Kindred spirits

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In sports, it is important for teams to have a feeder system, something that helps populate a team’s roster with skilled players or players who have been put in a good position to be ready for higher-level training. For a high school varsity team, this could be a junior varsity team, middle school team or well-coached youth league squad. For college teams, it is sometimes certain high schools that have become reliable sources of talent thanks, in part, to good coaching.

I thought it was neat that Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) has identified a feeder system of sorts for its student body. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the school’s athletic programs, but it has helped populate H-SC’s campus with students that share the school’s values, putting them in a good position to be ready for higher education.

The “feeder system” is the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and Hampden-Sydney has worked to facilitate the attendance of Eagle Scouts.

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H-SC recently promoted on its website a Dec. 28, 2017 entry to “Bryan on Scouting,” the official blog of Scouting magazine, a Boy Scouts of America publication.

The blog post by Bryan Wendell highlighted how Eagle Scouts who attend Hampden-Sydney receive an automatic scholarship worth $5,000 per year for four years.

“The hefty scholarship explains why 12.6 percent of students currently enrolled at Hampden-Sydney are Eagle Scouts,” he wrote.

He asked H-SC President Dr. Larry Stimpert why the school offers such a sizable scholarship to Eagle Scouts.

Stimpert told him, “The college emphasizes character development just as much as intellectual growth, and the values we believe in here are some of the same as those articulated in the Eagle Scout challenge. This makes Hampden-Sydney a perfect fit for scouts pursuing higher education.”

Wendell, utilizing quotes from Stimpert, went on to note ways in which BSA and its Eagle Scouts are kindred spirits with H-SC.

He highlighted the similarities between the Scout Oath and Scout Law and Hampden-Sydney’s student code of conduct. He noted that similar to how Eagle Scouts tend to hire other Eagle Scouts, creating a strong network, H-SC graduates enter a strong alumni network that helps create employment opportunities. And he also emphasized the focus both BSA and Hampden-Sydney have on community service.

“Ultimately, like the scouts, a Hampden-Sydney education is about transformation,” Wendell quoted Stimpert as saying. “Just as scouting gives a young man a wide breadth of skills and abilities, Hampden-Sydney provides the tools necessary for having not just successful careers but rewarding lives.”

TITUS MOHLER is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is