The annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) Aransas County Luncheon was held Wednesday, Feb. 5, at La Palma Event Center.
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst was the keynote speaker, Eagle Scout Reece Randall shared his Boy Scout experience, and Scout Executive & CEO, South Texas Council Martin Sepulveda talked about the state of Scouting. Former City of Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax served as emcee, and Cub Scout Pack 49 presented the colors.
Kolkhorst talked about the leaders in the community, many of who were in attendance, who provided leadership after Hurricane Harvey.
“As leaders, we constantly face adversity,” she said. “I don’t live here, but you’re part of me. I’ll always be with you, especially after Harvey.”
She noted full recovery after a major natural disaster is a long one (usually about 10 years), but Aransas County leadership is working to make the local recovery happen in six to seven years.
“All of Texas got to see the strength and character of Rockport-Fulton after Harvey,” said Kolkhorst.
She then talked about the different definitions she found for strength, and praised Boy Scouts for preparing young people to make moral and ethical decisions in their lives, through living the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Motto.
“If all our youth could have that instilled in them, imagine the world we’d live in,” said Kolkhorst. “If we can take the Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent) and instill it in our children, our world will be a much better place.”
She reflected on the actions of local leadership in the aftermath of Harvey, and how those actions ran parallel with the Scout Law.
Kolkhorst talked about her faith in God, and how she leans on the verse Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” – in her public and private life.
“Let there be no mistake the effect of light on a darkened place,” she said. “Don’t blame the darkness. Darkness does what it does. The only thing that replaces darkness is light.
“The qualities Boy Scouts instill are what can provide light in this world.
“It’s very common people doing their best and being rewarded by God.
“The best is yet to come, but only if there’s light.”
She praised the Boy Scouts for not being fearful of recognizing God and His role in the organization, and impact on individual Scouts.
Randall shared how his Scouting experience began when he saw a pamphlet in the second grade that said, “Join the Cub Scouts Today.”
He talked about his experiences rising in the ranks from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
He began his Boy Scout experience in Aransas Pass, but moved to Rockport Troop 49 after Harvey because the Aransas Pass Troop membership dwindled, and is no longer in existence.
“I came over here, started working with younger Scouts, and working on my Eagle project,” said Randall.
(Note: His Eagle project is a flag retirement pit located at the American Legion Post.)
“I’ve had so much fun (in Scouting), and that’s really the point,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Randall said his advice to boys thinking about joining the Scouts is to make it an experience.
“Don’t just be there,” he said.
Sepulveda noted the South Texas Council covers 17 counties involving more than 4,000 youth, including 86 Eagle Scouts, who have recorded thousands of community service hours.
“Scouting develops children into adults,” he said. “The outdoors is the great classroom.”
Wednesday’s event is one of many similar luncheons held around Feb. 8 – National Boy Scouts Day. That is the day American newspaperman William Dickson Boyce filed papers of incorporation, and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was born.
His admiration for the Boy Scouts began during a visit to London. Boyce became lost, and a Boy Scout came to his assistance. When he offered payment for the assistance, the Boy Scout refused, explaining it was a good deed.
Wednesday’s FOS luncheon, a primary fundraising event for the South Texas Council, BSA, as outlined by FOS Committee Chairman and Eagle Scout John Jackson, attracted a full room of local leaders and Scout supporters who made donation through their table sponsors.
If one would like to donate to Friends of Scouting, visit southtexasbsa.org/fos/.