The following text is from Troop 11 History by Forrest Davis. The book was first written in 1990 and was updated in 2018 and 2020. Troop 11 is grateful for all of Mr. Davis’ hard work over the years. 


If you are a Troop 11 alumni and have information or stories that you would like to add, please use the CONTACT US to send it to us!

Forrest Davis has also created the Facebook page Photos from Houston Troop 11 History to hold all the photos he has gathered. It is worth a visit!

1920 – 2020

Troop 11 is grateful to First Presbyterian Church for its outstanding support and leadership. We thank First Presbyterian Church for faithfully and steadfastly sponsoring our troop for one hundred years. This Troop 11 History is dedicated to First Presbyterian Church.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of Boy Scouts of America Troop 11 to minister to its Scouts and their families through the Scouting program established by the Boy Scouts of America, with a Christian centered program supervised by trained leaders that lead by example. Emphasis will be on our duty to God, our country and to others.

First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church (FPC) has sponsored Boy Scout Troop 11 since February 1920. For 100 years, FPC’s Scouting ministry has been an integral part of its children and youth ministries. FPC’s continued sponsorship and support for its scouting groups provide a valuable mission to the community and to FPC members whose children are involved in scouting. Scouting may well be FPC’s oldest continuously supported mission.

Although called the Troop 11 History, this book includes historical information on ALL scouting groups associated with First Presbyterian Church through the years: Boy Scout Troop 11, Scouts BSA Troop 12, Rover Crew 1, Air Squadron 1, Explorer Post 1, Air Squadron 11, Sea Scout Ship 1 (in 1949), Venture Crew 11, and Cub Pack 11.

In February 2019, FPC chartered Scouts BSA Troop 12, one of Houston’s very first all-girl scout troops. BSA’s new program, Scouts BSA, provides an exciting way for girls and young women to join in the adventure of scouting. In 2020, as we joyfully mark 100 years of scouting at FPC, First Presbyterian Church currently sponsors Troop 11 (boys), Cub Pack 11 (boys and girls), and Scouts BSA Troop 12 (girls).


By Dr. James T. Birchfield, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

How amazing — and what an incredible blessing to think about the fact that Troop 11 and First Presbyterian Church have been partners for 100 years! Congratulations!

If you think of all the changes — and all the ups and downs — in scouting, in the church and in our surrounding culture, it really is quite remarkable to be celebrating 100 years together.

While we are grateful for the honor of having this history dedicated to us, I’m not so sure that it isn’t we, the members of FPC, past and present, who ought to be expressing our gratitude to you. Thank you for helping to shape the lives of so many boys, young men and now girls and young women in our community.

 Congratulations again on your 100th anniversary, on your tenure as Houston’s oldest continuously chartered scout troop and on the amazing things that our Lord has done in and through those who have been a part of Troop 11 over all these years.


Houston's Oldest Continuously Chartered Troop

Houston’s first Troop 11 began in 1914, and re-started in 1918. FPC’s sponsorship of Troop 11 began in March 1920; Troop 11 has been active ever since. FPC’s Troop 11 became Houston’s oldest continuously chartered boy scout troop when Troop 17 disbanded sometime after 1990.

In his 1963 Troop 11 history, Bob Dawson’s unique style of writing allowed him to capture the true SPIRIT of Troop 11. 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.”

FPC member Mark Mosser told us that Troop 9 was Houston’s oldest continuously chartered troop for 74 years, from 1914 to 1987, at which time Troop 17 became the oldest troop. However, in a 1924 Houston Post-Dispatch article, Scout Executive R. R. Adcock reported that he dropped Troops 9, 12, 25 and 39 because they could not be revived. There are Troop 9 registrations for 1923 and 1925, but none for 1924.

This means that after 1924, Troop 17 became Houston’s oldest continuously chartered troop. That troop began as Park Place Troop 1 in 1918, sponsored by Park Place Baptist Church, and became SHAC Troop 17 in 1927 when it joined the Houston Council. The 1927 Troop 17 roster confirms this was the same troop.

In 2015, Troop 11 Committee member Kent Johnston wrote, “T‑11 is now the oldest troop in SHAC. The Troop 17 mentioned in the 1990 history no longer exists, and Park Place Baptist Church exists but no longer sponsors any troop.

In Jan 2018, Troop 4 scoutmaster Ed Cedillo surprised us with a copy of Troop 4’s 2018 charter from National BSA which says “Serving youth for 102 years.” Houston Troop 4 claims to have turned 100 years old on Dec 1, 2017 which, if true, would make Troop 4 almost four years older than Troop 11. Troop 4 did begin in 1916 and since the quarantine lasted only about a month, we’ll agree they did not disband during Houston’s 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.

With regard to Troop 4’s claim of being in continuous operation since 1916, Troop 11 is aware of the following facts:

  • The 1919 Troop 4 registration (which expired June 1, 1919) has a hand-written note on it — the word “dead.”
  • Troop 4 is not in the 1920 Houston City Directory.
  • There are no Houston Area Council Troop 4 registrations for the years 1920 or 1921. The next Troop 4 registration expires in Dec 1922.
  • In 1964, Jack Linn wrote “Troop 4, inactive a few years in the 1920s, during which time this number was used by a troop in Bryan, has enjoyed registration for 42 years.” 42 years old in 1964 means its re-organization must have been in 1922.”
  • Houston Post and Houston Daily Post news articles during 1920 about the boy scouts do not mention Troop 4.


Robert A.J. “Bob” Dawson, a Troop 11 scout in the 1930s, provided the inspiration for this Troop 11 History. For Bill Gribble Day in 1963, he typed a six-page history of Troop 11 entitled “General History, Boy Scout Troop No. 11, Houston, Texas.”

Robert A.J. “Bob” Dawson, a Troop 11 scout in the 1930s, provided the inspiration for this Troop 11 History. For Bill Gribble Day in 1963, he typed a six-page history of Troop 11 entitled “General History, Boy Scout Troop No. 11, Houston, Texas.”

An amateur historian, Bob Dawson accumulated much memorabilia on Houston’s early scouting program. SHAC documents stored in the Houston Public Library Archives (RGF‑7) refer to Dawson’s 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 Dawson’s collection have been unsuccessful. We do know that Bob Dawson had two sons, one of whom still lives in the Houston area.

 Lewis Mattingly made Dawson’s history available to Troop 11’s 70th Reunion Committee. Mr. Mattingly’s vision was that a Troop 11 history be written for the 70th Reunion.

The 1990 70th Reunion Committee re-typed Dawson’s entire six-page 1963 history and then attempted to “fill in the gaps.” Thus, the 1990 history included all of Dawson’s Troop 11 History in its original form. Bob Dawson loved Troop 11 very much and his work merits preservation.

Tracy Word observed that the 1990 Troop 11 History “borrowed generously from Dawson’s,” and noted that it did not attribute Dawson’s work. This 2020 edition corrects that mistake: Dawson’s quotes and in fact — all quotes — in this 2020 history are italicized.

Just as the 1990 Troop 11 History expanded upon Bob Dawson’s 1963 history, this 2020 history builds upon the 1990 history. Future versions of the Troop 11 History should borrow generously from this 2020 version. The Troop 11 History belongs to Troop 11, and not to any particular author.

Troop 11 documents, photographs and other source material used to write the 70th Reunion’s 1990 Troop 11 History are stored at the Houston Public Library Archives, a.k.a. Houston Metropolitan Research Center in Special Collection RGF-36. This is available to the public.

Except for those images for which the Houston Chronicle owns the rights, photos collected for the 2020 Troop 11 History are on a Facebook page “Photos from Houston Troop 11 History.” That Facebook photo section organizes the photos in albums, either by decade or topic.

In 1990, adult leaders Baker Lee Shannon, Horace Oleson, Bill Philibert, David Red, Lewis Mattingly, Bob Briggs, Jim Lenox, Kleber Denny, Fred Steves, Erich Wolz and David Hannah, Jr. each provided interviews, newspaper clippings, photos and items from their scrapbooks. Ben Sewell gave Troop 11 his copy of The Scout Jamboree Book, printed in 1930, which has a photo of the 1929 Jamboree Longhorn Patrol. Tracy Word gave us John Roos’ 16-mm film of the 1929 Jamboree trip. Bill Gribble gave us access to his father’s Troop 11 scrapbook.

These men wanted to make the Troop 11 History something special. They trusted that Troop 11 would do the right thing with the keepsakes they had kept for so long.

This 2020 version of the Troop 11 History has done its best to honor their wishes.


In 1964, Jack Linn (SHAC Field Scout Executive) completed his SHAC history, “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.” Never published, Linn’s history was thoroughly researched with much supporting detail. Linn’s 333-page typewritten manuscript can be found in the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, in Sam Houston Area Council special collection RGF‑7. Linn’s 20-page chapter titled “In the Beginning: The First Boy Scouts in Houston” describes Houston’s early scout troops, especially when each started.

In 1964, Jack Linn (SHAC Field Scout Executive) completed his SHAC history, “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.” Never published, Linn’s history was thoroughly researched with much supporting detail. Linn’s 333-page typewritten manuscript can be found in the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, in Sam Houston Area Council special collection RGF‑7. Linn’s 20-page chapter titled “In the Beginning: The First Boy Scouts in Houston” describes Houston’s early scout troops, especially when each started.

In 1985, former SHAC Scout Executive Minor Huffman wrote a history of the Sam Houston Area Council. SHAC published 3000 copies of Huffman’s history as a 208-page book, entitled Sam Houston Scouts. In his Preface, Minor Huffman stated that he drew freely from Linn’s material.

THE 1910s

Before First Presbyterian Church sponsored Boy Scout Troop 11, there was another Troop 11 that began in May 1914, not affiliated with any church, school or creed. This was Houston’s “first” Troop 11, best known for Houston’s first Eagle Scout, 16-yr old Henry Palmer “Peg” Melton. We begin with that “first” Troop 11.

APRIL 1914

Houston’s first Troop 11 began in April 1914, when scoutmaster John Dixie Smith passed scout Gus B. Riley on his Tenderfoot examination with a score of 92.   J. Dixie Smith’s assistant scoutmaster was R.P. Gates, who’d had considerable success with boys at the Settlement House the previous summer.

At the beginning of May, the Houston Daily Post reported that troop number 11 was still unassigned1. Scout Commissioner Walter G. Harbin was waiting to be sure that he did not assign a number that was already being used.


In June, Tenderfoot badges were awarded to Troop 11 scouts Robert Edward Keiser, Louis Baggett, Floyd Baggett, Marshall Catton, Gus Riley and Clarence Camp.

In August 2014, 226 Houston scouts took a special train to Texas City to tour two military camps. Afterward, they went to Galveston for a military exhibition at Fort Crockett.

The Houston Post reported in October 25, 1914 that Troop 11 scout Sam Tate attended a camp-out with Troop 3.

In November, Troop 11 and the other Houston scout troops assisted Houston police with the Deep Water Jubilee parade. Houston troops patrolled the streets; Troop 11 had charge of the Main at McKinney intersection. November was also when Houston scouts toured 17 Houston industrials (see above).

Troop 11 had eleven scouts in 1914 and re-registered with 20 scouts in July of 1915, according to the Houston Boy Scout commissioner’s report5 dated March 10, 1916.


First Plants of City Will Be Seen Saturday

In fall 2014, Houston boy scouts toured seventeen industrial sites in the city.  The idea was for the boys to see how the businesses of the city operated, so that when they were running the city, they would understand how things worked.

Seventeen companies agreed to have the boy scouts tour their facilities:

  • Houston Show Case Company,
  • Ford Motor Car Company,
  • Henke Ice and Refrigeration,
  • National Biscuit Co.,
  • Houston Structural Steel,
  • Oriental Textile mills,
  • Calhoun Pattern Foundry and Machine Company,
  • Houston Electric Co.,
  • Texas and New Orleans shops,
  • Houston Lighting and Power,
  • Model Laundry,
  • Industrial Cotton Oil Co.,
  • Standard Milling Co.,
  • Houston Packing Company,
  • Rice Institute,
  • City Water Works, and
  • Houston Chronicle.

The scouts were organized into five companies which toured the various industrial plants on Saturdays.  Troop 11 was in Company No. 4, along with Troops 7, 11 and 20.  H.L. Crate, J. Dixie Smith and J.W. Lyle were scoutmasters.  On that first Saturday, Troop 11 saw the National Biscuit Company and Houston Lighting and Power.

Each scout had to submit an essay which described what he had seen.  J. Dixie Smith was one of the judges to determine the essay winner.  The Houston Council awarded a gold pin to the boy who wrote the best essay, focusing on the scout who had gained the most knowledge of what he had seen.


      In January, Troop 11 joined over 250 Houston scouts at the Majestic Theater as guests of the Houston Post.  The boys listened to naturalist Charles Kellogg who entertained them with bird songs, the effect of sound on a flame inside a glass tube, and demonstrations to build fire using only friction.

On February 7, Dr. William States Jacobs of First Presbyterian Church gave a sermon to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America.  His sermon was reprinted in the Feb 08, 1915 Houston Daily Post.


In June, Troop 11 scouts Kreichamer, Kirschmann and Wolf led Troop 11 to 2nd place at the boy scout track meet held at the Y.M.C.A. 



Six miles above Houston on Buffalo Bayou, Troop 11 scouts hiked to what they described as “one of the best camping grounds in the country.”  The site was good for swimming and fishing, with plenty of opportunity to identify trees, leaves and flowers.  ASM Houston Wade made a bow and arrow for the scouts, and instructed them on how to use it.

Troop 11 uses an entire empty block in Southmore, where they have set up their big army tent.  The troop can drill out in the open, even at night, because they have installed electric lights.

MEETING:  25 JUNE 1915

SM J. Dixie Smith, assisted by ASM Seymour Bowman, led Troop 11’s Friday night meeting.  They were joined by visitors Colonel W.A. Childress (scout council president), the Honorable F.M. Dyer (drillmaster), G.W. Powell (SM of Troop 6), and scouts from Troops 4 and 6.

Thirty-four boys enjoyed Mr. Childress’ talk and then drilled with Mr. Dyer afterward.  At meeting’s end, Troop 11 shared a large tub of lemonade with everyone.

CAMP-OUT:  26 JUNE 1915

Commissioner David M. Duller invited all Houston boys who had appeared before the Harris County juvenile court to join Troop 11 on this camp-out, led by SM J. Dixie Smith and ASMs Houston Wade and Seymour Bowman. 

Troop 11 rode to the end of the Louisiana street car line and then hiked out Westheimer road.  Each boy provided three things for himself:  money for his street car rides, food for three meals, and a blanket.  Troop 11 brought along their big army tent.

Scouts from Troop 4 and Troop 6 also participated, along with scout commissioner Duller and scout drillmaster F.M. Dyer. 

JULY 1915

In July, J. Dixie Smith served on the committee to find a permanent campground for Houston’s boy scouts.

MEETING:  05 SEPT 1915

Twelve of Troop 11’s fourteen scouts were present for the Friday night meeting at their Southmore outdoor headquarters.  The scouts cooked bacon, steak, coffee, toast and “wienies.”


Troop 11 increased its membership to sixteen scouts.  Commissioner David Duller gave the boys a scouting pep talk.  Troop 11 joined scoutmasters Urquhart and Washburn in a hike to Green’s bayou.  For two days the scouts swam, fished, and caught seven possums.  For advancement, patrol leader Palmer Melton passed his test in astronomy and is now a first class scout working on his overachiever merit badge.  Bonner Chenault is now a second class scout. 


In October, R.R. Adcock taught Troop 11 how to drill in formation.  The Houston Council held two Field Days each year, in April and November.

In November, Troop 11 took 6th place at Field Day with 30½ points.  In November, Troop 11 saluted a large American banner at a naturalization ceremony for foreigners who had recently become U.S. citizens.


The scouts of Troop 11 have the best record for attaining their scout ranks:  tenderfoot, second class, first class and then merit badges.  J. Dixie Smith wants all his scouts to have earned first class before the troop is one year old.

Troop 11 re-registered in May 1915.



  1. Dixie Smith (SM)

Seymour Bowman (ASM)

Houston Wade (ASM)

Quail Patrol

Palmer Melton (PL)

Myrl Padfield (APL)

Henry Whitby

James Parker

Gustave Jones

Ernest Kearney

Ralph Brown

Robert Golden

Crow Patrol

Rezin Steele (PL)

Ralph Grice (APL)

Raymond K. Younge

Bonner Chenault

Kent Irvin

Morris Abell

  1. Barry York

Carl Stephenson

Panther Patrol

Colis Garrison (PL)

Henry Bryan (APL)

Frank Smith

Rorick Cravens

Claud Martin


While they continue to study birds and trees, Troop 11 has formed a baseball team to compete with the other scout teams.


For April’s Field Day, “Through the courtesy of David Daly, four large street cars were furnished for the boys as a special to take them from the city to the wharves of Harrisburg, and a special steamer was chartered for a trip down the channel” to the San Jacinto Battlegrounds.  Troop 11 received a perfect score in the Pace Race, and placed 7th overall with 44.1 points.  Scoutmaster was J. Dixie Smith.

In June, two Troop 11 scouts ushered for the Rushkin motion pictures shown at the Prince theater.  Troop 11 had charge of the Main at Congress intersection during the preparedness parade.  On June 13, Troop 11’s “Myrl Padfield proved his right to carry a knife or hatchet by proving his knowledge of said instruments.” 

In July, Troop 11 marched in the Fourth of July parade.  Troop 11 scout Rezin Steele went with other Houston scouts on a two-week camp at the San Jacinto River.  The scouts hiked there from Houston.  Rorick Cravens received merit badges for bugling and personal health.

Two scouts became 2nd class:  Robert Golden in August, and Rezin Steele in September.  By October, Troop 11 was without a scoutmaster, probably because J. Dixie Smith began his private law practice.

Troop 11 did not participate in the November field day, though J. Dixie Smith was a field day official.  The Houston Daily Post reported that “Several troops showed up on the grounds but were too afraid to participate.


