Dan Bernier receives scouting highest award

Eagle Scout Benjamin Bernier, left, and his mother Jennifer Bernier, stand on either side of Dan Bernier after he received the District Award of Merit from Luanne Chesley, right, Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairman. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Waterville attorney Dan Bernier wears a suit when providing expert advice to clients on matters such as estate planning, probate law, litigation and government relations. But he was wearing his Scout uniform when he received the District Award of Merit on Wednesday, May 10, at the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, in Waterville.

The District Award of Merit is the highest honor a local Scouting District can bestow upon a volunteer Scouting leader. Kennebec Valley District delivers the Scouting program in Franklin, Kennebec, Lincoln and Knox Counties. Based on the Scouting demographics of the area, Kennebec Valley District was allowed to present two District Awards of Merit this year.

Garth Smith, of Winslow, received one earlier this year but Bernier was not able to attend the district dinner and received his award during the monthly Scouting Leaders’ Roundtable.

Bernier became active in scouting in 2006 when his son, Ben Bernier, joined the program as a Cub Scout in Waterville Pack #436. Dan became Cubmaster of the Pack and then when Ben moved on to the scout troop, Dan joined as well. In Troop #436, Dan Bernier held several positions during the years including Chartered Organization Representative, Committee Chairman and eventually Scoutmaster – a position he still holds. Dan has been active in Kennebec Valley District helping the Bushcraft program at Camp Bomazeen and assisting with efforts to grow the Bomazeen Old Timers which is an entity formed to provide support for Camp Bomazeen.

Dan Bernier was named Scouting’s Unit Leader of the Year in 2015 and has earned the Scoutmaster’s Key.

Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairman Luanne Chesley, of Vassalboro, made the presentation of the award to Bernier highlighting his work outside of scouting especially with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

“Dan is without a doubt a deserving individual,” Chesley said. “He is a man who works very hard in the background for the benefit of many scouts. It is a great honor that we honor him tonight.”

Bernier feels that scouting is valuable today because of its strong, outdoor program. “The big thing about scouting is getting kids outside and exposing them to a lot of things in the outdoors that they don’t normally do anymore that they used to do.” Waterville Troop #436 recently visited the sites of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on Patriots’ Day. “We meet on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., at the Methodist church. People who want to join can contact me at dan@bernierlawoffice.com or the office number 877-8969.”


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