At a recent Court of honor, we presented four Mark Herhold Camping Awards to four scouts who had accumulated over 100 days and nights camping in their scouting tenure so far. The four scouts, were excited to get the award but what made it even more special was that Mark Herhold, the scout for whom the medal was named, was in attendance. Mark was the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 26 back in the early 70’s, earning his Eagle Scout Award, and attending both Northern Tier and Philmont. During that time he never missed a campout, a summer camp, or a troop meeting. What made that record truly remarkable was that he was also active in his church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, played football and baseball, and was an excellent student as well. Those are the reasons the medal bears his name. The troop made a special presentation of the Mark Herhold Camping Award….to Mark Herhold. Pictured with Mark are Alex R., Mitch H., Nick B., & Logan S.
And so, it begins for me in 1969. These are some of my first scouts. Alan Cougler (the first patrol leader of the Piranhas), Mark Herhold (the first Patrol Leader of the Vikings), Paul Smith (younger brother of my first SPL, Neil Smith), Duncan and David Cox, and Woody Reece. Those were such great kids and a terrific start to that first chapter in my role as a brand new Scoutmaster.
The Vikings. The oldest patrol in Troop 26 dating back to 1969. The flag has changed a little, the original one was made out of purple and blue felt and had real yellow yarn braided for hair. One year at summer camp, another troop sneaked into our campsite at night and cut the braids off. This is the Viking’s new flag and the patrol has evolved a lot since those early days. Now the Vikings are our new member patrol and is a transitional group. The Patrol Leader and his Assistants are selected by the current SPL. The new boys can get adjusted during their stay with the Vikings and take a look at the other patrols, joining one of them when they make Tenderfoot. It’s one of the oldest Troop traditions.
Among the best memories for Troop 26 scouts is the annual Troop Christmas party. For years we have hosted a party for our special friends from Woodland Park and several other special needs facilities around the state. We have a band and we dance and Santa gives gifts and we have cookies and the special kids look forward to it every year. It is one of our yearly highlights. In this photo I have my special Christmas tie, not exactly “official” BSA gear, but the kids like it, and my friend on my left is wearing a balloon hat. Pretty impressive.
Our Troop 26 Arrow of Light team has always been a highlight of each year. Lots of Troop 26 scouts have put on the regalia, donned the face paint, and welcomed hundreds of Webelos Scouts into scouting. Many of them joined Troop 26 and came back later to participate as part of our AOL team. In this photo, Eagle Scout and SPL Bobby Doby prepares for his role as Talks With Thunder, the Medicine Man. Bobby did a great job in this part.
As I look through my photos, trying to pick the best ones for the Troop 26 website, I am most drawn to the photos from my 10 Philmont treks. Ten times, challenging myself, testing myself, pushing myself to the limit of my physical and mental endurance, those were special times. Each one special in a different way. Each one challenging in a different way. This is one of my favorite photos. I’m not sure which trek this was. I’m pretty sure that this photo was taken on Mt. Capulin, on the way to Philmont. I can’t name all the guys in the photo. I wish I had a roster but I don’t. A couple of the faces are fuzzy. I’m on the back row with one scout. I’m not sure who it was. The front row, left to right is Marty Lansford, Jeff Batchelor, Tim Askew, Alan Dalton, Joe Stallings and then John Pinkley. Down in front is Steve Curry. I’m going to figure out who that other scout is as soon as I locate my other photos from that particular trek.
Every Troop has an adult patrol. Geezers, Old Timers, Old Fogies, whatever. Troop 26 has the Gladiator Rhinos. It has been our adult patrol name for years. This photo is of the Rhino Patrol Flag, carried by former Assistant Scouter Jim Foutch. The Gladiator Rhino attached to the top was carved by a former Assistant Scoutmaster George Lawhorn.