Community Encouraged To Back Scout Program

Early Troop 14 Patch from the collection of former Scoutmaster Jack Gurner Sr.

Chicksa District Scout Executive John Paul Nix (left) presented Eddie Ray (center) and Bill Taylor with charters for the Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack.

Brian Steger, Scout Executive for the Yocona Area Council, speaks to the Rotary Club about the Boy Scouts returning to Water Valley. On the left is Chicksa District Chairman John Marshall Alexander and in the center is Chicksa District Executive John Paul Nix. – Photos by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner
Reporter

WATER VALLEY – The Boy Scouts are returning to the city on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Scouting movement in America.

“What better place to have scouting than Water Valley,” said Chicksa District Executive John Paul Nix citing the population size and the heritage of Scouting in Water Valley.

Nix was one of three Boy Scout leaders who spoke at the Tuesday, Nov. 3 meeting of the Rotary Club. Also on hand were Chicksa District Chairman John Marshall Alexander and Scout Executive Brian Steger of the Yocona Area Council.

Nix told the Rotarians that 32 young boys and men were already engaged in the Scout Troop and the Cub Scout Pack.

“We need the community behind the Scouts,?? Nix emphasized. “We’re got some excited kids who are loving what they get to do. And, we’ve got some really happy parents who can see that this program is going to take their boy somewhere.”

Sports An Issue

Nix said that sports are an issue for some parents. “It’s understood that Scouts need to play sports, too. So we work around that.”

Scout Executive Steger told Rotarians that he worked with a Tupelo troop in the 1960’s and 1970’s whose members had to work out and train just to compete with Water Valley’s Troop 14 at summer camp. “Apparently y’all had some real athletes down here.”

He added that 2010 is probably going to be the most exciting time in the history of the Boy Scouts. “Not much has changed in our program in regard to character development. But, there are a lot of things we’ve done to keep current with the times and keep our young people engaged.

Chicksa Chairman Alexander agreed that scouting has kept up with the times. “But, one of the things it has not done is too turn its back on its bedrock principals. You can be proud of the Boy Scouts. They have been under attack and they have fought and won on the things that are really important.”

Alexander said that most of what boys need they are going to get at home, church and at school. “What the Scouts can do is add to that to make a well-rounded boy. Basically what the Boys Scouts are doing is turning boys into men. Men of character like you need here in your community.”

At the end of the program, Nix presented Eddie Ray, Scout Committee Chairman for the First Methodist Church, and Bill Taylor, Committee Member, with the charters for Boy Scout Troop 14 and the Cub Scout Pack.

To be a member of either group, all a boy has to do is show up for a meeting. “We’ll get them going,” Nix said.

The Cub Scouts meet at 6 p.m. and the Boy Scouts meet at 7 p.m. every other Thursday in the Wesley Building at First Methodist Church. For current information about the meetings, call the Church office at 473- 2682.

For information about the Scouting program, contact Chicksa Executive Nix at (662) 202-6787 or email: johnnix@bsamail.org. The Yocona Area Council web page is www.yocona.org.

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Boy Scout History

The Scouting Movement Comes To Mississippi


The Boy Scout movement came to American in 1910 from England. In 1911, the first troop in North Mississippi was formed in Tupelo. Water Valley is known to have had a troop as early as 1924 when the late Dr. W. A. Spearman of Oxford was a member.

Yalobusha County would become one of the twelve counties that make up the Yocona Area Council in 1926. A meeting of delegates from the northeast Mississippi counties was held that May in Tupelo. Water Valley delegate F. D. DeShon was elected council treasurer. F. B. Tatum was elected vice president for Yalobusha County.

According to records in the council office in Tupelo, Water Valley Troops 13 and 14 were chartered in April of 1927.

Troop 13 was sponsored by the First Baptist Church, J. G. Lott, Pastor. The troop committee consisted of Chairman H. B. Carr who was a conductor for the ICRR. Other members were Chancery Clerk W. B. Hunter and J. A. Pippin who was manager of the bottling works. Scoutmaster was local dentist Dr. W. A. Spearman and his assistants were J. T. Eldreige, a lineman for the ICRR, Charles R. Redish, pipe fitter, and E. Earl Bell, student.

The first troop roster listed 39 scouts as members. Also listed were the ages and rank of the scouts. Most of the youngsters either had no rank or were listed as Tenderfoot. However, Grady Butler was shown as a First Class Scout.

    Troop 14 was sponsored by the First Methodist Church, Carrall Varner, Pastor. The troop committee consisted of Chairman G. W. Butler, ICRR shop foreman, B. C. McCullar, salesman, W. C. Mauldin, ICRR accountant, K. R. Sissell, wholesale merchant, and J. H. Watson, salesman.

The Scout-master was William Jackson (Jack) Lamb. According to the record, Mr. Lamb was a 30 years old Methodist who was not married and operated a dry cleaning business.

Assistant Scoutmaster was Lloyd Allen Doyle, age 24, who also was a Methodist, not married, and chief time-keeper for the ICRR.

The original troop roster listed 22 boys with 14 more added during the fall. Also, Fred A. Kendrick took over the position of Scoutmaster sometime before October of that year. Several of the boys were shown as Star Scouts with one, Bill Trusty, holding the rank of Life Scout.


Troop 250 Formed In 1956


The first black Scout Troop in Water Valley was organized in the fall of 1956. Troop 250 was sponsored by Davidson High School.

The Troop committee was Chairman John H. Dowsing, Willie Joseph, John D. Campbell, Standford Martin, and E. C. Davidson. Scoutmaster was Walter E. Henderson and Explorer Advisor was Hulley Tolliver. Assistant Scoutmasters were Harry Campbell and Joe W. Hawkins.

The first troop roster listed 36 Scouts. There were also 24 Explorers. (Note: The names were originally had written and hard to read. Some may not be spelled correctly.)

Most of the youngsters either had no rank or were listed as Tenderfoot.

The Troop 250 roster: Miller Blackstorm, David Bland, Koneal Burley, Emmitte Booke, Scott Burns, Rufard Crawford, Bobby Campbell, Lahon Gillard, Lodies Gillard Jr., B. Gland, William Gland, Jimmy Gooch, Roy Harvey, Harry Harvey, Lauone Harvey, Mose Henderson,

Jessie Hawkins, Freddie Hervey, Elam Hudson, Willie C. Johnson, Eugene Joseph, Robert Joseph, Williams Lester, Bobby Mays, Larry Miller, Leo Moore, C. Willie Polk, Terry Riley, James Robinson, Shadwick Daniels, Robert Tyler, Charles Turner, Obie Tyler, William H. White, Alvin Woodland, and Willie Wright.

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