By Megan Mann/SCVNEWS.com
A sea of green hats filled the Newhall Elementary multipurpose room Tuesday night during a 90th anniversary celebration for the oldest Boy Scout troop in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Troop 2 was established in 1922 with six registered Boy Scouts and it has prevailed ever since, said Scout Master Steven Rodgers.
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To kick off the milestone celebration, Rodgers addressed a group of nearly 300 scouts and family members.
“When you sit back and you think about the last 90 years that this troop has been around, think about the amount of miles that have been hiked in the national parks, and all the service hours and service projects have been completed,” he said.
Today there are 109 registered scouts in Troop 2. The total number of scouts who have worn the Troop 2 scarf is not available, said Rodgers. “But it has to be into the thousands.”
Tuesday’s banquet was appropriately held at a location that is near and dear to the heart of Troop 2, which was founded in 1922 by the principal of Newhall Elementary, on the school’s campus.
It’s also where the group holds troop meetings three Tuesdays out of each month.
About 80 boys and another 15 scout masters lined up for a group photograph on the stairs of the Newhall Elementary auditorium Tuesday evening.
“This is something we’re trying to do to preserve the history of the troop,” said Rodgers.
“This troop will change over every ten years, so there’s a lot of things we do not know about the history of the troop.”
Much of the troop’s history that had been gathered throughout the last decade was lost in the 2007 Buckweed fire, which scorched 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes in Agua Dulce and Santa Clarita.
Today, new memories continue to fill the hearts of adventurous scouts.
According to the Bill Hart District website, there are 30 Boy Scout units and 30 Cub Scout units in the Santa Clarita valley today.
“Scouting is well, it’s alive and it’s growing,” said Rodgers. “I think a lot more kids are understanding what it’s about. It’s about getting out into the great outdoors and having a lot of fun.”
“I think it’s a well rounded experience for boys. They think and learn things that they would never learn anywhere else. When it’s all said and done, when they become dads and grandfathers, they’re going to be able to reflect back to their scouting experiences. I think that’s a neat thing, its a good bonding experience for families.”
Rodgers said over the years Troop 2 has seen 125 scouts earn Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program.
“It isn’t just about books and merit badges. It’s about the brotherhood of scouting and giving back to our community.”