MAKING A DIFFERENCE TuESDAs; MAY 1,2001 Scoutmaster Mike Fuller prepares boys for the future as leader of Salina's largest Scout troop As general manager of Fuller's Auto and Truck Recycling Center, Fuller ; talks to a customer about: ordering a part. Hie recycling center buys wrecked or rispOssessed cars, takes all the useful parts, and sells them. PHOTO STORY BY MAHSTAMEY T rustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind. Carburetors, transmissions, axles, wheels and tires. These things are Mike Fuller's life. Fuller is scoutmaster for Troop 214, the largest Boy Scout troop in Salina. He's also general manager of Fuller's Auto and Truck Recycling Center, 501 E. Pacific Ave. "Mike is an excellent scoutmaster," said Gary Shoemaker, district director of the Three Rivers District of Boy Scouts of America. "He does a super job of coordinating the program for the boys." Fuller said he prepares boys for the future. On a recent campout at Maxwell Lake near Lindsborg, Fuller helped the Scouts cook. Then he stayed with them to eat, rather than eating with the other adults. He played games with the Scouts, took them on walks and taught them about nature as they walked. Itoop 214 contributes to the Salina community this way: it has adopted a two-mile stretch of Old Highway 40, which it cleans three times a year; it sings at nursing homes during the holidays; it performs flag ceremonies in Salina; and it cleans campsites. The troop's main fundraiser is a spaghetti dinner. The troop donates 10 percent of its profits from the diimer to Trinity United Methodist Church. Other profits go for pots and pans, uteiisils and new tents. Fuller likes watching the Scouts grow up to be self- sufficient. "I watch them cross over into Boy Scouts and they're unfamiliar vdth how things work," said Fuller. "Then pretty soon they can set up their own tents, do their own things and cook their own meals." Fuller has been a city-league baseball, volleyball and basketball coach for his son Andrew, 15, and daughter Mallory, 12. He coached Andrew's baseball team for eight years with most of the team joining his troop. When Fuller isn't camping or being a Scout, he takes apart wrecked or repossessed vehicles and recycles their parts. Fuller's grandfather started Fuller's Auto and TVuck Recycling Center in 1931. Now Fuller and his father, Gene, own and manage the store. Fuller is the kind of leader who plays with his team while he coaches and participates in all the activities that the Scouts do. He said children are a major part of his life. "Youth are a big deal and we can't give up on them." Fuller eats lunch with members of the Silver Fox Patrol during a troop campout at Maxwell Lake. He cooks and eats vrith the Scouts rather than with the adults - the Scouts say he's just one of the guys. Mike Fuller plays a game of hacky-sack with the boys from Troop 214 of Salina. 1 A At a Court Of Honor, Fuller presents a group of Scouts their Tenderfoot rank, the first step on the trail to the highest rank, the Eagle. Troop 214 is the largest troop In Salina, with more than 60 Scouts and 45 adult leaders. ^^^^^ At a Scout meeting. Fuller discusses what to do with a young Scout who has an ear Infection and is unable to go under water. During a ti«op campout In early March, Fuller helps his son, Andrew, drain a pot of macaroni while Darren Deatherage watches. Fuller likes to fnterfcf as much as possible with the Scouts to help them learn.
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