Boy Scouting in Croton

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Cub Scouts starting a meeting with a salute to the flag. Holding Flag: David Hogue. Saluting: L to R: Francis Finnerty, Donald, Dymes, Brock Thompson and ?. Circa 1937-1938.

The Boy Scouts have a long history in Croton. The first troop was formed as Troop #25 on May 31, 1928 under the leadership of Roy Van Tassell. The troop was sponsored by Charles H. Fox Post, American Legion.

Leader Roy Van Tassell
Roy Van Tassell

Eventually two other Boy Scout troops, Numbers 28 and 213, were added to accommodate the number of boys interested in scouting.

The purpose of Boy Scouting is to develop young American boys who are physlcallv, mentally and emotionally fit, have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation’s role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society.

The above was from the Fact Sheet of What is Boy Scouting.

There are several levels along the way to be accomplished in scouting. The first is Tenderfoot followed by Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and finally Eagle. The levels represent various achievements in quality of personality, character and leadership.

Scout Allen Kingman
Scout Allen Kingman

Scout Allen Kingman was awarded one of scouting’s highest awards, Eagle Scout, in 1971. He is shown here giving his mother Julia a memento of his achievement while his father Lauren and Scout Leader Arthur Black of Troop 25 look on.

The Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally
straight.

The first Croton scout to become an Eagle Scout was Joseph Jamin of Troop 28 in 1969.

Be Prepared Merit Badge
Eagle Scout Badge

The requirements to achieve this rank are difficult and you must have gone through the various stages up to Life Scout before you can start the ultimate achievement. Twenty-one merit badges in specific areas must be earned; plan and develop and give leadership to a service project for any religious, school or community organization. He must take part in a scoutmaster conference and successfully complete an Eagle Scout Board of Review.

During the second World War the scouts joined in the war effort by collecting scrap metal and helping out at one of the collection depots on North Riverside Avenue.

WWII Scrap Metal
WWII Scrap Metal

Left to right: Joe Kearsley; John Sullivan; Melvin Smith; Leader Arthur Black Jr.; Buddy Armond; Ted Kearsley and (?).

Boy Scouts learn to give of themselves and do for others who are in need. These boys are raising money for a good cause. In 1954 scouts Richard Sarcone, William Irvine, Jerry Irvine, Robert Parsons and Robert Aickelin from Troop 25 are shown in front of the old County Trust Bank on Old Post Road South selling apples.

Troop 25 Selling Apples
Troop 25 Selling Apples

Troop 28 which meets at Holy Name of Mary Church is the only Boy Scout Troop still active today. It originally met for many years at Temple Israel with Charles O’Connor as the leader.

Troop 25 Sustaining Members
Troop 25 Sustaining Members

Leader Charles O’Connor of Troop 28 and Leader Art Black, Jr. of Troop 25 flank Edward Kraemer and Mayor Stanley Kellerhouse as they become Sustaining Members of the Boy Scouts.

In 1971 a third troop, number 213, was chartered as Troops 28 and 25 were filled to capacity. The scoutmaster for the new troop was Jack Hoye assisted by Peter (Tiny) Konco and Jack Joyce.

Boy Scout Troop 25 Holy Name of Mary
Boy Scout Troop 25 Holy Name of Mary

Boy Scout Troop 25 Sponsored by Holy Name of Mary is shown on Boy Scout Sunday with Father Joseph Moore, leaders Sal Vasta & Arthur Black, and parent Vince Duffy.

Boy Scout Flag Ceremony
Boy Scout Flag Ceremony

Boy Scouts from Troop 25 participate in a flag ceremony at the corner of Maple and Riverside Avenue near the garage of Eddie Abrahams (later Dom’s).

Boy Scout Community Service
Boy Scout Community Service
Eagle Scout Chip Morehouse
New Eagle Scout “Chip” Morehouse with his parents.

Boy Scouts are always encouraged to participate in various forms of community service and in 1964 they were hard at work cleaning at the then very underdeveloped Senasqua Park. From left to right below: Robert Steinmann, Evan Ravitz, Robert Rothrock and Paul Steinmann.

Scout Pinewood Derby Winners
Scout Pinewood Derby Winners

There are various levels of Boy Scouting beginning with Cub Scouts who meet in smaller groups on a weekly basis usually in their Den Mother’s home where they work on various projects leading to badges. All the Dens come together for group participation in activities such as the Pine Wood Derby, where racing cars the boys have created are raced down wooden tracks. The winners shown are Bill Dutzek, Chris Cusack and Rob Joyce.

Scout Weblos Celebration
Scout Weblos Celebration

From the Cub Scouts the boys work their way up to Weblos. This graduation was celebrated at a Blue & Gold Dinner where then Mayor William Rozell gave graduation certificates to Robert Sears and Robert Totillo.

Cub Scout Candle Ceremony
Cub Scout Candle Ceremony

Usually badges and other achievements are recognized with some sort of ceremony, which makes the boy’s efforts more meaningful. Here Cubs Clifford Gabrielsen and Robert Dennard of Cub Pack 28 participate in a candle ceremony.

Scout Campfire Cooking
Boy Scout Mike Joyce demonstrates cooking over a campfire to Cub Scouts at a Cub-A-Ree.
Bridge to Boy Scouts Ceremony
Bridge to Boy Scouts Ceremony

When the young boys finish with Weblos they attend a special ceremony where they cross over the bridge into Boy Scouts. Shown walking over the bridge with his parents, Diane and Bob is Steve Wintermeier. Waiting on the other side was Scoutmaster Jack Hoye, along with John Sekelsky and Stanley Kellerhouse.

Cub Scout Knot Skills
Robert Schilling trying his hand at mastering Knot Skills

One of the skills a Cub would begin to learn is how to tie various knots which would become a requirement once he became a Boy Scout.

Cub Scout Cart Derby
Cub Scout Cart Derby

In 1969 Cub Gary Shepler with his Dad George are beginning construction of what he hopes will be a winner in the annual Cub Kart Derby. This event was held on the hill from Croton Point Avenue heading South towards Van Cortlandt Manor. It was a great Father/Son experience.

Cub Scout Arrow Of Light
Cub Scout Arrow Of Light

The highest award in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light which is the only badge that may be carried with them to be worn on their Boy Scout uniform. Cubs Bill Pfaff and Stephen Smith were very proud of their achievement.

Boy Scout Troop 25 in 1973
Boy Scout Troop 25 in 1973. Bottom Row: Sal Vasta, Steve (Sam) Knapp, Charlie Frankel, Neil King, Kevin Timmons, Gary Coyne, Scott Steveas, Ray Clifford. Middle Row: George Lawrence, Gary Potthast, Eric Hoffman, Bob Vasta, Peter Cole, Eddie Potthast, Tom Gilligan, John Correnti, Andrew Talbot. Back Row: Scout Leader Peter Konco, Scout Leader Art Black, Bruce Weigman, Dan Kraemer, ?, Steve Tanquay, Bill Black, Jamie Black, Bruce Kraemer, and parents Tom Gilligan and Paul Hoffman.

 

Croton Historical SocietyContributor: Croton Historical SocietyThe Croton-on-Hudson Historical Society was formed in 1972 and is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The primary mission of the organization is the collection and preservation of Croton-on-Hudson historical materials and making them available to the public.

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