Boy Scout Troop 14 celebrates 100 years

Throughout their time Troop 14, Newberry, of the Boy Scouts of America, has cultivated a rich history and a passion for scouting throughout scouts young and old through traditions, leadership and service as they are preparing for their centennial commemoration. Troop 14 of St. John’s Newberry United Methodist Church, 2101 Newberry St., was established on Jan. 22, 1918, originally as Troop 1 under Rev. E.C. Basom and Scoutmaster William Haire. In November 1919 the Boy Scouts created the Williamsport Council, and Troop 1 became Troop 14. As time went on the Williamsport Council became the Lycoming County Council; the Lycoming County Council became the West Branch Council; and finally the West Branch Council merged with the Sunbury Council in 1974, finally becoming the Lycoming District of the Susquehanna Council of B.S.A. The Susquehanna Council now serves five counties residing in northerncentral Pennsylvania: Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. Troop 14 is the oldest chartered troop in the council, and also serves as a member of the Bald Eagle District in Lycoming and Clinton county.

As Boy Scouts grew, so did Troop 14, as they are now approaching their 100th year anniversary with St. John’s Newberry United Methodist Church, Jan. 22. 2018.

And one particular Eagle Scout that’s been around since the 50th anniversary, will be joining the celebration.

“I’m an eagle scout from Troop 14 back in 1971, so I was personally a Boy Scout when we had our 50th anniversary. I was our committee chair when we celebrated our 75th anniversary as an adult scouter, so that’s neat I’ve seen 50, 75 and 100,” Bob Weaver said. “I’ve been involved in scouting for probably … almost 50 years myself as a Boy Scout, [and] as an adult leader,” Weaver said. “So the church has sponsored the troop all 100 years, and the church considers the troop to be an important part of its youth ministry, to reach the youth, boy scouts and the cub scout troop”

The church holds a special place in Troop 14’s heart as part of their culture. Current Scoutmaster, John Andreacci, said that “if St. John’s didn’t have us we wouldn’t have a 100 year anniversary charter. They are responsive and respectful of what the boys need, providing a roof over our heads and we give back to the church and clean up. We are doing more of that in the future as a way to say thank you. If we didn’t have them I don’t know where we would be.”

Troop 14 currently has 25 active scouts, 20 leaders and have produced 126 Eagle Scouts, the highest award in Boy Scouts in which only 4 percent of scouts attain this achievement.

“We teach leadership, [so] the boys learn how to lead by example, they lead patrols, they learn how to serve and how to organize, they learn survival skills, personal fitness skills, they learn character development skills,” said Weaver, as well as citizenship training, as these that the scouts learn are a part of Troop 14 and the B.S.A.’s culture.

“I don’t think there is any other program that surpasses what we can offer through the Boy Scout program for passing on those kind of skills, so we encourage young men and their parents to jump in, get involved,” said Weaver, and The Boy Scouts and Troop 14 are looking towards their future.

Andreacci said that “as a Scoutmaster we are providing leadership and guidance for the boys. The boys do the work, we just provide the leadership and guidance for them and teach them certain things along the way.”

“We would like to see every boy to have the opportunity to be a part of the program. There are a lot of other good programs that boys are involved in, and in the future it is going to be girls as well. That is going to start soon; it is going to become more of a family oriented program so that girls will also be a part of the program moving forward” said Weaver. “As you reflect back on how valuable the program was for you as a youngster, I think it causes you to realize that it needs to continue to be that same high quality program for generations to come, which is why, we as adults, continue to be involved in the program, so we can make it the best program it can be for generations to come.”

Over the past 100 years Troop 14 has done everything from service projects to hiking, like at the Black Forest Trail Hike, 1985, or the Loyalsock Trail Hike, 1994; camping, like at Bobst Mountain Hunting Club, 1925, Rickett’s Glenn State Park, 1973, or at Camp Brule in 2004; fundraisers, such as selling the iconic B.S.A. popcorn, or Troop 14’s annual pancake supper in spring and selling apple dumplings in the fall to scouts advancing through the ranks; and educational trips. Throughout the years Troop 14 has toured local businesses such as the City Jail, Corning Glass Works and the Bell Telephone Company.

“We’ve done clean up with the WECCC (West End Christian Community Center), they’ve cleaned up the yard, raked up the leaves, some eagle scouts projects have done tables,” Andreacci said.

“We are often doing service projects when we camp out whether that be cleaning up or conservation,” Weaver added.

Andreacci said that in “the last few years [the boys] have done a high adventure. Older scouts get to go in a seabase in Florida. … We’ve also done tours in Gettysbug, we’ve done tours of the federal building, we’ve done tours of the majesty building.”

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Troop 14 will host a worship service at 10:45 a.m., at St. John’s Newberry United Methodist Church with a luncheon and program following, no reservations needed, 12:15 p.m., on Feb. 11 to kick off Scout Week, the second week of Feb.

“Scout Sunday is something we do every year … Our scouts participate in the worship, they greet people, do the readings, we do that every year,” Weaver said. “We also want to recognize each scout for their advancements, recognize the adult leaders” with awards such as the Good Samaritan and the Cross and the Flame award. Andreacci also mentioned that “the boys will bring the flags in … and have a meet and greet after where they will get to meet the mayor.”

An Anniversary Recognition Dinner also will be held at 5 p.m. May 12. The dinner will be followed with a program at 6 p.m.

The buffet style meal will feature a social hour that includes all of Troop 14’s Eagle Scouts.

“We invited all of our Eagle Scouts back for that, to share memories,” Weaver said. Glenn “G.T’.” Thompson, Congressman and Eagle Scout, will be the keynote speaker for the dinner.

Reservations for the Anniversary Recognition Dinner are required.

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