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May 25, 2020

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15 minutes with Mister Boy Scout of Ada

Tom Lehman has been a leader in the Boy Scout program in Ada for 30 years, encouraging positive growth and leadership among our local youth as they prepare to meet the world. He is also the commander of the Ada American Legion Post.

When did the Ada Scout troop begin and when did you get involved?
The troop here was founded here in 1917. I came on board in 1985 because the pack leader at the time had just moved from Ada.

How many boys and young men have been involved in Scouting during your tenure?
Oh, I don't know, lots.

It takes much work to become an Eagle Scout.
Yes, you must earn 21 merit badges and accomplish a leadership project. There are over 100 merit badges to choose from. Scouts learn a variety of skills while earning various badges, but the most important thing for them to acquire is leadership ability. In addition, Souting helps kids come out of their shells.

How many earned Eagle Scout rank while you have been scoutmaster?
Twelve have, including my two sons. Tom's main project was a fingerprint clinic while Jacob led a group to refurbish the cannon at the park near the stadium.

How many are involved in the local troop.
Fifteen this year. The Scout troop is for boys from the 6th grade through senior year. Don Spar heads up the Cub Scouts.

Girl Scouts sell cookies to make money. What do Boy Scouts sell?
We sell popcorn.

Are there any special upcoming Scouting events planned?
Yes, the troop will spend 24 hours outside at Camp Berry south of Findlay. They will be roughing it; no tents to sleep in. They can build a lean-to, sleep on the ground. If the weather is subzero, we may have to postpone it.

Were you a Boy Scout?
Yes, I had a great time, loved it. I hope the kids here have the same experience I did.

Do you plan to retire from Scouting?
Maybe one of these days.

Tell me about your family.
My wife, Connie, passed away 20 months ago. She taught piano in our home for many years. We had five children. They are Tom II in Lakewood, Jacob in Kalamazoo, Susanna in Columbus, Liz in Stanley, Wisc., and Leah in Ada. I work at Whirlpool in Findlay.

What other things have you been active in?
St. Mark's Church. I'm also commander commander of the American Legion Post.

What does the Legion do here in Ada?
After we sold our building downtown, we moved our meetings to the VFW.  The Legion sponsors kids from Ada, USV, and Hardin Northern to go to Boys State and Girls State. We also sponsor a citizenship test where the winners can go to district and state.

Tom Lehman--Scoutmaster, father of five, and a long time leader of youth in Ada.  
(Monty Siekerman)