TROOP 345 Portland, Texas
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Bob Woolsey - In Memory
To say that Bob Woolsey was an exceptional Scouter would be an understatement! Over the past 30 years, hundreds of boys in troop 345 have referred to Mr. Woolsey as their Scoutmaster, their mentor, and their friend.
Most of us here, who are involved in scouting, can't think of Bob with
out thinking of a campfire. Whether we knew him as our Scouting buddy, as a
trainer, as our staff advisor, or as our Scoutmaster ...at some time ...we had
a conversation with Bob around that ancient entertainment center known as a
campfire. ...that place where good stories, great adventures, funny jokes, and
even deep feelings are expressed. Bob and I shared many great scouting
stories. Some of them will always be with me.
One of the great gifts we receive from people, like Bob, are memories. If
you were one of the boys who belonged to his troop you know exactly what I
mean. Because, you especially, have lots of great memories... and the neat
thing about memories is... you can use them whenever you want or need to.
I never accompanied Bob and Troop 345 on any of his many trips to Philmont.
But, Bob gave me the opportunity to join in on one of his trips, by sharing a
special memory with me. It's one that will always help and sustain me whenever
I need a little lift.
If you will close your eyes for a few moments, let me share that good
memory that Bob gave to me... Picture yourself on a mountain trail at Philmont
scout ranch in New Mexico. You and the Scouts have been hiking all morning and
you are nearing the top of a ridge. As you round a turn in the trail... a
vista lies before you that literally takes your breath away. You pause and you
wonder ..."Do these boys see this as I do? Not just as a beautiful sight, but
as a gift from God?" (That's the way Bob saw everything) ...so, you say to the
Scouts... "Ok, guys, lets take a break. Put your packs down and let's just sit
for a while."
Now you wonder to yourself "how do I share what I am feeling with this
bunch of hungry boys who are probably just thinking of lunch?" You think to
yourself "I'll just be quiet and see what happens." Bob told me that the first
Scout to speak said... "Mr. Woolsey, I feel just like I am in a big church
right now... you really can feel God's presence can't you?" ...and then boy
after boy shared a deep thought about his relationship with God. I remember
that Bob told me ...that, up to that point, he wasn't sure some of them had a
very strong faith. ...and I remember saying to Bob ..."Perhaps they didn't up
to just that point." Bob shared his love of God with everyone... all the time.
I am sure I will play back that memory... and many other "Bob Woolsey
memories" ...many times. ...we all will.
Bob was very concerned about today's kids. Lots of people are... but, Bob
knew what the solution is. You become personally involved and show kids a
better way. Studies, posters, buttons and tee shirts with cute slogans won't
do it. Its people like Bob who will make a real difference.
If you knew Bob very well, you knew that four things were especially
important to him ...Barbara and their family ...God and his church family
...his friends ...and his Scouting ministry.
Bob Woolsey ...Scoutmaster ...trainer ...Wood Badger ...Vigil Honor
Arrowman ...international Scouter ...and one of those volunteers who was truly
..."in it for the boys."
Five years ago I hired Bob as a District Scout Executive. His son, Jeff
(one of his many Eagle Scouts) already held that position in Houston. Bob was
very proud of that. With that employment as a professional Scouter, Bob was
able to fulfill a dream ...which was to work full time in the movement he
loved so much.
I didn't get to give Bob a final evaluation for this past year of
professional service, so I would like to do so at this time. ...If you will
turn over the bulletin you hold, you will see the Scout Oath. Please follow
along or repeat it with me, because it is the criteria I am going to use for
On my honor I will do my best
As a role model and scoutmaster to countless boys, ...as a witness to your
deep faith in God, ...as a Scouter's Scouter who lived the Scout Oath and Law
...and as a good friend, ...Bob, we're going to call this one far exceed!
As Christians we clearly know that Bob lives. As a Scouter I can assure you
that his spirit also lives on in the character of the thousands of young lives
he influenced through his scouting ministry.
Written by John Thurston, the council's past Scout Executive
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