Scouts honor benefactor
By Aaron Moore
Published in News on June 23, 2010 1:46 PM
Longtime Scout supporter Dick Auger has a new shelter named in his honor at Camp Tuscarora.
In recognition of Auger's many years of service to the program, a group of the Friends of Scouting decided to build a shelter at the camp and to dedicate it to him. A ceremony honoring Auger was held Tuesday evening at the camp.
Auger, who turned 91 in May, has been serving as a professional Scout for 27 years, 16 of which have been on the Tuscarora Council. He joined the council as Scout executive in 1965, and was heavily involved for all of his career -- not only helping the council organize local Boy Scout troops, but in helping individual Scouts develop.
"It is only befitting that we dedicate ... another structure to this man whom we honor today. He is one of Tuscarora's finest. He is a legend and a legacy," said Tom Yarboro, current Tuscarora Council president.
Yarboro was referring to the camp's amphitheater, which Auger's children previously dedicated to him and his late wife, Margaret.
Auger said he was touched by the honor.
"It's absolutely breathtaking," he told the group, gesturing to the wide expanse of campgrounds, which the council has transformed in recent years with the help of donations. "I just thank you for naming this after me."
Yarboro then handed Auger a plaque in his honor, to which Auger replied, "Sure is pretty."
Auger, a graduate of Louisburg College, joined the Army during World War II, carrying fuel back and forth to front lines in Europe to Gen. George Patton's tank divisions. He began his service as a private and ended it five years later as a captain.
After the war, he decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and settle out West in Montana. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Montana and had only been out of college for a short while when a local Scout executive introduced him to the idea of becoming a professional Scout.
Moving back to North Carolina, Auger took a job as an auditor for Columbus County and later became the district executive for the Cape Fear Council, meeting his wife along the way.
After working for several North Carolina councils, Auger settled on Tuscarora and has been a major supporter of the council ever since.
Discussing the relationship Auger had with the many Scouts he has worked with over the years, Gene Price, a long-time friend, joked, "Dick was the only person I ever knew who never in his life forgot anybody's name. The only problem was, he thought everybody's name was 'Ol' pardner.'"
Under Auger's leadership, the council took three successive pilgrimages to Halifax, Bath, and Washington, D.C., where members attended a private party on the lawn of the White House.
Although Auger enjoyed many years in Scouting, he has taken a back seat in the council now and enjoys spending time carrying out his favorite hobbies: woodcarving and bird-watching. Auger has traveled the world with friends to find and watch rare birds, and his wood carvings are a famous treat among Scouts, who are sometimes lucky enough to be bestowed with one of his handmade neckerchiefs. They have been featured in many national galleries and private collections.
Despite all the honors he received Tuesday, Auger remained humble, shifting the praise to the camp and the Boy Scout program.
"I took a walk around the camp earlier," he told his friends. "I have never been as surprised and as pleased and as happy as when I saw this camp. I believe this is the most beautiful camp in the United States of America."
Auger was then bestowed with a neon-green T-shirt and baseball cap, as he was made an honorary staff member of the 2010 Boy Scout summer camp.