This past weekend Port St Joe’s Scoutmaster Bill Van Der Tulip of the First United Methodist Church Troop 347 was awarded scouting’s highest national honor that can be bestowed upon an adult leader.

This past weekend Port St Joe’s Scoutmaster Bill Van Der Tulip of the First United Methodist Church Troop 347 was awarded scouting’s highest national honor that can be bestowed upon an adult leader. On Saturday night over 300 scouts and adult scouters’ converged on the First Baptist Church of Pensacola to honor 101 members of the 2016 Eagle Scout class and the recipients of the prestigious Silver Beaver Award.

The Silver Beaver Award is a National Honor Society award given to Scouter’s who have gone above and beyond for the youth involved in the scouting program, not only to local programs but to the entire council. The Silver Beaver was started in 1931 and to date there are only 50,000 awarded nationally.

Van Der Tulip is not only our local Scoutmaster but he is the Gulf Coast Council’s Archery Instructor for all summer camp programs and Cub Scout day camps. He also teaches adult education to council leaders and is a member of the Order of the Arrow which is the National Honor Society of Scouts and Scouters.

Port St Joe has been blessed to have leaders in the past who have earned this prestigious award. The first Silver Beaver from Port St. Joe was M.P. Tomlinson in 1943 as a member of the Lions Club who spearheaded keeping the scout troop going at all costs and becoming a leader. The second Silver Beaver was J.T. Simpson in 1961, also from the same troop as M.P. Tomlinson and a man that gave his all to the youth in this community and for which the present scout building on Oak Grove Road has been named. W.J. Van Der Tulip will be our third Silver Beaver and will have the honor to be listed with those two great leaders before him.

This award is a testament of the dedication to the young men in his troop and community and the character and love he shows his passion for the betterment of the youth today not only here in our community but in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida.

Congratulations William Van Der Tulip from your Troop, Troop Committee, the United Methodist Church and the community of Port St Joe you serve.