The Silver Buffalo Award is the national-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. It is presented for noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth on a national basis, either as part of, or independent of the Scouting program. The award is made by the National Court of Honor and the recipient need not be a registered member of the BSA.
|Silver Buffalo Award|
Medal and knot
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
|Awarded for||Noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth on a national basis|
The award consists of a silver buffalo medal suspended from a red and white ribbon worn around the neck. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot, with a white strand over a red strand, on the BSA uniform.
The concept of the Silver Buffalo was based on the Silver Wolf Award of the Boy Scout Association. The buffalo pendant was designed by A. Phimister Proctor. A red-white-red ribbon bar was introduced in 1934 for informal uniform wear. In 1946, ribbon bars were replaced by the current knot insignia.
During the first presentation in 1926, twenty-two awards were presented in a particular order determined by Chief Scout Executive James E. West. Since then, the awards have been presented on an annual basis in alphabetical order. The first Silver Buffalo Award was conferred upon Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement and Chief Scout of the World. This award is represented by a small buffalo statue in Gilwell Park. The second went to the Unknown Scout who inspired William D. Boyce to form the BSA. In 1928, the World War I soldier buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns was awarded the Silver Buffalo for distinguished service to America's youth.
Six Medal of Honor recipients have received the Silver Buffalo: The Unknown Soldier of WWI 1928, Charles Lindbergh 1928, Richard Evelyn Byrd 1929, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. 1934, Eddie Rickenbacker 1944, and Douglas MacArthur 1963.
Five father/son pairs have earned the Silver Buffalo, Mortimer L. Schiff 1926 and John M. Schiff 1943, John Randolph Donnell 1958 and John R. Donnell Jr. 1990, J. Willard Marriott 1980 and J.W. Marriott Jr. 1994, George H.W. Bush 1990 and George W. Bush 2002 and R. Lawry Hunsaker 2004 and Russ Hunsaker 2013. Additionally, five husband/wife pairs have earned the Silver Buffalo, Ronald Reagan 1982 and Nancy Reagan 1988, Wayne M. Perry 2006 and Christine Perry 2016, Edward Arnold 2011 and Jeanne Arnold 2013, George F. Francis, III 2001 Elaine Smith Francis 2013,and Justin D. (Dan) McCarthy 2012 and Carol McCarthy 2017.
Fifteen Presidents of the United States have been awarded the Silver Buffalo: #27 William Howard Taft 1927, #30 Calvin Coolidge 1929, #31 Herbert Hoover 1930, #32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1930, #33 Harry Truman 1950, #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1946, #36 Lyndon B. Johnson 1964, #37 Richard Nixon 1971, #38 Gerald Ford 1975 (also a Distinguished Eagle Scout), #39 Jimmy Carter 1978, #40 Ronald Reagan 1982, #41 George H.W. Bush 1990, #42 Bill Clinton 1997, #43 George W. Bush 2002, and #44 Barack Obama 2013.
Eight Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been awarded the Silver Buffalo: #7 Heber J. Grant 1938, #8 George Albert Smith 1934, #9 David O. McKay 1953, #11 Harold B. Lee 1963, #12 Spencer W. Kimball 1984, #13 Ezra Taft Benson 1954, #15 Gordon B. Hinckley 1994, and #16 Thomas S. Monson 1978.
For fifty years the Silver Buffalo was awarded only to men until LaVern W. Parmley became the first woman to receive the honor in 1976. As of 2017, 776 awards have been made (775 individual recipients and the 2001 award to The Oak Ridge Boys which makes for 779 distinct recipients).
As this is a national BSA award, it cannot be awarded twice to any person.
Bernard James Sheil (February 18, 1888 – September 13, 1969) was an Auxiliary Roman Catholic Bishop of Chicago.Bud Wendell
Earl Wade "Bud" Wendell (born 17 August 1927) is an American country music executive. Wendell was the chief executive officer and president of Gaylord Entertainment from 1991 until his retirement in 1997. He was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1996 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.Chuck Smith (businessman)
Charles H. "Chuck" Smith is an African-American businessman who is the retired President and CEO of the Fortune 500 company, AT&T West. Smith has a lifelong interest in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
His childhood interest in radio led to a career in telecommunications. Smith graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 1967. He was hired by Pacific Telephone, which became AT&T West. Smith was named one of the 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology by US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine in 2003.Smith is committed to mentoring young African-Americans. As a youth, he had dyslexia and was very shy. He found a support system in Scouting. Smith became an Eagle Scout in 1959, and was a 2005 recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He gives speeches that are well-received about the positive impact Scouting had on him as a youth. He is also a member of BSA's National Executive Board and the board of BSA's Mount Diablo Silverado Council. He supports efforts to increase minority involvement in Scouting. In 2010 he was honored with the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America, its highest award for adults.Member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Upsilon chapter at California State University, Los Angeles in spring of 1963.Coleen K. Menlove
Coleen Kent Menlove (born July 1, 1943) was the tenth general president of the Primary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1999 to 2005.
