Farmville Boy Scout Troop says goodbye, shutting down

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, December 19, 2023

For over 20 years, Dennis Jones and Eric Eberly have led Boy Scout Troop 6596 in Farmville. Now it’s the end of an era, as the Troop is shutting down. 

Jones started 26 years ago when his son joined and the troop was looking for a leader.  Eberly joined shortly after with 24 years of working with the troop. 

This change comes as the troop is small and their sponsor pulled back. With Jones and Elberly getting older, they decided to not renew the charter. Now, Troop 6569 will assimilate into Troop 6516, which meets at St. John’s Lutheran Church, as it has a larger number of scouts and leaders to help keep the troop going. 

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Even though they won’t be full leaders, Jones and Eberly plan to keep helping out wherever and however they can.  

“I plan to still participate,” said Jones. “They’re pretty full with volunteers and leadership but I’ll help wherever I can. The Boy Scouts is a good group to be associated with.”

Even though some health issues will make it hard to do everything like he used to, Eberly plans to do as much as he can. Since there are more leaders to take the load, he will no longer have to do meetings every week and camping trips every month for the troop. Now, he can help where he can as his health will let him. 

“I’m not retiring,” said Eberly. “I’m stepping back a little but will be very active.”

The end of one Boy Scout Troop

Eberly and Jones have stayed with the program for so long because there are many aspects of the Boy Scouts program they enjoy. They love seeing the boys improve in their skills, knowledge and leadership in their six years in the troop. Jones loves to see how a boy can enter and be scared to speak in front of others and then by the end he is in front giving presentations with confidence. 

Along with the skills, the leaders enjoy being able to spend time outside as the troop hikes, camps and canoes. Jones enjoys sharing his love of fishing as he teaches the basics to the boys on these trips.

“It’s a chance to be outdoors with the safety of not being alone,” said Eberly. 

Even though it’s the end of one troop, local boys can still be a part of the Boy Scouts in Farmville.