Scouting, in this case Boy Scout, provides a bright ray of hope for America as demonstrated in Thom Fairleigh's presentation on April 23.


Thom, an Eagle Scout himself, is Scoutmaster for Troop 284 in Marble Falls. He has been involved in scouting as an adult since 2005. Thom shared with the Club some of the activities the local troop undertakes and outlined a number of interesting statistics that show how important scouting is to our society. For example:

  • In 2012, the centennial year of the Eagle Scout Award, 57,976 Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank—more than in any previous year.
  • 2,175,878 merit badges were earned by Boy Scouts in 2012.
  • On average, Scout volunteers give 20 hours per month in service to Scouting.
  • 181 NASA astronauts were involved in Scouting (57.4% of astronauts). 39 are Eagle Scouts.
  • 189 members of the 113th Congress participated in Scouting as a youth and/or adult leader. 27 are Eagle Scouts.
  • 36.4 percent of the United States Military Academy (West Point) cadets were involved in Scouting as youth. 16.3 percent of cadets are Eagle Scouts.

Scouting is alive and well in the Highland Lakes and is important because, simply, it makes a difference. (Editor's note: in 16 years on the District Court/Juvenile bench I never saw a Boy Scout in Juvenile Court). Our own Wade Whiteside is also involved in scouting as a leader for Troop 284, shown here with Thom.

Wade and Thom - scouting