Boy Scout troop celebrating 60th birthday

Mar. 15, 2014 @ 12:39 PM

Boy Scout Troop 412 was established in March 1954 when a meeting was called by the chairman of the Christian Education Committee of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church for the purpose of organizing a Boy Scout troop. About 25 people attended, including a district scout executive who explained the procedure for forming a troop with the church as its sponsor.

The most challenging requirement for a troop, finding a scoutmaster, was solved when W. B. Kirkland volunteered. Bill got the group going well from the beginning as he was very enthusiastic and had interesting activities planned.

The next challenge was to form a troop committee of at least three to five persons. Seven people volunteered, including Bob Blake. Bob was chosen as the first committee chairman and volunteered as an assistant scoutmaster.

Things went well for three or four years until Bill Kirkland was transferred to the Midwest. Several others filled in following his departure. Since that left no trained leaders in the troop or even one with previous scout experience, Bob Blake took all the scoutmaster training offered by the district so that he could be of more assistance.

In 1959 Frank Greathouse moved to Durham and joined Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church. He brought with him much-needed experience and became scoutmaster of Troop 412. Under his leadership the troop grew from 15 scouts to about 25.

During this time the woofer became the troop symbol and the blue-and-white neckerchief with the woofer patch came into being. They are still to this day made for the troop members. Also during the first year under the leadership of Greathouse, the troop went from an also-ran to the best troop in the district.

By the end of the next year, the troop had grown to about 35 scouts and had acquired a truck for transportation. The first trip with the truck was to the Appalachian Trail. The trip is still remembered for many things, including the scout that chased a bear from the campsite with a pocketknife.

In 1960 Robin Blake (Bob and Hildur’s son) became the first scout of Troop 412 to receive the rank of Eagle.

Throughout the years Scout Troop 412 has maintained a high standard for its scouts. It has an excellent program by which the scouts learn all required skills and enjoy many experiences not available in all troops. This program to date has resulted in 82 scouts of Troop 412 attaining the rank of Eagle, an accomplishment completed by only 2 percent of youth in scouting.

The troop has continued to grow into the new millennium with the addition of new scouts and leaders. Bryan Neve serves as the current scoutmaster. It is especially notable that two of our Eagle Scouts have returned to work with the troop, Bobby Stockburgher as a former assistant scoutmaster and current cubmaster and Jeff Mixon as a current assistant scoutmaster.