From the Daily Reflector, written by Brian Wudkwych
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts of all ages packed into the St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall to celebrate Scout Sunday with food, friends and a word from North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby.
With 100 youth and 40 adult volunteers in the church’s scouting program, the busy parish was bursting at the seams on Sunday as scouts and families filled their plates and listened Newby discuss his experience with the organization.
The luncheon followed a church service that H. Ray Franks, scouting program coordinator, said is even bigger than Christmas or Easter Service, with an estimated 250 attendees.
For Newby, the drive from Raleigh was well worth it to be a part of the crowd. It was an important enough occasion that he even missed his own church service to be there.
“I certainly have been inspired and encouraged through the scouting program,” said Newby, who attributed his success in the field of law to his time spent as a Boy Scout. “The values that are learned and instilled as part of scouting, are values that I use every day.”
His speech, which was aimed at the scouts, touched heavily on how the skills and lessons learned from his time in the program shaped his life, both professionally and personally.
He recounted how earning his swim badge paved the way for him to help rescue children who were caught in a rip tide years later. A colleague, he said, helped successfully apply a tourniquet to a friend after a hunting accident nearly destroyed his arm.
“Boy Scouts made us learn those skills,” he said. “I didn’t learn to swim until I was in the Boy Scouts camp.”
Newby is still involved in the program. An Eagle Scout, he is also the scoutmaster emeritus of Troop 11, Raleigh; executive board member of the Occoneechee Council, BSA and chairs the Annual Boy Scout Report to the Governor and General Assembly.
Students in the program echoed Newby’s thoughts on the value of the scouting experience.
Adam Ulffers, 14, joined two years ago, following in his brother’s footsteps. Ulffers said his brother was offered a job based solely on the fact that he was an Eagle Scout.
“It makes everybody trust you and it makes you look better in your life,” he said.
Ulffers hopes that colleges take notice of his credentials in the program once he, too, becomes an Eagle Scout. But even so, he most relishes the opportunities to spend quality time with his friends, especially on camping trips.
Much in the same way that Newby passed his first-hand experience as a scout along, Scout Sunday served as a chance for adult leaders and former program members to connect with today’s youth.
Doug Brown, an Eagle Scout and adult leader, reflected fondly on his time as a youngster in the program.
“It was great being with your friends,” he said. “But also learning things and having fun, not realizing we were learning stuff but learning anyway. It’s just like Justice Newby’s story, learning about lifesaving and first aid and helping other people. That’s what it’s all about.”
The program is also a way for Brown to bond with his two sons, who are Boy Scouts through the church.
“It’s an awesome experience to watch them mature and learn things that two years ago they couldn’t do,” he said. “And now they’re helping teach it.”