El Dorado Hills Scoutmaster Elvis McCann has been involved for four decades

Familiar Faces
By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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Elvis McCann has been the scoutmaster for El Dorado Hills Boy Scout Troop 454 for the past eight years but has been involved in scouting for about 40 years. Under his leadership, 47 scouts have attained the rank of Eagle. During the day, he works as an electrician for a company who installs wiring for new construction. He’s been a loyal employee for 28 years.

What made you move to El Dorado Hills?
The experience of being in construction is how I came to El Dorado Hills. We were looking to move into a bigger house as our family was growing. My wife asked me what type of home I wanted. My answer was that I would really like to build it myself. So we found a lot and took on the ultimate home improvement project.  

How long have you been involved in Scouts?
I first joined Cub Scouts in the mid 1960s and continued all through my youth. I earned my Eagle Rank in November of 1979. I first became an adult volunteer when a friend of my wife’s mentioned her son was going to have to drop out because none of the parents were willing to be the leader. My wife told them to call me and that I would do it. I ended up leading a Cub Scout den. My son Kyle was only three years old and he thought the eight 10-year old kids were coming over to play with him. That was in 1989 and I have been doing scouting since.

What do you love most about being involved in Boy Scouts?
I get to help shape the lives the youth. They will listen to what I have to say because I am not just another adult lecturing them about all things they must do; they listen to me because I’m not their parent or teacher, but am someone whose main goal is to go out and have fun with them.

What have been your favorite outings with the scouts?
I have had the opportunity to participate in many, many outings, literally hundreds of weekends in the great outdoors. I have been on the National Jamboree Staff three times now. The two weeks of camping with over 40,000 Boy Scouts was pretty mind blowing.
I would have to say among my favorites would be those outings I was able to share with my own sons. Scouting was a really great way to spend time with my two sons while they were growing up. So many people seem to be too busy for their own children and miss out on so much. Although I worked 70 to 80 hours a week I always had time to participate with my boys in their lives as they were growing up.

What has Boy Scouts taught you?
I have been involved is scouting all my life, so there has been so much I can say I learned in scouting, I think the most important thing I can say scouting has taught me is that these young boys are so much more mature than adults think. When given responsibility, they are way more mature than we generally give them credit for.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I spend my free time camping, snowshoeing, kayaking and cycling. I enjoy home improvement projects.

What are some of the favorite places that you’ve traveled to?
Almost all of my travel has been trips to national parks; I have been to most all the major national parks in the west. The top of Half Dome is probably my favorite although canoeing on Lake Louise in Canada was spectacular also. I have recently started exploring the east coast. Arlington National Cemetery; Gettysburg Battle Field and Fort Sumter were all very cool.
One of the most unique troop outings I’ve been on was when we went to a civil war reenactment. With my long hair and full beard everyone was eager for me to join. I just look too much the part to not be part of the civil war. They were all really great. They loaned all the boys uniforms and included them in everything that was going on.

Tell us about your family.
I have been married for almost 30 years. My wife is the smartest, classiest lady I have ever met.  I have two sons, 26 and 21. I can say I am proud of whom they have grown up to be and now consider them not just my children but I consider them my friends. My greatest joy now is my little granddaughter. She is a year old and I cannot get enough of her.

What is your favorite movie?
It may sound corny but my favorite movie is an old Disney film starring Fred MacMurray. “Follow Me Boys” is about a man who starts a Boy Scout troop in a small town and the rewards of making a difference.
This movie really made me see that I needed to use my knowledge of the scouting program to make a difference in the lives of the young men of El Dorado Hill.

What causes are you passionate about?
I am very patriotic about America.

What is one thing about you people might be surprised to learn?
I was not named after Elvis Presley as most people assume. It is an old family name. I am the third generation with the name Elvis and my sons all have it as their middle name.