Troop 121 in Granite Bay, Calif., celebrated its 50th anniversary last fall with a special program, featuring a video presentation, group photo and ice cream and cake afterwards. More than 300 Scouts reached the Eagle Scout rank in those five decades, and more than 255 of them were mentored by Scoutmaster John Hooten, Jr.
Earlier in the year, Hooten, who served as the troop’s Scoutmaster for 22 years, died while rowing, another passion of his. To honor him, part of the anniversary program highlighted Hooten’s devotion to the troop of 100-plus boys.
“A major force in the success of Troop 121 was the presence of John Hooten,” said U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, who attended the event. “His contributions will never be forgotten.”
His contributions were also commemorated in a patch the troop designed for the occasion. The patch, emblazoned with stars and ribbons, is adorned on one side with an Eagle’s bust to honor the troop’s 300 Eagle Scouts, and on the other side with Hooten’s image. Centered between the two is a Philmont Scout Ranch expedition achievement patch. Wooten encouraged Scouts to go on high adventure treks to Philmont, Northern Tier and the Florida Sea Base. He also emphasized to them the values of service, preparedness and living by the Scout Oath and Law. The troop’s Eagle advisor Tim Darcey and artist Jim Fitzpatrick worked on the patch’s design.
Troop 121’s commemorative patch not only looks great, but it honors a Scout leader who influenced so many people.
How do you remember a leader who has died?
Some units have devoted their buildings and have petitioned their city officials to rename streets. For Eagle Scouts who have passed, they can be featured in Eagles’ Call magazine. You can also memorialize someone through the James E. West Fellowship.