Kent Richmond had a front-row seat Sunday for a court of honor ceremony at the Historic Elgin Hotel in which his great-grandson, Devin Soyez, was recognized as a new Eagle Scout.
When Devin was asked who would receive the traditional mentor pin as the most influential person in his quest to become an Eagle Scout, he didn’t name a Scoutmaster or a fellow member of Lincolnville Troop 106; he chose Richmond.
“He was the guy who taught me how to do everything,” Devin said. “He got me into the outdoors. He was like a second father to me.”
Richmond said he was proud of Devin’s accomplishment.
“It’s something: It takes a lot of work,” he said. “I was in scouting, but I didn’t get to advance very far.”
From hunting and fishing to trapping beavers, outdoors was where the pair forged a relationship based on mutual respect and healthy doses of fun.
“We were out hunting one time, walking in a field, and we think we see a deer behind a log about 100 yards out,” Devin said. “He didn’t want to scare it, so he told me to sneak up there. So I sneaked up there, peeked over the log, and it was a twig.”
It’s possible, Devin said, that his great-grandfather knew that all along.
“Right when I looked over the log, he busted up laughing,” Devin said.
Devin’s love of the outdoors was what kept him involved with scouting.
“I’ve done other things, but I stuck with scouting because it got me in the outdoors where I couldn’t be all the time,” he said. “It got me into camping which I’d never been able to do, and I got to meet a lot of nice people.”
The toughest project the Marion High School freshman had to complete for the Eagle award was leading a team of 15 volunteers that painted the bleachers at Marion’s baseball and softball complex, he said. They also made repairs to the bullpen.
Devin said leadership and responsibility were two traits from scouting that influenced other aspects of his life, but said Richmond’s influence was greater.
“He basically made me who I am,” Devin said.
Richmond smiled as he summed up his feelings for his great-grandson.
“I think I’ll keep him,” he said. “He’s a keeper.”