I’m pleased to note that there are many Seton families associated with the Boy Scouts and a number of Eagle Scouts have been or are on the Seton Swim Team.  These families with Eagle Scouts include the Dalrymple’s, Kellogg’s, Santschi’s, Miller’s, and many others.

On May 30, 2021, the Koehr Family celebrated an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Connor Koehr.  Connor is the 9th Koehr brother to make Eagle Scout.  Connor is also the 18th Koehr across 3 generations to make Eagle Scout and the 22nd in our extended family.

Here‘s an article from the Fauquier Times about the event.

The Boy Scouts have been a tradition in my family since the late 1940’s.   It is one of the tools that fathers in our family since my grandfather have used to assist us in helping to teach our boys to be men.  As part of that tradition, it has been customary in my family for the grandfather to award the Eagle Scout medal to his grandsons.

Here is a video my introduction of my father, Connor’s Grandfather, and here is a video of my father’s talk before he formally presented Connor with his award.

My father’s talk is particularly interesting because it gives such a good description of how the Boy Scouts of America thought and operated just after World War II.  Fortunately for my family, Troop 180 in Warrenton, VA has remained true to those values and the founding principles of the Boy Scouts of America.

Below is the text of both my introduction and my father’s talk:

Introduction to Grandpa Koehr

Connor Koehr’s Eagle Court of Honor

May 30, 2021

  • Connor and Zack, on June 30, 1952, your grandfather made Eagle Scout
    • The first Eagle Scout in our family
      • The Boy Scouts of America, now 111 years old, was only 42 years old
    • As your Grandfather was coming of age after World War II, his father – your Great Grandfather Edwin – began searching for ways to teach him how to be a man
      • Your great grandfather never knew his father, your Great, Great Grandfather Louis
        • His father died in 1907 just before “Granddad”, as we called your Great Grandfather, was born
        • So, few people knew as acutely as my grandfather how important strong male role models are in the development of a boy
      • Part of the solution for Granddad was Troop 20 in St. Louis Missouri
        • In the late 1940s, my grandfather was a District Executive in the St. Louis Council
      • I knew this man pretty well
        • I lived with him in St. Louis the last summer he was alive
          • I’m the one who called the ambulance for a trip to the hospital from which he would never return
        • I am quite sure he could not have even possibly imagined that his son,
          • The first in the history of our family to go to college,
          • Would eventually rise to be the first Admiral in the history of Naval Oceanography
          • And have one of the Department of Defense’s fastest supercomputers named after him
        • But, I am also quite sure that he knew that the values of the Boy Scouts of America would serve his son well later in life.
          • In an era when traits
            • Such as
              • “rugged individualism,”
              • “a can-do attitude,”
              • “hard work,”
              • striving towards success,” and
              • the dreaded “operating from principles”
            • Are attacked by
              • our political leaders,
              • the leaders of once great American Corporations, and
              • Worst of all, by the national leadership of the Boy Scouts themselves
            • He knew that the timeless principles of the Scout Oath and Law were just that – timeless
              • He knew innately that they were the solution, not the problem
            • I have said the Scout Oath and Law hundreds of times
              • And I have failed to live up to the standard they express thousands of times
              • They set a very high bar
            • In the Scout Law we say, A Scout is
              • Trustworthy
              • Loyal
              • Helpful
              • Friendly
              • Courteous
              • Kind
              • Obedient
              • Cheerful
              • Thrifty
              • Brave
              • Clean, and
              • Reverent
            • In the Scout Oath, which references that Law, we say
              • On my honor,
              • I will do my best,
                • To do my duty,
                • To God and my country
                • And to obey the Scout Law;
              • To help other people at all times;
              • To keep myself
                • Physically Strong
                • Mentally Awake, and
                • Morally Straight
              • Connor and Zack, those are timeless principles that have been passed down in our family for four (4) generations, now going on a 5th
  • Fast forward to the very early 1970s
    • Your Grandmother was a Den Mother (as we used to be able to call them) for me and your Uncles.
      • After those great years of
        • building pinewood derby cars,
        • painting trash cans in Leonardtown, MD, and
        • Adding as many arrowpoints as would fit on our shirts underneath our Wolf and Bear badges
      • We joined Troop 871 in Alexandria, Virginia
    • Your grandfather was our Scoutmaster, and boy we had a great troop!
      • We camped every month, including the winter months
        • I remember my breath causing icicles to hang down from the inside of my tent at the Antietam battlefield as I woke up in the LL Bean down sleeping bag that I still use to this day.
      • On March 7, 1977
        • Uncle John’s birthday,
        • I became the first of the 2nd generation of Eagle Scouts in our family
          • By June 1979, all three of your uncles were also Eagle Scouts
  • That was the beginning of a great tradition in our family where the grandfather awards the Eagle Medal to his grandson
    • I was only 13 years old, but I still remember my grandfather giving me my Eagle Medal
    • He told a story about a man who had just come home from a hard day’s work and was trying to relax in his most comfortable chair with a magazine
      • His young son kept pestering him to play, but the man just wanted a little time to decompress.
      • Finally, in exasperation, the man saw a picture of a world map in his magazine
        • He tore it out, ripped it into small pieces, and handed it to his son
        • He told his son, “Go put this back together, and we can do play when you are done”
        • “Surely, that will keep him busy for a while”, the man thought to himself.
      • But in a very short time, the boy was back at the foot of his father’s chair with the map put back together perfectly.
      • The father was stunned,
        • “How did you do that so quickly, son?”
      • His son replied,
        • “It was easy Dad”
        • “On the other side of the page, was a picture of a boy.”
          • “All I had to do was to put the boy together”
          • “And the world took care of itself”
  • Now fast forward once again to 1999,
    • Your brother (cousin) Kevin was playing baseball at PB Smith
      • He had just turned 11 years old, and
      • I saw a bunch of Boy Scout uniforms walking into the Church next door
    • I instantly recalled the formative experience I had in the Boy Scouts myself
      • So, after the game, we walked over to the Church.
      • When I saw 10 men in uniform guiding 25 or 30 young men at what turned out to be a Court of Honor,
        • I knew this had to be a great troop
      • We joined on the spot
  • In November of 2005, Kevin made Eagle Scout
    • The first Eagle Scout in the 3rd generation
    • Connor, you are the 9th and final brother to make Eagle Scout.
    • Zack and Connor, you are the 17th and 18th Koehr to make Eagle Scout
      • And you are the 21st and 22nd Eagle Scouts in our extended family
  • For this great family milestone, let’s now continue the tradition of Grandfather’s awarding Eagle Medals to grandsons.
    • Would Rear Admiral James E. Koehr
      • “Dad”
    • Please come forward

