Article updated with new information, 11:35 pm 4/26/2023
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent according to the Scout Law.
Consider those words, one at a time. Those were mighty words to an 11-year boy 62 years ago. Not that the boy was all of those things but they were worthy, doable at least part of the time.
Besides the Scout Promise was that “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
It was just like the Knights of the Round Table or Robin Hood or this is the remembrance of a boy living in the early 1960s. Ok, confession time the boy is I and I don’t know that I really thought of the tales of Robin Hood or the Knights of the Round Table when I thought of scouts. But it did fit into my boy’s concepts of right and wrong, adventure, and doing good. Remember, the boy scout slogan is to “Do a Good Turn Daily.”
Good times …
I remember my scout years as good times and also appreciatively this many years past. I can still see the faces of my scout leaders, Mr. Wright and Mr. Newkirk. I remember the weekly meeting, the projects, earning my own badges and ranks, and campouts, oh, yes the campouts!
I especially loved the one-week summer camps. On my own without the family for a week, at that age was surely a slice of heaven or at least like having a whole watermelon to yourself.
And thanks to the crafty creators of the boy scouts it was all merit base and individualized. You progressed at your own pace but each rank required more and more. You had to make your own decisions always remembering that you had made that promise to “do my best“.
The first ranks included Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. Serious scouts move on to Star, Life, and the iconic Eagle. With 2nd Class, you planned your own, or along with a buddy, 5-mile hike. With 1st Class, you planned and went on your own overnight campout again with a buddy or members of your scout patrol. Each of these activities required you to write and explain the details of each. You appear before a Troop Board of Review to verify your advancement and then a special ceremony was held to honor that earned award.
All along the way you had opportunities to pick up practical leadership experience, maybe as a patrol leader or simply being selected or assigned to be in charge of an activity. Other honors were awarded to you by your fellow scouts, not earned but achieved by respect. These included patrol leadership positions or as in the very special “tap-out” ceremony where a scout is selected for membership in the Order of the Arrow.
The Scouts still have the same motto, oath, and scout law …
Many boys leave scouts around the time they reach 1st Class for various reasons i.e. age, competing in school activities, and/or local youth sports. I stayed through Star and was close to completing my Life. I don’t regret any of that time. Those who stay all the way to the rank of Eagle, really do deserve our respect. Often by that time, they are high school seniors and it represents years of hard work and dedication.
So it is that Sam Mahserjian of BSA Troop 35 Kennedale, TX deserves a salute as he completed his Eagle Scout Project this past week. The project involved putting up a fence at the Mission Store at First Methodist Church of Kennedale.
Major projects like this one for Eagle require the selection of the project and justification as to how this will help the community; the plan and outline in detail; and the execution. It often requires the recruitment of assistance and supplies but always under the scout’s plans and directions. Mahserjian is a senior at Kennedale High School where he played football and was All-State Academic and was on the KHS Robotics Team this year that made it to the regional level in statewide competition. See a recent Kennedale News video clip about Sam and his Eagle project.
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. The designation “Eagle Scout” was founded over one hundred years ago. Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. The requirements necessary to achieve this rank take years to fulfill.
Kennedale’s scouting program is near the century mark …
Kennedale can be proud of Troop 35 along with Cub Scout Pack 35. Kennedale scouting has a long history in Kennedale going back at least 90 years. The first recorded Boy Scout meetings were held in the upstairs part of the Williamson Mercantile and Drug located on Broadway and Municipal in the 1930′s. This also housed the Oddfellows Lodge and Rebeccas of Kennedale. The Scout Troop number was unknown.
In 1949, Troop 35 in Kennedale was officially chartered by the First Methodist Church of Kennedale. It is sponsored now by the Kennedale Rotary Club. In 1961, Cub Scout Pack 35 joined the Troop. Update: As noted in the addition at the completion of this article, an early date has been discovered putting the original charter date for the Kennedale Troop 35 as 1946.
Currently, Troop and Cub meetings are held once a week at the Scout Hut located on a 1/4 acre at 210 W Broadway, just 3 blocks west of New Hope Road in Kennedale.
Membership is open to all and is not tied to any church affiliation or organization other than the Boys Scouts of America, although individual church congregations or local business/community organizations charter the local scouting program.
There are programs throughout the local area – check here. And, by the way, scouting is not limited to boys.
Links: Boy Scouts of America; How to find a troop or pack; Contact info and online registration for Kennedale Troop and Cub Pack; Kennedale Scout Troop 35 Facebook.
Update: The following pieces of information were provided to Kennedale News from files provided to the Kennedale Historical Society by Lamar Saxon.
Boy Scout Troop 35 was originally formed in Ft Worth. It was the 1st day of December 1922 and the first charter organization was the Travis Avenue Baptist Church.
In the early 30’s, there was a scout troop in town and the Kennedale Historical Society has compiled a list of 14 scouts dating back as far as 1930. Unfortunately, little information has been uncovered since.
Early Kennedale Scouts first met in an old wooden structure that was moved from the original location where the Valero Station currently sits on the corner of New Hope and Kennedale Parkway. The building was relocated facing Broadway in Block 48 lots 1 & 2 next to the current Scout Hut on Broadway and Spiller. The building was the Williamson Mercantile and Drug store operated by the Williamson family who owned Lots 1-8 in the same block. The building served as the first schoolhouse in Kennedale. The school was relocated to a red brick building with a rock wall that surrounded it next to the current KISD admin building. Upstairs of the Williamson Mercantile served as meeting space for the Rebecca’s, the Odd Fellow lodge and the local Boy Scout Troop. (Troop number and charter unknown)
By 1946, Troop 35 had moved to Kennedale. On the 11th day of December that year, the Application for Charter was signed by the 1st United Methodist Church of Kennedale with Scoutmaster C.M. Savage in charge. The 1st UMC of Kennedale would remain the Charter Organization for the next 75 years and is still a partner with the troop as a youth ministry.