90th Reunion Celebration of Troop 3 - August 25, 2007
Laughter, singing, and reminiscing filled the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall on Saturday, August 25, 2007, as over 200 alumni, current members, and guests of Parkersburg's Boy Scout Troop 3 celebrated a milestone.
It had been 90 years since a quiet and unassuming young man, Don B. Lowe, founded Boy Scout Troop 3 at the First Presbyterian Church on March 29, 1917. After all these years, working on a foundation laid by Scoutmaster Lowe and his three successors, Troop 3 is still going strong. Troop 3 is the second-oldest continually operating Boy Scout Troop in West Virginia, and the oldest in Parkersburg.
For perspective, Troop 3 has been in continuous operation longer than 99.5% of the estimated 52,000 Boy Scout Troops in the United States.
The celebration of the Troop's 90th Anniversary Reunion began with a "sternwheeler" luncheon cruise around Blennerhassett Island. Over 120 alums and their guests enjoyed a special "photo op" of the Sea Scout Base, renewing old friendships, and taking pictures of the new Corridor D Bridge.
Later that evening former Troop 3 Boy Scouts came from more than 20 states to reacquaint themselves with their local scouting brothers and to remember the impact that Scouting and Scoutmaster Lowe, in particular, had made on their lives. The former member who came the furthest for this year's reunion was Bob Sharps, who traveled over 2,500 miles from his home in Nipoma, CA.
While each alum had a special story to tell, a common theme seemed to revolve around the time the former members spent together: camping, learning, playing, and growing up in a true Scouting atmosphere.
Men of all ages fondly remembered their experiences in Troop 3. They spoke of bonds formed through various Scouting activities, and weeks spent at summer camp. These experiences enhanced their lives as adults and strengthened their families.
35 of the Troop's 121 Eagle Scouts were on hand for a special picture at this year's reunion celebration. During the past 90 years, approximately 11% of the young men in Troop 3 have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting's highest honor. In 1919, Stanley W. Rawson became the Troop's first Eagle, and in doing so, also became the first Eagle Scout in the State of West Virginia.
Bob Tebay, President of the Wood County Commission presented the Troop with a Proclamation that recognized Saturday, August 25, 2007, as "Troop 3 Boy Scout Day", to congratulate the sponsoring institution, leaders, and volunteers of Troop 3 for their past and ongoing contributions in promoting the values of character, personal responsibility, and good citizenship in the community.
Troop 3's newest member, #1090, Caleb McHenry, joined John Busch, Sr., 95, who was member #107 in the Troop back in 1924, at the reception/banquet.
McHenry stepped to the podium to welcome "you old-timers", and John Busch, Sr. responded by warmly recalling his days of yesteryear in the Troop 3.
Before leading the men in a rousing Boy Scout song, Tim Archer, #674, recalled the fun and fellowship he enjoyed in the Troop and the learning from Scoutmaster Lowe that he carried over into his adult life.
Master of Ceremonies, Ron Taylor, spoke about the positive impact that scouting had made on his life. The love of the outdoors, that the only person who would keep him from succeeding would be himself, the sense of responsibility to others, the community, and country; leadership, and the life long lessons about having positive values and the respect and dignity due to each person.
The bylaws of Troop Alumni, Inc., a non-profit corporation in the State of West Virginia requires that an annual meeting be held once per year. President, Bob Tebay conducted the required meeting and presided over the annual election of officers.
Paul Hoblitzell, #532, a former Scoutmaster of Troop 3, then took to podium to present Bob Malcolm, #457, and Ron Taylor, #516, with a special award that recognized their 50 years of leadership at Troop 3 summer camp.
The highlight of the evening took place during the Eagle Court of Honor, when Brandyn Gilbert, #1064, and Michael Tanner, #1062, were presented with their Eagle Scout badges, the highest rank in scouting.
Festivities concluded with the Scoutmaster's Minute, by Scoutmaster Tom Dukas, followed by the Scout Vesper Song, and then Taps, to honor the deceased members.
The Troop is extremely fortunate to have had the devoted, principled, and unselfish leadership of Scoutmaster Tom Dukas for the past twenty-two years. Mr. Dukas has consistently served as a positive role model for all the ideals that Scouting represents. The leaders, volunteers, members, and parents are extremely grateful and thank him for his service!
No mention of a reunion celebration like this would be complete without a show of appreciation for the First Presbyterian Church that has faithfully sponsored Troop 3 for the past 90 years.
Reunions are always full of nostalgia. For those of us who were in Troop 3, it is difficult to separate our Scouting experience from who we are today. Troop 3 gave each of us the stepping-stones to building a good, productive life.
We sincerely look forward to reconvening at our 95th Anniversary Reunion in 2012, to once again renew old friendships and share the memories and fun we all enjoyed in years gone by!