Scouts honor: Troop 349 plans reunion

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó Come June 7, oodles of former Boy Scouts ó now all grown up ó will be returning to Central United Methodist Church for a reunion.
The date marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of Boy Scout Troop 349. Over the years, more than 500 boys have been troop members. A total of 54 have gone so far as to earn their Eagle Scout awards.
Regardless of their final rank or the amount of time they spent as troop members, they’re all invited back for the reunion.
“It’s the first time we’ve tried something on this scale,” said Steve Miller, Troop 349’s scoutmaster for the past 20 years.
The reunion is being held on a Sunday morning as part of Central United Methodist’s weekly service. It begins at 11 a.m. and will include a number of former Scouts talking about their days as troop members.
Following the worship service, former and present Scouts and their families, as well as other members of the church’s congregation, will have a covered dish lunch. When that’s done, they’ll drive to the troop’s Scout hut off East Ridge Road for a dedication.
Miller was a troop member when he was growing up.
“We’ve always been active,” he said. “We try to stay active for the boys.”
Miller said there are 19 boys on Troop 349’s current roster. The Scouts meet at the church at 7 p.m. on Mondays.
Miller said the troop has over the years helped Central United Methodist, with many Scouts remaining as church members long after their days as Boy Scouts are done.
In a similar sense, Miller said the church has always wholeheartedly supported the Scouts.
Jody Everhart, Spencer’s mayor, grew up as a member of Troop 349, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He said the reunion will serve in part to honor Tom Gemayel, the troop’s longtime Scout master.
Everhart said the success of Troop 349 can be evidenced by the successes of its former members.
“We’ve got doctors, judges, people from all walks of life,” Everhart said of that group of alumni.