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Organizers heighten visibility of scout museum concept

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Trip > Weekend excursion planned to view Raton museum

By Tris DeRoma

The movement to start a Boy Scout Museum here in Los Alamos keeps chugging along, with an eye toward increasing its visibility.
The organization, known as the Los Alamos Boy Scout Museum Society, is currently looking for people interested in helping its members start a museum, or just curious about it, to come along with them on a field trip Saturday.
Members of the LABSM will be heading to Raton to investigate a scouting museum there, mainly to interview owners Susan and Dennis Downing. Anyone interested in attending should meet with LABSM members at 7:30 a.m. at the "Y" intersection in White Rock, where NM 502 meets NM 4. From there, a carpool will be arranged for the four hour trip.
According to the Downings, the museum has been in existence for 20 years and features a wide cross-section of scouting memorabilia through the years.
According to LABSM founder Vernon Kerr, the society is also looking at collecting memorabilia from former scouts to place in display cases at the Mesa Public Library and the new county municipal building. At a recent LABSM meeting, they explored their options, as some of the memorabilia they gather for the cases will be pretty valuable, even if the value is just sentimental.
“When you’re talking about the library building or the county building, I would think that if something happens, it will be our responsibility,” LABSM member Relf Price said. “At the library, you’re just talking about a locked case.”
That led to a talk about insurance or working out an agreement where responsibility would fall to the donors.
LABSM member Sandra Jennings thought the group ought to start small, using just a couple of shelves at the county building just to see how it goes.
“I don’t see why we just can’t ask to use one of those, just to show patches and other types of memorabilia,” she said at the meeting. She also suggested having a display noting the contributors to scouting of Northern New Mexico.
“That might be a big draw for people, sort of like LANB’s (Los Alamos National Bank) Living Treasures.” Price also suggested acquiring plaques from area troops denoting their Eagle Scouts.
Kerr noted that LABSM’s non-profit, tax-exempt status in the state of New Mexico should help with acquisitions.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 30 at the Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1967 18th Street.
This will have been the fourth meeting since the Society’s inception. Even though Kerr said it’s been slow, he believes people are beginning to pay attention.
He hopes getting some memorabilia into some display cases will help generate more interest in their progress.
“We hope they will make people aware that we are presenting and preserving Scouting,” Kerr said. “What we want to do is present scouting as essentially a way of life.”