13-year-old Life Scout from Yoe wins national award for environmental projects

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

A 13-year-old Life Scout from Yoe will be recognized at an event next weekend for receiving a national award for a variety of environmental projects in York and Perry counties.

The Boy Scouts of America National Conservation Committee and local politicians will recognize Christian Snouffer at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at Salem Lutheran Church in Jacobus. Christian in November received the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal Award.

Christian, a member of Troop 69, was one of just seven Scouts in the nation to receive the award in 2020. He is a Life Scout, which is the second-highest attainable rank in Boy Scouting, preceding Eagle Scout.

“I was really happy that all my hard work paid off,” Christian said. “It took me about two years to get it.”

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To earn the Hornaday medal, a Scout must earn nine merit badges in conservation and environmental areas.

In addition, the projects must be larger in scale than a typical Eagle Scout community project and contain a public education component.

Boy Scouts of America Life Scout Christian Snouffer, left, 13, of Yoe Borough, briefs volunteers before embarking on his conservation project beginning at Ore Valley Elementary School in York Township, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. The project, which entails labeling 222 storm drains in York Township and 83 markers in Yoe Borough to deter pollution, is the third of four required projects for Snouffer to achieve the William T. Hornaday silver medal. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Christian's four projects included a battery and small electronics recycling program at Dallastown Area Intermediate School and removing invasive species and planting trees at Sherman’s Creek in Perry County.

He also conducted a public information campaign in Yoe and York Township about storm drains and a project to protect little brown bats, an endangered species, in Perry County.

In total, 139 volunteers contributed to the projects.

“It feels incredible,” said Bradley Snouffer, Christian’s father. “He had a goal and he stuck to it and did it. So that was really something for us.”

But awards for Christian are nothing new, as he had previously won all conservation-related awards available to Pennsylvania Scouts.

Those awards are the Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Award, the Pennsylvania Forest Conservation Award and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Conservation Award.

The awards have earned him recognition in both chambers of the state Legislature, and Christian said he hopes to explore career paths such as biological engineering.

Those who plan to speak at Saturday's event include state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township; York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler; state Rep. Mike Jones, R-York Township; and Yoe Mayor John Sanford.

“He has such a passion for Scouting and community service,” Phillips-Hill said. “And he continues to just excel.”

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.