By David Reynolds, Dan Freeman & John Troutman (LaFollette Boy Scout Alumni):

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.

Volunteer Leaders

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).

From left: John Troutman at his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony with Scoutmaster Bob Kibler in 1975.

LaFollette Scout Leaders & Eagle Scouts (mid-1970s) 

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.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/12/2019-6AM)


3 Replies to “Scouting in LaFollette in the 1970s: Dedicated Volunteer Adult Leaders = Eagle Scouts”

  1. I was apart of Troop 622 attached to First Presbyterian Church in Lafollette. Scout masters Jeff Riggs, Richard Smith, John Richardson, and Phil Carr, Honarable Judge Greg Miller was an advisor as well. Was an amazing time in my life, had many adventures, and enduring memories. Scouts have taught me many things throughout my life, and I pass them along to my kids on a daily basis! Be prepared!

  2. Not to detract from those fine Scouts in the 1970’s but Scouting was active in LaFollette in the 1940’s and 50’s and had a most positive affect on my life as it has many. I did not attain the level of Eagle to my regret but stalled at the Life award. I did attain membership in the Order of the Arrow. Scoutmasters I remember were Tom Goad and Charles Brooks, both upstanding men. Our Troop met at the Methodist Church and for a time at the old LaFollette High School. There was another Troop in town that met at the East Lafollette School whole Scoutmaster was Dr. M. F. Gardner. Camp Sequoyah was developed during this area. I attended as a Scout one year and worked as a Junior Staff Member for two years while in high school. We often enjoyed camping at Sequoyah during other periods of the year. Scouting meant so much to me by establishing many of the principles with which I have lived my life. I am pleased to say that Bob Kibler, shown above, and I were acquainted during that time since we both resided on Beech St.

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