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Scouts steal show at Friends of Scouting event (with video)

By Jared Felkins jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Mar 2, 2015 at 2:13 PM

Wilson County Boy Scouts were center stage Thursday and captured the spotlight at the Friends of Scouting Luncheon at The Mill in Lebanon. 

More than 100 Wilson County Boy Scouts supporters turned out for the annual fundraiser for the Walton Trail group. At the end of the luncheon, Friends of Scouting chairman Chris Crowell announced the final tally of $43,435 in pledges from the slightly sluggish crowd due to the ice and snow that forced the event to be rescheduled from a week prior. The amount was more than a $10,000 increase compared to last year’s pledges, and all of it will go toward scouting in Wilson County, Crowell said. 

“Today is a great day for scouting in Wilson County,” said Walton Trail District chairman Pete Williston. 

Williston gave some highlights from 2014 that included 812 youth served, 350 adult volunteers, 12 Cub Scout packs, 12 Boy Scout troops, three Venture crews, one Sea Scout ship and two Explorer posts. He said 14 boys achieved Eagle Scout and one achieved the quartermaster rank. Wilson County scouts put in more than 4,000 community service hours in 2014 with 145 Cub Scouts at day camp, 48 Cub and Webelos scouts at resident camp, 118 Boy Scouts at summer camp and 51 Boy Scouts at winter camp. 

In a somewhat different twist compared to past scouting luncheons that featured speakers such as Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the scouts themselves took the spotlight in several ways. 

Guests watched a video testimonial put together by Troop 643 out of Lebanon First United Methodist Church, David Ludwikowski and Heather Bay. Crowell serves as scoutmaster of the troop. 

Kyler Hankins, who became an Eagle Scout last year, talked about his community service project of renovating a playground that had washed away at Friendship Christian School. He then turned the podium over to Chad York, who joined his fellow Webelos at Southside Elementary School in logging 200 community service hours. 

From start to finish Thursday, scouts did everything from the posting of colors by Troop 246 out of Cooks United Methodist Church to thanking guests as they left the luncheon. Cub Scout Joshua Floyd from Pack 13 at Carroll Oakland Elementary School blessed the food, and several scouts joined together to talk about their scouting experiences as the keynote speakers for the day. 

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