MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terry L. Fossum is well known in the scouting community with more than 45 years of service.
Most recently, he represented the Boy Scouts of America winning FOX’s Kicking and Screaming.
“I was a Scoutmaster,” Fossum said.
“I was the token boy scout. I didn’t think I had a chance, but it wasn’t about that. It was about God wants me here. So, I’m here, but by the grace of God I ended up winning that thing along with my partner Natalie.”
Fossum told FOX13 he never had it easy.
Growing up in McAllen Texas, one of the poorest cities in America, Fossum said he was surrounded by gangs and drugs.
Instead of following a path toward a dark future, he joined scouting.
“Scouting changed my family’s life forever,” Fossum said.
“We’re just one of millions of millions of stories just like that or worse and scouting is making such a huge difference in the Memphis area and truly around the country. Saving and changing kid’s lives.”
Thursday, Fossum served as the guest speaker for the annual Friends of Scouting Dinner.
The dinner raises funds for programs put on by the Chickasaw Council.
The council serves nearly 7,000 youth in 17 counties in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Brothers Jacob and Joseph Wright from Pack 81 of the Thunderbird District said they’ve learned a lot from scouting and Fossum.
“I think he’s a cool guy,” Jacob Wright said.
“He’s really fun and I just like his background story of how he came from a bad part of town. You don’t have to come from a rich part of town to be great, you don’t have to come from a poor part of town to be great. You can just be great.”
Joseph Wright said scouting has taught him to be a leader.
“Be kind to others and be respectful,” Joseph Wright said.
“I like doing the outdoors activities that most kids don’t have a chance to do.”
Fossum is now the incoming president for the Inland Northwest Council in Spokane, Washington.
He wants others to know scouting is alive and well all throughout the United States.
“Regardless of their background, race, color, creed, or socio-economic status, it doesn’t matter,” Fossum said.
“That’s in the past. You control your future and our whole goal for all the scouts out there is to turn them into honorable men and women.
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