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Scouts receive Roosevelt Award

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Brett Hertz, left, and Dillon Shaffer, center, received the Theodore Roosevelt Award Monday during a Troop 163 meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jamestown. The award is considered one of North Dakota’s highest honors for Boys Scouts of America. Tom LaVenture / The Sun2 / 2

Brett Hertz and Dillon Shaffer received one of North Dakota’s highest honors for Boys Scouts of America - the Theodore Roosevelt Award.

The two Scouts are members of Troop 163, which is chartered by the Men of Trinity of Trinity Lutheran Church in Jamestown. The two received the award Monday at the church.

“It’s one of the biggest ones other than Eagle Scout,” said Hertz, a 17-year-old junior at Jamestown High School. “It’s harder to get and not as well known but it’s still a pretty big one.”

Before you can pursue the T.R. Award a Scout must have 20 merit badges related to outdoors, wildlife and nature, along with completing hiking, journaling outdoors and a presentation on Roosevelt’s seven principles of wildlife conservation, Shaffer said. It also requires completing a hunting safety course, he said.

The T.R. Award is considered one of the big three Scouting awards along with the Supernova and Eagle Scout. Hertz, a 16-year-old sophomore, has already earned his Eagle Scout rank and Shaffer is close to completing his own and already has his Supernova Award.

“Scouting is a fun activity that is group focused,” Shaffer said. “It gives you a lot of experiences that you can’t get outside of the Scouts.”

Named for President Theodore Roosevelt, the award is given to Boy Scouts who demonstrate a healthy mind and body, and knowledge of citizenship, conservation ethics, natural history and being adept at outdoor activities, said Robbie Hertz, a Scoutmaster and the father of Brett Hertz.

“Not very many kids can get the T.R. Award because it does take so many merit badges,” Hertz said “It’s a tough one.”

The award is a collaborative effort of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Boys Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A and 4-H. The award recognizes youth who have highly developed outdoor skills and a strong conservation ethic.

The collaboration makes for a good program, Hertz said. The Scouts have a wealth of resources to help with research become more of a learning experience than just about completing tasks, he said.

To support the award this past summer the Scouts volunteered with the North Dakota Patriot Guard’s state convention in Jamestown and helped do cleanup of the Jamestown Reservoir, he said. The Scouts also completed a 20-mile march through a state park.