This above link, developed by a Scout in our Troop, gives some information on the history and use of the Avon Rotary Scout House, which is used by the Troop for weekly Troop meetings, and used by the Pack for some Den meetings.
Previous Scouts and Scoutmasters have shared their stories with us, so we created a special page for them. Use the Stories link to read about things that happened to them or that they thought were interesting while they were Scouts in our Troop!
1935 – First charter granted to the Joseph Gallipeau American Legion Post in Avon for Boy Scout Troop 26.
1953 – David Kingston and Steve Stephenson become the first two Eagle Scouts in Troop history.
1958 – Recorded transfer of the Scout House to Rotary, Inc. The Scout House is the meeting place for Avon Troop 26. It is a former one-room schoolhouse in the hamlet of Littleville and is owned by the Troop’s sponsoring organization, Avon Rotary.
1961 – District Fall Camp-o-ree held in Avon, behind the Avon Central School, which hosted 400 scouts from Livingston and Wyoming Counties.
1963 – 48 registered Scouts in Avon Troop 26.
1968 – In the time either when Bob French took over or when Ken Woodruff was at the end of his time as Scoutmaster, Troop 26 had a 48 Star Flag. A new flag with 50 stars was given to the troop by a Congressman (don’t remember exactly his name, but it may have been Frank Horton)from the area at that time. That particular flag was flown over the US Capitol. Contributed by former Scout Allen Pike
1970 – Shortly after Bob French becomes Scoutmaster after serving as Cubmaster for several years, the Troop begins the transformation from campers to backpackers. The Troop begins aggressive fundraising to purchase tents and patrol equipment suitable for hiking and backpacking. The patrol method is emphasized, taught, and practiced. Until the needed funds are raised, scouts use heavy sheets of plastic strung between two trees as tents, with another heavy sheet of plastic used as a floor. Scouts are introduced to the Finger Lakes Trail, sterno, firestarters, gorp, dehydrated food, and camping in the rain. Troop 26 also begins a tradition of holding Troop campfires complete with songs, skits, and an occasional scary story from BF. Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
1971 – The Troop organizes a campout at the United States Military Academy at West Point (click here for article). Around this time, the original “Old Man” patrol is formed. The original old men included Bob French, John McCart, Bill Shaw, Steve Stephenson, Tom Cochrane, Bob Wright, Jake Dzieskonski, and Ed Earl. Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd and Scoutmaster Bob French
1972 – Troop 26 embarks on their first major backpacking trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
1973 – Scouting changes the look of the uniform, introducing the beret, the collar-less shirt, and units voting on the uniform they will wear; Scouting also changes rank requirements and adds belt loops. For older scouts, the “Leadership Corps.” is created with a distinctive shoulder patch and dark green uniform shirt. The Leadership Corps. of Troop 26 morphs into the Senior Patrol. Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
1973 – Troop organizes a hike with a Girl Scout Troop from Avon (click here for article).
Troop attends Camp Sam Wood (click here for article)Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
Summer: Troop 26 works on the Finger Lakes Trail (click here for photo). The Troop also goes to Camp Sabattis for the first time. Our campsite was aptly named “Bear Point”. I have a vivid memory of Phil Schaeffer and Andy Stephenson skipping Polar Bear and, when the troop returned, a bear nosing at their tent flap . . . the vivid part of the memory is seeing both of them busting out of the rear of their tent, still in sleeping bags . . . ever see someone try to run in a sleeping bag? Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
1976 – For the summer, Troop 26 returns to Camp Sabattis and also hikes 70 miles of the Bruce Trail along the Georgian Bay in Canada earning their 50-mile afoot patch. Contributed by Troop Eagle Scout Ron Boyd
1976 – Troop 26 recognizes five Eagle Scouts in one Ceremony: Ron Boyd, Tom Dzieskonski, Jay Earl, Anthony Powell, and Tim Powell.
1978 – The Troop recognizes the last 3 Eagle Scouts while Bob French is Scoutmaster, part of an astounding total of 24 boys earning the highest rank of Scouting while Mr. French is Scoutmaster! (click here for article in pdf format)!
