Scouts celebrate 100th anniversary |

Scouts celebrate 100th anniversary

Teri Vance

When Mayor Bob Crowell thinks of the scouting program, he said the words “honesty,” “truthfulness” and “trustworthy” come to mind.

“If you live by these words, we’re going to do wonders in this community,” he told Cub Scout Pack 341 during its annual Blue & Gold Banquet on Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion.

The highlight of the banquet, celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Boy Scouting in America, was the promotion of eight Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts after receiving their Arrow of Light Awards.

For the boys, it was an accomplishment they were eager to receive.

“I’ve been trying for three years for the honor to become a Boy Scout,” said Joey LoPresti, 11. “I’m very glad to be one.”

Keifer Catron, 11, echoed the sentiment.

“It just feels really special to me,” he said. “I’m going from the lower area of scouting to the higher area.”

Along with the advancement, said Brandon Iwamura, 10, will come more opportunity.

“We’ll get to go on some big hikes,” he said. “It’s just going to be more fun.”

Den leader Dan Bowler said this year’s banquet was special because it recognized the centennial mark of the scouting program. To celebrate, dignitaries including the mayor, District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Sheriff Ken Furlong were invited.

Guests also were surprised with gift certificates donated by local merchants.

“Our pack has really been growing,” Bowler said. “The community has really come out to support us.”

Brett Patterson, 10, said he was proud to be part of the program.

“It’s a good way to honor our country,” he said.

And it gets them outside and away from the television, even offering a badge for spending hours away from video games.

“It’s adventurous,” said John Rowe, 10. “I like getting out in the wild and doing stuff.”

Receiving the Arrow of Light and moving up to Boy Scouts can be more than ceremonial. For some, it’s a rite of passage.

“I feel like I’m a man,” said Alec Van Spronsen. “I’m not just a kid, I’m a man. I ask myself, how can I make the world change into a better place?”