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Local Scouts receive national recognition

Two Beaver Valley residents have once again been honoured for their contributions to the community.
Richard and Heather Hamer with their certificates and medals they received from Scouts Canada earlier this month. Heather received the Bar to the Silver Acorn

Two Beaver Valley residents have once again been honoured for their contributions to the community.

Richard and Heather Hamer both received awards from Scouts Canada on July 3, recognizing their actions that go above and beyond regular volunteer service.

Richard received the Silver Acorn, while Heather was the recipient of the Bar to the Silver Acorn, the highest award a regular volunteer leader can receive.

The Bar and the Silver Acorn are the second and third highest national awards for “especially distinguished and further especially distinguished service to Scouting.”

Despite the achievement, the two are humble and just want to stay involved with what they enjoy — Scouts.

“We do what we do because we enjoy it,” Heather said with a laugh. “Okay, we got acknowledged for it, that’s great, but lets get on with our lives.”

Another long-time Scout, Keith Lane, nominated Richard and Heather for their incredible dedication and involvement with the 1st Beaver Valley Group.

In his nomination letters, Lane described some of the work the two have done over the past years to improve the area’s scouting movement — building a 40-foot horizontal climbing wall, renovating current buildings in to year-round facilities, attending international events, organizing local events and camps, fundraising and applying for grant monies and filling all kinds of other positions.

“Everywhere in this town and area you have your unsung heroes … People who do their own job plus much more,” Lane said of his decision to nominate the couple.

Heather is someone you can always rely on, he explained, adding that Richard has continually put work needing to be done at the camp ahead of his own — including renovations to his own home.

Lane said that to the best of his knowledge — 50 years of involvement with the Scouts — this is the first time someone from this area has reached this level of national recognition for their performance in going above and beyond their duties.

The two have been involved with Scouts for more than 30 years, so it’s become almost a way of life for them, said Heather.

“We enjoy it. Rich grew up in the scouting movement and I grew up in guiding,” she explained. When their son was old enough, the three of them got back into Scouts and it went from there. The two have been looking after the Scout Camp in Fruitvale for the past 15 years.

A man of few words, Richard said that he spends a lot of time at the camp and shrugged off the notion he was doing something out of the ordinary.

Richard and Heather come from volunteer families — Rich’s dad was with the fire department, which he later joined; and Heather’s parents were both Guide and Cub leaders.

“It was just natural to keep going,” she said.

Art Fletcher of the National Committee, who holds a Silver Wolf medal — the highest service award at the national level, presented the awards to the Hamer’s earlier this month. The ceremony was held in front of family, friends and Scout members at their open house.