1980 – Rotary donates a new canoe to Troop in commemoration of the 10+ years of service from Scoutmaster Bob French (click here for picture, from L to R: Bill Shaw, Robert Wright, Bob French, Orv Loomis, Len McLaughlin, John McCart, Steve Stephenson, Jake Dziekonski). As of 2009, the Troop still uses this Canoe in it’s many outings on the water.
1981 – Troop bugle purchased with a $100 donation from a former member of the Troop who had “lost a bet of considerable magnitude” and was therefore indebted to the charity of his choosing. As he mentioned his former Scoutmaster, Ken Woodruff, in the notification of his gift, the bugle contains an inscription to Scoutmaster Woodruff, who had passed away prior to this time.
1989 – Avon Troop 26 attended National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. Troop 26 participated as a Troop (in lieu of the usual practice that individual Scouts attend and are formed into Troops for Jamboree purposes only) and earned attention in the Scouting community for this unusual occurrence. While at the Jamboree, the Scoutmaster at the time (Jim Miller) befriended a group of Scouts and their leaders from Scotland. He brought them to Avon for a visit, arriving here in time for that year’s Corn Festival.
1993 – The visit was repeated after the next Jamboree, this time with a group of eight Scouts and their leaders from England who had made contact with Mr. Miller.
1998 – The Troop inducted it’s 50th Eagle Scout
2001 – West Point Invitational Camp-o-ree was attended by 14 Scouts and 5 leaders/adults.
2001 – 2 Scouts and 1 leader from Troop 26 attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia as part of the Iroquois Trail Council contingent.
2002 – 2 Scouts complete their High Adventure trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico.
2005 – 5 Scouts and 1 leader from Troop 26 attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia as part of the Iroquois Trail Council contingent.
2006 – 4 Scouts and 2 leaders complete their High Adventure trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico. The Scouts were very proud of their adventure as they hiked the more than 90 miles, the longest trek of any other crew they encountered.
Fall: The Rotary Scout House was dedicated in memory of a Rotarian and former Scoutmaster of our Troop, Harold E. “Sonny” Cole, Jr. Around 80-100 people attended, and many were inside the Scout House for the first time since they were Scouts, or the first time ever. The Troop had several demonstrations going on in and around the Scout House, and many stories were shared about Scouting in general, but also about Sonny’s time as a Scoutmaster. One story discussed a very cold campout (10 below) at Oatka Creek Park that was toughed out by the Scouts.
2007 – 6 Scouts and 3 leaders paddle 60+ miles in Algonquin Provincial Park as the first out-of-council crew on the Birchbark Expeditions.
2008 – The Troop nearly doubles in size, increasing from 17 Scouts in January to 35 in May.
Spring: Troop 26 Hosts the Council-wide Spring Camporee at Camp Sam Wood with another Troop from the Towpath District. The event included 3 Orienteering Courses and 7 Geocaches hidden throughout the camp, or participants could raft down the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park with an area outfitter. Festivities included OA Tap-out, a Chicken Barbeque, and a campfire with skits from various Troops, NYLT staff, the OA Dance team, and a dedication to Dave Brown (aka Tatanka).
Summer: Troop 26 sent 4 Scouts and a Leader to experience the Double H ranch located southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico, surround by the Cibola National Forest. The boys trekked across wilderness without trails in a terrain that has barely been traveled by man. They practice Leave-No-Trace techniques such that no trace of their trek can be found in the wilderness. The Double H High Adventure Base was a partnership between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America, and was operated by Philmont Scout Ranch. With no established trail system, the Double H was a rugged southwestern experience covering over 100,000 acres and elevations over 7,000 feet. The Double H opened in 2004 but ceased operation after the 2009 season.
The History of Avon Boy Scout Troop 26 is a “work in progress”. There are several years of “significant events” missing from the timetable. We welcome any Scout or adult to contact the Troop Committee Chairperson or Scout Leader with information to fill in the gaps.
More great photos from our history: