Westfield resident Jim Hester understands how rare the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award is for volunteers
During the Crossroads of America Council’s 35th Annual Scouting Awards Dinner for Central Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Sept. 5, the Council recognized Hester and 11 other individuals with Silver Beaver Awards, a distinguished Scouting service award and the highest volunteer recognition the Crossroads of America Council can bestow. Recipients are registered volunteers who have made an extensive impact on the lives of youth through central Indiana BSA programs.
“It’s honoring and it’s humbling as well because only 12 people from central Indiana receive this honor on an annual basis,” Hester said. “I know there are a lot more people who do as much or more than I do that haven’t received this honor.”
Hester is a firm believe in Scouting’s benefits for boys and girls.
“I really believe in what Scouting can do for our youth,” Hester said. “If you look at the Scout oath, whether you are in Scouting or not, duty to God and country, duty to others and then trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, I just believe that’s a way everyone should live their life. That, along with the life skills and outdoor skills that we give them, I think it’s a great program.”
Hester, who grew up in Warsaw, began Scouting in 1976 in Winona Lake, spending three years in the program.
“I got back in during my first son Reilly’s second year in Scouting,” said Hester, who became active in several roles.
Reilly, 23, became an Eagle Scout in 2010 and Patrick, 20, became an Eagle Scout in 2014. Both sons are Westfield High School graduates.
Hester stays involved in with Troop 107 at Christ United Methodist Church and has responsibilities as the district commissioner of the Del-Mi District.
Hester’s daughter, Madigan, a WHS junior, is in Girl Scouts and his wife, Joanne, is a Girl Scout leader.
“I fully believe in the Girl Scouts program as well,” Hester said. “I believe any child is better off if involved with activities outside of school, so whether it’s Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, sports or band, if they are more well-rounded, I think they have better time-management skills. Being active in their young life helps them when they get older.”
Hester, who has worked at Roche Diagnostics since 1995, is a merit badge counselor and Friends of Scouting presenter. He has served as a unit commissioner and an assistant district commissioner. At the council level, Hester is a Minisino member of Firecrafter, a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow and is a James E. West Fellowship member.
“Some of my best friends are fellow people in Scouting,” he said.