SCOUTMASTER  1914-1916

  1. Dixie Smith had been a post office employee for eleven years, as night superintendent of Substation A and later as foreman of Houston’s distributing department.  Admitted to the bar in 1913, John Dixie Smith was appointed as Harris County probation officer.  He began his own law practice in 1916.

 A member of Central Christian Church, he had been organizing a boy scout troop there prior to becoming Troop 11’s scoutmaster in 1914 at age 37.  He was on the executive committee of the Houston Boy Scout Council in 1914 & 1920 as treasurer, and in 1918 he served both as secretary and on that year’s Court of Honor. 

  1. Dixie Smith was a renowned orator who was very active in Houston’s Masons and Scottish Rite organizations.  He served three terms as lodge president of the Texas Branch of the National Association of Post Office Clerks.  In November 1922, he was elected Harris County District Attorney.


J.W. Lyle became Troop 11’s scoutmaster in March.  Troop 11 did not participate in April’s field day.

The November 1917 Field Day was held at San Jacinto High School; Troop 11 placed second.  Field Day events began with a troop inspection for uniforms and attendance.  Events included first aid, hidden trail race, knot-tying, fire-building, tent-pitching, leaf (identify) relay race, team signaling and scout pace race.


Paul Hochuli was a scout in this early Troop 11; he wrote for the Houston Press.  For Scouting’s 50th anniversary, he described the boy scout relay races in a February 13, 1960 article for the Houston Press

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.

Despite Hochuli’s assertion, Troop 11 never won any of the early boy scout relays. Here are the winning troops for the first five Washington’s Birthday relay races: 

1916, Troop 5

1917, Troop 9

1918, Troop 9

1919, Troop 20

1920, Troop 20

Hochuli may have been thinking of the first aid cup, the drill cup, the wall scaling cup or the archery cup. 


During World War I, the Houston Scout Council had a difficult time providing Houston troops with scoutmasters; the council always placed articles in Houston newspapers extolling the virtues of scouting and asking for men to be scoutmasters.  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.” An article in the Nov 7, 1917 Houston Daily Post lists eight scoutmasters who were called to military service, and the branch of service where each went.


In his Feb. 1960 Houston Press article, Paul Hochuli wrote “Later, in Troop 11, the war was over and we returned to peace-time activities.  On April 21, there was a city-wide campout at San Jacinto Battleground.  We’d go down the ship channel in the Nichaules, or some such excursion boat, set up camp where Sam Houston won Texas’ independence.  Everyone cooked his own food.  After the first year, I lived on bologna sandwiches and licorice sticks.

Hochuli wrote “Get to Hermann Park and you were in a wilderness.  There was a scout house on the bayou banks and we spent many a night there.  Fishing to never catch anything, and cooking up a stew that had everything but our scout axes in it.


The Houston City Directory lists Troop 11 for the years 1917, 1918, and 1919, but a phone book does not prove continuous operation.  No scoutmaster is listed for 1917 as Mr. Lyle did not become scoutmaster until March of that year.


Scoutmaster H.C. Coombs was in a motorcycle accident in May 1918, when he collided with a horse and wagon.  “Mr. Coombs told the police the accident was the fault of the driver of the wagon.”  The accident was so bad that the horse had to be put down.  This could explain why H.C. Coombs stopped being Troop 11’s scoutmaster, though he was still scoutmaster in July 1918 when Peg Melton received his Eagle rank.


Schools and Theaters Closed and Public Gatherings Prohibited

Bob Dawson wrote that Troop 11 disbanded in 1918 because of World War I.  Jack Linn wrote that Troop 11 disbanded in 1918 because of the worldwide Spanish Flu epidemic which paralyzed the Houston community.  In October, health authorities quarantined thousands of homes and banned all public meetings, including troop meetings.  The quarantine lasted for about a month. 

1918 TROOP 11 ROSTER: 

A Troop 11 roster labeled “Record of Enrollment. Troop 11” shows SM H.C. Coombs with ASM Samuel B. Davis.  Troop 11 had eighteen scouts.  Based on Palmer Melton’s age, this could very well be a 1918 troop roster.  Troop 11 meetings were Friday nights at 8 PM. 

The scout ranks at this time were Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, and “Merit.”  The “M” rank on the Troop 11 rosters from 1918 to 1930 is for Merit,  the rank when a scout could earn merit badges.

Name                           Age      Rank

Edward Barnes              17        S

Peyton Barnes               15        T

Russell Buse                 13        T

Dudly Davis                 14        T

Louis Green                  14        T

Paul Hochuli                 15        T

Albert Howze               16        T

Dizon Hutchinson         14        S

Earnest Kearney            15        T

Wm. Lincoln                 15        T

Palmer Melton              16        M

Lellius Miller                14        T

Henry Pace                   15        T

Joe Palmer                    15        S

William Parker              14        T

Morris Simmons           14        T

Rezin Steele                  17        S

Jess Wood                    14        T


Despite the fact that Peg Melton earned his Eagle rank in February 1918, many mistakenly believe Peg earned his Eagle in 1916.   Minor Huffman reported that Peg Melton got his Eagle in 1916.  SHAC even celebrated the 100th anniversary of Houston’s first Eagle scout in 2016, two years early. 

The source of this confusion is an incorrect Houston Chronicle article from September 14, 1941, which says that Peg earned his Eagle one year after he lost his ankle.  One year after Peg’s accident on February 21, 1915 would be 1916.  Peg actually earned his Eagle three years after his accident.


Newspaper accounts show that Troop 11 was active in 1919 thru early April.  Troop 11’s Paul Hochuli participated in a 3-round boxing bout on March 1.  On April 5, the Houston Aces defeated Troop 11 in baseball by a score of 10 to 5. 

With John S. Bonner as scoutmaster, Troop 11 was to have participated in Field Day held at the San Jacinto Monument April 19-21, but Troop 11’s score is not listed in the final results. 

Houston Boy Scouts WERE involved in the war effort during 1919, selling Liberty Bonds for example, but newspaper articles do not mention Troop 11.


  1. Dixie Smith was Troop 11’s first scoutmaster; R.P Gates was the first ASM.  By 1915, J. Dixie Smith had recruited his post office co-workers, Seymour Bowman and Houston Wade, to assist him as ASMs. In January 1916, the scouts elected both to be Troop 11 ASMs. 

J.W. Lyle became Troop 11’s scoutmaster in March 1917.  Mr. Lyle was superintendent of the Harris county schools and had previously served as SM of Harrisburg Troop 20.

Howard C. Coombs was scoutmaster in October 1917 when Troop 11 sold 35 war bonds.  Mr. Coombs had completed the Houston Scout Council’s scoutmaster training program just the month before.  The Houston City Directory lists Mr. Coombs as SM in 1918 and 1919. Mr. Coombs worked as a stenographer at the International & Great Northern (I. & G.N.) Railroad General Office. Samuel B. Davis was his assistant scoutmaster.  Mr. Davis worked at the First National Bank. 

“Peg” Melton may have been Troop 11’s acting scoutmaster for a month or so in 1918 during the transition from H.C. Coombs to John S. Bonner.

John S. Bonner became scoutmaster in 1919, or very late in 1918 after the Houston City Directory went to press.  Mr. Bonner was president of both the Bonner Oil Company and the Houston Motor Company, as well as a director of Union National Bank.  A well-known Shriner and Rotarian, Mr. Bonner frequently entertained guests on his yacht, the Russara, with cruises up and down the ship channel while telling them stories about the Houston Ship Channel and the Battle of San Jacinto. 


The Houston City Council set aside a field at Hermann Park for use of the boy scouts.  The Salesmanship Club built a two-story “Boy Scout Home” there.  In July 1919, FPC’s Rev. William States Jacobs presented the “Boy Scout Home” to the Houston scouts at its dedication.


The Houston Post (Dec 31, 1923) reported that Bill Gribble gave Troop 11 “a report on the advancement of (Troop 11) from its first organization in 1918.”  Did Troop 11 disband in 1918 because of H.C. Coombs’ accident, only to re-organize later that year with John S. Bonner as scoutmaster?

Troop 11 is not mentioned in Houston Post articles after April 1919. This suggests that Troop 11 may have been inactive from May 1919 until restarted by First Presbyterian Church in February 1920.  However, in that same Dec 31, 1926 Houston Post article, C.W. “Bill” Gribble said “The troop has missed but one meeting in five years.” Is Gribble saying that Troop 11 was active for all of 1919?   More research is needed.



In February 1915, while on his way to Sunday School, 12-year old Palmer Melton jumped on a Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe passenger train.  He fell off near Blodgett Station in the South End, and went beneath the train with several cars passing over him.  He was badly bruised all over his body, but that was relatively minor in that doctors had to amputate his left foot just above the ankle.  Thereafter, he wore an artificial limb and was known as “Peg” to his pals.  

In August, the 55th District Court awarded a judgment for $5000 damages.  The suit was brought by H.T. Melton, his father.

The Houston Daily Post profiled young scout Palmer Melton in 1915, when he joined Troop 11 on June 17, 1915:  “A manly little fellow of 13 summers, clear-cut features, cheeks that dimple when he smiles and eyes that are brimful of life, a beautiful picture of boyhood, bubbling over with interest in things around him and with a yearning for knowledge that will be of benefit to him in the days to come withal, quiet and unassuming is Palmer Melton, Boy Scout.”


Peg attained Tenderfoot rank the day after he joined Troop 11.  He was required to be a Tenderfoot for thirty days before being eligible for 2nd Class; he became 2nd Class on day thirty-five.  After 60 days as a 2nd Class, he passed his first class test on September 6 with a perfect 100 score.  Peg earned five merit badges by the end of October:  swimming, public health, personal health, craftsmanship and art.

The Houston Daily Post continued, “All of this Palmer Melton accomplished in a period of four months and in the face of a handicap.  Here is a living example to the rest of the Boy Scouts of Houston of what can be accomplished by applying themselves to their work.  The record made by this boy should be an incentive to every Boy Scout in Houston to do his best.

On January 10, 1917, the Houston Daily Post reported that of all Houston scouts,  Palmer Melton had earned the most badges to date, 15 merit badges.  The Eagle rank required 21 merit badges, so Peg could not have earned his Eagle rank in 1916.

On February 11, 1918, the Houston Daily Post reported that “Palmer Melton of troop 11 qualified as Eagle scout by securing his twenty-first merit badge.  Melton is the first Houston Eagle scout.”  H.C. Coombs was his scoutmaster.  Peg was also the first Eagle scout in Harris County.  Being sixteen, he was one of the youngest Eagle scouts in the country.  George Kepple, vice president of the Houston Council, awarded Peg Melton his Life, Star and Eagle scout badges in July 2018.

Peg never let his handicap interfere with his athletics.  At Rice Institute, he pitched for the Rice Owls baseball team in ‘20, ‘21, ‘22, and ‘23.  A natural leader, Peg Melton was captain of the ‘22 and ‘23 Rice baseball teams.   In May 1922, after successfully winning both games of a Texas A&M doubleheader, the Rice baseball team carried him off the field.

Paul Hochuli wrote, “Peg was a natural woodsman, a clean living kid, an ideal Scout, and it is fitting that he became the first Eagle scout in our town.  He was an expert with rifle or shotgun, you couldn’t lose him in woods or prairie.

An expert skeet shooter, Peg Melton’s scores in Texas individual and Southwestern skeet tournaments were consistently high.  He won the Southwestern skeet champion-ship in 1931.  He won the Texas state skeet shoot championship in 1932 after a shoot-off, and again in 1934.  The Dec 1932 issue of the Skeet Shooting News(published in Boston) reported on how Peg Melton won the Texas championship.  “After a three way tie for first place, Peg Melton then scored 50 straight to win the event.” Skeet Shooting News referred to Peg Melton as being one of the ‘Five Horsemen’ of skeet, a reference to Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen” in college football.  Peg was captain of the 1938 U.S. Olympic skeet team, cancelled due to Hitler.

In 1941, Palmer Melton served as president of the R Association, a Rice Owl athletic organization for those who lettered in their sport.  He was inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1973, he received the Distinguished R Man award.



  1. Palmer “Peg” Melton spoke at Troop 11’s 50th Reunion.  ASM Bob Briggs remembers that Peg said he and another Eagle scout led Troop 11 for a few months until a scoutmaster could be found.  The story rings true because in April 1919, John S. Bonner was Troop 11’s FOURTH scoutmaster.

After Peg became an Eagle scout in 1918, we think he assumed Troop 11 scoutmaster duties after H.C. Coombs’ departure until Troop 11 re-started with SM John Bonner. We know that by February 1919, Peg Melton was enrolled in the Houston Scout Council’s scoutmaster training program. Being interim scoutmaster would be in keeping with Peg’s character, as later in 1924, he led the Rice Institute baseball team’s practices until a coach could be hired. 


In September 1941, the Houston Chronicle ran a story on H. Palmer Melton, who had just become the new neighborhood commissioner for Troop No. 10, Pack No. 10 and Sea Scout Ship No. 10 of the Sam Houston Area Council, sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church. He served as Troop 10’s scoutmaster in 1941 and again in 1944, when they did not have a scoutmaster. 

Peg had a cotton company, then was an oil jobber who worked for Bud Adams, owner of the Houston Oilers.  He distributed fuel for Phillips 66.  Later, Peg was a Houston sales representative for the Shell Oil Corporation. 

The 1920s


FPC SESSION MINUTES           S20.104.10      2/2/20

On motion a Scout Organization in connection with the Sunday School was approved and the matter put in the charge of D.O. Lane.

Founding Members, FPC’s 1920 Troop 11

James Alston Clapp (SM)

W.W. Gaston1 (ASM)


Brown, Arry

Forrester, Russell

Eslinger, George

Gibson, Harry

Hanson, Harry

Hellman, Alexander

Ketterson, Frank

Limbaugh, Cary

McKinnon, Walter L. “Dutch”

Mills, Ernest

Paige, Donald

Pederson, Lawrence

Simpson, Charlie

Solomon, Marland

Stull, Fred

Bayley, Richard

Wheeler, Harry


Walter F. Brown chaired the 1920 troop committee.  The first committee members were G.W. Baillio and William Ashton Vinson.  According to Bob Dawson, “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’).


A 1933 news article about Troop 11’s Reunion Banner says that “Troop 11 was organized February 22, 1920 by J. Alston Clapp Sr. as part of the First Presbyterian Church of Houston.

A 1920 Troop 11 roster shows that seven scouts earned their Tenderfoot rank on February 20, 1920; three scouts earned their Tenderfoot on February 22, 1920.


Troop 11’s first charter is dated March 29, 1920.  At that time, it was common for scout troops to begin their activities and then fill out their chartering paperwork later.     

The 1920 charter was lost for many years until Dan Kennerly found 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 charter while researching their church history and returned it to Troop 11 in the late 1970s.

Troop 11’s 1920 charter is kept in the Troop 11 archives at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a.k.a. Houston Public Library Archives.  Ask for  Special Collection RGF-36.


Troop 11’s first two senior patrol leaders were Walter L. “Dutch” McKinnon (1920-21) and Fred Stull (1921-23). Their SPL pins are mounted on a plaque that is still kept in the scout closet.  Gilbert Munson was SPL immediately after Fred Stull, but he soon moved away to Louisiana.  Robert Hughes was SPL in 1923, followed by Rockwell Rowe in 1924.  Tracy Word told us, “Rockwell Rowe is fondly remembered because he led by example.”


Bob Dawson wrote, “Troop 11 met at the original First Presbyterian Church, then located at Main Street and McKinney Avenue, every Friday night through August 1931.”


Bob Dawson wrote, “Alston Clapp’s confident anticipation of the mettle of his new troop can probably be best grasped by his choice of the troop neckerchief color — a resplendent royal purple!


On Sunday, February 6, 1921, Houston boy scouts marched from scout headquarters (3913 Washington) to the Rice Hotel. There, in the ballroom, the Houston Scout Council held a snappy program to celebrate the 11th anniversary of BSA’s  founding.  Troop 11 had a 95% or better attendance at this event, qualifying them for a 100 rating.


The efficiency contest for the J.J. Sweeney loving cup is creating much interest among the boy scout troops in Houston. This cup will be awarded on April 1. Troop No. 11 is still leading in the contest with good margin.The Houston Post, Jan 30, 1921.

For the four months ending April 1, Troop 11 won the J.J. Sweeney loving cup for having the best efficiency record. To celebrate, Troop 11 held its own parade through the downtown streets.  The troop kept possession of the cup for the next four months.


In April 1921, Troop 11 hosted newsboys as guests, and gave demonstrations in first aid, nature study, fire building, knot tying and wig-wag signals.  First Class scout Richard Bayley earned the Houston Scout Council’s 100 percent duty badge for not missing a meeting during the past year. 



In July, Troop 11 stayed busy preparing for the Round-Up, swimming at the YMCA pool, and working on merit badges.  The boys received a message from their scoutmaster, Alston Clapp,  who was on vacation in California and Colorado. 

ASM C.W. Gribble and SPL Fred Stull sent out warnings to everyone to watch out for Troop 11 in the efficiency contest.  At the Round-Up in August, Troop 11 had a team in practically all the events.  The troop had 25 boys on its signal team. 

Seven Troop 11 scouts attended Camp Harris Masterson in August:  Vidor Aderman, Robert Hughes, Joe Ellison, Rockwell Rowe, Travis Smith, James Atlee and Clifford Morgan.  Col. A.J. Houston, son of General Sam Houston, visited the summer camp and told them stories of the San Jacinto battle from personal recollections of his distinguished father.

Bob Dawson wrote, “By 1921, (Troop 11) was a strong, four full patrol troop active in all phases of scouting.  By 1923, it had won considerable recognition and publicity by outstripping all other local troops in winning the coveted Performance Cup at intervals in intense competition with other older local troops.”


Fred Stull became the first Eagle scout in FPC’s “new” Troop 11 on August 26, 1921.  Fred remembers that he was Houston’s 26th Eagle Scout.


Forty-five scouts attended Troop 11’s regular meeting Thursday night.  The troop planned its overnight camp at Piney Point.  Next was a flint and steel fire-building contest. SM Alston Clapp ended the meeting by showing post cards from his recent trip to South America.


Mr. Clapp spoke of the Christmas spirit; the boys prepared Christmas boxes for the poor.


