Two Darien Boy Scouts, Christopher Cope from Troop 53 and Allen Shao from Troop 35, received the Jamie Award at their troops’ Spring Courts of Honor, at which Scouts are recognized for rank advancements, honors, and merit badges earned. The Jamie Award is given in honor of former Darien resident and Darien High School ’02 graduate Jamie Swiggart, who was an active Scout throughout his childhood and embodied Scout values throughout his life. Always community-minded, Jamie attained the Eagle Scout rank in Troop 53 at age 14, was a member of Post 53, and went on to study at the U.S. Naval Academy and become an accomplished Navy tailhook pilot and flight instructor. He died tragically in a small plane crash in 2015 at the age of 32.
The Jamie Award was created by The Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust (chartering organization for the Darien Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and STEM Venture Crew) in collaboration with Jamie’s mother, Carolyn, to honor Jamie’s memory by recognizing a Scout from each Troop “who, like Jamie, leads by example and consistently offers quiet leadership and encouragement to fellow Scouts.”
“Jamie did a lot during his life, and Boy Scouts was an important foundation,” said Ms. Swiggart upon the creation of this award. “If the Jamie Award can encourage young Scouts to become better people, with kindness, and to inspire quiet leadership, then that’s a huge good.”
Christopher and Allen were selected for this honor by their Troop leadership. Troop 53 Scoutmaster Grant Evans described Christopher as a kind, friendly, and helpful presence in everything he does and a noticeably positive example of Scout spirit. Troop 35 Scoutmaster Michael Towell highlighted Allen’s positive attitude and noted that younger scouts seek him out as a mentor because they sense he truly cares about teaching and guiding them, not about gaining credit or attention for himself.
The Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust and Troops 53 & 35 offer their thanks to Carolyn Swiggart for her ongoing support of Darien Boy Scouts, and congratulate Christopher and Allen for being the 2019 Jamie Award winners.