For several decades Russell Smart was on a mission. He came up with a simple enough goal. Can I get the first patch issued by the oldest lodge in every state? That rabbit hole of collecting led him to add other needs to the list but eventually he was able to get that impossible collection about 93% complete. Now Russell is finally breaking up this amazing collection starting with an online private sale and now this Shopify Store - Smart Scout Patches. The store has nearly 600 OA issues from his collection with more to come. The next phase of the sale has been to add almost 200 First Flaps to the store.
Russell Hoke Smart is a life-long resident of Greenville, South Carolina. He is retired from a professional career that began as a consulting engineer and ended as the CFO of a real estate development company. He earned degrees from Georgia Tech and Duke University.
Russell became a Scouting volunteer in 1988 when he and his son Hoke joined Troop 266 sponsored by St. Giles Presbyterian Church. He served as the Scoutmaster of the troop from 1992 through 1997, and again from 2002 through 2008. He organized and served as Co-Advisor of Venturing Crew 99 from 1994 through 2004. He earned his Wood Badge beads in 1991 and has since served as Course Director and other staff positions for numerous Wood Badge courses. He earned his PhD in Commissioner Science in 2000 and his Venturing Powderhorn in 2001. He has been a member of the Executive Board of the Blue Ridge Council since 1999, serving as Council President from 2008 thru 2010. He was a member of the Southern Region Executive Board from 2001 through 2012 and serves on several BSA National Committees including Awards and Recognitions, STEM NOVA, National Scouting Museum, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve Committee. He is the founding President of the Summit Bechtel Reserve Staff Association (SBRSA).
Russell was a Scoutmaster at the 1997 National Jamboree, served on the Southern Region Headquarters staff for the 2001 and 2005 National Jamborees and as the Southern Region Camp Chief for the 2010 Centennial National Jamboree. He then served as National Program Chairman for the 2013 and 2017 National Jamborees.
He also served as a Scoutmaster at the 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Scout Jamboree and served as the Southern Region Chairman for the 2007 Centennial World Jamboree in England. He was a member of the BSA Contingent Staff at the 2011 World Jamboree in Sweden. He served as the Vice Chairman and Commissioner for the BSA contingent to the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at the Summit in West Virginia.
Russell became a member of the Order of the Arrow in 1990, Brotherhood in 1993, and was awarded the Vigil Honor in 2001, the Founders Award in 2006, and the Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award in 2015.
Among his Scouting awards are the District Award of Merit (1994), Silver Beaver Award (1996), Venturing Leadership Award (2002), Baptist Good Shepard Award (2003), Southern Region Silver Antelope Award (2004), Baden-Powell World Fellowship (2005), Scoutmaster Award of Merit (2006), International Scouting Award (2007), Silver Buffalo Award (2012) and the Blue Ridge Council and BSA National Alumnus of the Year (2020).
His favorite Scouting experiences have been awarding Eagle Scout badges to over 100 Scouts from Troop 266 during his time as Scoutmaster and driving a commissary truck at Philmont Scout Ranch during the summer of 2008.
He has been married since 1975 to Helen, a very understanding and patient wife. They have one "genetic" son Hoke (Eagle Scout 1992), plus hundreds of adopted sons (and daughters) who have passed through Troop 266, Venture Crew 99, and numerous national and world jamboree troops.