- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Marvin Gibson was recognized recently for his 70 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America.

Gibson received a 70-year veteran’s service pin from the National Scout Office in a ceremony at St. Michael Catholic Church, with family, friends, fellow scouts and district scout executives in attendance.

Presenting Gibson with his award was Hiawathaland District Executive Kevin Corkin, who first met Gibson in 2009 while attending Northern Michigan University, according to The Mining Journal ( http://bit.ly/1BH8woe ).

Gibson began his scouting career in 1945 when he joined the Cub Scouts - the BSA’s program for scouts in grade school - and worked his way up through the ranks to obtain Eagle Scout. Gibson then went on to serve as scoutmaster for Marquette’s Troop 302 from 1956 to 1974.

Program emcee and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 302 Tom Buchkoe remembers meeting Gibson for the first time in 1961.

“That first meeting I went to, he was in that bright red flannel jacket and a Smokey the Bear-looking hat and I was thinking I wanted to be like that when I grew up,” Buchkoe said. “He was someone to look up to. He was kind of a neat guy. I was 11 and he was probably in his 20s and it was being exposed to an adult in charge of you who wasn’t your parents and I was like OK, make me into something here.”

Gibson certainly has made something of “his boys.”

“I can’t remember names too well anymore,” Gibson said. “But I remember my Eagles.”

One Eagle Scout that stands out to Gibson is Don Miller.

“He was my first Eagle in 1959 when I was scout master,” Gibson said tearfully. “He actually went on a lot of national trips with me (Gibson was scoutmaster for the National Scouting Jamboree in 1960.) Years later, I put the Silver Beaver on him.”

The Silver Beaver is a council level distinguished service award.

Gibson’s son, Scott, also attained the rank of Eagle Scout and his grandson, Jace, who is a First Class Scout, is well on his way to becoming an Eagle like his father and grandfather.

When asked what his favorite memory was over his 70 years of service, Gibson chuckled and said, “Boy Scout Camp. … I went there 53 years on the staff without getting paid. It lasted six to eight weeks a year and my wife would become a widower around every June 1st or so and if she wanted me, she would just call out to the camp.

Due to recent health issues, Gibson has been “grounded” and has to be careful with how active he is in scouting. Even though he has to limit his physical activities, that does not stop Gibson from helping out in any way he can.

“I think the word that best describes him is out of the Scout Law is helpful,” Troop 302 Assistant Scoutmaster Chuck Suckow said. “He’s always tried to help out other leaders, they come to him with questions and he helps them try to find the answer. If a boy wants to try and work on his Eagle, he’ll point him to the right direction.”

Troop 302 has a website called “Ask Marvin!” in honor of Gibson that is a resource to local packs, troops and crews. The website was created when members of the scouting community realized that any time they would have a question, the standard answer was “Ask Marv, he knows.”

When asked why he stuck with Scouts for so long, Gibson said it was being around the kids.

“This is what it’s all about, it’s working with the kids,” he said.

___

Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net

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