Since it’s been two-plus years since the passing of three LaFollette Boy Scout “alumni” — Leader Lee White, and Scouts Kim “CJ” Russell, and Jimmy Arnold — a reflection of Scouting for the area makes sense. All were former members of Boy Scout Troop 435, sponsored by the LaFollette United Methodist Church. The troop was active for many years: it’s leadership in the 1970s helped develop a number of Eagle Scouts, Boy Scouting’s highest award. Feb. 8 was National Boy Scouts Day; Feb. is also Boy Scout month.
Many dedicated adult volunteers helped crank out a large number of Scouts who earned their Eagle:
Robert “Bob” Kibler, longtime Scoutmaster. Bob’s professional career included many years as an officer at First Federal Savings & Loan in LaFollette.
Lee White, Assistant Scoutmaster. Lee served as the Purchasing Manager for the then-LaFollette Community Hospital, and on the hospital’s EMT service.
James “Jim” Meredith, Assistant Scoutmaster. Jim ran his own construction company.
William “Bill” Russell, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 435. Bill was a biology teacher at LaFollette High School.
Eagle Scouts from Troop 435
The young men who earned their Eagle Scout under these leaders in the 1970s included (starting with oldest): Gordon Sneed, Kirby Berry, Tim Couch, Tommy Overton, Chuck Taylor*, Dan Freeman, William Neal, John Troutman, Tim “TR” Carson, David Reynolds, Kim “CJ” Russell*, Walter “Scooter” Cox, Mike “Bug” Cox, Johnny Sutton*, Rob Kibler, and Doug Kibler (* indicates deceased). In addition, these Scouts were members of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor-camper society, as were Troop 435 leaders Bob Kibler and Jim Meredith.
Camping & Hiking
These Eagle Scouts and others in Troop 435 held many camping trips at Camp Sequoyah on Norris Lake near LaFollette; and during the summers went for a week to Camp Pellissippi on Norris Lake near Andersonville. Other activities for several members of this group of 1970s Scouts included a 12-day hiking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in 1975. (See photos). Six LaFollette Scouts: Chuck Taylor, Dan Freeman, William Neal, John Troutman, Kim “CJ” Russell, and Walter “Scooter” Cox hiked 82 miles through the rugged wilderness of 140,177 acres in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico. For more photos, see Facebook: LaFollette, TN Boy Scout Leaders & Eagle Scouts in 1970s.
Want More Info on Scouting?
LaFollette-area youth and adults interested in participating in Scouting can contact Logan Hickman, Boy Scout’s Great Smoky Mountain Council Commissioner, at 423-562-4921. Logan, who earned his Eagle as a youth, is currently the EVP at Peoples Bank of the South in LaFollette. Coming from a family of Eagle Scouts, Logan pinned the Eagle Scout badge on his sons David and Andy in 2010.
The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, and soon thereafter, Scouting took hold in LaFollette as the B.S.A.’s LaFollette Council was chartered in the city between 1921 and 1923. That council later merged into the Great Smoky Mountain Council (based in Knoxville).
LaFollette Scout Leaders & Eagle Scouts (mid-1970s):
Left photo: from left: John Troutman at his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony with Scoutmaster Bob Kibler in 1975.
Right photo: top from left: David Reynolds, Asst. Scoutmaster Lee White, Kim “CJ” Russell, Daniel Freeman. Bottom row from left: Chuck Taylor, John Troutman, and Johnny Sutton, in an Eagle Scout Award ceremony for Reynolds and Russell in 1978.
Double Eagle Ceremony in 1978: Assistant Scoutmaster Lee White (center) congratulates new Eagle Scouts David Reynolds (left) and Kim “CJ” Russell during their Eagle Scout Award Ceremony in 1978
Six LaFollete Eagle Scouts tackle Rocky Mountains: From left, then clockwise: John Troutman, Chuck Taylor, Walter “Scooter” Cox (partially hidden), William Neal, Kim “CJ” Russell, and Dan Freeman hiked 82 miles at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, N.M., in 1975. All six Scouts earned their Eagle as members of LaFollette’s Troop 435. For more photos, see Facebook: LaFollette, TN Boy Scout Leaders & Eagle Scouts in 1970s.