Coleen Kent was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and was raised there in a Latter-day Saint family. In 1964, she married Dean W. Menlove.
Menlove earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education at the University of Utah. As a stay-at-home mother of seven children, she later completed a master's degree in education from Brigham Young University. She has taught in elementary schools part-time in Salt Lake City.
Prior to her call into the Primary, Menlove was a member of the general board of the church's Young Women organization. In October 1999, Menlove was selected to succeed Patricia P. Pinegar as the general president of the Primary, the LDS Church's organization for children. During Menlove's tenure, the Primary organization celebrated its 125th anniversary.
In 2005, Menlove was released and was succeeded by Cheryl C. Lant. Menlove was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award in 2005 by the Boy Scouts of America.Edward A. Pease
Edward Allan Pease (born May 22, 1951) is a former Republican U.S. Representative from Indiana from 1997 to 2001.
Pease was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 22, 1951. He is an Eagle Scout and has been honored as an adult with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award; he is also a former Chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee, in which post he was succeeded by Bradley Haddock.
His tenure in Congress was defined by significant accomplishments such as increasing Indiana's share of transportation funding, increasing the investment in the US military, saving the historic downtown Federal Building in Terre Haute, Indiana, and serving on the House Judiciary Committee that introduced the articles of impeachment for President Bill Clinton.
After leaving Congress, Pease became senior vice president of government relations for Rolls-Royce plc North America.
Pease has been an active supporter of the American college fraternity movement, serving as national president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, receiving the fraternity's Loyalty Award at the 2016 Convention, and as a two-term president of the North-American Interfraternity Conference and winner of its highest honor, the Gold Medal.Edward C. Joullian III
Edward C. Joullian III (-‡ 2005 to 2008) served as the national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1982 to 1984.
Joullian was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. He was also a 1984 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award. He was one of only six men to hold all four top-tier Scouting awards, the Bronze Wolf, the Silver Buffalo, the Silver Antelope, and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.Elbert R. Curtis
Elbert Raine Curtis (24 April 1901 – 20 May 1975) was the ninth general superintendent of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1948 to 1958. He was succeeded in the leadership of the YMMIA by Joseph T. Bentley.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Curtis was also a president of the Western States Mission of the LDS Church and a president of the Sugar House Stake of the church.
In 1971, Curtis was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America for his efforts in integrating Scouting into the YMMIA of the LDS Church.
Curtis was married to Luceal Rockwood and was the father of three children. Curtis died in Salt Lake City.F. Melvin Hammond
Floyd Melvin ("Mel") Hammond (born December 19, 1933) was an Idaho politician and has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 1989. He was the nineteenth general president of the church's Young Men organization from 2001 to 2004.
Hammond was born in Blackfoot, Idaho. He served as an LDS Church missionary in the Spanish–American Mission from 1954 to 1956. Hammond attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University (BYU). After graduating from BYU, Hammond became a professor of religion at Ricks College in 1966. He was a member of the Idaho House of Representatives from 1969 to 1984 and served as House Minority Leader for three terms.Before his call as a general authority, Hammond served in the LDS Church as a bishop, stake president, and regional representative. In 1984, Hammond became president of the church's Bolivia Cochabamba Mission. In 1989, he became a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. In 1993, he was transferred to the First Quorum of the Seventy, where he served until being designated as an emeritus general authority in 2005.
From 1997 to 1998, Hammond was second counselor to Jack H. Goaslind in the Young Men General Presidency. From 1998 to 2001, he served as first counselor to general president Robert K. Dellenbach. In 2001, Hammond succeeded Dellenbach as the organization's general president. Hammond served until 2004, when he was succeeded by Charles W. Dahlquist II. Hammond was the last general authority of the church to serve as the Young Men General President. From 2005 to 2008, Hammond served as president of the Washington D.C. Temple.
