Second Scout Earns National Distinguished Conservation Service Award
Quinn Vochko of Troop 3283 of Wayzata to Receive Award at May Court of Honor
Quinn Vochko of Troop 3283 of Wayzata became the Council's second recipient of the BSA's Distinguished Conservation Service Award after passing his Board of Review in March 2022. The BSA created the DCSA in November 2019 as a replacement for the William T. Hornaday conservation service awards.
In order to earn the DCSA, a Scout must research, plan, and lead two significant conservation projects, then conduct follow-up work to ensure that the projects achieved their intended goals. Including the follow-up work, a DCSA project can take several months to over a year to complete. The Scout also must earn several conservation-related merit badges. Venturers and Sea Scouts have slightly different requirements that replace the required merit badges.
Full Requirements for Conservation Service Award
Quinn's first project, begun in the summer of 2020, was the design and planting of a pollinator garden outside the North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting in North St. Paul. He researched and selected several native plants that will thrive in this area and will bloom at different times during the growing season, so pollinators will have something to eat all summer. He then made a detailed planting layout, to avoid lumping all of one type of plant together.
His initial follow-up included keeping the plants watered and weeded so they would survive until winter. He continued his follow-up through the spring, summer and fall of 2021, making sure the plants survived and documenting pollinators were in fact feeding from the flowers. He met the public education aspect of the DCSA by designing a sign, erected next to his garden, describing the need for pollinator habitat, and by designing a color brochure (available in a container at his garden) showing viewers how they can make their own pollinator garden.
Quinn's second project was the design and installation of 5 fishing line recycling containers at 5 piers on 4 lakes managed by the Three Rivers Park District, and 2 more at a lake at Camp Christmas Tree, a YMCA day camp. He researched the problems of improper disposal of monofilament fishing line: that birds and fish can get tangled in the line and die when it is discarded into a lake; and that it can take hundreds of years to decompose. He designed and led the building and installation of the fishing line recycling containers so people would have a convenient, better way to dispose of their unwanted fishing line.
His follow-up work included many trips over several months to empty the collection containers, and separating several hundred feet of used fishing line from trash put in his containers. He sent the fishing line to a local company to be melted and made into other items. Even the trash was a benefit to the lakes since it was not thrown into the lakes or washed into them from the shore. His community education included putting colorful stickers on each of the containers, explaining the need for proper disposal of used fishing line.
Quinn will receive the DCSA certificate and award knot in May at a troop court of honor.
To learn more about the DCSA, follow the URL provided above.