Calvin McClelland of Troop 11 spoke at the Rotary Club’s  “Father & Son” luncheon, Dec. 1921.  There are two kinds of fathers according to Calvin McClelland.  “One kind,” he said, “is simply head of the house, and the other is what can be truthfully called a real father.  When a boy goes to his father with his natural and spontaneous questions and is met with a gruff rebuff, what happens?  It builds a wall of reserve between father and son, a wall difficult to break down once it is erected.  It is the father who will take a wholehearted interest in his boy’s affairs who wins the love and respect of his son.


Field Day was the forerunner to today’s camporees. The Houston Scout Council held two Field Days each year, in April and November.   



In May 1922, Troop 11 eagle scout Fred Stull spoke at the Conopians luncheon during “Boys Week.”  Troop 11 scout Ernest N. Mills Jr. spoke before the Civitan club.


Forty scouts got ready for Field Day at the Friday night meeting.  As an incentive for scout advancement, Troop 11 has instituted a new merit system, whereby each scout must show progress in his scout work.  “Troop 11’s new merit system covers attendance, dues, tests and merit badges .... and according to the plan a scout must take one test or merit badge per month.” 

Four troop buglers closed the meeting with taps.  Troop 11’s drum and bugle corps then held a practice session after the meeting ended. On Saturday, the troop had a test hike in the morning, and held regular field day practice in the afternoon. 


Troop 8 won with 4573 points.  Troop 11 was second with 3401 points.

FIELD DAY:  APRIL 21, 1922

Forty five Troop 11 scouts attended Field Day held at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds. Troop 11 went home thinking they had placed fourth, but as the April 30, 1922 Houston Post reported, “Through an error in figures the result as first announced for field day changed troop 26 to fourth place and troop 11 to fifth place.  The error was unavoidable and officials hope that all troops concerned will understand the situation.”


At the April 1922 Field Day, Troop 11 had been tied with Troops 8 and 26 for the First Aid Cup.  After a May 15 run-off held at Hermann Park, Troop 11 won the First Aid Cup.  Overall, Troop 11 won 4th place at Field Day with 60 points.


Troop 11 scout Frank Loria graduated from Central High School and moved to Europe with his family.  He was to maintain an associate membership with Troop 11 and finish his Eagle rank.


Scouts Edwin Moore and Alexander Hellman demonstrated lifesaving rescue techniques and resuscitation methods.  Scout Vinson Crowder and his brother “Boots” provided musical entertainment.  ASM Will Gribble had charge of Troop 11 during SM Alston Clapp, Sr.’s vacation in North Carolina. 


Troop 11 worked very hard to be competitive in the 1922 wall-scaling exhibition, always an exciting event.  Fred Stull was in charge of the Round-Up’s Drum and Bugle Corps entertainment.


The following Troop 11 scouts attended Camp Masterson summer camp, Aug 21-31:  James Atlee, Lilburne Herbst, Charles Herbst, Rockwell Rowe, William Bookman, Hal B. Cox, Edwin Moore, George Collins, Merrill Smith, Alexander Hellman, and Bliss Louis.


First Fatality of Any Kind at Camp Harris Masterson Claims Life of 15-Year-Old Merrill Smith

Jack Linn wrote “Troop 11’s long and interesting history is marred by the death of scout George Merrill Smith at Camp Masterson (near Sheldon on August 29), in 1922.”  15-year old Merrill Smith had been a Troop 11 scout for about two years.  His parents were Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Sterne.

The drowning occurred in Round Lake during the 11:30 A.M. swim session; there was no cry for help.  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 buddy 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.  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 — and under the safety rope where his buddy had said.

The camp sent a hurry call for the Houston Undertaking Company ambulance.  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, General Adcock broke down and cried.

Merrill’s “buddy” was from Troop 30.  Immediately upon their return from summer camp, Troop 30 sent a letter of sympathy to Merrill’s mother and a copy to Troop 11.

Merrill was classified as a good swimmer and 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.  FPC’s Reverend W.S. Jacobs officiated.

The pallbearers were all boy scouts: Ernest Mills, Clifford Morgan, Marshall Bacher, Tom Emison, Lennard McGinney, and Henny Steele.  Troop 3’s 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 to memorialize the tragic event.


January found J. Alston Clapp showing Troop 11 scouts a moving picture about the growing and baling of cotton.


In February, scoutmaster Alston Clapp gave the invocation at the thirteenth anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America held at the Rice Hotel.

TROOP HIKE:  FEB 4, 1923

Seventeen Troop 11 scouts attended the monthly hike 6½ miles out Westheimer road.  At the Friday night campfire, Troop 11 initiated Jerome Webster and Lee Meyer, who were on their first overnight hike.  Saturday was spent exploring the surrounding woods and completing the first and second advancement tests.

The boys learned of the death of Mr. M.G. Munson, father of Gilbert and Warren Munson, both Troop 11 scouts. Troop 11 scouts “... extend to them heartfelt sympathy as brother scouts and friends.


Although disappointed with their fifth place finish, Troop 11 celebrated their participation with a banquet.  The troop has set their sights on winning next year’s race.  After all, “It matters not if you have lost or won, but how you have played the game.


In March, Troop 11’s scoutmaster C.W. Gribble, organized a district field meet to practice for the upcoming Field Day.  These practices continued thru April.  Gribble was also the deputy scout commissioner for District 2.

Troop 11 held a memorial service April 6, 1923 for Merrill Smith, who had drowned at Camp Masterson.  Alston Clapp, Sr. conducted the service.  Among the visitors present were Merrill’s parents Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Sterne, R.R. Adcock, E.A. Hudson, Travis Calvin, and a number of Troop 11 parents.  The Houston Scout Council dedicated a memorial tablet to Merrill.

On Saturday, April 8, 1923, troops of District 2, under Deputy Commissioner C.W. Gribble, held a Saturday afternoon field meet at Main Street and Tuam Avenue, rehearsing for many field day events.

All Troop 11 scouts attended the marriage of their scoutmaster C.W. Gribble to Miss Mia Fern Morlnare, on Wednesday morning, April 11, 1923.

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 April 22 Sunday morning religious service.  Field Day events were modeled after pioneer activities and included first aid, fire by flint/steel, fire by friction, camp inspection, wig-wag signaling, archery, nature study, knot tying, tent pitching, and wall scaling.


The program was flint and steel fire building.  New member Frank Bloxsome will join the Pine Tree patrol once he becomes Tenderfoot.  Rockwell Rowe won the competition drill.  The troop enjoyed seeing tumbling stunts from scout Hal Cox of the Panther patrol and Mr. Snapp from the YMCA.  Mr. Clapp closed the meeting by leading the group songs and yells. 


On Friday, May 23, five troops,  10, 11, 16, 21 and 31, tied for the first aid cup and had a run-off to decide the 1923 winner.


Bob Dawson wrote, “In 1923, Mr. Clapp resigned as scoutmaster to succeed Mr. Brown as troop committee chairman, and Bill Gribble became scoutmaster. Mr. Clapp not only fulfilled his duties as chairman, but he also broadened the scope of existing Troop 11 programs.” Re-chartering documents indicate Mr. Clapp served Troop 11 until 1939. Dawson wrote “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.1” Alston Clapp always conducted the Sunday morning religious service at Field Days and at Camp Masterson summer camps.

Leroy Sims remembers, “Alston Clapp handled the more bratty of us just as well as if he had eight (arms). He was much respected.”

Mr. James Alston Clapp, Sr. was an executive at the Anderson, Clayton and Company (cotton trading company) who came to Texas from Memphis, Tennessee. After working in Little Rock, AR and San Antonio, he arrived in Houston in 1917. One of Mr. Clapp’s business accomplishments is that he started cotton production in South America1.

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.

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 Houston scouts at field days, round-ups, summer camps, etc. His grandson, Alston Clapp III remembered that his grandfather Mr. Clapp had a king snake named “Queenie.” Troop 11 scouts all knew that Mr. Clapp would call Queenie to dinner by banging on a tin pan — whereupon Queenie would slither down the stairs.

His wife, Lulie Jett Sims, was an eleventh generation descendant of George Washington


JULY 1923

Troop 11 had a joint meeting with Troops 3 and 10.  Rockwell Rowe won the scout competitive drill.  Afterward, the troops went to the YMCA for a friendly swim competition. 

After a 20 mile hike, Troop 11 helped Mr. Gribble get Camp Masterson ready for August summer camp.  The Houston Post reported, “(Troop 11) is one of the most active troops in the city, and has a record for spending a considerable amount of its time in the outdoors.  They will be heard from in the coming scout round-up in many ways.


To raise money for Camp Masterson, Troop 11 attended the Boy Scout Round-Up held in the City Auditorium on August 7, 1923.  The Houston Council recognized Troop 11 scout Howard Calvin for his outstanding work selling Round-Up tickets to the event.  Troop 11 participated in  flint and steel fire building and wall scaling.  The flag race between Troop 11 and Troop 37 had an exciting few moments.  


Troop 11 gave a surprise party for SPL Gilbert Munson and his brother Warren upon the occasion of them leaving for Louisiana.  The farewell party was held at the home of SM C.W. Gribble on August 13, 1923. 


At Camp Masterson, J.O. Jackson earned his tenderfoot award; Lilburne Herbst earned his first class.


SM C.W. Gribble called roll by having each boy identify a leaf.  He then spoke on the qualities needed for a scout to become SPL at the upcoming election.  “Five boys were then nominated for this office:  Phil Laughlin, Robert Hughes, John Sheldon, Bliss Louis and Travis Smith.”  Robert Hughes won the elimination drill, and the meeting ended with a swim at the YMCA.

1923 FALL

On Sept. 16, Troop 11 along with 250 other scouts, worked at the “Judd Mortimer Birthday Party” held in Hermann Park.  Under the supervision of deputy scout commissioner C.W. Gribble, the scouts made and served lemonade, ice cream and soda water.

In October, 25 Troop 11 had a night hike to Piney Point.  Because of the difference in school hours, SPL Robert Hughes led the 2:30 PM group; SM Gribble led the 5 PM group.

Bateman Hardcastle’s Troop 24 “The Pirates” visited Troop 11 at the end of October.  The two troops competed in O’Grady drills and wrestling.  Ice cream cones were served after the contest.

District 2 deputy scout commissioner C.W. Gribble planned a stunt show for the district at the end of the year.

 The entire city of Houston celebrated National Father and Son Week in November.  Troop 11 held a father/son banquet at FPC, and had a father/son hike at Camp Masterson.



Thirty scouts attended this meeting where they made lists of their good turns for judging. For the wrestling competition, Edwin Moore defeated Rockwell Rowe.  “The boys from the troop made a donation of their time Thursday evening distributing some packages for the Texas Bread Company, and the troop treasury received a check for $15.”  Hermann Lloyd closed the meeting with a prayer and the scout oath.


Thirty-one boys met Friday night.  The program was signaling; the Beaver patrol’s Whitman Mounce and Vinson Crowder won the signaling contest.  Plans were made to start a clubhouse, and also to start a fund to help poor families.  “Next week, Troop 11’s first aid team will defend the cup from Troop 21’s team.

To get ready for Field Day, SM Gribble has a prize for the scout “... who can make the quickest flint and steel fire, quickest bow and drill, identify most leaves or tie over seventy knots the quickest.” 


Phil Laughlin called the roll for the twelve scouts (and fifteen visitors) who attended.  Not much in the way of dues came in; more was collected for the Christmas fund.

Troop 21 stopped by to make their challenge for Troop 11’s First Aid Cup. Troop 21’s “... team consisted of Francis Cooper, doctor; Earl Fowler, assistant doctor; Sidney McCormack, patient.  Our team consisted of Phil Laughlin, doctor; Edwin Moore, assistant; and Maurice Baker, patient.  Troop 21 won the cup, but we will get it back in a couple of weeks.”

The meeting ended at 10 PM with a prayer by Hal Cox.


Honorary Scoutmaster Alston Clapp and Mrs. Gribble were visitors.” SM C.W. Gribble reported on Troop 11’s history.  In the five years since its re-organization in 1918, Troop 11 has missed only one meeting. 



Four Troop 11 scouts, Philip Laughlin, Rockwell Rowe, Harry Gibson and Whitman Mounce, were among the eighteen finalists considered to represent Houston at the 1924 Second World Jamboree at Copenhagen.  The Houston Council selected James Collier (Troop 6), with Burns Roensch (Troop 10), as alternate. 


Troop 11 held a joint meeting with Troop 24 (“the Pirates”). SPL Robert Hughes and scribe Phil Laughlin led Troop 11’s meeting.  The troop “... elected Rockwell Rowe as captain of this year’s relay team.”  To end the meeting, Troop 24’s SM Bateman Hardcastle closed with the scout oath; Troop 11’s Robert Hughes led the closing prayer.

The two troops held a track meet afterward.  The final score was Troop 11, 20 points, to Troop 24’s 10 points. Troop 11 took first place in four of the five events:  100-yd dash, Edwin Moore; standing broad jump, George Eslinger; 220-yd race, Edwin Moore; 50-yd dash, Rockwell Rowe.  When it was all over, “... both troops turned in and finished up the largest collection of hot dogs that had ever been collected ....” 

HISTORY:  1924

 Troop 11 scoutmaster C.W. Gribble, together with a committee of Troop 11 scouts will award a medal to the scout “who renders the greatest and unselfish service during 1924, either to the troop or to the community in which he lives.” At a February meeting, Scoutmaster Gribble gave a talk on the relay race and gave the team special instructions.  The runners are speeding up more at every practice and will soon be able to take a half-mile in two minutes.


Despite SM Gribble’s efforts for his scouts to wear their uniforms, only about fifteen of the thirty scouts were in uniform.  Mr. Gribble instructed the scouts to sing “Taps” when the Bugle Corps plays it at the end of each meeting.  The troop practiced for the tent pitching, wall scaling and fire building events.

In June 1924, Troop 11 entertained a patrol of Port Arthur scouts at Camp Masterson.  The Port Arthur scouts were on a 1000 mile bicycle trek. 


SM C.W. Gribble gave a talk on cooking when you are in the woods and do not have any utensils.  At the next meeting, the Flying Eagle patrol will bring “... models of pot hooks, and the Panther patrol will demonstrate the building of fireplaces.


Troop 11 had been allotted 20 spaces for summer camp.  “Dr. Richard Moers has invited the members of the troop to spend the week-end at his home on the bay shore.” In August, Fred Campbell passed his Tenderfoot.



Troop 11 will begin a patrols’ contest next week, whereby the patrols will compete in a different event each week.  Troop 11 will wear its own emblems on their hat bands. 

George Collins and Edwin Moore led two teams in an indoor  game of “Pull ‘Em Over,” won by George Collins’ team. Outdoors, the game was a long relay race.  Edwin Moore’s team won this event “... after a close race and an exciting finish in which Webster McEvoy cut down a long lead that the other side had gotten in the lap just ahead of him.” 

Troop 11 will gain four new scouts next week; when the troop attains five full patrols, it will be closed to further membership and have a waiting list. 

SM Gribble announced the 1924/25 troop leadership positions:

Rockwell Rowe, SPL

Edwin Moore, scribe

J.O. Jackson, PL, Flying Eagle

Hal Cox, PL, Pine Tree

Almer Childers, PL, Silver Fox

Whitman Mounce, PL Beaver

Maurice Baker, PL, Panther


In October, Troop 11, along with other Houston scout troops attended Troop 10’s meeting, where Burns Roensch and James Collier recounted their recent World Jamboree adventures.  Troop 11 scout Philip Laughlin proved to be a capable yell leader when he advanced to the stage and led the whole gang in yells for Roensch and Collier.


The Pine Tree patrol put on the meeting’s scouting demonstration.  Scouts Winton Shaw and Frank Hopkins passed their second class tests, for signaling and knife/hatchet, respectively.  R.B. Lawrence spoke on the birds of Houston, illustrated by many mounted specimens.  Afterward, “Phil Laughlin led the troop in a yell of appreciation to Mr. Lawrence.  The regular session was closed with the usual ceremony and prayer by Alex Hellman.” 

The weekly patrol contest moved the meeting to the YMCA pool.  The Pine Tree patrol took first place; second, Beaver Patrol; third (tie), Flying Eagle and Panther; fourth, Silver Fox patrol. 



Troop 11 provided a wiener roast for the girl scouts of Troop 12 in Dec 1924.

TROOP CAMP:  1920s

Along with other Houston scout troops, Troop 11 organized, staffed and conducted its own camp. This was part of a Houston Council program called Troop Camp.  Troop 11 held one of its first Troop Camps at Camp Hudson in 1927, the first year it opened. 

FPC SESSION MINUTES           S25.166.10      12/7/25

The Committee appointed to interview the Master of the Boy Scouts reported, after conference, that full cooperation would be given in a closer cooperation of the church work.

FPC SESSION MINUTES           S26.204.10      10/4/26

Motion offered by W.F. Brown carried that the Boy Scouts be instructed by order of the Session to leave the room they occupy on Friday nights in as good condition as they find it and that proper oversight over the boys be more carefully observed.


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, Camp Masterson’s newspaper, Troop 8’s 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.

What was a camp goat?  Saul Lieberman’s Camp Tattler, Camp Masterson’s summer camp newspaper, tells us the following:  “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 to be goats.”


In the late 1920s, Troop 11 was very good at wall scaling, signaling, and cooking.  Bob Dawson wrote, “Since 1920, Troop 11 has been steadily active in Field Day, entering full teams in all events.  These days were held first at San Jacinto Battlegrounds and later at Camp Hudson. Although the troop never won field day, it won many individual Field Day events through the years, and forced others to very high standards  of all-around scouting excellence in earning higher rankings.  Outstanding performances of second in 1927, fourth in 1928, a very close second in 1929, third in 1930, fifth in 1931 and second in 1932, remain a credit to a troop ‘still too tired from the relays.’”


Troop 11 was active in water sports in the late 1920’s.  In the years 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 annual swim meets at Albert Sidney Johnston Junior High for many years.  Troop 11 hosted a swim meet there 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. 


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.


Troop 11 is always 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.


