Scouting has been a family tradition for couple who received top awards

Dave and Susan Ecklund, of Aiken, have devoted more than three decades of their lives to Scouting.

On Tuesday night, during the annual Georgia-Carolina Boy Scouts of America Volunteer and Eagle Scout Dinner in North Augusta, the Ecklunds were among six recipients of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest commendation given to volunteers by a Boy Scout council.

Scouting officials said it is rare for a husband and wife to receive Silver Beaver Awards in the same year.

"For me, it seemed like a dream," Mrs. Ecklund said. "It didn't seem like reality had hit yet. I was very, very honored."

The Ecklunds earned the awards for their work in moving four bunkhouses from Linwood Hayne in Augusta to the Knox Scout Reservation outside Lincolnton, Ga. Three of the four have been moved to the new camp.

The Ecklunds and a team of workers removed the roofs from the 15-foot-by-12-foot buildings, loaded them onto trailers and moved them to the new camp, where they were reassembled.

The couple has taken part in Boy, Girl and Sea Scouts since they lived in California in the 1970s, Mrs. Ecklund said. She is currently the skipper of Ship 110, and Mr. Ecklund is the ship's mate.

They have also filled leadership roles within the Georgia-Carolina Council.

Scouting runs in the family. Their son, Jon, an Eagle Scout, is nearing the rank of quartermaster, the highest level in Sea Scouts. Their daughter, Cathi, is a quartermaster in Sea Scouts and has reached Life Scout in Girl Scouts.

Mrs. Ecklund's father is a former Silver Beaver Award recipient and a scoutmaster.

The Ecklunds also are involved in cave restoration efforts at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and are fellows in the Cave Research Foundation.

Reach J. Scott Trubey at (706) 823-3424 or scott.trubey@augustachronicle.com