By Mark Murphy
Boy Scout Troop 607 from Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. was established on May 19, 1921. In six months, they will celebrate 100 years as an active troop, a real achievement.
Following World War II, the Boy Scouts grew tremendously in popularity. Over time some troops folded into others or dissolved entirely, but many survived and continue to thrive. Today Troop 607 has 24 active scouts and over 20 active parents and scout leaders.
Cub Scout troop 3607, also chartered through Bethany Union Church is the little brother to the Boy Scout unit. Children in kindergarten can join the Cub Scouts as a Lion, advancing in rank each year to Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Weblos I and II. Once scouts finish Weblos II (usually around 6th grade), they can participate in a cross-over ceremony and be welcomed into the Boy Scouts.
You don’t have to be a Cub Scout to join the Boy Scouts; youth between the ages of 12 to 18 can join. A scout can choose to pursue the highest rank in scouting, the Eagle rank. It requires an application, including an Eagle-approved project, and scouts must pass a Board of Review before reaching their 18th birthday. This can be a challenge. It’s a lesson in time management over the long haul that many scouts master to earn their Eagle rank. An Eagle rank is quite a resume enhancer because it speaks to the character and the commitment of a young person.
Troop 607 is a part of the Arrowhead District which is a part of the Pathway to Adventure Council (PTAC). The PTAC spans two states and has over 20,300 active scouts. These kids are no slackers. They have earned over 18,350 merit badges during the past year. They have put in over 113,360 service hours, and 485 youth met the challenge and earned their Eagle rank.
The 12 pillars of the Scout Law are the group’s core tenets: “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” These are not just words the scouts repeat each week. These principals are infused in every activity.
The Boy Scouts is a scout led program, with adult supervision. Troop 607 Scoutmaster, Michael Rudd, oversees the troop and guides the senior patrol leader. The scouts are assigned to a patrol and each patrol has a leader. This hierarchy offers scouts plenty of opportunity to learn leadership skills.
The scouts run their meetings and activities. Recently, each boy was asked to prepare a lesson and teach the other scouts. The lessons ranged from cold weather camping, and avoiding poisonous plants, to fire safety and how to splint a broken arm in the wilderness. The scouts camp each month from September to June. Yes, they winter camp! They must plan their campout activities including meal plans, meeting food budgets, shopping for supplies, and packing camping and troop gear. At the campsite, the scouts choose the best place to set up tents and the kitchen. They cook the food and clean up afterward. At the end of the weekend, the scouts pack, clean up the campsite, and make sure that they “Leave no Trace.”
Each year, troops can nominate scouts who demonstrate the highest values of scouting to be considered for the Order of the Arrow — the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America. In the past year two troop 607scouts were inducted into the Order of the Arrow: Ryan Diddia, a junior at Marist High School, and Gavin Rhodes, an 8th grader at Sutherland School.
To learn more about or join Boy Scout Troop 607, contact Michael Rudd, 803-412-1669 or firstname.lastname@example.org.