The evening of Monday, July 17, saw the arrival of a group of around 40 Boy Scouts from New York with one of their group having a familial connection to the county.
The Hudson Valley Council which is comprised of Boy Scouts from Orange, Duchess, and Rockland counties in New York came to Lewis County to complete a service project on their way to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fayette County at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
On Tuesday, one of the visiting scouts was surprised to learn that he had a family connection to Lewis County.
Tobey Pelton, 14, of Poughkeepsie, New York was contacted by a member of the Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants (HCPD) during the scouts project at LC Park, and informed that he was a direct descendant of both John Hacker and Edumund West.
According to a press release from the Hacker’s Creek Pioneer Descendants Library, the organization became aware of Pelton’s presence in the county after being contacted by his Grandfather, Tom Townsend.
He was presented with a HCPD shirt by Executive Director Patty Lesondak and Jeannine Garton.
The scouts were accompanied by Scoutmasters Brad Davidson, Brian Colucci, and Matt Felberg, and were housed at LCHS. They were also provided with a breakfast that included biscuits and gravy, eggs, french toast, and bacon at the Bendale United Methodist Church served by members of the church congregation.
They also enjoyed pizza from Lambert’s Winery and barbecue from Jaws BBQ, as well as KFC. They were also treated to a glass blowing demonstration at Appalachian Glass. They wrapped up their visit with a pool party at LC Park Tuesday night, with a breakfast at Robin’s Nest Travel Center expected Wednesday morning.
Cindy Whetsell, County Administrator, noted that last year before the Boy Scout Jamboree the scouts participated in projects in only a handful of WV counties.
“The goal this year was to have 55 projects in 55 counties,” she said.
Whetsell went on to say this process was intensive and included application, vetting, and scouting phases. Whetsell also noted that the Lewis County Board of Education and particularly LCHS Principal Derek Lambert were to be commended for their assistance in housing the scouts.
The Boy Scouts made their return in part due to Governor Jim Justice dipping into the Civil Contingency Fund for $400,000 dollars. The Governor’s office also pointed blame at the West Virginia State Legislature for not including funding for the event in the 2018 Budget.