An active Scouter for more than 70 years, John “Jack” Coughlin was recognized at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, as the organization’s Alumni of the Year. The new award is intended to recognize those individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by Scouting, or those who have impacted the lives of others in the movement. Mr. Coughlin is an Eagle Scout, a Distinguished Eagle Scout, and has received the organization’s highest national award for service to youth, the Silver Buffalo Award. He has served in numerous positions in the Westchester-Putman Council.
To say Jack Coughlin has been a trailblazer would be an understatement; at 87 years old, he’s still blazing new trails. One of Mr. Coughlin’s most significant recent contributions to the BSA was the concept and groundwork to create a database of Eagle Scouts. Since the first Eagle Scout Award was presented in 1912, more than 2 million men have proudly shared that recognition. However, after receiving the award, many Eagle Scouts go on with life—only finding out about other Eagles through casual conversation, or as a reference on a resume or application.
After seven years of development, Coughlin’s idea came to fruition when the first Eagle Scout Roll of Honor book rolled off the press in 2008. Through this publication, nearly 500,000 men who responded to the survey have reconnected with other Eagle Scouts. To complement the Roll of Honor book, Eagle Scout Stories was introduced in 2010.
“As a proud Eagle Scout, and a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, the Roll of Honor gives every man that has earned the award the opportunity to be part of something bigger than himself,” said Robert Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “Jack’s selfless determination opened the doors for thousands of men to connect with other men who share a similar journey and a shared legacy.”