George Silver will receive the Shofar Award on Friday from the Connecticut Yankee Council.
Ask Newtowner George Silver about Boy Scouting and the enthusiasm he has for it bubbles to the surface.
Silver believes in Boy Scouting and gives a good amount of his time and energy encouraging membership, especially among Jewish youth.
For his efforts, the Connecticut Yankee Council will honor Silver with its Shofar Award on Friday in Congregation B'nai Torah, 5700 Main. St., Trumbull.
The ceremony takes places during the council's 7th Annual Scout Sabbath Service, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
The award gives recognition to "the individual who has answered the call to serve Jewish youth in Scouting," according to a publication of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting.
Earning the award is no easy task. Silver, like others before him, met strict eligibility guidelines before being considered for the honor.
Among other criteria, he had to promote use of Scouting in synagogues, Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions and recruit Jewish leaders on unit, district and council levels. He also had to encourage and assist Scouts in earning their Jewish religious emblems.
He must also have promoted religious observance on camping trips and other functions and exemplified religious convictions by personal participation in the ideals of Jewish life.
The award is not the first for Silver, a longtime and active member of Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown.
He also has merited the Frank L. Weil Memorial Quality Jewish Committee Award and the Leadership in Service Award. Beside these two honors, he is a member of the Order of the Arrow and earned a Wood Badge.
Silver, 52, joined scouting as a young teen because he wanted to go camping. He renewed his involvement in Scouting in 1997, when his youngest son, now an Eagle Scout, became a cub scout.
"They needed assistants. I was assistant den leader," said Silver, who is married and has two sons.
But there were other, equally personal reasons for his involvement.
The first is his belief in what Scouting does.
"The purpose of Scouting is to produce a well-rounded person, to promote community service, belief in a higher being and bettering oneself," said Silver, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Silver said Scouting also creates a support system.
"Lots of parents treat Scouting and other after school programs like a baby-sitting service," he said. "They drop their children and run. I've never done that. I was always there. I'm never the boss. I'm there in a support role."
That support role continued when his son moved up to Boy Scouting and Silver moved with him.
"I lent support to behind the scenes activities and was quartermaster for the troop, making sure equipment was there and in working condition when it was needed," he said.
In 2001, Silver became involved with the Jewish Committee on Scouting.
"Scouts are encouraged to be reverent," he said. "My son was working toward his Jewish religious emblems. I stepped in to help him and other Jewish scouts get their emblems because sometimes the resources aren't there for the support they needed.".
Although Silver sees his role as a resource and support person, his association with Scouting has taught him a few things.
"I've learned you have to pass knowledge on to the next generation," he said. "And I've learned that community service is very rewarding."
Silver said he gets to see "how the Scouts flourish and grow into responsible young adults."