Area Scout leader receives Lutheran Lamb Award
Posted: February 15, 2013
Star staff report
Winchester — James Swartz, a Winchester resident, was recently honored for his service to his church and the Boy Scouts of America.
On Feb. 10, the Rev. Noel Vold and Tom Willis of Advent Lutheran Church, and Stuart Williams of the Shenandoah Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, presented Swartz with the Lutheran Lamb Award.
The is award was designed and approved by Lutheran synods in 1954 to express appreciation for outstanding leadership and significant contributions by an adult to the spiritual, social and physical lives of America’s young people.
The nomination has nine specific requirements, which need to be met including a minimum of 10 years of service to the church and a civic youth agency.
Swartz has served as a leader for three generations of youth. For 45 years, he taught Sunday School, was an usher, lector and served on church property committees.
He is a founding member of Advent Lutheran Church, Winchester, where he currently serves on the Evangelism Committee and church council, assists with the altar guild, and volunteers as an usher and crucifer.
Swartz’s civic youth leadership includes being registered with the Boys Scouts of America for 57 years and serving 51 years as assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, and committee member of Boy Scout Troop 1.
He set up a program so that Lutheran Scouts and Cubs could earn religious awards. He established church services at troop campouts, promoted Boy Scout Sunday insisting that Scouts and Cubs attend church in uniform and secured permission for the Scouts to serve as ushers, readers, crucifers, and acolytes.
Swartz started Troop 1 Flea Market in 1969 and ran the event for 27 years to raise money for Scouts to attend world and national events.
Even when work assignments took Swartz to Long Island, N.Y. and Stamford, Conn., he worked with Scout units in Lutheran churches at each of these locations.
Currently, Swartz is serving on the Council History Committee and working with Troop 1 as a troop committee member.