The Great Smoky Mountain Council Distinguished Citizen Dinner was held this evening at the Knoxville Convention Center and Randy Boyd, former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, business leader, education advocate and philanthropist, was honored.


The annual Distinguished Citizen dinner is a major event each year for the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves 10,000 youth in 21 East Tennessee Counties.


While the event has honored Governors, U.S. Senators, athletes and others, few if any honorees have been more engaged or impacted by Boy Scouts than Randy Boyd. Consider the following, in his own words:


The Scout Oath, Laws, Motto and Slogan still guide my life.  But, the code of the outdoors is one I reflect on most.  It says, “Leave every trail better than you found it” and as I taught dozens of Scouts for many years, this is not just what it means literally, but it is a metaphor for life.  Wherever you are and whatever you do, leave that place better than you found it.

I was first a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout.  My second Scoutmaster, Mr. Gillenwater, allowed me as Senior Patrol Leader to frequently lead our Troop, providing me a foundational experience in leadership. I am grateful to Scoutmaster Gillenwater for that experience. Scouting also developed a love of the outdoors and I am still my happiest hiking, camping and experiencing any outdoor adventure.

When my oldest son Thomas turned seven, I volunteered to be his Den Leader, but at that time I was in middle of a stressful time starting and growing my business, so I only committed to one year.  That began a 17-year journey as a “sleep on the ground” Scout.

I was Thomas’ Den Leader for 5 years. Later, along with some other dads, I helped start Pack 757 and become the Den Leader for my younger son Harrison. When it was time for them to join Boy Scouts, we started Troop 757 and I became its first Scoutmaster for 7 years.  I also began serving on the Council as a Board member about that time. 

Only two in 100 Scouts go from Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout, but I am very proud to say of the ten Tiger Cubs I was Den Leader for, 8 of them became Eagle Scouts including my son Harrison.


Boyd also served as the Great Smoky Mountain Council President for two years.