Tracy Word tells us that 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, identify 11 constellations, tie 11 knots, 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.


Mr. Gribble required troop 11’s purple neckerchief to be cleaned and pressed for Field Day. Bob Dawson wrote, “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. Bill Gribble was never quite satisfied with the glossiest sheen which the very finest sateen or shantung could reflect; many mothers) learned to sew a finer seam to produce a finished (troop neckerchief) that could pass his close inspection.

“Troop 11 had more neck­erchiefs than it did handker­chiefs, and the proficiency of its first-aid teams was in no small part due to the great supply of slightly spotted or faded second­ary neckwear. It was extremely difficult to keep such a regal col­ored neckerchief in presentable condition without otherwise keeping personally clean while maintaining an erect, alert pos­ture, but it appears primarily because of such salutary crite­rions that the troop was able to overcome other characteristics which might have proved em­barrassing.

“About the only constructive criticism that old (Troop 11) alumni might offer would be to replace the now standard skimpy blue and white, scout-emblem neckerchief for a full-fashioned, spot proof, fade proof, dazzling sheen, royal purple, everlasting synthetic neck banner!”


(Selections copied verbatim Civics For Houston, Volume 1, Number 7. 28 January 1928. Hester Scott, Editor.)

On August 20, about 250 scouts will leave ... for a 10 days outing at Camp Harris Masterson, located 20 miles from Houston near the San Jacinto River. Among the main features of the camp will be ... the Indian Lore, the Handicraft Lodge, the Leathercraft Shop, the Sea Scouting and the Woodcraft.

The most important thing on any camp is the thing that comes three times a day — the meals, and this year, young “Bill” Gribble, skipper of that mighty Troop 11 will see to it that the boys’ “grub-baskets” are filled.

The daily routine will consist of setting up exer­cises, morning dip, break­fast, inspection, instruction periods, morning swim, rest period, dinner, quiet hour, handicraft, scoutcraft, games, afternoon swim, drill, supper, campus game, campfire and taps.

Mr. H.H. Barber of troop 8 will again serve as physi­cal instructor and will stress his Twilight League, con­sisting of volleyball, field hockey, baseball, etc.

Burns Roensch, scout-master of Troop 36, will be “Chief” of the Indian Lore department and will have a tribe of boys who will actually live as primitive Indians in a camp set off from the others, where they will make war-bonnets, bows and arrows.

The Sea Scouts under C.F. LeRoux, chief quartermaster of the US. Navy, will build a land boat and will have all to do with the ropes, splices, and water.

Another national order that will take in pledges on camp is the Order of the Arrow. It is a very solemn ceremony and is very impressive. Boys who are outstanding in camp and prove to be faithful workers will be subject to a pledge in the order. Boys who make the O.A. will probably be the ones to take the four day honor trip after camp.


Houston organized its first chapter of the O.A. during the 1928 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. Terrell Miller remembered being given two matches and having to build a fire. The next day was a day of silence.

In 1929, Tracy became one of Houston’s first Brotherhood members. Tracy gave us the first Coloneh OA lodge flap, made in 1949 for Houston’s Coloneh lodge (note the straight bill on the raven). That patch has been placed in Special Collection RGF-36 at the Houston Public Library Archives.  Lodge #137 changed the spelling to Colonneh lodge in 1950.


(copied verbatim from Troop 8's monthly newspaper, The Troop Explosion.)

This title sounds a little strange, eh, what?  Well, first I will do a little explaining.  The Order of the Arrow was started for the first time in Houston on this summer's camp.  The members of this order are selected from the outstanding boys at camp.  Boys who have cooperated with the officials.  Also boys who have helped make the camp a success.

This year 37 boys successfully passed the required ordeals.  You would have been greatly amused to see Mr. Barber waiting on the officer's table.  Mr. Hardcastle washing the general's back or other such irksome tasks.  On certain days to be well remembered by the candidates would could see boys and officers going around shaking hands and writing on pads.  These were known as dumb mutes and the camp had many a laugh at their expense.

But after all, fellows, it is something to be proud of.  The second degree will be given on winter camp.  So, fellows, watch your step and maybe you will get a chance at the first degree. 


Houston’s boy scout relay races were held each year on February 22, Washington’s Birthday, a school holiday.  The W.C. Munn Company sponsored the first official relay race in 1916.

For the 1916 race, Troop 11’s  team had 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.  After its re-organization in 1920, Troop 11 began competing in the relays again in 1921.  The1921 Senior Relay Team consisted of Alston Clapp, Jr., Roland Cox, George Eslinger, Harry Hansen, Alexander Hellman, Robert Hughes, Frank Loria, Sidney Smith and Fred Stull.

Bob Dawson wrote, “It was in the taxing scout relays, however, that Troop 11’s spirit took most fervent wing.  The huge size of the troop gave it an admitted advantage but cannot change the fact that the impressive record compiled represented tremendous dedicated   effort.  Over the years 1921 through 1934, the troop entered a team in the major relay event, which changed from a 10-man, one-mile-each stint to a 10-man, half-mile-each stint for the first time in 1924.”

Scoutmaster Alston Clapp, Sr. cut a chinaberry baton for FPC Troop 11’s 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.  The relay baton plaque incorrectly says that FPC Troop 11's first participation in the relays was in 1922; the relay baton was probably first used in 1922.  Bob Dawson wrote that Troop 11 participated in 1921, which agrees with newspaper accounts.

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, and fifth in 1923, Troop 11’s senior team placed 3rd 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. 

Troop 11’s 1923 senior team consisted of Edwin Moore, Philip Laughlin, Albert Ertz, Rockwell Rowe, Travis Smith, Robert Hughes, William Bookman, Harold Cominskey, George Eslinger, and Alexander Hellman. 

To give other Houston 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 1927.

Jack 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 inscribed with an 11.  In 1930, the shirt had a simple white diagonal across the front.

The 1930 Senior Relay Team consisted of Russell Lee Jacobe (coach), Terrill Miller, Bob Van Gundy, Norman Way, George Shipley, Kirby Smith, Jack Van Gundy, Leroy Sims (captain), Tracy Word (captain), Claude Harris.

Dawson reports that in 1930, Troop 11’s senior team lost to Troop 23.  However, the Houston Area Council annual report has Troop 11 in first place.  Photos show the 1930 Senior Team posing with the first place trophy.  Dawson writes “By 1932, the year in which the troop won all three relays by large margins and established the record in the “Bit Race,” it was rumored that Bill Gribble was not only receiving offers of track coaching, but also recruiting positions from Southwestern Conference members.”  Troop 11 seemed invincible.

Russell Lee Jacobe, senior team anchor, did become a Southwest Conference track champion at Rice Institute.  While a student at Rice, R.L. Jacobe helped Mr. Gribble coach Troop 11’s track teams.

Bob Dawson wrote, “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!

1929 World Jamboree

A highlight of Troop 11’s history is the three month trip to the 1929 World Scout Jamboree in England.  Jamboree Troop 16 had two leaders and six scouts from Troop 11, including SM “Pop” Gribble and ASM Russell Lee Jacobe, an 18‑year old student at Rice Institute.  Jamboree Troop 16 were all from Texas, with thirty-nine from Houston.  The troop had four patrols:  Longhorn, Goat, Indian and Lone Star patrols.

The front page of the June 16, 1929 Houston Post-Dispatch has photos of each scout in the “Jamboree Troop.”  Afterward, this was prominently displayed at Gribble Stamp and Stencil Co., and was still there in 1990.


Troop 11 scouts were all in the Longhorn patrol:  Tracy Word (patrol leader), Earl Douglas, Jack Van Gundy, Robert Van Gundy, Jack S. Bleker Jr., Kirby Smith (Troop 10) and Leroy Sims.  The Longhorn patrol made their own cowboy costumes.  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. 

“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.  He taught the other members of the Longhorn patrol to spin a lariat and do rope tricks. 

The Longhorn patrol 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.


Each jamboree troop had to provide some kind of entertainment for visitors.  Troop 16 would portray the life of the American plainsman and the plains Indian: cowboy tricks and Indian dances.  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 dance and the Ojibway war dance. 


The Houston Council held its Boy Scout Round-Up in the City Auditorium at 8 PM Thursday, June 13, 1929.  This raised 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; 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 (socket for a rudder pintle).  “I guess it’ll do,” said LeRoy Sims.  “Suits me,” said Jack Van Gundy.


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 picking up the New Orleans scouts, 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 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” in French phonetically.


After a brief stop at Vigo (Spain), 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 waiter led them in the “Marseilles.”  It was an emotional moment; none of the scouts ever forgot the tears streaming down the little French waiter’s face.

Four days behind schedule at Le Havre, they caught the  “Silver Arrow” bullet train to Paris.  They stayed two days in the University of Paris dorms.  Gaines Schurch, their Swiss guide escorted them to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Pantheon, Hôtel des Invalides, L’arc de Triomphe, the Versailles, and the Latin Quarter.  They visited two battlefields:  Flanders Field and Belleau Woods.

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.  In Paris, a few of the scouts attended the Folies Bergere in their scout shorts!  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 Chamonix 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 arrived in Heidelberg after dark, and they missed supper, too.  Townspeople were still milling about with the streetlights on.  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 tuns of wine stored in the basement.  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. 

In Essen, the troop visited the Krupp steel works and met a Krupp family member.  At a luncheon in Essen, the guest of honor was Sir Henri Detering, founder of the Dutch Shell Oil Company.  After a dinner, a large black cigar was passed around, much to the delight (and later distress) of a few of the troop’s more daring members.  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 being made.

Then on to Brussels in Belgium where several scouts bought handguns as Belgian firearms were very highly regarded.  The troop demonstrated the game of football for Belgian scouts.  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.


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 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.


While guns were not a big deal to the Houston scouts, England does not allow public possession of firearms. English Customs authorities were aghast upon discovery of their guns and denied Troop 16 permission to enter England.  

Fortunately, their English guide knew Lord Baden-Powell personally.  With just a phone call, Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout and founder of the Boy Scouts, personally convinced Customs to let Houston Troop 16 into England.  Customs admonished the troop, tagged their guns, then let them into the U.K.



Their first night in England, Troop 16 stayed at Earls Court, in 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.  Later, they stayed in Queen’s Gate Gardens.


They arrived July 30 at Arrowe Park, Lord Baden-Powell’s baronial estate and site of the 1929 World Jamboree.  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 Troop 11 scouts Tracy Word and Earl C. Douglas Jr.

The wooden shoes some scouts had purchased in Holland came in handy at the jamboree as it rained each day.

On Tuesday, Troop 11’s Longhorn patrol  performed their rope tricks and staged cowboy stunts while the others performed Indian dances in the main arena.  The dancers dressed as braves but wore chief’s headdresses.  They painted themselves with brown body paint that washed off easily.  British Movietone News filmed their performances.  Troop 16’s performances were the hit of the jamboree!

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.

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. The scouts met Dan Beard.

Leroy Sims remembers, “The Prince of Wales’ visit included a bit of touring about, which included a look into our troop’s kitchen.  Since he arrived unannounced and we had been firmly instructed not to let any unauthorized visitor loiter, he was politely invited to leave.  Our error was rather rapidly pointed out to those of us on K.P. and he graciously pretended to admire our cooking.”

On Sunday, Lord Baden Powell visited the American encampment.  Troop 16’s Mandel Susman presented Lord Baden-Powell with a rack of wood specimens from Texas.

The “Coming of Age” Jamboree lasted 15 days.  When it was all over, 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 sites in London and other parts of England.  They saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

After seeing a stage show in Piccadilly 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 boilers.  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’ 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, Troop 23’s scoutmaster, organized their homecoming celebration.  By this time the scouts were getting homesick.  Cables were sent home to tell Hornbuckle they did not want to march in the parade.


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.  Leroy Sims remembers that afterward, several troop members got sick with staphylococcal food poisoning.

Troop 16 returned by special train to Houston’s Southern Pacific Station on September 11.  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.

Plans had called for the troop to march 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.  Some newspapers reported there was a parade.  But no one from Troop 16 remembers a parade. 

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 food 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.


Jamboree Troop 16 has organized several reunions.  The Longhorn Patrol had a reunion May 14, 1947.  On Friday, June 26, 1949, Troop 16 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.  These kits were sent to those who could not attend, along with information about what 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 (1979), which everyone helped plan.  A KPRC camera team recorded the event and it was seen on KPRC-TV news. 


John Roos shot the film using a spring-loaded camera. Tracy Word had John Roos’ original 16-mm film of the 1929 Jamboree in his closet; he gave it to Troop 11’s 1990 70th Reunion Committee. 

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 the 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 the tour of Europe & jamboree activities and ends with the opening (might be the closing?) 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.  Later, this was converted to CD-ROM and is now on YouTube. 

At the American encampment, Dan Beard appears with Lord Baden-Powell.  Baden-Powell is wearing what appears to be the buckskin shirt that the Americans gave to him as a gift.  John Roos also filmed the Prince of Wales’ visit to the American encampment.  James West, the first Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, appears.

Copies of this video on VHS  videotape were available at the 1990 70th Reunion.  The original four reels of 16-mm film are now in the Houston Public Library Archives, in Sam Houston Area Council boy scout collection RGF-7. 

The 1930s

FPC SESSION MINUTES           S30.90.10        1/6/30

On motion, the Clerk was instructed to write a letter to the Scout Master stating that on account of the disrespect which the Troop has shown in their conduct in the Sunday School room and on account of the condition they left things in after holding their meetings, that they would be no longer permitted to hold their meetings in this building, but that if they wanted to they could occupy the basement in the Library Building from now on until further notice.


In 1930, the Houston Area Council recognized C.W. Gribble for helping start summer camp at Camp Hudson.   Gribble’s “hammer and saw” brigade helped install the gate at the camp entrance, helped rebuild the tables in the mess hall, and helped get the buildings into good shape. 

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. 


When the council did not hold a summer camp, Houston troops were encouraged to have their own Troop Camp. Troop 11 had two troop camps at Spring Creek in 1931 and again in 1932.  In 1933, Troop 11 held a joint troop camp with Troop 42 and Troop 66.  The 1934 troop camp was at Blue Hole near Lufkin at the Tyler/Angelina County border.

Bob Dawson wrote “Without the summer camps serving as an idyllic leavening medium, it is doubtful that the council executives could have kept many other scoutmasters cognizant that Troop 11 was not as ‘ornery’ as it appeared the rest of the year, and the fact that the large troop at times organized, staffed and conducted summer camps in those years when the council did not do so caused a great many other troops to learn that Troop 11’s initiations were not quite fatal and that a general pattern of obedience to the scout laws was maintained.

“The troop could also muster a great many characters, wags, performers, actors, etc., and its campfires never lacked either dramatic interest or displays of virtuosity.”


In 1932, Troop 11 sponsored the annual swimming meet at Johnston Junior High.  Troops held elimination rounds earlier, with only the finals at Johnston Jr. High, which took place on October 1, 1932.  In 1933, Troop 11 again sponsored the annual swimming meet at Johnston Junior High on October 7; Troop 11 tied for first place with Troop 2.

Troop 11 received the President’s Honor Award in 1932, and came in second at Field Day at Camp Hudson.   Troop 11 received an Award for Achievement in 1933.


Bob Dawson wrote, “Troop 11 met at the original First Presbyterian Church, then located at Main Street and McKinney Avenue, every Friday night through August 1931.”Troop 11 then met at the FPC manse at Main and McGowan.  Did Dawson mean 1932?  The fire that razed the stone First Presbyterian Church occurred in September 1932.  FPC built the scout cabin at Main and Bissonnet in 1935.


Walt Hearn (1938-42) told this story about Troop 11’s scout hut at the 70th Reunion.  “We met in an old scout house that was here on this big lot (Main at Bissonnet) before this church was built in those years.  This lot was so big and wild that we could play Capture the Flag on it.

“Before the meetings, we used to play a game called Roughneck.  The scout house was a big room with no furniture in it, ... or it had benches that were along the ends ...  just a great big huge place, and it was the envy of other scout troops who had to meet in churches and places where they had to behave. But we had this old building where we could really have fun in.”


In 1933, Troop 11 presented an autographed banner to C.W. Gribble, Jr. to commemorate 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 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.            The banner was three yards long and one-half yard wide.  The banner was done in needlework and had the names of Troop 11’s charter members, as well as Troop 11 activities, and names of other scout leaders.


In May 1933, Troop 11 learned of the death of former scout John Shifflette, age 15, who had recently moved to Gueydan, LA.  John died while trying to save  his younger brother from drowning in an irrigation canal. 


Malcolm McCants was one of the Houston scouts at the 1933 “Century of Progress“ Chicago World’s Fair.  He remembers the scouts went up together in two Pullman cars.  Troop 11’s banner was an exhibit at the Chicago Exposition.  Afterward, Troop 11 would display the banner at Houston scout events and at Troop 11 alumni gatherings. 

HISTORY:  1934

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. 


(copied verbatim, Houston Area Council Annual Report, by A.J. Stiles)

Boy Scout Week this year took place from February 8th to 14th. The high point of the week’s celebration was a Council-wide mobilization of scouts and leaders to listen to a broadcast from the White House. During this broadcast President Roosevelt issued a call to service. He asked the scouts to aid in the collection of old clothes, articles of old furniture and household goods. The largest gathering of scouts in the Area to listen to this broadcast was at the City Auditorium in Houston. Over 500 scouts were present. Large groups of scouts met throughout the territory to listen to the president’s broadcast.

The Annual Swimming Meet sponsored by Troop 11, was held on October 12 at Albert Sydney Johnston Junior High School. Elimination swimming meets were held by districts prior to the final meet. Troop 2 won first place, Troop 30 won second, Troop 11 won third, and Troop 48 won fourth.


I was fortunate enough to be a member when Pop Gribble was scoutmaster and Mr. (J. Otis) Brown was his assistant.  Had lots of healthy activities at Camp Hudson, where I was taught how to swim by an Eagle Scout. I remember Bobby Minor, Ernest Klein & Jay Daniels.  On an overnight camping trip to Camp Hudson, Ernest became ill or homesick and his father Nathan Klein came to take him home but he brought popsicles for all of us, since he owned Klein Ice Cream Co. on Bagby & McGowan.


