The Boy Scouts of America Greater Tampa Bay Area Council honored local sheriff’s offices with Participating Citizenship Awards in a virtual event on the evening of Oct. 26, according to a news release from the council.
The Participating Citizenship Award “recognizes the selfless service of local heroes,” including deputies of the Hillsborough and Pasco County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as all law enforcement canines, Dwayne Jones, the director of field services in the Boy Scouts’ regional council, said in the release.
Each tribute featured guest appearances by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout Ronde Barber.
“Trying times prioritize what is important and now, more than ever, tying as many threads together for a common cause is essential,” Barber told viewers during the live-streamed event.
He went on to express a sense of shared obligation between volunteers and law enforcement as “servants of the public” to better the lives of young people in local communities.
Scott shared some of his own experiences in the Scouting program. He became a Cub Scout in second grade, crossed over into Boy Scouts and eventually achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the organization’s highest honor.
“The lessons I learned as I became an Eagle Scout have helped me all my life,” Scott said during the virtual event.
Scott went on: “I want to thank all of the volunteers, all of the troop leaders and all of the law enforcement that help our Scouts. Keep up the good work, and never stop pursuing your dreams.”
Pasco County’s ceremony featured a brief acceptance speech by Sheriff Chris Nocco, who thanked the Boy Scouts of America for its partnership with the Law Enforcement Explorers Program. The program is active in both Pasco and Hillsborough Counties, and provides an experiential education of the criminal justice system with training and competitions.
“The Pasco Sheriff’s Office Explorers Program gives the opportunity for young women and men to learn what law enforcement really does and how to become leaders in our community,” Nocco said.
Jones concluded the program by asking viewers to donate to support local programs such as Exploring and traditional Scouting, which — like other nonprofit organizations — have been experiencing a challenging time this year.
“Through all of this, we are excited to know that many of the tenets of Scouting, such as helping our neighbors, checking in on those in need, and putting others before ourselves, have strengthened our sense of community and civic duty,” Jones said. “Participating citizenship is at the foundation of the lessons learned in the Scouting programs.”
Published December 02, 2020