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Calhoun County Boy Scouts held activities in February to celebrate the 100th birthday of Boy Scouts of America.

 

Thousands of boys have joined Boy Scouts in West Virginia in the past 100 years. Participating in Boy Scouts is a way for youths to better themselves while serving the community and having fun. The purpose of Scouting is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

 

Founded by Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, Scouting began in England in 1907. His book, “Scouting for Boys,” appealed to boys, and the Scouting program spread around the world. It is the largest voluntary youth movement in the world, with a membership of more than 25 million.

 

We found a poem in our files that was written by Jean Wilson in honor of Harry Holliday, a long-time leader of Calhoun Scouts. Although it is about Harry, it really pays tribute to the leaders through the years. They did not give up on the boys, watching with pride as they matured into men who served our God, country, state, communities and families.

THE UNIFORM

There was a bit of ache in the bones

A touch of dimness in the eyes

That had watched a fifty year parade

Of brown clad boys.

It was a firm hand, though

That buttoned the shirt of his Scout uniform.

It was important to the boys

That he look just right.

As he bent to brush dust from a shoe

A whirl of dizziness straightened him.

Thankfully he could still raise shoe to chair

To make things right.

Hat slanted properly on thinning hair,

Belt in place around a wire thin waist,

Where was his flesh disappearing to?

Never mind, he was ready.

“Good evening, sir,” they yelled (politely)

As they racketed noisily to their seats

Seeing, yet not even knowing they saw,

The uniform he wore.

Seeing on a deeper level

Than even clear eyes could see

The uniform that could not be taken off

Or put back on.

Made from the fabric of reverence, courage,

Loyalty, bravery, helpfulness, cheerfulness,

Woven into the deepest core of him

Yet clear to them.

Until these words, given life by him

Were woven into a thread strong enough

To be used by each boy to fashion

A uniform of his own.

John Holliday, son of Harry (and Kate), passed on a few memories of his father’s tenure as a leader of Boy Scouts.

 

Harry, Rymer Law and Grant Beckner were the leaders of Troop 85, organized about 1945. Calhoun County Bank let them use a “black hole” in their basement. The boys cleaned the room and put in light bulbs to make their own retreat.

 

John also told of the troop camping at Kootaga and Camp Horseshoe. Harry put side boards on a flatbed oil field truck, loaded his boys, their packs, bed rolls, camp boxes . . . and off they went, over the winding roads of West Virginia.

 

Harry’s last stint as a leader was with Kitty Wilson. The Historical Society has home movies in their archives of Harry marching with “our boys.”

 

My prayer is that the present and future leaders will give their sons and their friends the opportunities that enriched their own lives, and are still available through the Scouting program.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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