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Posted by on Aug 1, 2018 in Council News

Cubmaster Luther Davis awarded the first E.K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award in Central Florida Council

Cubmaster Luther Davis awarded the first E.K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award in Central Florida Council

Professor Elbert Kirtley Fretwell, Ph.D. (1878–1962), was an American academic and early leader in the field of youth development through recreation and extracurricular activity.  His interest in Scouting drew from his professional interest in extracurricular education. To this end, Dr. Fretwell had extensive and long-lasting volunteer service with the BSA’s National Council, beginning as early as 1915. He served as a member of BSA’s Department of Education—the forerunner of our current Education Relationships Subcommittee. He had an early appreciation both for the educative power of Scouting—but also the importance of preparing volunteers and professionals to understand and to deliver the program.

Upon the retirement of Dr. James E. West in 1943, Dr. Fretwell was appointed Chief Scout Executive and served until his retirement in 1948. He was the only Chief Scout Executive appointed to the position who was not previously a professional staff member of the BSA. Upon his retirement from the BSA, Dr. Fretwell was bestowed the title of Chief Scout.

During his time as Chief Scout Executive, the membership of the Boy Scouts of America set records for growth each year. The program was also modernized and updated during his tenure, launching a new Exploring program for young men, and adjusting the entry age for Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting. Of his many contributions during his five years of service in that role, two are evident today, nearly 80 years later, the Philmont black felt bull and the formal delivery of the Wood Badge Program.

Due to Professor Fretwell’s Scouting leadership and education background, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America seeks to recognize those educators in our local communities in his honor. Candidates eligible for the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award are people who make their students better people by modeling and teaching Scouting values. It is not exclusive to classroom teachers, however, any school employee who is equipping students to make moral and ethical choices is eligible to receive the award.

Though there are many, many qualified candidates to receive this award in the Central Florida Council, no Fretwell Awards had been awarded in the Council until the Seminole Springs (now Seminole) District Banquet in May of this year. Luther Davis, Cubmaster of Pack 242 in Lake Mary, FL, was nominated and received this prestigious award.

Luther is a High School Physics and Astronomy teacher where he is much beloved for his fun and positive approach to otherwise weighty subject material. His students feed off his passion for Physics and Astronomy and remain in touch with him even after they graduate. In fact, at the banquet, two former students both gave heartfelt “Congratulations” and “Thank You’s” to Luther. Every single member of Luther’s Pack nominated him for Cubmaster of the Year, another honor he received!

Luther’s reach far extends his classroom and Cub Scout Pack, he makes waves in his community, literally. During Spring Break of this year, Luther swam the St. Johns River from Sanford marina to the Jacksonville Jetties to raise awareness of the rivers fragile ecosystem. Luther has also helped raise money for the American Diabetes Association by biking in his classroom nearly 150 miles, for seven and a half hours, while teaching class!

Luther is truly deserving of the Fretwell Award, and Seminole Springs District was honored to award it to him. The impact he has on his Pack, his students, and his community is worthy of emulation. Whether it’s by design or not, it is evident Luther helps better those he meets by modeling his actions and teachings (in the classroom or as Cub Master), by the Scout Oath and Law. If you have a chance to meet Luther, please thank him for his humble service to our community! He doesn’t do it for the accolades, but he does it because he believes it’s what’s right.

For more information on the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award please click on the following link.

Who will be the next District to honor an Outstanding Educator in their community?