ANDERSON — On his desk, encased in glass, Mayor Kris Ockomon still keeps the model car he used to win the Pinewood Derby. His experience as a Boy Scout continues to guide Ockomon as mayor of Anderson.

“I’m Kris Ockomon, Pack 229, Den No. 4,” Ockomon said.

“In Scouting, there are many things they learn and I learned that I use in my everyday life.”

On Thursday, the Sakima District of the Boy Scouts of America held its 2008 Leadership Breakfast for Scouting at the Anderson Center for the Arts. The goal of the event was to ensure that the values fostered by Scouting continue well into the future.

By the end of the breakfast, Ockomon announced that $4,590 had been donated by those in attendance. According to the Crossroads of America Council, to which the Sakima District belongs, 25 percent of funding for the council comes from direct contributions.

Mike Harris of National City Bank and chairman of the Sakima District said the Scouting experience was about more than camping and merit badges.

“Scouting serves young people by being an extension of their family, their school and their church,” Harris said. “It instills lifelong values. Times may change, but high ideals and positive values never go out of style.”

Harris said the Sakima District, which includes Madison County, western Henry County and northwest Hancock County, includes 442 Scouts and 572 registered adult volunteers.

In its 98 years of existence, Harris said, the Boy Scouts of America has worked with 115 million young people. He described it as “the largest youth movement in the free world.”

Cub Scout Eric Hasty of Pack 242, sponsored by Markleville North Christian Church, said he has enjoyed being a scout and looks forward to graduating to Boy Scouts next year.

“I like Cub Scouts because, since I’ve been in Cub Scouts, I’ve done some pretty good stuff,” said Hasty, who Scott plans to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. “I’ve been in a commercial with Scott Sharp, an Indy 500 driver. I’ve done camping, canoeing and even first aid.”

Meanwhile, Bradley Alcoe of Boy Scout Troop 208 said he has benefited from the social aspect of Scouts and has enjoyed meeting Scouts from abroad. His sister, Ashley Alcoe, is a part of the coed Venture Crew 208.

“I joined because it gave me the opportunity to do some things I wouldn’t normally do, like rappelling and white water rafting,” she said. “Scouts has helped me grow in leadership, I think.”

Recommended for you