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Ohling given prestigious volunteer award by Boy Scouts

Scappoose woman's volunteerism is widespread in Columbia County

You could call Mary Ohling a youth mentor, but a more appropriate title might be volunteer extraordinaire.

OHLINGOhling, a Scappoose resident, was recently presented with the Silver Beaver volunteerism award during a special recognition ceremony on Feb. 25 by the Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Council.

The Silver Beaver Award is the top award that a local Boy Scout council can bestow upon a volunteer mentor.

“Recipients are selected by confidential nominations of adult peers, and only one award may be presented for every 60 troops, making it a prominent honor,” a press release from the council states.

Ohling has 11 years of scouting under her belt, and her volunteer resume is robust.

She serves as superintendent of textiles at the Columbia County Fair and often helps in classrooms, lending a hand with prep work, copying, binding, laminating and tutoring students or grading papers, according to the Scouts.

When she’s not in the classroom or in the wilderness, she helps transport instruments for the Scappoose High School Symphonic Band and Jazz Band. She’s also proved she’s willing to go the distance for the music department. Ohling once drove all the band instruments to San Diego for a set of classes and performances. She also helps out as a basic applications mentor with SHS’ robotics club.

“From 2004 to 2008 Mary served as a den leader for Pack 294 in the Chinook District, becoming pack committee chair after her den had crossed over as well as a committee member for Troop 294,” the release states. “She stepped down to concentrate more on the troop, but was asked to come back as an interim chair in 2011.”

Ohling was also awarded the District Award of Merit for Chinook District in 2013 and again in 2015.

She’s helped out as a camp cook and mentored with other scouting programs, even driving from Scappoose to Bowling Green, Virginia, and back to haul gear for staff and Jamboree Contingent.

“Since it was organized in 1910, Scouting has been dedicated to providing a fun, educational program for youths that instills values, healthy living, character development and lifelong learning,” stated Matt Devore, Scouting’s chief executive. “These mentors continue to provide outstanding service to youths, communities, and families.”

Locally, Cascade Pacific Council has over 10,000 adult mentors helping shape the lives of over 23,000 youth associated with its programs. Learn more about Scouting programs for youth at www.cpcbsa.org or by contacting the council office at 503-226-3423.