Local man celebrates 35 years in Scouting
By Henry Fairley IV
For the Salisbury Post
James K. Denaux, a distinguished adult Scouting volunteer, has been a leader for more than 35 years.
Denaux’s adventure began in 1938, when he was 12 years old. He had joined a local troop sponsored by a church in his neighborhood, but the troop fell apart due to a lack of boys. He then joined a troop started by one of his neighbors and they met in his basement every week.
The years would roll by and Denaux stayed in Scouting until he graduated from high school. He then went to a trade school and became a radiology technician. He joined the North Carolina National Guard and worked at local hospitals around the state. Eventually, he would get back into Scouting.
In 1971, Denaux’s son, Charles, joined Troop 401, sponsored by Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The Scoutmaster was Joe Palumbo and the troop needed an assistant. Denaux served in that position until 1974. During that time, he completed many training courses and enjoyed everything Scouting had to offer. He was beginning on a journey that would span the rest of his life as a dedicated Scouting leader.
The milestone for Denaux came in 1973, when he earned Scout Leaders Training Award and Scoutmasters Key. His next milestone came in 1974, when after many months of hard work, Denaux completed Wood Badge. Also, in 1974, Denaux succeeded Palumbo as Scoutmaster of Troop 401.
Due to Denaux’s dedication to the principles of Scouting and the fundamentals of camping in 1975, he was elected to the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society and Denaux became an Ordeal member. After a year of service to the order, in 1976, he became a Brotherhood member. Denaux participated in Scout Sunday and promoted Ad Altare Dei, the Catholic Boy Scout Youth Religious Award.
As a result, in 1981, the Bishop John F. Donoghue of Charlotte, presented him the St. George Emblem, which is given to adults who give outstanding service to Catholic Boy Scouts. Also in 1981, he attended the National Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Va.
Denaux continued to serve in the community and the local Order of the Arrow Lodge. In 1985, he received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor. It recognizes Arrowmen who have given exceptional service to the lodge and the community beyond the call of duty. In 1987, Denaux received the District Award of Merit, which recognizes individuals who render unselfish service to the district. The next year Denaux retired as Scoutmaster and became a Unit Commissioner.
After a year of exceptional service he received the Commissioner of the Year Award. Then in 1989, he received the Commissioner Arrowhead Award and received the Silver Beaver Award in 1990.
In 1992, Denaux became a member of the Rowan District Board of Review and would serve on it until 2000. In 1993, he attended the Central NC College of Commissioner Science. In 1995, after a lifetime of service to Order of the Arrow, he received the Founder’s Award. He also received the James West Fellowship Award.
After 35 years of service to Scouting, his fellow Troop mates at 401 decide to create an award in his honor, The James K Denaux Legacy Award. Denaux was one of Troop 401’s greatest Scoutmasters. He was Scoutmaster from 1974-1988 and in his time presented 12 Eagle Awards.
He continues to give unselfish service to Scouting, Troop 401 and to the Order of the Arrow.