Local businessman Andy Shaw spoke with the Greenbrier Boy Scouts on Monday, stressing the importance of giving back to one's community.
A group of about 20 boys listened to Shaw tell his entrepreneurial story during a Citizenship in the Community presentation held at the Greenbrier United Methodist Church.
Shaw was a Boy Scout for 10 years in his youth and is now president of the Cypress Valley Meat Company, supervisor at two local Cash Saver stores and director of operations at Grass Roots Poultry in Clinton.
"A good citizen is someone who obeys the law, contributes positively to society and respects others," he said, noting the young men would be able to pick up on all of these qualities in their time spent with the Boy Scouts of America.
Giving back to others and always working hard will allow these young men to be successful later in life, Shaw said.
The scouts, who are currently working toward earning their Citizenship in the Community merit badge, listened intently before following up with questions regarding Shaw's presentation Monday night.
Following the presentation, Shaw encouraged each scout in the audience to stick with the program, noting many of the leadership skills he has today he picked up in his days as a Boy Scout.
As Monday's meeting drew to an end, Craig Weinbrenner, who also helps lead the Greenbrier boys, presented Shaw with an appreciation plaque on the troop's behalf.
Members of Troop 435 said they were grateful for the many contributions Shaw and his companies have provided them with over the years.
Through the years, Shaw has donated meat and other items for food drives as well as supplies for the troop's annual chili cook-off.
Weinbrenner, who has also worked with Shaw, said he believes Shaw's story will prove encouraging to each Greenbrier scout.
Scout leaders mirrored Shaw in saying that these adolescents currently in the program will learn leadership skills and responsibility while participating in the Boy Scouts of America.
"Not only does it give them a friendship with other boys that they might not normally have through school, but it gives them a sense of responsibility and holds them accountable," Pack Leader Jason Wakefield, who works with first through fifth grade boys, said.
Wakefield also said the program is both challenging and rewarding to the staff who guide the boys.
"Working with these younger boys and older boys had just been very rewarding for me," he said. "To watch them grow in their experiences and their learning — it's something I would have never e3xpected coming into this program."