LEWISTOWN - Jim McLaughlin, Juniata County community leader and businessman, was honored Wednesday, at the Shawnee District, Juniata Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America's annual Good Scout Dinner.
McLaughlin, the 2012 recipient of the Good Scout Award, was recognized by scouts, their families and various other members of the community at the Moose Family Center in Lewistown. Jeff Whitesel presented the award , highlighting the recipient's strong ideals and thanking him for all of his support within the community.
McLaughlin has a long and distinguished record of service.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Jeff Whitesel, right, presents the 2012 Good Scout Award to recipient James McLaughlin Wednesday evening during the annual Shawnee District Good Scout Dinner held at the Moose Family Center in Lewistown.
Professionally, he has served the financial industry with the Juniata Valley Bank, Dauphin Deposit Trust Bank and the First National Bank of Mifflintown, where he retired in 2005 as chairman, president and CEO.
Within the community, McLaughlin has been active in charitable and civic organizations including the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, Lewistown Hospital, Mountain View Community Medical Association, Rotary Club of Mifflintown, Port Royal Lutheran Parish, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Paul W. Delauter Youth Center, Consumer Advisory Council and Capital Blue Cross.
McLaughlin started by stating how thankful he was to receive the award. Though he wasn't a scout himself, his sons were, and said he could, "appreciate what scouting means to families."
He went on to state the scout law, which says a scout should be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, according to the law.
"I'd like to suggest that the world would be a better place is people abided by these," McLaughlin stated.
Among the traits McLaughlin said he found most valuable was trustworthiness, which he feels has been lost in areas ranging from local investment banks the entire way to local, state, and national governments. He said he felt that things were often biased and misrepresented, and urged the audience to present themselves in a trustworthy manner.
Loyalty, obedience and thriftiness were other key factors McLaughlin pointed out.
"What has happened to the loyalty in the world?" he questioned.
McLaughlin also highlighted the fact that if schools would follow the scout laws, there would be much more discipline and obedience in our world.
He said that as a banker, he saw the importance of being thrifty. McLaughlin reminded the audience that individuals have a responsibility and obligation to self as well as their families when making financial decisions.
McLaughlin ended by quoting the scout oath.
"I will do my best to do my duty to my God and to my country," which he feels directly reflects the morals of our founding fathers.
He shared what an honor it was to receive an award from an organization who had this as their principles, and challenged listeners to do more for organizations with such exemplary standards.
Following McLaughlin was keynote speaker Lou Prato, an author, journalist and Penn State University historian. His works include; "Game Changers: The Greatest Plays in Penn State Football History," "The Penn State Football Vault," "What it Means to be a Nittany Lion" and "The Penn State Football Encyclopedia."
Prato congratulated McLaughlin on his award, stating that everything McLaughlin said was spot on.
"I'm a Boy Scout," he went on to share, stating that even so he still is unable to tie square not, something the young boys in the audience could relate to.
Eagle Scout Colton Fogleman, of McAlisterville, also spoke at the dinner, giving a speech entitled, "What Scouting Means to Me." The 17-year-old Juniata County High School junior shared his efforts and motivations in becoming an Eagle Scout. He stated that he knew he had a, "Duty to God, Country, and fellow man," and looks forward to aiding scouts in the future on their way to attaining Eagle Scout status.
For more information about the Juniata Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, call 667-9236 or visit www.jvcbsa.org.