“I’ve been involved in Scouting just about from the time I was born,” Patterson said. “My dad was a Scout Master. Back then you had to be 8 years old to register, but I was involved even before I was old enough.”
Patterson’s father was also the recipient of the Silver Beaver, in 1972.
Patterson was given the award by the Greater Alabama Council, an entity that covers 22 counties. Twelve of the awards are given out each year for length of service and service to the community.
“For me,” he said, “I was glad to get the recognition, and glad to for the opportunity to let people know what we’ve been doing all these years. I’m trying to keep it going here; it’s something that I’m really dedicated to. I didn’t raise any boys. Lots of people will get into it when their kids are involved, and then move on when their kids do. So my staying with it is a sign of dedication to keep Scouting going in this area.”
Patterson has been active in Scouting for a total of 39 years, earning The Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout and becoming an Eagle Scout as a teenager. The experience has served him well.
“What I learned from Scouting I use every day in business,” he said. “Be prepared. Do your best. Be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. I tell this story a lot, but when I was first starting out, I needed to buy a car. The problem was, I couldn’t afford to buy one outright and I didn’t have any credit. But the dealer knew I was an Eagle Scout. A few days later, he called me and said he had a truck for me. The guy they work with at the bank was also an Eagle Scout, and he said an Eagle Scout would never default on a loan.”
And this is not the only honor that has come to the Patterson family through their involvement in Scouting.
“My dad got the Heart of the Eagle Award at the American Values Dinner,” Patterson said. “I was really happy with that. He got the Silver Beaver in 1972, and had been a Scouter for 48 years when he passed. I was really glad to see it.”
Patterson is the assistant Scout Master of Troop 130 in Talladega, as was his father. He earned the God and Country, Boy Scout Lifegaurd, Arrow of Light and Eagle ranks as a youth, according to a biography included in the award program. He is a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow and served on the staff of Camp Comer during summer camp.
He has also been awarded the District Award of Merit, Cub Master Award, Den Leader Award and Cross and Flame. He has served on the unit level as a chartered organization representative, Cub Master and assistant Scout Master. Within the Cheaha District, he has served as the roundtable chairman for three terms, district commissioner and on the day camp staff as camp director, shooting sports director and trading post director. He and his wife Sandra have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Patterson continues to provide service to the community in many other ways as well. Today, for example, he and his Scouts will be painting the curbs at Zora Ellis Junior High School as a service project.
“When you live in a community, you’ve got to give back,” he said.
Contact Chris Norwood at email@example.com