Silver Beaver Recipients

2023 SB Class

Each and every year the Heart of America Council recognizes a select group of dedicated volunteers with our most prestigious award – The Silver Beaver Award. First introduced in 1931, the Silver Beaver Award is the highest honor a council may present for exceptional service to Scouting. Congratulations to this year's recipients...a truly elite group of Scouters. 

 

 

Dak Burnett

Dak Burnett comes from a Scouting family with his father, himself and his two sons, Joel and Douglas, all earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He currently serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 1495.

Over the years, Dak has served as a Webelos Leader and Crew Committee Chair. At the district and council level he has served as a Health Lodge physician since 2011, is on the Risk Management committee, a religious emblem counselor and on the Roundtable staff. He was also instrumental in creating a program for 2nd year medical students from the University of Kansas Medical School to work in Cortez Health Lodge at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation during the summer for credit hours.

Dak has received the District Award of Merit and the Adult Religious Award and many mentor pins for his service to Scouting. He is a member of Micosay and a Brotherhood Member in the Order of the Arrow.

Outside of Scouting, Dak practices and teaches cardiology at the University of Kansas Medical School. He and his wife also host international officers in training at Ft. Leavenworth and are active members of St. Therese North Church.


Travis Dale

Travis Dale is an Eagle Scout and currently serves as the Scoutmaster of Troop 149 and serves on the Heart of America Council Board of Directors.

Over the years he has held various positions at the Unit and District levels serving as a Den Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, and District Chair. He was a vital part of the merger between the Shawnee Trails and Kaw Districts and has remained active within the Kaw District. He has taken National Key 3 and Wood Badge training.

Travis has received the District Award of Merit, Unit Leader of Merit Award and James E. West Fellowship Award for his service to Scouting. As an active adult volunteer for 25 years, Travis is the definition of a silent, servant leader. He continually works behind the scenes and is always willing to jump in where he is needed to support the youth of the council. 

He is a member of Micosay and received the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow in 2020. Professionally, Travis is the owner of State Tractor Trucking.


Jeffrey Grubb

Jeffrey Grubb is an Eagle Scout along with his sons, Jason and Justin. He is currently the Chartered Organization Representative for Pack 4228 and Troop 1228. He has also served on the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation staff as a commissioner for the last 12 summers.

At the unit level, he has also served as a Cubmaster, Webelos Leader, Committee Chair and Committee Member. Additionally, over the years he has held the District Chair, District Vice Chair, and many committee positions within the Blue Elk District.

In recognition for his service to Scouting, Jeffrey has received the Scouter’s Training Award, James E. West Fellowship Award, Blue Elk Scouter Spirit Award and District Award of Merit. He is a member of Micosay and a Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow.

Outside of Scouting, he is very active at his church, Christ United Methodist and is involved with the Metropolitan Community College, the Independence Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, Harvesters and Hillcrest Transitional Housing and the Community Services League. He is also involved with the Independence Judicial Commission and many other organizations related to his profession as an attorney.


Frederick "Chris" Hahn

Chris Hahn comes from a very strong family of Eagle Scouts. Besides himself, his brother, 2 cousins and his son, Brandon, have all earned the rank of Eagle and his sister has earned the Gold Award from Girl Scouts. He is currently the Scoutmaster for Troop 240.

He has also held the positions of Assistant Scoutmaster, Committee Member for, Scoutmaster of the Transatlantic Council, Den Leader, and Cubmaster at the Unit level. He has been on the District Eagle Committee for 15 years and the Bartle maintenance team for 35 years.

Chris has received the Silver Acorn District Award and District Award of Merit for his service to Scouting. Professionally, he is a union carpenter and has been an officer in Local Union #777 for 18 years as well as an apprentice mentor.


Ryan Meador

Ryan Meador is an Eagle Scout and is still active in Scouting with both his daughter and son. He has served the Heart of America Council at the unit, district and council levels for many years.

Over his years in Scouting, he has served as the Cubmaster, Pack Trainer, Assistant Cubmaster, Committee Member and Assistant Scoutmaster at the unit levels. At the district and council levels he has served as Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, Summer Camp Staffs at Rotary Camp, both Bartle & Naish Scout Reservations as well as the Camp Visitation and Accreditation Team and been involved on numerous committees.

Ryan is a member of Micosay and Vigil member in the Order of the Arrow. He has received several awards over the years, including the District Award of Merit, Adult Religious Award, and the James E West Fellowship Award just to name a few. He also received the Congressional Award Gold Medal, one of two awards bestowed by the US Congress.

Professionally, Ryan works for Metropolitan Community College and serves on many boards and committees related to collegiate administration. When he’s not working or Scouting, his family fosters homeless dogs.


Denise Nance

Denise Nance has been active in the Heart of America Council since 2009. Her son Nathan became an Eagle Scout in 2016. She currently serves as the Camp Naish Trading Post Director, Council NYLT Coordinator and the 2024 Scouts BSA and Webleos Summer Camp Director at the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation.

