Ron Taylor moved from Parkersburg many years ago, but his heart never left his hometown.
He has remained close to Parkersburg, in part, through his longtime association with Boy Scout Troop 3, sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church.
Taylor, who lives in Montgomery, Ohio, near Cincinnati, is chairman of the Troop 3 committee that is putting on a 95th Anniversary Reunion Aug. 25. The highlight of the weekend of reunion activities is a buffet dinner at the Shriners Center on Watson Road to salute alumni, leaders and members of Troop 3.
Troop 3 was founded in 1917, making it one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the United States and the second oldest continuously operating Boy Scout troop in West Virginia, Taylor said.
Since Troop 3's founding, 127 of the more than 1,100 troop members have earned the rank of Eagle, Scouting's highest honor. Troop 3's Stanley Rawson was the first Eagle Scout in West Virginia.
Taylor, a retired executive with Procter and Gamble Co., joined Troop 3 in 1949 and became an Eagle Scout in 1954. He graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1956.
Despite living and working outside this area, Taylor has served as a registered assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 3 for 50 years and still goes on campouts.
He maintains a database containing the names, in chronological order, of everyone who has ever been a member of Troop 3 since its founding on March 29, 1917. Troop 3 has produced appointees to the service academies, two admirals and the first commander of the nuclear submarine Nautilus, Joe Icenhower, Taylor said.
"Everything I ever needed to know to be successful in life was learned through my Scouting experiences in Troop 3," Taylor wrote in an email.
Taylor believes a continuity in leadership has played an important part in the troop's success. Troop 3 has had only four scoutmasters, including Tom Dukas, who is now serving his 28th consecutive year.
Taylor, secretary of Troop 3 Alumni Inc., is looking forward to an exciting 95th troop reunion.
He is expecting, for the first time, four generations from the same family to attend the reunion, which is held every five years. P.C. "June" Hoblitzell II, 95, the oldest living member of Troop 3, is planning to attend with his son, grandson and great-grandson.
"June" Hoblitzell II joined the troop in 1928. It was led at the time by founding scoutmaster Don B. Lowe.
Besides the Saturday dinner, other events planned for the weekend include a Friday open house from 7-9 p.m. at the Don B. Lowe Scout House; a lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sea Scout Base in Belpre, and the troop's wilderness camp, Camp Smitty, will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.
Alumni and current troop members can obtain a reservation form from the troop's website at www.troop3wv. org. Aug. 10 is the deadline to return reservation forms to Bob Parrish, 1901 20th St., Parkersburg, WV 26101, with a check made out to Troop 3-BSA.
The Nedeff family reunion in Parkersburg is taking on an added significance this year. The family gathering from 2-6 p.m. Aug. 18 at City Park marks the 100th anniversary of Mike Nedeff's arrival in the United States from Syria. Mike was a decorated U.S. Army veteran who served during World War I, said his nephew Roger Nedeff of Vienna, family historian. Joining Mike Nedeff in the United States in 1937 was his brother, Mose, Roger's father. "They were so proud to be Americans," Roger said of his uncle and father. Roger is expecting between 80 and 100 family and friends to attend this year's reunion. The first Nedeff reunion was held in 1985 at Mountwood Park and has since moved to City Park. The Nedeffs enjoy participating in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon and Two-Mile Race during homecoming Saturday.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org