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Boy Scout Leader Loves Watching Kids Build Strong Character

Cap Cornwell, 52

Boy Scout leader

Cap Cornwell first joined the Boy Scouts because of his older brothers' involvement with the movement. He joined at age 11 but he left after reaching the rank of tenderfoot.

The Royal Palm Beach resident rejoined the movement when his children decided they wanted to be Cub Scouts. He figured he had to get involved in order to make it a good program for the kids. So he became a den leader for Cub Scout Pack 120 and also served as treasurer of the pack. He then worked as an assistant scoutmaster with Troop 125 in Wellington.

In March last year Cornwell played a key role in starting Boys Scout Troop 120 in Royal Palm Beach. The group, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club, meets at the cultural center.

The troop, which started out with three boys, quickly moved to seven boys and then jumped to 18. Now after almost two years, there are 42 boys in the troop.

Cornwell also enjoys training the adults who work with the kids.

He is pleased that the troop reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Royal Palm Beach community.

Cornwell's four children are involved in scouting. Christopher, 15, is a second class scout; Andrew, 13, is a life scout and one step away from a eagle scout; Elizabeth, 9, is a Girl Scout; and Maxwell, 6, is a brand new Tiger Cub.

His wife, Dorie, is a Girl Scout leader.

Cornwell, who owns and operates Advanced Painting Contractors in West Palm Beach, says in addition to scouting he also is very active in his church. He is a member of the Bahai faith, which he says fits in perfectly with scouting because his faith teaches the oneness of humanity. He is a member of the statewide board of Bahai.

Cornwell admits his role as scoutmaster is something he never expected though he thoroughly enjoys working with the boys and watching them "develop into young men . . . that's the most rewarding thing . . . to watch and to encourage kids to learn outdoor skills and to interact with kids their own age and all the while working on building strong characters."

He also cites learning respect for others and loving and serving the community and all of humanity as part of what it means to be a scout.

What are your hobbies?

Sports, "spending time with my children which I enjoy immensely."

What is your most memorable moment?

Touring Jerusalem.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Donate a portion to help bring about world peace.

Where were you born and how did you end up in Florida?

He was born in California and came to Florida 30 years ago. After graduating from Idaho State University with a business degree, he was invited by some friends who were starting a pressure cleaning business. They left soon after, but he stayed with it.

Who's your hero?

"As a boy Willie Mays . . . as an adult, any human being working for racial unity because it's tough to do and mean it."

What's your favorite book/movie?

Book - The Hobbit; movie - Dr. Zhivago.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only three things, what would they be?

My prayer book, a satellite phone, and three wishes.

You're hungry at 3 a.m., what food would you eat?

Apricot Danish.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

Gandhi. "I wouldn't eat I would just listen . . . I would want to learn from someone who was fairly wise."

How would you like to be remembered?

"As someone who tried to make a difference."

What do you do when you want to get away from it all?

Go to the mountains.

What is the most unusual thing you own?

Some Native American artifacts he got from relatives.

What is the best advice you've received?

"Steady at the helm, don't panic." It was given to him by his mentor, Wilma Ellis.

Have an interesting neighbor you want the community to know about? Call 820-4788.

©Copyright 2001, Palm Beach Post

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