The following text is from Troop 11 History by Forrest Davis. The book was written in 1990 and the troop remains grateful for all of Mr. Davis’ hard work over the years. Obviously, our history did not end in 1990, but the book did. If you are a Troop 11 alumni and have information or stories that you would like to add, please use the Contact page to send it to us!
In 1916 and 1917, FPC pastor Dr. William States Jacobs served as judge and awarded prizes at the first two Boy Scout Relay Races held on February 22.
In February 1920, First Presbyterian Church organized Boy Scout Troop 11 with James Alston Clapp as scoutmaster. FPC has continuously sponsored the same boy scout troop for over 70 years, longer than any other sponsoring organization in Houston.
In addition to Troop 11, First Presbyterian Church has sponsored Cub Pack 222, Rover Crew 1, Air Squadron 1, Explorer Post 1, Air Squadron 11, and Cub Pack 11. FPC also let Sea Scout Ship 1 (called the Crescent) meet in the scout cabin on the church property at Main and Bissonnet.
Today, First Presbyterian Church sponsors Troop 11 and Cub Pack 11.
Troop 11 is grateful to First Presbyterian Church for its outstanding support and leadership. We thank First Presbyterian Church for being our sponsor.
This Troop 11 History is dedicated to First Presbyterian Church.
Bob Dawson was also an amateur historian who accumulated much memorabilia on Houston’s early scouting program.
SHAC documents stored in the Houston Public Library Archives refer to this private collection which included photographs and print material of early scouting activities such as summer camps, field days, relay races, camp dedications and lodge dedications. Dawson even had 8-mm and 16-mm cinemas of scouting events.
Attempts to locate this collection have been unsuccessful. The Dawson boy scout collection remains an elusive goal for scout history buffs.
In this narrative, quotes from Dawson’s 1963 history appear in their original form and are attributed to him as much as possible. This version of the Troop 11 History borrowed generously from Dawson’s.
Bob Dawson loved Troop 11 very much and his work merits preservation. Bob Dawson had a unique style of writing that allowed him to capture the true SPIRIT of Troop 11.
For example, Dawson wrote “Considerable difference of opinion exists as to which scout troop deserves the palm as the oldest troop in this area. Local troops were not numbered sequentially upon organization, and one or two troops can offer interesting paper relics from 1918 as records of their contended continuous activity during periods in which they are not even remembered in parades, field days, relay races, summer camps, etc.
“However, when one gets away from paper scouts and into the live wriggling kind, then there is no other troop to compare even closely with Troop 11 which started strong, built stronger, and is today still recognized as a strong organized group.”
Troop 11 held its 70th reunion banquet on October 26, 1990 at First Presbyterian Church. This narrative commemorates Troop 11’s 70th reunion celebration.
Troop 11 first organized in May 1915 as an independent troop, not affiliated with any church, school or creed. Troop 11 was allied with scouting and nothing but scouting.
By June 1915, Troop 11 was well-known for having its scouts progress through tenderfoot, second class, first class and into merit badge work in less time than had ever been done in Houston before.
Troop 11’s goal was to have all their scouts reach first class rank before the troop was one year old.
J. Dixie Smith, a juvenile probation officer, was scoutmaster from 1915 to 1917. His assistant scoutmasters were Seymour Bowman and Houston Wade.
The next scoutmaster was H. C. Combs, who worked at the I & G.C. General Office. He was scoutmaster in 1918 (perhaps even 1917). Samuel B. Davis was his assistant scoutmaster.
HOUSTON’S FIRST EAGLE SCOUT
The first Eagle Scout in Houston was Henry Palmer Melton, a member of Troop 11. In fact, he was the first Eagle Scout in Harris County. Palmer Melton earned his Eagle rank in 1916.
Palmer Melton realized this significant achievement despite losing his foot the year before. On February 21, 1915, Palmer was in a railroad accident near Blodgett Station in Houston’s South End. The accident occurred when he was on his way to Sunday school. He was just thirteen years old.
Palmer’s left foot had to be amputated just above the ankle. Thereafter, he wore an artificial limb and was known as “Peg” to his pals. Palmer Melton later attended Rice Institute where was an outstanding athlete.
Bob Dawson believed Palmer Melton was the first Eagle scout in Texas. This may be true. It could be neither confirmed nor denied.
SCOUTMASTER PALMER MELTON
Palmer Melton spoke at Troop 11’s 50th Reunion in 1970. Bob Briggs vaguely remembers Palmer Melton saying that he and another Eagle Scout led Troop 11 for a few months until a scoutmaster could be found.
Those who know Palmer Melton say the story is plausible. If true, then Palmer Melton may have led Troop 11 during the transition from J. Dixie Smith to H.C. Combs in 1917. Or he may have led Troop 11 before J. Dixie Smith became scoutmaster. Talley Melton (Palmer Melton’s son) could neither confirm nor deny the story.
EARLY ACTIVITIES: FIELD DAY
Field Days were very popular at this time. The 1916 Field Day was held at the San Jacinto Battleground; Troop 11 placed second. The 1917 Field Day was held at San Jacinto High School; Troop 11 again placed second.
1918 TROOP 11 ROSTER
We obtained a Troop 11 roster labelled “before 1920” that most likely is from 1918. The scoutmaster was H. C. Combs, with ASM Samuel B. Davis. Troop 11 had eighteen scouts.
Troop 11 meetings were Friday nights at 8 PM. Troop 11 met at 811 Ross, the home of Joe Palmer.
DISBANDED IN 1918
Bob Dawson states that Troop 11 disbanded in 1918 because of World War I. The two SHAC histories repeat this fact, but both Jack Linn and Minor Huffman must have gotten their information from Dawson.
Regarding World War I, Jack Linn wrote, “The ranks of the Scout leadership were sometimes decimated as men went into the armed forces and were otherwise involved in the war efforts.”
Troop 11 may have disbanded in 1918 because of the worldwide Asian Flue (influenza) epidemic that paralyzed the Houston community that fall. Health authorities quarantined thousands of homes and banned all public meetings, including troop meetings.
Apparently, Houston boy scouts WERE involved in the war effort during this time (despite the influenza epidemic), but there is no evidence that Troop 11 supported these war efforts in 1919.
Also, Troop 11 is not mentioned in stories on the 1919 Relays in either the Houston Press, the Houston Post-Dispatch, or the Houston Chronicle.
Reluctantly, we conclude that Troop 11 must have been inactive for about 1 1/2 years beginning in late 1918 through early 1920.
First Presbyterian Church (then located at Main Street and McKinney Avenue) reorganized Troop 11 in February 1920. J. Alston Clapp, Sr. was scoutmaster, with assistant scoutmaster W.W. Gaston.
A newspaper account says First Presbyterian Church organized Troop 11 on Feb 22, 1920. A 1920 Troop 11 roster shows seven Troop 11 scouts earned their Tenderfoot award on
February 20, 1920.
1920 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Troop 11’s 1920 organizing committee received much help from Region 9 Executive James P. Fitch and Houston Scout Executive R.R. “Rube” Adcock (the “General”).
Walter F. Brown chaired the 1920 troop committee. The 1920 troop charter shows the first committee members were G.W. Baillio, William Ashton Vinson, and H.W. Carothers.
Note: H.W. Carothers does not appear on any of hte troop committee rosters for this time. Durrell Carothers appears on Troop 11 rosters from 1923 until 1924, when he transferred to Troop 23.
FPC’s FIRST TROOP 11 SCOUTS
Here is the 1920 roster of the first scouts in Troop 11, sponsored by First Presbyterian Church:
ROYAL PURPLE NECKERCHIEF
Alston Clapp’s great confidence in the mettle of his new troop is best described by his choice of the troop neckerchief color — a resplendent royal purple!
THE 1920 CHARTER
Even though First Presbyterian Church (FPC) re-organized Troop 11 in February 1920, the troop charter is not dated until March 29, 1920. It is from this charter date that Troop 11 measures its years of continuous activity. First Presbyterian Church has sponsored Troop 11 ever since.
The 1920 charter was lost for many years until Dan Kennerly located it and sent it to the church on June 23, 1949. Dan had been a scout under Bill Gribble and George Hovey.
FPC found the 1920 charter while researching their church history and returned the charter to Troop 11. As of 1990, Forrest Davis has the 1920 charter at his house.
Photo 1. James Alston Clapp, Sr.
Photo 2. 1920 Troop Charter
OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY CHARTERED TROOP?
For many years, Troop 11 claimed to be the oldest continuously chartered troop in
Houston. This claim appears in newspaper articles about Troop 11.
Scoutmaster Joel Parker made this claim in a 1960 Houston Post story. Committee
Chairman John P. Davis also made this claim in a First Presbyterian article (FPC’s church newspaper) dated January 18, 1974.
Making this claim is easy. Validating this claim is more difficult, especially since neither the Sam Houston Area Council nor National BSA Headquarters keeps such records. SHAC has no records prior to 1930.
Photo 3. FPC Newspaper Article, Jan 1974
During its 74-year tenure, Troop 9 was the oldest continuously chartered troop in Houston. Troop 9 began in 1914 and disbanded in 1987.
Troop 17 is now Houston’s oldest continuously chartered troop. This Troop 17 began as Park Place Troop 1 in 1918, sponsored by the Park Place Businessman’s Association. Park Place Troop 1 became Troop 17 when it joined SHAC in 1927. Park Place Baptist Church became Troop 17’s sponsor in August 1932.
Troop 11 is Houston’s second oldest continuously chartered troop. For more information on Houston’s oldest scout troops, see Appendix H.
THE HOWARD HUGHES RUMOR
The fantastic rumor: Howard Hughes lived near FPC and came to a few Troop 11 meetings. He may even have been a scout in Troop 11! Unfortunately, the rumor is probably not true.
Howard Hughes was interested in scouting. He attended Dan Beard’s Outdoor School in Pennsylvania in the summers of 1916-17 when he was 10 and 11 years old.
Howard Hughes lived at 3921 Yoakum. This address is in the Montrose area, north of Rice University near First Presbyterian Church. Hughes also attended South End Junior High (now San Jacinto High School) in 1919. Troop 11 scoutmaster Bill Gribble lived in the South End, Troop 11 was well-known there.
It is a good rumor, but it does have problems. First, although the Yoakum address is near Main at Bissonnet, FPC did not build Troop 11’s Scout Cabin there until 1935. Second, Howard Hughes does not appear on the Troop 11 roster for 1918 and FPC did not sponsor Troop 11 until 1920.
C.W. Gribble, Jr. did not become scoutmaster of Troop 11 until 1923. Clara Gribble does not recall her husband, C.W. Gribble, Jr. ever mentioning Howard Hughes.
In 1977, lawyers investigating Howard Hughes’ “Mormon will” contacted Troop 11, wanting to know if he had been a member. The troop committee made inquiries, but found no one who could support such a claim. The matter was dropped..
HISTORY: THE EARLY 1920’S
Troop 11’s first two senior patrol leaders were Walter L. “Dutch” McKinnon (from 1920-21) and Fred Stull (from 1921-23). Their SPL pins were mounted on a plaque that is still kept in the scout closet.
It seems Gilbert Munson was SPL immediately after Fred Stull. Robert Hughes was SPL in 1923, followed by Rockwell Rowe in 1924. Rockwell Rowe is fondly remembered because he led by example.
By 1921, Troop had four patrols active in all phases of scouting. By 1923, it had received considerable recognition and publicity by winning the coveted Challenge Trophy at intervals in intense competition with other older local troops.
(Note: This “Challenge trophy” probably refers to the trophy awarded at the Relays, but could refer to the one awarded at Field Day.)
As part of the San Jacinto Day celebration on April 21, 1923, the Houston Council held Boy Scout Field Day at the San Jacinto battleground. Alston Clapp, Sr. conducted the Sunday morning religious service on April 22.
Field Day events were modelled after pioneer activities and included first aid, fire by flint/steel, fire by friction, camp inspection, wig-wag signalling, archery, nature study, knot tying, tent pitching, and wall scaling.
Troop 11 attended the Boy Scout Round-Up held in the City Auditorium on August 7, 1923. The Round-Up raised money for Camp Masterson. Troop 11 participated in such events as the flag race, flint and steel fire building and wall scaling.
ALSTON CLAPP BECOMES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
In late 1923, Mr. Clapp resigned as scoutmaster to become troop committee chairman, and Bill Gribble only fulfilled his duties as chairman, but he also broadened the scope of existing Troop 11 programs Bob Dawson says Mr. Clapp’s years of service ended in 1934. Rechartering documents indicate Mr. Clapp served Troop 11 until 1939.
ALSTON CLAPP — SCOUTMASTER/CHAIRMAN
Mr. James Alston Clapp, Sr. was an executive at the Anderson Clayton Cotton Exchange who came to Texas from Memphis, Tennessee. After living in San Antonio for awhile, he arrived in Houston in 1917.
One of Mr. Clapp’s business accomplishments is that he started cotton production in South America.
He lost his right arm just above the elbow in a cotton gin accident. Even so, he was a successful hunter and equestrian. He quickly became left-handed and taught his son how to bat and play golf left-handed.
Mr. Clapp was an exceptional scoutmaster and troop committee chairman whose aristocratic demeanor and natural talent commanded respect. Troop 11 is forever grateful for his early troop stewardship.
A knowledgeable herpetologist, Mr. Clapp used his live reptile collection to fascinate and educate not only the scouts of Troop 11 but also hundreds of other scouts at field days, round-ups, summer camps, etc. (Editor’s warning: we’re talking about LIVE SNAKES here!)
Mr. Clapp had a king snake named “Queenie.” A popular story is that he would call Queenie to dinner by banging on a tin pan — whereupon Queenie would slither down the stairs.
TRAGEDY: GEORGE MERRILL SMITH
Troop 11’s history is marred by the death of scout George Merrill Smith at Camp Harris Masterson (near Sheldon) on August 29, 1922. 15-year old Merrill was a member of Troop 11 and had been a scout for about two years. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Sterne.
The drowning occurred in Tank Lake during the 11:30 A.M. swim session. Four lifeguards were on duty, under the supervision of Troop 8 scoutmaster H.H. Barber. When the scouts got out of the water at noon, Barber called roll and discovered Merrill missing. Merrill’s budd last saw him hanging onto the safety rope stretched across the lake.
For the first time at Camp Masterson, the alarm bell sounded. Its peal sent a tremor through the camp. Scout Executive R.R. Adcock was determined to save the boy. Divers immediately began an underwater search of the lake. The camp sent a hurry call for the Houston Undertaking Company ambulance.
An exhausted Travis Calvin, (camp bugler and expert swimmer) finally brought the body up to the surface at 12:25 PM. The body was found in 15 feet of water — only a few yards from the bank.
Camp physician Dr. T.O. Wooley immediately began resuscitation efforts, spending one and a half hours trying to revive the boy. Just before 2 PM, Adcock told the Houston Chronicle (via long distance phone), “I have notified the boy’s mother, but we have not given up hope of saving his life.”
Another half hour with the ambulance’s lungmotor and pulmotor failed to get results. The Houston Chronicle reported, “Every (resuscitation) method known to the science of scouting was tried.” When Merrill was finally declared dead, Adcock broke down and cried.
Merrill was classified as a good swimmer. In fact, he had gone swimming every day since camp opened. Although Merrill’s health certificate indicated he was subject to slight attacks of heart trouble, he had been strong enough to pass the requirements to attend camp. The inquest determined death due to drowning, with heart disease as the contributory cause.
At Mrs. Sterne’s request, Houston scouts had complete charge of the funeral. R.R. Adcock closed Camp Masterson two days early so the entire Camp Masterson scout contingent could attend. The service took place at the Sterne home at 4 PM Wednesday, August 30. Reverend W.S. Jacobs (from FPC) officiated.
The pallbearers (all Boy Scouts) were: Earnest Mills, Clifford Morgan, Marshall Bacher, Tom Emison, Lennard McGinney, and Henny Steele. Travis Calvin blew Taps over the grave. Merrill was laid to rest in the scout uniform he loved so well.
The mothers of Troop 11 paid for a plaque (still in the scout closet) that reads:
Photo 4. Merrill Smith Memorial Plaque
HISTORY: THE LATE 1920s
Scoutmaster C.W. Gribble and ASM Fred Stull served on Camp Masterson’s 1926 summer camp staff. Gribble was a camp commissioner.
Troop 11 was active in water sports in the late 1920’s. In 1925, 1926 and 1927 H.H. Barber’s Troop 8 shut out Troop 11 in water polo. In August 1928, Troop 8’s newspaper The Explosion reported:
“For the fourth time in as many years the royal purple of Troop 11 will attempt to down the blue and gold of the Troop 8 Sharks in the annual water polo tilt between these two troops. Three times have Gribble’s proteges vainly tried to wrest the laurel wreath from the grasp of Barber’s cohorts, but each time they have been unsuccessful. The game this year will be played about the middle of September …. The prize will be the wooden fish trophy and the following fish dinner.“
Troop 11 hosted a swim meet in 1928. Troop 2 won the meet and received the Senior Patrol Leader trophy which (for some reason) is still kept in Troop 11’s scout closet.
Troop 11 hosted annual swim meets at Albert Sidney Johnston Junior High for many years. No one knows if this 1928 swim meet was the first one held at Johnston Junior High.
Field Day was the forerunner to today’s camporees. Troop 11 always participated in Field Day, entering full teams in all events. In the late 1920s, Troop 11 was very good at wall scaling, signalling, and cooking.
Troop 11 won many individual Field Day events through the years, forcing others to very high standards of all-around scouting excellence. Troop 11’s performances were outstanding despite being “still too tired from the relays.“
Troop 11 won Field Day in 1926 and came close to first place again in 1930. Troop scores usually differed by 20 to 30 points, but in 1930 Troop 11 missed first place by less than 6 points. Bateman Hardcastle’s Troop 24 won with 124.30 points. Bill Gribble’s Troop 11 took second with 117.55 points.
(This section is excerpted from Bob Dawson’s history.)
The royal purple neckerchief motif had many favorable features, but it was precisely as an appearance criterion that this plain simple article worked its magic. For example, Mr. Gribble required the neckerchief to be cleaned and pressed for Field Day.
Mr. Gribble was never quite satisfied with the glossiest sheen which the very finest sateen or shantung could reflect. Many mothers of Troop 11 learned to sew a finer seam to produce a finished troop neckerchief that could pass his close inspection.
Keeping such a regal colored neckerchief in presentable condition meant Troop 11 scouts had to keep personally clean while maintaining a proper posture. Such salutary neckerchief criterions enabled Troop 11 to overcome other characteristics that might have proved embarrassing.
The proficiency of Troop 11’s first-aid teams was partly due to the troop’s large supply of slightly spotted or faded secondary neckwear. Troop 11 had more neckerchiefs than it did handkerchiefs!
THE NEVELE TRIBE
The Nevele Tribe was a Troop 11 honorary unit that began in the fall of 1929. “Nevele” is “eleven” spelled backwards. To join the Nevele Tribe, a scout had to identify 11 kinds of trees, 11 constellations, and etc. Membership requirements included good comradeship, adherence to scouting ideals and participation.
TROOP MEETINGS: 1926-1930
Donald McCants (troop member 1926-27) remembered that as soon as troop business was over, the scouts would play a game for about 30 minutes. A favorite game was “snatch.” A boxing glove was placed in the middle of two teams, one at each end. The object: get the glove and bring it back to your side.
Tracy Word (troop member 1926-30) recalled, “One of the greatest things I remember about Troop 11 was how Bill Gribble encouraged us to say good-night at troop meetings. We would stand in a circle with our arms on one another’s shoulders. The senior patrol leader would begin a prayer, and it would continue from scout to scout. Then we all sang ‘Taps.’ That’s how we said good-night.”
Troop 11’s spirit took its most fervent wing for the boy scout relay races held each year on February 22, Washington’s Birthday. The W.C. Munn Company sponsored the first official relay race in 1916.
For the 1916 race, Troop 11 entered a team of 8 boys, each running one and three-eighths of a mile. The 11-mile race started in Pasadena and ended in front of Munn’s department store, at the corner of Capitol and Travis.
Writer Paul Hochuli described the relay races in a February 13, 1960 story for the Houston Press.
Photo 5. Part of a W.C. Munn ad. February 22, 1915. Houston Daily Post.
Hochuli wrote “… On Washington’s Birthday, we held a relay race. Each troop would enter a team of 10, with each leg a mile. Started out Almeda Road, ended uptown. We won it one year, and I have a trophy around the house to prove it. Peg couldn’t enter this, but he was our trainer and coach. I ran around his block out Austin Street so many times I felt like Sambo with the tiger chasing him.“
After its re-organization in 1920, Troop 11 began competing in the relays again in 1922. Scoutmaster Alston Clapp, Sr. cut a chinaberry baton for Troop 11’s first Boy Scout Relay Race held February 22, 1922. From 1922 to 1934, each team in the Senior Race and the Junior Race carried this same baton.
Troop 11 mounted this baton on a wall plaque that is still kept in the scout closet.
In 1923, the senior race changed to a 5-mile race with 10 runners, each running one-half mile. After placing beneath third in 1922, Troop 11’s senior team placed second in 1924. From 1926 through 1933, Troop 11 took first place eight consecutive times in the senior event.
Troop 11 totally dominated the Senior Race. To give other troops a chance, other races were added. The 880 yard relay for eight smaller scouts (110 yards each) started in 1923 when the relays moved to the Rice Institute athletic field.
The 1760 yard intermediate race for eight medium age scouts (220 yards each) began in 1929.
Photo 6. Troop 11 plaque commemorating the relays.
Photo 7. The 1926(?) Senior Relay Team.
Photo 8. The 1928 Senior Relay Team.
Linn reports that the troop relay teams “adopted and wore special handsome relay suits.” Troop 11 relay teams wore special shirts with that year’s Troop 11 relay logo.
