camping gear this year or next, please contact me.  We can give you a good price and still raise money for our Jamboree participants.


Michael B. Strong




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