Boy Scouts ask for volunteers to help with new troop

October 01, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

PERRYVILLE - Crawford Springs is a well known historical site with Civil War enthusiasts and other history buffs. It is the actual spring that was used for vital water supply for Gen. Bragg and his troops during an unprecedented drought in the 1800s. The house that still sits on the property provided a headquarters for the general during the Battle of Perryville and is recognized as a National Landmark.

There is a closed off road beside the house that was once fairly busy and did not have the "do not enter, no trespassing sign" posted on the gate. The area behind this is woodsy as well as open, and a gray rundown building sits at the bottom of the hill. This is referred to as Bonn Scout Camp, and a memorial slab on the empty flag pole states "Dedicated to C.A. Bond, founder of Troop 90, active in scouting 1943-1986."


Whether or not the Boy Scout troops participated in the Battle of Perryville re-enactments in the late 1960s and early '70s is disputed. "Scouting was such an influence on the lives of younger men in this area during that time, it seems crazy not to think they didn't join in," said Steve Ellis, a "Scouter" from Troop 119.

Ellis and others will recruit local middle school boys this month to start a local troop to continue the history.

Lexi Hicks, daughter of the late Gladys and Arthur B. Coyle, has every intention of making sure it happens. "She knew that the area was very important to her mother, and that she knew she would want the area maintained and be used for what it was put there for," Ellis said. Hicks could not be reached for comment.

Mrs. Coyle and her husband are noted as having been instrumental in the development of Perryville Battlefield State Park and the annual Boy and Girl Scout Trek, among many things they did for the area.

Ellis said Hicks contacted the "scout executives" to make sure that an attempt to bring back a troop to the area was made. The building at the foot of the hill was constructed in the 1970s by the Coyles for the purpose of scouting but has not been used as such since the 1990s.

Mike Simpson, an employee of Kentucky School for the Deaf, volunteers as an assistant scout master for Troop 27 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Danville and recalls going to the area as a kid.

"I would love to see a troop started back. Scouting is a great organization, and it's good for kids to be involved in it. We teach morals, how to be self-sufficient, how to work in a group, you name it."

Simpson said there's a need for adult volunteers to contribute their time.

"I've always looked back at the kids that I worked with: the trouble makers that are now good kids, the little fellows that couldn't seem to do anything when I first met them ... Today I see them out in town with their own families and jobs ... I don't want to take too much credit for anything, but it's great to know you had a hand in creating an adult. You have to want to do it."

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