In the early 1920s, the Troop 11 relay team shirt had a dark circle with large white “11” and a tiny white “R” inside. In 1926?, the shirt featured a winged 11. In 1927 and 1928?, the shirt sported a winged shoe with an 11 inside. In 1930, the shirt had a simple white diagonal across the front.
Relay Race Results – Troop 11
1923 3rd — —
1924 2nd 1st —
1925 — 1st —
1926 1st 1st —
1927 1st 1st 2nd
1928 1st 1st 1st
1929 1st 1st —
1930 1st 1st 2nd
1931 1st 2nd 2nd
1932 1st 1st 1st
1933 1st 2nd 2nd
1934 3rd 2nd 3rd
Dawson reports the senior team placed second in 1930. However, SHAC records show that Troop 11 placed first. Also, photos show the 1930 Senior Team posing with the first place trophy.
By 1932, Troop 11 won all three relays by large margins and set the record in the “Bit Race.” Troop 11 seemed invincible.
Now that Troop 11 had everyone’s attention — the rumours started to fly. One was that Bill Gribble recruited his Senior Team from Southwestern Conference schools, i.e., Rice Institute. Another was that Gribble had received offers to coach track.
Russell Lee Jacobe, anchor of the senior team, did become a Southwest Conference track champion at Rice Institute. While a student at Rice, R.L. Jacobe helped Mr. Girbble coach Troop 11’s track teams.
After the Relays, the troop mothers would go to the church and cook chili. Everyone always looked forward to the “chili banquet” where awards were presented. Victories merited a special dessert selection for scouts who were only too happy to “break training.”
Troop 11’s impressive record represented tremendous dedicated effort. Old timers fondly remember that only when Troop 11 won the Senior Race consistently did THEY begin the Junior Race. And only when Troop 11 won both races consistently did THEY begin the Intermediate Race. And when Troop 11 won all three events? THEY cancelled the relays!
TROOP CAMP: 1920s – 1930s
When the Houston Area Council did not run summer camp, Troop 11 organized, staffed and conducted a summer camp. This was part of a Houston Council program called Troop Camp.
Troop 11 Troop Camps included one at Camp Hudson (1927), two at Spring Creek (1931 and 1932), and one at Blue Hole near Lufkin at the Tyler/Angelina County border (1934). In 1933, Troop 11 held a joint Troop Camp with Troop 42 and Troop 66.
Other troops soon learned that Troop 11’s initiations were not quite fatal and that Troop 11 maintained a general pattern of obedience to the scout laws. Troop 11 could also muster a great many characters, performers, wags, actors, etc. , and its campfires never lacked either dramatic interest or displays of virtuosity.
Without summer camp and Troop Camp serving as idyllic leavening mediums, it is doubtful that Houston Area Council executives could have convinced the other scoutmasters that Troop 11 was not as “ornery” as it appeared.
TROOP 11 AND PROUD OF IT
Balanced against the more tolerable characteristics of Gribble’s troop was a tremendous sense of QUALITY in the only valid sense of its meaning. That is, a sense of belonging to any situation, for if ever a scout troop belonged to Houston area scouting, Troop 11 did and it knew that it did.
Photo 9. Troop 11 in the early 1930s.
The confident air so blithely exhibited by Troop 11 did not sit well with other troops and their leaders. At an early Camp Masterson leaders’ council, an exasperated scoutmaster contended that Troop 11 substituted its own law, “Boastful” for the standard scout law, “helpful.” Another typical complaint was that TRoop 11 would act demurely without candidates for summer camp goats and then deliberately out-goat the selected goats.
What was a camp goat, you say? The camp goat had to provide entertainment whenever asked, especially if the one asking was larger. Elected by their fellow scouts, camp goat was actually a very high honor because only the very popular boys were elected.
In 1927, Camp Masterson selected Troop 11’s own Tracy Word as camp goat. Tracy was a campfire yell leader there for the next two years. In 1928, The Explosion reported that “(Tracy) sometimes makes the boys yell so loudly that the sky almost shakes. (Tracy) also assists the “goat” a lot, and between the two, the boys are kept in an uproar.”
1928 – ORDER OF THE ARROW
The first Houston chapter of the O.A. organized in 1928 during summer camp at Camp Masterson. Bill Gribble, Tracy Word and Terrell Miller, all from Troop 11, became charter members of this Houston chapter of the Order of the Arrow. In 1929, Tracy became one of Houston’s first Brotherhood members.
Terrell Miller remembered being given two mathces and having to build a fire. The next day was a day of silence.
Photo 10. Taken from Camp Masterson’s 1928 summer camp newspaper.
Photo 11. The first Order of the Arrow lodge flap.
1929 WORLD JAMBOREE
A highlight of the Troop 11 history is the three month trip to the 1929 World Scout Jamboree in England. Two leaders and six scouts from Troop 11 were in Jamboree Troop 16. “Pop” Gribble was SM; Russell Lee Jacobe, then an 18-year old student at Rice Institute, was an ASM.
All the Troop 11 scouts were in the Longhorn patrol: Tracy Word (patrol leader), Earl Douglas, Jack Van Gundy, Robert Van Gundy, Jack S. Bleker Jr., and Leroy Sims. The Longhorn patrol made their own cowboy costumes. Kirby Smith (another member of the Longhorn Patrol) taught them rope tricks.
Prior to the jamboree, Troop 16 trained at Camp Hudson for a week. Burns Roensch and John Roos taught them four Indian dances, including the Sioux Circle, the Buffalo Waltz and the Ojibway war dance.
The Troop departed June 18 from Galveston on the French liner De La Salle. They sailed to Cuba, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Vibo (Spain), finally landing at Le Havre, France. The “Silver Arrow” bullet train took them to Paris. Then they went on to Geneva, Germany, Cologne, Essen, Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels and West Flanders.
Several troop members had purchased guns in Brussels. The guns caused English Customs to refuse Troop 16 entry into England. Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout and founder of the Boy Scouts, phoned Customs himself to vouch for them. They arrived July 30 at Arrowe Park, Lord Baden-Powell’s baronial estate and site of the 1929 World Jamboree.
For the visitors, Troop 16 portrayed the life of the American plainsman and American Indian. The Houston scouts staged cowboy stunts and performed Indian dances for Lord Baden-Powell and the Prince of Wales. British Movietone News filmed their performances. The scouts met Dan Beard.
Troop 16 landed at New Orleans; returned by train to Houston’s Southern Pacific Station on September 11. (For the complete story on the 1929 Jamboree, see Appendix G.)
Photo 12. 1929 Jamboree’s Longhorn Patrol
1929 JAMBOREE FILM
The 1990 Troop 11 Reunion Historical Sub-Committee acquired John Roos’ original 16-mm film of the 1929 Jamboree. John Roos shot the film using a spring-loaded camera.
Tracy Word had the film in his closet. Although the film appeared in good condition — no chances were taken. The film was given a chemical bath, spliced, repaired where necessary, then transferred to videotape (VHS).
The resulting 1250 feet of film yielded 44 minutes after splicing and repair. Since there was extra room on the 1-hour videotape, we added five minutes from a 1979 Channel 2 (KPRC) newscast of Troop 16’s 50th reunion. This appears after “The End.” Also, we gave the video an instrumental soundtrack.
The 49-minute film is magnificent. It begins with the Galveston departure, shows scenes from the tour of Europe and ends with the opening parade at the Jamboree. Troop 16’s Indian dances are on it, as are the Longhorn patrol’s rope tricks.
In one scene of the Indian dancing, a British Movietone camera is in the background, mounted on the back of a truck.
Dan Beard gave Lord Baden-Powell a gift of a jacket and this incident is recorded on the film. Roos also filmed the Prince of Wales as he visited the American encampment. James West is also on the film.
Copies of this video were available at the 70th Reunion. The original four reels of 16-mm film are now in the Houston Public Library Archives. The film and a videotape copy are stored in the (unprocessed) boy scout collection numbered RGF 7.
The following section was originally “Appendix G: the 1929 World Jamboree” in the book. It has been moved here to keep continuity of the story.
The June 16, 1929 Houston Post-Dispatch pictures the entire Houston jamboree contingent. Jamboree Troop 16 had 39 members from Houston: five leaders including “Pop” Gribble and Russell Lee Jacobe from Troop 11) and thirty-four scouts. Six scouts were from Troop 11.
At the jamboree, each troop had to provide some kind of entertainment for visitors. Troop 16 portrayed the life of the American plainsman and the plains Indian, sort of like cowboys and Indians.
Before leaving, Troop 16 trained at Camp Hudson where John Roos and Burns Roensch taught them Indian dancing.
Troop 11 scouts were all members of the Longhorn Patrol whose members each made their own cowboy outfits. They dyed their canvas chaps black, then trimmed them with sheepskin. The Graham Hat Company gave the boys their hats, and Shotwell’s Inc. provided the shirts.
Besides the Longhorn patrol, the three other patrols in Houston Jamboree Troop 16 were the Goat, Indian and Lone Star patrols.
Photo 56: World Jamboree Troop 16
The Longhorn patrol also made a special totem pole out of magnolia wood. The totem broke into sections for each patrol member to carry, and was topped with real longhorns. Each patrol member carved a face/design on his particular section.
The Houston Council held its Boy Scout Round-Up in the City Auditorium at 8 PM Thursday, June 13, 1929. The public was invited to help raise money for both the jamboree troop and the summer camp program. At this Round-Up, Troop 11 competed in the Small Relay Race and in Wall Scaling against Troops 8, 10, 19 and 23. Troop 11 and Troop 21 also competed in a flag race.
At the Round-Up ceremony, the Chamber of Commerce presented a Houston city flag to Jamboree Troop 16; the Houston Ford dealers presented the troop with a Texas flag; First National Bank presented the troop with a U.S. flag. The Longhorn Patrol performed rope tricks. Troop 16 ended the show with Indian dancing.
On June 14, two days before they left, Captain Adolphe Sylvestre turned his ship, the De La Salle, over to the troop for inspection. For a half hour they ranged the ship fore and aft from stem to gudgeon. “I guess it’ll do,” said LeRoy Sims. “Suits me,” said Jack Van Gundy.
Photo 57. Boy Scouts Inspect Their Ocean Home.
On June 15, the executive committee of the Boy Scouts tendered Troop 16 a farewell banquet at the Rice Hotel. At the banquet, James Fitch, Director of Region 9, presented the Eagle badge to both Earl C. Douglas, Jr. (Troop 11) and Frank Lenoir (Troop 21).
Burns Roensch, who had attended the 1924 World Jamboree, spoke at the banquet. Burns encouraged them all to keep diaries, which they did.
The troop left from Galveston on June 18 aboard the French liner De La Salle. Several foreign beauties from Galveston’s International Bathing Suit Pageant were aboard ship. Miss England spent much time with ASMs Russell Lee Jacobe, John Roos and Cecil Mooney.
After stopping in New Orleans to pick up another scout contingent, Troop 16 went to Havana, Cuba. There they saw Morro Castle and met Portos Gil, the President of Mexico. Then on to the Azores and the Canary Islands.
While aboard, the troop held a campfire meeting every night — entertaining both themselves and the other passengers. In boxing matches between Houston scouts and New Orleans scouts, Houston won all honors.
Ben Sewell remembers that a singing teacher from New Orleans taught them all to sing the “Marseilles.” They learned it phonetically.
They arrived at Le Havre, France on the Fourth of July. As the ship entered the harbor, the troop stood on the ship’s fantail while a little French waiter led them in the “Marseilles.” It was an emotional moment. The tears streaming down the waiter’s face made an impression on the troop that has lasted to this day.
At Le Havre, they were four days behind schedule so they caught the “Silver Arrow” bullet train to Paris. They stayed in the University of Paris dorms for two days.
Their Swiss guide (named Schurch) escorted them to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Pantheon, Hotel des Invalides, Arc de Triomphe, the Versailles, and the Latin Quarter. They visited two battlefields: Flanders Field and Belleau Woods.
In Paris, the troop attended the Follies Bergere in their scout shorts! They toured the Citroen automobile plant. At Napoleon’s Tomb, one scout boldly exchanged Confederate money for francs, but then kept looking over his shoulder. An electric train took them to Switzerland.
In Geneva, the troop stayed at the Swiss Naval Barracks. Many scouts had their first sight of large mountains while riding a lake steamer around Lake Geneva. They took a special trip to the top of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe and they visited the Chaminox glacier.
They stayed two days in Geneva and saw the League of Nations Peace Palace, the Castle of Chillon, and the Reformation Memorial. After a swim in Lake Leman, it was time for an electric train ride through the Alps (at night) to Stuttgart.
Jamboree Troop 16 arrrived in Heidelberg after dark, and they missed supper, too! Townspeople were still milling about and the streetlights were on. Naturally, Troop 16 assumed the town had waited up for them.
To keep from disappointing the townsfolk, Houston Jamboree Troop 16 triumphantly paraded for 35 minutes with full packs to their hotel. Only later did it occur to them that the streetlights might have been on because it was dark!
In Heidelberg, they visited Heidelberg Castle and saw huge barrels of wind stored in the basement. These tuns (as they were called) were 8-ft in diameter and 15-ft long.
Next was a river boat ride on the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne. The boat had smokestacks that pivoted down for low bridges. The boat would build up speed, shut off its boilers, lower its smokestacks and coast under the bridges.
The troop went to Essen where they visited the Krupp steel works and met one of the Krupp family members. At a luncheon in Essen, the guest of honor was Sir Henry Detering, founder of the Dutch Shell Oil Company.
Then to Holland where most troop members bought wooden shoes. They saw Amsterdam, The Hague, and the Zuider Zee. During a side trip to Rotterdam on the Isle of Marken, they saw Edam cheese made.
Then on to Belgium where several scouts bought handguns. Belgium’s firearms were very highly regarded. The troop demonstrated the game of football for Belgian scouts.
The guns were not a big deal to the Houston scouts. Most people in the U.S. owned guns. But these guns became a problem later. Troop 16 would learn the hard way that not all countries permit their citizens to own guns.
The troop spent one day at Bruges in West Flanders and went for a swim in the North Sea where the water temperature was 40 degrees. The next stop was across the English channel: England.
English Customs authorities were aghast upon discovery of their guns. Troop 16 was denied permission to enter England. England did not allow public possession of firearms. Fortunately, their English guide knew Lord Baden-Powell personally and phoned him with the problem.
Lord Baden-Powell was the chief scout and originator of the Boy Scout movement. With just a phone call, he personally convinced Customs to let Troop 16 into England. Customs admonished the troop, tagged their guns, then let them into England.
Tracy Word’s birthday was July 29, the date the troop arrived in England. To celebrate his 16th birthday, Tracy had breakfast in Belgium, lunch on the English Channel, tea in Canterbury, and sandwiches at Earls Court (circus headquarters) in London.
For obvious reasons, Tracy kept his birthday a secret. On the boat trip back, Bill Gribble would remember Tracy’s birthday and present Tracy with $25, a gift from his father.
Their first night in England, Troop 16 stayed at Earls Court, an abandoned circus building. The scouts thought they were alone and made no attempt to be quiet when going to bed. In the morning, they were ashamed to learn they had disturbed some Hungarian scouts who had stayed there also.
The World Jamboree was held July 31 thru August 13 at Arrowe-Park. Upon their arrival, Troop 16 posted the colors for the USA camp “…on account of (their) ability to obey commands quickly.” The color guard included Tracy Word and Earl C. Douglas Jr. from Troop 11.
Some scouts had purchased wooden shoes in Holland. It rained each day at the jamboree and the wooden shoes came in handy.
On Tuesday, Troop 16 performed their Indian dances in the main arena before the entire jamboree. Their Indian dances included the Buffalo Waltz, the Sioux Circle and the Ojibway war dance.
The scouts wore the chief’s headdresses and breechcloths. They painted themselves with brown body paint (that washed off easily.)
The Prince of Wales was in the audience. As always, the Longhorn patrol performed their rope tricks. Troop 16’s performance was the hit of the jamboree!
Afterward, Troop 16’s campsite proved quite popular with the public. The Houston scouts stayed busy repeating their Indian dances and rope tricks for the appreciative crowds.
Photo 59. Troop 16’s campsite gateway
Despite the 49-degree weather, Troop 16 gave as many as four Indian dancing exhibitions per day. British Movietone News filmed their performances on at least two different occasions. Between performances, the shivering Indians wore blankets to keep warm.
“Cowboy” Kirby Smith was an expert at rope tricks. He could spin his lariat and lasso three boys at a time as they ran by. Kirby taught the other members of the Longhorn patrol to spin a lariat.
After the jamboree, the American encampment awarded Troop 16 the American distinction banner. They had competed for the banner with over 1300 scouts from 82 American cities. Out of the entire American contingent, Bill Gribble’s Troop 16 was recognized for having the best “organization and encampment.”
After the jamboree, Troop 16 returned to London on the “Flying Scot.” They stayed at Queen Anne’s Court for a week. They visited Oxford, Windsor Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, the Tower of London, Anne Hathaway’s cottage and other historic sights in London and other parts of England. They saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
After seeing a stage show in Picadilly Circus, four troop members asked an English bobby for directions. The bobby was amused by their accents and decided to have some fun.
On the chance that the foursome might be desperadoes, the now suspicious bobby asked where they were from. Slapping his hip, Mandel Susman exclaimed, “We’re from Texas!” The bobby reacted as if Mandel was going for a gun.
He blew his whistle and banged his club on the pavement. Within 20 seconds, police had surrounded the now sheepish ‘gang.’
Concern about water purity and dysentery led to strict guidelines about what the troop could drink on the trip. The Houston scouts were not permitted to drink cow’s milk, nor the local water. Occasionally they drank goat’s milk. The only water they drank was Vichy water.
Troop 16 had booked return passage on the Isle de France, but the sit-down strikes were in progress. The Isle de France’s upper deck had been burned (sabotage). Troop 16 returned aboard the Espagne, an even older French line steamship.
Soon after leaving port, the Espagne developed a problem with one of her boiilers. To effect repairs, the boiler had to be extinguished and the water inside had to be pumped out.
Although the repairs were done in very calm seas, the ship did develop a 15-20 degree list. So they ‘crawfished’, or travelled in a skewed fashion, across the Atlantic for three days.
The tilt did not bother our scouts, who continued to play shuffleboard on deck. They overcame the slanted deck by ‘banking’ their shots toward the cabin.
With the scouts on their way home, Houston mobilized to greet them upon their return. John Hornbuckle, a popular scoutmaster of Troop 23, organized Troop 16’s homecoming celebration.
By this time the scouts were getting homesick. Cables sent home informed parents to tell Hornbuckle they did not want to march in the parade back in Houston.
Mild disaster struck upon Troop 16’s arrival in New Orleans on September 9. At a banquet given in their honor at Kolb’s Restaurant, the troop ate shrimp and drank a lot of milk. The shrimp and milk proved a bad combination. Afterward, several troop members got sick with ptomaine poisoning.
The troop returned by special train to Houston on September 11. Plans called for the troop to march triumphantly from the Southern Pacific Station to the Brazos Hotel (across from the Rice Hotel) on Main Street. But illness caused the parade to be abandoned.
The scouts did not feel well enough to march, so most rode in cars to the Brazos Hotel. The really sick scouts drove directly to Baptist Hospital.
Some newspapers reported there was a parade. But no one from Troop 16 remembers a parade. Perhaps an overzealous reporter knew what was to happen and filed his story early.
Several troop members were confined to bed, including Earl Douglas and Mr. Gribble, who had a slight fever. Hospital cases included John Roos, Charley G. Gribble Jr., and Harry Hamblen.
The ptomaine poisoning cancelled two of the three homecoming celebrations. Troop 16’s special performance in Hermann Park that evening was cancelled. Troop members recovered in time for a noon banquet given by the Rotary Club on September 12, but cancelled the picnic to be given afterward by their mothers.
1929 JAMBOREE REUNION
Several reunions of Jamboree Troop 16 have been organized.
The Longhorn Patrol had a reunion May 14, 1947.
On Friday, Juen 26, 1949, the World Jamboree troop held its 20-yr reunion at the home of Tracy Word. Almost twenty of the original group were able to attend the backyard party.
Slides from scrapbook pictures were the highlight of the evening. There was a picture of the Longhorn patrol in their cowboy costumes. John Roos’ 16-mm film of the jamboree trip was there.
The slides were made into kits, along with new ones of the members and their families. The kit was sent to those who could not attend, along with information about waht everyone is now doing.
World Jamboree Troop 16 held its 35-year reunion at the home of Preston A. Weathered, Jr., on Saturday June 19 1964. After 35 years, only two had died, including Russell Lee Jacobe who died of a heart attack.
Forrest Kesseler and Tracy Word spearheaded the 50th reunion, which everyone helped plan. A KPRC camera team recorded the event and it was seen on KPRC news.
ASSISTING FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Troop 11 always has been active in civic duties and is grateful for opportunities to assist First Presbyterian Church.
In 1929, Troop 11 performed Indian dances at two garden party fund-raisers for the Ladies Association of FPC. The garden parties helped raise money to finance a wing of the Houston Tubercular Hospital.
BILL GRIBBLE – SPECIAL PROJECTS
Bill Gribble served on the staff for the “Boy Leadership” course offered by the Houston Council April 12-May 24, 1927. The indoor sessions were at the Houston Light Guard Armory and the outdoor sessions were at Camp Hudson.
In 1930, the Houston Area Council recognized C.W. Gribble for helping start summer camp at Camp Hudson. Gribble helped install the gate at the camp entrance; helped rebuild the table sin the mess hall; and hleped get the buildings into good shape. No doubt he persuaded a few Troop 11 scouts to help, too.
In the early days of Houston’s scout movement, scouters often helped other troops without regard for their own troop affiliation. Thus after Troop 10 had lost its charter for a time, “Pop” Gribble assisted Trinity Episcopal Church rebuild Troop 10 in 1931. In like fashion, H. Palmer Melton served as Troop 10’s scoutmaster in 1941 and 1944.
