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Silver Beaver Spotlights: 2024

Silver Beavers Recognized At Annual Montana Council Convention


Wayne began his Scouting adventure in Great Falls in the mid-1960s in the former North Central Montana Council, first as a Cub Scout with his mother as his Den Mother, then moving into Boy Scouts and eventually on to Explorers. He spent 5 summers at Camp Napi on the shores of St Mary Lake outside of Babb Montana and participated in troop fifty-miler excursions into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Wayne completed his Order of the Arrow Ordeal in 1972 as part of the PETA Lodge and his Brotherhood in 1973 in the newly formed Apoxy Aio Lodge. In 2019, Wayne was bestowed the Vigil Honor alongside his son Alexander. In 2022, Wayne was awarded the Order of the Arrow Founder’s Award.

Wayne is retired, having earned the rank of Major after 24 years as an Infantry and then Quartermaster officer in the United States Army and Army Reserve, forty years of working for Major US Food Corporations and owning and operating small businesses. Wayne’s two sons began in the Scouting Movement as Cubs, with Wayne serving in just about every capacity at the unit level in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He also served 6 years as Finance Chair and for 2 years, through the pandemic, as district chair for the Lewis and Clark District.

In 2022, Wayne was the Chairperson of the very successful “Montana International Scout Expo”, where he, along with many dedicated volunteers, welcomed over 1,400 Scouts and Scouters to Great Falls for a weekend in Celebration of the Scouting Movement.

Wayne can be found most summers in the kitchen at K-M Scout Ranch cooking for various Order of the Arrow events and Youth training programs, and, during the summer of 2023, Wayne selflessly stepped in to cook for two weeks of summer camp when misfortune struck the previous kitchen staff.

Wayne and his Wife Sandra are the proud parents of two Eagle Scout sons, Alexander and Nicholas, and the family continues to participate in Lewis and Clark district events. Wayne and his family look forward to supporting the Montana Council and the Scouting Movement for many years to come.

On his nomination, one Scouter noted, “Things change year to year. But Wayne is a constant. He’s always ready and willing to help the Montana Council succeed in any way he can. His long-time dedication and service have truly impacted the lives of youth in Montana and beyond.”

Thank you, Wayne, for all you do for Scouting!

Tom entered Scouting as a Cub Scout at age 8 and achieved all the ranks through Webelos Scout. He crossed over to Boy Scouts at age 11 and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Along the way, he earned 46 Merit Badges, the NRA marksmanship award, the Scout Lifeguard Award, the Aquatic Instructor Award, the Senior Red Cross Lifesaving Award, the Senior Red Cross First Aid Award, BSA Mile Swim and is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.


Tom was born and raised in Kalispell, MT. He is the son of Elwyn “Art” and Doris Sward who devoted decades to scouting in Pack 48, Troop 48, and Ship 48. Tom’s father, Art, also served as Northwest District Executive for the Western Montana Council.

Tom and his three older brothers are Eagle Scouts. Tom and his eldest brother both earned the Quartermaster rank in Sea Scouts.

Tom also earned an astonishing twenty-one 50 Miler Awards and twenty-one Historic Trail Awards, logging over 1,000 miles in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. During the summers, he was the swimming instructor at the District Aquatic Camp and served as staff on Melita Island

Graduating from Flathead High School in 1973, Tom attended the University of Idaho, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1977. His 30-year career in the Marines included command at every level from platoon to regiment.

Retiring from the Corps in 2007 at the rank of colonel, Tom continues to work as an analyst and contractor in support of major military exercises in Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Germany.

He has served as the Northwest District Committee Chair since March 2019. Under his leadership, the Northwest district has experienced an increase in membership, new units, popcorn sales, and ICL donations.

Tom has been happily married to Leslie “Toot” Sward for 40 years and is a proud father of 30-year-old twin sons, Brett and TJ.

On his nomination, one Scouter said, “Ask Tom to do a job and he is there. He is a leader, a mentor, and an adviser to those he meets. Tom is a first-rate organizer and meets any challenge.”

Thank you, Tom, for all you do for Scouting.


Beth Mazanec has been involved in Scouting since 1977, first as a Scout wife to Tom and then as a Scout mom to two Eagle Scout sons Mike and Nick.  Her career as a music teacher spanned 37 years in the public schools and private violin studio arenas.  She served as State President for the Montana Music Educators Association and Montana String Teachers Association.

Shortly after retirement from private violin teaching in 2016, her husband Tom suggested she consider volunteering with Venture Crew 2299.  Little did Beth know that she was about to dive into the deep end of Scouting by becoming Crew Advisor at her very first meeting. 

Beth has served as Venture Crew 2299 Advisor, Troop 218 Committee Member and Advancement Chair, Troop 217 Scoutmaster, Pack 207 Tiger/Wolf Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster, and Prickly Pear District Training Chair.

Beth’s Scouting adventures have included 50-mile bike rides on the Coeur d’Alene Trail, cooking for staff at the 2011 State Camporee, hiking the Beartooths, floating the Missouri, and completing the Mile Swim at Camp Melita Island.

Beth is also an active volunteer in her church and local community. She has volunteered at a senior living facility as well as the Civitan Club, Special Olympics, and the Children’s Miracle Network. She’s somehow also found time to perform with the Helena Symphony and served as concertmaster and interim conductor.

Beth and Tom have five grandchildren, three of whom have had wonderful experiences in scouting. Last summer Beth enjoyed K-M Cub Scout Camp with her granddaughter Elizabeth and she looks forward to her youngest two grandchildren joining scouts in the next few years.

On her nomination, one Scouter shared, “I have seen firsthand the positive and meaningful impact Beth has had on the lives of youth in Scouting. She is universally loved and sought out by our cub scouts in Pack 4207.”

Thank you, Beth, for all you do for Scouting!


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