Sam Penrod, Deseret News
NEPHI — Glade Sanders was just 9 months old when the Boy Scouts of America awarded the first Eagle Scout badge in 1912.
Sanders, who is 100 years old himself, is receiving a rare honor for his decades of service in Scouting. Troop 133 in Nephi honored the pioneer in Scouting during a recent Court of Honor.
Sanders, who has been a Boy Scout since 1929, was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by the National Association of Eagle Scouts.
"Nationwide, there have only been 150 of these awarded and it is to recognize people who excelled in their careers and their community service who were Eagle Scouts in their youth," said Marty Hill of the National Eagle Scout Association.
After a standing ovation, the audience became quiet as Sanders expressed his thanks. “I want to thank all of you boys in the BSA. It has been a real pleasure,” said the 100-year-old, the second oldest living Eagle Scout in the country.
Sanders' story in Scouting began when he was 17 years old.
He still has his official membership card from 1929, indicating Calvin Coolidge was in the White House and was the honorary president of the BSA.
In those days, Scoutmasters could become an Eagle, and Sanders earned the rank in 1934, becoming the first Eagle Scout in Nephi.
Today his name is on the top of a plaque, recognizing all of the Eagle Scouts of Troop 133.
As the Scoutmaster, Sanders and his troop hiked to the summit of Mount Nebo, spent plenty of time camping, and — as his old photos illustrate — looked like a Scout troop that Norman Rockwell could have painted.
And they did it all during those tough economic days of the 1930s.
"Back in the Depression, when no one had anything, they went camping in the middle of winter, and all they had were blankets and whatever they could make. The boy's didn't have packs, they didn't have sleeping bags.” Hill said.
As Kirk Sanders thumbed through his father’s Scoutmaster log book from 1941, it detailed who had paid their dues.
”These are his records of who paid what, 15 cents and 10 cents.” Kirk said.
In fact this week, 71 years ago, the logbook shows Sanders’ troop studied the Scout Law and firemanship.
Kirk Sanders said his dad has always treasured his memories in Scouting. His father was a Scoutmaster for nine years and an active Scouter for 29 years. He is also a recipient of Scouting's Silver Beaver award.
"Through the years, I can remember how many of his troop had come in and told him how much they appreciated him taking the time to be a Scoutmaster.”
Sanders has now outlived all but one of his 19 scouts.
“As the guys got older, it really made an impression on their lives and their kids and grandkids have been involved in Scouting, which carries on forever. So what Dad started, is still going tonight," Kirk Sanders said
And now the Eagle Scout tradition Glade Sanders started in Nephi in 1934 continues, instilling the ideals of Scouting to yet another generation.
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