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Scouting Mentor: James McKellar, 1909-1998

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I never knew of William Hillcourt growing up. Baden-Powell was the figurehead held up to us as Cubs and Scouts but most anything about him went in one ear and out the other of my self-centered teen-aged brain. Now the lives of Lord Baden-Powell and William Hillcourt are absolutely fascinating to me. Dedicating their lives to scouting, to the betterment of society from the ground up. There was a Scouter who had much the same brilliant impact on me as a Cub and then a Scout, and eventually sat across the table from me at my Eagle Board of Review. Jim McKellar, known to all in the local Scouting community as Grandpa Mac.

He dedicated himself to the Boy Scouts of America under Troop #1 of Cashmere from his twelfth birthday on April 15, 1921, to his death on January 3, 1998. During this time he was the First Eagle Scout of Troop 1 in Cashmere, WA in 1929 and went on to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting. He helped build the Cashmere Scout Building, established Scout Troops, trained Scoutmasters, and served on the board of Troop #1 for more than two decades. His writings have appeared in Boys Life and other well-known scouting magazines.

“Grandpa Mac” lived by the words that he carried on a card in his pocket: “A hundred years from now I will not matter what my bank account was, the cost of the house that I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but that the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” A Quote many of you will recognize from Forest Witcraft, another great Scouter. Well it's only 27 years since I earned my Eagle and only 20 years since Jim passed, but his examples still live on in my memories and my approach to Scouting.

Something else I recall about Grandpa Mac. If a Cub or Scout so much as looked in his direction at a meeting or jamboree, he would dole out this bit of string he kept in his pants-pocket and would give it a flick, tying it in a simple overhand knot with one hand. Then he would challenge the scouts to give it a try. Rarely would their whipping and slashing of the air produce much more than a gentle grin from Grandpa Mac. I've been practicing recently with a bit of paracord, still haven't managed it but a time or two...by accident.

Grandpa Mac1.jpg

Grandpa Mac2.jpg

Edited by RememberSchiff
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A very nice remembrance.  As we grow older, we tend to remember those that held us in their hearts, if only for a moment.

Concerning  that last remark, " Scouts get out of it what they put in to it. So put your whole self in and imagine the SELF that's going to come out. " ,  I have a t-shirt given me by my mom, it reads 

""What if the Hokey Pokey is really what it is all about?""   There you go, put "your whole self in and shake it all about...."

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