Most of you know the story of “OLD RED”. Well. For those of you who don’t, it was the red suburban that belonged to our Scoutmaster. It had been used by the troop for MANY…MANY...MANY…years hauling scouts and adult leaders/parents in the troop to many various scouting events. It has been to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, Grand Canyon, Philemont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, summer camps at Lost Pines in Bastrop/Bear Creek by Hunt/Kerrville/ El Rancho Cima in North San Antonio, Camp Strake in Houston with many other various summer camps throughout the state, too many campouts to count, local events like the Girl Scout Halloween Carnival and where ever else it may have lead us to. It was not just part of the troop equipment or the Scoutmaster’s vehicle; it was part of the troop’s heart and soul. The engine had been rebuilt with various parts being replaced, the transmission had been rebuilt a couple of times, the AC repaired several times, this and that had been replaced but IT WAS STILL PART OF THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE TROOP. Now, a few people connected with the troop would have told you, we need to get rid of “OLD RED” because the vehicle was an older model and had lots of work and maintenance done to it over the years. It was really hard to do because we had used it for so many troop functions and the scouts really didn’t mind using it because they knew it was their ride to where ever they were going. “OLD RED” saved several vehicles/parents from traveling back and forth to troop events, where ever they may have been held, whether it is at summer camp, Philemont in New Mexico, Grand Tetons in Wyoming, etc. Imagine parents having to drive to Wyoming to drop scouts off, drive home and then turn around and drive back to Wyoming again to pick scouts up and drive home just because there was a shortage of vehicles to drive the scouts where they were going, (a two/three day drive one way x’s 4) or taking scouts to Philemont in New Mexico (two day drive one way x’s 4). At that point, the number of vehicles to take 15 or so scouters on these treks would be at least 6 or more plus trying to reimburse these vehicles for gas/food money for both trips to and from, not including what it costs the scouts for the actual trek would be tremendous cost to the troop. Now imagine having scouts and the family with heavy financial needs/single parent families or other needs (have many scouts in troop with both of these) that couldn’t afford to drive their vehicles...
Is the troop supposed to leave scouts behind because of situations that they or their family can’t help? In our troop, our philosophy is that “no scout is left behind because of financial needs/single parent family/family needs. It is about helping each scout learning life skills and having support throughout his scouting life with the troop, no matter what the need.
Well, early on in the year, I happened to be at the scout hut on a Saturday morning dropping off some scout stuff and found our building broke into. A lot of stuff was rifled through but didn’t seem that much was taken or broken up at that point of time...Called the Scoutmaster and told him what I had found and he said we would catch up on Monday with everything, He had been in the valley with family and didn’t come into town until Sunday afternoon. Well, I received a call from him asking me if I had the suburban (which of course I said no) and he said he had a few more phone calls to make. The suburban was always parked at the end of the buildings kind of set back in so when I was there on Saturday, I would have to go that way to see, I just did a u-turn right in front of the building to exit out of the property. When the Scoutmaster drove down Hwy 281, his wife actually noticed that the “OLD RED” wasn’t parked where it normally was. It seems that no one had the suburban (OLD RED) and someone had stolen it. Police reports were made and had every one on the lookout for “OLD RED”. “OLD RED” was found Monday morning pretty much torn apart without much hope of fixing it up without tremendous cost in doing so. Needless to say, our scouts were totally devasted; “OLD RED” had been part of their lives for many years. After the local news/newspaper airing our story, many stood up to support the troop through wanting to help rebuild “OLD RED” to what they can do to help. Donations ranged from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars but in the end, no matter what was donated, every dollar donated helped towards the purchase of our new van. The troop does not have to worry about getting scouts where they need to be from now on. Summer camp is planned at Bear Creek this year at the end of June, with a trek to Philemont in the second week of August. Another organization has asked to use the troops van for a day at the first part of June, which without a doubt has been granted. We want to help out as much community service as we can with the light that the Texas Community has stepped up and helped us. Well thanks to not only local donations but several supporters of scouting across Texas Communities, we were able to replace “Old Red” with a brand new twelve passenger van! THANKS TEXAS FOR YOUR SUPPORT WITH HELPING US BUY A NEW 12 PASSENGER VAN TO HELPOUT ALL OF OUR SCOUTS AND OTHER LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS. AMAZING HOW TEXAS COMMUNITIES CAME TOGETHER TO HELP OUT THOSE IN NEED….How does an Eagle earn their feathers…whether it is a Bald Eagle or a Golden Eagle…