In 2003, Hammond was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America for his work to incorporate Scouting into the LDS Church's Young Men program.
Hammond is married to Bonnie Sellers and they are the parents of six children.George W. Olmsted
George Welch Olmsted (1874 in Ridgway, Pennsylvania – 1940) founded the Long Island Lighting Company in 1911. On June 17, 1904 he married Iva Catherine Groves. His parents were Fannie Frances (née Welch) and Samuel Ashbel Olmsted. He was related to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York City's Central Park.
Olmsted was active as an adult in the Boy Scouts of America. In 1926, he purchased and donated the land for the Chief Cornplanter Council camp, now known as Camp Olmsted. He was the chairman of the BSA National Camping Committee. In 1931, Olmsted received the Silver Buffalo Award for his service to youth.Herbert Stuart Pakington, 4th Baron Hampton
Herbert Stuart Pakington, 4th Baron Hampton (1883–1962), served as Chief Commissioner of The Scout Association.He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was a 1931 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award.Jack H. Goaslind
Jack H. Goaslind Jr. (April 18, 1928 – April 27, 2011) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1978 until his death. He was the seventeenth general president of the church's Young Men organization from 1990 to 1998.
Goaslind was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jack, Sr. and Anita Jane Jack. As a young man, Goaslind served as a missionary for the LDS Church in the Western Canadian Mission. Goaslind had been an avid skier since childhood and by choosing to serve a mission, he passed up a chance to train for the Olympics with the United States Ski Team. After his mission, he graduated from the University of Utah and became a vice president with Affiliated Metals, Inc. Goaslind married Gwen Bradford and they had six children.
Goaslind served in the LDS Church as a bishop, stake president and a regional representative. In 1972, he was called as second counselor to Young Men general president Robert L. Backman. When the church's presiding bishopric assumed supervision of the Young Men program in 1974, Goaslind was released and served as president of the church's Arizona Tempe Mission.
In 1978, Goaslind became a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. From 1979 to 1981, he was second counselor to Hugh W. Pinnock in the general presidency of the church's Sunday School. In 1985, he became a member of the seven-man Presidency of the Seventy, a position he held until 1987, when he became president of the church's British Isles–Africa Area. During this time, he oversaw placing Emmanuel A. Kissi in charge of the church's affairs in Ghana during "the freeze", when the government of Ghana forbade all meetings of the church.In 1990, Goaslind succeeded Vaughn J. Featherstone as general president of the Young Men. During his eight-year tenure, Goaslind had seven different men as counselors, more than any other Young Men president in history. In 1995, Goaslind was again added to the Presidency of the Seventy. He was released from the Presidency of the Seventy and from the presidency of the Young Men in 1998, when he was granted general authority emeritus status. In the leadership of the Young Men, he was succeeded by Robert K. Dellenbach, his first counselor. From 2000 to 2003, Goaslind was president of the church's Manti Utah Temple.In 1995, Goaslind was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America in recognition of his efforts to integrate Scouting into the church's Young Men program.
In 2007, he was inducted into the Order of Saint Michael of the Wing by the Royal House of Braganza, which ruled Portugal until 1910. Goaslind was selected for his humanitarian efforts in the former Portuguese colony of São Tomé and Príncipe while he was the president of the British Isles–Africa Area.In 2011, Goaslind died in Salt Lake City at the age of 83.John R. Donnell Jr.
John Randolph Donnell Jr. served as the International Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. Donnell retired from the World Scout Committee at the World Scout Conference in Durban in 1999.
Son of John Randolph Donnell, he was an Eagle Scout and received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.In 1990, Donnell was awarded the 204th Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. He was also recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award."Silver Buffalo Award Winners 1999–1990". Boy Scouts of America. He was one of only six men to hold all four top-tier Scouting awards, the Bronze Wolf, the Silver Buffalo the Silver Antelope, and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.John Thurman
Richard Francis "John" Thurman OBE JP (4 April 1911 – April 1985) was a British Scouting notable and Camp Chief of Gilwell Park from 1943 to 1969.In 1943, he introduced the Gilwell woggle as the insignia for Basic Training. The woggle was first created in the early 1920s by Bill Shankley, a member of the Gilwell staff. He produced a two-strand Turk's head slide which was adopted as the official woggle. From 1943 to 1989, the Gilwell woggle was awarded on the completion of Basic Training, and the Gilwell scarf and the Wood Badge beads were awarded on the completion of Advanced Training.
