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Utahn wins top Scouting award from AFL-CIO

D. Derke Mellen believes Scouting is a program that can bring success to men and boys, filling in the gaps to help youths get through tough times and strengthen leaders in their responsibilities.

A Scouter for 40 years, the Holladay resident was honored recently with the George Meany Award, a national Scouting honor given by AFL-CIO.Seldom presented, the award is named after the late George Meany, who was president of the labor organization.

A driver for Consolidated Freightways and a member of Teamsters Local 222, Mellen is assistant Millcreek District commissioner in the Great Salt Lake Council, Boy Scouts of America. He has been an assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity coach, Cub Scout leader, Blazer leader, committeeman for Jamboral and other events and a district committee trainer.

He is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, Scouters Key, District Award of Merit, Leadership Training Award and the Wood-badge.

In the union, Mellen has been an intermediary between company and union representatives, a member of the union defense fund, building-fund committee and the DRIVE committee, said Merlin Spencer, a business agent for Local 222. DRIVE stands for Democratic Republican Independent Voters Education.

Scout council spokesman Kay Godfrey paid tribute to Mellen's Scouting service. He said Mellen has "dedicated thousands of hours to the youth of his district. The Great Salt Lake Council appreciates the opportunity to recognize outstanding leaders such as Mr. Mellen."

Responding to the honor, Mellen said Scouting is a "very important program to teach boys the true values of life, along with the Scout motto, Scout slogan and Scout law."