Dansville Scout Troop 38 marks history

DANSVILLE — During its Fall Court of Honor on Oct. 6, Dansville Scout Troop 38 commemorated its 95th anniversary at the Dansville Fish and Game Club.

Troop 38 was chartered in late 1924 through St. Mary’s Church, and about five years ago through Dansville Fish and Game Club.

The Court of Honor saw many scouts receive badges, awards and rank advancements. To commemorate the anniversary, the troop displayed old photos and memorabilia, as well as invited former scouts to the anniversary picnic and court of honor, which several attended.

To acquire additional information on the troop’s history, assistant scoutmaster Chad Schuster had many alumni fill out a questionnaire that asked about when they were a scout (either as a youth or leader), what positions they held, what years, and what patrols they may have been in or remember. Schuster’s goal for his Wood Badge Ticket (leader training) is to gather history of the troop.

Though never a scout himself, Schuster began helping lead scouts when his son, Adam, crossed over from Cub to Boy Scouts in 2015. His other son, Alex, followed in the footsteps of his older brother a year later.

On a similar note, one of Dansville’s former scouts, Ted Kuhn, who received his Eagle Scout badge in 1956, became a scout leader in 1977 when his sons decided to join scouting in the Rochester area.

“It’s a great time, especially for the boys,” Kuhn said about the anniversary picnic. “I really enjoy seeing the troop active...it’s nice to see the troop has been stable for all of these years.”

Troop 38 is Dansville’s only remaining troop, which has about 21 chartered members.

“I’m looking forward to the 100th, but also well beyond that,” Scoutmaster Jim Cotton said about the 95th anniversary.

Cotton grew up as a scout in Victor, and has been scoutmaster in Dansville since 2015. His son recently received his Eagle Scout badge this year, and by the end of this calendar year, Troop 38 will have four awarded Eagle Scout — the highest rank a Scout can earn.

“I think that scouting has done such a great job for all these kids. The program’s pretty dynamic,” Cotton said, adding how grateful he is for the kids, as well as for the adult leadership.

Nathen Smalt, a 14-year member of the scouts, was one of two scouts who just had his Eagle Board of Review on Oct. 9. He said that scouting has helped prepare him for the real world, including the Navy. Being an Eagle Scout means he’ll be entering the Navy next March two pay grades above everyone else, saving him 16 months worth of advancement.

“[Scouts] taught me a lot more than what other people would know going in,” Smalt said, adding that learning how to start a fire and how to always be prepared, plus the scout mottos “just go hand in hand with the military, the same as they do with the Boy Scouts.”

Marshall Barron was the second scout who completed his Eagle Board of Review Oct. 9.

Anyone interested in joining scouts can check the Five Rivers Council website at fiverivers.org.