photos courtesy of Ryan Roberts
It’s been 100 years and not much has changed for Georgetown Boy Scout Troop 151. “We’re still engaged in the same basic mission to watch these youth grow into an outstanding next generation of people who will lead, not only in our community but our state and country and the world,” Scoutmaster Ryan Roberts says.
During the troop’s centennial celebration in August, former U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Delta Airlines captain, and Eagle Scout Jim Miller told the scouts to look around at their future leaders. “You’re not looking at scouts. You’re looking at future congressmen, scout leaders, doctors, and lawyers. You don’t know who they’ll turn out to be, but you’re looking at trustworthiness and excellence. We have a problem in this country. Many people don’t know the right thing to do. Scouts, you set an example. You’re helping this country get better.”
Scouts and scout leaders know leadership starts by making a difference in their own backyards, whether it’s improving playgrounds at local elementary schools, lending a hand at community events, or restoring church buildings.
And it’s not just the community that has been impacted by this youth organization. “When you watch these kids, they are fairly timid and unsure of themselves,” Ryan says. “Within four to five years, they’re confident and ready to go out to meet the challenges they’re destined to face.”
That confidence was on full display at the troop’s 100th anniversary party at the Sun City Ballroom, where hundreds of scouts, leaders, volunteers, family, and friends got to hear from these young men about how they have been impacted by the organization. “Whenever I’ve had things going on in my life, or started down a wrong path, what has always centered me and brought me together again is scouting,” Michael Boyd said, with Jay Crawford adding, “This is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thank you to everyone who inspired me to become a better person.”
Ryan’s son Trevor Roberts has also enjoyed the rewards of character building and adapting a moral code since becoming a scout in 2016. Now a high school senior and Eagle Scout, he is proud to stand out as one of only 500 Scouts in history who have completed all 138 merit badges. He committed to learning about veterinary medicine and oceanography, going on whitewater rafting and scuba diving adventures, and learning how to bugle, among others. He says the last six years have been a life-changing experience with a rewarding payoff. “It’s like nothing else. You just don’t realize how big of an achievement it is until you finish it,” he says. “It’s not only a feeling of relief from the grind, it’s the feeling that I’ve done something only a few hundred people in history have done. You get an inventory of who you really are and how much you can actually do.”
That merit badge journey has been just as much of an adventure for the rest of Troop 151 and its leaders, who reminisced during a fireside chat at the event—from stunning nature views to countless mishaps resulting in fires or destroyed equipment. Every high and low served to strengthen the bonds between scouts. “I still have friendships today that I made in the Boy Scouts,” Congressman John Carter (facing page) said. “The friendships you make in the Boy Scouts will last you forever.”
THE NEXT 100 YEARS
Despite pandemic challenges and a dip in Boy Scout participation across the nation, Troop 151 has remained strong, increasing in numbers the last few years while continuing to give back to the Georgetown community. “It’s not just about us adults. The youth have pushed us to make sure we’ve come out of this pandemic and come out of some of these hardships stronger than when we went into it,” Ryan says. “I see a lot of momentum going into the next century. I see a sense of wanting not only to continue the tradition of the last hundred years, but to build upon their legacy.”