06/25/08 — Doctor's gift brings new look to camp aquatics center

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Doctor's gift brings new look to camp aquatics center

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 25, 2008 1:47 PM

Scores of Boy Scouts spent Tuesday romping through a new aquatics center named after a former Scout who bequeathed a large part of his estate to benefit another generation of boys.

When Dr. Ralph Wingate Bland died in 2006, he divided his estate among three things that he felt influenced his life greatly -- one being the Boy Scouts and Camp Tuscarora near Four Oaks.

The camp now has a new aquatic center with new docks, picnic tables, a lifeguard tower and a 100-foot long, 40-foot-drop waterslide -- thanks to Bland's generous gift.

More than 40 truckloads of light beach sand were trucked in to solidify the beach area, organizers said.

Bland's nephew William Bland spoke at the dedication of the new facility.

"Uncle Ralph, as many of us -- related or not -- knew him ... some 50 years later, identified scouting as a major influence on his life, one that he carried with him, especially through his medical practice," Bland said.

Bland's nephew said his uncle identified with the traditional scouting motto: "Be prepared."

But he identified even more closely with another Scout motto: "Do a good turn daily."

He also asked them to thank his uncle by shouting "Raaaaaaalph," as they headed down the new waterslide.

William Bland said he would encourage the Scouts to look at the new aquatic center and think of ways they could also "do a good turn."

The late Dr. Bland was a 1944 Goldsboro High School graduate, and followed that with a one-year stint in the Navy at the end of World War II.

Bland also left $7 million to Wake Forest law and medical schools, after practicing medicine in Goldsboro for about 33 years.

The donation was called the largest from an alumnus in the medical school's history when announced in December 2007.

A large portion of Bland's estate also went to First Baptist Church in Goldsboro.

But the day was about more than just a new aquatic center -- a dozen Scout troops from Duplin, Sampson, Johnston and Wayne Counties competed in challenges at the camp throughout the day.

-- Staff Writer Phyllis Moore contributed to this report.