On Sunday, Oct. 31, Boy Scout Troop 2 celebrated the 100th anniversary of its chartership. The troop’s boys unit is believed to be the longest, continuously chartered Boy Scouts of America (BSA) troop in Michigan and one of the oldest in the country.
Every Scouts BSA troop – Scouting for youth ages 11 to 18 – is chartered by either a religious or civic organization, and this particular troop is chartered by The Peoples Church. The church is the troop’s home base. It’s where they hold weekly troop meetings and bi-monthly Venturing Crew meetings.
It was also the location of their centennial celebrations.
The celebrations included the 25 troop members, ages 11 to 18, along with the associated Venturing Crew. The Venturing Crew is similar to the troop, but the crew has members ages 14 to 21, and they participate in more physically rigorous camp-outs each year. Most members are from East Lansing, but a few come from Grand Ledge and Lansing.
To celebrate, the troop participated in their annual Scout Sunday and Cobblerfest, where they cooked cobblers in Dutch ovens over charcoal. They made 12 cobblers and served them at the end of the church service. There was some friendly competition regarding whose cobbler was best.
Two days later, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, the troop and Venturing Crew held a Court of Honor. At the ceremony, parents joined their kids on stage, as members were awarded rank advancements and badges for their achievements from the spring and summer.
Both the summer camp’s boys and girls units won honor troop awards based on the points they earned at summer camp for activities above and beyond what is expected, including maintaining their campsites and service hours. The Venturing Crew also received awards for their summer trip, in which they hiked along and kayaked on the Manistique River.
According to Kevin Brown, the Venturing Crew Advisor and Assistant Scoutmaster, the troop members enjoyed the celebrations, especially after over a year of doing Scouts remotely.
“I think the biggest change I’ve seen is that the youth are really happy to not be doing things remotely,” Brown said. “They are so happy to get out. We did a hike last spring, and it was the first thing we did [after being remote], and it was really incredible because we could tell the youth were just so happy to be with each other.”
The centennial celebrations also helped the troop rebuild their connections to the church.
“We are focusing on reestablishing our relationship with the church because, like the rest of the world, we’ve been trying to scout remotely for the last year and a half,” Brown said.
As the troop rebuilds their connection with the church, the 100-year celebration has allowed them to bask in their achievements from the past century and look forward to the continuation of the chartership.
“It is a major accomplishment, having the same unit being involved with the same organization for 100 years,” Brown said. “We’ve produced 213 Eagle Scouts. That longevity is due to the leadership in the troop and a great deal of support from the church. They provide us with space. They’ve been our home. To have made it as long as we have is a pretty amazing accomplishment.”
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