A Santa Clara man has received the highest honor an adult can achieve in the Boy Scouts of America. Hassnain Malik received the Silver Beaver Award in February. The award is presented to Scouters who show “…exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.”
“I feel humbled and honored. My commitment to scouting is personal and not for any award, reward or recognition,” said Malik. “While I don’t underestimate the privilege to be considered, I think others are more deserving and do a lot more than what I have done. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a high honor and I am grateful to be the recipient of it.”
Malik’s involvement with the scouts started the same way it does for most parents.
“We were looking for activities for our young kids back then and we wanted to find an activity that not only nourishes them intellectually but also keep them physically fit,” said Malik. “Scouting was a natural fit.”
Malik joined the scouts with his two sons, serving as a den leader when they were younger. When his sons moved up to a troop, Malik served as an assistant scoutmaster and then scoutmaster for their troops.
Through his volunteer work, Malik saw how impactful scouting could be in his sons’ lives and he wanted to do more.
“If I look at my kids when they went into scouting and the skills that they learned. If I look at my youth how I was at that age, it is a contrast difference,” said Malik. “[My] kids are more skilled, they are more aware, they are more connected to their peers than I was.”
Malik took on a variety of roles within the Boy Scouts Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council including board member and district committee member. He currently serves as the Order of the Arrow chapter advisor and the National Youth Leadership Training course director.
Malik also works hard to promote scouting with local Muslim youth. His work earned him the National Islamic Committee on Scouting’s Allaho Akber (God is Great) Award. He believes that no matter what your religious beliefs, scouting truly is for everyone.
“The scouting values are timeless, and if we all live by the scout oath and law, our society will become a model society in which kindness will cherish, we can restore the trust in one another, and we all are working towards a greater good,” said Malik. “There isn’t a program as comprehensive as scouting, which provides equal opportunity to everyone to learn leadership skills at a very young age. It encourages [scouts] to give back to the community through service projects, and it builds a strong understanding regardless of our gender, orientation, religion, ethnicity the scout oath and law bind us.”
Malik’s oldest son is in college. His youngest son is a junior in high school and recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Despite the fact that his kids are moving out of scouting, Malik says he will still be involved.
“My commitment to scouting is not going to stop just because my kids have grown up,” said Malik. “I’m doing this because I believe in it. I’m doing this because I see the value that it provides and it’s given to my kids.”