The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award is a national recognition approved by the Boy Scouts of America and promoted by many Grand Lodges in the United States. The award serves to recognize the recipient’s outstanding service to youth through the Boy Scouts of America. It may be presented to any Master Mason who has made significant contributions to youth through Scouting. The Grand Lodge of Ohio sat down with past award winner, Chip Udischas, and discussed the effect that his charitable work for the Boy Scouts and Ohio Masonry has had on his life.
Tell us about yourself and your Masonic journey.
I am currently employed as a Deputy Sheriff at the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office and have been there for 22 years. During my career, I have served as a Corrections Officer, Communications Officer, Road Patrol Deputy, Road Patrol Sergeant and currently as the Jail Administrator. I credit Scouting with teaching me values, skills and leadership that has prepared me to serve in each capacity I have held.
I first heard about Masonry when I was overseas serving in Iraq. My platoon sergeant was a Mason and I heard him mention great things about Masonry. When I got back home to my hometown of Coshocton, Ohio, I didn’t think much more about it until a man I was working with was studying from this small blue book. When I asked him what he was reading he told us it was a book about Masonry. He showed us a page that was all enciphered and when we started asking questions he said that we had to be Masons to know the answers. I asked him what it took to become a Mason and he told me, “you just do it, you’ll know in your heart.” I had a petition in my hand the next day and never looked back.
I am a member of Three Rivers Lodge #799 and have really enjoyed my time in Masonry. I am also a 32nd Degree member of the Valley of Cambridge, Scottish Rite Masons, I am a member of the Samaritan Chapter and Coshocton Commandery, and The Allied Masonic Degrees in Newark. I have met some amazing men that I otherwise would not have met. I enjoy the ritual work and it reminds me of when I was in scouting as a youth and involved in an honors program called the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is a service organization in scouting, it was founded by New York Masons back in 1915. The 3 tenets of the order are brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. There are many similarities between the Order of the Arrow and Masons.
How did you start with the Boy Scouts of America?
I am the youngest of three brothers who were both also in scouting so I have been around it since I was two years old. I officially joined when I was six as a tiger cub. I now have 36 years with the Boy Scouts of America and it has influenced my life in more ways than I can possibly count. Scouting has taught me many valuable life skills that I still use today; the tricks of first aid, leadership, public speaking, and most importantly it has taught me the value of life spent serving others. I highly doubt I would have a career that I have today if it wasn’t for the influence of Scouting has played in my life.
Can you share a moment or story related to your charity work that has stuck with you? From a young age, I watched my father volunteer heavily within the community. He instilled in everyone he met how important a culture of service was. Because of this, I volunteered frequently growing up and I do my best to be active in the community. I sometimes overextend with how much I take on because it is very hard to say no when I know someone or an organization needs help. I have served on various boards in town and have worked on fundraising projects, dinners, canned food drives, recycling drives and book fairs for our local schools. I graduated from Leadership Coshocton and have served 2 years as a curriculum coordinator for them after graduating. I am a volunteer firefighter for Three Rivers Fire District. I served multiple years in an organization called EMSA, or Emergency Medical Services Auxiliary for Coshocton EMS and I have volunteered in numerous capacities, projects and committees in Scouting also. What sticks with me the most about volunteering is the feeling you get after a job well done. You can’t put a price on that.
What does it mean to win this award?
I was very humbled to receive the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter award. I have a deep respect and love for both organizations. When I was recognized in front of my Lodge, in front of men that I have a deep respect for and that I look up to, it was very humbling. While I certainly didn’t do Scouting for the recognition, it represents to me that I am, hopefully, making a difference.
What advice do you have for Masons involved in Boy Scouts of America?
For my brothers who are involved in both organizations, thank you for doing what you do. The lessons we are taught in masonry line up very well with the ideals of Scouting so the lessons to learn in one organization can definitely benefit the other. Probably most importantly, the men I know in both organizations are very humble. Don’t be afraid to talk about the great things that take place in either organization so that those who are not yet involved can understand the value that each organization has. For my brothers who are not yet involved in Scouting, if you are looking to be involved you will definitely find satisfaction in working with the youth. Scouting is an extremely diverse organization and there is something in the organization for every youth. The second point to that is that there is a place for every qualified adult to make a difference in the Scouting movement.
Want to learn more about the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award? Check out the Awards section of our website!