Photo 13. Troop 11 reunion in the early 1930s
HISTORY: THE EARLY 1930s
The Houston boy scouts held their annual anniversary meeting at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 8, 1931.
In 1932, Troop 11 sponsored thie annual swimming meet at Johnston Junior High. Troops held elimination rounds earlier, with only the finals at Johnston Jr. High. The Swimming Meet finals took place on October 1, 1932.
Troop 11 received the President’s Honor Award in 1932, and came in second at Field Day at Camp Hudson.
Troop 11 sponsored the annual Swimming Meet at Johnston Junior High on October 7, when Troop 11 tied for first place with Troop 2.
Troop 11 received an Award for Achievement in 1933.
1933: THE REUNION BANNER
In 1933, Troop 11 presented an autographed banner to C.W. Gribble, Jr. commemorating his leadership in scouting. Earl Douglas, Jr. designed the banner.
Four 1929 Jamboree mothers made the banner. Mrs. Earl Douglas, Mrs. T.T. Word, Mrs. J.S. Bleker, and Mrs. C. Van Gundy began to work on it in April, completing it in time for the Chicago World’s Fair.
The banner was three yards long and one-half yard wide. The banner was done in needlework and had hte names of Troop 11’s charter members, as well as Troop 11 activities, and names of other scout leaders.
Malcolm McCants was one of the Houston scouts at the Chicago World’s Fair. He remembers the scouts went up together in two Pullman cars. The banner was an exhibit at the Chicoago Exposition.
Afterward, Troop 11 would display the banner at Houston scout events and at Troop 11 alumni gatherings. Troop 11’s reunions were usually held during the Christmas holidays.
Troop 11 conducted its own Troop camp at Blue Hole. On October 12, Troop 11 hosted the annual Swimming Meet at Johnston Junior High. Troop 11 took 3rd place.
The Houston Area Council (HAC) presented Troop 11 with two awards in 1934. First was an Award for Accomplishment. Then in a special ceremony, Council President Mr. George E. Kepple presented a first-aid kit to Troop 11 for having the best record in 1934. Kepple was the Houston Chronicle city editor who established Goodfellows in 1912.
C.W. Gribble received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest given by the Houston Area Council.
1935 JAMBOREE CANCELLED
Troop 11’s Robert McCants was to have been SPL of the Houston 1935 jamboree troop. They spent the entire summer preparing for the jamboree. The troop’s specialty was first aid.
Mr. James G. Blunt (from Houston Lighting and Power) trained the troop in first aid. However, a polio outbreak in Virginia caused the jamboree to be cancelled.
Since the jamboree was cancelled, Mr. Blunt took the scouts up to the firefighter’s training school at Texas A&M where they demonstrated a new oxygen inhaler for hundreds of firemen.
THE FLOOD OF 1935
December 1935 brought the worst flood ever to hit Houston. C.W. Gribble was chairman of the Flood Relief Service. The call came to Gribble at 3:30 PM Saturday; by 4:00 PM Troop 11 as preparing food at Heights Christian Church.
Under Mr. Gribble’s direction, over 150 scouts and 20 scouters operated refugee stations in six neighborhoods for one week. They cooked, served, gave first aid, provided sleeping accommodations and looked after the flood sufferers day and night. All to the satisfaction of Red Cross officials.
Speaking at a banquet later, Mr. Gribble addressed concerns about the scouts’ safety. “There has been some misunderstanding at times,” Mr. Gribble pointed out, “that these boys were being sent into the stricken area at the risk of their lives. This is not so. I want to state now that our policy in the future will be to keep the boys out of the stricken areas. Their jobs should be and will be in relief centers. Our work should be in the kitchen and the first-aid station.”
Troop 11 celebrated Texas’ Centennial with a special centennial display at First Presbyterian Church. Troop 11 had crowd control duties at the San Jacinto Monument groundbreaking ceremonies.
During both World War II and the Korean War, Troop 11 did semi-military auxiliary work while its graduates fought all over the globe. Quite few former scouts went into service, became professional military officers, and were stationed abroad.
The two wars and some unusual accidents took a heavy toll of Troop 11 former scouts. Of the 700 or so scouts registering from 1920 through 1945, about 80 had died by 1963. Many of these died in wars, oil field explosions, or traffic and train accidents. “Most of my boys have led rugged lives,” recalled scoutmaster Bill Gribble.
SEA SCOUT SHIP CRESCENT
From 1938-41, Sea Scout Ship #1 met in First Presbyterian Church’s scout cabin at Main and Bissonnet. Sponsored by the Houston Yacht Club, the ship called itself the SSS Crescent.
Photo 14. Quarterdeck, SSS Crescent (1940).
David Red was Skipper. Hugh Gill chaired the ship committee. Both were members of the Houston Yacht Club. They asked Mike Mellinger (another member) if he would let the sea scouts take his boat out on the bay. Mike owned a boat named the Bee, a cabin cruiser.
Photo 15. The Bee
Mike was leery but he was willing to give it a try. David Red’s sea scouts were ready: one scout manned the wheel; one maned the galley; … and so on. Once Mike found he had a willing crew — he was hooked!
The SSS Crescent sailed the Bee every Saturday. David Red remembers that once they sailed to Double Bay and ran aground on the way back. Lykes Bros. Steamship Company gave the Crescent a rowboat. Manned by one coxswain and four rowers, the sea scouts spent many happy hours rowing around the Houston Yacht Club harbor.
Photo 16. SSS Crescent member row in the Houston Yacht Club Harbor
SHIP MEETINGS: SSS CRESCENT
For meetings, the sea scouts of the SSS Crescent would set up a land ship inside the scout cabin. They used a series of ropes to make the outline of a ship.
There were various parts to the land ship. The mast, the quarterdeck, the bridge, etc.
To start the meeting, the crew came aboard the gangway and performed a “double salute,” toward the bridge and toward the mast. The “double salute” is a naval tradition with a God and country motif.
Then the sea scouts lined up by crews (patrols). The program might have been knot-tying, seamanship, the navy, or something similar.
During the meeting, the signalman ran flags up the mast. The yeoman kept all SSS Crescent records in the sea chest. The sea chest held scout records, the minutes, etc.
Photo 17. Land ship, SSS Crescent.
Photo 18. Hugh Gill and David Red, Skipper of the SSS Crescent
SSS CRESCENT HEROISM: 1941
Three scouts from Troop 11: Murray Smyth, Joe Blades and Billy Eubank also belonged to the SSS Crescent. These three sea scouts rendered outstanding service during the hurricane off La Porte September 23-24, 1941.
On October 8, Commodore F.M. Funkhouser, on behalf of the Houston Yacht Club, gave each a medal in recognition of their efforts to save life and property.
“During the hurricane,” Commodore Funkhouser said, “these boys presented themselves at the Houston Yacht Club and volunteered …. with grave risk of incurring personal injury, these boys braved a 60-mile wind and high tides in a heroic effort to secure additional lines on the many boats in the club anchorage. … I was impressed primarily by the fact that they seemed to have no fear about doing these (dangerous) things.”
SHAC records embellish this incident. In contrast to the newspaper accounts, SHAC reported that the scouts from the SSS Crescent “… spent several hours on the high seas and in high winds rescuing many people who were in danger.”
(Note: the SHAC version seems to refer to a November 1963 incident involving three scouts from the SSS Ling. In both cases, the sea scouts received medals for heroism.)
Eagle Scout Murray Smyth (of Troop 11), served on the committee to entertain four King Scouts (A King Scout is the British equivalent of our Eagle Scout) who visited Houston on August 30, 1942. Murray introduced these “Blitz” scouts to Houston on a radio broadcast. (“Blitz” refers to their service during air raids.)
In his opening remarks, Murray said, “We feel honored to day to have these distinguished guests in Houston. These Blitz Scouts have first hand information on the services the Boy Scouts have rendered since England has been in the war. I know you will be happy to hear from these young men who are our honored guests.”
The Blitz scouts had performed various jobs during the air raids. Each scout represented a different town that had been bombed.
Camp Strake first opened in 1943 and Troop 11’s participation in the regular camping program there was immediate.
In December 1943, the Men of First Presbyterian Church sponsored Rover Crew 1, with C.W. Gribble as Rover Leader. Jon MacFerrin chaired the Crew Committee, whose members included Dolph Frantz, L.C. Hamblet, George Flinn, M.A. Hamrick, and J.R. Alexander.
The Rover program was for older boys, age 18-25. A Rover Crew unit was primarily a service unit for the community and SHAC.
Troop 11 attended Camp Strake’s first summer camp in 1944. Troop 11 would attend summer camp at Strake every year thereafter until 1957 when Troop 11 began attending El Rancho Cima summer camp.
C.W. “BILL” GRIBBLE:
Charles William Gribble, Jr. owned Gribble Stamp and Stencil Co. at 121 Saint Emanuel St. He was born in Waco and came to Houston with his parents in 1906, residing in the “South End.” He joined First Presbyterian Church.
Bill Gribble’s gravitation to Houston’s growing scout movement was almost inevitable. His business interestes, hi s church activities, and his acquaintance with the families in the South Edn caused him to become widely known.
Mr. Gribble’s interest in Troop 11 began from the troop’s reorganization in 1920. He became assistant scoutmaster in early 1923 “… in order to assist Mr. Clapp.” Mr. Gribble became scoutmaster in late 1923 after Mr. Clapp succeeded Mr. Brown as troop committeee chairman.
Mr. Gribble had style, enlarging upon many of ht esame personality characteristics with which Mr. Clapp had imbued Troop 11. When Gribble was courting his wife Clara, he told her she could have all of his time except Friday night — that was Boy Scout night.
C.W. Gribble served as Troop 11’s scoutmaster for 23 years. After taking over as scoutmaster, he steadily increased the size of the troop. During the 1927 to 1931 period, Troop 11 registered from 60 to 75 boys each year. Along the way, he became known as “Pop” Gribble.
“Pop” Gribble retired as active scoutmaster in 1945. Clara Gribble said her husband finally retired when “…. he got too old to sleep on the ground.” However, he continued to serve on the troop committee for another 23 years. In 1945, Gribble became a member of the Executive Board of the Sam Houston Area Council.
Photo 19. C.W. Gribble, Jr.
BILL GRIBBLE REMEMBERED
Hindsight several decades later enabled his former scouts to recognize the qualities that made Bill Gribble an outstanding scoutmaster. His success was fundamental: 1) a great interest in boys and in nature, 2) and excellent tasting spoon combined with considerable aptitude for woods cookery, and 3) a much underrated managerial ability.
Mr. Gribble had an instinct for good field management, always stressing proper behavior and appearance. With such a large troop, he could assign the older (more advanced) scouts to instruct and discipline the younger ones. New scouts either caught the buoyant spirit of Troop 11 or went elsewhere. Many of his SPL’s became assistant scoutmasters.
Mr. Gribble’s talents subtly combined to produce a busy, happy, well-fed troop (that showed good discipline when necessary). Witness Bill’s continued pride in the victories and steady high troop ratings on the parade ground. Bill could stomach almost any halfway justified criticism about his troop, except its appearance and performance on parade. He was in his element when he had his long straight line of 60 or more scouts with their royal purple neckerchiefs ready to be turned over for either inspection or drill on Field Day.
The Houston Post quoted Bob Dawson as saying, “Mr. Gribble’s job involves stencils and rubber stamps, but his most important work has been impressing character onto the youths of our city.”
BAKER LEE SHANNON BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
After Bill Gribble retired as scoutmaster in 1945, Kenneth Jack recruited Baker Lee Shannon to be Troop 11’s next scoutmaster. Mr. Shannon remembered meeting Kenneth Jack one night at the church and hearing, “OK, you’re scoutmaster.”
Baker Lee Shannon had excellent qualifications. He earned his Eagle rank in 1940; he belonged to FPC; and he was an active member of the troop committee.
Baker Lee Shannon served as scoutmaster until October 1948. He lived at the YMCA and did not own a car. His committment to Troop 11 was so great that he walked or took the bus to the troop meetings (held at First Presbyterian Church).
HISTORY: THE LATE 1940s
Although transportation was a problem, Troop 11 continued its tradition of monthly camp-outs, usually at Camp Hudson. At the time, Camp Hudson seemed out in the middle fo nowhere. FPC was always there for the troop. Once, Reverend Matthew Lynn lent Troop 11 his car so they could go camping.
Photo 20. Baker Lee Shannon, Scoutmaster 1945-1948.
Jack W. Lander, Jr. served as ASM of TRoop 11 from 1947-49, and later became president of the Sam Houston Area Council from 1984-85. Baker Lee Shannon also received much help from Horace Oleson, a member of the troop committee; and from Oden Brooks, whose son Reed was a scout.
Baker Lee Shannon held Troop 1 together during some difficult times. Remember, new church construction was in progress on the South Main property. Troop 11’s one-room Scout Cabin now doubled as a construction office! Troop membership was small with about 14 scouts maximum.
The architect’s plans for the new church had a boy scout room in the basement, complete with fireplace. Troop 11 never actually used the room. (Well, maybe for a few meetings.) Wisely, the room become the Ed Noel classroom. No one wanted to see such a nice room destroyed by the boy scouts.
BAKER LEE SHANNON: SCOUTMASTER 1945-1948
Baker Lee Shannon resigned as scoutmaster in October 1948 when he moved to the Almeda area. The troop committee unanimously extended to Mr. Lee Shannon their appreciation for his excellent work with the scouts.
The committee requested Mr. Shannon remain with Troop 11 as ASM and he continued to work with Troop 11 in various capacities until 1950.
Fortunately for Houston’s youth, Mr. Shannon’s interest in scouting continued. When his son joined the scouts, Mr. Lee Shannon became scoutmaster of Troop 624, a position he held for 6 or 7 years. While with Troop 624, Baker Lee Shannon took a crew to Philmont.
In 1964, B.L. Shannon served as ASM at the National Jamboree at Valley Forge. This 1964 jamboree troop was the first integrated troop from the Sam Houston Area Council. SHAC awarded Baker Lee Shannon the Silver Beaver in 1970.
OSCAR HIBLER BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
The troop committee recruited church member Oscar Hibler to become scoutmaster in January 1949. Mr. Hibler had been ASM of Troop 16 at Sutton School. Troop had been without a scoutmaster for three months.
When Mr. Hibler took over, there were fifteen active scouts in Troop 11 (and two active visitors.) As Mr. Hibler recalls, the boys refused to wear uniforms and only wanted to play. His strong emphasis on scouting principles caused many to leave.
Recruitment soon became a priority. Recruiting from within the church, Mr. Hibler increased enrollment to 32 members (4 patrols) during his tenure.
Mr. Hibler is still grateful to the national scout office for lowering the age of enrollment age to 11. This really helped his recruitment efforts!
At first, the boys thought cooking to be too much work and brought junk food on camp-outs. Mr. Hibler soon decided that each scout could bring along only six soft drinks per camp-out. To test this new rule, young Robert Blaine brought along six quart bottles, not exactly what Mr. Hibler intended.
Troop 11 bought ist first 2-wheel camping trailer in June 1949 for $50. The troop needed the trailer for its camp-outs.
1949 SHAC EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS
FPD members strongly supported scouting, not only at the troop level but also at the council level. In 1949, five FPC members served on the SHAC Executive Council. They were Dr. Allen C. Hutcheson, Robert Safford, Russell Scott, Frank Watts, and Dr. Charles L. King.
FPC SCOUTING PROGRAM PERSONNEL: 1949
Bill Gribble chaired the General Scouting Committee of FPC. This committee represented the Men of the Church. Members were Horace Oleson, David Hannah, Carroll A. Lewis, JR., Frank McWhorter, Baker Lee Shannon, and Lanson Ditto Jr. These men also served on the various troop, squadron and ship committees.
Robert M. Blaine chaired the Troop 11 Committee, with members Horace Oleson, Oden Brooks, and Kenneth Jack. Rev. Wm. H. Foster, Jr. was Troop 11’s Institutional Representative. Scoutmaster Oscar Hibler ran Troop 11, assisted by ASM’s Earl C. Scott, and Jack Lander, Jr.
Carroll Lewis, Jr. chaired the Air Scout Squadron 1 Committee, with members George Bellows and John Nicholson, Jr. Walter Springall was Squadron Leader, assisted by Roy Simpson.
FPC made an attempt to restart Sea Scout Ship 1. David Red led the ship, assisted by Jim Brown and Lanson Ditto, Jr. This time the program never caught on.
Cub Pack 222 had four dens with eight boys in each den.
Troop 11 traditionally furnished flowers for the sanctuary church service and did so no February 19, 1950. Dr. Charles L. King gave the troop a high profile by having them sit in reserved rows near the front of the sanctuary. Dr. King would recognize Troop 11 during FPC worship services.
At the Scout Circus, March 10-11, twelve scouts marched in the “Grand Entry” with Troop 11 flags. They also participated in the Physically Strong program.
Mr. Hibler wanted parents to be involved in troop activities. He encouraged parents to attend camp-outs and he began a program called Parents’ Night where parents competed in events with their sons. Parents’ Night proved popular and became a regular part of the troop program. Troop 11 attended Camp Strake summer camp in June 1950.
Troop 11 continued its monthly camping program. MR. Hibler worked on Saturdays, so Horace Oleson and a parent would take the troop camping Friday night. Mr. Hibler arrived at the campsite late Saturday afternoon. Troop 11’s favorite camping spot was Wendell D. Ley’s property. Mr. Ley owned several hundred acres near Spring Creek. Troop 11 also liked to camp at Double Lake.
In the early 1950s, National BSA policy allowed scoutmasters to earn merit badges and ranks. Mr. Hibler earned about 15 merit badges and still has his Star card, signed by Scout Executive Minor Huffman.
Horace Oleson, troop committee member, became acting scoutmaster when Mr. Hibler was called into military service. Mr. Hibler’s last camp-out with Troop 11 was at Spring Creek in November 1950.
Photo 21. A Proud Moment, Oscar Hibler Presents $150 Check to David Daniell
DR. CHARLES L. KING: SHAC CHURCH RELATIONSHIPS COMMITTEE
SHAC President J.P. Hamblen created a Church Relationships Committee, charied by Dr. Charles L. King. Its purpose was to bring about a closer partnership among the religious organizations and to promote the Boy Scout religious awards.
1950 NATIONAL JAMBOREE
The 1950 National Jamboree was held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania from June 30 to July 6. Horace Oleson and Bill J. Philibert were ASMs of Houston’s Jamboree Troop 18 (section 13).
Troop 11 scouts in Jamboree Troop 18 were: Teddy May, Robert Blaine, David Daniell, Pete Fogerson, Eugene Jackson, Luddy Jones, Charles Newnam, Charles Pratt, George Simpson, Todd Simpson and Ed Summers.
Troop 18 had their own special shoulder patch. At the top right was “IX” (region 9) at the top left was an “18”. The design featured Texas, a longhorn, an oil derrick, and the San Jacinto Monument. “Sam Houston Area Council” was printed across the bottom.
Photo 22. 1950 Jamboree Troop 18 patch.
The scouts left Houston June 25. The itinerary shows the boy scout train travelled mostly at night. During the day, the scouts left the train; loaded into buses; and toured the various locales.
On the way up, the scouts visited the French Quarter (New Orleans), toured Tulane University, and saw the Washington Monument.
Troop 18’s campsite gateway consisted of two uprights wih a plank across the top. The plank had “the Little Bulls From Texas” written on it, with a lantern hanging below. Four cow skulls adorned each upright, iwth wagon wheels at each base. Houston scouts also took up a 50 foot tall replica of the San Jacinto Monument.
During the Jamboree, Troop 18 visited Philadelphia, where they saw Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the Betsy Ross house, the Liberty Bell, and the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Their Philadelphia tour guides were from the O.A. and wore their OA sashes.
Unknown to the scouts, Air Force photo reconnaissance planes photographed the entire jamboree site. Valley Forge had been identified as one of six major areas where evacuees would be moved after a nuclear attack. For civil defense planning purposes, the Air Force wanted to study the traffic patterns of 130,0000 scouts and visitors.
First stop on the return trip was New York City. Troop 18 toured Manhattan by yacht, and visited Yankee Stadium. They saw Niagara Falls and went to Detroit to tour a Ford plant. In Chicago, they toured the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Shedd Aquarium — then swam in Lake Michigan!
Photo 23. 1950 Jamboree Troop 18.
THE ROBERT M. BLAINE MEMORIAL FUND FOR BOY SCOUTS
A rumor that has been around Troop 1 for many years is that someone bequeathed First Presbyterian Church an extremely large sum of money for the exclusive benefit of Troop 11. There are restrictions on its use and only a select few know of its existence. FPC controls this secret fund.
The first mention of such a fund occurs in the minutes for a troop committee meeting held October 2, 1951. L. Ludwell Jones states “The Robert Blaine Memorial Fund for Boy Scouts is for permanent improvements and cannot be used for ordinary expenses or semi-permanent improvements.” Robert M. Blaine, troop committee chairman, died on October 30, 1949.
Most likely, the Robert M. Blaine Memorial Fund existed only in Troop 11’s accounting ledger. Parents contributed $132 to this fund in late 1949 and early 1951.
However, these same financial records show that in July 1951, Troop 11 withdrew $81 to reimburse the Robert M. Blaine Fund for the purchase of two tents. This supports the idea that the fund exists outside of Troop 11’s account. The financial records for December 3, 1957 also mention a W. Tucker Blaine Memorial fund.
The story is a good one. However, there is no evidence that anyone bequeathed any large sum of money to First Presbyterian Church on behalf of Troop 11.
Horace Oleson and Hank Turner took the scouts to Philmont in 1951. The SHAC scouts were a high spirited bunch that year — calling their contingent the Sam Houston Ravens. Hank Turner made special raven neckerchiefs for the scouts to wear.
