It wasn't Bill Lampson's six-month career as a Cub Scout that earned him an award from the local Boy Scouts of America council Thursday in Pasco.
The award was for the way Lampson embodies the Scouts' values and spirit of community service as an adult.
"If you look in the dictionary under community spirit, you're likely to see a picture of Bill Lampson as part of the definition," said Scott Stovall, master of ceremonies at the leadership breakfast where Lampson's award was presented.
The Kennewick businessman was the recipient of the Blue Mountain Council's North Star Award, which is given to someone who makes a significant contribution to Scouting.
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"Bill is a great community leader and a friend," said Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council. "I can't think of a time we've asked Bill to do something for the community that he hasn't said, 'Yes.' "
Lampson is a member of the TRIDEC board, Kennewick General Hospital Foundation board, Columbia Basin College Foundation board, and former Kennewick Man of the Year and Tri-Citian of the Year.
He said after accepting the award that his parents put him in Cub Scouts as a child, but were busy building the family business and he didn't end up staying for long.
"My Scouting career I think was about six months in Cub Scouts and then I retired," he said. "Later on in life, I got re-engaged. I started to gain a better appreciation for the good work Scouting does for these young people."
As an adult, Lampson has served on the Blue Mountain Council's board, including time as president.
Attorney General Rob McKenna, an Eagle Scout and Lampson friend, was on hand to present the award to Lampson along with Blue Mountain Council President Alan Anderson and CEO Richard Szymanski.
McKenna said he was proud to honor Lampson, but also spoke about the importance of Scouting in grooming good citizens and good leaders.
He said Scouting teaches boys leadership skills and provides them with a moral compass to guide theirdecisions as adults.
McKenna told the story of earning his wilderness survival merit badge after being set loose in the woods with a pocketknife, two matches and a pound of ground beef. He used the matches to light a fire and the knife to sharpen a stick, on which he impaled the hunk of ground beef and tried to cook it.
"This is how we learned why our ancestors did not grind up their meat before cooking it. It fell right into the fire," he said.
But he had been taught fundamental skills by the Scouts and made it out of the woods -- and earned his badge.
He said the values he learned in Scouts are more than about surviving outdoors, but being a good person.
Those are values he's worked to embody as attorney general, he added.
"People involved in Scouting -- the kids and the adults -- every day in countless unseen ways leave their little marker that they have passed this way," McKenna said. "Together these countless acts of community service strengthen our nation."
-- Michelle Dupler: 582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org