Mark Walters hangs up his scouting hat

Mark Walters, scoutmaster of Troop 141 since 2003, hands the staff (walking stick) and troop leadership to Virgil Schlabach, signaling his retirement.

CARROLLTON – After being involved with the scouting program for nearly two decades, Mark Walters passed the staff.

Walters retired as scoutmaster during the Aug. 21 meeting where he welcomed new Scoutmaster Virgil Schlabach. “I’ve enjoyed my career in Scouting,” Walters said.

Walters was not a scout when he was young. Instead his career began when his oldest son, Matthew, came home from school and wanted to be a scout. “I always told my sons you can try many things but always stick with what is right for you,” Walters said.

Matthew became a Tiger Cub and he became Tiger Cub coach in December 1998.

The next year, his youngest son, Luke, wanted to follow in Matt’s footsteps and join Cub Scouts.

“I helped with his den when I was able and kept Matt’s group going – Bobcats, Bears, Wolves and two years of Weblos,” Walters stated. “ After that I introduced 11 Weblo scouts to Scoutmaster Joe Berardinelli. He told me I had to come help with the troop because it had doubled in size.”

Walters explained it is so unbelievable by the next summer camp or September of 2003, he took over as scoutmaster.

“Through the years, you can not believe how many people I made friends with and many of them became like my second family,” he stated.

Walters has spent a third of his life planning and participating in scouting activities, but he’s not complaining at all.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in scouting, that’s for sure,” Walters continued. “The folks in Carrollton are so supportive when it has to do with donating to the scouting program. I can’t begin to count the number of contacts I have made with area businesses and private contributions to the program.”

Some of the activities he has been involved in through the scouting program include: Dayton Air Force Museum, three visits to the National Jamboree and Kelley’s Island, canoeing, white water rafting, mammoth caves, Hocking Hills, Philmont Scout Camp, and numerous camps around the surrounding areas.

Walters admits the list is just a touch of the good things he has experienced through scouts.

“All of these and more we have done were with the help of our community,” he explained. “Our annual ham dinner has kept us going with the support of the community once again.”

After reminisicing about his tenure in scouts, smiling, Walters continued, “I really believe we have found a great replacement. His name is Virgil Schlabach.”

Schlabach is an Eagle Scout from Troop 142 in North Canton. He has been involved with scouting for the past 12 years as an adult assistant. Like Walters, he began helping when his son, Aaron, was a Cub Scout. When Aaron joined Troop 141, Walters said, he told parents he needed at least three adults to help.

“Virgil was right there to help out in any way he could. He has been a great asset to the troop,” Walters said. “I can only ask that everyone welcome Virgil and give him all the support he needs as I step down as scoutmaster.”

Walters plans to continue to support the troop and scouts and plans to assist Virgil in his endeavor as scoutmaster.

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