The trek into town from the family farm is what prevented Kevin Flowers from becoming a Boy Scout when he was young. Now he's making up for lost time.
While his day job of working for cell phone companies has kept him and his family moving through the years, Flowers has been involved with Scouts since his now 18-year-old son was young.
"Kurt drug me along kicking and screaming," Flowers joked about his son, who is now an Eagle Scout.
Kevin Flowers, scoutmaster for Boy Scouts Troop 52 in Aitkin, gets some love from one of his horses. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Since graduating from Brown Institute's electronics school, Flowers worked for Motorola in California, Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. He moved back to his hometown of Aitkin seven years ago and now works for Sprint. His job is to maintain the equipment at the base of the 63 cell phone towers in his service area, including the Brainerd lakes area and Iron Range. He spends a lot of time traveling while on the job.
Family: Wife of 21 years, Debby; and two children, Kurt, 18, and Kori, 16.
How he met his wife: I've known her all my life. She grew up four miles down the road from me.
Activities he was involved in as a child: 4-H and his church's youth group.
Number of boys who've become Eagle Scouts under his direction: 5.
The goal of Troop 52: We're just there to have fun. We don't focus on everybody becoming an Eagle.
What he does as scoutmaster: I'm there to give support and say, 'yes, let's do that' or 'no it's too dangerous.'
One rule of Troop 52: No electronics during Scout activities, including cell phones, iPods and video games.
"A desk job is not my cup of tea," Flowers said.
When he's not working or driving, most of Flowers' time is spent on Scouting. For the last three years he's been scoutmaster for Troop 52 out of Aitkin. Flowers said his group of Boy Scouts is one of the biggest in the area, with 21 11- to 17-year-old boys in the troop. They meet once a week, but Flowers spends a lot of time planning the meetings and activities for the group.
Even though he no longer has a son in Scouts, Flowers plans to continue as scoutmaster until he's impeached.
"I'm going to be here as long as they want me to be here," he said.
He enjoys bonding with the boys and watching them grow up and excel in school and sports.
"They've sucked me in," he said of the Scouts. "They've become part of my life, not only in Scouts but out in the community. It's fun to see them succeed."
Flowers' favorite part of Scouts is the weeklong summer camping trips. He said the boys bond and make close friendships during that time, and usually come back more mature and responsible.
Sometimes young Scouts become homesick on the trips. Flowers has learned keeping the boys busy is the best way to fight homesickness.
"For a lot of them it's their first time away from their parents for a whole week," he said.
Since many of the Boy Scouts had sisters who wanted to get in on the activities, Flowers started The Ventures, a co-ed group for people 14 to 21 years old. They meet once a month and do many outdoors-related activities.
"That thing just kind of exploded on me," Flowers said of The Ventures which now has 14 members, including Flowers' daughter Kori.
Flowers lives with his family in the farmhouse he grew up in near Garrison. He has 240 acres of land where he grows corn and has horses and chickens.
"One of the only reasons I grow corn is for (the Scouts) to play capture the flag," Flowers said with a laugh.
He also uses his land to hunt deer, grouse and pheasants with friends and family.
HEIDI LAKE may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5879.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.