Billings Troop 2 celebrates a century of scouting

February 22, 2016 - storage organizer

Billings-based Troop 2, Montana’s oldest active Boy Scout troop, will applaud a 100th birthday on Aug. 13 and is looking for as many of a 900 scouts who have been members to attend.

One of those is Jere Wamsley, who served 24 years as a Billings Police officer. Wamsley, a couple member during a 1950s, pronounced Troop 2 leaders helped fill his executive cincture with consequence badges.

“My father (Ed) was a scoutmaster then, and apparently it had a benefits,” pronounced Wamsley, 75. “If we got stranded on something, there was always somebody to indicate we in a right direction.”

Wamsley pronounced scouting led him into a lifetime of volunteerism, delivering Meals on Wheels, assisting to run a Habitat for Humanity ReStore and gripping financial annals for people with low vision.

“Whoever called first,” he pronounced with a laugh, “that’s where we went.”

“Boys need scouting some-more than ever, since it’s tough to find one place to learn things like impression growth and care skills,” pronounced Matt Specht, district executive for a Black Otter District of a Boy Scouts of America’s Montana Council.

Scouting itself is 106 years old, Specht said, so a fact that Troop 2 has been around for all though 6 of those years — and during a same church, First Congregational United Church of Christ — is “pretty rare.”

“Scouting started on a East Coast, so 100 years in Montana is utterly an accomplishment,” Specht said.

Troop 2’s stream scoutmaster, Dennie Stephenson, who’s been on a pursuit for 3 years, praised a 14-member troop’s longevity and a downtown church that has offering a scouts a dedicated assembly and storage space.

In return, a scouts put on an annual brunch for church members, “and any now and afterwards we do a use plan — clean, paint and say things around church,” Stephenson said. “We do what scouts do.”

The Rev. Mike Mulberry, comparison priest during a church, pronounced a church and a scouts “have staying power.”

“There is a genuine clarity in that we competence differ with a scouts, though there are other points where we feel a scouts paint a best of who we are,” he said. “We’ll be celebrating along with them, noticing them as an critical partial of a work being finished with immature group in a community.”

Robert Stone, who’s vital in Arizona and warranted his Eagle Scout arrange by Troop 2 in 1956, pronounced he due most of his success — and life lessons schooled — to longtime scoutmaster Dewey Hansen, who challenged Stone and his friends in Jun 1955 to finish their Eagle Scout mandate within a year.

“If we did,” Stone removed in an email, “he would lead us on a outing to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., in a summer of 1956.”

Hansen insisted Stone and his friends lift their possess outing expenses, and 6 of them rose to a challenge. “We had a outing of a lifetime — at age 16,” he said.

Over a century, 75 members of Troop 2 have achieved scouting’s top rank.

Stone pronounced he visited Hansen in Billings by a decades roughly adult to Hansen’s Jun 2009 death.

“His seductiveness in his scouts and after his high propagandize students was lifelong,” Stone said. “In my knowledge Dewey also deserved most of a credit for running so many teenage boys along a formidable highway to apropos a obliged immature man, regardless of a arrange any one reached.”

“He done scouting a real-life adventure,” Stone pronounced of Hansen, who done room in Troop 2 for Stone when Hansen schooled that Stone’s father died when Stone was 14. “At age 76, we am gratified to see that scouting still does for today’s girl what it did for me in a 1950s.”

Specht, a district coordinator, pronounced that scouting serves 1,800 girl in Billings by 93 units, including Venture Crews, a co-educational module for people ages 14 to 20.

Asked if he skeleton to join past and benefaction members for their centennial celebration, Specht answered in a affirmative.

“You don’t get birthdays that large any year,” he said.

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