Scouting in the Early Years of Peachtree Road
By Marcia Gaddis
Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God…Reverence to God and reverence for one’s neighbor and reverence for oneself as a servant of God.
– Robert Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting
Why Scouting at United Methodist churches?
As we look at the early years of our church’s history (1925-1955), it would be incomplete if we did not include the story of Scouting at Peachtree Road. Scouting, with its emphasis on youth participation in a faith-based environment, was instrumental in bringing many families into the church for membership in the 40s and 50s.
In 1920, just five years before the founding of our church, James West of the Boy Scouts of America and James Thompson of the Methodist Young People’s Department signed a formal agreement beginning a century long partnership. Through the years, Scouting ministries became a tradition with The United Methodist Church. Scouting was seen as a key tool in the development of character in youth. Today in the faith world, United Methodist churches still provide home base for more Scouts than any other denomination in America.
The purpose of scouting has always been to provide for the development of character and good citizenship as exemplified by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Our growing church membership needed and welcomed healthy, faith-based activities for young people. Between the years 1942 and 1952, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were organized with dedicated leadership support and ample physical locations for regular meetings. In Nat Long’s informative book, The Story of Peachtree Road Methodist Church, there are detailed reports of the large numbers of participating scouts – boys and girls – and their accomplishments. During this time, 31 Scouts achieved Eagle Rank. Four Scouts achieved The God and Country Award, given to a Scout who had carried out a pastor-directed religious program in his own church.
A Timeline of Scouting at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
- 1942 – Boy Scout Troop 59 organized
- 1942 – First Scout Hut built, valued at $5000
- 1944 – Cub Pack Three organized
- 1944 – Girl Scout Troop organized
- 1946 – Second Scout Hut built
- 1952 – Third Scout and Youth Building
Living Our Roots
by Kelly Brannon
Over the years, Scouting became one of many organizations after being a cornerstone at the foundation of Peachtree Road. As the church grew, more activities competed for interest and participation. We now have several programs at the church, including athletic teams and the resident Georgia Boy Choir, that bring new families through our doors. We are grateful to Scouting for paving the way for these additional community groups.