More than a hundred boy scout leaders and troop members recently gathered at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville for the annual district banquet.
Scouts from Dawson, Forsyth and Lumpkin counties, which make up the Northeast Georgia Council, assembled to celebrate their service and accomplishments.
"Scouts values have never changed and we haven't tried to change them," said District Director Daniel Victorio, "but we try to change the ways in which we engage boys and young ladies throughout the district. We want to take them on the big adventure."
Offering cub scout, boy scout, venturing and varsity programs, the organization seeks to teach character, citizenship and personal fitness training for youth.
"Camping and living in the outdoors means coping and coping means to do without, and I couldn't think of a more important time to learn those skills," Victorio said.
At the banquet numerous individuals were recognized for district leadership and volunteerism, including 14-year-old Dawsonville resident Kat Eichler. District Banquet Chair RussAnna Dudley presented her a Spirit of Scouting award.
"I was kind of surprised because everyone else that got called out were Eagle Scouts or had been in the program so long. I've only been in the program for a few months so I honestly did not expect this award," Eichler said.
Eichler said she began in girl scouts when she was younger and recently got involved in boy scouts.
"I go to all the camps and help out. I do whatever needs to be done, whether it's something fun or not, like dishes," she said. "I get up early in the mornings and cook at campouts because that's what needs to be done."
Dudley was later surprised to receive her own award. She received one of the highest recognitions in the scouts, The District Award of Merit.
"It was definitely nice having acknowledgement, although I don't do all that I do for recognition," she said. "I just like putting out a quality program and having fun with everyone."
Dawsonville resident Brian Fox was presented a Scouter of the Year award for exploring.
In the closing speech, Victorio credited much of the program's success to the youth.
"To the young people, thank you for being our leaders and for showing us the way. Thank you for setting a great example in the best kinds of ways that you know how," he said.