It was on this Philmont trip that Hank Turner gave Horace Oleson the idea for the Raven Award.
Photo 24. 1951 SHAC Raven Neckerchief for Philmont
GROWING PAINS – 1951
Troop 11 had growing pains in 1951. In March, 49 scouts were on the troop roster; membership grew to 64 by October. The problem? Scouts brought too many friends to troop meetings. There were too many boys and not enough adult supervision.
SHAC recommended troop membership be limited to 36 scouts. In October, the troop committee discussed several options, including:
1) split Troop 11 into two groups, with each group meeting on a different night,
2) Keep the same meeting night but split Troop 11 into two groups. One group to meet in the gym; the other in Fellowship Hall, or
3) limit enrollment, perhaps with a waiting list.
Dr. Charles L. King (FPC pastor), did NOT want to limit troop enrollment. Dr. King favored using the gym on two different nights: Friday night was available.
Dr. King said that if necessary, the church could and would provide the necessary adult leadership. He discouraged use of the Fellowship Hall because of the expensive sound equipment located there. Dr. King stated that the church had very good feelings toward Troop 11 and desired to keep it that way.
At this time, the troop committee had 16 members, each with a specific area of responsibility: chairman, camping (5 members), advancement (5), finance (3), and special services (2).
THE SPIRIT OF THE RAVEN AWARD
Troop 11’s “Raven” award began in the fall of 1951, and would continue for the next 30 years. Scoutmaster Horace F. Oleson go the idea for the Raven after the 1951 Philmont trip, where his wagon train crew had a similar award.
“Raven,” the name given to Sam Houston by the Indians, is used a lot in the Sam Houston Area Council. (For example, in Colonneh Lodge.)
The Raven Award was a crude raven that Horace carved out of wood. He presented this Raven Award to the patrol that showed the most “raven spirit.” The Raven Award had a string and was worn around the neck.
There were six parts to the Raven Award:
1) outstanding contributions to raven spirit,
2) cheerfulness on the trial,
3) leadership in promoting raven spirit,
4) moral/spiritual cleanliness,
5) active participation in the raven program,
6) courteous responsiveness to leadership.
On each camp-out, Horace ranked each scout using a scale from one to ten.
Photo 25. Horace Oleson with the Raven Award.
As Troop 11 changed over the years, so did the Raven Award. In the 1970s, the Troop Leader’s Council presented the Raven Award to the “Most Improved Camper” at the end of each camp-out.
By 1975, the raven symbol was so highly regarded that Troop 11 put it on the troop neckerchief. This purple neckerchief had the troop logo in white, with an orange raven.
The 1978 neckerchiefs were blue, with a white logo and a red raven inside. In 1978, cost — not color, was the deciding criterion. Blue fabric was cheaper than purple.
Today Troop 11 does not wear neckerchiefs. The raven can still be seen on the troop display board.
Troop 11 continued its strong camping program, staying at Cypress Creek in April, Spring Creek in May, Camp Strake in June and July, and Double Lake in September. Some 30 to 34 scouts attended these camp-outs.
The troop meeting was Thursday night. Horace would open the gym at 7:15 and the scouts would play until the meeting began at 8:00 PM.
Troop 11 started its library of merit badge pamphlets in 1951 at the suggestion of committee member Homer Luther, Sr. The library supported the troop’s advancement program: any scout in the troop could use them. Troop 11 continues to update this library today, most recently for the 1990 summer camp. Those original merit badge pamphlets from the 50’s are still in the scout closet!
Mr. Elmer Summers, agricultural editor of the Houston Chronicle, often arranged for Troop 11 to camp at some of Texas’ largest cattle ranches. In late November, Troop 11 joined Troop 502 from Webster at the 2000-acre Whitcomb ranch near Webster.
In April, thirty Troop 11 scouts camped ath the Pierce Estates Ranch in Wharton County. The troop practiced scoutcraft and learned about farming and ranching.
Ralph Smith and Elliott Johnson were working with the cub scouts. At the General Scouting Committee meeting in October, they reported Cub Pack 222 had four dens, each with four boys.
Photo 26. Troop 11 Visits Whitcomb Ranch
Photo 27. Troop 11 Visits the Pierce Ranch
Pierce Estates ranch manager Sam T. Cutbirth gave Troop 11 a tour of the 85,500 acre spread, ending with a big barbecue under the trees. Mr. Cutbirth ended the evening with a brief history of the ranch. He told the scouts that success only comes with hard work.
Troop 11’s trip to the Pierce Ranch appeared in the Houston Chronicle on April 27. ?No doubt Elmer Summers, the Chronicle’s Agriculture Editor, had something to do with it! There was a picture of the troop’s encampment under the ranch’s beautiful moss-covered live oaks. The troop also posed with Sam, a priceless red Brahman bull.
Another picture from that trip found its way into the Chronicle later in May. The picture shows Homer Luther Jr., Walter Conrad, Alan Bahn and Charles Ennis climbing a low derrick windmill at the ranch.
In May 1952, Troop 11 spent $100 on a trailer frame and materials to build its own camping trailer. Horace had the two long storage boxes (the ‘coffins’) used on the 1950 jamboree trip mounted on a modified boat trailer. This camping trailer lasted until the 1970s when it was converted into the canoe trailer used today.
Also in May, Troop 11 attended the field meet at Camp Hudson where they took top honors for the South District.
Troop 11 now had three patrols: Eagle, Wolf and Longhorn.
Thirty-six Troop 11 scouts attneded summer camp at Camp Strake in early June under the supervision of SM Horace Oleson and ASM Edgar Von Rosenberg. The troop earned 65 merit badges, as well as the Pioneer Troop plaque for outstanding camp participation.
Troop 11 won first place in the aquatic meet. Hensel Murcheson, Luddy Jones, Bill Banks and Edgar Von Rosenberg were called out at the Strake O.A. ceremony.
On the eve of their last night at Camp Strake, Troop 11 organized a Senior Crew. The eight boys in th etroop who were 14 years of age or older became crew members.
Eugene Jackson was elected Crew Leader with Bill Banks as assistant. Hensel Murcheson was in charge of outdoor activities; Luddy Jones was in charge of social events; Ed Summers was in charge of service projects.
Photo 28. Windmill photo
The Men of the Church sponsored both Troop 11 and Cub Pack 222 at this time. Mr. Victor G. Brown and Mr. Robert P. Puig worked with the cub scouts.
Apparently, the Women of the Church sponsored Girl Scouting because FPC permitted several “outside sponsored” Girl Scouts troops to meet in the church. Dr. Charles L. King reported to the General Scouting Committee that these Girl Scout units were “rather loosely organized and their meetings cause considerable disturbance in the building.”
Homer and Monroe Luther received their Eagle Awards at a Men of the Church meeting on February 11. Paul Lucas presented their awards. At the planning meeting for the Court of Honor, Dr. Charles L. King respectfully requested that the Mr. and Mrs. Homer L. Luther attend the presentation.
The Men of the Church furnished the funds used to purchase Troop 11’s first two aluminum canoes in April 1953. The cost was “359.61.
Troop 11 was now a strong troop. Continuing its active camping program, Troop 11 camped at Double Lake, Camp Strake (summer camp), Double Lake (again), and Cypress Creek. Average attendance was 35 scouts.
About 50 scouts attended the troop meetings. Throughout 1953, the scouts worked on their God and Country award as well as their regular advancement work.
Troop 11 raised money by selling Christmas cards and tickets to the Scout Circus. In 1953, John Barker became top salesman for the scout Exposition by selling 150 tickets; Hank Hess was second with 72 tickets.
1953 – EXPLORER POST 1 ORGANIZED
Troop 11 was growing. By February, there were six patrols and one senior crew. The patrols were the Eagle, Panther, Longhorn, Beaver, Buffalo, and Wolf. In April 1953, the Senior Crew had grown to 18 boys and there were 70 registered scouts.
Council policy had boys 14 years and older joining the exploring program. At a troop committee meeting, L. Ludwell Jones made the motion ot organize the senior boys into an Explorer Post. Frank Newnam seconded the motion an dit was unanimously decided to organize an Explorer Post.
So Explorer Post 1 (sponsored by FPC) became active in 1953. The Explorer Post chose the number 1 because it was used by most of the other scout groups at FPC. FPC sponsored Air Squadron 1, as well as Sea Scout Ship 1.
(Note: the minutes of that committee meeting refer to Explorer Post #11. The number #1 was used.)
Troop 11 was the only scout group at FPC using the number 11.
Bill J. Philibert became the first Explorer Advisor. Mr. Philibert served in that capacity until 1956. H.R. Elledge was the first Explorer Committee chairman.
That fall, Explorer Post 1 ushered at the Rice football home games, and participated in the Explorer Bivouac — where they earned an ‘A’ rating (just 25 points short of the highest AA rating).
Captain Gus George (Deputy Sheriff of Harris County) gave Explorer Post 1 a tour of the Jester Prison unit near Sugarland. During the tour, Captain George cautioned, “Don’t go near any prisoners because they’ll grab you and hold you hostage.” Discipline was not a problem during the tour.
PAUL LUCAS: INSTITUTIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Paul Lucas, Troop 11’s institutional representative in the early 1950s, served on SHAC’s Jamboree Committee for the 4th National Jamboree at Valley Forge in 1957. The committee was responsible for the Houston Jamboree contingent, including scoutmaster selection, transportation and progress.
Photo 29. Paul Lucas and Bill Philibert
THE 1953 NATIONAL JAMBOREE
Under the leadership of ASM Bill J. Philibert, six scouts from Troop 11 attended the National Jamboree at Irvine Ranch, California July 17-24, 1953. The Troop 11 scouts included Eric Allstrom, Dick Gregg Jr., Homer Luther, Monroe Luther, Ed Summers, and David Wight. They were part of Jamboree Troop 7, section 33.
Jamboree Troop 1 was unique. Ten Houston boys with multiple sclerosis wanted to attend the jamboree. An anonymous donor (we can now say it was Jesse H. Jones) would pay their expenses for the trip, but only if SHAC provided a scout troop to chaperone them.
Bill J. Philibert was willing but since his scouts would lose part of their free time taking care of the MS boys — he thought they should have a say in the matter. When asked, the scouts all agreed to have the MS group join them.
The jamboree troop went up by train. But two of the MS boys required special care. These two rode up in a car furnished by the Earl North dealership. Troop 7 had an unexpected bonus when they got to the jamboree — their own car!
On the way up, the troop visited the Grand Canyon. During the jamboree, they toured Los Angeles, Catalina Island and Knott’s Berry Farm. First stop on the return trip was San Francisco. Later, Troop 7 visited Salt Lake City and heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The scouts even swam in the Great Salt Lake.
By 1954, Troop 11 had 75 registered scouts. The Troop camped at Cypress Creek, Double Lake, the Pierce Ranch and Spring Creek. Explorer Post 1 went to Austin State Park in December.
Alan Bahn earned his Eagle award and the Men of the Church honored him at their Wednesday meeting on March 13, 1954.
The highlight of the year occurred on December 8, when twelve Troop 11 scouts passed their God and Country examination given by a committee of three Elders and Deacons, headed by Mr. Julius F. Estill Jr. (chairman of the Session’s Committee on Christian Education). They received their award at the regular meeting of the men of the church.
Bobby Bower, Ronny Bower, Finis Carlton, Mike Greenwood, Dick Gregg, Dennis McMahon, Luddy Jones, Homer Luther, Monroe Luther, Mike Mahood, Steve Mahood and Ed Summers had worked on the award for over a year, under the direction of Mr. Lovett.
Photo 30. Horace Oleson and Eagle Scout Alan Bahn
PHILMONT TREK – 1954
Horace Oleson served as advisor for Philmont Wagon #281. Troop 11 scouts attending the June 8 – July 4 trip include Alan Bahn, Ted Hamman, Homer Luther, Luddy Jones, Monroe Luther, Dennis McMahon, Albert Newnam, and Neal Pickett.
The entire crew called themselves the “Ravens.” Homer Luther and Luddy Jones served as Crew Leaders for the Frontiermen Crew and the Little Bulls Crew, respectively.
Beginning with the Pre-Camp at Camp Hudson, Wagon 281 printed a daily log of their activities. Each day, a different scout would record the day’s activities. Highlights from the Log of Wagon Train 281 follow.
June 10, “… half of the Ravens were rudely awakened when Alan Bahn fell off his top bunk.”
June 11, “Homer Luther, Dennis McMahon, Neal Pickett and Albert Newnam (all from Troop 11) were color guards at the mess hall.”
June 15, “Horace was woken up abruptly by a stink bomb, very neatly placed by Frank Caven.”
June 19, The Ravens made it to the top of the highest mountain in Philmont. After the long hike to Dean, “The Frontiersmen gathered wood and the Wagon Wheels cooked, while the Little Bulls read Mickey Spillane books, and the Chaparrals sat on their cans.”
In keeping with the Raven tradition, Horace awarded the “Spirit of the Raven” to one of the four crews each day. Raven feathers were also given to individuals. At the end of the trek, the scouts elected (by secret ballot) five of their members into the “Raven’s Nest.”
Throughout the log are references to grace before meals and chapel services on Sunday. Horace remembered that as they returned to Houston on Sunday, the scouts asked the bus driver to pull over and stop. All got out and and the scouts held a brief religious service on the grounds of Cypress-Fairbanks High School. The bus driver was mighty impressed.
Photo 31. Monroe Luther and Homer Luther.
Photo 32. Explorer Post 1 at 1955 Scout Expo.
BILL J. PHILIBERT: 1950-1956 ASS’T SCOUTMASTER/EXPLORER ADVISOR
Mr. Bill J. Philibert grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a scout from 1923-25. he was scoutmaster for Houston Troop 56 from 1938-1948. Troop 56 was famous for using carrier pigeons to send messages home from Camp Strake.
SHAC wanted him to become a professional scouter. But Mr. Philibert felt that if he became a professional, he would lose contact with the scouts — for him, the whole purpose of scouting!
In 1948, he became Assistant District Commissioner of the South District. He was an adult leader on both the 1950 National Jamboree and the 1953 National Jamboree. Mr. Philibert became ASM of Troop 11 in 1950, and was the first adviser of Explorer Post 1 in 1953.
Mr. Philibert received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor in 1956.
Mr. Philibert is retired from the Houston Post Office, where he was the Director of Operations for Distribution. He helped automate Houston’s postal service.
EXPLORER SERVICE PROJECT: 1955-1956
Each Tuesday at 6 PM, Explorer Post 1 served as ushers at the Veterans Hospital. They assembled in the Volunteer Service Room, ready to wheel patients to/from the 7 PM movies in the auditorium. The service project lasted for two years.
The Houston Chronicle did a story on the service project in April 1956. Photos show Charles Summers, Wayne Hawkins, and Tommy Cramer pushing patients around in their wheelchairs or in their beds. The stories about wheelchair races and bed races in the halls (with patients in them) ARE true.
The Chronicle quotes hospital officials, “… the scouts are the most consistent group of volunteers we have.” Bill J. Philibert said, “I was amazed that the boys wanted to continue it for longer than three months and I am proud to be associated with a group of boys who have service to their fellowmen in their hearts.”
Harry Dillashaw Jr. received his EAgle award in 1955, but his Eagle badge and pin did not arrive in time for the Court of Honor. Fortunately, Harry’s father was also an Eagle scout. At the ceremony, Harry was presented with the same Eagle badge given to his father. It was a special moment.
Charles May, of Air Explorer 1 earned the God and Country award.
1956: GOD AND COUNTRY AWARD
Kenneth Jack Jr., John Shell, Foster McArthur, James Jennings, and Gary McMahon of Troop 11 earned the Protestant God and Country Award.
Photo 33. Veteran’s Hospital Service Project
Eldon Jones and Jesse Summers of Explorer Post 1 also earned the God and Country award.
DAVID HANNAH BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
David Hannah, Jr. became scoutmaster in 1956 after being recruited by Horace Oleson and Mr. Gribble. At that time, Mr. Hannah was superintendent of the Pioneer Department, a FPC program for 6th, 7th and 8th grade youth. Mr. Gribble was secretary for the Pioneer Department.
Mr. Hannah’s ASM’s were “Chilie” Moore and Arthur Coburn II. Joel Parker became ASM in 1957.
Photo. Troop 11 at Camp Strake in 1950s
Photo. 1929 Jamboree at Isle of Marken
Troop 11’s favorite camping spot was private property on Spring Creek, north of Houston. A friend of Mr. Mahood owned the property and Troop 11 was always welcome to camp there.
The scouts liked the sandy beaches because they could play “King of the Mountain” and throw sand at each other. Mr. Hannah remembered that one weekend at Spring Creek, the troop built a rope bridge across a ravine.
Troop 11 met in the gym. Troop meetings always included practice on scouting skills, such as knot-tying or first aid. Scoutcraft work was called “drills.” The scouts would report on their advancement work. The last part of the meeting was a game and seemed to be the most popular part of the meeting.
Troop 11 had a booth at the 1956 Scout Circus held in the Sam Houston Coliseum. The theme was “Onward for God and Country.”
Troop 11 wore their uniforms in the sanctuary for Scout Sunday.
Troop 11 kept their camping trailer in a barn behind the gym. Occasionally (at meetings), they would take out their equipment and polish everything up.
One highlight was a troop camp-out on an island in Lake LBJ. Mr. Hannah had a 26-ft outboard boat adn he took the troop out to this island. Troop 11 also used this boat to water ski.
Troop 11’s big rival was the troop sponsored by St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Troop 11 was always competing with this troop (and usually won).
At one troop meeting, a magician entertained the scouts. He dazzled the scouts with his sleight-of-hand tricks and illusions.
Summer camp was at Camp Strake.
After Mr. Parker became ASM, Troop 11 would camp at Mr. Parker’s property down on the bay. One time Troop 11 went crabbing.
DAVID HANNAH: SCOUTMASTER 1956-1957
Mr. Hannah remembered, “Horace left us a real organized program. The church (FPC) was real proud of its scout troop. We had about 15 boys in the troop.
“Of course, Mr. Gribble was very involved with the scouts, he was the real personification of Troop 11.”
Mr. Hannah saw the Eagle List for 1957 to 1958. “Oh yes,” he said, “Kenneth Jack, Richard Corso, Jimmy Jennings and Steve Mahood. They were in Troop 11. Even then, you could tell they were real leaders.”
Photo 43 David Hannah, Jr.
Photo 35. Troop 11 at Camp Strake 1957.
SUMMER CAMP: 1957
In the summer of 1957, Explorer Post 1 attended El Rancho Cima; Kenneth Jack took Troop 11 to Camp Strake where they earned the Pioneer Troop award.
LEWIS MATTINGLY BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
Lewis Mattingly (FPC member) was recruited to be scoutmaster in the fall of 1957. Doug Holford was Mr. Mattingly’s first SPL.
Mr. Mattingly believed in competition. At the end of every troop meeting, the scouts held up their knot tying ropes. Mr. Mattingly called out a knot which the scouts tied and dropped on the floor. The first scout to finish first wore the knot tying medal that week. You could keep the medal if you won it several months in a row.
Photo 36 Scoutmaster Lewis Mattingly
TROOP AWARDS: 1950s
Troop 11 received Camp Strake’s Pioneer Troop award in 1951, 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958. The Pioneer Troop award was for summer camp program participation. The award is similar to today’s Ranch Award at El Rancho Cima.
Troop 11 received the Order of the Arrow Lenape Award in 1958.
Photo 37. Eagle Court of Honor, Feb 1959.
Mr. Mattingly gave each new scout in Troop 11 a green circle of cloth with an embroidered “11” on it in white. This emblem was sewn on the back of a white T-shirt which was worn at the various competitive events (which Troop 11 usually won).
In May, the Houston Chronicle reported that Troop 11 took first place at the South district camporee, with two of its patrols tying for first place and receiving eagle feathers and the other two patrols winning blue ribbons.
Photo 38. Troop 11 Emblem, 1957-1964
On June 13, 1959, Troop 11 placed 1st at Camp Strake’s summer camp Field Day. The events included rowing, canoeing, backwatering, aquatic relay, chariot race, log bucking, axemanship and signalling.
1959: AIR SQUADRON #11 FORMED
In 1959, Al Jenkins organized Air Squadron #11. The Air Squadron wore blue uniforms and went to Ellington Field a lot. Among other things, they practiced navigation.
JAMBOREE DECISION: 1959
Once scoutmaster Lewis Mattingly learned that an entire scout troop could go to the 1960 Jamboree, his dream was for each scout in Troop 11 to have this experience.
Chairman Bill Telford along with the rest of the Troop Committee unanimously agreed that Mattingly’s dream of going to the 1960 Jamboree was possible. The Troop Committee implemented the following plan:
1) each scout must advance one rank
2) each scout must successfully pass his school work.
3) $175 fee broken down as follows:
A) parents to pay $100
B) troop committee and FPC to raise $25 per boy
C) troop fund-raisers to give each scout opportunity to raise $50.
Before the scouts were told, the parents had to approve the plan, which they did — unanimously.
The first problem was to pay the $25 deposit for each of the thirty-seven scouts who would go. The Troop Committee met with Dr. Charles L. King. FPC agreed to loan Troop 11 enough money to make the reservations but with the understanding that the money would be repaid.
For fund-raisers, Troop 11 secured the ice cream concession at Rice Stadium that fall; the mothers and scouts served supper at the Men of the Church meetings; the scouts sold first aid kits and Christmas tree stands. Eric Frisk remembered that ice cream bars in October were a “hard sell.”
In a Houston Post story on Troop 11’s trip to Colorado, Johnny Handly said he mowed lawns and “saved a couple of nickels from my school lunch money every day.” Troop 11 also washed cars.
