Bill Elliot: A Lifetime of Scouting

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By John Deming, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, February 17, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

SCOUTING PRIDE -- William Elliot (back left) and Warren White (back center right) stand with a group of scouts Sunday morning at the United Methodist Church [Atlantic News Photo by John Deming]

HAMPTON -- On April 28, local resident William Ingham Elliot will turn 100 years old.

Last Sunday, some of those who know him best decided to honor his contributions to the community.

"Bill has touched the lives of hundreds of area boys and girls," said Warren White, who quarterbacked the decision to honor Elliot.

In a small ceremony performed during a service at the United Methodist Church, Elliot was named a Lifetime Honorary Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 176 — an honor bestowed upon someone "once every hundred years," White laughed.

The honor was a surprise to Elliot.

"He was elated and he was totally surprised," White said.

Photo, left to right:
Scoutmaster Scott Mason, "Bill" Elliot and Warren White.
[Atlantic News Photo by John Deming]

Elliot has been active in the scouting community for many years, according to White. At the age of 99, he is still registered as a merit badge counselor, meaning scouts looking to earn certain merit badges could go to him for guidance.

He has been a scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 177 in town, and an assistant scoutmaster in both North Hampton Troop 162 and Hampton Falls Troop 377. Sunday's ceremony means he's part of yet another Troop, #176.

Elliot has also been well known in the region for his role as Hampton's "Singing Cop." He earned this title when working as a part-time traffic officer between 1930 and 1940, directing beach travelers around the Casino while the big bands played.

Around 9 p.m., when the house band was about to start its last set, Officer Elliot would jump up on the bandstand, perform a few numbers, and jump back down — only to be beckoned back for an encore.

White has known Elliot for many years in both the scouting community and as a member of the United Methodist Church Men's Club.

"He's been in the church for years and years," White said.

The ceremony consisted of a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, presentation of colors, and opening remarks by White. Though Elliot wasn't present at the earlier Mass, he was honored there as well.

White said that Elliot has been helping out Troop 176 for years, but not as a registered member.

"This award is in appreciation of all that he's done," White said. "It's an award of merit, but also he's now officially a registered assistant scoutmaster with Troop 176."

Bill is shown holding great-granddaughter Alexandra Elliot whose parents are Rachel Slack and David Elliot, youngest son of Wayne and Betty Elliot.
[Atlantic News Photo by John Deming]

Scouting runs in Elliot's family. His son Wayne has been involved in scouting for his entire, and he is the proud grandfather of three Eagle scouts.

Many of Elliot's family members — all of whom had prior knowledge of the ceremony, but hadn't let on to Elliot — were there for the ceremony. A number of pictures were taken, many as Elliot held his infant granddaughter, Alexandra.

"Scouting always played a huge part in [Elliot's] life, and in the life of his family," White said.

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