The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 6, 2010

Scouting a big part of growing up

— I began my Scouting career at Monroe Elementary in Cub Scouts with Pack 18. I later joined Boy Scouts Troop 15 at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. I was also a brotherhood member of Order of the Arrow. I was a scout through my graduation at Enid High in 2000. I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in February 1999.

Many skills I learned in Scouts were valuable to my education.  Some, like public speaking and leadership skills, have been very helpful.  I feel I was a better student and more responsible because of my background in Scouts. I majored in agriculture ecology at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and was president of Aggie Club.

After college, I was hired by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as wildlife technician and Reserve game warden for Beaver River Wildlife Management Area. I help manage over 30,000 acres of public hunting land including the Beaver River, Optima and Rita Blanca WMAs. I am an official Boone & Crockett measurer, and I teach classes in hunter education, animal identification, fishing clinics, among others. I feel fortunate I am able to pass on many of the skills that I learned in Scouts.

I made many lifelong friends in Boy Scouts. I will always remember the monthly camp-outs as something I looked forward to. We camped in any weather: rain, snow or shine.

I learned no matter how wet your gear gets, it will eventually dry out.  Some of my favorite memories include backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and rafting the Colorado Riv-er through the Royal Gorge.

   Scouting was a big part of growing up for me. I believe I’m a well-rounded person because of the experiences I had and the years I spent in Boy Scouts. I still enjoy camping and fishing with my wife, family and friends.

I believe Scouting is a great way to get kids outside and active. I would like to thank my parents and all of my former Scout leaders for all of their support and guidance.

Ryan Kemph