JOEL PARKER BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
Mr. Joel Parker (FPC) member became scoutmaster when Lewis Mattingly transferred to Oklahoma City in August 1959. His assistant was Mr. Bill Valentine. Mr. Chuck Frisk became the new ASM in September.
Physical conditioning and competition remained major parts of the troop program. Troop 11 used an 8-ft wall for wall scaling. Troop 11 continued its plans to attend the 1960 Jamboree.
Mr. Parker wanted his troop meetings to run smoothly so he always typed out an agenda for each meeting. These meeting agendas are now in the Troop 11 archives. The meeting agenda for December 10, 1959 is typical and is described below.
The meeting opened with the flag presentation, pledge to the flag, and scout oath followed by roll call and inspection.
Mr. Parker then had some announcements about the sale of the Christmas tree stands and first aid kits. Mr. Parker praised the scouts for doing a good job picking up the Goodwill bags.
Next was an Eagle Court of Honor for Jerry Russell. Former scoutmaster Lewis Mattingly flew in from Oklahoma to present Jerry with his Eagle badge. Mr. Parker, Mr. Valentine, and Mr. Frisk presented the other rank awards.
Then the scouts practiced Morse code, flint and steel, pyramid building, and knots. The meeting ended with a circle.
At every meeting, there was a uniform inspection. Shoes had to be shined and fingernails had to be clean. If a scout did not pass inspection he heard the cry “who wants the honor?” ring out across the gym.
Several scouts would stand and one was chosen to give the ‘honors’ — a “pop” to the offending scout. Afterward, the entire troop voted thumbs up or thumbs down on whether the “pop” was adequate to the occasion. If not, then the roles were reversed and another “pop” was given.
1960: REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR
Eagle scout Kenneth W. Jack (now in Air Squadron 11) carried the Scout Report to the Governor. He represented the South District.
THE 1960 NATIONAL JAMBOREE
Troop 11 is proud that all thirty seven of its members wnet to the 5th National Jamboree at Colorado Springs on July 22-28, 1960. This jamboree marked the 50th anniversayr of the Boy Scouts of America. Cost per scout was $175.
Joel Parker served as scoutmaster leader on this 1960 combination expedition assisted by Troop 11’s ASMs Chuck R. Frisk and Bill Valentine.
The Houston Post did a story on Troop 11’s trip to the 1960 Jamboree. When asked about Troop 11, Eric Frisk is quoted saying, “It’s the best troop in Texas!”
The jamboree site had four square miles of nothing but tents. The scouts saw Pike’s Peak … with its spacious skies and purple mountain majesties.
After the jamboree, Troop 11 camped five days at Philmont. Ten 11-yr olds from Troop 11 were on this trip, and the older scouts remembered having to carry a few extra packs. It was a good trip.
Photo 40. 1960 Jamboree Troop 16
Mr. Mattingly returned as scoutmaster for Fall 1961. He persuaded Minor Huffman to place Troop 11 in the newly formed Buffalo District. In 1961, Troop 11 won first place at the Camporee Relays.
Troop 11’s favorite camping spot was private property on Peach Creek near Splendora. Troop 11 did not camp very often at Strake, Cima or Hudson except for camporees and similar official events. Troop 11 always attended the scout camporees (which had replaced Field Day), compiling a very good record in individual events and overall standing.
HISTORY: THE EARLY 1960s
Troop alumni appreciated Troop 11’s strong leadership, noting that SM Lewis Mattingly and ASMs Sam Kelsall and Neal Houze were all Eagle Scouts.
By 1963, Troop 11 had 40 scouts registered. In April 1963, Troop 11 fielded five patrols at the 1963 Scout Camporee at Camp Strake. Of the sixty patrols at this camporee, eleven earned blue streamer ribbons.
Based on their individual point scores, all five Troop 11 patrols won the blue streamer ribbon. Troop 11’s Porcupine patrol took first place. The Panthers, the Flying Tigers, the Falcons, and the Rattlesnakes took second, fourth, ninth and eleventh places.
Troop 11 earned the Ranch Award at El Rancho Cima summer camp in 1961, 1962, and 1964. Troop 11 won first place at the El Rancho Cima Relays in 1964.
REFLECTIONS: EARLY 1960s
Bob Dawson wrote, “By the early 1960s, Troop 11 traditionally sent contingents to the National Jamborees at Valley Forge, including the 1964 National Jamboree. Troop 11 also sent several advanced campers to the ?District NINE summer camp at El Rancho Cima each year.
1962: MARKSMANSHIP MERIT BADGE
Sgt. Griffis, the ROTC commandant at Lamar High School, taught marksmanship merit badge to Troop 11 in April. He taught shooting skills, as well as firearm maintenance, care, and safety.
1963 REUNION COMMITTEE
A Reunion Committee planned and conducted Bill Gribble Day after locating approximately 280 of the 700-odd scouts registered during the 1920-1945 period. The Reunion Committee included the following former scouts:
I.M. “Squirt” Baker
W.C. “Bill” Buschardt
William Lucas Crump
Robert A.J. Dawson
John Zell Gaston
L.W. Rowe, Jr.
BILL GRIBBLE DAY: MAY 11, 1963
Troop 11 held a Reunion and Testimonial Dinner honoring C.W. “Bill” Gribble on Saturday, May 11, 1963, at Ye Old College Inn (6545 Main). The seated dinner became a media event, with coverage in all the papers. Houston Mayor Lewis Cutrer declared Saturday, May 11 to be Bill Gribble Day.
Exactly 225 former scouts and their guests attended the 1963 Reunion. Robert “Bob” Dawson prepared a display of photographs and other memorabilia that measured 3-ft by 90-ft. Troop 11 served as color guard for the event.
Those not attending sent congratulatory letters. Mr. Gribble saved these in a scrapbook.
TROOP MEMBERSHIP: 1920 to 1963
Bob Dawson determined that under Bill Gribble, Troop 11 registered 700 to 725 scouts over the 1920 to 1945 period, with about 600 of these active for four to five years. Another 475 to 500 scouts registered from 1945 to 1963, of which 300 were active.
Dawson wrote, “Through 1963, about 1000 full-fledged, steadily advancing scouts benefited from association with the sterling leaders provided them by First Presbyterian Church. This sponsorship continues to be non-denominational in the best sense of scouting principles.”
LEWIS MATTINGLY – SCOUTMASTER
1957-1959 and 1961-1963
Mr. Lewis Mattingly came to Houston from Kansas and attended Lamar High School. As a scout, he earned 53 merit badges and became an Eagle scout.
Lewis Mattingly grew up in scouting and believes in scouting. He believes in the Eagle rank and all it represents. He believes in his scouts, and his scouts know that he believes in them.
For example, Mr. Mattingly was present at the Eagle Board of Review that turned down Joel Parker Jr.’s Eagle application. They asked Joel to re-apply a few months later because Joel could not name four blue-colored birds native to the Houston area. The Eagle Board doubted Joel’s outdoor experience!
Mr. Mattingly was not pleased and he went right to Scout Executive Minor Huffman. His efforts were successful because the next week, Joel met his Eagle Board of Review successfully. (Note: Afterward, Minor Huffman decided that neither scoutmasters nor parents should be present at Eagle Boards of Review.)
The Eagle Scout pictures in the scout closet were taken when Mr. Mattingly was scoutmaster. He proudly displayed them during Troop 11 meetings.
In 1965, Mr. Mattingly moved to the Memorial area and became scoutmaster of Troop 642, sponsored by First Presbyterian Church.
To date, he has served as Troop 642’s scoutmaster for 27 years, building it into one of hte strongest troops in the Houston area. “Continuity of leadership, that is the key to running a successful scout troop,” he says.
Photo 41. Monroe Luther
Photo 42. Troop 11 at 1969 summer camp.
COVENANT CLASS CAMPING TRAILER
In 1969, Camp Cho-Yeh gave a camping trailer to FPC’s Covenant Class. The Covenant Class gave it to Troop 11 after restoring it in Monroe Luther’s garage. This was Troop 11’s second camping trailer.
Monroe Luther recruited Bob Briggs (a member of the Covenant Class) to joint Troop 11 as assistant scoutmaster in August 1969. To date, Bob has served Troop 11 for over 22 years!
Troop 11 celebrated its 50th Anniversary Reunion with a chili supper Friday, April 24, 1970 in the Fellowship Hall. Mr. W.C. “Bill” Buschardt, Jr. was active in organizing the event. Cost was $1.50 per person.
HORACE F. OLESON: 1950S, 1970-71 SCOUTMASTER/EXPLORER POST ADVISOR
Horace Oleson served Troop 11 for about 25 years. As a committee member in the 1940s, Horace provided Troop 11 with organization and support. As a scoutmaster in the 1950s and again from 1969-1970, Horace provided hundreds of scouts with an excellent scouting program.
Horace first became scoutmaster after Oscar Hibler was suddenly called to the service in late 1950. After a six-year stint as scoutmaster, Horace became Advisor to Explorer Post 1 in 1956. Horace next served as scoutmaster in 1970, after Mike Mahood suddenly stepped down at the “request” of his wife. Horace’s second tenure as scoutmaster was 1970-1971.
An unassuming man, Horace never asked to be Troop 11’s scoutmaster. My impression is that Horace much preferred a support role. But Horace was a selfless man — totally dedicated to Troop 11. When the troop committee asked him to be scoutmaster, Horace said yes.
“I stayed behind the scenes mostly,” recalls Horace. “I wanted the boys to run the troop, and they did.” An able politician, Horace was equally adept at providing direction to his scouts or to his troop committee, as required.
Aside from his positive influence on hundreds of scouts, Horace is best known for the Raven Award, a Troop 11 tradition that lasted for 30 years! Horace brought the idea for the Raven to Troop 11 after a Philmont trip — he even carved the Raven himself!
Horace supported other areas of scouting as well. In 1950, Horace served as ASM of Houston’s Jamboree Troop 18 at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge National Park. Horace received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor in 1956.
Photo 43. Bill Philibert gives Horace Oleson a “birthday pancake at the 1950 National Jamboree.
THE SERGEANT PATROL
Mark Hellums started the Sergeant patrol about this time. Mark wanted his new patrol to wear sergeant’s stripes on their sleeve and he got special permission to do so from the U.S. Army.
The Sergeants prided themselves that they were the only patrol in the boy scouts with permission to wear U.S. Army insignia on their scout uniform. Years later when David Smith became patrol leader, outgoing PL Perry Pepperell charged David to “… keep the Sergeants rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.”
TROOP ORGANIZATION: EARLY 1970s
Troop 11 held its meetings on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. Opening announcements took 10-15 minutes, 30 minutes for the program, 15 minutes for patrol corners, and 30 minutes for the game.
Scoutmaster Martin “Marty” Walsh ended each meeting with a “scoutmaster’s minute.” To close the meeting, the troop slowly lowered the scout sign as all said, “And now, may the great Scoutmaster of all good scouts, be with us until we meet again.”
The camp-outs also followed a structured format. After setting up camp Friday night, scoutmaster Martin “Marty” Walsh had a cracker barrel for the troop leader’s council where goals and program for the camp-out were discussed. Marty dedicated Saturday mornings to scoutcraft instruction and advancement; the afternoon was “free time.” That night at the campfire, each patrol presented a skit. Troop 11 always held a brief religious service Sunday morning.
Troop 11 often took their three canoes to Lake Somerville and Double Lake. In addition to regular advancement work, the novice scouts learned proper canoeing techniques from the older scouts. Without such training, a new scout was not allowed to go on a river canoe trip.
The troop cooked its meals over wood fires. No wonder fire-building skills received so much attention! Scouts soon learned that soap on the bottom of pans made clean-up easier.
While Marty preferred camping out of backpacks, Troop 11 occasionally did have “luxury” camp-outs. On these, the patrols were allowed to bring coolers. The troop leaders and older scouts stayed in the large wall tents (with their cots). The younger scouts stayed in the blue backpacking tents.
CHRISTMAS TRADITION – 1970s
Troop 11 always looked forward to a Christmas party at the last meeting of the year. The highlight was the exchange of gifts. Each scout spent less than $5 on a gift. These gifts were wrapped and displayed on a table.
The scouts drew a number to determine who chose their gift first. Number one chose any of the displayed gifts. Number two then chose one of the displayed gifts, or he could take number one’s gift. Number three then chose a displayed gift, or he could take number one or number two’s gift.
The gift exchange continued in this fashion. If a scout’s gift was taken by someone with a later number, he immediately chose another gift from the table. This gift exchange was always fun because the best looking packages did not always contain the best gifts.
The Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce awarded Troop 11 a Certificate of Appreciation September 10, 1972.
HISTORY: BEFORE THE 1973 JAMBOREE
The first of two City Scout/Country Scout camp-outs with a Wharton troop began in 1973. The Wharton scoutmaster was an expert archery hunter. Many troop 11 scouts got their first taste of venison on this camp-out.
By prior arrangement, the two troops swapped scoutcraft instruction. The Wharton troop showed Troop 11 how to track animals. In return, Troop 11 scouts showed the Wharton troop how to blaze a trail.
At the end of the camp-out, the two troops got into a friendly cow-patty war. Not aware of the rules, Troop 11 was repeatedly asked “not to use wet ones.”
In early 1973, Troop 11 voted the red beret the official headgear for the troop. They would need the red beret for the upcoming Jamboree.
Along with the new headgear, Marty wanted new neckerchiefs for Troop 11. This is when Troop 11 came up with its distinctive logo, five arrows facing inward to create a five pointed star. The scouts created the design themselves.
Jim Ray silk-screened this blue design on bright yellow cloth. He put “Troop 11” inside the star, also in blue. Under Jim Ray’s supervision, several scouts earned Printing merit badge (now called Graphic Arts) for silk screening 50 troop neckerchiefs.
About this time, Mr. Lenox persuaded Senator Lloyd Bentsen to send Troop 11 an American flag that had flown over the United States Capitol. Troop 11 was very proud of this flag.
Senator Bentsen is a member of FPC. He usually sends a letter of congratulation to Troop 11’s Eagle Scouts.
First Presbyterian Church requested that Troop 11 post the colors for its Fourth of July worship service. SPL Jeff Moffat trained Troop 11 for this honor. After the church service, Troop 11 raised the flag in the inner courtyard where watermelon was served.
Proper placement of the American flag in the sanctuary was a concern. Research revealed that the American flag is ALWAYS placed on the speaker’s right, EXCEPT when the flag is at the same level as the audience (when the flag is placed on the audience’s right). In the sanctuary, the American flag is placed on the audience’s right since it is at their level.
Jim Lenox took over as scoutmaster when Marty Walsh transferred to California. Marty took three weeks of vacation so that he could return to Houston and attend the 1973 jamboree with Troop 11.
Photo. The new Troop 11 logo.
1973 NATIONAL JAMBOREE
Scoutmaster Martin “Marty” Walsh was an enthusiastic man whose inspired fund-raisers made it possible for Trop 11 to attend the National 1973 Jamboree West at Farragut State Park in Idaho. Marty was determined that each of his scouts should attend, even though the trip was expensive.
To raise money, Troop 11 held a car wash, performed a clothing survey, sold scout show tickets, sold candles, sold light bulbs, and even worked at a dog show. Marty worked in sales. He encouraged Troop 11 scouts to earn Salesmanship merit badge while earning money to ward the jamboree.
Marty’s fund-raising activities made it possible for each scout to raise 1/3 the cost himself. The parents were responsible for another 1/3; FPC contributed the remaining 1/3. Each scout had his own individual jamboree fund-raising account which the church matched dollar for dollar, up to 1/3 the total cost.
Troop 11’s most successful fund raiser was the “Kentucky Fried Chicken Tickets.” These discount coupons pictured Colonel Sanders.
Marty had incentive prizes for scouts who raised the most money. The most successful salesman was Steve Lenox. Jim Lenox Jr. came in second.
Marty Walsh and ASM Jim Lenox from Troop 11 served as assistant scoutmasters of Houston Jamboree Troop 5. Nineteen Troop 11 scouts were in Troop 5: Joe Biondi, Devon Clayton, Donald Clayton, Forrest Davis, Andrew Fisher, Gary Fisher, Paul Fleming, Carlos Fraifield, Jay Hellums, Mark Hellums, Jim Lenox, Steve Lenox, Jeff Moffat, Hardie Morgan, Perry Pepperell, Jim Ray, Mark Ray, Brent Sunderland and Dion Sunderland.
Troop 5 flew to Idaho; spent a week at the Jamboree; took a bus tour through the western United States on their way back to Houston. They stayed at teh University of Montana, toured Yellowstone National Park, rode mules into the Grand Canyon, and visited the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.
Photo 44. Kentucky Fried Chicken Ticket
Jim Ray (later a Troop 11 SPL) designed and build the jamboree campsite gateway. which featured an oil derrick and a space rocket.
THE 1973 JAMBOREE SCRAPBOOK
In appreciation for FPC’s help, troop scribe Gary Fisher presented FPC with a 1973 Jamboree scrapbook.
Dr. John Lancaster, FPC pastor, returned the scrapbook, saying “… it seems appropriate thta it should be in an area where you and those who follow, after you can review it; consequently, I am returning the book and asking you to retain possession of it until the new Scout room has been completed off the south end of the gymnasium. At this point, you will have a place to where you can keep it permanently.
As of 1990, the 1973 Jamboree scrapbook is still in the scout closet.
Photo 45. 1973 Jamboree campsite gateway
Photo 46. 1973 Jamboree Troop 5
JIM LENOX: SCOUTMASTER 1973-1974
When you think of Mr. Lenox, you think of many things. There was his Tarzan yell that re-energized everyone in the middle of a long hike on the Lone Star Trail. There was his rendition of “Mountain Dew,” the Troop 11 song. And he was always talking about FAMOUS Troop 11.
Remember who started “Stay alive with Troop 5!” at the 1973 Jamboree? Mr. Lenox! His excitement was contagious — things happened when he was around! With Mr. Lenox in charge, being in FAMOUS Troop 11 really meant something.
For years, Mr. Lenox drove a carpool of six scouts from southwest Houston to the Thursday night troop meetings.
Mr. Lenox’s influence on his scouts was profound — for he led by example. However, underneath the excitement was a gentle nurturing man who cared about each of his scouts. Today, a group photograph of a Troop 11 camp-out hangs on the wall of his basement. Proudly, Mr. Lenox can still identify each Troop 11 scout in the photo.
HISTORY: 1973 (AFTER THE JAMBOREE)
ASM Bob Briggs took scouts Mark and Craig Sandlin (now Mark and Craig Whitfield) on an expedition to Big Bend in August 1973.
The Sam Houston Area Council sold Camp Hudson (on Memorial Drive) in 1973. Troop 11’s last camp-out at Camp Hudson was a bike hike, leaving from FPC. In preparation for th trip out to Camp Hudson, Jeff Boone presented several programs on bicycle maintenance and safety.
Photo 47. Lenox presents cheque.
Troop 11 purchased eight blue backpacking tents. Assistant Scoutmaster Ainley had ties to the Sierra Club, so Troop 11 frequently backpacked along Sierra Club trails, especially the Lone Star Trail.
Jefferson S. Moffat earned his Eagle rank in the fall 1973. Horace Oleson, Jeff’s former scoutmaster, presented the award to Jeff in the Fellowship ?Hall.
Jim Ray organized Troop 11’s scout show exhibit on rope-making.
That fall, the Sergeant patrol, the Eagle patrol, and the Cougar patrol ushered at every Rice Fotballhome game. In December, Troop 11 marched in the half-time ceremonies at the Bluebonnet Bowl.
The year began with Troop 11 ushering at the 1974 Super Bowl, held at Rice Stadium. Scouts Craig Sandlin and Perry Pepperell usually sold popcorn at Rice games. But since it was the Super Bowl, they decided to forego the income and usher with their troop.
Troop 11 attended the Buffalo District camporee that spring. With some encouragement from Mr. Lenox, Mark Sandlin began the “Famous” Troop 11 Tribune (troop newspaper). After Troop 11 camped near a girl scout troop, Mark reported “Brent (Sunderland) made a new friend!”
SPL’s Jim Ray and Paul Fleming organized two troop meetings that deserve mention. Jim taught rope-making by using an improved rope-making machine. He used a mixmaster to speed up the process! Paul’s program was on first aid. Paul convinced the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to bring their emergency vehicle and put on a first aid demonstration.
Mark Hellums received his Eagle rank at a special ceremony in Fellowship Hall. Church member Charles M. Haden was the guest speaker. Mr. Lenox was scoutmaster — so the title page of the program read “Famous Troop 11 of First Presbyterian Church presents …”
John P. Davis built Troop 11’s display board for Mark Hellum’s Eagle ceremony. It was freestanding and included a bulletin board, troop advancement poster, and the name of the latest Raven recipient. His wife, Bess Davis, painted the scout rank insignia at the top.
Parental involvement was at an all-time high, allowing Troop 11 to hold three long-term camp-outs during the summer. Typical summer camp-outs were a 5-day canoe trek, El Rancho Cima summer camp, and a 5-day luxury camp-out at Mo-Ranch. This summer program would continue into 1976.
Troop 11 was at Horseshoe Bend summer camp when it first opened in 1974. ASM Bob Briggs was acting scoutmaster for the trip. The camp had an old west flavor and the entire troop went on a horseback ride.
At the Scout Fair, the theme was bicycles. Jeff Boone displayed several types of bicycles, including a $2000 tandem touring model. To generate interest, he would ride his “Big Wheel” Boneshaker around the Astrohall. Jeff now manages Daniel Boone Cycles on Crawford Street.
Scoutmaster Jim Lenox kept careful records of Troop 11’s camping program. His efforts paid off when the Buffalo District recognized Troop 11 for having the “best camping program in 1974.”
In November 1974, Charles M. Haden was a Citizenship in the Nation merit badge counselor for five Troop 11 scouts. The group met in the Fellowship Hall.
