Rotarians in the first part of the 20th century, for the most part, were just grown-up kids in suits and hats.  Scouting was as much a part of their lives as newspapers and cigars.  
 
One particular Rotarian, Jim Kennedy, took scouting to a higher level than most and donated forty acres with a lake to the Pine Tree Council of Boy Scouts in Marshall and Harrison County, in 1928.  According to the “Marshall Morning News”, an article on page 4, ran this headline, “Scout Camp Named After Jim Kennedy”, and soon after a fund drive to develop it was started. 
 
Paula Yater, of Longview gives a good account of the incident, but a slightly different timeline, saying,
“On May 3, 1928, the Pine Tree Council announced plans to hold a Boy Scout Camp at the Old City Lake which was about two miles north of downtown Marshall.
The site was currently in use as a swimming lake. It was served by a good road and the Marshall Trolley Company ran to and from the lake. 
 
W. D. Bryan, Scout Executive, said the camp would be held from June 19 through 29.
 
A large rustic mess hall to accommodate 250 persons was to be constructed immediately. The building was to be constructed of logs cut from some of the camp property. This proved not to be a good plan. The building needed to be open-air because of the summer heat. The camping committee decided to ask various lumber companies for donations of lumber.
 
The Marshall Rotary Club got Rotary Clubs in Panola and Gregg Counties to assist in financing the project. Mr. Joe Pressler was named to draw up plans for the building and to supervise its construction. When completed, the building will be named Rotary Hall.
 
Mr. Tom Agnor was named Chairman of the Committee in charge of the water front on the lake. A pier 35 feet long, several dividing boards extending from a large platform in the lake, and a fenced in area to teach the Scouts to swim was included in the construction outline for Agnor's Committee."
 
J. C. “Jim” Kennedy who was Vice-President, in Dallas, of the Public Services Corporation, with companies in Marshall, moved to Marshall in May of 1922 to take over as manager of the Marshall Electric and Traction Company.
 
He was courted by the Rotary club and joined the club June 22 and appointed to the YMCA committee four months later, and later to the “Boys To Work” committee. 
Jim was an active Rotarian, rising to the office of Vice-President,  only to be moved to San Antonio to take over operation of the Public Services Corporation in Januarey of 1926, just six months before he would have become president of the club.
 
In the short time that he was in Marshall, he worked tirelessly for many causes and was honored in a special luncheon January 14th, 1926.  Shortly after moving to Marshall he purchased a little over 40 acres of land with a small lake, approximately two miles north of Marshall, the land he later donated to the Boy Scouts.
 
His legacy and the legacy of others who followed him in supporting “Camp Jim Kennedy” and Scouting in Marshall, will be fondly remembered when we “Celebrate a Century of Changing Lives in Marshall, and Beyond”, August 24th, 2019.