Okanogan Valley District Boy Scouts named Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers the “Good Scout” for 2014.
A couple dozen people gathered Saturday at the Okanogan Eagles Aerie for the “Good Scout” luncheon and fundraiser.
“I love the Scouts. I’m a huge believer in the kids,” Rogers said of his award, adding that it really belongs with the Boy Scout volunteers. “My hat’s off to you, and thank you very much.”
Longtime district executive and volunteer Gus Tillberg, who is retiring from active Scouting, and District Chairman Dave Yarnell, who received the Grand Columbia Council’s award of merit, were also recognized.
Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Hank Rawson, a former district chairman, presented the award to Rogers, saying turnabout was fair play since Rogers had been the presenter years ago when Rawson won the Good Scout award.
“He wears the uniform entrusted to him by the citizens of Okanogan County, but he is more than a law enforcement officer,” Rawson said. “He doesn’t just put on the uniform as a job and call it public service.”
Rogers has been supportive of Scouting and also of a variety of community groups, Rawson said. Some of that involvement is because of his position as sheriff, but some is because he is a strong community member.
By showing respect, participation, good citizenship and leadership, Rogers “exemplifies the Scouting purpose,” the judge said. “Frank exhibits that and lives that. He’s also a part of our community.”
Rawson said he met Rogers years ago when Rawson was a defense attorney and Rogers worked for the Omak Police Department.
Defendants ended up confessing to their crimes, saying Rogers “was the nicest officer,” Rawson said. “They’d just open up to him. Of course, that wasn’t good for their defense.”
Rawson also acknowledged Rogers’ wife, Minette, for her support and activity in the community.
“This means a lot,” Sheriff Rogers said after receiving the award. He said he and his wife believe in attending and supporting a variety of community events.
Rawson also presented a recognition award to Tillberg, with whom he worked while Rawson served nine and a half years as district chairman.
“He’s dedicated his life to Scouting,” he said of Tillberg, who began as a volunteer scoutmaster while stationed in Germany with the military.
Council Executive Tim Johnson presented the merit award to Yarnell after noting the Okanogan Valley District saw a 7 percent net growth in the past year, even though Scouting nationwide “was down a little.”
Yarnell said Okanogan Valley District Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts gave more than 3,000 hours of volunteer time to their communities last year.
More than 300 families are served by Scouting in the Okanogan Valley District, which includes Okanogan and Ferry counties, he said.
The guest speaker was Ferry County Commissioner and 7th District Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, who said he appreciates Scouting as an organization that teaches self reliance and other skills.
“You learn things in Scouting you don’t learn anywhere else,” he said.
He said the values being taught in Scouting may turn out to be the things those young people will have to fight for someday.
During the recent legislative session — his first as senator — Dansel said he could tell who among the visitors to his office had been Scouts by the way they con-ducted themselves. They were professional, employed and didn’t want money. Instead, they wanted not to be impeded by government.
“With Scouting, you go out and experience things,” Johnson said.
Color guard members for the luncheon were Ian Patrick and Dylan Streeter, both of Okanogan and Troop 60.