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In the late 1920s, the Stonewall Jackson Council chartered two Boy Scout troops (Nos. 2 and 10) at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton, Virginia. Containing scouts exclusively that suffered from hearing and sight handicaps, these units soon became top performing troops in the council. Read more of the history of Scouting at the VSDB here.

 

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I am one of the eagle scouts at Virginia School for the deaf. I ve attained that rank in 1984. I personally knew these  five deaf eagle scouts and the first deaf scout master Aumon Bass. i went to his funeral and his wake. In fact, He had 93 life scouts and he personally turned down 75 life scouts of becoming an eagle scout, because he think they are not worthy of becoming eagle scouts. And also I do personally knew one or 3 of the 5 deaf eagle scouts and he is dead now. He boasted his robbin type 1 or 2 medal at va school for the deaf and blind. And also I personally  knew Warren Blackwell who also attained eagle scouts in 1940's as well.  In addition,  Aumon Bass was a deeply religious man and  a man of faith as well. I do know that he got his Silver Beaver in 1950 and had been in scouting for 35 years until his retirement in 1959. I personally also knew Carlton Lewellyn as well. Those men are enshrined in deaf scouting and VSDB history as well. And also I wish to add to this, the VSDB museum also has Aumon Bass's scouting uniform displayed as well. 

Right now, I personally know that are at least 4 deaf eagle scouts including myself are still alive today. 

Deaf scouts in America had earned an important piece in Scouting history since 1911. For example, Kanasa school for the deaf and  California School for the deaf and both troop were founded in 1911 and 1918. And there were numerous deaf scout troops across U.S. and they are being credited for important part of Scouting history in America and has its place in National scouting museum. Indeed, they have played a vital part of Scouting history. 

And now, my former troop is now being written in scouting history with a such a accomplishments and I also had this honor to be the first and the last member as Vigil honor recipient at Shenandoah 258. Though, I do still collect camp shenandoah patches and scarfs. When timing is right and do wish to go back scouting, only if spirit of God permit me do so. It is my earnest hope that I can salvage its deaf heritage in Scouting on a national level, regional level as well. It will not be easy though. When?? only God timing, not mine. 

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Welcome to the forum, @deafeaglescout.

That's really fascinating history. Thank you for sharing. It would be great for you to give back to scouting in whatever way you can. That applies to all of us on this forum so this is a great place for you to be.

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@deafeaglescout

It's great to know that you share a special Scouting heritage with the Scouts that I described in my essay. I am waiting to visit the Scouting museum at VSDB when CoVid restrictions are eased to view some of these artifacts that are on display there. I am trying to track down the birdhouse what was used at the governor's mansion in Richmond as well.

I did not realize that you were also a Vigil Honor OA member of Shenandoah Lodge. Indeed, there is a great heritage in deaf Scouting that most Scouters do not recognize.

What was the name of your scoutmaster from when you were awarded Eagle in 1984?

Thank you very much for adding your story to the story that I wrote about...

 

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actually there were three scoutmaster- one is Al deuel- Deceased, Wayne Frick- assistant scoutmaster- retired and alive and my dad was also a assistant scoutmaster and he lives in montreal. both of them are nearly 80 by now.

Now, that man who you saw that phot at the governor mansion. his name is warren blackwell. I personally knew him and his record was shattered by having 3 plams earned- bronze , silver and Gold.  The early days as you mentioned 5 eagle scouts- I do know Flae shook, his son is also deaf- wayne shook, he was a life scouts. and Fred Normans- her daughter was a deaf actress. I think that i did met him. However, there were also another 3 or 4 eagle scouts that happened in 1935 or 38. there were picutres of these deaf boys on the wooden scout platform. I think it is in museum as well.

I will sent you another email that attach photo. The very first thing  that they put on their website- "EAGLE SCOUTS". It is a pride of the VSDB and deaf culture that we have 21. we supposed to have 95 eagle scouts but that scoutmaster is very selective and only hand picked 21 out of 90 life scouts. Not only that, but it means so much to the Virginian  deaf people that Aumon Bass was a silver beaver recipient in 1950 . 

There are deaf schools in US that used to have boy scouts troop. I am using Kansa school for the deaf as an example. Guess what how many eagle scouts that school has?? almost 93 eagle scouts. Alabama has probably more than 100 eagle scouts.  North carolina school for the deaf have some also. Maryland school for the deaf has its scouting history as well.  Those are countless. Anyway, I do know one deaf scoutmaster was also a silver beaver recipient in Wisconsin school for the deaf and another one in Alabama and I personally knew a deaf scoutmaster in Arkansas school for the deaf also had a silver beaver as well. They are now deceased. 

The very truth about deaf culture during the early 20 century. Boy scouts is one of the DNA in our deaf culture. Museum that clearly reveal its DNA and its greatest pride of having 25 eagle scouts in VSDB and itt is now being  considered as eternal flame.

another email will follows.

 

Paul

 

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I saw that photo and have seen a real thing that include 5 eagle scouts. I personally know one of them that it is Ralph Kiser. He is deceased. That photo is a very special one in our troop history. I knew warren blackwell as well. THis picture chills my spine as well, because i personally knew Aumon Bass., kiser and blackwell. 

Now, Aumon Bass, my dad and i visited Mr. Bass at Farmsville nursing home. He was in the mid 90's. The very thing he would say Paul, have you gotten your Eagle Scouts yet. He is a shrine to many deaf people who left VSDB.  

vsdb_boyslife_may1940.jpg?w=390

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On 1/1/2021 at 6:59 AM, deafeaglescout said:

In fact, He had 93 life scouts and he personally turned down 75 life scouts of becoming an eagle scout, because he think they are not worthy of becoming eagle scouts.

Wow. Interesting approach to be a SM.

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one of the retired principal at my school and he is deceased. He told that story to my dad regarding of that 93  lifescouts. He was very close to Aumon Bass. I can recall of going into his office and visit him and saw Aumon Bass's silver beaver certificate framed on the wall.  

that picture with 5 eagle scouts and a scoutmaster. I saw that one when i was young. And now I looked at that pics on this blog. My feeling toward that picture was rather overwhelming and powerful. Not only that, Aumon Bass had given a very powerful impact toward me while visiting him at the nursing home. Overwhelming though. 

anyway, how the deaf people feel about eagle scouts at Va school for the deaf?? I put this way, the deaf community viewed us as an eagle scouts as a group of Heisman trophy winners.  You can recall all of these universities would boast numerous of heisman's winners at their schools. To the deaf people, I am a Heisman's trophy winner. There are 25 Boy Scouts Heisman winners as they say and they glorify us as a whole. 

When I first discover the newly established museum 10 or 15 years ago. I thought that Eagle scouts or BSA do not place much emphasis. But nope, I was shell shocked when i find that photo "EAGLE SCOUTS". They simply do not talk about this but their picture is enough to tell us that is their pride and glories upon Eagle scouts alone. To change this a bit .  I consider myself as a Boy scouts Heisman winner. They glorify us big time  by putting that photo on that website page. And also you take a look at the obituaries VAD obituaries. some dead eagle scouts with a greater emphasis upon the paragraph by saying "he made his eagle scouts". The deaf people will make sure that we are fully aware of that deceased eagle scouts and his accomplishments.

When I die or depart from this world. my name at the museum has already become eternal flame. I have not yet grasp that concept on that part of what is  "eternity" as an eagle scouts.

Take a look at the copied website address www. VSDB Museum (vad.org)

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