Special Honor for Scout Leader
Paul Honeycutt, Scripps Ranch’s Troop 616 scoutmaster, was honored with the Silver Beaver award by the San Diego-Imperial Council at a special ceremony. This is the highest award presented by a Scout Council and is given to an adult leader who “has made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. The Silver Beaver award is given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not seek it.”
Boy Scout Troop 616 has been fortunate to have Paul as our scoutmaster for 11 years. He also has served boy scouts at the district level in several capacities, including most recently as training chair. He was chosen by the council to serve as a scoutmaster for the Centennial National Jamboree in 2010 and now serves on the Jamboree Planning Committee. He also finds time to be an active member of the Eagle Scout Alumni Association Board.
Giving back to others comes naturally for Paul. He served his country as a U.S. Navy F-14 fighter pilot and Top Gun graduate, accumulating nearly 2,000 flight hours and 200 carrier landings. He has volunteered as a Scripps Ranch soccer coach, Little League manager and coach, and National Junior Basketball coach and board member.
Paul is dedicated to the growth and advancement of young men in scouting. His commitment to Troop 616 is even more remarkable since his son, Christopher, earned his Eagle rank and aged out of the troop nine years ago.
It’s not all about work for Paul either. He takes pride in making sure the scouts have fun as they advance through Boy Scouts. Paul truly does live the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life, providing an example to both scouts and adults.
Here are just a few of his scouting milestones:
- More than 350 miles hiking
- 200+ nights camping
- More than 700 miles backpacking
Paul has taken scouts on many adventures:
- Backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Yosemite, Sierra, and the local mountains
- Ocean kayaking around the Channel Islands
- Canoeing the Colorado River
- Whitewater rafting on the Kern
- An epic urban backpack trip across Coronado in one of the worst rainstorms in a decade!
Paul says part of what keeps him involved in scouting is the fun, adventurous things the troop does. It helps keep him young! He also finds it rewarding being with scouts, helping them advance along the trail to Eagle, and watching them mature.
One of his favorite stories is about a first-year scout who was going on his first campout and was grubmaster for the patrol. As Paul tells it, “He forgot his sleeping bag, so one of the other scouts lent him his emergency survival blanket. Every time he rolled over, the blanket went crinkle, crinkle, crinkle so he couldn’t sleep.
“To keep warm he spent the night walking around the campsite keeping the rest of us awake with his tromping feet. For breakfast the scouts wanted pancakes and bacon so he went to Vons and bought the frozen, microwavable pancakes. The boys tried to cook them on the griddle and ended with the infamous ‘burnt, cold cakes.’
“For lunch the menu was turkey sandwiches. So he bought turkey slices and bread—that’s it. Nothing else. He learned a lot on that campout, earned his Eagle rank, and was one of the .01% of Eagle Scouts who is awarded a scholarship from the National Eagle Scout Association.”
Paul was a boy scout as a youth and earned his Eagle Scout with Gold Palm. His son, Christopher, earned the Eagle rank in 2009. Troop 616 is proud to have 135 Eagle Scouts since chartering in 1971. Paul has personally mentored 61 young men to Eagle since becoming scoutmaster.
In 2016 Paul was proud to see Troop 616 set a record with 12 scouts achieving Eagle in one year. Paul credits the troop’s success to the help of the many assistant scoutmasters, committee members, and involved parents working to create a positive atmosphere for advancement.
As an adult scout leader Paul has been awarded the Wood Badge for the 21st Century, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scout Leader’s Training Award, Scoutmaster’s Key, Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor, James E. West Fellowship Award, and the District Award of Merit.
Paul is married to Suzie, his wife of 30 years. He has two grown children, Lauren and Christopher, and his first grandchild, Nathan, was born last year. He has lived in Scripps Ranch since 1989. He is a dedicated community volunteer and serves on the Scripps Ranch Civic Association Board. He has received many awards for his dedication to the community. Paul retired from the Navy in 1994 and is now a financial advisor.
Troop 616 is thankful to have Paul serve as our scoutmaster and proud of his latest award. The troop congratulates him on his fantastic achievement!