TROOP 345         Portland, Texas

Bob Woolsey


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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 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), 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 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 this evaluation.

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
And to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake,
And morally straight.

As a role model and scoutmaster to countless boys, a witness to your deep faith in God, 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! ...well done!

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
Posted on South Texas Council Website

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Last modified: 10/05/16