In 1962 Thurman conducted the only Wood Badge course ever in Burma.He was awarded the Bronze Wolf in 1959 and the Silver Buffalo Award in 1962. In 1957 he also received the highest distinction of the Scout Association of Japan, the Golden Pheasant Award. He became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1963 "for services to the Boy Scouts' Association".LaVern W. Parmley
LaVern Watts Parmley (January 1, 1900 – January 27, 1980) was the fifth general president of the Primary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Parmley was the first woman to be awarded the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
LaVern Watts was born in Murray, Utah. She married Thomas J. Parmley, a physics professor at the University of Utah.
In 1942, Parmley was asked to become the second counselor to May Green Hinckley in the general presidency of the Primary. She served in this capacity until Hinckley's death the following year. When first counselor Adele C. Howells succeeded Hinckley, Parmley was asked to be her first counselor, and she remained in this position until 1951, when Howells was released and Parmley was selected to succeed her as the fifth general president of the Primary. Parmley served as Primary president until she was succeeded by Naomi M. Shumway in 1974; in total, she served 23 years as president and 32 years as a member of the presidency.
During Parmley's tenure, Scouting was integrated into the Primary program for boys ages eight through eleven. The Primary curriculum was also revised and became more centered on teaching doctrines of the LDS Church. "I Am a Child of God", written by Naomi W. Randall and Mildred T. Pettit, was introduced to Primary in 1957 and CTR rings were introduced in 1970.
From 1951 until 1970, Parmley was the final editor of The Children's Friend. Parmley oversaw its phase-out and the launch of the church's new magazine for children, The Friend.
Parmley was the first woman to sit on a national Scout committee in the United States and in 1976 became the first female recipient of the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo Award.
Parmley died in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In 2003, one of her sons, William W. Parmley, became a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, a general authority of the LDS Church.List of recipients of the Silver Buffalo Award
This list of recipients of the Silver Buffalo Award includes people who have been awarded the highest commendation of the Boy Scouts of America. Since the Silver Buffalo Award was first awarded in 1926, 764 have been presented as of 2016.Richards Miller
Richards M. "Doc" Miller is a dentist and one of the founders of the Venturing (Boy Scouts of America) program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Doc Miller is an Eagle Scout, recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, and Silver Buffalo Award recipient. He is also a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).Silver Antelope Award
The Silver Antelope Award is the regional-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America and recognizes outstanding service to young people within one of the four regions of the BSA. The award is made by the National Court of Honor and the recipient must be a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America.Unknown Scout
The 'Unknown Scout' was an anonymous member of The Boy Scout Association in the United Kingdom whose good turn inspired William D. Boyce to form the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).William A. Welch
Major William Addams Welch (August 20, 1868 – May 4, 1941) was an American engineer and environmentalist who would have a major impact on the state and national park systems of the United States. Born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, he obtained a civil engineering degree from Colorado College in 1882 and a master's degree from the University of Virginia in 1886.In the 1890s, working for the U.S. government in Alaska, he assembled the first iron steamship to be built in that territory. He also designed railroads in southwest Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, and worked on the legendary 228-mile (367 km) Madeira-Mamoré Railway in Bolivia. In 1907, yellow fever forced him to return to the U.S. where he worked for John C. and Frederick Law Olmsted.
In 1912, he was hired as assistant engineer by George W. Perkins, chairman of the newly formed Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIP), and in 1914, he was made chief engineer and general manager. Under his leadership, Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park grew from an initial 10,000 acres (40 km2) to 43,000 acres (170 km2). By 1919, it was estimated that a million people a year were coming to the park. In the early 1920s, Welch's engineering work gained nationwide attention when he built Storm King Highway into the sheer cliffs above the Hudson River north of Bear Mountain.
When Welch started work on Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park, there were no existing models or precedents to guide him. Welch organized a massive reforestation program, built 23 new lakes, a hundred miles of scenic drives and 103 children's camps, where 65,000 urban children enjoyed the outdoors each summer. He helped found the Palisades Interstate Park Trail Conference and served as chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference.
The Boy Scouts of America presented the Silver Buffalo Award to Welch in 1927 for his work in engineering and conservation. Lake Welch in Harriman State Park is named after him.
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