Farewell Message from Troop 191 Scoutmaster

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It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Troop 191 will officially close at the end of 2016. Long time Scoutmaster Lawrence Smiley has written me the following letter. I found the letter to be heart-felt and impassioned, so it was worth sharing with you. Mr. Smiley’s list of activities was very creative and worth considering in your troop or crew.

It has been an honor and a privileged to serve Crossroads of America Council for over a quarter of a century as Troop 191’s founder and scoutmaster.  So many great memories of Christ-protected and guided high adventures:
  1. Riding the narrow gauge train from Durango, CO to gain access to The Chicago Basis [twice]
  2. Climbing Mt. Harvard [twice] and Columbia [once]
  3. Canoeing a 50 mile loop in the Boundary Waters [once]
  4. Sailing a homemade tri-hull in the Florida Keys under the command of Captain DeTurk [once]
  5. White water rafting the Missouri River near Buena Vista, CO [twice] and the New and Upper Gulley Rivers in West Virginia [twice]
  6. Shotgun Shooting at private farms in Indiana [most every year]
  7. Rappelling in Red River Forest east of Lexington, KY [most every year]
  8. Snow skiing at Swiss Valley in S. Michigan [most every year]
  9. Hiking sand dunes and swimming at Michigan Dunes State Park
  10. Canoeing the Blue, the Tippecanoe, The Wabash rivers in Indiana [most every year]
  11. Caving Small-Dull Cave near Bloomington or Marengo Cave [most every year]
  12. Water skiing at Lake Lemon [once]
  13. Paint balling on private property [most every year]
  14. Ransburg Summer Camp [every year!]
  15. Hiking the Lincoln Trail from New Salem to Springfield, IL [once]
  16. Biking to Mounds State Park from Hamilton SE High School [once]
  17. Touring the Air Force Museum in Dayton [once]
  18. North Star District Camporees [a few]
  19. And many more adventures that have faded from the corners of my mind!
  20. Weekly Thursday night meetings, way too many too count, where life skills, servant-leadership and character were taught along with earning rank and merit badges and having a ton of fun.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I close down Troop 191 with both the pride of accomplishment of mentoring tons of boys along their trail to manhood and the sadness of closing out a huge chapter in my life as a part of the Boy Scouts of America – from the age of 7 as a Cub Scout to the age of pushing 70 (June 23[]).

* * *
It has been a great ride and fantastic life adventure; and I depart with no regrets and many, many great memories!
Thank you Jeff [Heck] (and Jerry [Simon]), for your service to the Boy Scouts.  I wish you, The North Star District and the Crossroads of America Godspeed, as you continue serving the youth of Indianapolis.
Thank you to Lawrence Smiley and his dedicated staff for their efforts for the boys from Troop 191 at Church at the Crossing.
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