Young Leaders Emerge

By T.J. Baker

HOUSTON – With a seventy-year history – Boy Scout Troop 212 has been in the community since 1947.  It originated in Third-Ward when it was predominately white, but over the years the culture changed into a much more diverse and well established financial Black community.  (SHAC- Sam Houston Area Council of the W.L. Davis district) Troop 212 meetings are held on Saturdays from 9:00 AM- 12:00 Noon at the St. James’ Episcopal Church that’s been governed by Scoutmaster Lionel Jellins for the past eleven years, and blessed by Father Bictor Thomas, when hosting the Eagle Scout Ceremonies in the sanctuary.

Scoutmaster Jellins shared some advice on what it takes to make a successful Boy Scout Troop.  He said, “First of all we’ve had twenty-nine Eagle Scouts ceremonies from Troop 212 within the past eleven years.  And we just now happen to have four different Eagle Scout projects going on at the same time.” He helps these young men stay on task and will be assisting as well.  Congratulations on the successful Eagle Scout Projects.  

Samson Dinkins:  Eagle Scout Project 
Photo Credit:  T. J. Baker

Samson Dinkins.  Eagle Scout Project:  Build Cymbal and Percussion Wooden Cases that were installed at the Texas Southern University’s Band room.

I was super impressed with this young man’s project.  I wanted to know Samson’s essential background and what better way to get real truth than secretly asking his father.  Mr. Dinkins said that with so many negative influences out there such as gangs, girls, sports, drugs, and etc.; that the ultimate secret of rearing a Black/African American Son in scouting is “Team efforts-staying involved-stay prayed up-allow mistakes-trust your son(s)-give them praises-no option to quit!”

Anthony Jones, II.  My same question also went to Anthony’s father a terrific single parent, “Ms. Tj, you’ve been in my shoes before with your son, Keith and you know firsthand the loving stress and butterflies and excitement when your son gets to this particular point of becoming a soon to be Eagle Scout.  I think being a single father is even harder to keep a son on task in scouting.  Boys’ thinks fathers should understand them more and give them more lead way, when it’s totally opposite.  We already know the fear and the struggles of being Black/African American Educated & Logical Males in this world that we have to share with other races, cultures and creeds.  Anthony is also on a baseball team and doing very well, no doubt he will get a baseball scholarship to a very prestigious college or university.  Not only that, I have to restart this scouting process all over again, because I have an eleven-year-old that will be starting in Troop 212 soon.  So, I’m not finished yet – no breaks for me.  But I do understand each of my boys will have their own tremendous and fun experiences in scouting.”

Kyle Morgan.  Eagle Scout Project:  Kyle’s cousin (Rion Christopher Morgan) was murdered, a victim of a mass shooting with seven more of his friends (one visiting female barely survived) from an estranged-outcast friend, who was in the middle of a nasty and complex divorce.  The shooter came unannounced and went on a rampage, all while the friends were watching a Dallas Cowboy’s game at the Ex-wife’s home back in the early Fall of 2017 and Kyle wanted to do something for his cousin to honor him.  Putting together a prayer memorial garden where the deceased used to worship every Sunday, at the Friendship Church M.B.C. located on 16138 W Bellfort, Sugar Land, Texas. 

Lastly, I asked Kyle’s father how he has been assisting his son to stay in scouting.  “Luckily Kyle enjoys being in scouting.  Now when it came time for leadership and maturing, that part was a challenge, but when he turned fifteen years old, he was on track with no issues.  Also, Kyle has cousins in scouting, but mostly his uncle, named Darryl Morgan, who retired as an employee in BSA-Boy Scouting of America in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been a big encouragement to him.  He couldn’t be here right now, but he will be here at Kyle’s up-coming Eagle Scout Ceremony, which should be this April.”

Joshua Rasheed.  Eagle Scout Project: (not yet begun) installing a new playground (Gaga-Ball pit) at his church called The Rock Church, south of Pasadena.   The rule of this fun game is to hit as many boys with the ball to get them out of the pit – last boy standing is the winner.  

As you can see, the activities of the Boy Scouts are very diverse, and the young men come up with a lot of different and challenging ideas. They are also engaging in positive projects which will benefit many people.  It is important to remember that the scouts provide a positive influence on these young men, as opposed to gangs, drug dealers, and other negative elements we sometimes have in our neighborhoods.  By engaging in these positive activities, we are helping develop leadership skills and positive humanitarian skills that will last a lifetime.  These young men and others around the country like them will all develop skills they will value throughout their lives and the communities they live in will also benefit from having them there.