Longtime area Boy Scout leader Joe Long celebrated his 95th birthday Sunday.
Observance of the event was made Saturday during a local scout gathering, although Long was unable to attend due to some recent health problems which have caused him to temporarily relocate in Bartlesville.
Long has been active in Osage County scouting for the past 80 years. Born Dec. 1, 1918, in Oilton, Joseph Francis Long was 15 when he attended his first Boy Scout meeting in 1934 at Wynona. Long became a Scoutmaster in 1945 and has continued his service to area Boy Scouts of America programs ever since.
During his Scouting career, Long has completed nearly every course offered by the National Council. He has received a 50-year veteran award, the Order of the Arrow, the President’s Award (twice) and a Silver Beaver, and also earned Camp Master and Quartermaster honors.
Long has always set a high standard of excellence for area Boy Scouts. His friendly, positive and caring attitude continues to exemplify what scouting is about. The iconic Osage County Boy Scout leader also is a Master Mason. Long has more than six decades of service in that fraternal organization.
At the time of Pawhuska’s 2009 centennial celebration for the founding of the first U.S. troop, Long had made seven trips to Philmont — the national Boy Scout camp in New Mexico. He said a visit to the camp —located along the Santa Fe Trail in Sangre De Cristo Mountains — should be an ideal of every BSA member. Philmont was donated to the Boy Scouts by the late oilman/philanthropist Waite Phillips.