Troop 11 provided the color guard at the church’s Thanksgiving Day Worship Service on November 28, 1974. Craig Sandlin, Mark Sandlin, Forrest Davis and Jim Lenox formed the four-man color guard.
Troop 11 attended the Buffalo District camporee. The Desert Foxes patrol placed second.
In 1975, Troop 11 added a third color to the neckerchief design. The five arrows were enlarged and printed in white on purple cloth. “Troop 11” was printed across the white arrows in orange. Inside the star was an orange raven. Scouts silk-screened 50 troop neckerchiefs to pass Printing merit badge.
The scout shed had a moisture problem, so John P. Davis and Ed Fleming built wooden shelves to keep the wall tents off the floor. The shelves did the job, lasting for 15 years. The shelves eventually rotted and were removed in November 1989.
April 30, 1975 was the first time Troop 11 hiked the Sam Houston Trail. Troop 11 hiked from Gonzales to the Sam Houston Oak. The scouts were fascinated by the gallows inside the old Gonzales County Jail.
To earn the 50-Miler award, Troop 11 decided to canoe 50 miles on the Colorado River. The troop put in at Pope Bend and took out at Columbus. Dr. Hellums lent the troop his three canoes and also went along. All three of Dr. Hellums’ sons were on the trip: Mark, Jay and Robert.
Bob Briggs’ first camp-out as scoutmaster was Horseshoe Bend summer camp where Troop 11 earned the Ranch Award. Bob Briggs also took Troop 11 to Mo-Ranch for their luxury camp-out. Highlights included eating a side of goat, and going down the giant slide. The scouts learned how to make arrowheads.
In the fall, Troop 11 provided three patrols to usher at the Rice home games. This qualified Troop 11 to march during half-time at the Bluebonnet Bowl.
Troop 11 held a wilderness survival campout at George Faison’s property, which had a well stocked fish tank. The scouts “lived off the land” and were not allowed to bring ANY food. When the diet of fish and grape leaves proved not enough, ASM Ed Fleming took pity and released several live chickens. For most scouts, it was their first time to catch, kill and clean a chicken.
On camp-outs, Saturday afternoon was still “free time.” The scouts often used this time to build elaborate miniature golf courses. Bob Briggs has a picture of Devon Clayton and Perry Pepperell using sticks to putt sweet gum balls (porcupine eggs!) at Double Lake. Perry is now a golf pro in Austin.
To support the canoeing program, Bob Briggs, John P. Davis, and Ed Fleming completely rebuilt the canoe trailer. They built a new wood frame and rewired the lights. That canoe trailer is still being used in 1990.
SPL Paul Fleming organized Troop 11’s scout show exhibit in 1975. The theme was canoe safety. Troop 11 displayed a canoe they had found wrapped around a rock on the Guadalupe. A sign on it said “Do not scratch.”
Troop 11 again ushered at the Rice games and marched in the half-time ceremonies at the Bluebonnet Bowl.
During 1975, Troop 11 lost its American flag that had flown over the nation’s capitol. The flag was kept in a closet at the south end of the gym, where the new service center was being built. One Thursday night, the troop opened the closet door and found no closet at all! Construction workers had dismantled the closet and the flag was never seen again.
In 1976, Troop 11 attended the council-wide Bicentennial camporee. After hiking to a stadium, a huge rainstorm hit during the opening ceremonies. All scouts were sent to shelters: Troop 11 ended up on a school gymnasium.
Troop 11 hiked the second leg of the Sam Houston Trail in early 1976, from Navidad Crossing to Weimar. The boys hiked; the parents cooked.
Troop 11 held another camp-out at the Faison property. SPL Paul Fleming came up with the idea for a war game, modelled after Capture the Flag. The object was to capture the other team’s “guns” (tomato sticks).
Troop 11 returned to El Rancho Cima River Camp for summer camp in 1976. Troop 11 has attended River Camp continuously for the last 15 years, from 1976 to 1990.
Troop 11’s luxury camp-out was at Mo-Ranch. Leaders were Ed Fleming and Daniel Boone. Used as a reward, luxury camp-outs were dedicated to having fun. At Mo-Ranch, the scouts swam in the rapids, dived off the cliff, played pool, slid down the dam, and played shuffleboard. Troop 11 set a record by having five persons go down the slide at one time.
Bob Briggs asked to step down as scoutmaster. John P. Davis recruited Kleber Denny, coach of FPC’s youth softball team, to be the new scoutmaster. Bob Briggs and Ed Fleming served as assistant scoutmasters under Kleber.
In the fall, Troop 11 furnished one patrol to usher at the Rice home football games. Troop 11 carried flags for the half-time show at the Bluebonnet Bowl and marched in the Bicentennial Parade downtown.
1976 marked the first of many wood-cut fundraisers. Troop 11 would rent chain saws and a trailer, then spend the weekend cutting firewood. Selling the wood was easy, as church members bought most of it in advance. Cutting, stacking and hauling the wood was more difficult.
The wood-cut was a success. For Christmas, Kleber presented Troop 11 with three Coleman lanterns (with carrying cases), three Coleman stoves, and a used canoe. This raised the number of Troop canoes to four.
WATER CARNIVAL: EL RANCHO CIMA RIVER CAMP
The Water Carnival is THE summer camp event at El Rancho Cima River Camp. AFter a week at camp, the scouts show off their new aquatic skills when the summer camp troops compete against each other in swimming and boating races.
Troop 11 placed first at River Camp’s Water Carnival in 1969, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1987.
Kleber expanded Troop 11’s canoeing program. Whitewater trips for the older scouts became the high point of the year. New scouts began their canoe training at a lake, then went on several flatwater canoe trips before being allowed on teh Guadalupe. These shake-down trips were either on Burrough Creek, Village Creek or the San Marcos River.
Safety was built into Troop 11’s canoe trips. Kleber stayed in front, with Ed Fleming and Bob Briggs at the rear. SPL Paul Fleming had built his own kayak and he would shuttle up and down the river, relaying messages and troubleshooting any any problems.
The best whitewater on the Guadalupe was the twenty two mile stretch wtih fifty-five rapids just below the Canyon Lake dam. Troop 11 put in at th edam and took at Gruene CRossing just above New Braunfels. Monroe Luther gave the troop permission to camp at Mountainview, his property located just off River Road.
Kleber dedicated many troop meetings to map and compass skills. Troop 11 entered several orienteering meets, competing with Army Rangers on occasion. The troop purchased several topographic maps for the troop library.
Troop 11 hiked the third leg of the Sam Houston Trail from Burnham’s Ferry to Shaw’s Bend. The hand operated ferry did not work properly that morning. In fact, it got stuck halfway across! Always prepared, Troop 11 drove to the other side of the river.
Troop Committee member Tom Smith rebuilt the green camping trailer. The rotten wood had to be replaced, so Mr. Smith completely rebuilt the trailer using aluminum. He did a superb job. The aluminum trailer has hauled camping gear, bicycles and firewood. It is still in use.
Troop 11 was proud of their 1977 scout show exhibit: “Super Scout,” a fantastic 7-foot tall electronic wilderness survival game. The game resembled a giant topographic map.
The scouts developed the game scenario, then organized into two working groups. ASM Bob Briggs supervised the electronics; ASM Dan Tidwell supervised the painting.
The player was “Super Scout.” The scenario: a plane crash in a remote area. The goal: “Super Scout” had to get three injured passengers to the nearest hospital. The object: reach food, water, and rest by avoiding the obstacles and dangers. “Super Scout” won the Scout Show’s highest award.
The scouts overcame many obstacles in order to build the game. More importantly, they learned the value of teamwork. Some of the scouts who worked on this project were Alan McBride, Perley McBride, and Paul Bernhard.
Troop 11 held a wood-cut at what is now Camp Olympia. In an effort to improve efficiency, Troop 11 rented more chain saws and wedges.
Troop 11 won 1st place at the district camporee. Bob Briggs remembers that 1st place became the usual for Troop 11 once Kleber was scoutmaster. Bob calls Kleber the “blue-ribbon scoutmaster.”
In 1978, Paul Fleming received his Eagle rank at a special ceremony in the Fellowship Hall. Joe Ince gave the keynote address. He spoke about Roger Staubach, his roommate at the Naval Academy. Then he launched into a very inspirational message for the scouts.
Troop 11’s scout show theme emphasized orienteering. At one side of the booth was an orienteering display; at the other side of the booth was Super Scout. Visitors first learned about orienteering and then played Super Scout. As usual, the exhibit received the Scout Show’s highest award.
This year marked Troop 11’s most ambitious wood-cut. Since efficiency was the operative work, Troop 11 rented a gasoline powered log splitter. It worked but several of the chain saws broke down.
During Spring Break, adult leaders Kleber Denny, John P. Davis, and Ed Fleming took scouts Paul Fleming, Forrest Davis, Brian Minzenmayer, David Smith, and Chip Haynes on an extended trip to West Texas.
The group visited the Monahan Sand Hills, Carlsbad Caverns, Fort Davis, Balmorhea Springs and the McDonald Observatory. While hiking McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains, they saw the rare madrone tree with its distinctive reddish bark. The Texas madrone is found only in the Guadalupe mountains and at El Rancho Cima.
Steve Lenox, former Troop 11 member, received the OA Vigil Honor in 1979. Troop 11’s scout show exhibit was a micology display, with emphasis on deadly fungii. Dr. Guy N. Cameron and Dr. Lee McBride supplied the microscopes and slides. Visitors walked through the booth to view micrographs, slides, and test tube cultures. The exhibit received the Scout Show’s highest award.
Kleber arranged for Troop 11 to visit the Texas Heart Institute to see open heart surgery. The observation room was directly above three different operating rooms. Seeing a surgeon use an electric saw was unusual.
Fred Steves joined Troop 11 as ASM in June 1979 and went with them to summer camp.
Photo 48. Troop 11 at El Rancho Cima.
FRED STEVES BECOMES SCOUTMASTER
Fred Steves became scoutmaster in 1980 when Kleber joined the troop committee. Fred wanted to emphasize the patrol method for camping and cooking. He also wanted to make Troop 11 “leaner” by discouraging use of the huge wall tents and Coleman stoves in favor of the lighter backpacking tents and stoves.
Fred strongly believed “You should hike ‘em in, and hike ‘em out.” On every camp-out, Troop 11 hiked at least 1 1/4 miles to and from their campsite. Fred checked the distance by his odometer. Packing light became a necessity and was soon second nature. Fred’s lean, backpacking troop became a reality.
HISTORY: 1980 TO 1981
The patrols in Troop 11 were the Sergeants, the Desert Foxes, and the Vikings. The Sergeants later became the Timberwolves.
Troop 11 continued to participate in orienteering meets, including one in November 1980. Scouts quickly learned that finding the correct location is not always good enough. Time was everything, so RUNNING to each location was essential to win.
HILL COUNTRY SCOUT RANCH
SM Fred Steves always camped at the Hill Country Scout Ranch once a year. Operated by the Bay Area Scout Council, this scout camp was located on the Pedernales River just west of Austin (about 1/2 mile from Hamilton’s Pool). In addition to the camp’s own excellent holes, Hamilton’s Pool and Krause Springs, near Spicewood, were nearby. The camp has since been sold.
Hill Country Scout Ranch was large enough to permit a variety of troop programs. Fred liked it because there was plenty of room for backpacking. One plateau on the property was especially good for fossils. It was a the Hill Country Scout Ranch that ASM Greg Roberts taught Troop 11 how to peel and eat a prickly pear cactus.
1982 was an exciting year for Troop 11 scouts. Their monthly camping program included the Lone Star Trail (near Cleveland), camporee at Camp Strake, Guadalupe River canoe trip, Philmont (for the older scouts), El Rancho Cima summer camp, Hill Country Scout Ranch, Lost Maples State Natural Area, Bergstrom Air Force Base, and Round Lake Ranch near Lake Somerville.
The December camp-out was at Round Lake Ranch near Giddings where scouts saw a livestock auction and did some blacksmith work. Fred learned how to skin a rabbit. For many scouts, it was their first time to kill, clean and cook a chicken.
Each year Troop 11 went to a military base, usually in January. In 1983, Troop 11 stayed at Fort Hood. In April, Troop 11 camped at Tom Earthman’s ranch and played Troop 505 in baseball. In September, Troop 11 completed Motorboating merit badge requirements at Lake Livingston.
Former SPL Jeff Johnstone served as a summer camp In-Training-Counselor at El Rancho Cima River Camp.
Mr. Charley Oewel built Troop 11’s first climbing board for the 1983 Scout Show in November. This was the first climbing board where visitors could “try it out” and quickly became a crowd favorite. Visitors waited up to 45 minutes for their chance to climb.
The 20-ft tall board stood near vertical, with small boards for hand and foot holds. Troop 11 scouts gave demonstrations and acted as belayers to protect the visiting climbers. Once at the top, a scout could rappel down (if his belayer was REAL good.)
Troop 11’s climbing board exhibit won the highest award at the Scout Show each year from 1983 to 1986. By 1985, two other troops had similar climbing displays at the Scout Show. The climbing boards proved so popular that SHAC effectively eliminated them by enforcing restrictive safety rules “for insurance purposes.”
In January, Troop 11 camped at Phipps Naval Air Station near Corpus Christi. Troop 11 got a lesson about parachutes and a pilot explained how the equipment on his flight suit worked. The scouts also toured an anti-submarine plane.
That night Troop 11 played “capture the flag.” Wayne Consolvo hid behind a building and was challenged by the Military Police.
February was the famous Camp Karankawa camp-out. The high point occurred when several scouts discovered the door to the dining hall was unlocked. Their “reconaissance” mission into the dining hall was not a planned activity, and Troop 11 ended up sending the Bay Area Scout Council an additional check for $25.41.
In June 1984, Fred Steves, Erich Wolz and Tom Earthman led a four-day backpacking expedition to Sandia Peak. Expedition members included scouts Jeff Johnstone, oe EArthman, Charley Earthman and Ford Martin. The group flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico. From Sandia’s base, they took the tramway to the top and hiked along the ridge trail to their campsite. A second group of younger scouts (who were not quite ready for such a hike) camped nearby under Kleber’s supervision.
In September, Troop 11 participated in Scout Day with the Astros. AFter a morning baseball clinic, Troop 11 watched the Astros play the Padres. Mr. Dan Neale (parent) chaperoned the event.
Troop 11’s first camp-out at Enchanted Rock State Park was October 1984. ASM Greg Roberts instructed the scouts in some basic rock-climbing techniques. Back then it was a Natural Area. Later it became a state park.
Photo 49. ASM Erich Wolz assists a visitor on the climbing board.
Troop 11 went backpacking at Lost Maples State Natural Area in November. Charlie Oewell organized the November wood-cut which netted the troop $320 after expenses. As usual, the adults operated the chain saws and log splitter; the scouts collected, hauled, and stacked the firewood.
Committee chairman Ernest Knipp kept careful records so that Troop 11 could qualify as a 1984 Honor Unit. Troop 11 repeated as an Honor Unit in 1985 and 1986.
TROOP 11 INFORMATION PACKET – 1985
For 1985, SM Fred Steves prepared a Troop 11 information packet to use at recruiting events. Fred always recruited at Poe Elementary on School Night for Scouting.
In the information packet, Fred states that parental support is a must. He encouraged parents to help with equipment, finance, advancement, camping locations, or special merit badge programs. Parents could attend the weekend campouts.
Fred notes that scouting allows (and even requires), that boys learn management skills by either managing a patrol or by holding a troop leadership post. The execution of troop meetings and outdoor activities is the responsibility of the boys themselves.
The Troop 11 program is quickly described: troop meetings, monthly camp-outs, March camporee, several Courts of Honor, and summer camp in August. Dues were $40 per year and did not include the $81 for summer camp. Fred describes the uniform that the scouts must wear, and he lists the essential equipment for camp-outs. The document ends with a few rules about behavior.
For 1985, SM Fred Steves had a new troop program. He gave the older scouts more responsibility and he wanted more parental involvement.
So in January, TLC member Wayne Consolvo, assisted by ASM Bob Briggs, taught First Aid skill award to the troop. Jonathan Day worked with the Troop Leaders’ Council on Communications merit badge and Bill Pokorny presented an informative slide show that described what a pediatric surgeon does. Fred’s new program worked!
The January camp-out was at a military base, this time Fort Hood. Troop 11 got a close-up view of a U.S. Army helicopter and armored units. The base’s scout barracks had been torn down; Troop 11 had to stay in its own tents.
The Troop 11 Gazette appeared in 1985, edited by ASM Erich Wolz on his Apple Macintosh computer. The scouts wrote the stories themselves. Peter reported that at February’s El Rancho Cima camp-out, Mark Camfield set a record by taking only two hours to make breakfast.
Robert Garner wrote about the famous March camp-out near Booth, Texas. The river was nearby and the scouts played in a huge mud pit, described as a molten chocolate bar.” Late Saturday night Jeff Johnstone and Vaughn Romero got lost while hiking. Fortunately, a local constable brought them back to the campsite. And at breakfast — Lamar Neale finally cooked a clean pancake.
April was a canoe trip down Village Creek. Peter Key reported Troop 11 learned a lot about dodging trees, hitting trees, denting canoes and eating sandy hot dogs. In May, Troop 11 stayed at Whitewater Sports and rafted down the Guadalupe River.
After raising money by selling fertilizer, Troop 11 attended El Rancho Cima in August. ASM ERich Wolz spent so much time in the handicrafts area that the staff gave him a special “bone-head” award.
In September, Troop 11 camped near New Braunfels. They visited Solm’s Park and saw the headwaters of the Comal River. Paul Santi, former Lodge Chief of the OA, joined Troop 11 at Enchanted Rock in November. Lamar Neale demonstrated the proper way to pack a backpack.
Photo 50. Lamar Neale, the Compleat Backpacker!
FRED STEVES: SHAC CANOE INSTRUCTOR
In 1985, Fred Steves volunteered to be a canoeing instructor for the Sam Houston Area Council. SHAC’s new policy required scout leaders to take a basic canoeing course before a troop could rent SHAC canoes. Fred was one of the first SHAC canoe instructors.
A flash flood wiped out El Rancho Cima’s River Camp aquatics program in June 1985. Through no fault of their own, those scouts at summer camp missed their opportunity to earn an aquatics merit badge. That fall, Fred taught the “make-up” canoeing MB class at Camp Strake.
In January, parent Jonathan Day worked with Troop 11 on Citizenship in the Nation merit badge.
February found Troop 11 at Brazos Bend State Park. With Halley’s comet approaching, there were about fifty telescopes set up by amateur astronomers at the park. The scouts viewed Halley’s comet “head-on.”
Troop 11 attended the Golden Arrow Halley’s Comet Camporee at Camp Brosig in March. In May, Troop 11 hiked the Lone Star TRail near Double Lake.
Jack Garner took Troop 11 to summer camp at El Rancho Cima River Camp in 1986. It was on this camp-out that SPL Robert Garner suddenly became enthusiastic about getting the dished washed!
Robert’s leadership as SPL was outstanding; he set a fine example by earning five merit badges at summer camp. The nine scouts at camp earned a total of 36 merit badges. As usual, Troop 11 earned the 1986 Ranch Award.
Jeff Johnstone received his Eagle award in a special ceremony in the old Fellowship Hall. Charles Haden flew in to give the keynote address.
In September, Fred Steves stepped down as scoutmaster. The fall was a period of transition as the search committee looked for a new scoutmaster. By December, Kleber Denny recruited FPC member Keith Webster to become Troop 11’s new scoutmaster. Don Graul would serve as troop committee chairman.
Photo 51. Fred Steves and Jeff Johnstone
FRED STEVES –
Fred Steves grew up in Houston. A scout in Troop 505, Fred earned his Eagle rank in 1955. He received the OA Vigil Honor in 1958 and was elected Lodge Chief of Colonneh Lodge (OA) in 1960. He served on the El Rancho Cima summer camp staff as aquatics instructor from 1956 thru 1961.
Fred had two sons in Troop 11: Ben and Roy. While scoutmaster of Troop 11, Fred served as a Philmont crew leader in 1982. By 1985, Fred was a canoeing instructor for SHAC. After retiring as scoutmaster, Fred took a Troop 11 crew to Philmont in 1988.
Fred Steves really cared about his scouts, wanting them to have the best possible scouting program. It is typical of Fred that although he already ran a strong program, he always looked for ways to improve it.
For example, Fred reorganized the Troop Leader’s Council in 1985 to give the older scouts more responsibility for the program at meetings and camp-outs.
In January, Troop 11 camped at Phipps Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi.
To assist Troop 11 recruitment, FPC organized Cub Pack 11 with Houghton Hutcheson as cubmaster. Pack recruitment focused on West University Elementary, River Oaks Elementary and even Pack 266! Pack 11 met monthly on Thursdays at FPC.
Keith Webster stepped down as scoutmaster in December. Jim Miller agreed to be the “interim” scoutmaster until a new scoutmaster could be found. As of 1990, Jim has been the interim scoutmaster for almost three years.
Eagle scouts Anthony Day and Robert Garner attended the World ?Jamboree in Australia. Sheep shearing was a popular activity. Robert recalls, “Every place we went, we sheared sheep. It was interesting the first few times but it got really old, really fast.”
Bill Hass took Troop 11 to summer camp.
Cubmaster Houghton Hutcheson actively recruited new cub scouts and Pack 11 membership grew to 80 cub scouts by the end of 1988. Mike Morrison became the new cubmaster in 1989 and pack membership stabilized at 60 cubs, where it was in 1990.
Photo 52. ASMs Jeff Johnstone and Erich Wolz join scoutmaster Keith Webster at the 1987 scout show.
In February, Troop 11 went to Brazos Bend State Park after a tremendous cold front hit the Houston area. Four Troop 11 scouts earned the Winter Camping award for camping in 20-degree weather.
