Great Legacy of Scouting

One of my wonderful childhood memories occurred in Farragut State Park, Idaho, across the continent from my home in Huntsville, Alabama. During one of the large assemblies of the National Scout Jamboree, I had the privilege of meeting a woman named Olave St. Claire Baden-Powell, more commonly known as the Lady Baden-Powell. She was the widow of the famous founder of the Scouting movement, Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Amidst a sea of olive green uniforms adorned with colorful badges, she shook my hand in the traditional Scout manner and handed me a little green marble with a golden band that read, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It was a small gesture on her part, and even at her advanced age, she never tired of influencing young boys.

The Scouting movement has continued its tradition of shaping men and women into adult leaders of integrity for over 100 years. Popcorn and cookie sales aside, Scouting is still one of the finest organizations I have ever been associated with. The Eagle Scouts have risen to ranks of leadership that truly distinguish themselves: many corporate and institutional leaders, everyone who ever set foot on the moon, and even one U.S. president, to name a few. Although only 1 percent of U.S. men are Eagle Scouts, more than 6 percent of the 444 men in the 112th Congress earned the rank.

Shalimar UMC has its proud heritage of Scouting. During 52 years of chartering Troop 529, they have produced 61 Eagle scouts and have served more than 1,000 boys and young men. We also sponsor Venture Crew 529. This year, Boy Scouts of America changed its name to Scouting BSA and changed its chartering bylaws to allow all-girl troops. Shalimar UMC is now the proud sponsor of all-girl Troop 5529 (the number is not yet officially assigned). These girls and young women will have the opportunity to participate in the same outdoor activities, work for the same merit badges, and attain the same ranks as the boys' troop. Additionally, we have just assumed sponsorship of the Longwood Elementary School Cub Scout pack, and they will be meeting at our Scout Hut as well. This rounds out our Scout sponsorship very well.

If you would like to find a place for your young man or lady, we would love for them to join us. I hope it is as formative for them as it has been for me.
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Brian Dale

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