A photo of my dad (right hand side) and his beloved Minister, Reverend Fred Herwaldt. Both of these fine gentlemen are now residing in Heaven with the good Lord. Both worked untiring and with earnest dedication in leading boys to follow a moral compass through the God and Country Award classes of the Boy Scouts of America.
My Father’s Undying Belief in Hope for Young People
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Most people think that when my Dad stepped down from his 28 year service as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170, from 1994, that he had totally retired from volunteer service in scouting. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think that in my little Mayberry, that a lot of people were jealous of my dad. As a result, a lot of unkind things were often said about my dad. Ironically, from the very people that Dad had helped at one time or another.
Dad was 66 years old when he retired as Scoutmaster of good old Troop 170. He had already had a heart attack. It was becoming more and more difficult for him to put a full pack on his back and lead the boys on a hike on the Appalachian Trail. It became more and more difficult for him to camp out.
But my father wasn’t about to give up on his ministry to serve others. My dad firmly believed that it was better to shape a boy to become a moral gentleman than to rehabilitate a wayward man. And thus, in 1994 my dad began serving as an Advisor for the Boy Scouts of America, Protestant religious award, God and Country.
Dad served as an Advisor for the God and Country Award from 1994 till 2005. During this time, Dad touched the hearts and minds of many boys, guiding them to follow the golden light of truth, to follow a moral compass, and to love the Lord. The God and Country Award is a combination of scholastic study of the Holy Bible interweaved with very practical ways for a boy to apply the teachings of the Bible to serve his family, church and community.
Dad worked with several churches in the northern New Jersey area, in his dedicated service to teach the God and Country Award classes to scouts. The program is basically a one-year study combined with selfless service to help other people. Dad took this job very seriously, he was earnestly dedicated to the cause.
I often reflect on how many boys’ lives my Dad touched through his 41 year service as a volunteer Scout Leader. For Dad had served two years as Committeeman in Troop 170, from 1964 to 1966. He served 28 years as Scoutmaster of Troop 170, from 1966 to 1994. And, Dad served 11 years as an Advisor for the God and Country Award. It’s a question that only the good Lord knows the answer to.
I loved my Dad with all my heart, mind and soul. I miss him so much. Many of you who know me, know that I’m a bit of a horse-drawn man. I still write stories and articles with old fashioned pen and paper. And, until only a few years ago, I would still type articles with an old fashioned mechanical typewriter.
Whenever I sit down to write an article or to write a story and I face that blank sheet of paper and fight the horrible monster of writer’s block, I think of my beloved Dad. Often times, when Dad was still alive on this side of Heaven’s Gate, I would ask him for advice or he would share an inspiring thought with me and I would then be able to slay the fire-breathing dragon of writer’s block.
Now I find, whenever I’m fighting writer’s block, I’ll think of my dad and take a minute and look at his picture. Then a Bible verse will come to mind or I’ll recall a word of encouragement that he shared with me.
I know a lot of my good readers are now facing the same challenges that I’m facing. There’s the aches and pains of being a bit older now. To put it very plainly, it’s getting tougher to throw on a full pack and hike the Appalachian Trail. But the truth of it all is this, it doesn’t mean it’s time to say farewell to serving others. It just may mean that a new avenue of selfless service is needed to be found.