Dan Bernier, front, received the District Award of Merit from Luanne Chesley, Kennebec Valley District Advancement chair. In back from left are Eagle Scout Benjamin Bernier and his mother Jennifer Bernier, and Chesley. Submitted photo

Attorney Dan Bernier of Waterville wears a suit when providing expert advice to clients on matters such as estate planning, probate law, litigation and government relations.

But he was wearing his Scout uniform when he received the District Award of Merit on May 10 at the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church.

The award is the highest honor a local Scouting district can bestow upon a volunteer Scouting leader. Kennebec Valley District delivers the Scouting program in Franklin, Kennebec, Lincoln and Knox counties.

Based on the Scouting demographics of the area, Kennebec Valley District was allowed to present two district merit awards this year. Garth Smith of Winslow received one earlier this year.

Dan Bernier, left, received the Scoutmaster’s Key from Roundtable Commissioner Christopher Bernier of Winslow (no relation) during the Scouting Leaders’ Monthly Roundtable. Submitted photo

Bernier became active in Scouting in 2006 when his son, Ben Bernier, joined the program as a Cub Scout in Waterville Pack 436. Dan became Cubmaster of the Pack, and when Ben moved on to the Scout Troop, Dan joined as well, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris, district chairman for the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting.


In Troop 436, Dan Bernier held several positions during the years, including chartered organization representative, committee chairman and eventually Scoutmaster — a position he still holds. Bernier has been active in the Kennebec Valley District, helping the Bushcraft program at Camp Bomazeen and assisting with efforts to grow the Bomazeen Old Timers, an entity formed to provide support for Camp Bomazeen.

Bernier was named Scouting’s Unit Leader of the Year in 2015 and has earned the Scoutmaster’s Key.

Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairman Luanne Chesley of Vassalboro made the presentation of the award to Bernier, highlighting his work outside of Scouting, especially with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

“Dan is without a doubt a deserving individual,” Chesley said. “He is a man who works very hard in the background for the benefit of many Scouts.”

Bernier feels that Scouting is valuable today because of its strong outdoor program: “The big thing about Scouting is getting kids outside and exposing them to a lot of things in the outdoors that they don’t normally do anymore that they used to do.”

Waterville Troop 436 meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Methodist church, 61 Pleasant St. People who want to join can email Bernier at [email protected] or call 207-877-8969.



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