The Boy Scouts of America announces Joe Harrington as recipient of the 2009 Woods Services Award. We recognize him for exceptional service and leadership in the field of Scouting for youth with disabilities.
The Woods Services Award is provided by the Woods Services and Residential Treatment Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, in memory of Luther Wellington Lord. Mr. Lord served as a residential supervisor for more than 23 years at Woods Services. He established this award as a part of his service to youth through his involvement with Scouting at the local and national levels.
As an Eagle Scout, Joe Harrington’s hard work and unwavering commitment exemplified the principles of the Scouting program. He began his volunteer efforts more than 30 years ago, when he attended a weekend campout as a Scout helping to run adaptive activities for those with both mental and physical disabilities. In 1981, he was one of the first Scouts in the United States to earn what was then called the Handicapped Awareness (now Disabilities Awareness) merit badge. As a youth, Joe also led a church group that raised funds to help buy food for Mother Theresa’s soup kitchen in Chicago, where he spent many hours volunteering.
Joe currently serves as a Cubmaster and Scoutmaster of a special needs pack and troop. He also serves as lead teacher of a Learning for Life group. For service to older youths, Joe is an associate Advisor for a Venturing crew and a Skipper for Ship 2501. This ship specializes in scuba and teaching youths to act as dive buddies for divers with disabilities. Chair of both the Three Fires Council’s Special Needs Camporee and its Special Needs Committee, Joe gives volunteer leadership to more than 1,200 special needs Scouts in 11 districts. Outside of Scouting, Joe volunteers regularly at the Ray Graham Association community learning center for persons with disabilities.
Joe has earned numerous unit-level awards. His district and council recognitions include the District Committee Key and the District Award of Merit. He has been recognized by his council with the Silver Beaver Award and James E. West Fellowship Award. The International Order of the Alhambra recognized him with its St. Francis Award for his work with people with disabilities, and the Ray Graham Association has recognized Joe with a Volunteer Appreciation Award.
Woods Services and the Boy Scouts of America join in recognizing this great Scouter-Joe Harrington-with the Woods Services Award for 2009!