Over her years in Scouting, she has served as a Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair, Life-to- Eagle Chair and Chartered Organization Representative at the unit level. At the district level she has served on the Membership Committee and currently on the Eagle Board of Review team. At the council level she has served on the Camp Naish Staff for years as a Commissioner, Chaplain and serves as a Host Campmaster during the off season.

Denise is a member of Micosay and Vigil member in the Order of the Arrow. She has received the Adult Religious Award and currently sits on the Board of the Austin Anderson Save Haven Youth Center.


Kristi Ogle

Kristi Ogle has been active in Scouting since 2008. Her son, Matthew, received the rank of Eagle in 2016. She has been an active member of the Heart of America Council at the unit, district and council levels.

Currently, she serves as the Iron Horse Assistant District Commissioner of Roundtables. Kristi has served in a multitude of roles including Troop Advancement Chair, Chartered Organization Representative, and on several district committees. In 2022, she served as the Wood Badge Course Director.

Kristi has received many awards over her years in Scouting along with the District Award of Merit, James E. West Fellow, and Commissioners Key just to name a few.

In 2012, Kristi became a Micosay member and a Vigil Honor member in the Order of the Arrow in 2016.


H. David Pendleton

David Pendleton has been active in Scouting since 2009 and his son, Brian, is an Eagle Scout. He is currently an Assistant Scoutmaster and a Kaw District Commissioner.

Over the years, he has served in the roles of Trail to First Class Coordinator and First Aid Merit Badge Day Coordinator, Committee Member, Den Leader, and Assistant Cubmaster at the unit level. He has also served on numerous committees at the district level, staffed several Merit Badge Colleges and other district and council level camp events. David has served as a Commissioner in 2018 and 2022 then staffed at Cub World in 2023 for both Bear and Wolf camps. He has staffed numerous training programs at the council and national levels.

David has received several awards and recognitions for his service to Scouting including District Award of Merit and James E. West Fellowship Award. He is a member of Micosay and a Vigil member in the Order of the Arrow.

Outside of Scouting, David is active within his church at Lenexa United Methodist Church, the American Legion, Veteran of Foreign Wars and the Reserve Officers Association. As a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Department of Defense Employee it is fitting that he now volunteers as a guide for the National World War I Museum and helps with their Merit Badge Day.


Suzanne Schartz

Suzanne Schartz has been in Scouting for many years and comes from a Scouting family; her son, Ian is an Eagle Scout along with her stepfather. She currently serves on the camp staff and as a Host Campmaster at the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation.

Prior to coming to Heart of America she was busy helping with many council level camp events in Colorado. She arrived at Heart of America Council a trained, experienced leader and has been active ever since especially with council level camping and training events. In both councils, she also served as Assistant Scoutmaster and Advancement Chair and Merit Badge Counselor just to name a few as well as previously served as Co-Director of the Camp Naish Trading Post until 2019, staffed at the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference, and staffed the 2019 World Jamboree Medical Team Echo.

In gratitude for her service, Suzanne has received many awards including the Centennial District Outstanding Volunteer Award, the Scouter’s Key, OA Founders Award and James E. West Fellowship Award. She is also a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow.

When she is not Scouting, Suzanne has a passion for swimming and sewing. She is a swim instructor and enjoys teaching and seeing the improvements of a non-swimmer as they progress to a swimmer.


Jim Still

Jim Still is an Eagle Scout and has been active in the Heart of America Council since 2014. He currently serves as the Chartered Organization Representative for his unit and is the Vice-President of District Operations for the Heart of America Council. 

He has previously served in many roles in Scouting over the years including Den Leader, Merit Badge Counselor and Committee Chair at the Unit level. He has served as the District Chair for the Golden Eagle/North Star District since 2018. He also previously served as the Council New Member Coordinator.

Jim received the District Award of Merit in 2022 and is a member of Micosay. He also has three sons and a daughter who are also active in Scouting, so Scouting is not only a big of his life but part his family too. Professionally, Jim is a Tax Partner at FORVIS.


Gus “Jack” Wetzel, III

Jack Wetzel is a long-time member of the Heart of America Council and comes from a Scouting family. He is an Eagle Scout along with his father, nephew and seven cousins. Jack has been on the Board of Directors of the Heart of America Council since 2013 and serves as the Chairman of the annual G.S. Wetzel Memorial Golf Tournament named in honor of his grandfather.

Over the years Jack has served in several roles on the unit, district and council level including Committee Member, Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Lone Bear District Membership Chair.

Jack received the District Award of Merit in 2013 and the Lone Bear District Silver Bear Award in 2010. He is also a member of Micosay.

Outside of Scouting, Jack is an active member of the community serving on several boards in the Clinton area and professionally works in real estate. He enjoys golfing, duck hunting and going on family trips.