Historic Texas Boy Scout Troop Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Troop 44 in Van Alstyne 5th oldest troop in the Nation
VAN ALSTYNE, TEXAS,April 23, 2013 – Boy Scout Troop 44 in Van Alstyne, Texas, marks its 100th anniversary this year and will host a region-wide celebration on Saturday, May 4, to honor the occasion. Troop 44 was founded just three years after the Boy Scouts of America was established in 1912, and is the third-oldest troop in the State of Texas and fifth oldest in the nation.
The day’s festivities will include an invitation only barbecue luncheon for dignitaries, former scouts and leaders, and current members and their families. Political representatives from Gov. Rick Perry to state legislators Larry Phillips and Craig Estes have been invited, with those unable to attend sending congratulatory letters to be read that day, including one from former President George W. Bush.
A public ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., and will include greetings and congratulations from the invited dignitaries, from Circle 10 Boy Scout executives, and from local former scouts and troop leaders. Some of the oldest troop members will share stories from their days in scouting, including one member who participated in the construction of the troop’s 1947-era Scout Hut, now boasting a state historic marker.
The Troop will also host a ribbon-cutting for its new Scout Museum that day, which the boys and the community have been working together on for more than a year. The original 1947 building has been transformed into a scouting museum for the region, and the boys look forward to showing it off to the public on May 4. Guests will be invited to get their first look at all of the scouting memorabilia the Troop has acquired through the years.
The Boy Scouts will have scout pioneering crafts on display, showing off many of the skills they’ve learned as scouts, including setting up a typical campsite, complete with “mess” tent, to prepare campfire cobbler for afternoon refreshments.
In continuous existence since 1913, the troop has a great legacy of community service and growing boys into healthy, helpful and productive young men. Its history includes WWI and WWII era service projects such as clearing mud from sidewalks when the streets were still made of dirt. The troop participated in the Olympic torch relay in 1996 and continues to provide flag detail for important community functions such as Memorial Day services and Friday night football games.
The public event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, will be held at the troop’s new Scout Hut, located at 145 Gray’s Trail in Van Alstyne, on Highway 5 just north of downtown. It will conclude by 3 p.m.