2023 Silver Beaver Recipients

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest award that a Council can award a volunteer. This award recognizes registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a Council. 

This year’s class of 2023 Silver Beaver honorees are:

  • Paul Huffman
  • Bradford Thompson
  • Don Gantt
  • David Bernath
  • Seth Asbill

Congratulations to these amazing Scouters!  

Thank you for what you’ve done and continue to do for Scouting. You have each made a difference in the lives of the communities we serve.

2023 Silver Beaver
Paul Huffman

Paul, as one of his reference letters stated, is simply an awesome person and a devoted friend.

At the unit level, Paul is currently the Committee Chair of Troop 226B, where he has also served as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster. Paul has served as a Merit Badge Counselor and as an Eagle Coach for several years.

At the Council level, Paul has served on three Woodbadge staffs, Wilderness First Aid courses, a Leave No Trace instructor, and has been instrumental in Occoneechee Lodge #104 where he has recently served as a NOAC Contingent Leader.

Paul serves his community in many ways.  He was active in the NC Foster Parent Care System and served as a foster parent, served as a Pop Warner Coach and taught youth-focused physics activities.

At church, he has served as an Elder at Covenant Life Church and as youth ministry group leader at Horne Memorial United Methodist Church.  He has led five mission trips to Haiti, helping install and maintain a 4KW off-grid power system, a shallow water well and a water purification system.

Paul, an Eagle Scout, earned his religious emblem from PRAY as a youth, the Scouter’s Key, William D. Boyce Award, and a Distinguished Leader’s Citation. He has earned the 104 Service Award and Key Three Award through the Occoneechee Lodge for service above and beyond.

Brad Thompson

Brad quietly dedicates many hours of service to the Scouting programs in Wake Forest.    

At the unit level, Brad has served as a Tiger Den Leader and Den Leader with Pack 500, Pack Committee Chair, and as Assistant Scoutmaster and Committee Chair of Troop 500. 

Brad makes a difference in his community of Wake Forest.  There are many Eagle Scout projects that Brad mentored for the town of Wake Forest, including trails along the Old Mill Stream, and a memorial garden and patio area for the Wake Forest United Methodist Church.  He volunteers at several community events, such as Dirt Day, Meet in the Street, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day Flag, and Wreaths Across America. 

Brad has earned the District Award of Merit in the Neuse River District, the Tiger Cub and Den Leader Training knots, Scouter’s Key, Scouter’s Training Award, and his Adult Religious emblem from PRAY.

Don Gantt

Don is a credit to Scouting, his community, his church, and his family. He has a passion for service and this makes him a ‘go to guy’ when tasks need to be completed.

At the unit level, Don has served as a Den Leader and Cubmaster for Pack 320 in Fuquay-Varina, as well as an Assistant Scoutmaster with both the Boy and Girl Troops of 320.

Don has served on the Black River District Committee as an Eagle Board Member, District Program Chair and as a Unit Commissioner.  He organized several Pinewood Derby events and Camporees.

At the Council level, Don has served as an Assistant Scoutmaster at the 2013 National Jamboree.

Don serves his community in many ways.  He was a Little League soccer coach, a baseball coach, conducted many service projects with the Woolet Company in their after-school enrichment programs, and was active with his HOA serving on its architecture control committee.

At church, he has served dutifully on the Board of Trustees, as a Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Teacher, Sunday School Assistant Superintendent, and a member of the Building Committee at the Fuquay Varina United Methodist Church.

Don, an Eagle Scout, has earned the District Award of Merit in the Black River District, the Den Leader Award, Webelos Den Leader Award, the Cub Scouter Award, the Cubmaster Award and his Adult Religious emblem (the Cross and Flame).

David Bernath

David is truly an unsung hero.  He is willing to perform the most unnoticeable task with a cheerful disposition, but can also dutifully perform larger, meaningful tasks expertly.

At the unit level, David has served as Den Leader in both Pack 212 and Pack 202. He has additionally served as Troop Committee Chair of Troop 212, and Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 202.  

At the District level, David has served on the Black River District Committee as District Program Chair and OA Chapter Advisor for the Ilau Machique Chapter.

At the Council level, David has served on the Camp Durant Staff where he assisted with software for tracking blue cards.  He served as a Scoutmaster at the 2017 National Jamboree.

David serves his community in many ways.  He implemented and ran a successful chess club at Penny Road Elementary School for years. He was an active parent with the Athens Drive High School Band.

At church, he is a faithful member of Hope Community Church.

David, an Eagle Scout, has earned the District Award of Merit in the Black River District, the Tiger Cub Den Leader Award, Webelos Den Leader Award, the Cub Scouter Award, the Cubmaster Award, Scouters Training Award and Key, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, a James E. West Fellowship and his Adult Religious emblem.

Seth Asbill

Seth is a testament to service within Scouting, his community and faith endeavors.  He embodies Scouting principles and its impact on youth and our community.

At the unit level, Seth has served as Den Leader in Pack 424 since 2018.  

At the Council level, Seth has served on the Council Executive Board and as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  Currently, he is a member of the Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  He has chaired the Hasentree Golf Tournament and led a Strategic Planning subcommittee. 

Nationally, Seth has served on several OA Conference Staffs and on the OA Monumental Cook Crew.

Seth has served as the Board President of the Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation. He serves on the planning committee of the Triangle Walk to End Alzheimer’s, serves as a board member of the SING of Wake Forest and served as Board Chair of the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce.  

At church, he is a faithful member of Duke United Methodist Church where he serves on the Audio-Visual team, the Invite and Welcome team, the Children’s Ministry team, and as a communion server and Minor Worship Leader.

Seth, an Eagle Scout, has earned the OA Vigil and OA Centurion Award, and the OA Founders Award.

About the Silver Beaver Award

The Silver Beaver is a national award given by BSA Councils across the country.  It is the highest award a council can bestow upon a volunteer. 

The process for selecting Silver Beaver Award recipients begins by requesting nominations from volunteer members of the Occoneechee Council.  Nominations were submitted to the Council Service Center and vetted by the selection committee.  The final selections of the committee were then forwarded to the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.   

This prestigious award is presented to volunteers that have provided noteworthy service to Scouting, their place of worship and their community.   Councils receive one vote for each 60 units as of December 31.

This year, we are recognizing five deserving individuals who have earned this distinction through their dedication and devotion to the ideals of service to Scouting in their church and community.