Troop_2 Michigan

Chief Okemos
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The Peoples Church - Interdenominational
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Chartered in September 1921

Troop 2 is the oldest continually operating Scout Troop in the Chief Okemos Council. The Troop was first chartered to Peoples Church in the Village of East Lansing on October 31, 1921 by the National Office as Councils did not exist here at that time. The Troop was neither large with only sixteen scouts or the first troop in the area, hence Troop 2. Apparently there had been scouting in the Village, either as a "lone scout" or "at large" because the dates of the original sixteen scouts show up to six months of scout membership at the time the Troop was founded. Little is known of the first twenty-five years except names and dates. Summer Camp was at Camp Kiroliex. The original Charter is at Peoples Church and framed.

During World War II, an Aviation Patrol was attached to the Troop. Annual Report of the Church mentions service projects done by the Troop in the Church grounds and earning money for other Church activities.

By the twenty-fifth anniversary Banquet in 1946, Troop 2 had the honor of being the home of forty Eagle Scouts, tops in the Council. From a low point of twenty-two Scouts in 1947, the size and activities of the Troop began to grow along with the population of East Lansing.

During the years 1949 to 1959 one name is constant in the Troop records, John Richardon. A Troop 2 Eagle Scout, he stayed with the Troop first as Assistant Scoutmaster and then later as Scoutmaster until 1959, while earning a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University. Beginning with John Richardon Eagle award in 1949, a phenomenal fifty-one Scouts reached this highest rank in Scouting over the next ten years. Troop photo albums also show the Scout Troop on Public Television at WKAR in 1953.

In 1960 six Scouts attended the National Jamboree in Colorado. During the 60's the Council acquired Northwood a new summer camp which the Troop help get started as a service project. A total of 32 more Eagle Scouts graduated from Troop 2 during this decade. In 1965, the Troop spent its only year in it's history away from Peoples Church, meeting at Baily School as the Church was remodeled. In 1969 the Troop began it's High Adventure Program with the Troop going hiking and camping on Isle Royal.

Scoutmaster Jim Apple, Hugh Makkens, Thomas Shipley and Al Stinson led the Troop in the 1970's. Summer Camp was at Northwoods and High Adventures such as a trip to the Sylvania Recreation Area in the Western Upper Peninsula were added to the list of Troop outings.

Beginning in 1980, the Troop attended summer camp at Camp Owassippe near Muskegon. The Troop returned to Northwood for Summer Camp in the late 1980's when a dinning hall was completed leaving more time to work on advancement. High Adventure trips included Algonquin Provincial Park, Pictured Rocks and the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Jack Lawerence became scoutmaster of Troop 2 in 1981 and served until September 1993 when Rod Ritchison took over the reins of the Troop. Jack's 13 years as Scoutmaster is unmatched in the Troops history. During his tenure 19 boys reached the rank of Eagle and more than 400 boys had the experience of Scouting.

The Troop continued its traditions into the 1990's with High Adventure trips to Isle Royal, canoe trips to Algonquin Provincial Park, hiking in the Adirondacks Mountains in New York State and Returning to Philmont Scout Ranch. Numerous service projects for the Church, and around the city help to foster a sense of community responsibility. Various Eagle projects also made a significant contribution, such as the repair and maintenance of the Red Cedar School amphitheater, replacement of a footbridge in a city park and construction of a balance beam in the Marble School play ground to name a few.

Chartered years ago East Lansing's Troop 2 is
one of the oldest Boy Scout Troops in the country.