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Roland Ray among first black Eagle Scouts (FL)

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Mr. Roland Ray, now living at Health Central Park in Winter Garden, was born in Winter Park and grew up in Orlando. He was one of many young Central Florida students who joined Boy Scout groups — Troop 90 for boys who were black — but he was one of just a few who stayed with the program and, ultimately, earned their Eagle rank, the highest award in scouting.

Roland and two troop friends, Leo Belton and George Nixon, were among the first black Central Florida boys to reach the rank of Eagle in 1946. Roland still has the newspaper clipping recognizing their achievements at age 16.

Roland recalled the thrill of earning his merit badges and rising through the scouting ranks. One of the badges he could earn was for surveying — a skill that would benefit him later in his career (U.S. Army Corp of Engineers during Korean War, contractor). One of his favorite memories is learning how to build a fire for a badge, he said. He also enjoyed the campouts and the camaraderie of scouting with his friends.

Roland loved the outdoors and spent Florida’s hot months at Lake Mann in Orlando as one of the area’s first black lifeguards certified by Boy Scouts. He remembered attending a lifeguard program somewhere on the Florida-Georgia border to get his certification, he said.

1946: A new Eagle Scout



2023: Now 93 , his Scout Spirit still strong!



Read the rest of his life story at source:


Scout Salute and a card on the way.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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