Boy Scouts of Amer­ica cel­e­brates cen­ten­nial

Lo­cal scouts carry out cer­e­mony on Cov­ing­ton square

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Jenny Thompson

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.”

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