Warner Robins Hall of Fame inductee remembered for dedication to scouting

September 4, 2013 

Editor’s note: This is first in a series of columns about each of the 2013 Warner Robins Hall of Fame inductees.

As the second Warner Robins Hall of Fame induction ceremony approaches, we will be taking a look at the 2013 inductees. This week we are going to start off with Charlie Singleton -- known to everyone at Trinity United Methodist and affiliated with Boy Scout Troop 566 as “Mr. Charlie.”

A South Carolina native, Charlie Singleton came to Warner Robins after serving in the Air Force and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina. He accepted a position at Robins Air Force Base.

Charlie was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church and held numerous positions within the church. But most significant was his dedication to Boy Scout Troop 566, in which he held such positions as chief administration officer, treasurer and troop committee chairman for 47 years.

During those years, he helped 171 boys to become Eagle Scouts, a number that is far above the national average. He opened his home to boys and provided assistance on merit badges and scouting projects. He didn’t just help, but tracked their progress and encouraged them to keep working. Quite a few of his former scouts have said they would not have achieved the rank of Eagle without Mr. Charlie’s help.

But he was more than a scout leader. He stepped in as a father figure for many boys without fathers and counseled his boys on college selections and jobs. He kept up with their lives, celebrated their joys and prayed about their pains.

During Mr. Charlie’s time with Troop 566, about 1,000 young men were a part of Troop 566. Whether they achieved Eagle or just learned how to tie knots, their lives were made better by their association with scouting and with Mr. Charlie.

“I think that when a boy comes into the program, gets good leadership, works on merit badges with good people, when he does the things that scouting offers, it makes that boys a better citizen, whether he makes Eagle or not,” Mr. Charlie once said.

“Mr. Charlie” was recognized by his church, the Boy Scouts of America and his community for his service. From his church he received the Cross and Flame Award and the Torch Award for exceptional support to youth. From scouting, he received the Silver Beaver award, the district award of merit and numerous other district and unit awards. He was presented with the Woodman of the World’s Community Leader Award in 2010.

He was chosen to represent the Central Georgia Council as its inductee to the Scouting Hall of Leadership in honor of scouting’s 100th anniversary. Only one inductee from each of the nearly 300 BSA councils across the country was named to the National Hall of Leadership.

Scouting was always in his heart and always on his mind, even while in the hospital the final time, Charlie talked about upcoming scouting events.

His legacy and dedication will forever be a part of not only Troop 566 but any place where one of Mr. Charlie’s boys goes. The scouts he mentored take with them not only merit badges and fire-building skills, but the desire to uphold the values that Mr. Charlie instilled in them.

Alline Kent is a member of the Warner Robins Hall of Fame board. Contact her at 478-396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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