Celebrating 50 Years With the Boy Scouts

It was an event filled with highs and lows from the death of four leaders to the visit from the president of the United States. A Boy Scout enthusiast from Tallahassee was there.

Robert Schimdt just got back Thursday afternoon. He has been involved with the Boy Scouts organization for nearly 50 years, and this 81-year-old, who some lovingly call Colonel Sanders, has no intention of quitting.

Robert Schmidt is showing off his plethora of Boy Scout memorabilia, nearly 50 years worth!

Schmidt has been a cub and Boy Scout, troop leader, scout master and Eagle Scout in those 50 years. He was there in Fort AP, Virginia at this year's Boy Scout Jamboree when four adult leaders were electrocuted while pitching a tent.

Robert Schmidt says, "It was a very somber situation when they announced it to our camp. Everybody felt for the scouts first because they were the ones who were going to suffer; they had no leadership."

He was also there when President George Bush spoke to the jamboree's estimated 50,000 people, but that wasn't his first presidential experience. He and his scout troop met President Nixon in 1973.

Robert says, "The Secret Service man came over and said, 'do you think your boys would like to see the president and meet the prime minister?' I said, 'I think so.' He took us down the wall; we stood in the rose garden and watched the president meet the prime minister from Japan."

His family is quite proud.

Penny Scruggs, Robert Schmidt's daughter, says, "I have met a lot of men who have come up to me and said, 'your dad served as my scout master and touched my life.' So, we're proud of him, and I speak for all my family."

Schmidt says he plans to work with Boy Scouts for a long time to come.

Robert says, "Until the day they shut the box."

Schmidt says he's been invited back for the 2010 Jamboree, which will also mark the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts.

For all those patches and Boy Scout memorabilia Schmidt has what he calls "the Boy Scout room" in his home. He says he going to look into setting up a display at the Tallahassee Museum.


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