An exhibit celebrating the 100-plus-year history of the Boy Scouts of America opened this week at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center.
“Scouting in America” was timed to coincide with the National Scout Jamboree that wrapped up Wednesday near Beckley. The exhibit, which will run through Aug. 24, tells the history of the Boy Scouts and focuses on the life of one of the area’s most well-known Scouts, the late George Hendricks.
Hendricks was the area’s first Eagle Scout and is well known in the community not only for Scouting, but for playing Santa Claus, his World War II service in the Army Air Corps and his annual singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” at Russell High School Homecoming events. Many items commemorating his career in the Scouts are featured in the exhibit.
“It is very special to have all those items come here to the museum from all those various collectors. That way we can pay tribute to him,” said curator Matt Potter.
Among the displays is a set of Scouting manuals that dates from 1911 to present.
“One of the things that is really unique is we actually have every Boy Scout guide that was every issued. That is very unique to have them all in one place,” Potter said.
Potter said he was surprised to learn there have been only 12 editions during the Scouts’ 104-year history. “They really seem to have stuck to their core goal and mission. That is a good thing,” he said.
In addition, there is a large collection of Norman Rockwell prints, posters and decorative plates.
Potter said the exhibit is appealing to all ages as well as those with no personal involvement in Scouting.
“It cleared up a lot of my own perceptions of Scouting and gave me a much better appreciation and understanding of Scouting and what these young men actually do,” he said.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.