Lambert joined the Army in 1944 and during the war often used the survival skills he learned from the Scouts.
"We knew how to improvise," Lambert said. "We had to work with what was on hand."
Lambert was stationed at Camp Lucky Strike -- an Army encampment located near Le Havre, France. He used his camping know-how learned in the Scouts to make it through the bitter cold that settled over his encampment.
Lambert passed similar survival strategies along to younger Scouts when he served as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His Scouts learned how to cook without utensils and how to craft a fishing rod and line from a hickory sapling, Lambert said.
Many former Scouts have reached out to Lambert over the years. Several have thanked him for the lessons he imparted as a Scoutmaster.
"There are such rewards you receive from people that you never knew you were influencing," Lambert said.
Lambert also spearheaded an effort to create a black Boy Scout troop. As a child, he was friends with the grandchildren of a black physician and hoped they would join a troop, but the Boy Scouts of America was strictly segregated at the time.
So Lambert started a Boy Scout troop at Mount Hope's DuBois High School, the school for black youth in the area. The troop lacked leadership, though, and lasted only a few years, Lambert said.
Today, the Boy Scouts is even more important than ever before, Lambert said. Children today face greater temptations from drugs and alcohol, he said, and the Scouts can help keep them out of trouble.
"Most Scouts are doggone good kids and they stay out of trouble," Lambert said. "They have other interests other than pot-smoking and sex."
Reach Laura Reston at laura.res...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5112.