There is a saying in Scouting, “Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout.”
And this is something that Keith McLeod, 78, holds near and dear.
McLeod resides at Highland Terrace, a nursing home in Camas. Sometimes he has trouble speaking and recalling details, and his right hand often trembles.
But McLeod didn’t let these personal difficulties get in the way of helping out local Boy Scout Troop 565 assist some of its young members in need.
McLeod, who enjoys sing ing and storytelling, decided to record a CD, and use the proceeds to help send local Scouts to Camp Meriwether at the Oregon Coast, referred to by some as “one of the most beautiful camps in the country.”
Using the modest equipment he had available, and the help of a few friends, McLeod recorded a few songs, put them on a CD and sold them in the local area. He raised enough money to help two Scouts needing assistance to attend summer camp.
“I wanted to send a lot, or as many boys to camp as possible who couldn’t afford it,” McLeod said. “I had a great time at camp when I was younger.
“I really loved the swimming and all the other water sports.”
Gary Feather, Scoutmaster for Troop 565, said McLeod truly demonstrates what service is all about.
“In Scouting, we learn that the basis of service isn’t to earn a merit badge or rank, it’s a lifelong act we do because it is rewarding to others,” he said. “Keith really exemplifies that concept, and I told his story to my whole troop.”
Feather began visiting McLeod a few months ago with a few of the local troop members, not knowing he had been a Boy Scout.
“It was a total coincidence,” he said.
Or perhaps, something greater was at work. Because soon after, McLeod had the idea of creating the CD.
Now, he is already planning a follow-up, and has asked staff members at Highland Terrace to look up the lyrics to various Frank Sinatra songs, “Grandpa” by the Judds and “Elvira,” by the Oakridge Boys.
“I love to sing,” McLeod said.