Honoring a Scout Hero - Tom Kehoe

What is a Scout Hero?  There are the obvious examples that all Scouts revere such as Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting and William Boyce, who brought Scouting to America.  There were heroes like Dan Beard and James West, who developed and grew the Boy Scouts of America.

But for me, I see Scout Heroes around me all the time.  They are those who have made the commitment to Scouting and the youths they serve.  My particular Scout Hero is someone who has been involved in Scouting for over 60 years.  He has served at all levels of Scouting and in many different roles.   He has dedicated his life to service to youth and others, not just in Scouting but also in his community and the surrounding area.  My hero is Tom Kehoe.

My first experience with Tom, as was the case for many in the former North Shore District, was when he served as the District Advancement Chair.  He was dedicated to this role.  He held training sessions for Eagle candidates and their parents.  Each Eagle candidate he met with waited nervously for his comments on their Eagle application.  The number of yellow sticky notes covering the pages would determine how much work needed to be done to make the application acceptable for submission.  Tom was very thorough in his comments and suggestions but he was also fair and wanted the best work from each candidate.  Tom earned his Eagle in 1966 and has long been an active member of the Yankee Clipper, now the Spirit of Adventure, Council’s National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Committee.  Tom was honored as the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout in 2015.

Tom is also known for his participation in Jamborees.   This includes Mass Jam since 1985.  Mass Jam occurs every 4-5 years and involves all the Scout Councils of Massachusetts and includes some Councils in surrounding states.  The event draws close to 7000 Scouts and leaders.  Tom has served as a Scoutmaster, a member of the staff, a Council representative on the Steering Committee and as the Chair of Mass Jam 2013.  Mass Jam is occurring in 2018 and Tom continues to serve as Co-Chair of the event.  He has been running meetings for the past 2 years planning a successful event for all.  Tom has also attended or served on staff for seven National Jamborees and attended 5 World Jamborees.  

Tom has served on the Executive Board of the former Yankee Clipper Council and continues to serve on the board for the Spirit of Adventure Council.   Tom is also committed to making Scout camps better to provide a safer and more fulfilling and fun experience for those attending camp.  He has served as the area camp visitation leader and instructor, the area camp program vice chair and the National Camp Accreditation Program team leader.   Each summer he is a familiar face as he and the team visit several camps and report their findings.

Tom’s direct service to youth outside of Scouting was as a Marblehead Junior High/Middle School teacher where he taught math and science for 35 years.  While there, for 15 years he led an outdoor mini-course providing experiences in hiking, mountain climbing, cross country skiing and backpacking for 60 9th graders each year.  Tom has now retired from teaching.  I have encountered many of his students through the years and they always have fond memories of their time in his class.

Tom also serves his community of Manchester-by-the-Sea.  He served 5 years on the Manchester Planning Board.  He is currently in his 12th year on the Manchester Board of Selectmen.  For 2 of those years he was vice-chairman and for 3 years served as its chairman.  He has been a member of the youth commission, recreation committee and Manchester-Essex playing field committee.  Tom has been a member of the Manchester Fire Department and serves as the emergency response coordinator and emergency planning committee member.

As you can see, Tom is dedicated to service.  We are fortunate that the Boy Scouts of America, his Troop in Manchester, the District, the Council and so many other areas in Scouting have been the recipient of his knowledge, caring, time and commitment.  This is why Tom is my Scout Hero.

If Tom has had a positive impact on your life, I ask you to join me in honoring Tom.  Our campaign is  preserving the legacy and building the future.  The legacy is Tom and the many other Toms who have given so much.  The future is scouting through the Spirit of Adventure Council.  How do you do this?  By joining me in contributing a tax deductible donation through this GoFundMe page.  These funds will go to the camps of the Spirit of Adventure Council.

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Jack Terrill 
Woburn, MA
Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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