The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 1, 2014

Scout leaders honored with awards

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Mark Neblung and Walt Hicks love scouting.

“It’s a program worth being involved in,” Walt said.

Growing up in Kentucky, Walt participated in the Boy Scouts of America and became involved in it once again more than 10 years ago, when his oldest son became interested in it. Mark, who was born in Indiana and has lived in the Clinton area for 35 years, also became involved through his children.

He started leading boy scouts 20 years ago.

Mark spends his days as an insurance agent in Clinton and Walt teaches band at West Middle School in Muscatine. However, the Clinton men still find time to volunteer with the scouts.

“It’s important for kids to be able to do something like (scouting). They are our future,” Mark said.

Walt is currently in charge of Troop 22 and Cub Scout Pack 515 in Clinton. He also has served on council projects, such as creating national youth leadership training.

Mark currently has no pack, but instead works with the district advancement committee. Most of his time is spent “keeping the kiddies moving along.”

The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America on Friday presented the pair with Silver Beaver awards. Five people received that award this year.

The honor is given to those who go above and beyond and provide service at the council and district level.

Both men agreed on not only the importance of scouting, but its popularity. Clinton has five troops. Mark said many children enjoy “learning with a purpose” and being outside.

“They like to go camping,” Mark said. “It’s fun to watch the boys work together.”