Joe Timmins had been the cubmaster of Pack 68 for five years as the year of 1985 began. Two of his boys were already in the Boy Scout troop after their tenure as Cub Scouts, one was currently in Cub Scouting, and one would soon be a member of the pack. Joe was an excellent cubmaster. He was enthusiastic. He was willing to put in the time needed to have a successful pack. He surrounded himself with a good committee. And the boys liked him.
It came as no surprise when I was told that Joe was to receive the district’s Scouter of the Year Award at the annual recognition banquet in February. He deserved it. He and the other pack leaders had built up the pack to nearly 50 members in a town of only 3000 people. When asked if I would attend the banquet I did not even have to think about it. I was going to be there to support Joe.
About a dozen of us carpooled to the banquet, including Joe and his wife Carol. I do not think Joe suspected anything. They had told him that someone he knew would be receiving an honor so he was attending to support that other person. The plan was working well.
After the meal they began to present the various awards to leaders from around the district. Then it was time for the Scouter of the Year. The presenter of the award started by talking about the recipient’s achievements and community service. It did not take me long to realize he was talking about our cubmaster. Joe was both surprised and honored as he accepted the award. Those of us sitting at the table were wearing ear to ear grins as he sat back down among us.
The presenter began reciting the achievements of a another person who would be receiving the Scouter of the Year. This time it would go to a scoutmaster. It did not take long to realize that the recipient was the 24 year old scoutmaster from my own troop. Me! I was shocked, and very honored, as I walked up to accept the certificate. I had no idea that this would be happening.
The pack and troop committee had told me that I should attend to support Joe. They had told Joe to attend to support me. It was a sneaky but great way to get the two of us to attend the banquet and keep it a secret from each of us.