After family and church, Scouting was the most significant influence in my young life. Forty years ago today I received the rank of Eagle Scout.
I am grateful to my Dad, who encouraged me to join Troop 339, sponsored by his church in Smyrna, Tennessee. In 1974, I moved to Troop 120 in McMinnville, Tennessee. One of Scouting’s primary purposes, Dad said, was to teach young men wilderness survival skills.
My Scoutmasters – Mr. Craig, Mr. Justice, and Mr. Van Cleve – led by example, and held me to high standards. They made a lasting investment in my life.
I no longer have any formal association with Scouting. In 1973, my troop shared the same commitment to my moral and spiritual development as my church and home. They worked in partnership. Throughout my life, I will be indebted to the Scouting I knew.