Menlo Park resident Emma Shelton’s two sons are both grown and out of the house. But that hasn’t stopped her enthusiasm for Scouting, which started when her boys got involved with Tiger Cubs.
They later joined Boy Scout Troop 206, where Emma continues as an assistant Scout Master. For her dedication, Emma is receiving the Silver Beaver, the highest award the Pacific Sky Council can give to recognize an adult for distinguished service to Scouting and the community.
Emma, who worked for many years in the pharmaceutical industry as a chemist, recalls one of the first things that struck her about Scouting: “It was not just the fact that my boys were getting so much out of it. I was getting to do things I wanted to do, but probably wouldn’t have gotten around to doing without Scouting.”
As an assistant Scout Master, Emma does merit badge counseling and accompanies the Troop on outings including monthly camping trips, among other duties. She also teaches a University of Scouting class to leaders.
“Being involved in Scouting has been so gratifying,” Emma says. “My husband and I have met what have become lifetime friends.
“Plus, of course, there are the boys. You can see you’ve made a difference as they start to grow up. In my mind, Scouting encourages the whole boy.”
Emma plans to continue her involvement with Troop 206. “They tolerate me, and I like the hiking and being outdoors,” she says. “I didn’t grow up camping and hiking. In fact, I went to Girl Scout camp and hated it!”
As for the Silver Beaver award, she comments: “I was really surprised when I got the phone call. The award is given out when you’re not looking for it. I’m a little embarrassed by being personally singled out, but pleased at the same time. We don’t get paid for our work but get pats on our backs like this!”
Note: The community is invited to the annual Pancake Breakfast held by Troop 206, which will take place at Trinity Church (Ravenswood and Laurel) on Saturday, March 8, from 8:00 am to noon. Tickets are $5.00 per adult; the same price feeds two children 10 and younger.
Photo by Rebecca Flanagan