Re: First Boy Scout Troop, USA
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@NYC.PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 12 Jul 1996 19:51:17 GMT
On Jul 12, 1996 09:15:52, 'Kevin Doyle <kdoyle@HEI.COM>' wrote:
>I was going to stay out of this one, but this is my understanding as
>well. They have changed chartering organizations once and are now
>chartered by the PFA of Punahou School. And while the Aloha Council isn't
>quite that old, this year's Makahiki (scout show) was the 86th put on by
>Scouts in Hawaii. The first I believe was in October 1910. Or was it
I was going to stay out of this, as well, but, what the hey!
We (Troop 1, Flushing NY) have been continuously chartered since 1910. We
have internal documents that indicate that we were in existence since at
least February of that year. However, we (or at least most of us :-) )
have never claimed to be THE oldest troop, just ONE of the oldest troops.
We even have an ongoing controversy with Troop 2 in our council who claim
to be older than us. (They were originally Troop 1, College Point, NY, and
when the council decided NOT to have multiple troops in the council with
the same number we retained the "1", probably because Dan Beard was
associated with us, and they became "2". They claim to be the oldest, we
only claim to be one of the oldest.)
It is very difficult to make a factual determination for several reasons.
First, as others have stated, many troops actually started before there was
such a thing as the BSA, either as boy scout troops or as units in one of
the competing organizations that eventually became part of the BSA.
Second, several local councils existed before the BSA formally came into
existence. After all, who KNEW that the movement would become national?
Finally, the records from back then were not meticulously kept because of
the technology of the times and because when you are starting something new
you have no way of knowing you are going to be successful, much less that
the information will be considered important 85 years later.
We have recently come into possession of most of our charter renewal
applications from about 1912 on. It is interesting to note that they asked
how long the troop had been chartered and there are inconsistencies from
one year to the next, even back then, the point being that nobody really
considered it an important point at the time. It was interesting, however,
to try to track who was in the troop 80+ years ago and when they joined and
left, and to compare that to our records that we had reconstructed from
other sources. Yes, we have people willing to do that sort of stuff, but I
When we were celebrating our 75th anniversary our SM wrote to national for
a list of the units that were celebrating their 75th anniversary. We got a
letter with a listing of some 20 or so units that national admitted had
been continuously chartered since 1910 (any time in 1910), according to
THEIR records. We did the same thing again in 1995 for the 85th
anniversary. The list was shorter, but, interestingly, there were some
units on the 1995 list that were NOT on the 1985 list. I found that
strange and casting a cloud over the whole list. :-)
I guess my point, which, as usual, took a while to get to, is that there is
really no way of knowing the answer. However, ALL of the troops that have
been around since then can certainly take pride in being amongst the very
first troops in the US and in having provided a meaningful program for all
their Scouts over the years, and having successfully withstood the test of
time and survived where many, many others have failed.
So, to all the OTHER 85+ year old troops out there CONGRATULATIONS from
Troop 1, Flushing, NY, ONE of the oldest troops in the USA.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City