Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Manuel 'Manny' Ortiz

Honored October, 2006

Manuel 'Manny' B. Ortiz

In his youth, Manuel B. Ortiz never participated in Boy Scouting. In fact, he remained unacquainted with it until February 1999, nine months before his retirement from the accounting and auditing section of the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Only then, in order to help provide a father figure for two young sons of a woman friend, did he become involved in Scouting. Yet by now, just seven years later, he has been given the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor that the Boy Scouts of America can bestow.

Along the way, Manny (as he prefers to be called by everyone, including the boys with whom he works), has led more than 40 of his young charges to the highest level of attainment that the Scout program has for its members: the rank of Eagle Scout. To earn this distinction, a Boy Scout must earn 21 merit badges in different career and hobby areas that prepare him for adulthood and aid the community as well. "Eagle Scouts do more for their communities by age 18 than most people do in their whole lives," says a fellow local Scout leader. Statistically, not one Scout in 100 achieves this mark--making Manny's accomplishment all the more remarkable.