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80 Eagle Scouts and counting: Crabb reaches new milestone as scoutmaster
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80 Eagle Scouts and counting: Crabb reaches new milestone as scoutmaster

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Over the weekend, Dr. Dennis Crabb, scoutmaster for Troop 55 in Denison, took part in ceremonies for the 79th and 80th scouts in his troop to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

The 79th was Jakob Wigg, of Schleswig. The 80th was Logan Dahm, of Denison.

Crabb has been the Troop 55 scoutmaster for nearly 30 years.

He took on the role after taking his oldest son to his first Boy Scouts meeting in July 1990.

“That happened to be at Washington Park and consisted of five kids playing basketball and the leaders sitting on a park bench not doing much,” Crabb said. “There were no flags and no uniforms.”

He complained to the committee chairman and was told, “If you can do a better job you can have the job.”

He took over as scoutmaster that October.

Persistence is what has kept him going for nearly 30 years, he said.

Crabb has worked with many boys over the years as they worked their way up through the ranks, from Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.

He draws on his own childhood experiences as scoutmaster.

“I made it as far as Life Scout when I was a kid,” Crabb said. “I was on camp staff and went to summer camp many times but didn’t have anybody pushing me, so I ended up a few merit badges and a project short of my Eagle.”

He now makes a point of pushing the scouts to finish what they start.

“What I’ve been doing over all these years is kicking these kids in the behind to get them to finish it up,” he said.

His first Eagle Scout was Brian Schwanz, who is now a school administrator in Kansas.

“That was my first one and it took a while,” Crabb said. “We had to push to get him done.”

He occasionally has to call in his “mothers patrol” for help.

“They’re the mothers of my scouts that are teachers or somehow interact with these kids in one way or another and I get them to hound these kids, too,” he said.

To become an Eagle Scout, a scout must earn 21 merit badges; of those, 12 are required.

He tries to get the scouts to finish all the work needed to become an Eagle before they discover what he calls “the three Ps: perfume, petroleum and paychecks.”

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