Monday afternoon several Cub, Boy and Venture Scouts gathered on the square with their families to plant and dedicate a tree marking the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts of America as well as a symbol of the Scouts’ continuing journey.
BSA Yellow River Council District Executive David Abercrombie welcomed guests and introduced Covington Mayor Kim Carter and Newton County Commission Chair Kathy Morgan, who read a proclamation recognizing 2010 as the centennial of BSA.
"The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law," said Morgan.
Morgan then recited the Scout Oath and Law as most of the Scouts and their families and leaders recited it from memory. Carter explained to the crowd how the Yellow River Council had organized a tree planting on the Covington square as part of the 100th Anniversary Generations Connections program.
"The tree serves as an important symbol in this program that celebrates how Scouting has made families better and stronger," Carter said.
For each anniversary tree ordered, a corresponding tree is supplied to the newly designated BSA Centennial Forest, which will support replanting in the fire-damaged Flathead National Forest in Montana.
"The 100th anniversary trees are one way that the Boy Scouts of America celebration can leave behind a living legacy that will continue for generations to come," Carter continued. "The Generations Connection program honors the important, positive impact that Scouting has on American families, and encourages families to continue sharing the tradition of Scouting."
Bill Loeble, Covington Troop 222 charter organization representative and retired National BSA staff member, thanked the Home Depot Foundation for donating the tree as well as the leadership of the city and county for allowing the celebration to take place.
A representative of each branch of the Scouts then turned dirt on the tree.
"This tree represents the future," Loeble said. "May it grow straight and strong."
The BSA centennial and 50th anniversary of Bert Adams Scout Reservation in Newton County will be celebrated at the "Campout of the Century" May 14-16 at Bert Adams.