Skip to comments.Nation's oldest Scout laid to rest in Susquehanna
Posted on 11/19/2010 8:50:46 AM PST by Born Conservative
SUSQUEHANNA - Ira Reynolds, who joined the Boy Scout movement in 1914 - when it was just 4 years old - was laid to rest early Thursday afternoon.
About 50 youths from Boy Scout Troop 81 and Cub Scout Pack 81, thrust three fingers in the air and in unison cited the Scout pledge and oath just moments before Reynolds' casket was lowered at Evergreen Cemetery.
The 108-year-old Reynolds was the nation's oldest Boy Scout when he died Nov. 13, and Thursday he was remembered by Scout executive Art Worrick as the embodiment of the oath.
"The boys who encountered him at summer camp learned a lot and have great memories of a man who loved the outdoors," Worrick said.
Worrick said that about six months ago the national organization of Boy Scouts of America developed a 90-year service pin for Reynolds, an unprecedented honor.
Worrick said each year Reynolds would pick one night at camp and have the Scouts lie on the ground, shut off all lights and look at the constellations while he told stories about each.
"You could almost touch them, the way he talked," Worrick said.
Susquehanna United Methodist Church Pastor James Rouse told a story of 10th-graders remembering a leaf-collection assignment they had to complete by visiting a nature trail that Reynolds and his wife, Beatrice, maintained in their yard not far from Susquehanna Community High School.
He had 28 of 29 leaves needed for the assignment, Rouse said.
Susquehanna Borough council President David Scales recalled that more than 50 years ago, Reynolds took him aside with other boys and shared the name of the tree each leaf went with, "and it was awesome because they were lessons you never forget."
"His love of nature and love for children was phenomenal and unmistakable," Scales said.
And for that reason, Scales announced at the funeral that borough council had agreed that Riverside Park would be renamed the Ira Reynolds Memorial Park and Nature Trail.
He also read a proclamation from Mayor Michael Mattas that declared Nov. 18 a Day of Remembrance for Ira Reynolds.
Reynolds joined Troop 1 Black Bear Patrol in Dorranceton in 1914 and had Laurance Thompson, who authored the first aid section of the original Boy Scouts Handbook, as his scoutmaster.
He achieved the rank of Tenderfoot Scout on July 24, 1915, and then Second Class on Nov. 19 of that year. He became a First Class Scout on Oct. 18, 1916.
In 1934, Reynolds started the Boy Scout effort in Susquehanna when he organized Troop No. 81.
That unit survives today.
Sounds like he lead a full life. I wonder if he worked at the hat factory in his home town.
"Thrust three fingers in the air"?
What a rotten thing to write, like it's some sort of nazi salute.
Liberals are truly scum.
A Scout in 1914! Imagine the things he’s seen in his lifetime!
Not far from where I grew up. Cool
Reminds me of the movie: Follow Me Boys with Fred McMurray.
If you were a scout, it would mean something. I didn’t read it the same way.
It goes to prove that you can never bee too old to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
I would have loved to have heard some of his stories.
“On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. “
Guess they mention the oath itself. Its politically incorrect.
Well done Mr. Reynolds.
I had a friend who was probably one of the first Cub Scouts. His mom didn’t let him stay with it but before he died in his mid 90’s he told me a few stories of the fun they had lo those many years ago.
May he rest in peace.