Historical Marker #1747 in Daviess County commemorates the first Kentuckian to receive an award for more than seventy years of service with the Boy Scouts of America.
As a youth living in Detroit, Hazen Dean first joined the Boy Scouts in 1913. Continuing his involvement into adulthood, in 1945, he helped organize Troop 24, Owensboro’s oldest troop, at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church. He became that troop’s Scoutmaster three years later. Throughout his tenure he guided eight-six boys to the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank. Dean himself did not receive the Eagle Scout rank until he was an adult in 1958 at the age of fifty-nine. He was the last adult to receive that award.
Boy Scouts first informally began around 1903. Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell of London, England, wrote a small handbook for soldiers (“Aids to Scouting”) that had been adopted by teachers and youth leaders throughout the country. In 1907, he rewrote the guide for a younger audience and held an experimental camp with twenty-two boys. This is considered to be the starting point of the Scout movement. In the United States, the Boy Scouts of America was officially incorporated in 1910. In Kentucky, the first official troop, Troop 1, was established in Frankfort, that same year.
In addition to the numerous awards given to Dean, there is also a portion of the Boy Scout camp Wildcat Hollow at Russellville, Kentucky, named in his honor. Wildcat Hollow is a 1,200 acre camp and is now used as a training facility and for Cub Scout day camps. Dean passed away on February 26, 1984, at the age of eighty-four.