Scouting is 100 and still going strong

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The Loomis Basin has a long tradition of participation in Boy Scouts of America, which was organized in February 1910. Boys join as Tenderfoots and can attain the top rank of Eagle Scout. The earliest Eagle Scouts in Loomis Troop 12 were Frank Law and Bob Hansen. Frank Law, now living in Sacramento with his son Mike, will turn 92 in May. He remembers joining Scouts in about 1930, when Earl Gates, the Loomis School principal, was Scoutmaster. “He was a great man when it came to Scouting,” Law said. “One of the most important things that happened to me was when I attained the rank of Eagle Scout. “I have very, very wonderful memories of my life in Scouting. Boy Scout Troop 12 was a wonderful troop. We had young men there who were excelled in about activity you could want.” Law said his father, Albert Law, was influential in the establishment of Camp Pahatsi, the Scout camp at Soda Springs. “I’ve always been proud of him for what he did.” Bob Hansen, 89, agrees that Gates was a dedicated leader. “He lived Scouting with the boys,” said Hansen, who joined Scouts at age 12. “Outdoor activity is a very important part of Scouting,” Hansen said. “We hiked and camped all over the place … I remember camping overnight at Clover Valley, which at that time was just a cow pasture. We went to Frank Nute’s cow pasture a time or two … We hiked from Loomis to Folsom … and from Loomis to Newcastle … enough to get 12 miles via a round trip.” Hansen said he remembered what a good time he had as a Scout, so when his own sons Randy and Eric were boys, he felt they should have the same opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. “I wanted other boys to enjoy that, too,” Hansen said. “I feel sorry for boys growing up in the city where they don’t go (outdoors) much.” Eric Hansen, who like his brother is an Eagle Scout, said Scouting was a “chance to get out and do things like camping and other outdoor activities.” When Scout leader Frank Nute asked him what was the toughest part of getting his Eagle badge, “I told him it was the cold lake at Camp Pahatsi,” where he had to earn his lifesaving merit badge, as well as swimming, canoeing and other water sport badges. Frank Bailey, too, is an Troop 12 Eagle Scout. “Scouting is about character, citizenship and personal fitness, but it’s much greater than that in that it creates a love of the outdoors, and a fellowship of like-minded spirits.” As a Scout district advancement chair, Bailey organizes Eagle Scout boards of review. “I work with all the Eagle Scouts in Loomis,” Bailey said. “They have to come to see me. Bailey said local Scouts have been participating in 100th anniversary observances, including a march last October from Raley Field to the State Capitol in Sacramento. In April, there’ll be a Scout Expo at Beale Air Force Base. Eagle Scouts will also be honored at a Court of Honor in Provo, Utah in July, and Eagle Scouts can submit their Scouting stories for a book being assembled. The Loomis Lions Club is one of the local organizations that support Scouts. On May 8, the Lions will hold a golf tournament to benefit Troop 12. Reservations made by March 1 are $90 per person or $500 for a sponsorship package, which includes four golfers and a sponsorship sign. After March 1, fees go up to $100 per person or $550 for the sponsorship package. All golfers get a barbecue dinner. Non-golfer barbecue tickets are $15 each. The tournament, at the Lincoln Hills Orchard Course at the Lincoln Hills Golf Club, is open to everyone. So, if you'd like to support Scouts while having a good time, call Tom Millward at 652-0273 or Russ Kelley 652-6836.