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November 21, 2019

Fire/Rescue Chief Stevens “a lifelong good scout”

Photos/Lawrence Emerson
County Administrator Paul McCulla praised Good Scout Award recipient Darren Stevens (above) for his humility and commitment to the community.
The award also honors the memory of Roland Tapscott, a community leader, county planning commissioner and one of the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marines during World War II.
It’s when you find yourself possibly looking at the end of your life you realize that how important the decisions are that you made in the beginning. I am thankful scouting gave me the solid footing to choose wisely.
— Darren Stevens
Fauquier’s fire/rescue chief lives “as a shining example of the three parts of the Boy Scout Oath,” County Administrator Paul McCulla said.

Chief Darren Stevens received the 2019 Roland Tapscott Good Scout Award at Fauquier Springs Country Club on Thursday morning.

Fulfilling his duty to God and country, to other people and to self, Chief Stevens routinely helps others, including Boys & Girls Club members “without any request or recognition,” Mr. McCulla said. “He does his thing and he’s gone.”

The county administrator called the chief, a 23-year veteran of Fauquier’s emergency services department, “the epitome of a lifelong good scout.”

The National Area Council Boy Scouts of America presented the annual Fauquier award named for the late Roland Tapscott, a community leader and one of the first African-American men to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.

A U.S. Army veteran and former Fauquier sheriff’s deputy, Chief Stevens delivered these remarks, which include reference to his successful battle against cancer this year:

I would like to take a moment to thank the Good Scout Committee for honoring me with this award. Thank you to everyone here that took the time from your busy schedule to share in this event and, of course, all of those that stood beside me and contributed in their own way along my journey.

Any success that I have is because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible family, friends and coworkers. And for that, I am both thankful and humbled this morning.

The scouting way has been a part of my life since 1970 when I first entered Scout Pack 3265 in Albee, Michigan. I grew up in a very rural farming community and where all Cub Scouting was led by den mothers. Once a week, we could wear our uniform to school and we all rode the same bus to our den mom’s house where she would have a lesson, a small project for us to tackle and then she would force feed us sandwiches and sugary snacks before sending us home with our parents.

Soon I was a Webelo Scout and then finally a Boy Scout. I had risen to the rank of Life Scout and had my eye on the Eagle Scout prize when I was stricken by two common Boy Scout ailments: girls and cars.

While my youth scouting days had come to a close, the most important lessons stayed with me through adulthood. I was blessed to later become an adult scout as both my sons moved through the ranks. My fondest memories as both child and adult are sitting around the campfire and enjoying outdoor cooking. I strongly believe that there is no meal that cannot be improved upon by the application of open flame and cast iron.

While Robert Fulghum wrote about his experience in kindergarten, I think that everything I needed to know in life, I learned in Cub Scouts.

Those weekly meetings served as the foundation of my character development model that still serves me well today, and I would like to share a few of those key points with you this morning.

Always be kind. Encourage one another and build each other up. As you progress through the ranks, you learn that it’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.

Always share. It doesn’t matter if toys or knowledge. Be grateful for what you have and readily share it with others.

Always tell the truth. If you tell a lie just once, then all your truths become questionable.

Always be a good citizen. Take the time to help others and find a way to serve your community.

Always be willing to bite off more than you can chew, and then keep chewing. I’d rather choke on success than than nibble on mediocrity.

Always aim for the bulls eye. Start each day with your sights on the center of the target. You wont always hit it, but I guaranty you will miss 100 percent of the times you don’t try.

And lastly, always do a good turn daily. It can be as simple as holding the door, raking some leaves or shoveling a walk for a neighbor. Each night, when you lie down, ask yourself, what was my good deed today?

What am I doing to make my world a better place?

2019 has been a challenging year for me; Redskins fans would probably call it a “rebuilding year.”

I would be remiss to stand in front of you today without taking a moment to stress the importance of living your best life to its fullest each day. You simply don’t know what is lurking around the corner.

On a house fire, a good fire officer can usually predict how it is going to turn out by the strategic actions performed in the first five minutes. Life is no different

It’s when you find yourself possibly looking at the end of your life you realize that how important the decisions are that you made in the beginning. I am thankful scouting gave me the solid footing to choose wisely.

While I have faith in God’s plan for me, this past year showed me that it is most likely not in a straight line. I feel truly blessed to be standing here today; that in itself is a victory. I look forward to joining this remarkable group of alumni next year as we celebrate the 2020 Good Scout.

Thank you and God bless.
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