Attendees to the annual Friends of Scouting luncheon on Wednesday will be able to hear from one of their own as Capt. Jason Smith of the Rolla Police Department extols the virtues of Scouting and the impact the movement has had on his life.


Smith, who has been with the department for 17 years, has achieved a meteoric rise through the ranks, which he has partly attributed to leadership skills he learned as a youth climbing the advancement trail to reach Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout.


Attendees to the annual Friends of Scouting luncheon on Wednesday will be able to hear from one of their own as Capt. Jason Smith of the Rolla Police Department extols the virtues of Scouting and the impact the movement has had on his life.

Smith, who has been with the department for 17 years, has achieved a meteoric rise through the ranks, which he has partly attributed to leadership skills he learned as a youth climbing the advancement trail to reach Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout.

The annual luncheon, which begins at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at Zeno’s Motel and Steak House, is free. The menu includes a chicken and rice dish with a salad and beverage. Those attending, however, are asked to contribute at least $50 to the River Trails District Friends of Scouting campaign. Annual contributions are used to fund summer camp scholarships for Scouts who might not otherwise be able to attend and other additional program costs.

The luncheon also will commemorate Scouting’s Centennial. It was 100 years ago this year the Scouting movement was brought to America.

“We are so proud of what Scouting has done for the youth of America,” said FOS Luncheon Chairwoman Ann Murphey. “It’s being celebrated all year long with the National Jamboree and other festivities. Some local units will mark the event by planting trees,” said Murphey, the mother of two Eagle Scouts.

Marilyn Lopez, the Scouting executive for River Trails District, said the five-county goal for her district is to raise $42,000.

“Yes, the goal is more than last year, but there are also more Scouts who will benefit from Friends of Scouting,” Lopez said. “Think about all the baby-boomers who were Scouts. If we get all of them in Rolla to contribute something during this, Scouting’s Centennial, we can meet our goal,” Lopez said.

Capt. Smith has been with the Rolla Police Department since 1993 when he started as a telecommunicator.

His ascension includes being promoted to patrol officer, senior patrol officer, field-training officer, Community Police Officer, polygraphist, detective, detective sergeant, lieutenant and now captain/assistant chief.

Persons wishing to attend the Friends of Scouting Luncheon should contact Murphey to make a reservation before 5 p.m. today by 573 465-5469.