The Northwest Georgia Council of the Boys Scouts of America honored Dr. Bob Hortman and Clemontene Slack at it’s annual American Values luncheon at the Coosa Country Club on Friday.

Rome attorney Andy Davis, a longtime local Scoutmaster, said Dr. Hortman “embodies all of the values that Scouting stands for” and has been “a lifetime servant.”

Darlington administrator Joe Montgomery said that Clem Slack exemplified the Scout oath “through duty to God, her community and her profession.” Darlington Head of School Brent Bell nominated Slack for the honor and pointed out that she had spent her entire life as a “champion for children.”

Bestselling author Alvin Townley was the keynote speaker for the event. He told the audience that most Scouts rack up a large number of Merit badges but that he only had 21 before earning his Eagle Scout rank when he was nearly 18 years of age.

“What does it mean to be an Eagle Scout?” Townley asked. After traveling the world doing research for his books, Townley said the common thread among Eagle Scouts is that virtually all of them have given of themselves to serve their community.

He related the story of George Coker, an Eagle Scout who was in the service during the Vietnam. Coker was shot down while on a bombing mission and endured a month of torture in the “Hanoi Hilton.”

Townley related that Coker refused to sign a confession that American involvement in the war was wrong and “refused to surrender his honor,” remembering his Scout Oath and the various principles including honor and duty to country.

“Think how great this country would be if everyone had that devotion,” Townley said.

Mary Hardin Thornton, who will serve as president for the council board in the coming year, said that over 400 families had been brought into the Coosa District, Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties, since last fall. She also said the Northwest Georgia Council had added 342 girls to the program, leading the Southern Region.

At the conclusion of the luncheon, guests were given the opportunity to write checks or make pledges in support of the council. “Your investment really does make a difference,” Council Executive Jeff Brasher said.