Eagle Scout Presentation

Zackary & Connor Koehr

May 30, 2021

Family and Friends, Fellow Eagle Scouts, Boy Scouts, and, most importantly, our new Eagles, Zackary and Connor Koehr.

I am particularly delighted to again be with you to recognize Zackary and Connor as well as celebrate the completion of the Eagle award by three generations of the Koehr family. As many of you know, since 1952 when I earned the award, my four sons and thirteen grandsons have followed in my footsteps and are worthy to be known as Eagle Scouts, men of character, honor and accomplishment. More on this later.

Today, in my few minutes, I’d like to focus on three topics … all of which undoubtedly deserve  more time than we have here … specifically …

  1. My experiences as a boy in the Scouting program
  2. Meaning of the Eagle Scout award and some of the obligations it caries
  3. Finally, a few thoughts about family tradition and pride.

Troop 20 BSA Holy Family Catholic Church

I first took the Boy Scout Oath in 1949 when I became 12 years old. It was a great time to be a Scout. St. Louis was still filled with Army-Navy surplus stores selling World War II surplus equipment …. Packs, boots, canteens, mess kits, blankets, sleeping bags and tents, both pup tents and the larger wall. A blue collar family could afford to equip their budding Scout with all the essentials. The Troop owned enough wall tents, used for long term summer camp. Of course none of this stuff was light ripstop nylon but we didn’t know the difference. We were well equipped for overnight camping. The committee also picked up a large, used Army transport truck and reconfigured it for our use.

Troop 20 was one of the oldest Troops in the city with a pedigree going back to the earliest years of Scouting. At the time I believe it was the only Troop in the St Louis Council with a 2 digit number. The sponsoring organization was the Holy Family Catholic Church that served a predominantly blue-collar Catholic population. Principles of the Scout Oath and law were developed and strongly reinforced by the Sisters in the Holy Family School. The Dads were very active … auto mechanics kept our trucks running, carpenters rebuilt the flat bed of the truck to carry Scouts. ..   whatever the need was they could fix. It was my first introduction to the important role Dads played in the entire enterprise.

