Bill McCalister, a Boy Scouts scoutmaster based in north central San Antonio, was recognized in early February for more than 45 years of service to scouting.

McCalister, Troop 285 scoutmaster with the Alamo Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, received the honors during a series of local events that involved him being formally recognized for his service by other Boy Scout troop leaders, past Eagle Scouts and other community supporters.

According to a news release, since 1977, more than 240 Troop 285 scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during McCalister’s tenure, while hundreds more have benefited from his emphasis on leadership development and on outdoor adventure experiences worldwide.

Fewer than 7% of all eligible scouts earn Eagle Scout, making McCalister's contribution to the youth of San Antonio and scouting even more meaningful, according to Troop 285 representatives.

The release said, in 2004, McCalister led fundraising efforts to create and build a meeting facility, the William McCalister Scout Lodge, which is located on the Coker United Methodist Church campus, as the church sponsors the troop. The McCalister lodge also houses Boy Scouts Cub Pack 285.

The aforementioned series of events included a Feb. 3 gathering at Hollywood Park’s Voigt Center to honor McCalister, a Feb. 4 tour of the McCalister lodge and a dinner that same night at Pedrotti’s Ranch event venue in Helotes, Texas.

The latter event featured more than 240 people from around the country gathered to honor McCalister, speeches by past Eagle Scouts and McCalister receiving gifts, including a signed Norman Rockwell print titled “Scoutmaster,” which was signed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The release said one of the many fathers attending the events honoring McCalister said McCalister has long had a knack for building a positive relationship with every Boy Scout and his parents, leaving a major, positive effect on that boy’s life.

The release said McCalister earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1958, fought in the Vietnam War, developed a long insurance industry career and is an active member at Coker UMC.

Troop 285, which meets most Mondays at 7 p.m. at the McCalister lodge, will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2024.