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Peterman leads area Scouts

By By LYDIA GRIMES Features writer
Since February is Scout month and this is Scout week, it is only appropriate to profile someone who is very involved in the scouting program.
Randy Peterman is rather new to town, having moved here only last year to take over the position of district executive of the Gulf Coast Council, Boy Scouts of America. Monroe, Conecuh and Escambia Counties in Alabama, and the areas of Jay and Century, Fla., are his territory.
It's an important year for both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts will celebrate its 75th anniversary while the Boy Scouts is celebrating its 95th. Local Scouts will have their District Banquet on Feb. 19, at the Ag. Science Center, located behind the Southern Pine office.
According to Peterman, Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement, described scouting as a game with a purpose. Fun is the game, values are the purpose and learning is the process.
The anniversary theme serves as an opportunity for scouts to show what they have done and attract new boys and parents to the scouting program. Right now there are about 200 scouts in the area Peterman covers. There is much room for growth, and the result is certainly worth the time and energy that is put into the scouting program.
Peterman was born in Bucyrus, Ohio, one of two children, and graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1976. He was into scouting at an early age.
He didn't know what he wanted to do after high school but he did attend Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., for a year. There he acquired some ideas about his future. He had developed a love of old cars. He had what he described as a "rusty old bucket of bolts" while he was in high school, and he decided to learn mechanics. He went back to Ohio and attended Lincoln Technical Institute in Indianapolis, Ind., and graduated in 1978 with a certificate in Automotive Technology and later worked as a mechanic in a local dealership for a couple of years. He found that working on cars was great as a hobby but when he had to do it for a paycheck it ceased to be fun.
He was encouraged by an aunt to check into the Air Force and in 1981, he followed her advice and reported to basic training. For the next 21 years he served all over the world in various positions in military intelligence.
He served for the National Security Agency's Cryptologic Support Group providing intelligence support to air operations in Dhahran, Saudia Arabia in 1994-95. In April of 1995 he was sent to Eglin Air Force Base and it was there that he retired from the Air Force in 2002.
Over the years he continued to further his education. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of West Florida, Pensacola; an associate's degree in business and management from the University of Maryland and an associate's degree in Information Processing Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
He met his wife, Janet, while he was stationed in Maryland in 1986 and they were married on Valentine's Day in 1988.
At the time of his retirement, he worked for a while with a contractor but it was not what he wanted. He sent out resumes to many places and he found out there was a need for a scouting executive in New York. He had no desire to go to New York, but it did encourage him to investigate the possibility of something closer by. He met the senior executive of the Gulf Coast Council and was offered the position he now holds.
His wife, Janet, is the fitness coordinator at the YMCA. They have two children, Bailey, 8, and Donnie, 7. He enjoys spending time with them and tinkering with old cars, especially antiques and classics.