Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director
“Janith Creager … now there is a name that I recognize.” That was my thought a couple of weeks or so ago as I read on-line the obituaries in the “Deseret News”. It has been a long time since I have lived in Utah, but for some reason I am still drawn to the Utah obituaries. I actually read them every day … and it is amazing how many people I recognize.
I should have put pen to paper right then (or in today’s world, fingers to the keyboard). I should have … but I was pretty swamped that day. I am the historian for my local stake and with the need to create the annual stake history, I was pretty pressed upon that day (and since). But, now I have repented and will attempt to make a go of it.
Janith was a member of my district Cub Scout Committee when I was the Scouting professional serving the great Mt. Ogden District thirty plus years ago. With the passage of time, one’s mind can play funny tricks. So, I can’t remember the exact position that she held on my District Cub Scout committee. (I guess I could dig out some journals from that day but that might turn into a rather major research project.) But, I do remember Janith for her dedication, her organizational skills, her energy and her enthusiasm. And I do know that if it was blue and gold, she was there. She was so willing to help and serve in any way that she could.
Janith was willing to help plan Cub Scout activities of all kinds. She served in various ways and on various committees. She lent her full support. She visited units. She helped with training. Anything blue and gold, in those days, had her fingerprints on them.
The obituary stated, “When her three sons were young she became a Cub Scout Den Mother, making sure that each of them and many neighborhood boys experienced Scouting at its best. Jan was awarded the Eagle Scout Mother Pin three times. Jan was a merit badge counselor and remained involved with Scouting for many years in leadership positions. In recognition of her dedication to the Scouting program, she was honored with the silver Beaver Award.” [And age 88 – born in 1928 … just like my dad!]
What a legacy to boys … Cub Scouts. Thanks, Janith!
And with thoughts of Janith, I began, as I wrote this blog article, to think of other members of the “old guard” for my Mt. Ogden District. I enjoyed a fun walk back down memory lane. I really should not start mentioning names – for with 1,000 district volunteers, I am likely to forget a few – even the noble and great ones. But, I guess I will mention a few and I apologize if I don’t mention your name. Just know that I did then and still am grateful for your service and dedication.
I thought of my district chairmen – first Lowell Clontz (now deceased) and Richard Moyle. Those guys sure put out a lot of time and effort for me and the volunteers of the district. I thought of my district commissioner – Ron Harrison. How could I forget Ron? He was the mastermind behind giving Weber Stake President a dead fish – as encouragement to give new life to the Scouting program in his stake. And gratefully, Pres. Dean Barnes took the bait (ha, ha) and rose to the occasion. His stake program soon saw major change and it became one of the best in the district.
I had the privilege to work with some fabulous Cub Scouters. Luana Gilbert was my Cub Scout committee chairman. Lloyd Bartschi was another great Cub chairman. It was a real sad day – and a real shocker – when he died of a heart attack at a Cub Scout roundtable he was conducting – and after recognizing the Cub Scout of the Year in the district. Then there was Dennis and Carol Hill. Like Janith, their fingerprints were all over everything blue and gold. And there was Dionne Halverson and Darlene Allen (another do-everything Cub Scouter – and also the mom of my Bartlett camp staffer, Terry).
From the Boy Scouts, I remember Ken Reed, Scout committee chair, LaVon Jennings and Lola Patterson. (LaVon lent me two of her great sons to serve on my Bartlett staff. And Ken’s son was also on my Bartlett team!) Ron Smith was a great camping chairman. And he also married LuDeen Bartschi after the death of Lloyd. Gene Froerer was a great commissioner – and he and I still exchange e-mail messages once in a while even now.
Richard Moyle was my Varsity Scouting chairman (before becoming my district chairman) and was fantastic in his implementation of the new Varsity Scouting program (back in pre-historic days – when it was a “pre-pilot program” … “and look at it now!”). Paul Warner was a great Varsity Scouting training chairman– and I think that he and Richard and I conducted the first ever Varsity leader training, the first youth leadership course and the first ever Varsity Scout games. That is the first in the Scouting world for all of those things! Great job, guys! We even created the national leader insignia patches that for decades were worn by Varsity leaders everywhere. Dr. Lindsay Curtis also made a major contribution to Varsity Scouting.
And from Exploring there was Darius Coker – who died while serving in the position of Exploring Chairman. He was really dedicated and gave Exploring his all. And he was kind of everything Exploring.
I remember too, Carole McCain, Milan and Susan Mecham, Pres. Bob Poll, and Pres. Robert Walker – all from Morgan County. (Carole was mother to yet another Bartlett staffer – Matt.) Sometime I will have to blog about district service and Friends of Scouting – as it ties to Bob Walker. (And Bob’s daughter married another great Bartlett staffer, Paul Kearl – after she came up to camp with a girl’s camp group that came after the Boy Scouts. I think they are now living their “happily ever after” in Wyoming! I loved all the Morgan County folks. And I even gave one of my sons the middle name of “Morgan” in recognition of those great folks.
And remember Vince Quan …? That guy was a dreamer, a mover and a shaker. He staged the greatest Scout-O-Rama ever as he inspired us all to create that fabulous Western fort. Our show even made it to the Scouting Magazine. Remember that? Click and read for a refresher course: Mt. Ogden District Scout-O-Rama 1981
Rodney Brady was the President of Weber State College, located in the heart of the Mt. Ogden District, and he assisted with facilities and other resources in many ways.
I could go on and on in praise and thanks and wish that I could remember and mention everyone – who all gave so much to make our Mt. Ogden District and the unit programs the best for the boys. I am sure that I have only scratched the surface – even of the district committee. What a great team! Thanks to all of you – even 30 plus years later. (I guess it is never too late!)
I wasn’t around to honor Janith Creager after her death, but I hope that she was given a proper blue and gold send-off. She deserved it. But, just in case she didn’t get that, perhaps we should do it now. “CUB SCOUTS and LEADERS …, ATTENTION!!! … Cub Scout hand salute … [pause] … And Two!” Thanks to you, Janith, and to all of the “old guard” of the Mt. Ogden District. Thanks for all that you do and all that you have done in the past. My hat goes off to all of you!
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
(To read more of Kevin’s writing, see “Scouting Trails” Books at Scouting Trails)
© Kevin V. Hunt 2016