East Greenville Boy Scouts

History

Over 90 Years of Scouting

Beginning in 1924

INTRODUCTION 
Although it has been recorded that an East Greenville Boy Scout Troop functioned as early as1917, the official starting date is recognized as July, 1924 when the original Troop No.1 was organized by a Group of Citizens under Professor Clayton W. Wetring who was the East Greenville High School principal at that time.

In the earlier Troop formed Sept. 8, 1917 under the auspices of New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church Sunday School, the first leader was the Honorable Henry L. Snyder, then principal of East Greenville High School. The assistant Leaders were Foster C. Hillegass, Warren G. Fluck and Wilford Moll. 

However these were the troubled years of World War I and after functioning for about one year, the Troop combined with a Pennsburg movement as the Penn-Green Troop. Records are vague at this point and five years later the East Greenville Troop was officially activated and has been functioning continuously now for over 90 years

Note: To find the year you would like to review just click on one of the hyper year links below

1924-29, 1930-31, 1932-36, 37, 38, 1939-45, 46, 1947-48, 1949-50

1951-53, 54, 1955-58, 1959

1924-29
The Beginning Year
Old records indicate the first Troop meeting took place July 3, 1924 with three Scouts and the Leaders present. Assisting Scoutmaster Wotring were Fred Stauffer and Jake Wolfersberger, both East Greenville school teachers. The Troop committee had Dr. William I. Zyner as chairman and members Warren G. Fluck and Roy U. Rapp. Mr. Rapp was to serve the committee for 14 years until 1937.
 
The Troop met in the Third Street Elementary School building in East Greenville and weekly dues was set at 5 cents. One Scout, Granville Heffentrager said it was "very hard to come up with 5 cent dues" since these were non-prosperous post war years. The dues fee incidentally remains the same, until 1974. Known to have been among the First Scouts were Heffentrager, Bill Beahm, Clarence Bauman, Harold Boyer, and Paul Brunner.
 
Troop activities were probably limited the first few years and not until 1927 when Warren Kreider had become Scoutmaster, was the Troop to spend a camping period at Camp Delmont. It is noted in the records that Raymond P. Erb passed the swimming test at camp.
 
Weekly activities otherwise consisted mostly of hikes with Green Hill, Mill Hill and Silver Springs as its favorite places to hike to.  Another activity was a District Campfire in September at Memorial Park, Schwenksville, Pa.
 
The Troop again camped at Delmont in 1928 and an increase in activities was reported in 1929 when Scribe, Ralph Engle reported the Troop played basketball in Realty (now Masonic) Hall and a patrol of first aid Scouts were entered in a first aid meet at  the Aurora (now the Rivera Pizza) Theater, Pennsburg, Pa.
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1930-31
Activities Increase
The Troop seemed to speed up its program in l930 & 31. On Feb.22, 1931, a contingent of 14 scouts attended the Valley Forge Pilgrimage, an event that still takes place to this day, on the Saturday following Washington's Birthday. In 1931 the Troop also became affiliated with New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church and started holding meetings in St. John's Chapel.
 
The new scoutmaster in 1930 was Quinton Swenk, a Sunday School teacher and known to be a great lover on birds. 
Mr. Swenk was to serve two years and when the need arose during World War II for a Scoutmaster he returned to serve three more years. He also was committee chairman for two years (1946 - 47).
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1932
Record's are almost non existent during the next four years although it is known the Troop was a  member of the Northern District of Valley Forge Council. However William 'Bill' Beahm became Scoutmaster in 1932 and he was subsequently to serve for nine years during which the Troop made great strides. Scoutmaster Beahm was incidentally one of the original Scouts in the Troop in 1924.
 

   1934 Valley Forge Camporee      

 Bill Beahm 

1935 CAMPOREE AT VALLEY FORGE

 
                                 

Early Troop Campout

Early Campout at Scout Land

 
Under Scoutmaster Beahm a movement started to obtain a tract of land in order for the Troop to better conduct a varied program of activities. A committee under Chairman Warren Kreider looked at a tract on Mill Hill. They soon found a three and one-half acre tract on the property of Daniel Gerhart, west of the Perkiomen Creek and a 15 minute walk from Millside, near Palm.
At a cost of $100, the following voted to purchase the tract: Victor Ensminger, Arthur Kranszley, Victor J. Moyer Sr., Fred Diehi, Warren Kreider, Melvin Mack, Paul Heimbach, Robert Ritter and Elmer Roth. Mr. Kreider was authorized to seek a clear deed for the properly. The transaction was duly consummated on April 1, 1937. Also in 1937, Scouts Merritt Derr and Eliman Wentling represented the Troop in the First National Jamboree in Washington, DC. In October, 1937, the Troop committee passed a motion to have a newly dug well lined with stone, a wood covering placed thereon, and a pump purchased.
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1937
Log Cabin Planned
On the suggestion of Robert Ritter, the Troop was able to obtain discarded utility poles for a log cabin. These were trucked to the site in December, 1937 and with this, the cabin building project became a reality. Plans were secured from Valley Forge Scout headquarters and in July, 1938 a committee of Mr. Ensminger, Meyer, Diehl, Heimbach and Kreider designated a location

 

William  Thomas 

 

  Merritt Derr World's Fair 1939

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Meanwhile other Troop activities continued. Under Mr. Ensminger's supervision, hemlock trees were obtained and planted on the land tract and today the trees can be seen near the old archery range. Pre-camporees were also staged in the late 30's with the leading patrol as the representative to the District Camporee. Today all patrols enter the Camporee. In 1938 the Indian Patrol also gained a first place for their exhibit on 'Highlights of Scouting' at the Hatfield Fair.