Troop 11’s Robert McCants was to have been SPL of the Houston 1935 jamboree troop.  Mr. James G. Blunt, from Houston Lighting and Power, trained the troop in first aid.  They spent the entire summer preparing for the jamboree. 

However, a polio outbreak in Virginia cancelled the jamboree.  Instead, Mr. Blunt took the scouts to the firefighter’s training school at Texas A&M where they demonstrated a new oxygen inhaler to hundreds of firemen. 

1935 FLOOD

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 was 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.”

HISTORY:  1936

Troop 11 celebrated Texas’ Centennial with a special centennial display at First Presbyterian Church. The Houston Area Council wanted to do something special for the Centennial, and so changed its name to the Sam Houston Area Council.


Walt Hearn recalls, “We were kind of a rag-tag bunch ....   I mean, some of those guys that were in the troop in those days may have ended up in the penitentiary or the Texas Legislature for all I know!


“Out at Camp Hudson, before they built the swimming pool, we still loved to swim down by the dam in this deep hole where it was so muddy that we not only had to have a buddy system but every few minutes there had to be one guy sit on the bank and buddy count:  everybody had to get out and see if there was anybody lost down below.”


After the 70th Reunion, Harris Hammersmith wrote in to say, “Mr. Gribble did not lecture very much.  However, one of the lads could be intimidated by the shout “WATER MOCCASIN” while on the rope swing over the swimming hole, then you would see him swinging back and forth until someone convinced him that there were no moccasins.  At this point Mr. Gribble simply stated in his best manner “This practice of shouting ‘Water Moccasin’ will cease unless of course they are actually in the swimming area. In short, stop crying Wolf.”


I was active as a scout in Pop Gribble’s days, from 1938 to 1942, I think, and I seem to remember being in charge of the Troop on at least one big camping trip, either to Camp Hudson or the newer camp near Conroe.  Names I remember from those days include George “Swede” Olson and his little brother; Billy “Ubangi” Eubank; Jimmy “Flicker“ Hippard; Eugene “Little Joe” Gardner, Murray Smyth; Carol “Curly” Lewis, Jr.; Ewell Clarke; and I think Jimmy Wilhoit.

“I remember being in Curly Lewis’ patrol, and then being leader of the Mosquito Patrol, for which we made our own shoulder patches and flag (on mosquito netting, of course).  We also had a ‘Dopey’ patrol, with insignia bearing the face of one of the seven dwarfs from the Disney film Snow White.  I reached Life rank with about 20 merit badges.  But lacking the required one in Pathfinding, for which Pop Gribble insisted on an incredible knowledge of the streets of Houston.  As I recall, you had to name all the streets bounding all of the schools and major buildings in the city.”


Bob Dawson wrote, “Balanced against the more tolerable characteristics of Gribble’s troop was a tremendous sense of class in the only valid sense of the meaning of such a trait, that is, class as a sense of belonging to any situation, FOR if ever a scout troop belonged to Houston area scouting, Troop 11 did and it well knew that it did.

“The confidence and over-confidence that Troop 11 so blithely expressed did not sit well with other troops and their leaders, who at times read into this behavior something other than that quite justified by the handbook or regulations. Typical of this troop attitude was acting demurely without candidates for summer camp ‘goats’ and then deliberately out-goating the selected ‘goats’.One exasperated scoutmaster contended at an early Camp Masterson leaders’ council that Troop 11 substituted their own law, ‘BOASTFUL’ for the standard scout law ‘HELPFUL’ and probably with some justice.


Walt Hearn, “One thing that I owe to the scouts and to Troop 11 in particular is a love of poetry. Curly Lewis, my old patrol leader, thinks it was Jim Wells who could recite Robert W. Service poems like ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew.’

“The most memorable poetry reading I ever heard in my life was one night out at Camp Hudson when we had pulled a raid on Troop 36. “In those days, Troop 36 was the ideal scout troop ... had military precision, they all had the same kind of wall tents and their camps were all lined up and they all had perfect uniforms on.

“We managed a little raid on their camp after they had gone to bed. We didn’t do any real damage, we just kicked over all their tent ropes and so on, and then high-tailed it through the woods and got back to our camp.

“We had a big campfire going. Troop 36 always outnumbered us as well as outclassed us in just about everything. But when they got there, we were sitting around the campfire and Jim Wells was reciting the “Cremation of Sam McGee.” Everybody was enraptured.

“These were rigorous guys, with real devilment in their eyes. They came around, and they were just waiting for him to stop, then they were going to give it to us. But it was so interesting to them that they gradually kind of softened and pretty soon we made room for them and they were sitting around the campfire.

“And when it was over, everyone applauded and they sort of forgot what they had come for and went back to their camp. That’s when I decided that I better learn some poetry to save my life in the future!

A Ballad of Reckless Youth (1965), by Walt Hearn

To honor the adventures of Troop 11, Walt wrote “A Ballad of Reckless Youth” in the style of a Robert W. Service poem. This poem was originally published in a book entitled “What They Did Right: Reflections on Parents by Their Children,” 1965, edited by his wife, Virginia Hearn. Walt read this poem at the 1990 70th Reunion.

Now that I’m grown,

And have kids of my own,

I seldom think of the days,

When I was a kid,

Or the things that I did,

In my adolescent phase.

But two weeks ago,

I was watching a show,

On TV with my son who was five.

When something occurred,

That memory stirred

And those scenes all began to revive.

For a young astronaut,

With his features drawn taut,

Was forcefully pointing this out,

“For today's’ space science,

You need self-reliance,

And you get it by being a scout.”

Now this fella John Glenn,

Is the noblest of men,

Looked up to by millions of youth

I haven’t orbited the earth,

But whatever its worth

I’ll clue you — he’s telling the truth.

Old veterans like me,

Would surely agree.

On the benefits, many and diverse,

That our scouting provided,

Though you might be misguided,

Since we represent the survivors.

Yes, I’m rather afraid,

That not all made the grade.

Back in nineteen, let’s see, thirty-seven

Cause we played sort of rough,

and you either got tough,

Or you dropped out of scout Troop 11.

Roughneck was the name

Of our favorite game,

Which we played before our regular meetings.

We all had to play

Or else stay away,

So the smaller guys sure took some beatings.

We fought for that ball,

In that echoing hall,

Like a pack of ferocious young fools.

In a piling-on game

That was sort of the same,

As wrestling without any rules.

We managed to repulse,

Interfering adults,

By posting a guard at the door.

Since after each scrap,

There was usually one chap

Who couldn’t get up off the floor.

And we thought it was wise

To shield from the eyes

Of our leaders, the damage we’d done,

So after we played,

We’d render first aid,

Before fighting to settle who’d won.

The ball couldn’t be passed,

So us little guys who were fast,

Would grab it and race for our side.

We wished we’d been slower,

When we hit that hard floor,

Though hardly a one of us cried.

Even under the pile,

Getting kicked all the while.

We figured we’d live through the slaughter.

But out by the dam,

At the place where we swam,

We played the same game — underwater!

Part of the joy,

Of being a boy,

Is risking adventurous death,

No kind of disaster

Can fill that need faster

Than struggling and gasping for breath.

When you’re fighting for air,

You don’t really care

About things that might otherwise hurt you.

And you haven’t the time

To plot juvenile crime

Which could be considered a virtue.

With an achievement or two,

Our self-confidence grew,

Climbing up from the tenderfoot rungs.

But a cowardly scout

Was soon weeded out,

And the ones with inadequate lungs.

So the system we had,

Wasn’t really half bad

And I hope for my own growing son,

That several years hence,

He won’t have the good sense

To pass up such clean, wholesome fun.

Well, like the man said,

Our country’s ahead.

With our youth self-reliant and tough.

But it does make me think,

With the world on the brink,

Is that kind of training enough?

So when you hear the scouts com­ing

With fifing and drumming,

And not enough sense to be scared,

With scout banners unfurled,

In this battered old world,

They’d sure better — Be Prepared!


The Sea Scout program is the oldest of the older boy programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.  Sea scouts advance through the ranks of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster by learning and doing the various skills connected with the sea and boats.

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.

David Red, a young architect and recent graduate of Rice University was Skipper;  Hugh Gill chaired the ship committee.  Both were members of the Houston Yacht Club.  They asked another yacht club member, Mike Mellinger, if he would let the sea scouts take his boat out on the bay.  Mike owned a cabin cruiser named 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 manned 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 SSS Crescent a rowboat.  Manned by one coxswain and four rowers, the sea scouts spent many happy hours rowing around the Houston Yacht Club harbor. 

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, navigation, or something similar.  During the meeting, the signalman ran flags up the mast.  The yeoman kept all SSS Crescent records in the sea chest, which held the ship’s records, scout records, and the minutes.


SSS Crescent scouts Murray Smyth, Joe Blades and Billy Eubank also belonged to Troop 11.  These three sea scouts  rendered outstanding service during the hurricane off La Porte September 23-24, 1941.  On October 8, Commodore E.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, Jack Linn wrote that the scouts from the SSS Crescent “... spent several hours on the high seas ... rescuing many people who were in danger.” 



Bob Dawson wrote, “... (Bill Gribble) became Assistant Scoutmaster in order to assist Mr. Clapp.”  C.W. ‘Bill’ Gribble became ASM in early 1921; he became scoutmaster in late 1923.

Bill Gribble was born in Waco and came to Houston with his parents in 1906, residing in the  South End.  His business interests, his church (FPC) activities, and his acquaintance with the families in the South End caused him to become so widely known that his gravitation to Houston’s growing scout movement was almost inevitable.”  Dawson continued, “As Bill was quite a stylist himself, he not only adopted, but soon enlarged upon, many of the personality characteristics with which Mr. Clapp had already imbued the troop.”

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.  Bill Gribble (his son), confirmed the story and laughed, “Yes, right from the start she knew where she stood.

C.W. Gribble served as Troop 11’s scoutmaster for 23 years.  Dawson wrote, “When he took over as scoutmaster, he steadily increased the size of the troop until over the 1927 to 1931 period, Troop 11 registered from 60 to 75 boys each year.”  The scouts called him “Pop” Gribble.

In 1934, C.W. Gribble received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award given by the Houston Area Council.  Walt Hearn says, “I’ve always honored Pop Gribble that he could see the good in just about anybody.

Pop Gribble retired as scout-master in 1945 when he became a member of the Executive Board of the Sam Houston Area Council.  Clara Gribble said her husband finally retired when “.... he got too old to sleep on the ground.”  Gribble then served on the Troop 11 Committee for another 23 years. 

In 1945, 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.”

Bob Dawson wrote, “Hindsight several decades later enables (his former scouts) to understand just what specific qualities made Bill Gribble an outstanding scoutmaster. His success was fundamental: 

  1. a great interest in boys and in nature,
  2. an 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 SPLs 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 1940s


Bob Dawson wrote, “During both World War II and the Korean War, (Troop 11)served in many types of semi-military auxiliary work while its graduates fought all over the globe.  Quite a few former scouts who went into service became professional military officers and are still stationed abroad. Together with a heavy incidence of unusual accidents, the two wars have taken a heavy toll of Troop 11 former scouts, and of the 700 odd scouts registering from 1920 through 1945, about 80 are known deceased.” 

Many of these died in wars, oil field explosions, or traffic and train accidents.  “Most of my boys have led rugged lives,” recalled scoutmaster C.W Gribble.


In February, Troop 11 attended the very first merit badge show in Houston.  6000 scouts attended.  This was the largest event ever presented by local Scouts.


Troop 11 Eagle Scouts Murray Smyth, Harmon Ferguson and their scoutmaster C.W. Gribble served on the committee to entertain four King Scouts, the British equivalent of our Eagle Scout.  These King Scouts visited Houston on August 30, 1942.  These scouts had performed various jobs during the air raids.  Each “Blitz” scout represented a different town that had been bombed.

Murray introduced these “Blitz” scouts to Houston on a radio broadcast.  In his opening remarks, Murray said, “We feel honored today 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.”

Blitz Scout Stanley Newton said, “... we had to put out incendiary bombs.  Each plane can carry two thousand and if you can imagine two hundred bombers coming over carrying two thousand bombs each, well, that’s a lot of incendiary bombs.  Our Troop went through six months of heavy bombing in London.”


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.


Camp Strake first opened in 1943 and Troop 11’s participation in the regular camping program there was immediate.  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.

HISTORY:  1945

Troop 11 took part in the General Eisenhower-Boy Scout waste paper campaign in March and April.  Campaign medals were awarded to each scout who collected 1000 lbs of paper. 


Baker Lee Shannon became scoutmaster in 1945.  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 of nowhere.  Baker Lee Shannon held Troop 11 together during some difficult times.  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.

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.

FPC was always there for the troop.  Reverend Matthew Lynn once lent Troop 11 his car so they could go camping.


The architect’s plans for FPC’s new church building had a boy scout room in the basement, complete with fireplace.  When built, the walls of this room had elaborate tile mosaics with boy scout designs. Similar scout mosaics (but not as intricate) are in the dorms at Mo-Ranch. 

Troop 11 never actually used the room.  Wisely, the room become the Ed Noel classroom.  No one wanted to see such a nice room destroyed by the boy scouts.  By 2020, FPC’s basement had been remodeled.  Those beautiful scout mosaics are no more. 


Baker Lee Shannon earned his Eagle rank in 1940; he belonged to FPC; and he was an active member of the troop committee.  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 served as scoutmaster until October 1948.  In his early twenties, he lived at the YMCA and did not own a car.  His commitment to Troop 11 was so great that he walked or took the bus to the troop meetings held at First Presbyterian Church.

Baker Lee Shannon resigned as scoutmaster in October 1948 when he moved to the Almeda area.  The troop committee unanimously extended their appreciation for his excellent work with the scouts.  The committee requested Mr. Shannon remain with Troop 11 as ASM.  Baker Lee Shannon  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 jamboree troop was the first integrated jamboree troop from the Sam Houston Area Council.  SHAC awarded Baker Lee Shannon the Silver Beaver award in 1970.


In 1941, Paul Lucas was made chairman of the newly created Senior Scout Committee in support of Senior Scouting and Sea Scouting.  He became Director of Senior Scouting right before the program's name was changed to “Exploring.”  His efforts led to the Senior Scout Bivouac and the Sea Scout Regatta.  In 1951, he taught new Boy Scouting ideas and methods at Houston’s “Scouterversity” to train new adult leaders.  He was Troop 11’s institutional representative in the early 1950s, and served on SHAC’s Jamboree Committee for the 4th National Jamboree at Valley Forge in 1957, responsible for the Houston Jamboree contingent, including scoutmaster selection, transportation and progress.



A Troop 11 Eagle scout under Bill Gribble, Carroll A. Lewis, Jr. was a B-17 bomber pilot who flew 25 missions in Europe during WWII, and was shot down twice over Nazi Germany.

After the war, Carroll Lewis developed sixteen subdivisions in the Memorial area. His daughter Marsha Lewis Blake remembers, “Daddy loved Memorial. When he was a Boy Scout, he had often camped out here at Camp Hudson by a bunch of lakes.

In 1969, Carroll Lewis convinced Texas Gov. Preston Smith to reactivate the Texas Army for ceremonial purposes. His Texas Army was a re-enactment group who dressed in period buckskin clothing and fired muskets at events to mark Texas’ history. “Curly” Lewis was appointed commanding general of the Texas Army, a position he held for 40 years until he died in 2010.

The 1950s

HISTORY:  1950

At the Scout Circus, March 10-11, twelve scouts marched in the “Grand Entry” with Troop 11 flags.  Troop 11 participated in the Physically Strong program.

Troop 11 traditionally furnished flowers for the sanctuary church service and did so on 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 often recognized Troop 11 during FPC worship services.

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  was on the troop committee, and he owned several hundred acres near Spring Creek.  Troop 11 also camped 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 in 1990, still had his Star card, signed by Scout Executive Minor Huffman.  Horace Oleson 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.


Prior to his work with Troop 11, Mr. Hibler had worked for two years with Troop 16. His back­ground had been working at YMCA summer camps.  Oscar Hibler’s last tour in the Pentagon was as a legislative aide to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara where he was the liaison between the Secretary and the Congress for the annual Defense Appropriation Bill. He had numerous shipboard tours including as Commanding Officer of a Destroyer in 1961, part of which was spent patrolling the PersianGulf.


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).  Scouts from many Houston troops were in Jamboree Troop 18; Troop 11 had the largest group:  Edward W. “Teddy” May Jr, Robert Blaine, David Dyke, David Daniell, Pete Fogerson, Eugene Jackson, Ludwell “Luddy” Jones, Charles Newnam, Charles Pratt, George Simpson, Todd Simpson and Ed Summers.  Cost per scout was $200 plus $50 for incidentals.

Each of the Sam Houston Area Council jamboree troops had their own special shoulder patch.  Jamboree Troop 18 had an “18” at the top left; at the top right was “IX” (region 9).  The design featured Texas, a longhorn, and the San Jacinto Monument. 

Troop 18’s campsite gateway consisted of two uprights with 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, with wagon wheels at each base.  The Baytown scouts took up a 50-foot tall replica of the San Jacinto Monument.


SHAC President J.P. Hamblen created a Church Relationships Committee, chaired by First Presbyterian Church’s own senior pastor Dr. Charles L. King.  It was to bring about a closer partnership among the religious organizations and to promote the Boy Scout religious awards.

HISTORY:  1951

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.  Those original 1950s merit badge pamphlets stayed in the scout closet into the 1990s.


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 “Phil-Trek” trip that Hank Turner gave Horace Oleson the idea for the Raven Award.

Troop 11’s “Raven” award began in the fall of 1951, and would continue for the next 28 years. Scoutmaster Horace F. Oleson got 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 Troop 11 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. On each camp-out, Horace ranked each scout on a scale from one to ten:

1)    outstanding contribu­tions to raven spirit,

2)    cheerfulness on the trail,

3)    leadership in promot­ing raven spirit,

4)    moral/spiritual clean­liness,

5)    active participation in the raven program,

6)    courteous responsive­ness to leadership.

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.


