Tim Beaty of Pleasant View Utah, joined the National Conservation Task Force in 1991 and in 1993 was appointed to the William T. Hornaday Award Selection Committee and to its chair in 1996. Tim is a 50 year plus Scouter, retired from the U.S. Forest Service and is currently the Chairman and CEO of Conservation USA, a non- profit group that trains related federal agencies and most major youth service organizations.
After 24 years, Tim has decided to step down from his chairmanship of the Hornaday Committee and provided some of his views and insights related to Conservation and the BSA.
What stands out in your mind from your experience with the Hornaday Award?
We have extremely dedicated and talented youth in the BSA. Every person who attempts one of these awards is truly excellent. These awards are difficult and should be. Being awarded a Hornaday recognition is a great achievement. It’s equally important that each Hornaday applicant work with a trained Hornaday adviser. We see a nearly 98% success rate when Scouts work with a trained adult.
Scouts who really stand out are the applicants that accept the committee review for improvements after the initial application. One in particular was a Boys Life article that featured 4 scouts who received the Silver Hornaday award. What was not mentioned was that all 4 were not successful in the first attempt. The youth accepted the committee review for improvement and returned with applications so successful that an article was featured about them.
What do you see as the best way forward to get more youth to work on the Hornaday awards and Conservation projects in general?
From the very beginning, the Hornaday award has only been earned by extraordinary efforts. In recent years, there has been an increase in applications but also a desire to help the environment. Since ArrowCorps 5 in 2008, there has been a real change across the Scouting Movement to improve our approach to the environment and how to do it better. Not just in how we act but how we learn through ethical programs like the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! to assist others with correct actions and conservation activities.
Why doesn’t every Venturing Ranger Award winner apply for the Hornaday badge? Why doesn’t every unit that assists with a conservation-based Eagle Scout project apply for the Unit Award? Much of this comes from a lack of understanding and awareness of the programs available. Training and promotion are the real key to enable adults to facilitate youth in applying for and achieving these awards.
Conservation has been your life passion. How do you see Scouting’s role in this arena going forward?
Scouting has always been a Conservation oriented movement since its founding with prominent conservation leaders like Ernest Thompson Seaton and Daniel Carter Beard. Increased and improved promotion and awareness of the Hornaday and all BSA conservation awards can only enhance Scouting’s relationship with the environment and improve our commitment to it. I think Scouting’s role going forward will be to lead by example and to show what our youth can really do to improve the environment.