Bob Ward recalls his time as a Boy Scout in Troop 26 in Higgins, Texas. He learned about discipline and being a good citizen from the scout leaders who had fought in World War II. He considered his move to Alpine to be a smart decision.
“Thanks to all of you here in the room that support our organization downtown. We’ve been able to make a living and we’ve been able to share as much as we can with to the community and that’s what we want to continue to do, so thank you a lot,” said Ward.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ward was given the Good Scout Award from the Buffalo Trail Council chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. The luncheon at Sul Ross State University included special guests Brian Powell from the office of Congressman Pete Gallego, Alpine Mayor Avi Rangra and Sul Ross President Dr. Ricardo Maestas. The event was emceed by Tom Michael from Marfa Public Radio. Every year, the Buffalo Trail Council recognizes someone who represents their ideals in the community. Scout leader Todd Bennett said the decision to honor Ward was unanimous.
“I think that anybody here who knows Bob Ward do know that he does that,” said Bennett.
Ward owns Morrison’s True Value, which stocks all the scouting supplies for the Big Bend region. His business has received many awards including “The Best Hardware Store in Town” in 2010. He’s also received other awards including The True Value/American Red Cross Helping Hand Award and The Sul Ross Athletic Hall of Honor Award.
Bennett said it’s a time of growth for scouting in West Texas. The Buffalo Trail Council serves 18 counties and more than 8,000 young people.
”So that means we serve a lot of kids in a lot of places and some places we serve one kid and a bunch of coyotes, but it’s a great venture for us,” said Bennett.
They offer special programs, such as the Lone Scout Program, which gives that one kid, who lives in a very rural area, the opportunity to become a Boy Scout.
For Bennett, one of the highlights is the Ropes Program. It allows young people who have been incarcerated to put on a Boy Scout uniform and learn about character and leadership. Bennett said that out of all the first-time offenders that go through the Ropes Program, there hasn’t been a single repeat offender.
“These programs, these special programs, are making a difference in a group of kids’ lives that are headed in the wrong direction and now we’re turning them around and heading them back towards values, character and leadership, so that’s very exciting,” said Bennett.
Bob Gray, the Assistant Scout Master of Troop 30 in Fort Davis, has known Ward for many years.
“He has the ethics. In a sense he personifies much of the scout law if not all of it. Honestly, integrity, the whole thing right down the line,” said Gray. “In other words, he’s a person we can admire.”