I've just gotten home from the annual lunch meeting provided by F&M Bank to raise funds for continuation of the Boy Scouting program here in Washington. The speaker for the program was Lee Hutto, new athletic director of Washington-Wilkes High School. Lee said that he had grown up in a one-parent home and had never had the opportunity to be a Scout, but that after study he has found that his field, athletics, and Scouting both attempt to instill in its youth a high moral character and the ability to make right decisions about their lives. In a printed program the Friends of Scouting noted that they are the largest source of funds for Scouting, 30%.
The Boy Scouts program has occupied a large place in both my father's and/or my life for the last 100 years. I understand that Daddy was a Scout and that he was Scoutmaster of Troop 34 and was involved with construction of the Scout Hut in 1930.
Daddy took me to Scout meetings occasionally in the early 30s, and I met the Scouts and climbed the ladder to the loft area. By 1936, when I became old enough to be a Scout, I was thoroughly imbued with Scouting. I eventually became a so-so Scout, Second Class, but I remained in the troop as a patrol leader until I was 16. I remember earning enough money, $1.65, by delivering Octagon Soap circulars over town to buy enough culled lumber to build a patrol room in the loft area of the Scout Hut.
About 1952, when I was working for my National Guard unit, I was persuaded to be the Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 34 to help my friend James Blackmon. After a few months James became an Explorer Advisor and I inherited the troop. This turned out to be one of the bright spots of my life. The boys in the troop became my closest friends.