Our camping experiences is where the rubber really met the road. The Troop had camping privileges to a huge tract of undeveloped Missouri scrub land known as Catawissa, the Indian name for the area 100 or more years earlier. Organized using the patrol method, here is where we learned all the basic camping skills including camping, cooking, hiking pioneering etc which in turn lead to self-reliance, teamwork. We also had a lot of vigorous fun and, unrecognized by us, our leaders slipped in the instruction. It was an all male enterprise and promoted father-son bonding and let boys observe men as role models and how they behave. The underlying philosophy of the entire enterprise was documented by the Scout Oath and law.

I still recall the words .. “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and to my Country.” Great words! Think about them carefully. They encapsulate the highest sense of patriotism  devotion to God we all strive to achieve. Wouldn’t it be terrific if all our citizens subscribed to this oath.

“To obey the Scout Law”  … Here are 12 precepts for living that include all of our traditional American and family values.

“To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Here we have three even better concepts for personal guidance and development. They are the guide stones for a successful, worthwhile life that have led many, many young men to achievement and greatness.

Meaning of the Eagle Award

Eagle Scout is the pinnacle of achievement for young men in the Boy Scout movement. An Eagle Scout is recognized throughout the Nation, and even the world, as a man of character, and honor and accomplishment. To be more specific achievement requires acquisition of the basic skills necessary for a productive life, development of outstanding character, and, finally, assumptions of a number of obligations the award implies.

Scouting Skills

  • Service to Others – ability to be of service to his fellow man, particularly through acquired skills such as First Aid, Life Saving, Safety.
  • Self-reliance – demonstrated ability and skill to take care of himself both in the wilderness and an urban setting; camping, cooking, hiking, pioneering, water safety, map reading etc.
  • Personal management – acquisition and development of the skills and code of conduct necessary for manhood personal management, leadership, and character development.

Character Development  

  • Honor- An eagle Scout lives honorably and always reflects credit upon himself, his home, his Church, and his community.
  • Courage – not only physical courage but the determination to stand up for the rights of others as well as his own
  • Teamwork – he is a leader who willingly accepts responsibility for others. Demonstrated ability to work with others in accomplishment of a goal
  • Persistence – accepts a job and sees it through to completion. This trait is one high on the priority list for admission to the military academies. It’s very difficult to measure but Eagle Scouts traditionally have a high success rate in all endeavors requiring a continuing commitment in the face of adversity.

Obligations

So Zackary and Connor, you have now become a member of a very select group of young men who have acquired the skills and developed the character necessary for award of the Eagle medal Much will always be expected of you as you travel through life. From now on you must 1.) live like an Eagle .. demonstrating the skills and character I have been talking about, and 2.) give back to all the people who have helped you on the Trail by helping others as they “trail the Eagle”.

Family Tradition

Finally, I’d like to share you with you a bit of family tradition … a tradition now carried forward by the 3rd generation.  I’ve brought along our special family shadow box which is now complete.

The medal in the middle with the fading ribbon and slightly different eagle was awarded to me on June 30, 1952, nearly 70 years ago, but I remember it well! My father encouraged me every step of the way but  was always careful not to do the work. Scouting has had a profound effect on my development and success in life and I have always pass its lesson onto my sons … both as their Scoutmaster and their Dad

The other four medals were earned by my 4 sons .. Jim, John, Bernie & Brian.. who are also here today.  Below that the grandsons appear, including:  (read their specific  names). It please me greatly that each of my sons strongly picked up the torch and shared Scouting experiences with their sons. That’s the way life works and where the father son relationship is strong, success is sure to follow. Parental support to young men is critical to their development!

            I’ve now run out of grandsons to recognize but fortunately our family continues to grow. Erma and I now take pride in seven great-grandsons … to date. I trust that the Scouting movement will continue to play the essential role in their development that it has for all of us who have gone before.

Well done, guys!

And now it’s time to a ward the Eagle Scout medal to Zackary and Connor Koehr

 

 

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?

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Gratitude

“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”

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Excellence

We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.

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Meekness

We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning

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Sacrifice

We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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