Longtime Boy Scouts receive new award

Deanna EvansJournal-Capital
Longtime Boy Scouts receive new award

Longtime Boy Scout leader Joe Long — considered a patriarch by many in the local Scouting community — has received the Centurion Award, a prestigious new award from the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow.

In honor of the 100th year of the Order of the Arrow, the national organization presented awards to members who have “best exemplified the high ideals of our sacred brotherhood.”

Long more than fits that description. Born Dec. 1, 1918, Long has been active in scouting since 1934, when he attended his first Boy Scout meeting at Wynona. He became a Scoutmaster in 1945, and has continued his service to Boy Scouts programs ever since.

“It’s what has kept me going all these years,” said Long.

A founding member of the Washita Lodge — which was started in February 1946 — Long has more than seven decades of service to Scouting and to the Order of the Arrow, which is considered the honor society of Boy Scouts. Washita Lodge is comprised of the members of the OA in Cherokee Area Council, which serves Osage, Washington, Nowata, Craig, Ottawa and Delaware Counties.

During his Scouting career, Long has completed nearly every course offered by the National Council. He has received numerous other awards as well, including his 50-year veteran award, the Order of the Arrow, the President’s Award (twice) and a Silver Beaver, the “Above and Beyond” award in 2014 from the Osage Hills District, and also earned Camp Master and Quartermaster honors.

According to fellow Boy Scout leaders Bruce Hendren and Sean Urban, who also both received the prestigious Centurion Award, Long has always set a high standard of excellence for area Boy Scouts.

“His friendly, positive and caring attitude continues to exemplify what scouting is about,” said Urban, who has participated in Boy Scouts with Long for the past 26 years and serves as Lodge Advisor for the Washita Lodge.

“Joe is very deserving of this award,” said Hendren, Troop 43’s Scoutmaster, who has been a Boy Scout leader for 30 years. “He’s a servant-leader and a great example to all the youth.”

“Joe’s been involved in Scouting, in general, not just in Order of the Arrow, but also in Cub Scouting,” said Urban. “Joe is still out there during our events. He has volunteered with Cub Scouts to help during the Fishing Derby. He’s always there to lend a hand.”

Long’s daughter, Carolyn Davis, said he has been taking care of the numerous fishing poles from the derby and from day camp for more than 20 years.

“Boy Scouting has been a big part of his life,” she said.

“We could actually just go on and on for all that Joe’s done for Scouting over the years,” said Hendren. “He’s still active now, at 96, and he’ll be 97 in December, and he still does whatever he can to help.”

The Washita Lodge Executive Committee chose eight of their members to receive the Centurion Award.

“I’m really proud that in all of Washita Lodge, three of the award recipients are from Troop 43,” said Hendren. “That says a lot for Scouting in Pawhuska — where (Scouting in the United States) all started, and Joe was almost there when it started.”

“Dr. Tinker’s grandfather was one of the original members and now, with Dr. Tinker’s help (Long) is still here,” said Davis.

In addition to Long, Hendren and Urban, awardees included: Whit Culver, a member of the Philmont Board of Directors, a founding member of the OA Trail Crew and a Cub Scout leader in Tulsa; Scott Robin, Washita Lodge Chief and Section Chief; Bob Crume, Lodge Chief in 2000, Section Chief and is currently a Lodge Advisor in Colorado; Tim Snow, a college student attending East Central University in Ada; and Jim Lewis, past Lodge Advisor for Washita Lodge and current Section Associate Advisor of the Indian Nations Council in Tulsa.

In the words of E. Urner Goodman, the founder of the Order of the Arrow in 1915, “He who serves his fellows is his fellows’ greatest.”