Boy Scout leaders share benefits of program

Saturday, March 18, 2017
John Feick, executive director of the Ozarks Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, at left, spoke at a fundraising luncheon held this week at the Monett Museum. Murray Bishoff/

Luncheon seeks support for character building effort

Top leaders of the Boy Scouting program in southwest Missouri attended a fundraising luncheon in Monett this week to help promote support for Scouting services and financial assistance for participants of limited financial means.

Greg Simmons, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 38, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Monett, served as master of ceremonies for the luncheon, held in the education room of the Monett Museum.

"This is an exciting time for Scouting," Simmons said. "Investing in the future of Scouting helps prepare America's youth for every era. Integrity, leadership and caring about principles helps the community."

Kevin Sprenkle, a former Monett Scoutmaster, spoke about his experiences as a Scout leader for nearly 20 years. Sprenkle said he agreed to help when encouraged that being a leader would only take an hour a week. He discovered it takes more than that, but also had rewards. His wife, Nola, became a Girl Scout leader, and for years they went on monthly camping trips with their sons.

"The program is an awesome experience for boys and men," Sprenkle said. "It was an honor for me to be a part of it."

John Feick, executive director of the Ozarks Trails Council, said national studies show boys involved in Scouting are more likely to graduate from high school, twice as likely to go to college and have a better quality of life.

"When I joined the Scouts, I did not do it for advancement," Feick said. "I wanted to camp, cook, canoe and burn stuff in the fire. Being a patrol leader for 10-to-13-year-olds shaped my leadership style."

The Ozark Trails Council can support a boy as a Scout for $250 a year. Activities include camping opportunities and educational trips. Additional information is available by calling Simmons at 417-669-3608.

The luncheon was catered by Cox Monett Hospital. Donna Bower and Sonya Olson received applause for their service.

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