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North Carolina Newspapers

[The echo]. volume ([Pisgah Forest, N.C.) 1940-19??, February 01, 1949, Image 7

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BOY SCOUT MONTH During February Boy Scouts of America celebrated the 39th anniversary of the or ganization. Joining in with a full week of ac tivities, the local scouts celebrated the 33rd year of the organization in Transylvania County. Many of us are familiar with the programs of the Boy Scouts, but very few know the early history of the organization in the county. In May 1916, Rev. John R. Hay, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, organized the first troop in Transylvania County. Prior to this time—1912, 13, 14 and 15—^Mr. Hay served as Scoutmaster in Columbia, Chester, and Wedgefield, S. C. The first meeting was in a barn which stood diagonal ly across from the Brevard-Davidson River Pres byterian Church. After the war the Scouts moved to the rooms of the American Legion, and, later, when the hut was built, they moved to the Pres byterian Church. Several Scouts of the first troop still live in in the county but many have moved away. Dur- mg the early days of the troop, the boys made frequent trips to points of interest, and each year went on a week’s camping trip. They were ready for a trip to Lake Toxaway when the dam broke, causing the "Toxaway Flood”; so they went to Lake Fairfield, which, thereafter, was their fa vorite spot until Camp Merriewood was built. On these trips they rode to Toxaway on the train and hiked on to Fairfield. The Pink Beds and other spots in Pisgah were also favorite camping places. On these trips Carr Lumber Company carried the boys in and out on their logging trains, and on one of these trips they had a very narrow escape when the train wrecked on the Looking Glass Grade. The troop bought a truck with funds raised by minstrel shows and contributions, and there after made the long trips in the truck, one of which was to Myrtle Beach—before it became a fashionable resort. Here they camped in fishing shacks along the beach, which the boys called "Camp Epsom” because the water from the arte sian wells tasted so much like Epsom Salts. Mr. Hay recalls that the mountain boys couldn’t drink the water with any satisfaction, and that Spencer Macfie, for one, didn’t have a drink of water the entire week that they were there. Mr. Hay said, "We had wonderful food on our camping trips and lived very inexpensively. We also lived dangerously. We were as careful as could be but had some narrow escapes: I have always been grateful to a good God for taking care of us. Once I foolishly led a group of boys down the side of Cedar Rock—we had no casual ties except that I wore out the seat of my pants and had to wear a sweater home.” While in Brevard Mr. Hay also organized a group of 9, 10, and 11 year old boys who were too young for the Scouts. This group he called "Trailers.” In 1930 boys of this age were organized na tionally into "Cub Scouts.” Mr. Hay is now Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hickory, N. C., and he was the first to organize the Cub Continued on page 9 Shown above is Rev. John R. Hay (at left) and Charlie Dunlop. Mr. Hay was the first Scoutmaster of Brevard Troop No. 1, and Charlie is the present Scoutmaster. 5

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