Photo: Jim Maker and son Adan place a flag at the top of Mt. Baldy during a 1998 trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M. Jim plans to return to Philmont this summer.
BENTON, La. –– A former B-52 pilot and a 26-year veteran of scouting now serves as a scouting ministry specialist in the Louisiana Annual Conference.
Jim Maker has been involved with scouting since 1986 when he began as an assistant cub master. He later became a cubmaster, an assistant scoutmaster, and scoutmaster.
After his sons graduated from scouting in 1998, Jim took some time off until his grandsons entered scouting in 2006 when once again became an assistant cubmaster and then cubmaster.
“This is my last year in the pack since I'm also the outings chair in the Boy Scout Troop,” said Jim. “The local BSA Council asked me to organize a February Bishop's Dinner for Scouting and even paid part of my way to Philmont Training Center in 2012 where some fantastic people gave me the ‘fire-hose’ treatment.”
Jim calls the training experience “amazing.”
“I realized I haven’t been promoting the 12th part of the Scout Law or the first sentence of the Scout Oath,” said Jim. As a scouting ministry specialist Jim is now available to help neighboring churches form Scout troops or other youth-serving organizations. He will also help churches initiate Programs of Religious Activities with Youth courses for their young people.
“I love organizing and sometimes leading outings with the troop,” said Jim. “Our local Scout camp is Garland Scout Ranch (GSR) in Stonewall, La. I jokingly refer to myself as a GSR Geezer at the ranch during summer camps. Rappelling the rock wall is a hoot; it can cause some minor aches but it's fun and Scouts get a kick out of it.”
Maker’s wife, Carmen, is an American Heritage Girl Ambassador to Boy Scout Councils and is starting a new AHG troop. She also serves as the advancement chair of the pack, and charter organization representative for the troop. “I'm her official AHG chauffer and ‘gopher’,” says Jim.
Carmen and Jim received Silver Beaver awards about a decade ago.
The couple also teaches a 6th and 7th grade Sunday school class at First United Methodist Church in Bossier, La.
Jim is a retired U.S. Air Force B-52 pilot; he worked for a while for the Louisiana Association for the Blind, and he now runs a home-based business. He recently rotated off the board of the Louisiana Lions Eye Bank and completed 12 years as the chair of the Missions Committee at the Bossier church where he led several mission teams to northern Mexico.