The Silver Buckle is an award unique to Camp Horseshoe awarded to a member of the Troop in camp that year (and awarded by each other troop to a scout within their own unit). All scouts cast their vote for the scout whom they believe best demonstrated Scout Spirit (i.e. Lived the Scout Oath and Law) in camp. More plainly, the award is given to the "best camper".
To be eligible one must:
- Be a youth member of the Troop, under eighteen years of age.
- Have spent the entire week in camp.
- Never have received the award before.
Voting is done by secret ballot which is counted by adults or former recipients of the Silver Buckle who are thus ineligible. The winner is announced at the conclusion of the Saturday Closing Campfire, are recognized when dismissed first from Sunday Breakfast the next morning, and they are recognized again in "the Echo". The Silver Buckle is one of the rarest honors, being bestowed upon only one scout in the Troop per year.
Patterns and TendenciesEdit
Every scout that meets the above requirements can be voted for and often the voting includes a dozen or more candidates receiving votes. Votes will tell you a lot about how the week went and the perception the boys have for each other. Typically there are four types of candidates:
- Senior Patrol Leader - The majority of Silver Buckles are awarded to SPLs and frequently the only time there will be a landslide vote is for the SPL. The boys often take note of all the work he does through the week and recognize his efforts by voting for him here.
- Staff Member - Staff members can sometimes give the SPL a good run or if the SPL already received the Silver Buckle a previous year they might be the frontrunners. Typically the ASPL(s) who worked tirelessly in the background to support the SPL is recognized. Younger staff that take on a kinder big brother type role also often pull in votes.
- Patrol Leader - Most Patrol Leaders will receive a vote but every other year there will be a Patrol Leader who receives a sizable chunk of votes, presumably from his entire patrol. This is clear respect from his subordinates and an obvious sign of successful leadership on his part throughout the week. Unfortunately, six or so votes, an entire patrol worth of support, is not enough to win except in the most extreme splits in the voting.
- New Scout - First year campers will often show up with up to three votes either from his close friends or from the senior boys recognizing his spirit throughout the week.
With the exception of the rare "joke" votes, anyone who receives even one vote should be grateful and honored that someone in camp thought them to be the best scout in camp. Most scouts who receive the Silver Buckle before their final year will go on to become SPL and some of those who are close second or third place candidates will go on to earn the Silver Buckle in later years.
2017 - Leo Chen
2016 - Matt Nirmaier
2015 - Norman Keyes
To see more of Paoli 1's past recipients, click here