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Logan » If there is an older Boy Scout troop west of the Mississippi River, Troop 1 in Logan hasn't heard of it.
In fact, Troop 1 was organized 100 years ago this month, just weeks after Scouting arrived on American shores.
Still one of the larger troops in Cache County, it is celebrating its 100th birthday this weekend with courts of honor, a banquet and a service today at St. John's Episcopal Church, the church where the troop began.
On Saturday, nine of the 30 Scouts along with two Tiger Cubs spent the morning walking to historic stops throughout central Logan -- the locations of organizations that once sponsored the troop.
Starting at First Presbyterian Church, a former sponsor and the troop's home in recent decades, the Scouts walked to the foot of Old Main Hill at Utah State University. Its predecessor, Utah Agricultural College, sponsored the troop from 1924 to 1927. The Scouts also toured the Logan Fire Department, sponsor for two years in the 1940s.
The Scouts ate ice cream sundaes at the Bluebird Cafe, where the Logan Lions Club -- sponsor since 1978 -- meets, and nibbled on sandwiches at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church, which sponsored the troop for its first 14 years.
"When you're founded one month after Scouting began, it's a point of pride," says Stu Parkinson, assistant Scoutmaster.
The Scout troop is non-denominational and draws boys from a variety of faiths, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has its own Scouting program.
Indeed, the Scoutmaster for the past five years, Tom Hogan, is LDS.
A member of the Lions Club, Hogan said he was bowled over by the troop's vibrancy and wanted his three sons to be part of an eclectic troop such as the one he experienced while growing up in California.
"What you're doing is instilling values," says Hogan.
The founder of Scouting in England in 1908, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, knew precisely what works for boys, he says.
"He understood the principle that boys need other boys to develop," says Hogan. "Boys develop in packs."
Troop 1 does things a bit differently than other troops. It strives hard to be truly boy-led, says Hogan.
Ryan Martin, who became senior patrol leader Friday night, says he expects to put in a fair amount of time planning activities and weekly meetings for him and the other Scouts. He'll have the help of two assistants and other patrol leaders.
The troop also camps one weekend a month, says Marietta Veeder, the Troop 1 committee chairwoman. "For many boys, that's what motivates them to stay involved," she says.
Perhaps the biggest distinction is the exchange Troop 1 does with Scouts in England. Five times since 1996, the troop has taken boys to England, most recently last August.
This summer, nearly two dozen Scouts from England will come to Logan.
"That certainly broadened my perspective on the world," says Charlie Major, who went to England twice with the troop, once as a Scout and once as a young leader. He's a senior at St. John's College in Santa Fe., N.M.
He and his brother, Nick Major, a freshman at Montana State University, both earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the troop that their great-grandfather, Frederick Percival Champ, was part of in 1910.
The pastor of St. John's at the time, the Rev. Paul Jones, was a graduate of Yale University and had heard of Scouting from Baden-Powell. He registered the troop one month after the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated, reorganizing a 4-year-old club for youth called Knights of King Arthur.
At the time, the church just north of the LDS Tabernacle was a civic center, of sorts, for young men and women. It had the city's only public library.