Two Franklin County men were honored by the Boy Scouts of America Greater St. Louis Area Council earlier this year with the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a local council can present to an adult volunteer.
Frank Kelemen, Catawissa, and Robert Bruton, Union, were among 21 distinguished Scouters receiving the Silver Beaver this year.
The award is presented to those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the Scouting program. Nominations are recommended by the local council and approved by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Greater St. Louis Area Council presented its first Silver Beaver Awards in January 1932.
Kelemen demonstrates a lifetime of devotion to service. When a call to help with klondike derbies, swimming skill center, service project, or staffing a camporee, Kelemen is always at the front of the line.
Kelemen has served as scoutmaster for Troop 363 for more than 13 years, 15 years as cubmaster, two years as assistant scoutmaster, and three years as unit commissioner for a total of more than 33 years of service. He has taken his troop to 15 summer camps.
For the last five years, Kelemen has served as adviser to the brotherhood cerenonial team of his district’s Order of the Arrow chapter. He was directly instrumental in the resurrection of the ceremonial team five years ago. He has served for years as a guide and mentor to Scouts and Scouters making their way from Ordeal to full Brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow.
Recently, Kelemen became the Boy Scout roundtable commissioner for his district. He served on staff on six of the last eight district klondike derbies.
Beyond Scouting, Kelemen served 25 years in Pacific Soccer Association as chief referee and coach and 25 years in Pacific Youth Association as chief umpire and coach. He also served for five years as a Missouri state soccer high school referee.
Kelemen is a six-year U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, and earned the Vietnam service medal and Vietnam Campaign medal. He worked for Chrysler Corporation for 34 years.
Bruton has been a servant leader in the community for over 40 years as a combat veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a Scout leader, and dedicated church and community leader. Bruton’s daily actions exemplify his dedication to Servant Leadership, Scouting and living the Scout Oath and Law.
Bruton was an instructor and evaluator pilot in several aircraft in the United States and was an acceptance and instructor pilot for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. He also served as an aircrew combat survival instructor and flew combat and combat support missions in Grenada, Panama and Desert Storm.
He has continued to use this knowledge teaching wilderness survival, search and rescue, aviation and emergency preparedness.
Bruton received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, master’s degree from Embry Riddle University and Aircraft Accident Investigation from the University of Sothern California.
He is the chartered organization representative for American Legion Post 297 in Union, the committee chairman for Ship 5454 and Pack 3442 and assistant scoutmaster for Troop 442 and committee member of Ship 5439.
Bruton is the Osage District advancement chairman, a merit badge instructor and counselor for eight merit badges. He serves on the camp staff as a Cub Scout day camp leader, committee member and den chief coordinator.
He has teamed up with the AT&T Pioneers to help local schools with personal dictionaries and backpacks for their students, refreshments for the Memorial Day parade, as well as sending care packages to deployed U.S. military units overseas.
He serves as a School Resource Officer for more than 350 students at Immaculate Conception School in Union.
Bruton has served the community during multiple free dental clinics. His efforts have helped more than 200 people get the dental care they couldn’t afford.
He is a recipient of the William D. Boyce New Unit Organizer Award and multiple Osage District leader awards and the Osage District Award of Merit.
Bruton has completed both Wood Badge and Sea Badge and attended the Philmont Training Center in New Mexico. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, and also is a life member of the VFW and Disabled American Veterans.
Bruton is the father of six children including an Eagle Scout, a Sea Scout with the rank of Able, and a son who just crossed over to Boy Scouts. He has lived in 12 states and proud to call his farm in Franklin County home.