During the December Court of Honor Ceremony held Monday, Dec. 19, longtime scouter and volunteer Richard Schroeder was honored by Troop 120 and the City of California naming the scouthouse in his honor. Schroeder is on the Troop Committee and started scouting when he was 12 years old. He is an Eagle Scout of Troop 5 in Jefferson City.
For over 60 years Schroeder has been involved with scouting from being a scout himself to serving in adult leadership after he turned 18. Apart from the time he served in the military and while going to college at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Schroeder has been active with the troop since he was 12. He said being honored by Troop 120 means a lot to him.
"It was something totally unexpected," Schroeder said. "I do this because I understand the impact of scouting and the potential it creates in the life of a young boy. I just wanted to share my enjoyment of scouting with others."
Troop 120 Scoutmaster Scott Jobe, who led the ceremony along with Assistant Scoutmaster Eric Schroeter, said the process of naming the scouthouse in Schroeder's honor included speaking to Mayor Norris Gerhart earlier in the year. After Gerhart received approval from the City Council the scouts could then name the building and honor the man who has become synonymous with the California troop.
"Schroeder has held every position that a person can hold within the Troop," Jobe said "He has taught scout skills and been a moral influence on numerous young men and women throughout his lifetime in Scouting. Schroeder taught me my knots back in the early 80's when I was a Scout. I remember him leading hikes and taking us camping throughout my time in Scouts. When I became Scoutmaster in 2004, he was always there to guide and help me continue the great legacy of Scouting we have in Troop 120. He continues to this day to be active in the Troop by passing along his knowledge to the Scouts during meetings and hikes."
An interesting image from the night was Schroeder standing with Nathan Thibon, who graduated from scouting to becoming an assistant scoutmaster and Ben Deraps who just joined Troop 120 as a scout after being in the Troop 120 Cub Scouts.
"Thibon became an assistant scoutmaster when he reached the age of 18," Schroeder said. "You are no longer a scout, but become an adult volunteer. He is now a member of our adult leadership. I remember him being a brand new scout just out of cub scouting. I have seen him grow and enjoyed helping him along the way. When they introduced Deraps as a new scout, I saw some interest in his eyes with everything going on around him. So I asked him to come up and contrast a new scout with one which just graduated into adult leadership."
Troop 120 Eagle Scout Bryan Wolford spoke during the ceremony about the impact scouting has made on his life. Troop 120 has 21 Eagle Scouts currently registered with many in attendance at the ceremony including Jack Bowlin, who was the troop's second Eagle Scout. Also at the Dedication was longtime scout friend Richard Barry, Schroeder's two sons Rudy and Philip along with his wife Carol.
During the ceremony a photo of Schroeder taken with Senior Age Scouts on Trapper Peak, Idaho, which is the highest peak in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area. The picture was taken in 1976 when the troop went on high adventure trips.
"Schroeder's son Philip is an artist who painted a representation of the group picture in Idaho," Jobe said. "This was given to Schroeder when he was recognized for being a pioneer in the scouting movement in the Five Rivers District. Richard has received numerous awards for his involvement in scouting at the Troop and District level."
Jobe said the troop holds three Court-of-Honor ceremonies each year where awards and recognition are given to the Scouts. Parents are invited to attend to encourage their sons to strive for further advancement. Highlights included Trevor Barbour being selected as the new Senior Patrol Leader for the year and Garrett Johnson being selected as the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for the year.
Finally, Jobe said Troop 120 goes to a weeklong summer camp every year where the Scouts do numerous activities. The Troop is also sending a crew to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this summer for two weeks of backpacking in the mountains. Any young man between the ages of 11-17 can join the troop by calling Jobe at 573-796-5685.