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The following is from a clipping in a newspaper long ago:


Dodge City, Kan...March 7

Prentiss Corey of Dodge City, established what may be a national record for Boy Scouts of America in semaphore or general service code signalling when he sent 190 letters in a five minute period in a special test. The present national record, as far as known, is 150 letters, during five minutes, held by a New York City Boy Scout. Corey is a member of one of the

Kiwanis club troops here.


Prentiss (Samuel P. Cory) was my dad. He was born in 1909 and the clipping did not include a year in the date. I don't know what the age for boy scouts was at that time so I don't even have a ballpark idea as to when he might have made his try for the record. I went into scouting myself but don't remember quizzing dad on the article. What I am interested in is whether or not records of that sort still exist. If so, where would I enquire about the record? Ultimately, I'd like to find out whether or not he held the record and, if so, if it still stands.

I have a grandson that just finished Tiger Cubs and I would like to pass the clipping, his great-grandad's picture as a boy scout and anything else about the possible record. Can anyone get me started on the quest?

Samuel J. Cory

Eagle, Ad Altare Dei, OA Brotherhood

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Talk about a lost art. Knowing the flag alphabet and being able to send and receive a message was still a requirement when I was a scout. I don't know when it was dropped. Probably about the same time that morse code was dropped.


I don't know anything about records on this, and can't help you there. My dad probably knew your dad. My father was born in Great Bend, KS and spent most of years as a youth in Dodge City.

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Semaphore is an important skill but I'd be willing to bet that it was dropped because it is "too hard" and you can't become proficient in a day at summer camp. The same goes for Morse Code.


Some will argue that neither is relevant in today's world but neither is lighting a fire with one match.

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I think it is so cool that you want to document that history for your grandson!


It is conceivable that the council has some record of the event. More likely, some scouter or some troop has a history that may contain some information. Try starting with the council that serves the Dodge City area. That would be the Santa Fe Trail council. They have a website: http://www.sftcbsa.org . Dodge City has at least three troops: 165, 167, and 168. The council could tell you how to contact the Scoutmaster.


Good luck.



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