Selection from the PEOPLE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SCOUTING Series
Tom Evard came to
Scouting with commitment and a love for the outdoors. His generosity would allow the Toop
more than the average opportunity to experience it.
When he wasn't on a Scout
outing with the Troop, Tom Evard was a plumber. Perhaps that's why so much of his
personal Scouting history has to do with that subject. He was one of those Scouters that
the Great Scout seems to send along at just the right time. Tom signed on as an Assistant
Scoutmaster. He brought his love for the outdoors - and a vehicle sturdy enough to carry
all the equipment - to the new Troop his sons had joined. He also came with commitment. He
seldom missed a Troop activity. Scouts knew he was always ready to help. Scout Leaders
knew he did most everything with a smile on his face. Tom loved Scouting!
That love and commitment
brought him to Scout Camp during his first summer with the Troop. His usual good
nature served him well during an infamous visit to the latrine. All was quiet in camp when
suddenly Tom gave a call for help. The Scouts and Leaders ran to the latrine to find Tom
sitting flat on the ground. It seems the seat had slowly sunk into the ground, with Tom
along for the ride. Tom smiled his famous smile - knowing that THIS incident would be
re-told around Troop campfires for many years. How quickly it would be re-told was
illustrated when one of the Camp Staff mentioned it at the next campfire.
Later that year, Tom announced
to the Troop that he had built a warehouse for his business on a wooded lot near the Troop
meeting place. Since half of the warehouse property was not in use, Tom offered it to the
Troop as a Troop campsite. He even arranged for running water at the site. The Scouts
cleared an area and built a fire ring, complete with log seats. On meeting night, whenever
the weather permitted, you were sure to find the Troop at their campsite. Most of their
Scout skills were learned here. All of them were practiced here. Warm weather Courts of
Honor were held at the campsite. A strong Scouting program, many involved adults, and a
campsite that allowed most of their Scouting to take place outdoors, helped this Troop
grow into a special Unit where strong bonds of friendship formed and most Scouts reached
for and attained the rank of Eagle.
Eventually, Tom became Scoutmaster
and took his Troop to Philmont where their Scouting skills and Troop
teamwork were tested and proved
Tom provided what we all hope to
give our Scouts. He gave them opportunity - opportunity to practice that skill in a
natural setting, opportunity to spend more time outdoors, opportunity to use their
imagination and creativity to design outdoor facilities (something that was not possible
in public-use parks and camps). Most of all, he shared what was his, so that each Scout
had the opportunity to experience Scouting as it was meant to be experienced - outdoors.
The Scouts put that creativity
to work immediately. One of the first things they did was to name the Troop
Campsite. In honor of the man who allowed them to use the property, they named it Camp
* * *
Do you know someone
who makes/made a difference in Scouting?