The Boy Scouts

 
Badges of Rank

 
Tenderfoot



Second Class



First Class



Star



Life



Eagle





The Boy Scout movement has always been strong in Pacolet Mills. The Boy Scouts of America started in 1910 and at least by 1927 there was a troop in Pacolet. I joined Troop 17 at Pacolet Mills in 1949 when I was 12 years old. Being in the Boy Scouts played a big part in my life when I was growing up. In 1949, the Scout meetings were held in the American Legion Hut. At least that is what we called it. It was behind Dr. Hill’s office and across the road from where the swimming pool was to be built at a later date. Mr. Curt Puckett was the Scoutmaster when I joined. There were other adult leaders to help him but I don’t remember their names.

At one time, in the 1930’s, there had been a special Scout Hut built for Troop 17. It was behind the Methodist Church and not far from the River and was close to “The Island”. I don’t remember ever seeing this hut but it is shown in some photos on this website. Click on this link to see photos of the old Scout Hut.

The highlight of the year in the scouts was to go to Camp Palmetto in the mountains just outside of Saluda, NC for a week. During my teen years I went to camp almost every year and had a great time - except for the first time. My brother Dink and I went to camp in 1950 and both of us got terribly homesick. After a day or so, that went away and we had a great time. Most of the camp centered around the lake and swimming. I remember that the water was ice cold and would take your breath.

I had a disturbing experience this first summer in camp. The rest of the troop and I were going to the mess hall when we realized that they were calling my name over and over on the camp PA system. They told me to report to the swimming area at the lake. When I got there, I found a group of upset lifeguard and camp counselors and the reason for the alarm. Each scout had a nametag that we had to hang on a check-in board when we went swimming. When we got out, we removed the tag and put it in another place. That morning, after all of the swimmers had gotten out, my name tag was still there and they were afraid that I had drowned. That had led to all of the excitement. I explained to them that I had not even been swimming for the last couple of days because of the cold water so I could not have left the tag up. After awhile, everyone got convinced that no one was really missing.



There was always lots to do at the camp. One special thing was to get inducted into the Order of the Arrow. This was an honorary camping society. One or two boys from each troop was selected for the ritual. I was selected in 1952. It was a surprise until the night you were picked. You were taken out to a place on the mountain, in the dark and left to sleep there by yourself. The next morning they came back for you but you could not say anything and you had to do physical labor all day. Also, you were given very little food the next day, basically, bread and water. That night you were inducted into the Order of the Arrow in an impressive ceremony at a big campfire beside the lake. It sounds bad, but actually it was lots of fun.



Sometime about 1951, Troop 317 was started from Troop 17 and the meeting place was changed. Montgomery Memorial Methodist Church became the Troop sponsor and we had meetings in a special room in the church basement. Both my brother and I joined this Troop. Our Scoutmaster was Charles “Buddy” Foster and the assistant scoutmasters were Jim Kimrey and John Lovings. They all worked hard for the troop and planned activities for us. Click on this link for a group photo of Troop 317 about 1953.

We went on many hikes and official Camporees at places like Kings Mountain. Also we had lots of camping trips with just our Troop at places like on Fairforest Creek. Click on this link for photos of Troop 317 at Camp Palmetto.

The highlight of my Boy Scout experience was in 1953. Beverly Mottes and I were chosen to represent Troop 317 and attend the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine Ranch in California. The entire trip took about a month and we traveled by train. The return trip included going into Canada. It was an amazing trip for a 16 year old and gave me memories that have lasted a life time.



The boys of Pacolet, including myself, were very fortunate that men like Buddy Foster, Jim Kimrey and John Lovings gave their time and energy to provide us the Scouting experience.




 
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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster.  Contact me at:
gteaster@pacoletmemories.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117.  My regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485

See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster.