Charleston attorney receives prestigious Boy Scouts award - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Charleston attorney receives prestigious Boy Scouts award

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Photo courtesy of Steptoe & Johnson Photo courtesy of Steptoe & Johnson
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Charleston attorney Steven McGowan said he's been a scout all of his life and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"My scouting career has gone back a way," said the Eagle Scout, who worked to bring the Summit Bechtel National Family Scout Reserve to West Virginia.

And McGowan recently received recognition for his work.

The Boy Scouts of America recently awarded the Silver Buffalo award to the Steptoe & Johnson attorney along with 12 others in the U.S.

This award has been given 732 times in its 87-year history; however, McGowan is the first West Virginian to receive it, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

"It was pretty shocking to find out, given how many people have received it over the years that no one living in West Virginia had received it before. I felt kind of humbled," he said.

However, McGowan doesn't take all the credit.

"If I had my druthers, it would be something that is shared with the knowledge that the teams that I have been privileged to be a part of. … I kind of think it to be more of a recognition of the teams I've been a part of that has accomplished this rather than something I've accomplished."

McGowan started his work on the Summit project in 2007 when the then-Gov. Joe Manchin asked McGowan to lead a task force to identify a site for the National Jamboree.

"Ultimately, we were able to have the facility landed here and brought to West Virginia," McGowan said. "We were selected out of 90 submissions from 28 states. Part of the decision was a recognition that West Virginia could be more than a jamboree site. And it's a facility unlike everything ever built. It has such unique offerings of the state and the New River Gorge."

The jamboree is expected to draw more than 40,000 Boy Scouts for the 10-day event this July.

"My favorite part about the scouts is every time I see the results," McGowan said. "I see the youth that come back, I see their names in the paper and they are doing exactly what we are training them to do — to lead with character."

And scouting will always hold a special place in his heart.

"I'll be a scouter all my life. Scouting is my life. It's provided me with so many wonderful opportunities and the tools and skills to do what I do. How can you not pass that on?"