A rumor that went around Troop 11 in the 1970s 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 which was used to send Troop 11 to the 1973 National Jamboree.  

The October 2, 1951 troop committee meeting minutes mention a fund.  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.  Financial records show that parents contributed a total of $132 to this fund in late 1949 and early 1951, and that in July 1951, Troop 11 withdrew $81 to reimburse the Robert M. Blaine Fund for the purchase of two tents.  The financial records for December 3, 1957 also mention a W. Tucker Blaine Memorial fund.

The story of Troop 11’s secret fund is a good one, but no one bequeathed a large sum of money to First Presbyterian Church on behalf of Troop 11. 


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, or
  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, with a waiting list.

FPC Pastor Dr. Charles L. King 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).


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 1951, Troop 11 joined Troop 502 from Webster at the 2000-acre Whitcomb ranch near Webster. 

In April 1952, thirty Troop 11 scouts camped at the Pierce Estates Ranch in Wharton County.  Mr. Cutbirth gave a brief history of the ranch.  The scouts heard 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!   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 Pierce Ranch.

HISTORY:  1952

Cub Pack 222 is sponsored by Bellaire Methodist Church. Ralph Smith and Elliott Johnson worked with these cub scouts, to get them to join Troop 11.  At the General Scouting Committee meeting in October, they reported Pack 222 had four dens, each with four boys. 

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’) from the 1950 jamboree trip mounted on a modified boat trailer.  This camping trailer lasted until the 1970s when it was converted into a canoe trailer. 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 attended summer camp at Camp Strake in early June under the supervision of SM Horace Oleson and ASM Edgar Von Rosenberg.  On the eve of their last night at Camp Strake, Troop 11 organized a Senior Crew.  The eight boys in the troop 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.

BOY SCOUT NEWS, June 15, 1952

(by Horace Oleson, printed in First Presbyterian newspaper)

Our Boy Scout Troop has just returned from a week of camping at Camp Strake near Conroe with 500 other scouts from the Houston area. This camp, for which plans were laid a year ago, proved to be of great value to the 36 boys who attended under the leadership of the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmaster, Edgar Von Rosenberg. Particular praise and credit is due Edgar for his loving devotion to the boys during the entire week in helping them to take full advantage of the program offered.

The fact that the boys did take full advantage of the opportunities offered is revealed by the 65 merit badges which were earned in First Aid, Cooking, Personal Health, Public Health, Basketry, Metal Work, Rowing, Canoeing and Life Saving. Ten boys advanced from Tenderfoot to Second Class; and three boys from Second Class to First Class Scouts. Many First Class Scouts obtained the required merit badges to make application for the rank of Star Scout and several are well on their way to becoming Eagles.

The troop won the Pioneer Troop plaque awarded for outstanding camp participation again this year. The most thrilling moment came when the announcement was made at the final meal that Troop 11 had taken first place in the aquatic meet. A month ago, two patrols from the troop also took top honors for the South District in the field meet at Camp Hudson. Another thrilling moment came for Hensel Murchison, Luddy Jones, Bill Banks and Edgar Von Rosenberg when they were pointed out at calling out ceremonies of the Order of the Arrow camp fire on parents’ night.

Senior Scouting Activities of the Troop

Scout meetings will be held every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. as usual through the summer months.  The Scouts and leaders of Troop 11 sincerely hope that they have attained the growth in size, activities and opportunities for Christian fellowship that will allow the Church to feel very proud of its Boy Scout Troop.

HISTORY:  1953

The Men of the Church sponsored Troop 11.  Mr. Victor G. Brown and Mr. Robert P. Puig worked with the Pack 222 cub scouts for recruiting purposes.

Mrs. Roland Voight and Mrs. Joe Lackey chaired the Girl Scout Committee of First Presbyterian Church.  FPC permitted several “outside sponsored” Girl Scouts troops to meet in the church.  Dr. 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.  At the planning meeting for the  Court of Honor, Dr. King respectfully requested that the Mr. and Mrs. Homer L. Luther attend the presentation.  Paul Lucas presented their awards. 

The Men of the Church furnished the funds 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 on camp-outs 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. 


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 to organize the senior boys into an Explorer Post.  Frank Newnam seconded the motion; it was unanimously decided to organize an Explorer Post.

So FPC’s Explorer Post 1 became active in 1953.  The Explorer Post chose the number 1 because it was used by most of the other scout groups at FPC.  At the time, FPC sponsored Air Squadron 1, and Sea Scout Ship 1 met in the scout cabin.  Troop 11 was the only scout group at FPC that used the number 11.  Bill J. Philibert became the first Explorer Advisor, serving  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 (Harris County Deputy Sheriff) gave Explorer Post 1 a tour of the Jester Prison unit near Sugar Land.  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.


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.  Troop 11 scouts Eric Allstrom, Dick Gregg Jr., Homer Luther, Monroe Luther, Ed Summers, and David Wight were part of Jamboree Troop 7, section 33. 

Jamboree Troop 7 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 Buick dealership.  Troop 7 had an unexpected bonus when they got to the jamboree ­ — their own car!


SM Horace Oleson was doing something right because by 1954, Troop 11 had grown to 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 awards 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 FPC Reverend Mr. Lovett, who made their assignments and checked their progress according to the regulations set forth by the Protestant Committee on Scouting of the Boy Scouts of America.


Horace Oleson served as advisor for Phil­mont Wagon 281, who called themselves the “Ravens.”  Troop 11 scouts who attended the June 8 - July 4 trip were Alan Bahn, Ted Hamman, Homer Luther, Luddy Jones, Monroe Luther, Dennis McMahon, Albert Newnam, and Neal Pickett.  Homer Luther and Luddy Jones served as Crew Leaders for the Frontiersmen 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 recorded the day’s activities. 

  • 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 17, “Cooking Crew was awakened by the O.D. — and that O.D. was awakened by the screams of Horace.”
  • 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 the scouts held a brief religious service on the grounds of Cypress-Fairbanks High School.  The bus driver was mighty impressed.

HISTORY:  1955

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. 

Charles May, of Air Explorer 1 earned the God and Country award.


Each Tuesday at 6 PM, all twenty-two Explorer Post 1 scouts 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 fellow men in their hearts.


Kenneth Jack Jr., John Shell, Foster McArthur, James Jennings, and Gary McMahon of Troop 11 earned the Protestant God and Country Award. Eldon Jones and Jesse Summers of Explorer Post 1 also earned the God and Country award.

BILL J. PHILIBERT: 1950-1956,


Mr. Bill J. Philibert grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a scout from 1923-25. He was scoutmaster of Houston Troop 56 from 1938-48. 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 the adult leader on both the 1950 and the 1953 National Jamborees. Mr. Philibert became ASM of Troop 11 in 1950, and he was the first advisor of Explorer Post #1.  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.


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 “Chili” Moore and Arthur Coburn II.  Joel Parker became ASM in 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.

HISTORY:  1956-1957

Troop 11’s favorite camping spot was private property on Spring Creek, north of Houston.  A friend of Mr. David 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 FPC’s 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 kept their camping trailer in a barn behind the gym.  Occasionally (at meetings), they would take out their equipment and polish everything up.

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.

One highlight was a troop camp-out on an island in Lake LBJ.  Mr. Hannah had a 26-ft outboard boat and 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 always competed with this troop, and usually won.  Mr. Hannah remembers that 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.


In the summer of 1957, Explorer Post 1 attended El Rancho Cima; Scoutmaster Kenneth Jack took Troop 11 to Camp Strake where they earned the Pioneer Troop award.


Doug Holford told this story about “Pop” Gribble and Morse code at the 1990 Troop 11 Reunion. No longer scoutmaster in 1959, “Pop” Gribble was still a resource for the troop.

There was a merit badge, or just training, in Morse Code. I think there was a signaling merit badge. There was a group of fifteen to twenty scouts in the back room and Mr. Gribble was training us. We were all on benches in front of him. And he took this signal gun that made dots and dashes of light. And Mr. Gribble was pulling off these letters and each scout had to identify the letters.

And one scout was silent. Again and again, Mr. Gribble pulled off the letters — and the scout was silent. So I finally said “L-A-N-D,” or whatever. And Mr. Gribble said, ‘You couldn’t see the light like that! How you gonna talk up like that when you couldn’t even see the light?’

And I said, ‘But I heard the clicks.’”


An Eagle Scout himself, FPC member Lewis Mattingly was recruited to be scoutmaster in the fall of 1957.  “I was 26 years old when I became a scoutmaster,” says Mr. Mattingly. Doug Holford was Matt’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 wore the knot tying medal that week.  You could keep the medal if you won it several months in a row.

Lewis Mattingly gave each new scout in Troop 11 a green circle of cloth with a white embroidered “11” on it.  This emblem was sewn on the back of a white T-shirt which was worn at the various competitive events.  Since Troop 11 usually won, Mr. Mattingly wanted the competition to look up and know which troop was ahead of them. 

In May 1959, 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; the other two patrols winning blue ribbons.  On June 13, 1959, Troop 11 placed 1st at Camp Strake’s summer camp Field Day.



SM Lewis Mattingly grew up in scouting; he believed in scouting, the Eagle rank and all it represented.  He believed in his scouts and his scouts knew it.

For example, Mr. Mattingly was at the 1959 Eagle Board of Review that turned down Joel Parker Jr.’s Eagle application.  They asked Joel to re-apply 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.  The next week, Joel met his Eagle Board of Review successfully.  Afterward, Minor Huffman decided that neither scoutmasters nor parents should be present at Eagle Boards of Review.

1959:  AIR SQUADRON #11

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.


At every Troop 11 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.


When 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:
  4. parents to pay $100
  5. troop committee and FPC to raise $25 per boy
  6. 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.


FPC member Mr. Joel Parker 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. 


SM Joel Parker 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.

The meeting opened with the flag presentation, pledge to the flag, and scout oath followed by roll call and inspection.  Mr. Parker 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.


Horace Oleson served Troop 11 for three decades.  As a committee member in the 1940s, Horace provided Troop 11 with organization and support.  As a scoutmaster in the 1950s, ASM in the 1960s, and scoutmaster again in 1970-71 — Horace provided hundreds of scouts with an excellent scouting program.  He wanted FPC to be proud of its boy scout troop.

Horace first became scoutmaster after Oscar Hibler was 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. 

An unassuming man, Horace never asked to be Troop 11’s scoutmaster. But Horace was totally dedicated to Troop 11. When the troop committee twice asked him to be scoutmaster, Horace said yes each time.

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 either 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.

The 1960s


In 1960, Eagle Scout Kenneth W. Jack helped carry the ‘Scout Report to the State’ to Texas Governor Price Daniel.  A member of Air Squadron 11, he represented the South District.


In January, the Houston Chronicle did a story on Eagle scout Jerry Russell. Jerry had earned sixty-two merit badges.  Jerry wanted to earn more merit badges than his SM, Lewis Mattingly, also an Eagle scout.  “Mr. Mattingly had 53 badges,” he said, “and when I reached that number, I just kept earning more.” 


Troop 11 is proud that all thirty seven of its members went to the 5th National Jamboree at Colorado Springs on July 22-28, 1960.  This jamboree marked the 50th anniversary 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.  Troop 11 scouts and leaders were in provisional jamboree Troop 61.

The Houston Post did a story on Troop 11’s trip to the 1960 Jamboree.  SM Joel Parker told the Houston Post that Troop 11 was the oldest continuously registered scout troop in Houston.  The article had a photo of scouts Billy Telford, Robert McGonicle, Dodd Eastham, and Clark Gregg standing in front of their kitchen patrol box.  When asked about Troop 11, Eric Frisk said, “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 remember having to carry a few extra packs.  It was a good trip.

HISTORY:  1961

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.   In 1961, Troop 11 won first place at the Camporee Relays, held at El Rancho Cima.

Troop 11 sent 37 scouts to summer camp where they earned 92 merit badges.  Terri Iseri was Senior Patrol Leader.  Patrols were the Flaming Arrow (PL Stan Amy), Panther (PL Bill Brown), Rattlesnake (PL John Zanek), Sly Fox (PL Ken Telford), and Texan (PL Eric Frisk). 

Mr. Mattingly returned as scoutmaster for fall 1961.  He persuaded Minor Huffman to place Troop 11 in the newly formed Buffalo District.  He wrote, “Now it comes to my attention that a new district has been formed — the Buffalo District.  Troop 11 finds itself within the normal borders of the Buffalo District, yet we remain in the South District ....

“Mr. Huffman, I made a survey and found that better than 90% of the boys in Troop 11 live west of Main Street and the schools they attend are the schools ... in the Southwest and Buffalo Districts.

HISTORY:  1962

Sgt. Griffis, the ROTC commandant at Lamar High School, taught marksmanship merit badge to Troop 11 in April.  He taught shooting skills, firearm maintenance, care, and safety.

Troop 11 went to El Rancho Cima summer camp.


Bob Dawson wrote, “Troop 11 has participated every year in the scout camporees which have now replaced the previous field days.  It has compiled a very good record in individual events and overall standing, especially in recent years.  During April 1963, the troop fielded five patrols among a total of 60 patrols competing in the 1963 Scout Camporee at Camp Strake.  Eleven out of the 60 patrols entered earned blue streamer ribbons, with all five Troop 11 patrols winning this award.  The individual point scores gave the troop first, second, fourth, ninth and eleventh.”

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.


Bob Moffatt worked for many years with Boy Scout Troop 11.  He was Troop Committee Chairman from 1961-63.


Dawson wrote, “Through 1963, about 1000 full-fledged, steadily advancing scouts benefited from their experiences with the sterling leaders provided them by (First Presbyterian Church). This sponsorship has been purely non-denominational in the best sense of scouting principles, and has been composed of a widely cosmopolitan variance of religious beliefs.

Bob Dawson wrote, “Troop 11 has always sent contingents to the various National Jamborees at Valley Forge and is now taking reservations for the 1964 National Jamboree at this same site....  Since Camp Strake first opened in 1943, Troop 11 has participated in both the summer camps and regular camping programs at these facilities. They also now send a representative number of advanced campers to the District Nine summer camp at El Rancho Cima each year.

“The current Troop 11 has 40 scouts registered and enjoys very qualified leaders, not only the Scoutmaster, but also both Assistant Scoutmasters being Eagle Scouts.  Lewis Mattingly is leader of the troop with the assistance of Sam Kelsall and Neal Houze.  An active advancement program will send up either three or four Troop 11 scouts to the Board of Review for Eagle Rank consideration during May, 1963.

“Our senior leaders always contended that “outing is three-fourths of scouting” and the present Troop 11 is still doing a good job of carrying on such traditions.”


Troop 11 held a Reunion and Testimonial Dinner  to honor former scoutmaster C.W. “Bill” Gribble on Saturday, May 11, 1963, at Ye Old College Inn.  The seated dinner became a media event, with coverage in all the papers.  Guest speaker was John Zell Gaston.  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, still kept by his son Bill Gribble. 

Bob Dawson wrote his “General History, Boy Scout Troop No. 11, Houston, Texas” to commemorate Bill Gribble Day.  Dawson’s 6-page Troop 11 history was typewritten and copied using mimeograph.

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 very active for four to five years.  Another 475 to 500 scouts registered from 1945 to 1963, of which 300 were active.

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, and James “Jim” Otis Brown.


In 1963, Bob Dawson wrote, “It should be remembered that early scouting under the stimulus of World War I more readily lent itself to disciplined chivalric attitudes than does its current mundane counterpart, and that a great many of the early scout leaders were war veterans intent on improving the general character and physical condition of our youth.  It is interesting to review the many group pictures of Troop 11 and notice the slow subtle changes that have occurred, not only to such a scouting organization, but also, through reflection of the youths pictured to public attitudes at large.


1957-1959 and 1961-1963

Mr. Lewis Mattingly came to Houston from Kansas and attended Lamar High School.  An Eagle scout himself, he earned 53 merit badges, and the bronze, silver and gold palms.  His early scouting days were with Troop 301 in Hutchinson, Kansas, also sponsored by FPC. 

Mr. Mattingly had just retired from the Air Force, where he had been a training sergeant at Lackland Air Force Base.  Lewis Mattingly’s first time to be a scoutmaster was with Troop 11 in March 1957; he will tell you that he had no idea how to run a troop.  At a Troop 301 reunion, Mr. Mattingly spoke of his inexperience at being Troop 11’s scoutmaster, “The only thing I knew about being scoutmaster was what I learned here (in Troop 301).” 

Despite what Mr. Mattingly told folks, he was a very good Troop 11 scoutmaster, much beloved by his scouts.  In his seven years as scoutmaster of Troop 11, twenty-two Scouts became Eagles.  Mr. Mattingly took the Eagle Scout portrait photos which he proudly displayed during Troop 11 meetings, and are now kept at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, special collection RGF-36.

In 1965, Mr. Mattingly moved to the Memorial area and became scoutmaster of Troop 642, sponsored by Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.  During his twenty-nine years as scoutmaster of Troop 642, 354 scouts achieved the Eagle rank.  Lewis Mattingly built Troop 642 into one of the strongest troops in the Houston area.  “Continuity of leadership, that is the key to running a successful scout troop,” he would say.  In 1973, he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Scoutmaster in the BSA’s Southwest Central Region.

Scouting was integral to his life. After retiring from the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company, he moved to Chappell Hill where he worked with Troop 72 at Brenham Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Mattingly was awarded the Silver Beaver and OA Vigil Honor.  He was a member of the Sam Houston Area Council Executive Board and served on many District and Council Boards. When he died in 2001, a Friday evening visitation was held at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in the Lewis Mattingly Scout House.


Sam Kelsall was assistant scoutmaster in 1964.  He told this story at the 1990 Reunion which got a big laugh when he accidentally named the person.

I’m Sam Kelsall and I want to tell you how I found out that we made a big mistake when we asked for six fathers to help us.  And that sounds good enough, but we really should have named them.  Wendell Voelker was scoutmaster and I was his assistant — we asked for six fathers to help us.  And we went up to Columbus — and no fathers.  I was up there by myself.  48 boys. If you’ve ever been to a camporee, about the time they get through dismissing you from one meeting, they ask for all the scoutmasters to go to the next one.  So John Zanek, Eric Frisk and a few of those boys had to run the troop. 

