Sincere thanks to Jane Ann and Chris Roberts for submitting this beautiful tribute to their husband and father, Marc Roberts.
After 20 years of dedication to Boy Scouting, Marc Roberts is retiring from his position as the Scout Master of Troop 20, sponsored by St. Matthews United Methodist Church. Marc views serving others as a privilege, and he wishes to thank everyone for the opportunities afforded to him over the past two decades.
To fully appreciate Marc’s journey, one must understand how it all began. Upon arriving home from work one fall evening in 1994, his wife, Jane Ann, announced that she had enrolled their oldest child, Chris, in Cub Scouts at St. Rose of Lima. She then continued to say that she had also signed Marc up as one of the Cub Scout Leaders. And so it began – all the Pinewood Derbies, camping trips, badges, Blue and Gold Banquets.
When his second son, Steven, joined Cub Scouts a couple of years later, Marc expanded his involvement as Assistant Cub Scout Leader to two dens.
When Chris advanced to Boy Scouts and chose Troop 20, Marc went with him. Always eager to be of service, Marc soon became one of Troop 20’s Assistant Scout Masters, working alongside Scout Masters Chris Leavitt and John Barrett. In 2005, Marc officially became Scout Master of Troop 20. During his tenure as Scout Master, he has had the privilege of helping 30 boys fly as Eagle Scouts, including his sons Chris and Steven. Last year, the Skyline District saw 20 young men achieve the rank of Eagle, nine of which were from Troop 20 alone. This is an incredible accomplishment for the boys, as only five percent of those that enter Boy Scouting eventually become Eagle Scouts.
Under Marc’s tutelage and the incredible support of the wonderful assistant leaders and parents, Troop 20 has grown from just five boys to its current roster of more than 40.
Marc feels that the camping trips are an integral part of the experience or as he calls them, the “sizzle” of Scouting. As a child himself, Marc was a Cub Scout for just one year as a third grader in Saudi Arabia where his father worked. His strongest childhood memory of Scouting is that of a camping trip in the desert. Today, when his sons and their friends talk about Scouting, the conversations, laughter, and excitement revolve around the memories and experiences they’ve all shared on their many campouts. For Marc, the most memorable experience would probably be the “Cavalcade” trip. On this excursion, Marc, his sons, and six others spent a summer’s week on horseback, exploring deep within the Fort Davis Mountains of West Texas, camping primitively along the way.
Over the last 20 years, Marc estimates that he has attended more than 850 weekly meetings and has gone on about 90 camping trips – nine of which were week long summer camps. He has watched boys become men. He has guided so many into helping their community on so many levels. And like the boys have done, Marc has developed lifelong friendships with the many terrific parents and boys involved in Scouting. As his son Chris, who is now 26, once said at an Eagle ceremony, “We may not remember how to tie a certain knot or remember some of the specifics of the badges we earned. The main things you receive from Scouting are the memories and lifelong friendships you make while having those experiences.” This has definitely been the case between the young men and adults that Marc has had the pleasure of spending time with along this journey.
Troop 20 will continue in the fine traditions that Chris Leavitt, John Barrett and Marc Roberts instilled and pass on to Troop 20’s new Scout Master Todd Guerra who now has the privilege of watching his own sons and those of others experience the world of Scouting.
In passing the torch Marc would like to say “Thanks for the Memories!”
Val Smith, MANNA volunteer and head cashier, is celebrating her 95th birthday next week on March 31. Let’s all wish Val a very big Happy Birthday!
Mark your calendars – on April 18, Waltrip High School’s PTSA is hosting an evening of dinner, music, and dancing as well as a silent auction. The theme for this year’s event is Building A Community of Heroes. The event will be held at Houston Liederkranz starting at 7 p.m. and tickets are $35 for general admission. Find more information at www.waltrippta.org/.