Nearly three-quarters of a century after he first became involved in Boy Scouts, his journey has come full circle.
A. Donald Behler was recognized with the Minsi Trails Council 2009 Good Scout Award at this year's Carbon County Good Scout Breakfast Thursday at the Blue Ridge Country Club in Palmerton.
Each year, the Boy Scouts of America, Minsi Trails Council honors outstanding community leaders. This year, Behler was recognized for the positive role he plays in the local region.
Behler, president of Blue Ridge Pressure Casting, Inc., Lehighton, was recognized for his positive impact on his community, his commitment to youth through Scouting, and his dedicated leadership in Carbon County,
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Eagle Scout Lee Arner from Troop 41 of Palmerton gave the Scout Oath - Scout Law.
The invocation was given by Larry Arner of the Minsi Trails Council Chaplain Corps., Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 41 and the current Cubmaster of Pack 41.
Committee members for the event were Dr. Howard Cyr, DDS, master of ceremonies; Andy Behler, Blue Ridge Pressure Casting, Inc., Dr. Michael Everett, DDS; Delbert LeVan, Lehighton Ford Lincoln Mercury; Hon. Keith McCall, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Richard Nothstein, Country Harvest; and Steve Serfass, Esq., Serfass & Cheng Law Offices PC. McCall was unable to attend due to a prior commitment.
Thanks to the event committee, sponsors and donors, this event raised over $6,000 for the Boy Scouts of America. These contributions will help to support over 450 young people in 16 different Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Venturing Crews in Carbon County with programs in leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness, as well as helping provide camp scholarships, uniforms, and program supplies to their Scouts from disadvantaged homes.
Pencor Services, Inc. was the Presenting Sponsor of the Carbon County Good Scout Breakfast.
First Class Sponsors were Country Inn & Suites, Lehighton; Michael R. Everett, DDS, PC; F.J. Lesher General Contractor; Serfass and Cheng Law Offices PC; and Zimmerman's Dairy, Inc.
Lee Arner, a 2009 graduate of Palmerton Area High School, provided a keynote presentation on "What Scouting Means to Me".
"I can do anything I want if I work hard," Arner said. "Being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent are words I live by every day."
The Good Scout Award was presented to Behler by close friend Delbert LeVan.
LeVan said the Good Scout Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates the selfless dedication and care for their community, which constitutes the essence of our area's proud spirit.
He said that person quietly and repeatedly gives time and resources when the region needs them. Their commitment, persistence, good judgment, and joyful heart immeasurably enriches the quality of life, LeVan said.
"No form of award or recognition can adequately express the gratitude for the good works this leader performs," LeVan said. "The Boy Scouts of America wants to acknowledge the character of this fine leader and hopes to inspire others to follow his encouraging example."
At that, LeVan bestowed the award upon Behler.
"It is my pleasure to present the 2009 Good Scout Award to Don Behler," he said. "On behalf the Boy Scouts of America, Minsi Trails Council, and our community, please accept this award as a show of our appreciation for your good works."
Behler, 83, said he first became involved in Boy Scouts 71 years ago at the age of 12.
"It's certainly been a pleasure to be associated with the community," Behler said. "Scouting has been a lot of fun."
Behler, who resides in Palmerton, humbly accepted the award.
"It's just a wonderful feeling," he said. "I don't know why they honored me for having such a great time."
More scouts are needed to "study the words, live the life", said Behler.
Arby Beisel, District Director Minsi Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America, gave closing comments.
Beisel said scouting is alive and thriving in the Minsi Trails Council. He said its vision is to provide a safe, positive peer group that instills the values of service and leadership while helping our youth develop the skills they need to have bright and productive futures.
"Scouting programs provide positive role models and a constructive curriculum which emphasizes education, leadership, personal responsibility, and ethical decision-making," Beisel said. "Thank you all for making Scouting possible here in Carbon County."
Behler earned his Eagle Scout as a youth and has been an active Scouting supporter throughout his life. He has been a dedicated leader and as District Chairman, he was the main force behind Scouting in Carbon County.
He previously served as Scouting as District Chairman of the Pocono District, District Nominating Committee Chairman, and Chairman of the District Membership and Sustaining Membership Enrollment Committees.
As an Executive Board Member of Minsi Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America, for over 30 years, Behler's leadership was felt as an organizer and continuous supporter of Scouting events and activities throughout the region. He is a member of Scouting's honor society, the Order of the Arrow, and a recipient of the District Award of Merit. In addition, Behler is a recipient of Scouting's coveted Silver Beaver Award.
His community involvement and contributions have been many, as he has served his community as Chairman of the Carbon County Cancer Society fund drive; Chairman of the Carbon County American Red Cross; Member of the board of directors of the Mauch Chunk Historical Society; and member of the Mauch Chunk Opera House.
As owner and president of Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, Inc., Behler has served as chairman of the Delaware Valley Chapter, American Die Casting Institute, Society of Die Casting Engineers, and Die Casting Research Foundation. He has committed both personal and corporate support to Scouting's programs in Carbon County.
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation's leading youth character and leadership development program, serving more than 110 million young people since it was founded in 1910.
Currently, more than 3.8 million youth and 1.2 million adult volunteers are active in scouting through more than 300 local Scout Councils.
Serving nearly 27,000 youth, and led by more than 5,500 adult volunteers, the Boy Scouts of America, Minsi Trails Council, offers fun, challenge and high adventure; helps develop leadership and character in today's youth; trains young people in citizenship, service and values; and serves its local communities and families with a program built on youth leadership and service to others.
The Minsi Trails Council has three resident summer Scout camps in the Pocono Mountains: Akelaland Cub Scout Camp and Settlers Camp at Trexler Scout Reservation in Jonas, and Camp Minsi in Pocono Summit.
The Mission Statement is "To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of Scout Oath and Law".