Don Johnson Selfless Service Award
First recipient Keith Townsley standing next to Don Johnson
Don Johnson's Legacy
Johnson first joined the Boy Scouts in the 1940s. While war raged in Europe, Johnson helped collect cans and paper, but also enjoyed outdoor adventures and the other activities offered by Troop 2 in Clinton. By his senior year at Clinton High School, Johnson was student body president, drum major of the marching band, involved in scouting, and newly married to Janis, his high school sweetheart. While Don never reached the rank of Eagle Scout, he has always looked back at his scouting experience as positive part of his youth.
Ten years later Johnson was able to introduce his two sons, Don Jr. and Richard, to the program he loved as a youth. Johnson was once again involved in scouting, first in Pack 39, and then Troop 2, the Troop where he grew up. For eight years Johnson served Clinton scouting at both the Troop and District levels, earning the District Award of Merit in 1961.
Though his sons would eventually leave the program, Don’s commitment to the organization was far from over.
In 1994, Johnson’s grandson Nathan Moore joined Troop 642 out of Clinton, and Johnson served as Assistant Scoutmaster. In 1999, Johnson witnessed his grandson Nathan achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, an honor that he had not achieved as a youth. As Nathan began to leave the program, Johnson began to get more involved, taking on the position of Scoutmaster of Troop 642.
As Scoutmaster of Troop 642, Johnson continued to promote scouting at the Troop, District, and Council levels. Johnson served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for the 2001 National Jamboree, Scoutmaster for the 2005 National Jamboree, and attended four National Order of the Arrow Conferences. He served as Scoutmaster for the leader training program Pine Tree and as Commissioner for a summer at the Council Summer Camp, Loud Thunder. Johnson has been awarded the Silver Beaver, Vigil in the Order of the Arrow, and the Order of the Arrow Founders Award. On top of all of his experiences, Johnson can be directly attributed to over twenty Eagle Scouts from Troop 642.
While Johnson has retired from the Scoutmaster role at 642, his scouting career is far from over. Johnson’s great-grandsons Ashton, Ethan, and Landon are all Cub Scouts in Pack 140. When 140 needed a Cubmaster Johnson stepped up, and now, at 80 is able to see his great-grandsons take part in the program he loves.
As a token of gratitude and honor, the Mesquakie District (comprised of Clinton and Jackson counties) is announcing the Don Johnson Selfless Service Award. The award will be given to one person each year that has shown selfless service in advancing the scouting program in the Mesquakie District. “Don Johnson has the respect and gratitude of every scouter in the Mesquakie District and the Illowa Council,” says Ian Scott, Mesquakie District Executive. “It is an honor to announce this new award that will carry on Don’s legacy of selfless service to scouting.”
Recipients of the Don Johnson Selfless Service Award