Boy Scouts of America celebrates centennial
Local scouts carry out ceremony on Covington square
One hundred years ago today Robert Baden-Powell, author of a nonmilitary survivor skill book called “Scouting for Boys,” led a group of young boys to Brownsea Island off the English coast
“That was actually the beginning of Boy Scouting,” said Pack 4511 Cub Master Rick Gunter.
Boy Scouts of America Yellow River District Executive Kelley Meacham, involved in Scouts since 1956, said the 7 a.m. ceremony on the Covington Square before school this morning celebrates the hundredth anniversary of Scouting, which he describes as a once in a lifetime event.
“Today, all around the world scouts will celebrate the anniversary in their hometowns,” Meacham said.
The Brownsea Island campout marks the centennial of Scouting, although the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910 by William D. Boyce — a Chicago publisher.
America’s first Scout camp was organized with help from YMCA officer Ernest Thompson Seaton and Sons of Daniel Boone founder Daniel Carter Beard at Lake George, N. Y.
Scouts of all ages from Newton and Rockdale counties were invited to this morning’s ceremony, which included a flag ceremony, recital of the Cub Scout Pledge and the Boy Scout Oath, readings from BadenPowell and brief speeches from pack and troop leaders as well as long-time Scout supporter — Covington Mayor Sam Ramsey.
Ramsey joined the Scouts at the age of 11 and carries fond memories of the activities he participated in with other members of his troop.
“ I remember all the camping trips that we used to make back then,” Ramsey said. “ Our high school principal was Homer Sharp, and he used to go on many of the trips with us.”
Covington Troop 222 has honored Ramsey with a Silver Beaver Award, or the highest honor bestowed upon a registered adult leader.
He also volunteered at the district level in the late 60s — acting as district chairman for two years — and has sat on the Atlanta Area Council’s executive board for many years.
He said he thinks the Scouts are valuable to the community and the best social organization for young boys and men.
Local troops such as Oxford’s Troop 211 and Covington’s Troop 222 — celebrating its 70th anni- versary this year — have existed in the county for some time.
Meacham said Scouting is more than likely here to stay in Newton County because the organization fosters life- long membership.
“ Scouting teaches character development and personal, mental and physical fitness,” Meacham said, “ and duty to God and as well as a sense of community.”