UMSL security guard receives Boy Scouts service award
Robert Malon is the kind of guy who still serves as committee chairman of Boy Scout Troop 20 in south St. Louis even though his son earned his Eagle Scout badge and graduated out of scouting four years ago.
It’s that kind of outstanding service to the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America that won Malon the Silver Beaver Award on June 4 for his 16 years of exceptional leadership and service to scouting in the region. The award is the highest recognition a Boy Scout council can bestow on an adult volunteer leader.
“My son joined scouts as a Tiger Cub in the first grade, and I’ve been involved ever since,” said Malon, a security guard at the Mark Twain Athletic and Fitness Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis for the last 28 years.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from UMSL in 1982. He started working part time after graduation, then full time starting in 1986.
Malon has served on most of the leadership positions for the troop at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in south St. Louis. He also currently works as vice chairman for Boy Scout leader training on the district level where adult leaders are trained.
Malon said when his only son joined scouts as a first grader, it seemed only natural for him to be involved.
“I like the outdoors, pitching tents, building campfires. It’s about working with children, teaching them skills, responsibility and leadership,” Malon said.
He’s served at the troop, district and council level and worked at every event from Cub Scout day camp, to the annual Scouting for Food drive, from the camporee adult advisor to the district and troop popcorn chairman. The Boy Scout equivalent to the annual Girl Scouts cookie drive, the Boy Scout popcorn sale is a big fundraiser for local scouting.
“I enjoy the logistics of it all, training the kids in sales, ordering, warehousing and distribution,” he said. “And it was that group that nominated me for the Silver Beaver Award.”
Malon said he was surprised when they notified him about the scouting award. He never sees it as a job or a burden. He’s never bored or thought about leaving.
“Being with the kids, you can be a kid at the same time,” he said. “It’s just that as a leader, you’re the responsible kid.”
And that first grader who got him involved in scouts so many years ago?
“He’s getting ready to graduate from Missouri University of Science and Technology,” said the proud father. “He’s interested in mining and has done two internships in big mines in Texas and Pennsylvania. My hope is that when he’s ready to settle down, he follows my lead and gives back to the Boy Scouts.”
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