In every young boy’s life there is always a role model; someone they look up to, to take them in a positive direction. If they did not cross paths with Jim Hughes, then they may have had the enticement to go in the other direction.
This is the beginning of a series of articles about Jim Hughes, who is affectionately known as the long stand out with Troop 1, Wichita Falls. His dedication, tenacity to serve, and his time freely given to something he truly loves, has had an impact on thousands of young boys, not only in Wichita Falls, but in other interesting locations around the world.
This is his story of Scouting. What a pleasure to spend time with Mr. Hughes to be able to see, touch some of the memorabilia he has gathered that goes back to 1913, and to learn his story. The passion that he expresses for the young people he has met, the hundreds of people who have been there with him to help train the youth to “Be Prepared,” and his family that counts 8 Eagle Scouts in its ranks can never be adequately expressed in these pages.
The passion is there, and it is deeply felt. The scouting community owes Jim Hughes and his family a debt of gratitude for all he has done. Knowing Mr. Hughes, there is no question that he would say, “I could not do it alone. We must thank all the people who picked me up, brushed me off, and worked together to do something beyond our individual calling, to help the young people of the community become better citizens and “Be Prepared.”
So, before we go on; thank you to all who have been involved in Troop 1 of Wichita Falls and all those, everywhere, who have stepped up to be involved in Scouting. As Mr. Hughes said, “Every day I have been so fortunate and so humbled by the experiences of Scouting.”
Just Who Is This Mr. Jim Hughes Anyway?
Jim Hughes moved to Wichita Falls, Texas with his family in 1947 as a boy of eight years. He was quickly introduced to Cub Scouts at nine years old, the younger version of Scouts. The Cubs held their weekly meetings in the local Christian Church, and Jim Hughes began a life-long journey with Scouting that continues today, 68 years later.
Two years later, Jim Hughes moved on to Scouts, joining Troop 1, Wichita Falls at 11 years of age. He has been actively engaged with Troop 1 for his last 66 years. He did move away to serve in the US Air Force and go to technical school, but he maintained his association with Troop 1, always holding the title of “Assistant Scoutmaster” when he could not physically be there.
Sixty-eight years in Scouting with sixty-six of those years in the same Troop. When asked who has benefited, he or the Troop, Mr. Hughes responded, “I think we both have. I have been involved, my family has been involved, and today we have eight in the family, including two grandkids who have reached the lofty level of becoming Eagle Scouts. Scouting has given us a foundation for our lives, and I believe that we have all helped those young kids who have passed through our lives to be better people.”
On to the Next Installment
It is obvious the passion is still there. With his family nearby, and the memorabilia by his side, we will continue this journey through the life of Mr. Hughes. Our second article will take a look at the formative years of Troop 1 of Wichita Falls beginning with 1913 and continuing to 1949 when Jim Hughes first became involved.