The Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, is one of the largest in the country, with 17 counties in central and southern Ohio and one in northern Kentucky.

The Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, is one of the largest in the country, with 17 counties in central and southern Ohio and one in northern Kentucky.

That's a lot of territory to cover, particularly in 2010 when the local council, with headquarters at 1901 E. Dublin-Granville Road, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Boy Scouts of America.

No problem.

Columbus Truck and Equipment Inc. has the council covered.

The East Fifth Avenue dealer in medium and heavy-duty trucks last week presented the keys to a newly restored 24-foot enclosed International truck to the Simon Kenton Council. It's going to play a vital role in providing the BSA some public exposure while taking interactive displays to festivals and other events throughout the district next year as council officials seek new Scouts and to reconnect with old ones, according to Donald R. Sheppard, director of the development for the Simon Kenton Council.

Ray Mason, owner and president of Columbus Truck and Equipment, has long been a supporter of the BSA, Sheppard said, as was his father before him. In the past, the company owners have provided the council with trucks on a short-term basis for various efforts and projects, Sheppard said.

"This time we need it long term," he said.

The 1999 model truck was a trade-in, according to Mason. It needed brakes, tires and some body work, he said.

"It had been pretty ruggedly used," he said. "It really got a lot more done to it than I thought we would."

Still, the vehicle has only 200,000 miles on the odometer and that sort of model typically can go for as many as 400,000.

The truck is going to do what the BSA needs of it, Mason said.

"Absolutely."

In addition to providing a presence at such events as the Circleville Pumpkin Festival and the Ohio State Fair, Sheppard said that the truck will enable Simon Kenton Council officials to transport an interactive display and other equipment to the Ohio Statehouse on Feb. 8 for a celebration marking two days shy of the official 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the BSA in Washington, D.C.

The interactive displays, Sheppard said, will include Scouting's famous Pinewood Derby tracks and a compass course that children can follow.

In addition, in an attempt at touching base with as many former Boy Scouts as possible, the truck will contain computers allowing alumni to sign on and record some of their memories as part of BSAalumni.org, a special Web page marking the centennial.

The truck will be wrapped in the BSA's logo before it embarks on its travels throughout the council's territory.

"It's really a way to educate the public and promote Scouting during this exciting time," said Jennifer A. Koma, marketing director for the Simon Kenton Council.

While membership in the Boy Scouts of America is declining somewhat in many parts of the country, Sheppard said that the local council, named for a famous frontiersman and contemporary of Daniel Boone, has beaten that trend and increased membership in recent years.

The council has 22 professional staff members who work with more than 8,000 adult volunteers delivering the Scouting program to more than 40,000 youth.

More information is available at www.skcbsa.org.

kparks@thisweeknews.com