Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 20, 2010

William Reid cannot remember the project he did when he earned his Eagle Scout ranking.

“I haven’t a clue,” said 64-year-old Reid, a volunteer with troop 115 of South Point.

But though the project may have slipped his mind, what he has not forgotten is what the scouting program has done for him.

Email newsletter signup

“I think it historically has been the best way of turning young boys into men,” Reid said.

Both Reid’s son and his father also earned an Eagle Scout ranking.

“I don’t think there was any question, there was no question that was a road I was going to go down and there was no question that was a road my son was going to go down,” Reid said.

This year, Reid and millions of others like him are celebrating a milestone for the Boy Scouts: the organization turned 100 years old Feb.8.

The program currently boasts nearly 3 million youth members and over 1 million adult members, according to statistics compiled in December 2009.

For Jake Cogan, also a member of troop 115, becoming a Boy Scout is “one of the best things that people ever do.”

Cogan started his scouting career as a first grader, when he joined with a couple of friends.

“I really enjoy the camping trips and the experience that everyone gets from it,” Cogan said. “Some people like shooting guns, I like the camping and setting up camps.”

After being in the program for a while, he decided to earn his Eagle Scout ranking. He said that to have not achieved Eagle Scout ranking would have been to waste his time.

“I didn’t want to waste that time and I wanted to be something that people look up to,” Cogan said.

For Charlie Hammonds, an assistant scout leader for Cub Scout pack 104, the Scouts are all about teaching values to young men.

“The less time on their hands the better kids are,” Hammonds said. “It’s teaching values and morals and that’s something we need real bad in this country today.”

Hammonds was a scout himself, as was his son. He currently volunteers with his grandson’s group.

Hammonds said one of the best parts of the program is camping.

“Kids from the city look forward to the camping,” he said. “We try to do a camp-out a least once a month because that’s what keeps them active and excited.”

Rick Payne is an assistant Scout leader with Troop 115.

“Scouting is a good opportunity for boys to mature and become leaders,” Payne said. “They learn so many skills, from first aid to life guarding to communications to actually being something like a mayor.

“They learn so many different skills and have many opportunities to progress as an adult.”

Payne also pointed out that the scouting program does not end when you turn 18.

“The Boy Scouts has a lot of adult leadership training classes,” Payne said. Payne has earned his Wood Badge, the most advanced training available for Scout leaders in the Boy Scouts.

Payne’s son Tyler A. Payne earned his Eagle Scout ranking in 2007 and is working toward his Quartermaster Award in the Sea Scouting program. The Sea Scouting program is a segment of the Venturing program for young men and women between eighth grade and the age of 21.

Payne said his favorite parts of the Boy Scouts are the adventures.

“It’s a great for someone in the fifth or sixth grade to get involved in,” he said. It’s a good educational learning experience. It teaches be how to be a better person.”

Both Cub Scout pack 104 and Boy Scout troop 115 say they always welcome new members.

“The troop is always looking for boys who are looking for adventure,” Reid said.

For more information about joining the Boy Scouts of America, contact the Simon Kenton Council of Boy Scouts of America at www.skcbsa.org.