Scouts BSA attend Sea Base- How it came to be

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Part Three

All fairy tales should have a happy ending.  In order to get to the happy ending they also need a knight in shining armor; this story has several.  All good fairy tales also have a fairy godmother. In this story that part is played by Doug DeMarco’s mom.  When she heard that girls were being accepted into BSA she asked Doug what he was going to do about girls in scouting.  He replied that he would be supportive.  She knew she was on her deathbed, so she redirected again, “What are YOU going to do?”  Thus, she charged him to make sure the girls, including her great granddaughter currently a Cub Scout, to have every opportunity to participate in scouts.

Doug’s scout story starts back as a Cub Scout.  His mother was the Den Mother for Doug and his brother. Sports was more important to Doug, scouts were secondary.  “My Mom is the reason why I am an Eagle Scout, why I’m involved,” shared Doug. “She said you might as well realize that you will get your Eagle.” She had not grown up in a scouting family but had seen the benefits of scouting in her own sons. In fact, when Doug’s oldest son was five, she asked when he was going to put him in scouting. Doug waivered saying that his son wasn’t sure what he wanted.  Mom quipped back, “He’s five, he doesn’t know what he wants. Sign him up.” He is now an Eagle Scout. Last October at his troop’s Fall Eagle Court of Honor all this family history of scouting weighted on his heart.  He reflected on how many Court of Honors his Mom had attended and he decided that he needed to give back by being the Committee Chair for the new girl troop.

Merle Bowers began his scouting career in the mid 60’s and has been going ever since.  In his early 20’s he was Scoutmaster of the same troop. Two years ago, when BSA announced that they would include females he went to the scouts in the troop and offered his support. The Charter Organization-Lee’s Summit Christian Church- was also behind a girl troop 100%.

Scott Willoughby has been active in scouting for 30-40 years and found he was less and less involved with the troop. He found a perfect spot to help with forming the girl troop. He was now recharged. Sean Ahern also found a new calling behind the scenes.  He organizes and helps keep others on track. Tabitha Beck has a boy in the troop and stepped up to be the Scoutmaster for her daughter. Members of the 80-year-old troop have always offered up what was needed. “Money is never to be an issue for scout to participate in our troop,” shared Doug. From summer camp scholarships to the first year’s program, the troop response has always been “How much do you need?” and a check appears.

Now that the troop had several knights in shining armor, they were ready to begin their quest. They began with a committee meeting in November first, and informational meeting by the middle of November. They continued to meet every Monday night and establish budget goals. They set 3-month, six-month and long-term goals. They wanted the new troop to have their own equipment so they would not have to borrow from the boy troop. “ From the sheer gratitude of the congregation and former scouts that want to see the girls be successful, all the goals were met by the middle of February,” Doug was happy to report. David Nichols, parent of the one the girls, said is humbling to watch what these men have accomplished so that his daughter can have a scout experience like her brother.

Passionate leaders answered the call to start the girl troops off right. They built the committee, planned fund raising, scheduled leadership training and campouts. Only one person can technically wear the knot for starting the troop, but it took many a humble leader to get this started. Chartered with 12 girls, the troop has grown to 17 and continues to grow. Four of the five adult leaders are Eagle Scouts. They have sons that are Eagle scouts. Thirteen of the 17 girls have a direct line father or brother who is an Eagle Scout. So, the part of the story yet to be written is how these destined to be female Eagle scouts will carry on this momentum.

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Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association (SBAFA) is open to all who love Sea Base.  The website, SBAFA.org, can provide all the details about membership and the upcoming Reunion Oct 11-13, 2019.