NATIONAL JAMBOREE 1937

 

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1938
The Troop and Leaders were saddened in 1938 with the death of Robert Ritter after six years of committee work. He was a trustee of the grounds purchased and unfortunately in his lifetime failed to see the cabin become a reality. However in December, 1938, Frederick W. Bieler Sr., joined the committee and became one of the most active (and longest in point of service) Scouter's in the Troop's history. He held various positions from institutional representative to chairman and served until his death in 1968. For his efforts he was awarded the Silver Beaver in 1966.
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1939
Excellent progress was made on the cabin in 1939. The plot was staked and excavated in May, concrete was put into the foundation in June through Mr. Ensminger and Elwood Mumbauer's efforts, and the foundation for the fireplace and floor completed by September. Funds were solicited to the amount of $102.35 and with some paid labor, the roof was placed in January 1940. Paul Underkoffer extended a loan of $400 to pay bills for total completion by December, 1940 when mortar was placed between the logs in the walls to winterize the cabin. Exterior steps were placed the following (1941) summer and by March, 1943 the cabin was debt-free.

Troop Cabin

Troop Cabin

 
Activities continued during World War II. The cabin was painted, pup tents were purchased and pre-camporee's conducted 
 
Memorial Acres
A movement arose to purchase two memorial acres of land at Camp Delmont at a cost of $25 per acre. By March 1946, the two acres were secured and on motion by Lyman Kiebe and a second by Clarence Reitnauer, they were to be dedicated to Warren B. Kreider, district commissioner of Perkiomen District, and to former Scouts of East Greenville Troop No.1 who had made the supreme sacrifice during World War II. Kreider, who was to receive the Silver Beaver in 1947, was honored for his untiring efforts and devotion to youth in the furthering of scouting in the Upper Perkiomen area.

 

 
 
 
1946
Additional Land Purchase
In January, 1946, Mr. Francis Adams, who owned a small farm near the scout property, was contacted relative to the possibility of purchasing an additional 3 and a half acres of land from him. In May the deal was consummated at a cost of $100 with Frederick Bieler as chairman of the purchasing committee. Further improvements at the cabin included the purchase of a Coleman lantern since there was no electricity available. A fire extinguisher was also added to the equipment at the cabin.
In the Fall of 1946, the regular meeting place of the Troop was changed from St. John's Chapel to the present Scout Hall on N. Main Street. A few meetings during the year had also been held in the fire hall building then located at Fourth and Main streets.
 
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1947
In 1947 a water problem arose when it was discovered the existing well water was unsafe for drinking purposes. The condition existed as such until 1953 when a new artesian well was constructed. In November, 1947, new fluorescent lights were placed in the Scout Hall by Merritt Derr and the following summer, the hall was renovated with new plaster, painting and the installation of lockers. Although the Troop was known for long tenures of their Scoutmasters, the 1948-53 period was to see a different Scoutmaster for six consecutive years.
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1949-50
Activities in 1949 and 1950 included participation in a District Halloween Party at Pennsburg Scout Cabin and the usual Christmas candy sales project to help Troop finances. A Troop assembly program was given in February at East Greenville High School and in summer (1950) Floyd Treffinger, Kenneth Mohr Jr., Donald Fiorito and Charles Bieler attended the National Jamboree at Valley Forge. This was the first held since 1937. The same August, Floyd Treffinger was given the Eagle Ring for attaining the Eagle Rank.
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1951-52
The 1951 activities included swimming at Pottstown YMCA, Troop camping at Camp Delmont, the Friendship Dinner and candy sales for Troop funds. The Valley Forge Pilgrimage was attended in February, 1952 and more camping at Delmont in summer. A Troop trip was made to the Firestone Plant in Pottstown and the Friendship meeting was held at the Scout cabin. Martin Reifinger and Wilfred Weber attended the National Jamboree at Irvine Ranch, California in 1953 and James Eiethorp attended Junior Leadership Training at Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey.
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New Well (1954)
The present water well was dug at the Scout cabin in May, 1954 by Joseph Mayer to provide an adequate water supply since the old well had been not suitable for use since 1947. A new lighting system was also installed (July) and new tents were purchased. Warren Groff served as provisional leader for the Troop at Delmont in July and this was to be the only time in the history of the Troop camping at Delmont that a provisional leader was provided.
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1955-58
John Hagenbuch assumed the Scoutmaster role in 1955 and was to serve faithfully in that capacity for six years. The Friendship Dinner was held in St. John's Chapel in April and the new Troop 108 flag was presented at this time. Insurance on Leaders and Scouts was also instituted in June, 1955.
 
