Remembering Kent Clayburn, devoted advocate for international Scouting

Kent Clayburn

Originally Published at: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org

Kent Clayburn, a devoted Scouter whose visionary leadership as the BSA’s international commissioner established valuable connections around the world, died on July 20 after a seven-year battle with cancer.

Clayburn, an Eagle Scout, spent more than 50 years in service of Scouting — much of it while representing the Boy Scouts of America on the world stage.

As international commissioner and a member of the BSA’s international committee, Clayburn traveled the world, visiting more than 50 countries to see how they put their unique fingerprints on the Scouting movement he loved so much.

At each stop, Clayburn strengthened the BSA’s connections with other national Scouting organizations and the World Organization of the Scout Movement, using his professional skills as a financial manager to make decisions that were both Scout-focused and fiscally responsible.

He was also instrumental in adding youth positions to the BSA’s international committee — ensuring that young people had a literal seat at the table.

Friends and Scouting colleagues say Clayburn was uniquely suited for these prominent roles because of his optimistic spirit.

“Everyone liked Kent because he made a difference,” says BSA National Chair Dan Ownby. “He was always fun to be with — even when you had to discuss difficult issues.”

BSA National Commissioner Scott Sorrels says Clayburn’s relentless positivity could best be summarized by the three words that became his catch phrase: “It’s all good.”

“Kent will be long remembered for his kind soul and incredibly positive approach to his Scouting adventures,” Sorrels says. “I am blessed to have hiked the Scouting trail with him.”

While Clayburn cared more about building personal connections than receiving awards, his Scouting service was recognized with regularity.

In 2009, Clayburn received the Silver Buffalo Award, the BSA’s top honor for volunteers. In 2017, he was given the Bronze Wolf Award, World Scouting’s highest recognition. And in a virtual ceremony held earlier this year, Clayburn received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, which recognizes Eagle Scouts who have reached extraordinary national-level recognition.

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