“It rained something terrible while we were there.  Our troop was the only one that made it out of that area on our own.  Joe Williams had a tractor and he pulled one troop out after another out of the mud.  We were the last one out.

“About the time I got home, the phone rang.  Now I don’t want to embarrass anybody but I want to tell you that I was talking to a scout mother who was mad as an old wet hen.  And maybe you don’t know what that is, but I do. 

“It turned out that her son did not get anything to eat Friday night.  And when I finally got a chance to talk, I said ‘Mrs. KOENIG, some of those boys don’t have a father but your son does.  There wasn’t a father up there to help me.  I did the best I could.’  And that ended that conversation.  But from that day on, Mr. Koenig was the best help Troop 11 ever had!”


Troop 11 produced forty-two Eagles in the seventeen year period from 1950 - 1966, under the direction of Lewis Mattingly and Joel Parker.


In 1969, Camp Cho-Yeh gave a camping trailer to FPC’s Covenant Class.  The Covenant Class restored the trailer in Monroe Luther’s garage, and gave it to Troop 11.  This was Troop 11’s second camping trailer.

The 1970s


A Golden Anniversary Banquet celebrating the 50th continuous year of charter of Houston's Boy Scout Troop 11 will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at the First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main Street, in the Fellowship Hall.

The Troop was first organized in 1914, but disbanded in 1918 because of World War I, being re-activated in 1920.  All former Troop 11 Scouts, contemporary scouts of the 1914-1950 periods, their families and friends are welcome to attend for dinner and program at cost of $1.50 per person. Reservations can be made by calling Bill Gribble.

HISTORY:  1970

Troop 11 celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary Reunion with a chili supper banquet Friday, April 24, 1970 in the Fellowship Hall.  Mr. W.C. “Bill” Buschardt, Jr. was active in organizing the event. 


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.  Troop meetings were held in the gym, and after 1973, in its adjoining room (called either Hammer­smith Hall or the Scout Room).  The gym could be used for roller skating.  FPC stored about sixty pairs of roller skates upstairs above the Scout Room,

Scoutmaster Martin “Marty” Walsh ended each meeting with a “scoutmaster’s minute,” where he shared a few words of wisdom.  To close the meeting, the troop slowly lowered the scout sign as all said the Scoutmaster’s Benediction, “And now, may the great Scoutmaster of all good scouts, be with us until we meet again.”

Camp-outs followed a structured format.  After setting up camp Friday night, scoutmaster “Marty” Walsh had a cracker barrel for the troop leader’s council where he went over the goals and program for the camp-out.  Marty dedicated Saturday mornings to scoutcraft instruction and advancement; the afternoon was “free time.”  At the Saturday night 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.

At that time, Texas state parks allowed the use of dead wood for fires.  The troop cooked all its meals over wood fires.  Fire-building skills received much attention. Scouts quickly learned that soap on the bottom of pans before cooking made for easier clean-up.

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 on the ground.


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 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. 


This outdoor game was a favorite on Troop 11 camp-outs.  Mumblety-Peg is a game in which two players toss a pocket knife, with the object being to make the blade stick firmly into the ground.  Scouts stood facing each other, and would take turns throwing a pocket knife near each other’s feet, on the outside.  If the knife stuck in the ground, that player had to stretch his foot out to the knife. The object was to stretch out your opponent until he fell.


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.  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 throw “the wet ones.”

In early 1973, Troop 11 voted the red beret to be their official headgear.  They would need the red beret for the upcoming Jamboree.  Along with the new headgear, Marty also wanted new neckerchiefs for Troop 11.  This is when SPL Jim Ray came up with Troop 11‘s distinctive logo, five arrows facing inward to create a five pointed star. 

Unaware of Troop 11’s purple neckerchief tradition under SMs Alston Clapp and Bill Gribble, Quartermaster 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, a member of FPC, always sent a letter of congratulation to Troop 11’s Eagle Scouts.

In the spring, Jim Lenox took over as scoutmaster when Marty Walsh transferred to California, and so began the era of “Famous” Troop 11. 

First Presbyterian Church requested that Troop 11 post the colors for its Fourth of July worship service.  For his Eagle project, SPL Jeff Moffat trained Troop 11 for this honor.  After the church service, Troop 11 marched and raised the flag in the inner courtyard where watermelon was served.


Martin “Marty” Walsh was an enthusiastic man whose inspired fund-raisers made it possible for Troop 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.


(from Manulife News, ©ManuLife Financial, a subsidiary of Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.  Used with Permission)

Jim Lenox, Administrative Manager in Houston and the Boy Scout Troop 11 are good friends.  Jim, who became scoutmaster when Marty Walsh transferred to California, recently delivered to the Scout Executive and Recording Secretary the final payment of $1,333.00 so that 19 of the scouts in the Boy Scout Troop 11 could go on to the 1973 National Jamboree held during the first week of August in Idaho. 

The cost of the expedition was over $8,500, one-third of which was contributed by the First Presbyterian Church, the sponsors, and one-third by the boys themselves.  The boys participated in clothing surveys, sold light bulbs, fried chicken coupons, dog show – “You name it!” says Jim.  he added, “Leading individual salesmen in the troop were 1st Class Scout Stephen Lenox and 2nd Class Scout James Newell Lenox, Jr.,  but I don’t think Marshal Rosenberg has to worry — yet.”  Many others qualified for the salesmanship merit badge and, of course, they were trained in proper ManuLife sales techniques by Jim himself.

Marty Walsh, Agency Supervisor in San Fernando Valley who was very involved in boys’ work when he was in Toronto, will be joining Jim for the high adventure of Jamboree ‘73 which will include a side trip to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park and an evening with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Utah. 

Manulife News congratulates Jim on his active involvement in the Boy Scout work.


Scoutmaster Marty Walsh worked in sales.  Marty’s fund-raising activities made it possible for each scout to raise 1/3 the jamboree 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.

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.  He encouraged Troop 11 scouts to earn Salesmanship merit badge while earning money toward the jamboree.  Troop 11’s most successful fund raiser was the “Kentucky Fried Chicken Tickets.” These discount coupons pictured Colonel Sanders.  $1 to Troop 11 gave customers $1 off a bucket or barrel of KFC chicken.  Marty had incentive prizes for scouts who raised the most money.  The most successful salesman was Steve Lenox.  Jim Lenox Jr. came in second.

Troop 5 flew to Idaho and spent a week at the Jamboree; then took a bus tour through the western United States on their way back to Houston.  They stayed at the University of Montana, toured Yellowstone National Park, rode mules into the Grand Canyon, and visited the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

SPL Jim Ray designed and built Jamboree Troop 5’s campsite gateway, which featured an oil derrick and a space rocket.


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 that 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.” 


(by Scoutmaster Jim Lenox)

This article appeared in FPC’s church newspaper, First Presbyterian, in October 1973. 

First Presbyterian’s own Troop 11 had an action packed summer.  Summer began with a canoe expedition to Martin Dies State Park.  Our June outing was held at Camp Hudson making us one of the last groups to camp at Hudson before it yielded to the bulldozers.

“What a thrill to see Jeff Moffat complete his Eagle Badge service project at First Presbyterian at the Independence Day celebration in the courtyard.  Denman Moody presented us with a new flag on behalf of Senator Lloyd Bentsen — a flag that flew over the Nation’s Capital. A special invitation in July from Dr. Michael DeBakey’s staff brought Troop 11 to Methodist Hospital Amphitheater to see two fantastic heart operations.

“Assistant Scoutmaster Bob Briggs headed a party from Troop 11 into Big Bend primitive area for adventure camping.  Scoutmasters Jim Lenox and Marty Walsh headed with the main body of the Troop for Idaho and Jamboree West. 

“This was the International 1973 Jamboree.  It was a time of learning what it meant to be ‘Growing Together.’  It began months ago when planning turned into action, 28,000 Scouts helped turn Farragut State Park into a tent-city.  Another Jamboree site was Moraine State Park, making the combined sites the largest Scout Jamboree ever.  Daily programs paid tribute to the ideals of American history.  There were 57 program areas which offered Scouts unlimited opportunities for learning all phases of scouting.

“The obstacle course and octathlon provided Scouts challenges emphasizing teamwork.  Individual competition allowed each Scout to test his ability against fellow Scouts.  The Arts and Science Expo enabled Scouts to exhibit their crafts and skills in seven basic areas ranging from Hobbies to scientific exhibits.  More than 50 large corporations and agencies sponsored these.

“The Conservation area provided Scouts with understanding of each Scout’s responsibility toward improving our environment.  Field Sports presented an expanded program from previous jamborees.  Besides a challenging archery course, 15 BB rifle ranges were also built.  The waterfront offered a full program including boating, canoeing, and swimming.  There were numerous other opportunities for Scouts — too many to mention.  The jamboree even had its own radio station to keep the Scouts informed of Jamboree events.

“The crack U.S. Army parachute team, the Golden Knights, dropped in on the Scouts on August 2.  They demonstrated free-fall jumps and target landings.  As with most guests, the team was happy to rap with Scouts.

“Other Jamboree guests included Vonda VanDyke, Colonel Sanders, Astronaut Cernan and Admiral Zumwalt, as well as many Scouting officials. The weather was hot and dry.  The Bernard Peak Trail was closed due to the fire danger.  Fire precautions were followed by the Scouts.

“And then on August 6, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds came soaring through the clouds and displayed their daring precision stunts at minimum altitudes.  After the show, the pilots had interesting discussions with Scouts in various camps.

“On the way home we enjoyed panning for gold with the old prospector in Virginia City Montana and the courage required to sleep in the Yellowstone forests with ‘those bears.’  The warm friendship of the Mormon people we met in Temple Square made everything come alive in a  memorable evening in Salt Lake City. 

“The drama of a real life search rescue alert along the North (Rim) of the Grand Canyon put our Scouts to the test.  A little girl had been lost during the night by Grand Canyon Lodge and the Park Rangers asked our Scouts to help in the search.  Before the morning finished she was found and returned to her parents.

‘Growing Together’ is a very real thing to the Scouts of Troop 11, truly something of lasting value.


ASM Bob Briggs took scouts Mark and Craig Sandlin on an expedition to Big Bend in August 1973.

The Sam Houston Area Council sold Camp Hudson in 1973.  Troop 11’s last camp-out at Camp Hudson was a bike hike, leaving from FPC.  In preparation for the trip out to Camp Hudson, scout Jeff Boone presented several programs on bicycle maintenance and safety.

Troop 11 purchased eight blue backpacking tents.  ASM Bill Ainley had ties to the Sierra Club, so Troop 11 frequently backpacked along the Lone Star Trail which was then under development by the Sierra Club.

Jefferson S. Moffatt earned his Eagle rank in the fall 1973.  Horace Oleson, Jeff’s former scoutmaster, presented the award to Jeff in the Fellowship Hall.

SPL Jim Ray organized a troop meeting that deserves mention.  Jim taught rope-making by using an improvised rope-making machine; he used a mixmaster to speed up the process!  Later, Jim Ray organized Troop 11’s scout show exhibit on mixmaster rope-making. 

That fall, the Sergeant patrol, the Eagle patrol, and the Cougar patrol ushered at every Rice Football home game.  This qualified Troop 11 to march in the half-time ceremonies at the Bluebonnet Bowl in December and to usher at the 1974 Super Bowl. 


(by John P. Davis, from First Presbyterian church newspaper, January 18, 1974.)

Boy Scout Troop 11, sponsored by First Presbyterian, is the oldest continuously chartered troop in the Houston area.  For almost 53 years without interruption, Troop 11 has been and still is known as perhaps the leading and most dynamic troop in all of the Sam Houston Area Council. 

This past year was highlighted by a trip to Jamboree '73 at Farragut State Park, Idaho.  Plans are being made to make 1974 memorable in both fun and service.  The troop is looking forward to an action-packed year of camping, canoeing, summer camp and many other activities.


Troop 11 ushered 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 “FamousTroop 11 Tribune (troop newspaper).  After Troop 11 camped near a girl scout troop, Mark reported “Brent made a new friend!

Mark Hellums received his Eagle rank at a special ceremony in Fellowship Hall.  FPC 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 each 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 continued into 1976.

ASM Bob Briggs took Troop 11 to Horseshoe Bend’s first summer camp.  The camp had an old west flavor and the entire troop went on a horseback ride.

At the Scout Fair, the theme was bicycles.  Scouts Jeff and Alan Boone displayed several types of bicycles, including a $2000 tandem touring model.  To generate interest, Jeff would ride his “Big Wheel” Boneshaker around the Astrohall.  Jeff later managed Daniel Boone Cycles over on Crawford Street.

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.

In November 1974, FPC member Charles M. Haden taught Citizenship in the Nation merit badge to five Troop 11 scouts.  

SM Jim Lenox kept careful records of Troop 11’s camping program.  His efforts paid off; the Buffalo District recognized Troop 11 for having the “best camping program in 1974.”

HISTORY:  1975

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 color purple was a coincidence.  At that time, no one knew of Troop 11’s purple neckerchief tradition.

The scout shed had a problem with rain getting in, so John P. Davis and ASM Ed Fleming built wooden shelves to keep the wall tents off the floor. 

SHAC’s Sam Houston Trail retraces the historic steps of General Sam Houston and the Texas Army during the famous ‘Runaway Scrape’, which ended with a victory at San Jacinto.

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 canoed 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 1975’s 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 camp-out at church member 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 morning was dedicated to scoutcraft instruction and advancement; the afternoon was “free time.”  The scouts often built 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. 

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.

Troop 11’s scout show exhibit in 1975 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.”

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.

HISTORY:  1976

SPL Paul Fleming convinced Houston’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to bring their emergency vehicle and put on a first aid demonstration.

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.

In July, Troop 11 marched in the Bicentennial Parade in downtown Houston. Troop 11 also attended the council-wide Bicentennial camporee where a huge rainstorm hit during the opening ceremonies.  All scouts were sent to shelters; Troop 11 ended up in a school gymnasium.

Troop 11 returned to El Rancho Cima but to River Camp for 1976 summer camp .  Troop 11 attended River Camp continuously for 15 years, from 1976 to 1990.

Troop 11’s luxury camp-out was at Mo-Ranch.  Leaders were ASM Ed Fleming and parent Daniel Boone. Used as a reward, luxury camp-outs were dedicated to having fun.  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 scouts go down the Mo-Ranch slide at one time.

Much preferring his ASM role, Bob Briggs asked to step down as scoutmaster.  Committee member John P. Davis recruited Kleber Denny, coach of FPC’s youth softball team, to be the new scoutmaster.  Bob Briggs and Ed Fleming were ASMs.

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.

1976 marked the first of many wood-cut fundraisers.  Troop 11 would rent chain saws and a trailer, then spend the weekend cutting firewood.  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.  Troop 11 now had four canoes.

JIM LENOX: SCOUTMASTER 1973-1974, ASM 1975-76

Mr. Lenox was enthusiasm personified.  Remember his Tarzan yell that re-energized everyone in the middle of a long hike on the Lone Star Trail?  There was “Mountain Dew,” Troop 11’s official song.  And he was always talking about FAMOUS Troop 11.

Who started the yell “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 at FPC.  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.  ”We were like a family,” he said. 

A devout Catholic, on every camp-out Mr. Lenox made sure that he and his two sons attended Sunday mass at the nearest Catholic church.

Mr. Lenox placed the Troop 11 group photograph from a Martin Dies camp-out on the wall of his basement.  Mr. Lenox is proud that he can still identify each Troop 11 scout in the photo.

HISTORY:  1977

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 the 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 ASMs 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 problems.

The best whitewater on the Guadalupe was the twenty-two mile stretch with fifty-five rapids just below the Canyon Lake dam.  Troop 11 would put in at the dam and take out at Gruene Crossing just above New Braunfels.  FPC member and former Troop 11 scoutmaster Monroe Luther gave the troop permission to camp at Mountainview, his property located on 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 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.  That aluminum trailer hauled camping gear, bicycles and firewood for over 20 years.

Troop 11 was proud of its 1977 scout show exhibit:  “Super Scout,” a fantastic 7-foot tall electronic wilderness survival game.  Super Scout was similar to a computer text adventure game, except that the game was entirely hard-wired  using switches; no software was used.  The scouts developed the game scenario, then organized into two working groups.  ASM Bob Briggs supervised the electronics; ASM Dan Tidwell supervised  painting the topographic map.

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.  Alan McBride, Perley McBride, and Paul Bernhard overcame many obstacles as they wired the electronics to build the game.  More importantly, they learned the value of teamwork.

Troop 11 held a wood-cut at what is now Camp Olympia near Lake Conroe. 


Billionaire Howard Hughes died in 1976.  In 1977, lawyers investigating Howard Hughes’ “Mormon will” contacted Troop 11.  Had Howard  Hughes been a scout in Troop 11?

That query gave birth to the fantastic rumor:  Howard Hughes lived near FPC and came to a few Troop 11 meetings. He may have been a scout in Troop 11.  But the rumor is false; Howard Hughes was never a scout in Troop 11.

Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas in 1905.  As a pilot, he set several air speed records and flew the Spruce Goose, the largest plane ever built.  He founded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He assisted the CIA in the secret recovery of Russian nuclear sub K-129 from the ocean.

Howard Hughes connection to the Boy Scouts is because 1) he attended Dan Beard’s Outdoor School in Pennsylvania in the summers of 1916-17 when he was 10 and 11 years old (upon his return to Houston, he joined the YMCA), and 2) he made a 1-hour film about the 1953 Boy Scout National Jamboree.

Fueling the rumor are these facts:  Howard Hughes lived at 3921 Yoakum in the Montrose area, north of Rice University near where First Presbyterian Church is today.  Hughes 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.

Against the rumor are these facts:

  • Hughes’ Yoakum address is near Main at Bissonnet, FPC did not build Troop 11’s Scout Cabin there for meetings until 1935.
  • Howard Hughes is not on the 1918 Troop 11 roster
  • FPC did not sponsor Troop 11 until 1920.
  • C.W. Gribble, Jr. became scoutmaster of Troop 11 in 1923.

