The husband-and-wife duo, who now serve as the Clayton County Tara District commissioner and assistant commissioner, respectively, have been working with the Boy Scouts in some capacity for a combined 88 of the 102 years the Boy Scouts of America organization, which was founded in 1910, has been in existence.
Martin, 68, joined the Boy Scouts in 1956 when he was a student at East Clayton Elementary School while his wife joined in 1980 when their sons became involved.
Martin, a former youth minister who has served in every scouting leadership position from Cub Scouts to Cub Master and has been the Tara District commissioner for five years, said being a scout greatly impacted his life as a youngster and hopes scouting is having the same positive effect on every youngster who puts on the uniform.
“There are so many kids that do not get a good chance in life,” Martin said.
“However, I believe scouting gives a youngster the opportunity to experience many good, positive things, as well as giving them good, positive role models, that will help him develop character, integrity and a good moral fiber that will carry him through his lifetime,” he said.
Martin’s wife agrees, saying scouting teaches so many values of life, like working together for a common goal, which a scout can use all his life.
Both have seen children of scouts they have helped develop in the past also come through their scouting programs
“I hope each of our scouts are able to take the lessons scouting teaches and apply them in experiencing, in a positive way, every facet of life,” Martin said.
In his tenure with the scouts, Martin has seen 28 of his boys raise to become Eagle Scouts, the highest rank and achievement a scout can gain.
Although a LaGrange native, Martin became more heavily involved in scouting in Florida where many scout leaders in his troop were in the military.
“My scout leaders taught me respect for others, core values and how to be a good, well-rounded person and citizen,” he said.
“These are the same scouting principals that have been passed down through the years and are at the core of what a scout is all about, just as we say in our scout pledge,” Martin added.
As to how long he hopes to be involved in scouting, Martin said he and his wife want to play a role in the development of these youngsters into men, “for as long as the good Lord will allow us.”