Alexander Named Council Alumnus of the Year by Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America

Posted on March 4, 2016

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“Being a Boy Scout taught me about the outdoors and what it means to be an American…Over the years, I have tried to apply the Scout law and motto to whatever I was doing, and I’ve found it hard to improve on the lessons I learned being a Boy Scout." 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 4, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today was named Council Alumnus of the Year by the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America for applying skills and values he learned as a Boy Scout throughout his career.

“Being a Boy Scout taught me about the outdoors and what it means to be an American,” Alexander said. “I have put that love for the outdoors to work as a United States Senator, trying to protect the parks, keep the air clean and keep enough open space so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the outdoors as I did.”

Alexander received the Council Alumnus of the Year Award at the Great Smoky Mountain Council’s annual volunteer dinner in Knoxville, Tenn. The award, the National Scouting Alumni Association’s highest council recognition, recognizes alumni of the Boy Scouts of America who have used the skillsets and values they learned through Scouting to make significant and long-lasting contributions to their community throughout their career.

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America authorized the award last year, and Sen. Alexander is the Great Smoky Mountain Council’s first recipient.

Alexander praised the Great Smoky Mountain Council for its work in providing boys and girls in grades 3-12 with fun and exciting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The STEM Scouts program encourages youth to engage in STEM activities that will translate into STEM-related careers that are crucial to our country’s future economy. The Great Smoky Mountain Council served over 300 STEM Scouts in its first year, and by the end of 2015, there were 793 Scouts in the program with membership continuing to grow.

“Last year, the Senate education committee that I chair passed legislation to strengthen federal support for STEM education at elementary and secondary schools. Teaching youth how to apply STEM to everyday life and giving them opportunities to expand those experiences into a future career is important, and I commend the Great Smoky Mountain Council for encouraging STEM in a fun and creative way.”

Alexander earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1954 as a member of Troop 88 at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville. He was presented with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1983.

“I still remember the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, careful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. And I remember the motto, ‘Be Prepared.’ Over the years, I have tried to apply the Scout law and motto to whatever I was doing, and I’ve found it hard to improve on the lessons I learned being a Boy Scout.”

In 2009, Alexander cosponsored a U.S. Senate resolution to recognize Feb. 8, 2010, as “Boy Scouts of America Day” in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts. The resolution passed unanimously.

Alexander also was a cosponsor of the Boy Scouts of America Centennial Commemorative Coin Act that became law in 2008. The legislation helped commemorate the centennial of the Boy Scouts by directing the U.S. Mint to issue 250,000 silver dollar coins in 2010. Sales of the coins raised about $3.5 million for the Boy Scouts of America Foundation to serve scouts in hard-to-serve areas.

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