It was so cold that scouts John Eppley, Andy Hass, Kit Meckel and Hassan Sutherland abandoned their planned activities in favor of staying warm. Troop 11 scouts were the only ones camping in tents at the park that weekend. Hassan Sutherland was not impressed with the cold weather — he went barefoot for much of the camp-out!
In March, Troop 11 went to Fritsche Park for the Golden Arrow District camporee. George Batten (SM of Troop 46) asked Troop 11 to orgnaize the water safety event. SM Jim Miller scored the event. Don Buchanan judged the ring buoy toss. Contestants also had to recite the eight points of the Safe Swim Defense.
Bob Briggs and Gary Eppley took the troop to Wolf Creek private campground. Mr. Eppley took his sailboat and the eight scouts sailed around Lake Livingston.
Jeff Johnstone took Troop 11 to El Rancho Cima River Camp in August. Under the fine leadership of SPL Andy Hass, the eight scouts at camp earned a total of twenty-six merit badges. Pike Spratling taught Troop 11 the Batman song.
At River Camp, Troop 11 earned the 1989 Ranch Award by participating in the opening campfire, the Death March, the Rock Climb, two troop swims, two troop overniters, the O.A. ceremony, a horseback ride, the Aqua-Fest, the Skill-Fest, and the closing campfire.
In August, the adult leaders played musical chairs. Keith Webster became troop committee chairman and Marti Clement chaired the pack committee. Kleber Denny became FPC’s scouting coordinator.
Kleber formed the FPC Scout Coordinating Committee with members Ernest Knipp (Troop 11), and mike Morrison (Pack 11). This committee now serves as the liason between FPC and the various scout groups.
Acting on Pike Spratling’s suggestion, Troop 11 worked on First Aid merit badge in the fall. Jim Wilmore (Advisor of Post 266) served as the merit badge counselor.
Troop 11 raised money in November by selling Christmas wreaths. Marti Clement spearheaded this event and did a super job.
With funds in place, Don Buchanan received authorization to buy a hitch for the church van, replace the split rim wheels on the aluminum trailer, and buy two new tires for the trailer. Troop 11 was back in business!
BOB BRIGGS: ASM, 1969 to 1989
Bob Briggs joined Troop 11 in 1969 as assistant scoutmaster. He served Troop 11 as ASM from 1969 to 1989. When needed, he served as scoutmaster in 1975-76.
For twenty one years, Bob shared his immense knowledge of scoutcraft and lore with Troop 11 scouts. He can hold a scout’s attention on any topic, from orienteering to edible plants to astronomy. You can always count o n Bob for a story around the campfire. His ghost stories are the best around!
Bob has led numerous high adventure expeditions, but his most important role has been that of counselor. Bob Briggs has a gift: he is able to listen. His advice is sound and his encouragement is sincere.
ASM Bob Briggs received the Golden Arrow District’s Godfather Award in 1990. Bob’s long-term contribution to youth, both within scouting and outside of scouting, easily qualified him for the award.
Troop 11 began 1990 with fourteen scouts. Jim Miller’s rebuilding program for the previous year was a success!
Kirby Lesher was Senior Patrol Leader. Alan Clement was elected patrol leader and he continued to serve as Den Chief for Cub Pack 11.
In February, Houston Oiler John Grimsley accepted Steven McCary’s invitation to speak to Troop 11. He spoke on the danger of using drugs, then answered questions and signed autographs.
Scouting’s new advancement program permitted scouts to advance directly to First Class. Troop 11’s goal was for every scout to earn First Class by March.
AT Mel Caven’s request, Troop 11 ran the fire-building event at the Golden Arrow District “Blackjack Oak” Camporee. Despite high winds, the event was a success — and was seen on KPRC Channel Two news.
Photo 53. 1990 Spring Court of Honor.
That spring, Jere Ahrens asked the multi-talented Gene Delaveaga to join Troop 11 as assistant scoutmaster. Gene immediately “volunteered” to handle the tour permits, camp-site reservations, health forms, scout permission slips, and transportation arrangements. “I don’t mind,” he said. “It’s really a simple thing.”
In June 1990, Troop 11 went to Lake Conroe for water-skiing merit badge. Troop 11’s own Brandon Lorch, already an accomplished water skier, provided instruction and encouragement to the novice water skiers.
Troop 11 scouts also worked on this Troop 11 History for Graphic Arts merit badge. They did the paste-up in July; then did the collating and binding in September.
In August, Troop 11 returned to El Rancho Cima River Camp. Jim Miller, Gene Delaveaga, Jere Ahrens, and Don Buchanan provided the adult leadership for summer camp.
Since this Troop 11 History went to press, new information has been found and several factual errors have been discovered.
The new information comes from two documents in the W.C. Hogg Collection at the Barker Texas History Center in Austin. Both documents show that Troop 11 existed in 1914.
(Note: I am still unable to find source documents to support Dawson’s contention that Troop 11 existed in 1912.)
In 1914, Troop 11 participated in an industrial survey during the last three months of the year. Along with the other Houston scout troops, Troop 11 toured seventeen industrials, including the National Biscuit Co., Houston Electric Co., Rice Institute, the City Water Works, Henke Ice and Refrigeration Co. and the Chronicle.
The Hogg Collection also has the (Houston boy scout) commissioner’s report dated March 10, 1916. It states that Troop 11 had 11 scouts in 1914 and re-registered with 20 scouts in July of 1915. J. Dixie Smith was scoutmaster.
Of particular interest are the scout ranks at this time: Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, and “Merit” (which must be the rank when a scout could earn merit badges). Now I know what the “M” stands for on the Troop 11 rosters from 1918 to 1930!
A correction is in order regarding the Jamboree Troop number for Troop 11 in 1960. Troop 11 became provisional Jamboree Troop #61 at the National Jamboree, not #16.
Another correction is due Allen Clement, whose name is misspelled as Alan. My apologies to Allen, who just earned his Star rank.
A Troop 11 archives was created as a part of this history project. Consisting mostly of folders for the years 1914 thru 1990, it contains all of the information used in writing this history, as well as everything given to me by the former members of Troop 11. All photos and negatives in this history are also included.
If Dr. Marchiafava approves, this Troop 11 archives will become a part of the First Presbyterian Church collection in the Houston Public Library’s Archives. There it will be readily available to future scout historians.
Troop 11 keenly recognizes its great unpayable debt to various Council Executives and scout leaders, such as General R.R. Adcock, Alfred J. Stiles, Kenneth Krahl, Lew “Pop” Garner, Marvin Paul, John Willborn, Bateman Hardcastle, John Hornbuckle, H.H. Barber, Howard Meyer, Jack Keith, Minor Huffman, Roger Ohmstead and others.
Troop 11 also thanks Judge J.W. Mills, Fred Ankenman, Joe B. Dannenbaum, Ben Blum, Judge Wm. A. Miller, L.C. Mooney, James “Jim” Otis Brown, Vernon Moore, Bob Tillerson, Noah Rhodes and Mel Caven.
Troop 11 members past and present deserve full credit for this 1990 history. Their scrapbooks, photos, and recollections give this history its flavor, character and integrity.
Forrest Davis, author, claims entire credit for the omissions, inaccuracies, and errors contained in this 30,000 word manuscript.
Written using the Multimate Advantage II word processor on an IBM PC (4.77 MHz dinosaur). Lay-out done on a Compaq Portable II. Page proofs printed on a HP LaserJet II and LaserJet III. Cheney Coker did the cover illustration on an Apple Macintosh IIcx in 15 minutes.
Thanks to Mr. Lewis Mattingly for providing of Bob Dawson’s 1963 Troop 11 history.
Thanks to Mr. James Alston Clapp III for letting me borrow the only existing photograph of his grandfather, James Alston Clapp, Sr.
Special thanks to Tracy Word, Horace Oleson, and Bill J. Philibert for providing source documents and photographs. These men were kind enough to edit portions of this history for accuracy. Their comments, corrections, patience and encouragement are much appreciated.
Thanks to Bob Briggs for his excellent memories of the past 22 years.
Special thanks to Fred Steves and Erich Wolz for compiling a file of source documents and photos for 1980-1986.
Thanks to Nancy Hadley and Dr. Lewis Marchiafava of the Houston Public Library Archives for allwoing access to the unprocessed SHAC Boy Scout collection (RGF 7).
Thanks to Dick Datil (Daily Court Review) for preparing the photo half-tones. Special thanks to Bill Hass for supervising the lay-out and paste-up. Special thanks to Mary Prichard for printing this history.
Robert W. Frizzell provided Troop 11 rosters for the years 1918-1931. Robert’s private “archives” of SHAC memorabilia proved invaluable.
Thanks to Betty Coker and Bess Davis for proofreading the entire manuscript.
Kelly Whitmer, Kirby Lesher, Andy Hass, and Allen Clement pasted up and bound this history as part of their Graphic Arts merit badge.
Appendix A: Troop 11 Eagle Scouts
At least 81 scouts from various FPC sponsored organizations earned the Eagle rank. These scouts were members of either Troop 11, Sea Scout Ship 1, Air Squadron 1, Explorer Post 1 or Air Squadron 11. This is the most complete roster available but is probably incomplete. Unless otherwise noted, these are Troop 11 scouts.
1916 Henry Palmer Melton
1923 Vincent Crowder
1924 Travis Smith
1925 James A. Clapp Jr.
1929 Earl C. Douglas, Jr.
1930 Jack Van Gundy
1932 Bob Dawson
1933 Malcoml McCants (Nov 25)
Robert P. McCants
1937 C.S. “Scranton” Harrington
1941 Carrol A. Lewis, Jr.
1942 Tommy Jordan (or 1944?)
1944 Roy Leonard Becklemeyer Jr.
1949 David K. Head (Air Squadron 1)
1951 Eugene Jackson
1952 Homer L. Luther, Jr.
Monroe M. Luther
1954 Alan Bahn
1955 Harry Dillashaw
Thomas R. Hurst
L. Ludwell Jones III
Edward Lee Summers (Explorer Post 1)
1957 Kenneth W. Jack (Nov 5)
Richard Corso (Explorer Post 1)
1958 Jimmy Jennings (Air Squadron 11)
Steve Mahod (Air Squadron 11)
1959 James A. Allbright
Byron Alec Brown
Frederick Parker Gregg
Charles Joel Parker, Jr.
Albert Jerry Russell
1959 Henry C. Hess (air Squadron 11)
Jim Cox (Air Squadron 11)
1960 Roger Byrne
1961 Howard Crump
Tervo “Terry” Iseri
Kendrick “Kenny” L. Telford
1962 William “Bill” Brown
William “Bill” Telford, Jr.
1963 Loyal G. Brown
Eric C. Frisk
Andrew L. Johnston
Shawn J. Kelsall
Al M. Morrison
John R. Zanek
1964 Donald E. Fitz
George L. Jordan
Barry R. Leaton
Richard Boyd Parker
1965 John B. Lay
1967 Roy H. Moffat
1969 Martin Zabcik
1970 Timothy Bautsch
1971 Carlo Corso
Blake W. Rusk
1972 Bryson W. Rusk
1973 Jefferson S. Moffat
1974 Mark Hellums
1978 Paul Fleming
1981 Bruce Cameron
1986 Jeffrey Johnstone
1988 Anthony Day
1989 Jeremy Samuels
Other “Eagle Equivalent” Awards
1947 Murray Smyth, Jr.
Sea Scout Ship 1
1948 Charles C. Wilder
Air Squadron 1
1949 Dale Brannon
Air Squadron 1
1955 Homer Luther
Explorer Post 1
Appendix B: Troop 11 Scoutmaster Roster
Troop 11’s adult leadership has always held that “OUTING is three-fourths of SCOUTING.” Such leadership is the paramount reason Troop 11 scouts know they are the most fortunate youths ever to take the scouting trail.
In 1963, Bob Dawson wrote, “Immediately after the retirement of Bill Gribble in 1945, the troop’s scoutmasters were Baker Lee Shannon, Horace Oleson, Oscar Hibler, Kenneth Jack, Lewis Mattingly, Joel Parker, and Lewis Mattingly, in that order.”
We generated this scoutmaster roster using Troop 11 rosters from 1918-1931 and re-chartering documents from 1930-1990. Then we checked this “working” roster with Baker Lee Shannon, Oscar Hibler, Horace Oleson, Bill Philibert, Bill Gribble III (C.W. Gribble Jr.’s son), Joel Parker Jr., and Bob Brigggs.
This scoutmaster roster is correct to the nearest whole year.
J. Dixie Smith 1914 – ?
H.C. Combs ? – 1918
James Alston Clapp, Sr. 1920 – 1923
C.W. “Bill” Gribble, Jr. 1923 – 1945
Baker Lee Shannon 1945 – 1948
Oscar Hibler 1949 – 1950
Horace Oleson 1951 – 1955
David Hannah, Jr. 1956 – 1957
Kenneth J. Jack 1957
Lewis Mattingly 1957 – 1959
(moved to Oklahoma)
Joel Parker 1959 – 1961
Lewis Mattingly 1961 – 1963
Wendell Voelker 1964 – 1965
Loyal G. Brown 1966
Monroe Luther 1966 – 1967
Michael C. Mahood 1968 – 1970
Horace Oleson 1970 – 1971
Martin “Marty” Walsh 1972 – 1973
Jim Lenox 1973 – 1974
Bob Briggs 1975 – 1976
Kleber Denny 1976 – 1980
Fred Steves 1980 – 1986
Keith Webster 1987
James “Jim” Miller 1988 – ?
Appendix C: Troop Committee Chairmen
Walter F. Brown 1920 – 1923
J. Alston Clapp, Sr. 1923 – 1938
W.A. Parrish 1939 – 1941
Carroll A. Lewis, Sr. 1941 – 1944
George W. Jordan 1945 – 1946
Oden R. Brooks 1947 – 1948
Robert M. Blaine 1949
L. Ludwell Jones 1950 – 1951
Homer L. Luther, Sr. 1952 – 1953
David Mahood 1953
Kenneth J. Jack 1954 – 1955
W.J. Willke, Jr. 1956
Jimmie T. McNabb 1959
W.M.W. Telford 1960
Robert Holman Moffatt, Jr. 1961 – 1963
Loyal G. Brown 1964
James McConnell 1965 – 1966
Bert Earl Bautsch 1967
Monroe M. Luther 1968 – 1970
John P. Davis 1975
Lee McBride 1976 – 1981
Ernest Knipp 1982 – 1986
Don Graul 1987 – 1988
Ernest Knipp 1988 – 1989
Keith Webster 1989 – present (1990)
Appendix D: Assistant Scoutmaster Roster
1915 Houston Wade
1918 Samuel B. Davis
1920 W.W. Gaston
1924 Alexander “Alex” Hellman
Walter L. “Dutch” McKinnon
1925 Fred Stull
Walter L. “Dutch” McKinnon
Alexander “Alex” Hellman
1926 Fred Stull
Alexander “Alex” Hellman
1927 Fred STull
Alexander “Alex” Hellman
1928 (Troop 11 had six ASMs, but the troop
roster does not name them.)
1929 Russell Lee Jacobe
1930 Russell Lee Jacobe
1931 Kirby Smith, Jr.
1932 Kirby Smith, Jr.
Russell Lee Jacobe
1933 Albert Mayo
Russell Lee Jacobe
Kirby Smith, Jr.
Earl Dougls, Jr.
Alexander “Alex” Hellman
John C. Van Gundy
1934 J. Otis Brown
1935 J. Otis Brown
1936 Russell Lee Jacobe
George H. Shipley, Jr.
1939 Lawrence Judd
1942 Carroll A. Lewis, Jr.
1943 Carroll A. Lewis, Jr.
George L. Hovey, Jr.
1944 Carroll A. Lewis, Jr.
George L. Hovey, Jr.
James B. Hovey
1945 James B. Hovey
1946 Baker Lee Shannon
1947 R. Matthew Lynn
1948 Jack W. Lander, Jr.
1949 Earl C. Scott, Jr.
Jack W. Lander, Jr.
1950 Jack W. Lander, Jr.
1951 Walter J. Grob
Harold E. Clark
Oscar Hibler (on leave)
1952 Earl L. Von Rosenberg
1953 Preston Gant
Edgar L. Von Rosenberg
Bill J. Philibert
Oscar N. Hibler
1954 Edgar L. Von Rosenberg
1955 Edgar L. Von Rosenberg
1956 Arthur Coburn II
Charles E. Moore
1957 Captain James W. Alexander
1958 Joel Parker
Wm. R. Valentine
1959 Joel Parker
Wm. R. Valentine
1960 Wm. R. Valentine
Charles L. Frisk
1961 Wm. R. Valentine
Charles R. Frisk
Richard N. Houze
1962 Wm. R. Valentine
Charles R. Frisk
Richard N. Houze
1963 Richard N. Houze
Dr. Samuel Kelsall III
Wendell P. Voelker
1964 Dr. Samuel Kelsall III
Henry J. Flake, Jr.
1965 C.J. Zabcik
1966 C.J. Zabcik
1969 Robert K. Briggs
William B. Ainley
1970 Robert K. Briggs
William B. Ainley
1971 Robert K. Briggs
William B. Ainley
1972 Robert K. Briggs
William B. Ainley
1973 Robert K. Briggs
Jim Lenox, Sr.
1974 Robert K. Briggs
James Lenox, Sr.
1975 Robert K. Briggs
1976 Robert K. Briggs
1977 Robert K. Briggs
1978 Robert K. Briggs
1979 Robert K. Briggs
1980 Robert K. Briggs
1981 Robert K. Briggs
Charles D Gerhardt
Keven E. Mason
1982 Robert K. Briggs
Charles D. Gerhardt
1983 Robert K. Briggs
Charles D. Gerhardt
1984 Robert K. Briggs
1985 Robert K. Briggs
1986 Robert K. Briggs
1987 Robert K. Briggs
1988 Robert K. Briggs
Phillip M. Gibbs
1989 Jere Ahrens
Robert K. Briggs
1990 Jere Ahrens
Appendix E: Troop Meetings
Beginning in February 1920, Troop 11 held its regular meetings at Main and McKinney in First Presbyterian Church. The troop met in the back room upstairs every Friday at 7:30 PM from March 1923 through August 1932.
On September 10, 1932, an intense fire razed the great stone First Presbyterian Church. The fire was one of the few four-alarm fires in Houston to that time.
After the fire, Troop 11 moved its meetings to the Presbyterian manse at Main and McGowan. Troop 11 met on ?Friday at 7:30 PM. In 1935, FPC built Troop 11 a small frame Scout House on the property at Main and Bissonnet. The Scout House at 5402 Main Has also been called the Scout or Scout Cabin.
In 1939, the church decided to build a new colonial style building on the South Main property. Construction began in the fall 1946 and was completed in 1948 (despite the shortage of materials due to the war).
During the new church construction, Troop 11 continued to meet in its Scout Hut (which now doubled as a construction office).
The Scout Hut was too small for the troop in 1949 (32 members), so Troop 11 moved its meetings to the gym. Later, the troop met next door (to the north) in the Faith and Friendship building.
The gym was not in the original church plans. It was built soon after the new church, probably from the same plans as the Fellowship Hall. (Note: In 1986, FPC completed a building expansion project. The old Fellowship Hall became staff offices, and a new Fellowship Hall was built.)
In 1949, Troop 11 changed its meeting night from Friday to Thursday. SM Oscar Hibler recalls, “The boys had other things to do on Friday nights … family activities … dating … everyone agreed that Thursday night was better.” Troop 11 would meet in the gym every Thursday night for the next 38 years, until 1987.
In 1975, the church built an addition at the south end of the gym. Troop 11 moved its meetings to this room, known as either the Scout Room or Hammersmith Hall. It is now called the Service Center. FPC provided Troop 11 with a closet there.
Troop 11 conducted its meetings in this smaller (air conditioned) room. Games and demonstrations were held in the gym, which was air conditioned in 1981.
In 1987, the troop changed its meeting night to Wednesday at 6:30 PM. FPC had a scheduled Wednesday night program, and Troop 11 wanted to make it easier for church members’ sons to join the troop.
In 1989, the troop moved its meeting night to Tuesday night at 7:30 PM. Another group used the service center on Tuesday nights, so Troop 11 met in the gym, and later in the room above the Service Center.
Appendix F: The Scout Shed
In December 1972, the church sold the Faith and Friendship building to the Brazos Presbytery. This building is located on the north side of the gym and is now known as the Presbyterian Center.
Troop 11 stored its camping equipment in the Faith and Friendship building, so FPC built Troop 11 an aluminum storage shet in 1973. Troop 11 now had a place to permanently store its equipment.
Located behind the gym (west side), the shed housed the troop’s two camping trailers, three canoes (Troop 11 now has four canoes) and camping gear.
The building permit #771584, is dated February 1, 1973 and clearly states “SCOUT STORAGE BLDG.”
Troop 11 made many improvements to the scout shed. Moisture was the biggest problem, and still is even today. To promote water drainage, an early troop project was to dig water run-off ditches to the street. Next, ASMs Ed Fleming and Bob Briggs patched some leaks in the roof.
When dampness threatened to damage tents stored on the floor, Ed Fleming and John Davis built wooden shelves in 1975. These shelves did the job but eventually rotted. Jim Miller and Jere Ahrens removed the shelves in November 1989.
In 1981 or 1982, Bjorn Svenson installed new fluorescent lights in the shed. Bjorn was a licensed electrician, and he had a son in the troop. Only one of the original two light fixtures still worked. Bjorn spent an entire Saturday installing a new fluorescent lighting system that greatly improved visibility in the shed.
In late 1989, Troop 11 almost lost its right to use the scout shed. One of the new Sunday School classes convinced the church staff that it needed the entire shed to store its risers.
Troop 11 was told to find somewhere else to store its four canoes, two camping trailers, climbing board and camping equipment. Naturally, Troop 11 wanted to keep its scout shed.
