Alumnus of the Year

Neil Butterfield does not seek the accolades of the world.  This is one reason why Neil is the Trapper Trails Council, BSA Alumnus of the Year.  This recognition was presented to Neil at the council’s annual business meeting held on February 8, 2017.

The Trapper Trails Council takes pleasure in presenting the Boy Scouts of America Council Alumnus of the Year Award to Neil A. Butterfield.neil-butterfield

The BSA Council Alumnus of the Year Award is the Scouting Alumni Association’s highest council recognition.  The award was established to recognize alumni of the Boy Scouts of America who, over a sustained period of time, have used the skills and values they learned through their association with Scouting to make significant and long-lasting contributions to their local communities through their careers, avocations, and Scouting.

Neil was a Boy Scout in Salt Lake City in the 1940’s and was one of the very few who earned the Explorer Ranger award before it was discontinued in 1950.

After service in the US Air Force he began his professional Scouting career in Ephrata, Washington in 1958.  Later he served in Boise, Idaho and Medford, Oregon.  His successes led to his selection as Scout Executive in the Juneau, Alaska council.

After a lengthy and successful service there he served at Idaho Falls, Idaho until he was selected as the Scout Executive of the Cache Valley council in 1979.  He served there until the council merged to form the Trapper Trails council in 1993, when he retired.  Since that time he has been an invaluable member of the Council Executive Board in solving numerous administrative challenges.  He is a well-known face throughout the council to Scoutmasters and Scouts, as well as to Council and District leaders.  Though adept in overseeing high level board meetings, he can also often be found with a hammer or drill, making repairs to buildings at camps or brewing up tasty Dutch Oven delights at Camp-o-rees or at Summer Camp.

Because the Scout Oath is the creed by which he lives, he has become the Scouter’s Scouter to thousands of adults and youth who admire him.  He was recognized for his contributions as a volunteer with the
Silver Beaver award in 2001 and has over 72 years registered service in the Boy Scouts of America.

Neil is a prominent member of his community and church in Logan, Utah.  As Scout Executive of the Cache Valley Council for 14 years, his gentle and efficient manner enabled him to develop Scouting advocates among the business, education and government leaders throughout northern Utah and southern Idaho.  His legacy continues to this day.  Through his quiet and gentle leadership, scores of former Scouts have become firm supporters of Scouting throughout the Cache Valley for over 30 years.  His positive example and gentle encouragement have made better Scouters of all those who have known him.

The Trapper Trails Council is honored to present the Boy Scouts of America Council Alumnus of the Year Award to Neil A. Butterfield.  Congratulations Neil!


Scouter Rodney H. Brady Rode the High Places


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author and Speaker, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

Yes, Dr. Rodney H. Brady was a Scouter who rode the high places.  He soared up there with Eagles but was not content to soar up there alone.  He spent his life working to inspire all of us to be our best, to set goals and then to go for it like an Eagle.  Dr. Brady departed this life on January 9th in Salt Lake City, Utah at age 83.  With his passing, he now can soar even higher but the Boy Scouts of America lost one of its most ardent supporters.  He proved throughout his life that he loved Scouting and was totally committed to it.  In today’s’ buzzword, he was truly “all in” – total immersion.  He was an Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Silver Beaver, Antelope and Buffalo awards and also was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout.  All very impressive!

rodney-h-brady-portraitIt was a January morning – just yesterday – and I was riveted as I read the name of  Rodney H. Brady while reading the Salt Lake City obituaries as I do each morning – even though I live in Arizona.   Rodney H. Brady …  Wow!  And then the memories began to flow into my mind.  What a great man.  Talk about the eternal optimist …  Rod Brady was that guy.   I had a busy day and week ahead of me but suddenly my priorities changed.  I now had a mission to blog about this great Scouter.  And that idea alone brought back sweet memories about Dr. Brady.  He was everything about lists and priorities.  He learned young to set goals and he was a champion at writing them down and then going forward to accomplish them.


Dr. Brady served at every level in Scouting – at the unit, the district and council, the region and even at the National BSA – serving everywhere on committees and executive boards – usually in multiple positions and functions simultaneously.   for many years he was a member of the Executive Board for the Lake Bonneville Council.  And he also served in the community in a variety of positions.  And in most of those positions, he was listed as “President” or “Director”. There it is again – always riding the high places.

For many years Rod served as the President of the Deseret Management Company – a company responsible for many of the commercial holdings of the worldwide LDS Church.  In 2002, he was inducted into the David Eccles School of Business Hall of Fame at the University of Utah.  On that occasion, Rodney Brady was honored by President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  who said of him:    “I very seriously doubt that there is anyone else in this city or state who has served on so many boards, committees and councils, all designed to serve the public good,”  President Hinckley continued saying that “[his] high school list of goals “became more than a wish list; for him it became a mandate; that mandate has been followed.”   Everyone who knew Rodney Brady can attest to that.  Dnews Brady Hall of fame

Rod Brady became the president of Weber State College (Now Weber State University) in Ogden, Utah in 1978 and so served until 1985.   And at the same time, I was serving as a Sr. District Executive for the Mt. Ogden District of then Lake Bonneville Boy Scout Council in Ogden.   He was appointed President at Weber State in 1978 and was there until 1985 so our time in Ogden was pretty much concurrent.  His Weber State College – and his personal residence – were both within my Scouting district so I soon became acquainted with him and I loved him.  He was truly fabulous.  There are not enough adjectives to describe him and his energetic – almost over-zealous love of life.   He was truly a mover and a shaker.

