When it comes to Scouting, John Pyfer is no tenderfoot
By Paula Wolf, Sunday News Staff Writer As seen in Lancaster Intellignecer Journal from June of 2005
Given his accomplishments as an attorney, it’s no surprise John F. Pyfer Jr.’s resume is six pages long.
But three of those pages are dedicated to another cause to which he has been devoted, now for more than half a century: the Boy Scouts of America.
Today is the start of Boy Scout Week, and Pyfer’s involvement with Scouting shows no signs of slowing down.
In February 2003, he got to meet President George W. Bush when he was among eight Scouts chosen to deliver the Boy Scouts’ annual report to the president in the Oval Office.
Hometown: Willow Street.
Current residence: Lancaster.
Family: Wife of 34 years, Carol T. Pyfer; son John F. III (Trey), 30, who is also an Eagle Scout; and daughter Carol Lee (Carrie), 25.
Education: The Peddie School, class of 1965; Haverford College, class of 1969; Vanderbilt University School of Law, class of 1972.
Occupation: Attorney at law, founder and senior partner of Pyfer Partners.
How long I’ve been active with the Boy Scouts: Since July 25, 1954.
How I got involved and why: Initially I joined Cub Scout Pack 58 (Den 3), which was sponsored by Willow Street United Church of Christ, where I attended church school. After earning my Arrow of Light, I became a member of Troop 58 and, due to the tireless efforts of the Scoutmaster, Robert Shaub, earned my Eagle rank on Jan. 10, 1962. Bob Shaub remains one of the most important men in my life. He was a role model to the Scouts of Willow Street because he lived the Scout Law in his everyday life and showed us how important Scouting’s values were.
The positions I’ve held with the organization over the years: Council commissioner, council president, area president, northeast region vice president, national committee member.
What Scouting means to me: Each morning I repeat the Scout Law and each night I ask myself if I followed the Scout Oath (“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight”).
Some of the highlights of my Scouting career, in addition to meeting President Bush: In 2001, I was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout. I have also had the privilege of attending six International Jamborees and seven National Jamborees.
My other community involvements: President of Willow Street UCC, twice past president of the Willow Street Lions Club, chairman elect of the Heritage Center of Lancaster County.
My unfulfilled ambition: To play Conrad Birdie in the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”
The person in history I most admire: Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts.
Whom in the world I’d most like to have dinner with: My wife. There is no one more special in my life.
Favorite music: Anything from the 1960s.
Favorite TV show: “Law & Order.”
Favorite foods: Filet mignon with baked potato, Caesar salad and French apple pie.
Favorite restaurant: Carr’s.
Pastime/hobby: Raising orchids. My son and I operate Pyfer Greenhouses at 25 Rider Ave. where we have more than 7,000 orchids and also board tropical patio plants. It is the only pastime other than Scouting that totally relaxes me from the courtroom.
Magazines I read: U.S. News & World Report and Sports Illustrated.
The best movie I’ve ever seen: “Follow Me, Boys!” (Fred MacMurray portrays a Scoutmaster).
My favorite vacation spot: Anyplace warm where I can scuba dive, like Scouting’s Florida Sea Base.
I always try to avoid: Park City.
My idea of a good time: Spending the day in my greenhouse, repotting orchids.
Something that can always be found in my refrigerator: Ice cream.
A miracle gadget I’d like to see invented: something to make parents actively participate in their children’s activities.
Three adjectives that describe me: Caring, detail-oriented, impatient.
Ten years from now I want to be: Traveling the world promoting scouting.
Twenty years from now I want to be: Still alive.