Washington County man honored for 70 years in Scouting

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Don Dennis of Reno speaks Feb. 24 at the 2024 Muskingum Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America Celebration of Scouting in Cambridge where he received a 70-year pin. At the left is Scout District Executive Jared Smith. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — A Washington County man has received a 70-year service pin from the Boy Scouts of America.

Donald Dennis, 80, of Reno, was 10 1/2-years old when he joined Troop 207, becoming an Eagle Scout in 1958 at Troop 200 and remaining a scout in a career that included numerous capacities. Dennis estimates he has helped as many as 75 scouts become Eagle Scouts during his tenure, preferring service at the grassroots level rather than the higher district tiers of the Scout organization.

The purpose of the Scouts is to make young boys into valuable young men and productive citizens, he said.

“I believed in helping the boys rather than advancing myself,” he said.

Dennis received the 70-year pin on Feb. 24 at the 2024 Muskingum Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America Celebration of Scouting at Deerassic Park in Cambridge. Dennis was the only Scout to receive the 70-year pin. Other pins were given for 50, 45 and 20 years of service.

Don Dennis of Reno, center, with his son, Don Dennis II at the left, and his grandson, Jake Dennis, at the 2024 Muskingum Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America Celebration of Scouting in Cambridge. Dennis I received a 70-year pin for service in Scouting. (Photo Provided)

“I’ve never seen one presented during my years,” said Jared Smith, Muskingum Valley Council district executive, who was aware of only one other person who has received a 70-year pin.

Dennis began in Troop 207 before switching 1958 to Troop 200 in Reno.

Most of Dennis’ career in Scouting has been with Region 4, then Kootaga then the Allohak council that served counties in West Virginia and Ohio before the transfer to the Muskingum Valley Council about four years ago.

His son, Don II, became an Eagle Scout in 1995 and is a scoutmaster in Columbus where 75 boys are in his troop. Dennis’ grandson Jake will be an Eagle Scout in about a year.

Dennis’ daughter, Susan Massey, was a den mother and a cub scout leader in Marietta. Her son, Cole Massey, became a Life Scout.

Dennis is proud of their accomplishments and service to Scouting.

“A family tradition of scouting,” he said.

Dennis was an owner of the former Sprague Electric in Marietta that later became Crescent-Sprague. After leaving Sprague Electric, his passion is restoring antique cars and collecting 1957 Chevrolets.

Dennis, a Mason, said he has no plans of slowing down in his 80s. He is currently helping two Scouts with their Eagle Scout badges.

“I want to keep on hiking no matter how steep,” he said. “I’ll be back for a 75-year pin and an 80-year pin after that.”

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.




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