By Beverly Keller
A pillar of Boy Scout Troop 91 can be found in Jim Jones.
Last week, the group held a Court of Honor to bestow awards on members of the troop, honor Jim Jones and pass the leadership of the group on to Scoutmaster Mike Hershberger.
For chairman of the Board that helps support the work of the local troop, John Meek, the ceremony was a long time coming. “A few years ago we found that we were in big need of items,” he explained. “We learned we needed work at the cabin and the trailer had needs as well. Over the past year and a half, we have worked and things are coming together.”
Fundraisers and a public ask for help resulted in supplies, work, and funds to make things happen. The first project to tackle was the cabin itself. “It was in bad shape,” noted Mike Hershberger. “A big thank you to everyone who donated. There was a lot of time, money and items that went into fixing up the cabin.”
The mold in the ceiling was removed and the ceiling replaced as needed. In addition, the electric was completely overhauled. While there is still some work needed with the chimney and some areas of the floor, the cabin itself is much improved. “It is very usable now and safe,” Hershberger shared.
After honoring a host of donors, the newly renovated space was dedicated in honor of someone who has never let Troop 91 down – Jim Jones.
Jones shared his history with scouting that including being a Scout First Class as a youth. “About 25 years later, my son was in the scout troop and he came home one night after scout meeting and said, ‘Dad, our Scoutmaster is moving and if we don’t have a new Scoutmaster, there won’t be anymore Scouts.’”
And it was then and there that Jones decided to step up and answer the call. “Over the years I thought that some day I would like to give back for what scouting was for me as a boy,” Jones explained of the way he became Scoutmaster to Troop 91, a group he stills serves as part of today.
A meeting was held and Jones became the Scoutmaster. “I’m willing to give it a try if I can get some help,” he explained. People stepped up and the group continued.
“I have never regretted the time spent,” Jones shared. “I apologized to my family for being away part of the time instead of spending time with them but I was fortunate to have some of my family as scouts, either son or grandsons and I appreciate the time I could spend with them.”
Jones went on to share wisdom with the leaders of Troop 91. “I know you will never regret the extra time they spend with their boys while they are in the scouting program,” he said.
He also put out a challenge to boys present at the meeting. “When you get through your scouting, don’t forget to come back and give back again,” Jones challenged.
Also, during the Court of Honor, a new leader was placed at the helm of Troop 91, replacing Pam Wood.
Meek administered the oath of office to new Scoutmaster Mike Hershberger. Also taking part in the ceremony was Randy Immel who represented the Garaway Lions, the local group that is responsible for the charter of the Boy Scouts.
Wood was honored for her tireless work with boys in the troop that ranged from simple encouragement to helping each find their place. She was praised for her welcoming nature. “I want to say thank you for the past four years,” she shared. “It has been a blessing for me to know you. Keep up the good work you are doing. And remember that Eagle is not all that this is about. It is a journey.”
Wood’s husband, Chuck, was also honored for being an incredible supporting part of Troop 91. He noted that he believes his wife is leaving big shoes to fill.
Stepping up to the challenge, Hershberger is excited to serve. The role will allow him to advise, assist and coach members of the troop.
Merit badges were distributed to boys who earned them, as follows:
Jake Braun – kayak, camping, emergency preparedness
Gannon Baker – geocaching, rifle shooting, first aide
Gary Gaither – fire safety, camping, emergency preparedness, geocaching
Javen Hershberger – geocaching, rifle shooting, first aide
Collin McRobie – astronomy, emergency preparedness, wilderness survival
Caleb Meek – camping, kayaking, emergency preparedness
Kyle Ison – basketry, scouting heritage, finger printing
Emmet Windle – finger printing, scouting heritage, basketry
Aeden Miller – scouting heritage, search and rescue
Sam Wood – citizen (world), family life, citizen (local), personal fitness, personal management
Mikey Blauch – camping, cooking
Awards for both Wood and Blauch were part of their Eagle Scout achievements.
Scouts who ranked up included: Kyle Ison, Collin McRobie, Gannon Baker.
Miller, Ison and Windle were honored as first year scouts with a special FROG patch for their uniforms.
Members of the committee include: Meek, Hershberger, Jones, Mark Braun, Annette Braun, Richard Honaker, Jonathan Baker, and Nathan Ison.
The newly-renovated cabin located next to the Garaway baseball field was on display following the Court of Honor. In addition, the trailer was on site. It was noted that plans call for the building and installation of shelving in the trailer in the near future.
This story originally appeared in the September 5, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.