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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Scouting is highlighted at annual luncheon
Program sets expectations, creates future leaders
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Staff Photo by Charles Boothe: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Tracey Carter was the guest speaker at the annual Franklin County Friends of Scouting luncheon Thursday at Ippy’s. Andre Peery (seated) was emcee of the event.

Monday, March 17, 2014

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

The Franklin County Friends of Scouting luncheon was held Thursday at Ippy's in Rocky Mount.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Tracey Carter, ROTC instructor at Franklin County High School, was the guest speaker at the annual event, a fundraiser for the Patrick Henry District (formerly Va-Da-Li) for scouting groups.

Carter, who has been at FCHS for six years, talked about the success of the marksmanship teams he coaches at the high school, and how lessons of achievement there relate to scouting.

That's especially true with being a leader, he said, and supporting youth. Carter related his own experiences as a youth being helped by a leader.

"You need someone to pull you up, and that's what you do in scouting," he said.

Carter said when he was young he was told, "you can't do this or you can't do that."

But youth need to know "can't doesn't exist," he said. "Anytime somebody said I couldn't do it, I did it."

When he first came to FCHS, he said he was told a championship marksmanship team was most likely not possible. But FCHS now has championship teams, as in plural. The teams recently won the fifth national title and 10th national record in four years of competition. All 18 of the teams' shooters are nationally ranked.

In fact, the brand new precision team and all three sporter teams are JROTC north region champions after competing in the match in February at the Civilian Marksmanship Program's Olympic training range in Port Clinton, Ohio.

The results of the competition makes the precision team the U.S. Air Force national champions. This marks the first year that Franklin County has entered a precision team, and the team is already ranked second in the nation going into the All-Service competition on March 20.

But accomplishing these feats has not been an easy task, he said.

"We've had a lot support from the community and the schools," he said. "This is not about me, it's about the kids."

Carter said the students have been committed and have learned, just as Scouts do, that hard work pays off.

"Hard work produces results," he said. "You've got to get the hard work in."

Carter said that is a particularly difficult message to deliver these days with kids accustomed to "instant" gratification, but they do learn to slow down and get things done.

It's also about expectations, he said.

"It's where you set the bar," he said. "You have to set it high. When you've stopped learning, then you've stopped."

Carter said programs like the ROTC, the marksmanship teams and scouting help build kids' futures.

Phil Garrett, Patrick Henry District chairman, also spoke and echoed Carter's assessment.

"Scouts are taught to live by a code of conduct," he said. "There is a high correlation between scouting and achievement."

Scouting helps build future leaders, and that is important to everyone, Garrett said.

Bradley Parcell, who recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, told the group it's important to have the support found in scouting.

"You need a lot of support (to be an Eagle Scout)," he said. "It's a lot of work but it's definitely worth it."

Parcell, the son of Bob and Liz Parcell of Rocky Mount, said many kids spend a lot of time these days playing video games, but scouting will give them the opportunity to get outdoors and have experiences, learn how to do things, and have fun.

"It's awesome," he said of scouting.

Luncheon emcee Andre Peery also highlighted some recent activities of the Patrick Henry District. Those include 12 new Eagle Scouts in 2013 and five so far this year; three Boy Scout and two Cub Scout camporees last year; more than $141,000 raised last year to support these and other programs.

The annual luncheon was organized by the Franklin County Friends of Scouting team -- Betty Kingery, Harold Booth, Zach Wimmer and Peery.

Lew Hege, a BSA professional staff member, was also on hand.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to scouting can send a check payable to Blue Ridge Mountains Council, BSA, 2131 Valley View Blvd. NW, Roanoke VA 24012. Call 540-265-0656 or visit

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