When in doubt, Scout: Tanner family has five generations of Boy Scouts, seven Eagle Scouts

Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer | awarren@messenger-inquirer.com Terry and Kora Tanner hold a family photo taken in 1995 showing the family’s dedication to the Scouts with children, David Tanner, left, scoutmaster, Jeff Tanner, scoutmaster, and Brian Tanner, cub master.

Terry Tanner's grandpa served as a Scoutmaster until he was forced to quit during the Great Depression.

Tanner's dad was a Cubmaster and enjoyed several other scouting responsibilities through the years. Tanner's mom was a Cub Scout leader.

Counting Tanner's 10 years as a Scout, the Philpot man has spent 53 years of his life in Boy Scouts of America.

His three sons — David, Jeff and Brian Tanner — were scouts and still serve as leaders today. In fact, since 2010, David Tanner, also of Philpot, took over as Scoutmaster for Troop 611, which his dad founded in 1978.

All three of the Tanners' daughters-in-law are involved in Boy Scouts.

But that's not all.

Tanner's wife, Kora, worked in a local Boy Scouts office for 30 years, and she was a den leader for a while.

Besides laying claim to five generations of scouts, the Tanner family has seven Eagle Scouts, including Terry Tanner, his three sons and a grandson.

Only two of 13 grandkids are not involved in scouting — for now, at least.

At 3 years old, one grandson is too young, and at 22, the other is too old.

"(Scouting) has been the cornerstone of my family," said David Tanner.

The program teaches three fundamentals of life: character development, citizenship and physical fitness.

"It's more about empowering young Scouts to engage in leadership and basically watching them develop into leaders," David Tanner said.

Terry Tanner, 66 and retired, worked in information technology at Swedish Match and Century Aluminum during much of his scouting service.

"For 25 years, our vacation time was spent taking kids places," he said, with a broad grin.

Through the years, the Tanners have watched several of their former scouts grow into community leaders. The couple derives a sense of pride from those achievements.

"We have had a lot of scouts come back through the years," Kora Tanner said. "They touch base with us every once in a while.

"You don't seem to lose your scouts. You have good memories with them, and hopefully we had an impact on them, too."

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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