Callaway men share Eagle Scout honor

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Callaway family has a bit of a tradition that started in the 1940s and is still going strong today.

Three generations of Callaway men have all earned their Eagle Scout award through the Boy Scouts of America.

Josh Callaway III was the latest to receive the award during a ceremony earlier this month. He is a member of Troop 158.

He followed his father Bryan Callaway and his grandfather Josh Callaway in attaining the highest level in boy scouting.

“It was most certainly something I wanted for (Bryan), and I know he wanted it for his son,” the elder Josh Callaway said. “Boy Scouts is about building character and honoring God, your parents and being a good citizen.”

The elder Josh Callaway earned his Eagle Scout pin in 1948 at 15 as a member of Troop 204 in Marshall, Texas. Bryan completed the requirements in September of 1980 in Troop 161.

“When I started in Cub Scouts my dad was the troop leader and mom was the den mother,” Bryan Callaway said. “And they were right there with me every step of the way.”

The younger Josh Callaway said he began in boy scouting because it was fun. While he knew of the accomplishments of his father and grandfather, he didn’t immediately set out to match their accomplishments.

“When I was second grade I was doing it because it was fun,” he said. “When I got to be first class (rank), I really got serious about getting my Eagle.”

For his project the youngest Callaway chose to help Grace United Methodist Church spruce up its exterior with new paint.

His father also did his Eagle Scout project at Grace, and the elder Josh Callaway did his project at First Methodist Church in Marshall.

“We didn’t tell him he had to do anything,” Bryan Callaway said. “It was always our desire that he complete this, but it had to be his choice.

“Daddy and Josh both got their palm for earning additional merit badges. I guess I was a little bit of a slacker in that regard.”

In the 62 years that passed between the first Callaway Eagle Scout and the latest, many things have changed, the Callaways said.

“When you look at his books compared to our books, you can really see how things have changed,” Bryan Callaway said of his father’s merit badge manuals. “There are things in there that you’d never think of today, like one of them said to not leave your ax out at night because the porcupine will eat the handle.”

But some things are the same, Bryan Callaway said. Including the organization’s commitment to molding upstanding young men.

“For a daddy raising teenagers, it’s a relief to hear someone say what a polite young man he is,” he said. “It makes you realize that they are started out on the right track.”

Boy Scout leaders are all volunteers and, Bryan Callaway said, they commit a lot of their time to making sure their troop members are well equipped to succeed.

Troop 158 scoutmaster is Freddie Voss, and the assistant scoutmaster is Paul Meyers.

Josh Callaway, the younger, said while he has reached the top of scouting he will remain active in the troop as a mentor to younger members.

“There are still a lot of people in the troop working on badges and things, and I’ll be around to help them where I can,” he said.

That sort of leadership is a skill that he said he has learned through his involvement in Boy Scouts.

“In situations that other people might not be able to handle, I can step in and take control because of the things that I have learned,” he said.