Scoutmaster Hagenbuch and Karl Winsch, assistant Scoutmaster, participated in a kickoff parade in Philadelphia for the Resica Falls Scout Reservation. East Greenville Troop had a Scout band at this time of 16 members (12 from East Greenville) under the direction of Robert Marshman, then band director at Upper Perkiomen High School. The band led the 23rd Division (General Nash) in the parade. Troop and Explorer Leaders in October attended an Explor-Ama at Resica Falls to help in cleaning out campsites and blaze trails for the new camp which was to open in July 1957. The first patch for Resica Falls was issued for taking part in the cleanup and East Greenville Troop members are known have a few of them. 
 
Dennis Reiter received the Lutheran Church Award in February, 1957 and Karl Winsch, who was to become the Scoutmaster in 1961, received the Eagle Scout Award. In July the Troop camped for the first time at Resica Falls under the leadership of Ernest Marks, Richard Moyer and Karl Winsch. Also in July, Scoutmaster Hagenbuch, Michael Oppelt and James Hagenbuch attended the National Jamboree at Valley Forge. 
In October the Troop had a booth at the Devon Scouting Fair. The Troop camped out in Revolutionary (Valley) Forge) War style in Jan. 17-19, 1958 at French Creek State Park when snow blanketed the ground and it was very cold. All apparently recovered to attend the Friendship Dinner on Feb.15 in the high school cafeteria when Dennis Reiter received the Eagle Rank. In July, the Troop again attended camp at Resica Falls.
 
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 1959 CAMPING REPORT

During 1959 we were very fortunate to have participated in many camping outdoor activities. Our ranks include boys from all walks of life. We had 34 boys participating in our camping experiences, with a total of 415 days of camping, an average of 12.2 days per boy.

Scanning our 1959 Camping log, we note that we spent a week of fun and camping at Resica Falls in the Pocono Mountains. Other camping trips included hikes to Mill Hill, pre-camporee at our cabin in May, the District camporee at Camp Delmont in October and four weekends at out cabin (one each in March, April, June and November. In September a colorful camping trip to Potter County took us 600 miles from home base, making trips to the Ice Mine in Coudersport and visiting the Grand Canyon at Wellsboro. On overnight camping trips boys conducted themselves according to Scouting tradition…cooking out, trailing, doing wood lore, compass work, campcraft, etc. For our year-end camping experience, we had our annual Christmas dinner and party at our cabin. This has been our camping log for 1959, an exciting, interesting and enjoyable one. Four of our Explorers Scouts also had the pleasure of the scenic wonders of  Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, a true scouting trip in every sense. These boys were Bruce Heimbach, Gerald Schantz, Paul Shellaway and John Rosanski.                                                                                   
           Submitted by: Paul Sames, Troop Camping Chairmen

1959 ADVANCEMENT REPORT

Our 1959 advancement enjoyed one of its best years in the troop history. We enhanced our ranks with 13 tenderfoot Scouts, 4 Second Class Scouts, 5 First Class Scouts, 5 Star Scouts, 1Life Scout, 1Eagle Scout and 1Gold Palm Scout. The boys earned 89 merit badges during the past year. It is our hope that in 1960 our advancement will exceed even that of this year.

There were seven Boards of review and seven Courts of Honor and four Tenderfoot Investiture Services held in 1959.                              Submitted by: Karl Winsch, Advancement Chairmen

1959 ACTIVITIES REPORT

The troop and Post had a busy year with their activities on Local, District and Council levels. Local activities included monthly swims at the YMCA in Pottstown, Ice Hockey games and basketball game in Philadelphia, Football inter troop basketball games with Pennsburg, inter troop baseball games with Sassamanville and Pennsburg. Halloween and Christmas parties and memorial Day Parade. On the District level there was a rifle meet in Collegeville in which our Explorers participated. On the Council level we participated in the Actorama at temple Stadium in Philadelphia and in the Valley Forge Pilgrimage last February. Local Good Turns have been monthly paper collections in the borough, Good Turn to the merchants at Christmas time, Trapping of rabbits in the Borough and the annual Goodwill cheer to a needy family.

In 1959 the Friendship Dinner was held in the park pavilion at New Goshenhoppen Park and on May 23 the Troop participated in Act-o-rama at Temple University Stadium, Philadelphia. In July, the Troop was at Great Bend Camp at Resica Falls for the first and only time. The leaders were Ernest Marks and Floyd Treffinger. On Sept. 11-13, the first annual father-son camping trip was staged on a farm near Coudersport.

The Jubilee year of 1960 will bring even greater activities in which we are going to participate. It should be a grand and glorious Jubilee Anniversary for both the Troop and the Post 
Submitted by: John F. Hagenbuch, Activities Chairmen
 
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