The issue was resolved at a Christian Education Committee meeting on February 13, 1990. Kleber Denny presented the troop’s case.
Kleber simply told the Christian Education Committee that Troop 11 needed its scout shed and would like to keep it.
The brief discussion that followed unanimously supported Troop 11’s position. The Christian Education Committee then unanimously approved a motion “… that First Presbyterian Church cease all efforts to keep Troop 11 from using the scout shed….”
Photo 55. Kleber Denny, Scoutmaster 1976-1980.
Appendix H: Early Houston Boy Scout Troops
In 1964, Jack Linn (SHAC Field Scout Executive) completed a 333 page history of SHAC titled “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.” Although never published, Linn’s history was thoroughly researched with much supporting detail.
In 1985, Minor Huffman (former SHAC Scout Executive) completed a history of the Sam Houston Area Council titled Sam Houston Scouts. SHAC published Huffman’s history as a 208 page book. Copies are available at the downtown scout office.
One chapter of Jack Linn’s SHAC history is titled “In the Beginning: The First Boy Scouts in Houston.” This 20-page chapter describes Houston’s early scout troops. Linn describes when these troops let their charter lapse, causing them to be re-organized. It is my impression that Linn wrote this chapter to settle the matter of which scout troop is oldest in Houston.
Linn focuses on troops organized before 1925. He does mention a few troops organized after 1925 that were outstanding either because of their long tenure or for various other reasons. The following is excerpted from Linn’s history.
From 1910 through 1935, a Troop 1 was located in Pelly, Goose Creek, Baytown, Conroe, Bryan, Madisonville, Park Place, Cleveland, La Porte, Humble, Pasadena, Alief, Bellville, Navasota, Brenham, Highland, New Waverly, and Huntsville.
This is also true of the numbers two (2), three (3) and four (4).
The number 1 was not used in Houston until 1937. (Note: Early troops that used the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4 often changed leaders, or meeting places and were inactive or dropped.)
First organized in October 1912, sponsored by the Second Christian Church. Known as the “The Black Cats,” this troop met at the SEcond Christian Church, then Fullerton School, then the Fannin School.
Troop 2 dropped after many years of activity. Troop 2 later re-organized under a variety of sponsors, including Group(s) of Citizens, the Central Baptist Church, and the Lawndale Baptist Church. Bellaire Methodist Church became Troop 2’s sponsor in 1949.
First organized in 1914 at the Longfellow School, with S.T. Hogan as scoutmaster. Started tradition of giving large tent and engraved loving cup to the winning troop at Field Day.
Lost charter in 1924; combined with Troop 8 for a time. After first re-organization, Troop 3 met at the Third Presbyterian Church, with John McCoy as scoutmaster. Their charter expired in January 1942.
Second re-organization occurred in December 1942 at the Baptist Temple Church. Then dropped in December 1946. Third re-organization in January 1950 by a Group of Citizens. Troop 3 finally expired in 1951, when it was sponsored by South Houston Rotary Club.
First registered in 1916, although probably active earlier. Sponsored by the Eastwood Community Church. Known as the “Eastwood Texas Rangers.” Troop 4 was inactive for a few years in the 1920s. Since it was 42 years old in 1964, its re-organization must have been in 1922.
The very first boy scout troop in Houston. Also known as “The Bob White Troop.” This was Nelson Duller’s troop with scoutmaster David M. Diller. At first was not affiliated with any sponsoring organization and met each week at the Baptist Temple.
A leading troop for many early years, Troop 5 won the first relay race in 1916. H.S. Robinson was the next scoutmaster, followed by W. B. Neal and E.J. Stidston.
The second boy scout troop in Houston. Fist organized in 1911 by Professor F.M. Black, in Woodland Heights. Met at the Second Presbyterian Church and later at the Travis School, the Houston Avenue Methodist Church, and the Second Presbyterian Church.
First organized in early 1913 and met at the YMCA with Roland Shine as scoutmaster. CAlled themselves “The Pioneers.” Moved to Woodcrest Presbyterian Church in the West End in 1914. Troop 7 became inactive for awhile, sometime after 1923, and changed sponsors a few times.
First organized in 1914, with R.R. Adcock as scoutmaster. Met at the Hudson Furniture Company, 711 Travis. J.L. McReynolds became scoutmaster a few years later. Met at the Taylor School, Sherman School, and the American Legion Hall. Known as “The Sharks.”
Troop 8 was re-organized after H. H. Barber left the troop. Barber was scoutmaster in June 1929, so the troop must have re-organized after that time.
Since its re-organization , Troop 8 has been sponsored by The First Methodist Church, the West End Methodist Church, Irvington Park Baptist Church, Park Temple Baptist, Moody Park Civic Club and the First Baptist Church in Sheldon.
First organized in 1914 and met at Harvard School. This Houston Heights troop won the second relay races in 1917. Later sponsored by the Collins Memorial Methodist Church. Troop 9 was dropped in 1987. During its tenure, it was the oldest continuously chartered troop in Houston.
First organized in 1914 at the Rusk School. Known as “The Sycamores.” Later met at the South End Junior High School. Lost its charter for a time and was re-organized in 1931 at the Trinity Episcopal Church. As of 1964, the troop was still sponsored by the Trinity Church.
Began June 1915 and met at the West End Tabernacle. Re-organized in June 1927. Did not participate in the June 1929 Boy Scout Roundup. Dropped in the 1930s. Active again in 1934 and met at the Christ the King Catholic Church. Dropped in 1942.
The Bryan-College Station Rotary Club then sponsored a Troop 12 for 14 years, beginning in March 1945.
Sponsored by Westminister Presbyterian Church, the troop began in 1914. Herbert Mitchell was scoutmaster, with John Bolin his assistant. The troop had a strong religious emphasis.
In 1922, J.J. Gulgrum served as scoutmaster. Troop 13 grew to seventy scouts and had its own drum and bugle corps. Dropped in the late 1920s; re-organized in 1930 in the Central Methodist Church.
Went ‘independent’ in 1935 (sponsored by a Group of Citizens). Inactive in December 1946, Troop 13 was dropped and re-organized twice more. First in February 1949 in the OST Baptist Church (OST = Old Spanish Trail); later by a Group of Citizens.
Organized by R.R. Adcock in 1914. Met at the Dow School, the Woodland Masonic Hall, and the South End Christian Church.
Was dropped; then re-organized in March 1931 by a Group of Citizens in Bellaire. Re-organized again in 1933; became inactive and was dropped. Revived in June 1937 by the Redeemer Lutheran Church. In 1948, the Shady Dale Baptist Church became sponsor.
Dropped in 1950, but revived in 1951 by the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. Troop 14 finally expired in December 1958.
First organized in 1914 at the Lubbock School. Warren B. Leach and J.J. Boone were the first two scoutmasters. Later sponsored by the East End Presbyterian Church. Re-organized in September 1930 at the Palmer Memorial Church (Episcopal). Active at that church until August 1957.
First organized in 1912 at the Reagan School with W.T. Urguhart as scoutmaster. The next scoutmaster was L.J. Pierce. ASM John Wellborn (a plumber) became scoutmaster in 1913.
Troop 16 called itself “Houston’s Pride.” Later sponsored by Woodmen of the World, and met a the W.O.W. Hall.
Must have disbanded; did not participate in the June 1929 Boy Scout Round-Up, but did re-establish itself sometime in 1929. In 1931, the Northside Methodist Church owned the troop, with Frank A. Stamper as scoutmaster.
Mexican Baptist Church became sponsor in 1934. A succession of sponsors followed, including the Sutton School and the Sutton PTA. Troop 16 let its charter lapse for one year during the 1940s.
The sponsor in 1964 was the Garden Villas Community Association with John B. Harris as scoutmaster.
A Troop 17 from Pasadena competed in the first official relay race held in 1916. J.C. Guthrie was scoutmaster. Either this Troop 17 or another one disbanded in 1927.
The present Troop 17 began in 1918 as Park Place Troop 1, sponsored by the Park Place Businessman’s Association.
After Houston annexed Park Place (near Hobby Airport), Park Place Troop 1 joined the Houston Scout Council in 1927 and became the new Troop 17.
Council Executive R.R. Adcock’s troop rosters from thsi time confirm that a Troop 17 disbanded in 1927 and that Park Place Troop 1 was renamed Troop 17. These troop rosters are kept in a private boy scout collection.
Troop 17 met at several locations, then built a log cabin. This burned in 1930 and they rebuilt it.
One of Adcock’s Houston troop rosters shows Troop 17 was dropped on July 30, 1932. However, Troop 17’s archives contain a charter dated August 30, 1932 so this must refer to the change in sponsor. Park Place Baptist Church became Troop 17’s sponsor in August 1932, and still sponsors Troop 17 in 1990.
Mark Mosser (1990 FPC member) says Troop 17 has been continuously chartered since 1918, has had only two sponsors; and is two years older than Troop 11. Troop 17 has the honor of being Houston’s oldest continuously chartered troop.
Began in 1915 as an ‘independent’ troop. Active for many years but dropped probably because people moved out of the downtown district. Re-organized in March 932 at the Oaklawn Evangelical Church. Moved in 1940 to the Central Methodist Church. Moved to the Parker Memorial Church in 1948. The troop was dropped in 1951; re-organized in 1952 by the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, where it was still active in 1964.
Mr. Bethea was SM of Troop 19, which started about 1924 or 1925. The first troop meetings were at Mr. Bethea’s house, but later Troop 19 met at Montrose school. John Ridley was ASM. The first Eagle scout in Troop 19 was Henry Holden. The second was Ben Sewell.
First met at the Harrisburg High School in 1918, with SM Frank Gossett. Known as ‘The Indians.” Later taken over by the First Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg. Had many sponsors, the last of which was the Eastwood Baptist Church. Became inactive in 1952.
First met in 1916 at Lamar School with Erwin Jackson as SM. Known as “The Scouts.”
Later met at the Bering Memorial Church, who sponsored the troop. Continued to meet at Bering Memorial Church, even after the church moved to 1440 Harold Street. In 1964, Troop 21 completed 45 years of service to boys. Elmer V. Hudson was SM in 1964.
First organized in 1922 at the First Baptist Church with T.J. Williams as SM. H.L. Kaufman became SM in 1919. In 1924, the Heights Christian Church became the sponsor.
Believed to have started in 1917, although no record of it exists officially until 1921. Troop 23 was recognized in a city-wide court of honor in 1919. Sponsored by the Congregational Church.
Re-registered in March 1930 at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. Became inactive in August 1958.
First organized in February 1919 at St. Paul’s Church with F.L. Michael as SM. In 1922, Troop 24 met at the YMCA under SM W.E. Keen.
ASM Bateman Hardcastel became SM in September 1923. Troop was known as “The Pirates.” Someone wrote a history of Troop 24 as a tribute to Bateman Hardcastle.
Dating from April 1919. Met at 108 Burr St. with William H. Green as SM. In 1923, was sponsored by the Oaklawn Presbyterian Church. It was re-organized in June 1925 by the Holy Rosary Church.
Organized in 1919, sponsored by Christ’s Episcopal Church with H.R. Gates as SM. Sponsor changed in 1923 to the Trinity Episcopal Church, and Troop 16 met in Trinity Parish House. In 1924, Troop 26 had the largest membership of all Houston troops.
First met in 1919 at the Travis School with SM F.N. Ankenman. Later met at the Masonic Hall; and the Abe Levy Community Hall. In August 1923, moved to the Woodland Baptist Church.
Organized in August 1923 in the Heights Baptist Church. Mr. C.O. Blake was SM.
Organized in late 1921 by the First Lutheran Church.
Began in 1925 with the Norhill Methodist Church as sponsor. In 1940, St. Mark’s Methodist Church assumed sponsorship of Troop 30 and still sponsored the troop as of 1964.
First organized by a Group of Citizens in 1925 and met at Woodrow Wilson school with Edwin P. Neilon as scoutmaster. Inactive for a time in the late 1920s.
In 1933, the Wharton School on West Gray assumed sponsorship. The Troop Committee sponsored the troop in 1934. In September 1935, the Grace Evangelical Church (Lutheran) assumed ownership of Troop 32. The church moved to 1210 California and continued the troop programs until the troop expired in September 1962 after 31 years of successful operation.
Began June 6, 1932 sponsored by the First Methodist Church, Houston.
Started in December 1931, sponsored by the Epworth Methodist Church. Later met at the Riverside Baptist Church. Taken over in 1934 by Houston Gardens, Inc. Adopted in 1937 by the Houston Homestead Association. In 1956, the Wesley Methodist Church became sponsor.
First organized as Troop 1 on May 1, 1931 and sponsored by the Hovey-Bothea American Legion Post No. 428 of La Porte. The Community Church of La Porte assumed sponsorship in 1953.
Became active January 1, 1930 with the Pelly Methodist Church as sponsor. Pelly was later incorporated into Baytown, as was Goose Creek. Troop 93 was inactive in 1932, but was reactivated in February 1933 by a Group of Citizens. Changed sponsors several times, but kept returning to the Cedar Bayou Methodist Church, which took over the troop in 1938.
First organized April 7, 1935 with the Baytown Volunteer Fire Department as sponsor. Met at the Baytown Methodist Church. The Trinity Episcopal Church adopted the troop in 1944. On April 30, 1948 the Baytown Refinery Employees and Humble Club became sponsors and still had the troop in 1964.
Originally organized as Troop 1 on May 15, 1931 and was sponsored by a Group of Citizens from College Station. The troop expired in 1933 but was rechartered in September 1934. In 1935, the Bryan-College Station Rotary Club became sponsor. Met at several meeting places over the years, including the Experimental Station Building, and the American Legion Project House.
Started by a Group of Citizens in Weimar in 1925. Later adopted by the Knights of Columbus in 1933 who still sponsored the troop in 1964. Met in the Weimar Scout Cabin. Troop 124 was 38 years old in 1964.
From Conroe. Began September 7, 1937.
“10 Scouts Cited for Services In Recent Hurricane.” The Houston Chronicle. Oct 9, 1941.
“Area Scout Parents to Stage Meet.” The Citizen. May 7, 1953.
“Boy Scout Happenings.” The Houston Press. June 1915.
Boy Scout Round-Up program. June 13, 1929.
“Boy Scouts to Attend Funeral of Drowned Lad,” The Houston Press. August 30, 1922.
“Boy Scout Troop 11 to Attend Jamboree.” The Houston Chronicle. September 1959.
Briggs, Robert K. “Bob”. Personal interview. May 12, 1990.
Clapp, James Alston III. Personal interview. July 18, 1990. Mr. Clapp provided the picture of his grandfather, James Alston Clapp, Sr.
Davis, John P. “Troop 11 for Men and Boys.” First Presbyterian. January 18, 1974.
Dawson, Robert A.J. (Bob). “General History, Boy Scout Troop No. 11, Houston, Texas.” May 9, 1963. (Unpublished — distributed at Bill Gribble Day.)
“Explorer Scout Brothers Take Practically All Top Awards.” Houston Chronicle. July 14, 1955. Section C. page 5.
Fifteen Boy Scouts, et. al. The Scout Jamboree Book. New York; London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1930. (Note: Ben Sewell graciously let me borrow his copy of this book, which includes a picture of the Longhorn Patrol performing their rope tricks.)
Fisher, Gary. 1973 Jamboree Troop 5 Scrapbook (presented to First Presbyterian Church). October 1973.
Frisk, Eric C. Personal Interview. July 9, 1990
Fuermann, George. (Post Card column). The Houston Post. June 23, 1964.
“Full Troop 11 To Make Journey to Jamboree.” The Houston Post. July 4, 1960.
Gribble, Clara. Personal pictures accumulated by C.W. Gribble Jr., including pictures, newspaper clippings, and other remembrances from the 1920s through the 1963 Reunion Dinner.
Hochuli, Paul. “50 Years of Boy Scouting as Seen by Hoc — He’s a Guy Who Ought to Know.” The Houston Post. February 13, 1960.
Houston Area Council. Annual Reports. 1930-1934.
“Houston Boy Scouts Ready for Jamboree.” The Houston Press, page 8. June 15, 1929.
Houston Public Library – Archives (RGF 7). Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films. These include Jack Linn’s files from the Sam Houston Area Council. These are unprocessed, and are stored in the basement.
“Houston Scout Sends Account of Tour Abroad.” Houston Post-Dispatch. August 11, 1929.
Huffman, Minor S. Sam Houston Scouts (1985). Sam Houston Area Council.
Jack, Kenneth W. Personal Interview. Provided the 1957 Camp Strake photo and information on Air Squadron 11.
“Jamboree Spirit.” The Powder Horn. January 1960. Vol. XII, Number 1.
Kesseler, Forrest. “Houston Boys Having Time of Young Lives at Scout Jamboree.” Houston Post-Dispatch. August 5, 1929.
Kesseler, Forrest. “Houston Scouts Given Honor of Mounting American Color Guard.” Houston Post-Dispatch. July 28, 1929.
Kesseler, Forrest. “Jamboree Boys on Scout Trip Get Big Kick From Cuba Visit.” Houston Post-Dispatch. July 28, 1929.
King, Judy. Except the Lord Build … The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 – 1989. First Presbyterian Church, 1989.
Knipp, Ernest. “First Church to Sponsor New Cub Scout Pack.” First Presbyterian. August 7, 1987.
“Lad Drowned At Boy Scout Summer Camp,” The Houston Chronicle. August 29, 1922.
Lenoir, Frank. Personal Interview. July 20, 1990.
“Lenox presents cheque.” The ManuLife News. August 9, 1973. Reprinted with permission. Courtesy of ManuLife Financial, a subsidiary of Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
Linn, Jack. “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.” 333 pages. Unpublished, 1964.
Log of Wagon Train 281 – Philmont Scout Ranch. June 8 – July 4, 1954.
“Low Windmill.” Cut-line from Houston Chronicle photo. May 25, 1952.
Mattingly, Lewis. Personal Interview. July 23, 1990.
McCants, Robert. Personal interview; identify photos. June 15, 1990.
Minutes of Troop 11 Committee meetings, 1949-1959 and 1988-1989. Prepared by Kenneth Jack and Lee Spratling, respectively.
Oleson, Horace. Personal Interview. May 7, 1990 and June 20, 1990.
Oleson, Horace. Pessonal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and photos from the 1950s and 1960s.
Personal letters from:
Dan Kennerly to First Presbyterian Church. June 23, 1949
R.A.J. Dawson to Gail Whitcomb. July 31, 1963
R.A.J. Dawson to Minor Huffman, SHAC Scout Executive. December 11, 1963.
Gail Whitcomb to Minor Huffman, SHAC Scout Executive. August 1, 1963.
Rev. Buck Oliphant to Kleber Denny. May 14, 1987
Ernest Knipp to Joe Yoke, Bay Area Council. May 4, 1984.
Dr. John Wm. Lancaster to Mr. Jim Lenox. October 23, 1973.
Philibert, Bill J. Personal Interviews. May 7, 1990 and June 27, 1990.
Philibert, Bill J. Personal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and pictures from the 1950s. Much material on the 1950 and 1953 Jamborees; and on Explorer Post 1
Red, David. Personal Interviews. July 5, 1990 and July 12, 1990.
“Rotary Has Scouts,” The Houston Press. September 12, 1929.
Roussel, Hubert. “Good Scouts Abroad.” The Houston Gargoyle. (a Sunday supplement magazine, not sure which Houston newspaper.) September 15, 1929.
“Scouts Honor H.R. Safford, L.C. Mooney.” The Houston Press. December 18, 1935.
“Scout Illness Halts Program,” The Houston Press. September 11, 1929, pg. 2.
“Scout Loses Life In Swimming At Camp Masterson,” Houston Post-Dispatch. August 22, 1922.
“Scoutmaster Gribble Will Be Honored Here.” May 11, 1963. Houston Chronicle.
“Scouts of 20 Years Ago Meet to Relive 1929 European Tour.” The Houston Post. June 26, 1949.
“Scouts Ready for Journey to Jamboree.” The Houston Press. June 18, 1929, page 4.
Sewell, Ben. Personal Interview. July 5, 1990.
Shannon, Baker Lee. Telephone conversation. May 11, 1990.
Single, Sandra. “New Role for Scouts.” The Houston Chronicle Rotogravure Magazine, pp 18-19. April 1, 1956.
Summers, E.L. “Boys Visit Big Pierce ?Ranch.” The Houston Chronicle. April 27, 1952.
The Camp Tattler, summer camp newspaper. Edited and published by Saul B. Lieberman. August, 1929.
Thompson, H., et. al. Black Raven: The History of Colonneh Lodge. Second edition. Sam Houston Area Council. December 1979.
“Texas Observes Yearly Tribute to Republic’s Birth.” The Houston Post. April 21, 1923.
“Troop 5 Winner of Relay Race.” Houston Daily Post. February 23, 1916.
Troop 11 financial records and account ledger, 1949-1959.
Troop 11 Gazette. Vol. 1, Nos. 3 and 4.
Troop Explosion (published monthly by Troop 8). Seymour Sacks, Editor-in-Chief, August 1928.
“Twelve Boy Scouts To Receive ‘God and Country Award’ At Men’s Meeting.” First Presbyterian. December 3, 1954.
W.C. Munn newspaper ad. Houston Daily Post. Feb. 22, 1916 and Feb. 22, 1917. These publicized the Boy Scout Relay Races.
Word, Tracy. Personal Interviews. December 27, 1989; March 18, 1990; and June 22, 1990.
Word, Tracy. Personal scrapbooks, including pictures, newspaper clippings, and other Troop 11 remembrances from the 1920s. Much material on the 1929 Jamboree.
“Young Scouter Collects 62 Merit Badges.” The Houston Chronicle. (Southwest Neighborhood News edition, Section 7, page 1.) January 6, 1960.
Zuelke, Richard. “Ex-Scouts to Honor 2nd Father. May 10, 1963.