By Jeffra Wise DeViney
Mike Beer, CEO of Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scouts and President of Greater Lake Charles Rotary Club was the guest speaker at the Thursday, June 2, Rotary Club of DeQuincy meeting.
Beer started his talk reciting the Scouts’ oath … “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country. To help other people at all times, to obey Scout law, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
He said he had moved many times, but now lives in Sulphur. A turbulent childhood and a scout uniform led him to Boy Scouts. Before becoming a Scout, he tells of his dad having him wear a Scout uniform to baseball games. A Scout was allowed free entry into the games.
Beer attended a school that was not recruited for Scouts, so he never knew much about Scouts. One day he attended a Scout meeting at a Catholic Church and got to play marbles with them, and liked it. When he became a Scout, he was later recognized at an awards meeting for playing marbles. The recognition was something that was lacking in his home life. That recognition from the Scouts and that church opened up a caring world to him. He was hooked on Scouting.
He emphasized that something about Scouting teaches you about engagement with the community; almost every household has been impacted by scouting in some way.
Camp Edgewood, located outside of DeQuincy, has been in operation since 1953. It is a mainstay for children of ’Southwest Louisiana with 2000 families involved. He explained girls are now involved in Boy Scouts, and currently he has about 17 girls in his group.
Scouting provides opportunities to explore things most kids would not normally have the chance to explore, and the whole family can become involved. It’s a safe environment to learn in, with over 130 merit badges to earn as they learn.
Camp Edgewood suffered over $5 million in damages from recent hurricanes. They do not have the resources or a budget to fix everything. Beer indicated they still have blue roofs on buildings. The camp has 10,000 visitors per year.
Looking forward … he hopes that more programs will be started in DeQuincy for Scouts. They are currently looking for a community partner. He said no other youth program teaches values and principles like Scouting. The foundational principal is a duty to God.
He told the Rotarians in closing “Be Prepared!”