Boy Scout Law demands that scouts are loyal and kind, trustworthy and courteous, four words that define the Crowe family perfectly. And for three generations, the family’s men have taken part in the time-honored tradition of Scouting.
Crowe got involved in scouting when he was around 6-years-old as a Cub Scout. His mother, Thankful, was a Den Mother and Wendell, along with most of the other boys in the neighborhood, started adventuring with Scouts.
"Covington was so small then that everyone was in one troop," he said, laughing. "Scouting was just what you did back then," he continued.
As he got older, he continued with Scouts, going on trips to the Boy Scout National Jamboree in California by train in the mid-50s and the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He also has fond memories of numerous camping trips through the years, some to Bert Adams Scout Reservation when it was still located in Atlanta.
"We went on a ton of trips," he said with a smile. "The big thing was camping. We probably went camping nearly every other weekend. I learned a lot from Scouting. It teaches you morals and discipline — and how to survive with all that camping."
Although Wendell doesn’t recall what he did for his Eagle Scout project, he did recall that less than five young men received the honor that year. Another thing about Scouting that stuck with him was the limited number of Scout Masters — saying that in the last 60 years there had been probably only five or six in Troop 222.
"We had such a good time. When Matt was born and got older, we got him involved in Scouts because that was just something that you really wanted to pass on," he said.
Matt, too, remembers the camping trips being the highlight of scouting for him. Not only was he able to go to the Philmont Scout Ranch, but also on a week-long sailing trip with the Florida Sea Base in Key West.
"The Bert Adams camping trips were always good too," he said. "But, I really enjoyed it all. It’s a great opportunity for young men to learn about honor, commitment, and how to do the right thing in any circumstance — if you take it seriously. It was also great to be outside with friends instead of cramped up inside playing video games," he added.
Matt also earned the title of Eagle Scout and did so by taking a month in the summer to clean the creek that runs behind Covington Ford and alongside Kroger on U.S. Highway 278.
"I cleaned the whole thing by hand," he remembered. It was full of buggies, tires and trash.
I spent all summer long wading waist-deep in glowing green water," he chuckled.
After removing all the debris, the city brought roll-off dumpsters to hold the trash — it took 10 of them, according to Matt, to rid the area of all the garbage.
"Scouting teaches you a lot of things that you carry with you throughout your life.
"It makes you a better person, its fun and for us, it kept us out of trouble," he said with a grin.
The grandson of Wendell and nephew of Matt, 20-year-old Zach Kenny, first became involved in Scouting when he was in first grade. Starting out as a Cub Scout, he moved through the ranks from Wolf to Webelo, then on to Boy Scout and from there to Eagle.
His mother Wendy said that Scouting taught the boys "what’s important in life," and that while she was involved with Zach (until he was about 12-years-old), she "had a blast."
"She was instrumental in getting me involved," said Zach, who came back as a Boy Scout helper while his mom continued to be involved with the younger Scouts for a few years after he moved up in rank.
"Scouting taught me morals, outdoor skills and gave me a couple of really good friends," he said.
When Zach began to think about what he wanted to do for his Eagle Scout project, he decided to go big with something that took him nearly eight years to accomplish.
"I wanted to educate people in the city, and the county too, that what we dump into our storm drains goes into our rivers," he said.
He started by stenciling warnings of the dangers of dumping onto roughly 1,000 drains in the city and county. The plan was to have a metal plate put on the drain with his message eventually as well.
Having grown up in a family of Scouts, Zach said that if one day he were to have a son, he would encourage his child to try Scouting as well.
"Scouting does so much," he said. "It guides you to be a much better person."