Scouts honored as Sapona District holds its centennial banquet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

Sapona District recently celebrated its 100th anniversary of Scouting in Rowan County at its annual leadership awards banquet, held at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Granite Quarry.

More than 90 guests attended and the master of ceremonies was Tom Duncan, district chairman.

Distinguished Scouter Jack Kepley offered a history of Rowan Scouting and his personal reflections.

Henry Fairley IV, also an Eagle Scout, provided a history of Rowan County Eagle Scouts presentation.

Scouting came to Salisbury two years after World War I under the inspiration and work of T.B. Marsh Jr., who organized eight troops and established a Scout Council between 1920-22. Rowan became a member of the Uwharrie Council in 1924 and continued to 1965. The area that would become Rowan District BSA was formed when Ross W. Garrison came to Salisbury. He was one of North Carolina’s pioneer Scouters and organized Troop 44 at First Presbyterian Church, the first Scout Troop in Salisbury. He was the Central NC Council’s first Silver Beaver in 1935.

Rowan (now Sapona) District has been in the Central NC Council since 1966 and is still a member today.  Since 1929, over 1,912 have achieved the Eagle Scout rank in Rowan County.

The event was sponsored and made possible by the Friends of Sapona, Hap Roberts and Statewide Title, Inc; Dave Loflin and  Thread Shed Uniforms, John Welch and Reliable Fencing, Donald Clement III and Salisbury Motor Company, Jay Whittington,  In Honor of Jack Kepley,  Rick and Blair McCombs, Dr. Mitch Siegel, DDS, and Michael and Denise Hallett. Silver Level were Dyke Messinger, George Wilhelm (1973 Troop 351 Eagle Scout) and Dan Waggoner, (1975 Troop 443 Eagle Scout). Platinum Eagle was Gordon Hurley.

Special centennial plaques were made by Tammy Peeler and the Plaque Patches were provided by Richard Shields of The Carolina Trader.

Special Eagle Scout recognitions were provided by the Sons of American Revolution Salisbury Chapter, Frank Merrell and Salisbury Elks Lodge No. 699, Archie Blythe The Exalted Ruler and Brian Gumeil.

The following 2020 and 2021 Eagle Scouts were honored:

Troop 301-Ward Bond; Troop 308-Daniel Pence; Troop 315-Ayden Basinger, Joseph Menius, Cody Moore, Richard Musselwhite, Jesse Phillips, Christopher Stowe; Troop 317-Shawn Guimond;

Troop 320-Alexander Powers; Troop 324-Layton Barber, Dylan Harrington; Troop 328-Isaiah Beaver,  Landan Beaver, Jonathan Bost, Nicolas Mault; Girl Troop 4328- Salem Fleming;

Troop 333-Tristan Tidwell, Greyson Trexler; Troop 351- Michael Lowry Jr, Ormand Neely;

Troop 375-Grayson Burke, Anderson Moore, Nathaniel Overcash, Graham Yarbrough;

Troop 442-Khai Huynh; Troop 443- Ryan Brady, Miles Lester, Samuel Lisenby, Evan Miller, George Miller, Patrick Rattz, Christian Stebe; Girl Troop 4443- Cyprus Jones;

Troop 448-Alexander Maggard, Samuel Pepper; Troop 476-Austin Parker   The following leaders were presented with Service Awards:

Wolf Den Leader of the Year – Jonathan Williams, Pack 443

Bear Den Leader of the Year – Alana Rathbun Pack 443

Webelos Den Leader of the Year – Jim Shepherd Pack 306

Arrow of Light Leader  of the Year – Eric Ryerson, Pack 443

Cubmaster of the Year – Luther Lyerly Pack 306

Scoutmaster of the Year – Garrett Frick, Troop 324

Unit Committee Member of the Year- Carolyn Rios, Pack 443

District Scouter of the Year – Scarlett Fleming, Scoutmaster, Troop 4328

Distict Award of Merit : Carrie Hendrix Pack 351 and Walter Ryerson, Crew 443

Henry Fairley IV presented the Special Centennial Awards, which included the following:

Oldest Boy Scout Troops

• Troop 443, St. John’s Lutheran Church – Started 1925, 167 Eagle Scouts (with EP and GT 4443)

•Troop 448, Coburn UMC – Started 1932, 146 Eagle Scouts

•Troop 442, First UMC Church Salisbury – Started 1935, 119 Eagle Scouts (with EP 442)

• Troop 379, Shiloh UMC Originally – Started 1940, 70 Eagle Scouts

Troop with most Eagle Scouts

Troop 443 with 167 (including Explorer Post and Girl Troop 4443)

Troop with the most Eagle Scouts in one year

Troop 315 Grace Lutheran Church, 11 Eagles in 1971

Oldest Cub Scout Pack

• Pack 443, St John’s Lutheran Church, Started 1933

• Pack 448, Coburn UMC, Started 1956

Original Troops from 1922, under Direct Service Scouting

  Troop 442 was Troop 6 in 1922

  Troop 443 was Troop 8 in 1922 

First Female Eagle Scout

Cyprus M Jones, Troop 4443, Eagle Scout No. 1888 with 150.5 project hours

1,900th Eagle Scout

Salem Fleming Troop 4328 with  64 project hours

Sapona Centennial Service Award

Jack Kepley, Troop 448, 84 years of service

George Wilhelm who had stepped down as district chairman, was presented with a special service plaque for his tenure. 

Coming up soon is the Convocation of Eagles and Silver Beaver Banquet, Saturday March 26 at Benton’s Crossroads Baptist Church in Monroe.

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