How did your father influence your love for the outdoors?

Jennifer Gibbs remembers her family’s camping trips, orchestrated by her father Melbourne “Kenny” Richards, Jr.

“My dad had a profound love of nature,” Gibbs says. “His training as an Eagle Scout made my dad the best person to go camping with; my favorite trips with him were to the Southwest or in Colorado. My dad preferred the mountains since he physically felt better in that climate and altitude.”

Kenny Richards as a boy

Kenny’s wife, Jean, also recalls the trips. Some were awe-inspiring, such as hiking the Grand Canyon, and others were funny, like when raccoons raided their gear, eating all of their coffee, in Maroon Bells, Colo.

It was Richards’ father, Mel, who helped foster his love for the outdoors, teaching him how to hunt and fish when he was a boy. He passed that love for the outdoors to his family, which still meets annually for a camping trip in Colorado.

Richards (Eagle Scout Class of 1958 and National Eagle Scout Association member) passed away in 2018.

Father’s influence

With Father’s Day this month, we invite you to reflect how your father influenced you. Did he introduce you to Scouting or activities that Scouts often enjoy? What hobbies do you have that you can credit to your dad?

Scouting encourages parents to take an active role in their children’s lives and go on new and exciting adventures together.

If you’re looking for some tips and inspiration, check out these stories:

Thanking Dad

While you’re thinking of dad, don’t forget to get him something for Father’s Day, and the Scout Shop is the perfect place to shop. From now until June 16, you can get a 20% discount off three or more classic Scouting items that dad is sure to love. These include throwback Scout socks, red wool jac-shirts and collector’s caps. Take a look around and celebrate dad this month.

If your Eagle Scout father (or other Eagle Scout family member) has “gone home,” you can memorialize them by submitting their information to Eagles’ Call magazine here.


Hat tip: Thanks to Alli Joseph for sharing Richards’ story.

About Michael Freeman 85 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.