Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes

Boy Scouts see local revitalization happing


November 15, 2018

The local Boy Scouts troop, Troop No. 5053, has been inactive for a couple years, but in recent months there has been a revitalization happening with the service organization.

Pastor Chuck Cooper, the institutional representative said the Community Federated Church has sponsored Scouting since the 1950’s as the charter organization. Scoutmaster Ana Mosser noted the troop is one of the oldest in the state.

Cooper noted Scoutmaster John Gibbel chose to leave the position a couple years back so the troop became inactive. Cooper noted Gibbel and his wife came to him about eight years ago when it had previously been inactive and got the troop going back then.

“Scouting really depends on volunteer leadership,” Cooper said, “so sometimes it’s difficult to find people. It takes time and effort to lead. I really appreciate Ana coming forward.” Along with Mosser, Jackie Dorothy will be helping out as the Cubmaster for the Cub Scout den. It’s important to have the Cub Scouts program, Cooper said, as they are the feeder group for Boy Scouts.

Mosser added the Boys Scouts will be working directly with the Cubs, as the older youth are a role model for the younger.

In this revitalization, Mosser said the scouts have been doing a lot of community service, particularly with the Red Dirt Master Gardeners and the Friends of the Library, and they are looking to revive the Color Guard for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

A big part of the Scouts program is earning merit badges, and helping with this part is Merit Badge Counselor Jeryl Tippets. There are 150 merit badges, he explained, and not everyone can be proficient in all of them. However, he is proficient in several of them and he finds people who have proficiency in other areas to help out. “To be an Eagle Scout,” he noted, “they have to have 21 merit badges, so you can see there’s lots of opportunity and challenges.” He will also be finding the right people according to a given scouts interest to set up a community project, another requirement to make Eagle Scout.

Tippets said there are many times he’s visited with Scouts who have mentioned they were inspired into their careers by merit badges. “That’s exactly what a merit badge is. It’s an opportunity to explore.”

This upcoming weekend, Nov. 17 and 18, will see the Scouts on a camping trip in Wind River Canyon. Mosser said they are not going far away as the experience of the boys is unknown. “We just want them to be exposed to what we do, and I think that’s a good place to teach them, without being in a building, about what Boy Scouts is all about.”

With regard to the benefits of being a Scout, Mosser said there are scholarships one can apply for. For those who join the military, they will be a Private rather than a Buck Private, as the military recognizes the training one might receive in the Scouts program.

There are also plenty of stories of heroic acts performed by Scouts, Mosser noted, and the program can gives them the confidence to handle dangerous situations knowing they will be safe and lead others to safety.

Through the Scouts program, Mosser said the youth do a lot of work on the local level but also prepare to use those skills on a global level. Tippets said the program also helps them learn to be of service, and Mosser said moral values are developed.

The local troop does fundraising activities, Mosser said, and does not receive monies from any type of foundation, though the Community Church helps out when possible. One of the most recent fundraisers was popcorn, with deliveries expected this week.

The regular scout meetings are Sundays at 6 p.m. at the Community Federated Church Community Hall. Though sponsored by the Community Church, Cooper pointed out the troop is nondenominational. Those who are interested in learning more about the program are invited to the Court of Honor on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Community Hall, where the boys will be recognized for their advancements. Tippets said the court provides opportunity for the boys to talk about what they’re doing and show their skills, and for interested parents to ask any questions.


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