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Scout’s honor: Angela Smith receives prestigious volunteer award

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, June 9, 2018
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Angela Smith. Messenger photo by Kristen Tribe

The rain poured, threatening to dampen the spirits of eager Cub Scouts and ruin the family campout.

The pack was at the Worth Ranch, one of only a few campouts for the younger set of Scouts, and it was “wet and nasty,” former Scoutmaster Tim McIntyre recalled. But the bright spot of the trip was volunteer Angela Smith of Decatur.

“She was up and cheerful and had things for the kids to do and made coffee for the adults,” he said. “She could sleep on the cold rocks or hard ground and still get up with a smile on her face and make it a good time for the youth involved.”

Smith’s good attitude, positive spirit and commitment to creating learning experiences for youth and adults led to her receiving the Silver Antelope Award, a regional distinguished service award that recognizes outstanding service to young people within one of the four regions of Boy Scouts of America. It was presented May 25 during the BSA national conference.

WORKING TOGETHER – Angela Smith and her son Cody work on a project at a Cub Scout meeting in 1997. Submitted photo

Eight people from each BSA region are awarded the Silver Antelope for a total of 32. Smith’s award was out of the Southern region, which includes 13 states and more than 210,000 volunteers.

“I was shocked,” she said. “It’s such an honor and very humbling, the thought of people thinking that much of me.”

Smith’s volunteer career with the Boy Scouts started in 1995 when her son, Cody, joined Cub Scouts, and since then, she’s worked her way up through the volunteer ranks. She’s currently regional Wood Badge course director, in which she organizes and executes the highest training offered for adult volunteers.

Over the last 11 years, she’s served on the staff of 28 regional course directors conferences and previously served nationally on the Philmont Training Center faculty and the Philmont Leadership Challenge pilot staff. She was also assistant course director for National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, was on the Commissioner Recognition Team and on four national Scout jamboree staffs.

She also served on the regional Exploring Explosion Grant Committee, the region’s day camp staff or National Camping School and as a council course director for Wood Badge, Powder Horn and National Youth Leadership Training. She’s been the chair of University of Scouting, presenter for Friends of Scouting and a spring break day camp director and day camp committee member.

Angela won the Silver Beaver Award, the council level distinguished service award, in 2005, and her husband, District Judge Brock Smith, was awarded the Silver Beaver in 2003. Even though Cody earned his Eagle in 2005, the couple continues to serve the Scouts, not only on the regional and national levels, but also locally.

Scoutmaster Dan Mallory, who leads Troop 121 based in Decatur, said Brock and Angela have kept scouting alive in Wise County.

“They are a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “They’ve teamed up for anything that’s Boy Scout or Cub Scout related and helped maintain consistency.”

Mallory first met Angela in 2011 when his son, Carter, joined Cub Scouts, and he said she’s been wonderful to work with.

“There’s no one more kind and on target. She’s steady and dependable at any time,” he said.

Eagle Scout Will Doubrava, who grew up in Decatur, echoed that sentiment.

He received his Eagle Scout in February 2012 and said Angela and Brock were instrumental in guiding him and other Scouts through the process. Angela helped Doubrava organize paperwork, fine tune his interview skills and professionally present himself and his accomplishments.

“It was very educational,” he said. “She was very patient, very precise with her words. She wasn’t short-tempered, but she’d give you this look, like ‘move it along, boy.’

“She was every bit a patient mother figure, but in her own kind of stern, professional way, preparing us for something further down the road than Scouting.”

Angela said she and Brock continue to volunteer because “it makes a difference.”

“It’s instilling leadership and character in kids who are our future,” she said. “And it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes it can be a lot of hard work and really exhausting, but overall it’s fun.”

Angela remembers the moment she realized her efforts were worth it.

“We were at a pack family campout at the Worth Ranch, and it was really cold, like really, really cold,” she said. “I woke up early and decided to go ahead and get up. I could tell someone had the fire going.”

She crept from her tent, in search of coffee, and was told Cody was already up, something she didn’t quite believe.

“But lo and behold, there he was, fully dressed, sitting in front of the campfire with the biggest grin on his face, and at that moment, I knew I was doing the right thing by being in Cub Scouts,” she said. “We had a wonderful time in Cub Scouts, it branched into Boy Scouts and I’ve continued to love it.

“I’ve met wonderful people, and I’m just perfectly happy doing Scouting. Everything works well.”

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