cover story Ken Fulk, volunteer Boy Scouts’ Southern Sky District committee chair, estimates that the Allen, Lucas, Fairview area has between 1,700 and 1,800 active members. He points out that the district, which also includes Frisco, Prosper and Celina, has had a growth rate between 7 to 14 percent over the last few years. “We work hard to get out in the schools and recruit, and this has resulted in membership numbers that are fairly impressive,” he declares. The Circle Ten Council recently celebrated the opening of their new Bobby Lyle Billy Gamble Service Center at 5600 US 75 in Fairview. But as any dedicated Girl or Boy Scout volunteer will tell you, this success isn’t about the numbers but about each and every individual girl and boy involved.
Who is scouting for?
Scouting for boys begins in first grade with Cub Scouts, part of the same Boy Scouts of American organization but a separate program. Boy Scout membership begins in sixth grade. The ranks for this program are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and, for an elite few, Eagle. The various levels are achieved by meeting the requirements of the previous rank before moving up to the next level, skipping no levels, no matter the starting age or grade of the Boy Scout. Girl Scout rankings are not earned but determined by what grade a girl is in. Daisies are kindergarten and first grade, Brownies are second and third grade, Juniors are fourth and fifth grade, Cadettes are sixth through eighth grade, Seniors are ninth and tenth grade and Ambassadors are high school juniors and seniors. The last three levels offer opportunities for awards following completion of approved projects: Bronze for Cadettes, Silver for Seniors and Gold for Ambassadors. Let’s meet a few Boy and Girl Scouts who, in earning their ranks, have distinguished themselves while serving their troops, districts and community at large.
involved in Scouting since he was six years old. He earned his Eagle Scout rank last year at the age of 13. Nicholas’ almost life-long passion for helping others was the reason he first became involved in Scouting. “When I was four, we were visiting San Antonio and I saw some homeless people under a bridge,” he explains. “I thought that wasn’t right and I’ve wanted to help homeless people ever since then.” Through the years, he has participated in a number of activities to aid the homeless. These projects include collecting travel-sized personal care products, food and cleaning supplies for the residents at Collin County’s Samaritan Inn. By the age of 12, Nicholas had started his own non-profit organization— Comfort and Joy—with guidance from his mother, Laura. For his Eagle project in 2009, he set a goal of Comfort and Joy providing new winter coats for Samaritan Inn’s residents. “That year, we raised $3,400 and bought 129 coats,” he points out. “My cousins in East Texas had car washes; my barbershop had penny drives; my parents raised money from around work and helped me raise money from scout leaders and friends.” Burlington Coat Factory offered Nicholas a 10 percent discount and opened their doors early so he and volunteers from his troop would have
uninterrupted time and space to shop. Other Boy Scouts assisted him with sorting, tagging and delivering the coats to the Samaritan Inn. The success of his Eagle project inspired Nicholas to expand the efforts of his non-profit organization. More donations of cash, as well as new coats came in, and last Christmas, Comfort and Joy distributed 56 coats to CITY House, a shelter for teens in Plano, as well as 100 coats to Allen Community Outreach. Registering with USA Weekend’s national Make A Difference Day, which is every fourth Saturday in October, Nicholas designated last year’s day as the one to purchase the coats that would be distributed in December. His efforts were recognized by Make a Difference, and Comfort and Joy was named one of 13 recipients awarded a $10,000 prize at a Washington, D.C., luncheon in April. In addition to being selected for the regional Prudential Community Service Award, Nicholas has received accolades for his accomplishments from Senator John Cornyn and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Empowered by this additional support and acknowledgment of Comfort and Joy’s potential, Nicholas is now exploring new options for how his organization can aid the homeless. For his next campaign, this Eagle Scout wants to purchase suits for Samaritan Inn residents to wear for job interviews.
A member of Troop 306 in Allen, 14-year-old Nicholas Cobb has been
Nicholas Cobb and Cokie Roberts A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11