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Scout for life

Scott to be honored for scouting
and community involvement

Recognition dinner planned for Feb. 10

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(February 2008) – When boys join the Boy Scouts of America, they take an oath that says: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Perin Scott

Perin Scott

For 75 years, Madison, Ind., resident Perin Scott, 88, has taken that oath seriously and lived it to the letter. Scott has dedicated his life to helping others in the community through civic organizations and his church, and he has also been a mentor and role model for hundreds of boys involved in scouting.
Scott will be recognized for his dedication and commitment to his community and scouting at 2 p.m. on Feb. 10 at Mavericks Restaurant. Scout members plan to award him with the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
The dinner is also a fundraiser for the Hoosier Trails Council Endowment, which helps finance scouting in a variety of ways. Money collected at the dinner will be added to the endowment in Perin Scott’s name, said Hoosier Hills District Director Kelly McMurphy. There will be several prominent speakers at the dinner, including Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong, former Madison Mayor Al Huntington and U.S. Congressional candidate Mike Sodrel.
“Perin Scott’s dedication and commitment to scouting is simply invaluable,” said McMurphy. “Quite frankly, we don’t exist without people like Perin.”
Scott’s scouting career began back in 1932, when he as 12 years old. “I would sit at the gate of Camp Louis Ernst and dream of going there to camp,” said Scott in an interview conducted last year about scouting.
He has been in every position in scouting, from troop member to district director. He has earned Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts. The Eagle Scout Award is a highly-recognized achievement throughout the world. He has also been given the distinguished Silver Beaver Award in Scouting.
McMurphy said it is extremely rare that someone would stay actively involved in scouting for 75 years. “I have worked for numerous councils throughout the country, and I don’t know of anyone else who has done this,” he said.
Even when Scott was at West Point Military Academy and during World War II when he was an U.S. Air Force pilot, he kept his membership in the Boy Scouts of America current.
Don Riley, 70, one of the organizers of the event, said Scott was his Scoutmaster. “He has been an idol to a lot of boys, including myself,” he said.
When Riley left Madison to join the U.S. Marines, he had only earned the rank of Star Scout. But he said during those long three years in service, he had plenty of time to reflect upon all that Scott had taught him about the importance of Eagle Scout. “I just kept thinking about the value of that award, and I knew Perin was right about it.”
When he got out of the service, an opportunity came for Riley to take over as Scoutmaster of local troop No. 17. Alongside his boys, Riley worked hard and at the age of 21, earned his Eagle Scout Award. “I can’t thank Perin enough,” he said.
But scouting was not the only community organization Scott has been involved in. “I honestly can’t think of a board of directors or trustees that my father hasn’t been involved with,” said his daughter, Penny Sanchez. “He loves Madison and is dedicated to his community.”
Some of his civic work has included the Rotary Club, the King’s Daughters’ Hospital and Health Services Board of Directors, and the Madison Consolidated School Board. Scott was also involved in getting the Madison Regatta formed. “For years, my father could be seen manning the gates of the Regatta,” said Sanchez.
In 2001, Scott received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award for civic responsibility from then Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon.
But his community work still doesn’t end there. For 22 years Scott led the Bible Study Fellowship in Columbus, Ind. He retired from that position just last year. He taught Sunday School at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison for decades and is still on the Board of Trustees there.
And through it all, Scott has continued to go to work daily at his E. Perin Scott Insurance Co.

• The ceremony to honor Perin Scott is open to the public. Reservations are required and seats at the dinner range from $25 to $200. For more information about the event, call (812) 336-6809.

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