It was Rodney Brady who first introduced me to the short movie or video  “Ride the High Places” – which is all about Eagles and their soaring prowess in pursuit of their goals.  He gave me a copy and I have often used it in Scout court of honors and other presentations.  (I don’t know the history of the movie but it would not surprise me if Dr. Brady didn’t somehow motivate its production!)

Always wanting to showcase Scouting, Dr. Brady established a plan to have our Scouts and troops present flag ceremonies at home college basketball games.  Our district frequently got to send one of our troops to do the honors.  On one occasion he invited all Scouts of our council to be the half-time show for a home football game at the college.  He was very excited about this.  There were a multitude of Scouting groups who participated and they were all out on the field at once – in full Scout uniform and staging a major show of Scouting skills.  My own Camp Bartlett Camp Staff (of which I was the Director) had center stage – right on the 50-yard line.  We set up a 20-foot pole with guy-ropes – and this became a giant spindle for a fire-making bow-drill.  We had staffers on each side pulling ropes – like a tug-a-war.  And we made a fire right there on the football field.  President Brady loved it and the rest of that grand show!

As Scouting professionals we met monthly in our major planning and organizational meetings.  These meetings included all of the Scouting professionals in the council.  Our scout executive delegated these meetings out to all staff and gave us the charge to find a prominent place in the community to hold the meeting – in an effort to learn of those people and organizations who were leaders in the community.   As my turn was approaching, I visited with President Brady.  He embraced the ideal whole-heartedly and when the day came, he turned his Presidential Office and Executive board room over to me for the meeting.  And he came at my invitation to talk to our group.  As ever, he shared his lists and personal motivation to excel and to ride the high places.

President Brady shared freely with us the resources of Weber State College.  At his invitation, we held some annual Recognition Dinners at the college.  I remember an occasion when he became our keynote speaker.  He talked enthusiastically and challenged all of us to do and become.  And as per his usual style, he distributed sheets with his motivational lists – sometimes multiple lists at a given event.

While I was the Mt. Ogden district executive, my District Chairman was Richard Moyle (or “Dick”, as I called him).  He was one of the greatest of geology professors at Weber State College and he worked under the direction of President Brady.  He always had good things to say about Dr. Brady as College President.

The stories could go on and on, but yes, Dr. Rodney H. Brady was one of the greatest men of Scouting.  Thanks, Rodney, for urging us all to ride those high places with you!   You gave us wings and helped us fly like Eagles!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger

Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

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We all know that boys today are “at risk.” They are more likely than girls to drop out of school and less likely to enter or graduate from college. They are also more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and have low self-esteem.

What can change the direction of this trend? A study conducted by Harris Interactive shows that Scouting programs build boys’ mental, social, and physical skills. Compared with youth who have never been in a Boy Scout program, boys who have been Scouts five or more years:

•           Have higher self-confidence,

•           Are more likely to resist peer pressure to take part in delinquent activities,

•           Are less likely to consume alcohol,

•           Are more willing to help others

•           Report earning higher grades, and

•           Are more likely to volunteer to be a leader.

This study shows that the skills boys learn in Scouting help them overcome obstacles and challenges throughout their lives.  In fact, more than 80 percent of men in this study who were Scouts as youth say there have been real-life situations where having been a Scout helped them be a better leader.

Findings from the study indicate that the positive effects of Scouting last a lifetime. Men who were Scouts five or more years as youth are more likely than men with no Scouting experience to:

•           Graduate from high school (91 percent Scouts versus 87 percent non-Scouts),

•           Graduate from college (35 percent Scouts versus 19 percent non-Scouts),

•           Earn higher annual household incomes ($80,000 Scouts versus $61,000 non-Scouts),

•           Have lifelong friendships (89 percent Scouts versus 74 percent non-Scouts), and

•           Believe that helping others should come before one’s own self-interest (92 percent Scouts versus 83 percent non-Scouts).

These statistics speak for themselves.  Scouting can and does make a difference.  Our youth need Scouting more today than ever.  As a council we believe that every youth should have an opportunity to join.  It is our mission to make this a reality. 

Thank you for helping with the Scouting program.  Whether you are a parent or an adult volunteer, we are grateful for the impact you are making in the lives of Scouts in our area.  Because of what you are doing today, we are building a better and brighter future for tomorrow.

(The Trapper Trails Council has 17,570 youth involved in Cub Scouting, 15,159 in Boy Scouting, 7,773 in Varsity Scouting, and 8,680 in Venturing. There are 26,311 registered adult volunteer leaders. The Trapper Trails Council covers parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.)