2006.05.03: May 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Dominican Republic: Boy Scouts: Awards: Providence Journal: Dominican Republic RPCV Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Dominican Republic: Peace Corps Dominican Republic : The Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic: February 24, 2003 - Camp Yawgoog: Neil Ross was a Peace Corps Volunteer in that nation in 1962-64, when he first became involved with the Dominican Scouting as a Troop leader and on the national level : 2006.05.03: May 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Dominican Republic: Boy Scouts: Awards: Providence Journal: Dominican Republic RPCV Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-13-39.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.13.39) on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 1:37 am: Edit Post

Dominican Republic RPCV Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years

Dominican Republic RPCV Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years

He started out as a Cub Scout in Cranston, was a Boy Scout with Troop 20, also in Cranston, and in 1958, became an assistant Scoutmaster. He has long assisted with Troop 1 Kingston and Troop 10 Providence -- all the while being husband to Nancy and father to Lincoln, Brook and Heather. Ross has also been a marina consultant, Peace Corps volunteer and recruiter, in addition to numerous other paid jobs and volunteer positions. He is also a published author and technical adviser.

Dominican Republic RPCV Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years

Kingston man earns Silver Beaver by grooming Scouts for success

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, May 3, 2006

BY ARLINE A. FLEMING
Journal Staff Writer

SOUTH KINGSTOWN -- Kingston's Neil W. Ross has been involved in Scouting, either as a member or as a leader, for the better part of his 65 years.

He has seen hundreds of Scouts earn badges move up throught the ranks and become Eagle Scouts. And some of them have gone on to become troop leaders themselves.

But despite all of those Scouting years, last summer, Ross heard a young Scout say something he had never heard a Scout say before.

The youngster, his troop members, troop leader and Ross were enjoying an outing on Narragansett Bay.

"'This is the happiest day of my life,"' the boy told Ross.

For Ross, it was a pretty happy day, as well.

"I think this is one of the things that we do in Scouting -- give boys opportunities they never had before and encourage them to do more," he said.

Ross recently was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, "presented for distinguished service to young people within a BSA local council," notes the Boy Scouts of America national Web site. The award is granted by one's own peers in Scouting. Eight other recipients were named statewide.

Despite reaching this pinnacle in his Scouting career, Ross said he's not planning on becoming a Scouting emeritus any time soon.

"I'm 65. I'll probably not retire from Scouting. It's fun," he said, despite grimacing as he recalled a strenuous hike taken recently with young Scouts while visiting the Dominican Republic.

That hike felt like a Boston Marathon to his legs and lungs, but he didn't quit until he saw the finish line, he said.

"I'm just glad I'm alive and made it back. It was unbelievably steep."

Having started his Scouting life in Cranston in 1947, there have been few non-Scouting days for Ross.

He started out as a Cub Scout in Cranston, was a Boy Scout with Troop 20, also in Cranston, and in 1958, became an assistant Scoutmaster. He has long assisted with Troop 1 Kingston and Troop 10 Providence -- all the while being husband to Nancy and father to Lincoln, Brook and Heather. Ross has also been a marina consultant, Peace Corps volunteer and recruiter, in addition to numerous other paid jobs and volunteer positions. He is also a published author and technical adviser.

Besides his stateside involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, Ross has been a Scoutmaster in the Dominican Republic, organized nine Scout trips to the United Nations and created an international exchange program at South County's Camp Yawgoog recruiting and hosting Dominican staff.

Ross has been active in Troop 1 Kingston, as its Scoutmaster, committee member, merit badge instructor and, at present, Eagle Scout coordinator.

Some 40 local young men have earned their Eagle badges -- Scouting's highest award -- under his leadership, with more ahead.

During the spring, Ross has been supervising the Eagle candidacy of Timothy Marran of South Kingstown, a member of Troop 1 Kingston, who has put in dozens of hours sprucing up the Benjamin F. Robinson Memorial Square on Main Street, Wakefield.

The goal was not just to make it weed-free, but to also have it ready for the Memorial Day parade that often makes a stop at the triangular bit of land at the corner of Main and High streets.

Timothy, 16, a junior at The Prout School, Wakefield, was responsible for drawing up the plans for his project, meeting with Ross for guidance, and seeing the project through to the end.

"It's a lot more work than you think," Timothy said of the project that had its beginnings last summer. It wasn't just the physical labor of clearing debris, clipping hedges and tree limbs, but there was also the verbal effort involved in telephoning South Kingstown Parks and Recreation employees for approval, asking for donations of supplies from area businesses, arranging for volunteers to assist him and projecting and preparing for possible safety hazards in the course of the work.

"We're looking to see if he has the maturity to become an Eagle," Ross said. "What we're looking for is leadership."

Although Ross' two sons achieved Eagle Scout rank, Ross never did. During his boyhood, Scouts were required to memorize the Morse Code, but he had trouble meeting the standard because of a problem with dyslexia.

He dropped out of Scouting then for a while, he said, frustrated by not being able to advance. But while in college at the University of Rhode Island, he was invited by his brother-in-law to assist with a Cranston troop and has been connected to Scouting ever since.

Ross has seen the number of Eagle Scouts in Kingston's Troop 1 grow from 18 in 1982 to 56 in 2005, with 4 more in preparation. In a sense, he has symbolically earned his own Eagle rank many times over.

Said Ross of Scouting: "It's a fun program. It's out of doors, it's a lot of activity. I like watching kids go through all the kinds of things I did. It helps keep me young."





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Story Source: Providence Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Dominican Republic; Boy Scouts; Awards

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