A Southington man who has dedicated 53 years to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program was honored during the March 1 worship service at First Baptist Church of Southington.
Ron Tooley was never a Boy Scout himself, but he has performed a vital role in the formation of hundreds, if not thousands, of boys involved in the program over the course of more than a half-century, according to the Scout officials who presided over the presentation ceremony.
“I just liked working with the kids,” he said in a release, explaining the reason why he has continued to serve.
Tooley is described in the release as a humble man, surprised by the accolades as he was presented a certificate designating him as a veteran of BSA. At the ceremony, he also received a letter from executives of the BSA National Council.
“Through your activities in Scouting, youth have been inspired to be better citizens and to do their duty to God and country. Your determination to succeed, your enthusiasm for life, your interest and concern, and your guidance and leadership of others are cornerstones upon which the youth of today will build tomorrow’s world,” the letter read in part.
Tooley started his service to BSA in February 1962 at the Christian Center in Pittsfield, Mass. as assistant scoutmaster to Troop 47. He rose to Scoutmaster of Troop 19 at Morningside Baptist Church in Pittsfield. Many campouts were on Mount Greylock, the tallest peak in Massachusetts, and at Camp Eagle.
He moved to Southington in 1966, and revived Cub Scout Pack 32 at Plantsville School. He began “Cub Land” at Deer Lake, Central CT Council Boy Scouts of America campground, where all packs in that Council had a day of events and fun. He also conducted Cub Scout leadership training.
Later, Tooley was involved with Troop 32 at the South End schoolhouse. During those years, he and another leader took a group of boys to Philmont (New Mexico) Scout Camp. “I took 20 boys out there and came back with 20 men,” he said in the release.
Tooley also got permission from the Hubenys in Southington to use their land for camping for both Boy and Girl Scouts as well as training for both organizations. He served as Scoutmaster at Plantsville Congregational Church, Troop 33, and is now the charter liaison of Troop 17 at First Baptist Church of Southington, the church of which he is a member. Tooley holds additional Scouting achievements including the Order of Arrow and the Wood Badge Award.
He is not the only member of the family who has earned distinction in the organization. Son, Bryan, is an Eagle Scout and member of Order of the Arrow, and daughter, Teri, is a First Class Girl Scout. His wife, Beverly, earned a Girl Scout leadership award and the Silver Beaver Award, a distinguished service award.
“We are a true Scouting family,” Beverly said in the release.