EAST HANOVER, NJ - On November 21st, a special ceremony was held at the Hanover Manor, in East Hanover, for two individuals who have contributed much for young minds and their local community. These individuals included Montville residents Theresa Cavanaugh and George Kamper.
Known as the 2019 Good Scout Awards Dinner, the ceremony was organized by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). This group is the largest scouting organization and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with about 2.3 million youth participants and about one million adult volunteers. According to their mission statement, BSA works to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”
BSA is divided into multiple districts, including the Patriots’ Path Council; a non-profit organization that serves more than 19,000 scouts and about 6,000 leaders in the counties of Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union and parts of Middlesex, New Jersey. The council has held the Good Scout Award Dinner for three years currently, and for last week’s award ceremony, they were ready to highlight the accomplishments of Cavanaugh and Kamper and their pursuit to leading and inspiring others.
“[Cavanaugh and Kamper] are individuals who go about their good work, seeking neither praise nor recognition and it is so fitting that we honor them tonight so, congratulations,” said Karen Cortellino, who served as the master of ceremonies and co-chaired the event, along with Montville’s Deputy Mayor Frank Cooney. “I believe we are truly blessed to live in a community like ours. A community where so many people give and are dedicated to giving back. Where our future leaders are you, who have such outstanding role models who have what it means to serve others. I would like all our honorees tonight to consider this award as a thank you from a scouting community that considers service as one of its core values.”
Cortellino is a former president of the Montville Township Board of Education and a Good Scout award recipient herself.
Cavanaugh has been quite devoted in her Montville community. First of all, she has served as a substitute teacher (1968-77) before becoming a full-time special education teacher, until her retirement in 1994. She was also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. She is best known though as the founder and frequent advocator of the Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey. Cavanaugh has received numerous awards for dedicating her time to youths with special needs and her community, including the Woman of Achievement recipient by the N.J. State Federation of Women’s Clubs and Douglas College, and the Citizen of the Year Award from the Montville Township Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve been given a few awards, but this one makes me very humble because I know every one of you and what you’ve done for our town, our country and our community,” said Cavanaugh. “As my saying goes, friends are the family God forgot to give you. Thank you all.”
Kamper is a Towaco resident who has been a professional photographer, spending a part of his career in New York City, where he supervised the advertising photography operation at Macy’s New York. Nowadays, he works a commercial photography studio in his hometown.
Kamper himself is a former Boy Scout of Troop 9 in West Caldwell, his former hometown. Growing up, and with his own son Max entering boy scouts, he served as the Montville Troop 74 Scoutmaster from 2013-15, as well as Committee Chairman from 2015-18. Today, he remains active with the Patriots’ Path Council as a council advancement committee vice-chairman, president’s council member, district operating committee member, district eagle advisor and merit badge councilor. Kamper also instructs at BSA District and Council Adult Leader and Scout Program. And at the ceremony, Kamper couldn’t stop think about those who he has helped empower throughout his life.
“This is the kind of rewarding you get when you see that kind of advancement and success in life,” said Kamper. “I’ve also notice there’s a few of you in this room who have gotten the Good Scout award, but my virtue of being here, and seeing how this auction took place, everyone’s a good scout tonight.”
Following dinner and awards, there were also live auctions where attendants got the chance to donate funds to BSA for uniforms, membership and summer camp opportunities for boy scouts.
Sponsors of the 2019 Good Scout Award Dinner included Theresa Cavanaugh, Margaret Lam & David Yen, PINK Breast Center, Richard Conklin, Robert Davidson, George Barnard, Stephen Minett, BSA Troop 74, Steven W. & Margaret Sanders, Frank Cooney, Daria Senaldi, Karen Cortellino, St, Pius X Church, Michelle Huang, The Palma Family, George Kamper, Gary Treubig and Cathy Lundquist.
To learn more about Boys Scouts of America, and the Patriots’ Path Council, visit their website at https://ppcbsa.org/.