Many Freemasons nationwide have been of great service to the Boy Scouts of America by supporting the development of Scouting units, serving as volunteers, and assisting their Masonic lodges in forming and sponsoring Scout units. The relationship between individual Masons and Scouting, which has existed since the founding of Scouting in America, has resulted in immeasurable benefits for both Freemasonry and Scouting.

beard2At the June 2001 Quarterly Communication, Robert L. Dluge, Jr., R.W. Grand Master announced the approval and creation of the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award. The Grand Master enthusiastically stated that "because of the tireless efforts of Bro. Dale DeLozier, (D.D.G.M., 20th Masonic District) and the many other Masons who assisted him, an award now exists that will recognize Freemasons for their outstanding service to youth in the Boy Scouts of America. This award will become a national Masonic service award available to all regular Freemasons when adopted and promoted by our sister Masonic Jurisdictions and will be administered through the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania."

The award will be presented to a Master Mason who is currently a registered Scouter and active in a Scout unit, district, council, or national affiliate, and has displayed outstanding dedication to the Scouting program through: developing of Scouting units; assisting lodges in forming units; exemplifying the Scout Law and Masonic virtues; recruiting Scouting volunteers; and strengthening the relationship between Freemasonry and Scouting. Work accomplishment and dedication, rather than a specific number of years in Scouting, will be the criteria for this award.

Freemasonry's relationship with the Boy Scouts started with a Freemason named Daniel Carter Beard. Bro. Beard was made a Mason in Mariner's Lodge No. 67, New York City, NY, and later affiliated with Cornucopia Lodge 567, Flushing, NY. In the late 1800's he founded a male youth program called the "Society of the Sons of Daniel Boone." By 1905, the program had become "The Boy Pioneers." The man who would create the first "Boy Scouts," and be known as its founder, was Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Great Britain. Lord Baden-Powell, who was not a Mason, read of Beard's program and, based on his own military experience, developed what is known as the "Boy Scouts." In 1910, the Boy Scout program came to America when Bro. Beard merged his organization into the "Boy Scouts of America" and became its first National Commissioner.

Bro. Beard, known affectionately as "Uncle Dan" by millions of Boy Scouts, worked tirelessly to create the Scouting Program that we know today in America by developing the elements of the Scout badge and the Scout uniform and wrote and illustrated various early publications of the Boy Scouts of America. Bro. Beard exemplified the Masonic ideals throughout the Scouting program. Any Mason who is a Scouter knows that the Scout Oath and Scout Law have incorporated such Masonic ideals and requirements as a belief in a Supreme Being, to be of good character, and to do good unto others, to name a few.

Bro. DeLozier has been a faithful Scouter for more than 20 years at local and district levels, having received both the Eagle Scout award and the Order of the Arrow. While serving as Worshipful Master of Juniata Lodge No. 282, Hollidaysburg in 1996, Bro. DeLozier first pursued the idea of seeing a Masonic award created to honor the many Freemasons who have been of outstanding service to youth through the Boy Scouts of America. That idea never materialized nor had a chance to become a reality until 1998 when then R.W.D.G.M. Robert L. Dluge, Jr., learned of Bro. DeLozier's concept for a Masonic Scouting award. Bro. DeLozier was asked "to take whatever steps necessary in working with the Boy Scouts of America to make this a reality."

With the support of many Masons dedicated to Scouting, Bro. DeLozier began what became a two-year long process, ultimately meeting with the Boy Scouts of America headquartered in Irving, TX. During that effort, Bro. DeLozier learned of an effort to study and promote Scouting being conducted by Bro. Kenneth H. Grace of the Grand Lodge of California. Bro. Grace was able to show that the Masonic Fraternity had an unusually high percentage of members from Scouting backgrounds and a majority of those Masons who were Scouts in their youth returned to their Scouting units as volunteer leaders. With that information along with efforts being conducted by other organizations, such as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for the creation of a "service to Scouting award," the Boy Scouts of America finally approved what is known as the "Community Organization Award Program." As part of that program, each organization is permitted to create its own neck medallion and to award a purple square knot badge with a gold border.

beard3 The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award consists of a certificate endorsed by the recipient's Grand Master and a Boy Scouts of America-approved Masonic neck medallion and knot patch to be worn with a Scout uniform. The neck medallion is a silver metallic medal of the square and compasses resting upon a sunburst and supported by a blue and silver ribbon. The knot patch is a gold colored square knot supported by a purple background with a gold border.

All Master Masons in good standing are invited to recommend a contemporary for the award. Petitions for the award will be available through the Grand Secretary of each participating Grand Lodge. The recommender must submit with the petition an attached page(s) explaining the candidate's qualification for the award. The petition will then be approved and verified by the local Boy Scout Council that the candidate is currently registered as an active Scout leader, then reviewed by the Worshipful Master of the candidate's lodge and, if found to be qualified, the petition will be authorized and forwarded to the lodge's district deputy. The district deputy will then submit the petition as instructed by his Grand Lodge, for action.

The cost of the award kit is $20, which is borne by the candidate's lodge. Checks are to be made payable to the "Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Pennsylvania" and submitted with the petition. Following appropriate Masonic protocol, they are submitted to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania through their home jurisdiction's Grand Secretary for the recognition kit. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania will then forward the information on awardees to the Boy Scouts of America, Relationships Division, Irving, TX.

The Daniel Carter Beard Scouter Award will be presented at the discretion of the Grand Master. It may be presented at a Grand Communication or similar meeting where a representative of the Grand Lodge makes the presentation. Arrangements also can be made to make the presentation at a Lodge or Scouting-related function. In all cases, a Grand Lodge representative will present the award.

An award that was years in the making has finally become a reality. It is an honor due to the countless Freemasons who practice the ideals of Freemasonry and act as role models to the young men who are part of one of our nation's most outstanding youth organizations. The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Award not only supports the Masonic relationship through the man who brought Scouting to America, but proclaims the integrity of the Freemason who is honored by receiving the award.