  In response to the 1977 lawyer inquiry, troop committee member John P. Davis made inquiries but could find nothing  to support the contention that Howard Hughes had ever been in Troop 11.  Clara Gribble does not recall her husband, C.W. Gribble, Jr. ever mentioning Howard Hughes. 

The matter was dropped.

HISTORY:  1978

Troop 11 won 1st place at the district camporee.  In 1978, Paul Fleming received his Eagle rank at a special ceremony in the Fellowship Hall.  FPC member Joe Ince gave the keynote address.  Joe 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, requiring a gasoline powered log splitter. 

HISTORY:  1979

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 smooth skinned distinctive reddish bark.  The Texas madrone is found only in far west Texas (Guadalupe mountains) and on the Edwards Plateau (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. 

Fred Steves joined Troop 11 as ASM in June 1979 and went with them to summer camp.


Kleber Denny was a Deacon at FPC, and could influence FPC’s support of the boy scouts. He was recruited into Troop 11 to be scoutmaster from FPC’s youth softball program. Kleber’s favorite camp-outs were canoe trips or anything near the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas.  

Kleber held Troop 11 together during some difficult times, mostly due to low membership.  However, he had a core group of parents and ASMs who supported the scout program and Troop 11 soldiered on.

ASM Bob Briggs remembers that 1st place became the usual for Troop 11 once Kleber was scoutmaster.  Bob called Kleber the “blue-ribbon scoutmaster.”

Kleber always ran interference for the troop with FPC’s Church Education Committee.  For example, in 1990 Kleber made sure that Troop 11 got to keep its scout shed, when an upstart Sunday School class decided that it needed Troop 11’s entire scout shed to store its risers.  They wanted Troop 11 to find another location to store our two trailers, four canoes, wall tents, patrol boxes and camping gear.  After retiring as scoutmaster, Kleber continued to work with Troop 11 as a member of the Troop Committee, and later as FPC’s Chartered Organizational Representative.   


Sgt. Alan McBride was a paratrooper with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during the 1991 liberation of Kuwait. 

Brian Minzenmayer graduated from Annapolis and served as an officer on a nuclear submarine.  He became a captain in 2007. 

Paul Bernhard served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1989. In 1997 he was recalled to active military service as the United Nations Liaison Officer for “Operation Uphold Democracy” in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The 1980s


Fred Steves became scoutmaster in 1980; Kleber moved to the troop committee.  Fred emphasized the patrol method for camping and cooking.  He made 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 soon became a reality.


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 its participation in orienteering meets, including one in November 1980.   


SM Fred Steves always camped at 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 swimming holes, both Hamilton’s Pool and Krause Springs were nearby. 

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.  It was here that ASM Greg Roberts taught Troop 11 how to peel and eat a prickly pear cactus.  One plateau on the property was especially good for fossils.  Hill Country Scout Ranch has since been sold.

HISTORY:  1982

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. 

HISTORY:  1983

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 an In-Training-Counselor (ITC) at El Rancho Cima River Camp.

Parent Charley Oewel built Troop 11’s first climbing board for the 1983 Scout Show in November.  This was SHAC’s 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 had to  eliminate them by enforcing restrictive safety rules “for insurance purposes.”

HISTORY:  1984

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 infamous Camp Karankawa camp-out.  Several hungry scouts discovered an unlocked dining hall door.  Their “reconnaissance” mission into the dining hall to liberate foodstuffs was not a planned activity; Troop 11 ended up sending the Bay Area Scout Council a check for an additional $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, Joe 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.

In October 1984, Troop 11 camped at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.  ASM Greg Roberts instructed the scouts in some basic rock-climbing techniques. 

Troop 11 went backpacking at Lost Maples State Natural Area in November.  Charlie Oewel organized the November wood-cut which netted the troop $320 after expenses. 

In November, Fred wrote, “Our rock climbing exhibit was maybe the best of the show.  It was an action-adventure exhibit that had a crowd standing in line to give-it-a-try before we opened, and a crowd was still there after the show closed.  Several professional photographers took pictures and spoke to our scouts.  Thanks again to Charlie Oewel who got the exhibit built last year, to Jack Garner who supervised erection and dismantling of the board, and Dan Neale, Ernest Knipp and Erich Wolz and all the scouts who assisted.

Troop committee chairman Ernest Knipp kept careful records; Troop 11 qualified as a 1984 Honor Unit.  Troop 11 repeated as an Honor Unit in 1985 and 1986.


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 his information packet, Fred stated 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 noted that scouting allows (and even requires), that boys learn management skills either by 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.

Fred quickly described the Troop 11 program:  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 described the uniform that the scouts must wear, and he listed the essential equipment for camp-outs.  He ended with a few rules about behavior.

HISTORY:  1985

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 stayed in their 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 Key reported that at February’s El Rancho Cima camp-out, Mark Camfield attempted his cooking skill award and 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.  A local constable brought them back to the campsite.  And at breakfast — Lamar Neale finally cooked a clean pancake.

April’s activity was a canoe trip down Village Creek.  Peter Key reported that 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 OA Colonneh Lodge Chief, joined Troop 11 at Enchanted Rock in November. 


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 on Cima’s aquatics staff for 1956-1961, and thus was well qualified to train SHAC scoutmasters on how to operate a canoe safely. 

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, Lewis Mattingly organized “make-up” aquatic classes at Camp Strake.  Fred Steves taught the canoeing MB class.

HISTORY:  1986

In January, parent Jonathan Day worked with Troop 11 on the 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.  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. 

Parent 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 dishes 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.  Troop 11 earned the 1986 Ranch Award.

Jeff Johnstone received his Eagle award in a special ceremony in the old Fellowship Hall.  FPC member Charles Haden flew his own plane back to Houston 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.  Keith had been active in FPC’s youth softball program.  Don Graul became troop committee chairman.


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.  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 September 1987, at the request of the Sam Houston Area Council, and as a result of Chartered Organization Representative Ernest Knipp’s tireless recruiting and organizing efforts, FPC assembled a leadership team and launched Cub Pack 11.   

Houghton Hutcheson was the first Cubmaster; Beverly Olmstead and Claudia Hutcheson were the first Den Leaders.  Ernest Knipp was Pack Committee Chairman.  At the inaugural Pack meeting, Dr. Jack Lancaster opened with a prayer that God would richly bless this new ministry to the children of our church, and He has surely done so.

HISTORY:  1987

In January, Troop 11 camped at Phipps Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi.

Recruitment for Cub Pack 11 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 and joined the Troop Committee.  Jim Miller agreed to be the “interim” scoutmaster until a new scoutmaster could be found.  Jim remained as “interim” scoutmaster until 1991.

HISTORY:  1988

In February, the following cub scouts earned their God and Me award:  Woody Hyden, Andrew Hutcheson, Travis Morrison, Matthew Wilson, and Jonathan Wolfe.

Assisted by Fiesta Food Markets, Troop 11 organized a Mexican dinner fund-raiser in February.

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.

Andy Hass’ father, 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 by 1990.

HISTORY:  1989

In February, Troop 11 went to Brazos Bend State Park after a tremendous cold front hit the Houston area.  Troop 11 scouts were the only ones camping in tents that weekend.  It was so cold that park rangers told the troop that the primitive area was closed for tent camping. 

Scouts John Eppley, Andy Hass, Kit Meckel and Hassan Sutherland abandoned their planned activities in favor of staying warm.  Hassan was not impressed with the cold weather — he went barefoot for much of the camp-out!  These four Troop 11 scouts earned the Winter Camping award for camping in 24-degree weather.

In March, Troop 11 went to Fritsche Park for the Golden Arrow District camporee.  George Batten (SM, Troop 46) asked Troop 11 to organize the water safety event.  SM Jim Miller scored the event.  Don Buchanan judged the ring buoy toss.  Competing patrols 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.

ASM 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.  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 overnighters, 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 to serve as the liaison between FPC and the various scout groups.  Ernest Knipp represented Troop 11; Mike Morrison represented Pack 11.

Acting on scout Pike Spratling’s suggestion, Troop 11 worked on First Aid merit badge in the fall.  Jim Wilmore, Post 266 Advisor, served as the merit badge counselor.

Organized by Marti Clement, 1989 marked the first year Troop 11 raised money by selling Christmas greenery/wreaths.  Sales began in November; Troop 11 netted almost $700.   This fund-raising activity is still going strong as of 2020.

With funds in place, parent 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.

In November, the Troop Committee decided the older boys needed more of a challenge.  State Park camp-outs are fine for the younger scouts, but the older scouts need to have their abilities stretched to keep them interested in the troop. 

BOB BRIGGS:  ASM, 1969 to 1989 and SM, 1975/76

Monroe Luther recruited Bob Briggs (from the Covenant Class) to join Troop 11 as assistant scoutmaster in August 1969.  Bob served Troop 11 as assistant scoutmaster until 1989, stepping down only because of poor health.  When asked to do so, Bob served as scoutmaster from 1975-76. 

On camp-outs, the adults ate with the various patrols.  Occasionally, the delicacies prepared by young inexperienced scout chefs were a bit hard to swallow.  ASM Bob Briggs had a simple motto that enabled him to enjoy campfire food cooked by tenderfoot scouts, no matter how it turned out:  “Tear off the burned, eat the good and throw away the raw!

For twenty one years, Bob shared his immense knowledge of scoutcraft and lore with Troop 11 scouts.  He could hold a scout’s attention on any scoutcraft topic, from orienteering to edible plants to astronomy.  You could always count on Bob for a story around the campfire.  His ghost stories were much in demand.

Bob led numerous high adventure expeditions, but his most important role was that of counselor.  Bob Briggs had a gift: he was able to listen.  His advice was sound; his encouragement was sincere.

Ernest Knipp worked hard behind the scenes to ensure that 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.  In 1992, the Troop Committee registered Bob Briggs as an Honorary Member, Scoutmaster Emeritus.

HISTORY:  1990

Troop 11 began 1990 with fourteen scouts.  Jim Miller’s rebuilding program was working. Kirby Lesher was Senior Patrol Leader.  Allen Clement was elected patrol leader; he continued to serve as Den Chief for Cub Pack 11.

In January, the troop camped at Port Aransas Wildlife Refuge/Goose Island Park, where they enjoyed beach camping and a guided boat tour of whooping cranes.

In February, Houston Oilers linebacker John Grimsley accepted scout 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 Golden Arrow district chair Mel Caven’s request, Troop 11 ran the fire-building event at the GA District  “Blackjack Oak” Camporee.  This was a timed event whereby teams had to burn thru a string.  Despite high winds, the event was a success — and was seen on KPRC Channel Two news. 

Parental involvement was low.  That spring, Jere Ahrens asked the multi-talented parent Gene de Laveaga to join Troop 11 as assistant scoutmaster.  Gene was like a breath of fresh air.  He 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 May, the Troop Committee decided that adults would be reimbursed for their driving expenses, either from troop funds or from the boys’ food and activity expenses. Troop 11’s general fund paid the campsite reservation fees.

In June 1990, Troop 11 went to Lake Conroe for water-skiing merit badge, under the guidance of scout Brandon Lorch, an accomplished water skier.

Troop 11 scouts Kelly Whitmer, Kirby Lesher, Andy Hass, and Allen Clement pasted up and bound the 1990 Troop 11 History as part of their Graphic Arts merit badge.

In August, Troop 11 returned to El Rancho Cima River Camp.  Jim Miller, Gene de Laveaga, Jere Ahrens, Eric Wolz and Don Buchanan provided the adult leadership for the 1990 summer camp.


Troop 11 held its 70th reunion October 26, 1990 in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church.  One hundred forty current and former scouts and families attended.   Eric Frisk served as Master of Ceremonies.  Erich Wolz gave the invocation.  Troop 11 presented the colors, then led the pledge of allegiance, the scout oath and the scout law.

To entice Troop 11’s excellent story-tellers, there was an open microphone.  Doug Holford told his story about Bill Gribble and morse code.  Dr. Sam Kelsall III spoke about a rainy camporee at Camp Strake.  Walt Hearn shared an inspiring poem about Troop 11 that he’d written in 1964.  Shawn Kelsall spoke about some fun moments on camp-outs.

Eric Frisk read congratulatory letters from President George Bush, Texas Governor Bill Clements, and Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire.  Troop 11 received two flags: a United States flag from US Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and a Texas flag from the Texas House of Representatives.

Former scoutmasters Baker Lee Shannon, Horace Oleson, Lewis Mattingly, Joel Parker, Bob Briggs, Kleber Denny, and Jim Miller attended.  Bill Philibert, the first Explorer Post #1 Advisor, was present. So was Clara Gribble, wife of the late C.W. “Pop” Gribble, and Bill Gribble III1, his son.  All were recognized with a thunderous round of applause.

Troop 11 Eagle Scouts were given special recognition.  A roll call of the decades recognized scouts for each decade from 1920 to 1990.  Walt Hearn flew in from California and was recognized for “having travelled the farthest.”  Tracy Word, a Troop 11 scout in 1926, was recognized as the “oldest scout.”  Brandon Lorch was recognized as the “youngest scout.”

At the end of the program, Lewis Mattingly thanked First Presbyterian Church for their sponsorship of Troop 11.  The last hour was spent mingling and taking pictures. 

Each former scout received a copy of the 94-page Troop 11 History (1990), a.k.a. the “yellow book.”  The historical displays and exhibits covered twenty-one tables and eight free-standing bulletin boards.  On display were the following items:  the original 1920 troop charter, the 1929 World Jamboree VHS video (being shown on VCR), numerous photos, troop rosters from 1918 to 1990, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, plaques, troop uniforms, troop flags, jamboree flags and other Troop 11 memorabilia.

Scoutmaster Jim Miller had some closing remarks.  To conclude the 70th Reunion, everyone joined hands to form an enormous circle and then all sang the Scout Vesper. 

Behind the scenes of the 70th Reunion was Marti Clement, who went to the downtown SHAC office and copied down on 3x5” cards every scout who had ever been a member of Troop 11 and his contact information.  Erik Frisk recognized 70th Reunion Committee members Keith Webster (chairman), Gary Koenig, Fred Rhodes, Doug Holford, Bob Chenoweth, and Paul Coomey. 

The podium had a voice-activated microphone, so there is an audiotape of the entire 1990 70th reunion.  Here are the links.  First link is the entire reunion.  2nd link is just Walt Hearn.


Written using the Multimate Advantage II word processor on the original IBM PC dual 5.25” floppy disk drive (4.77 MHz processor), with DOS 3.1 disk operating system. 


At the first meeting of the 1990 Reunion Committee, Lewis Mattingly showed everyone a copy of Bob Dawson’s 1963 Troop 11 history and asked, “Why don’t we update this?

Mr. James Alston Clapp III let us borrow the only existing photograph of his grandfather, James Alston Clapp, Sr.  This very old photo was on glass.

Bill Gribble III provided Troop 11 photos from the 1920s/30s.

Tracy Word, Horace Oleson, and Bill J. Philibert provided source documents, photographs and edited portions of the 1990 Troop 11 history for accuracy.  Their comments, corrections, patience and encouragement are much appreciated. 

Bob Briggs shared his excellent memories of being involved with Troop 11 for 22 years.  Fred Steves and Erich Wolz compiled a file of source documents and photos for the years 1980-1986.

Nancy Hadley and Dr. Louis Marchiafava of the Houston Public Library Archives allowed full and complete access to the unprocessed SHAC Boy Scout collection (RGF 7).

Ernest Knipp arranged for the  interview with David Hannah. 

Dick Datil at the Daily Court Review prepared the photo half-tones.  Bill Hass supervised the lay-out and paste-up.  FPC’s own Mary Prichard printed this history.

Robert W. Frizzell provided Troop 11 rosters for the years 1918-1931.  Robert’s private “archives” of  Houston Area Council troop rosters was invaluable. Troop 11 thanks Golden Arrow District leaders Noah Rhodes, Mel Caven and George Batten for their support of Troop 11 in the 1980s and 1990s.  


Six cardboard boxes hold all of the information, photos, and negatives used to write the 1990 history, as well as documents, patches, books and other artifacts contributed by the former members of Troop 11.  These were donated to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a.k.a. the Houston Public Library Archives.

Box T-11A, 1913-1983

Box T-11B, 1980-1990

Box T-11C, photographs

Box T-11D, 1990 draft versions

Box T-11E, Jack Linn’s unpublished history, correspondence, notes

Box T-11F, original 1920 charter

Director Dr. Louis Marchiafava and Archivist Nancy Hadley made the Troop 11 Archives into a separate boy scout collection, RGF-36.


In December, Troop 11 paired up with Pack 11 for an exhibit to demonstrate different ways to make ice cream.

HISTORY:  1991

Troop 11 had fourteen scouts, six adult leaders, and ten members on the Troop Committee.  The troop participated in a First Aid Meet Jan 26 at the Women’s Hospital. The January beach camp-out was at Port Aransas.  In May, Jere and Jan Ahrens donated a camp stove to Troop 11.  Troop meetings moved to Mondays, beginning in fall 1991.  October canoe trip on Village Creek near Silsbee.  December camp-out at Bastrop State Park cancelled due to illness and weather.


Scoutmaster Erich Wolz wrote, “The February campout at Camp Brosig was a successful one.  Weekend highlights included inter-patrol competition in firebuilding, knot-tying, and orienteering.  Troop events included games of ‘infiltration’ and a Saturday evening campfire with Pack 11’s 5th grade Webelos Scouts.

Troop 11 scouts had been asked to think of ways to make the Webelos feel welcome.  The Wolverines shared their fireplace so the Webelos could finish cooking and even baked the Webelos an extra cobbler for dessert.  The Soaring Eagles patrol took the Webelos under their wing for the orienteering competition.”


Troop 11 was represented by the Wolverine patrol, who placed 13th out of 84 patrols in the skill competition.  Erich observed, “One skill in particular which could use a little more practice is reading and following directions.



Don Buchanan, Jeff Johnstone, Glen Miracle and Gary Wink took six scouts to Big Bend Mar 23-30.  Erich wrote, “(A scout) got so homesick that he was actually physically sick; his parents, however, could not be reached.  In the future, care should be taken to ensure that the parents of Scouts attending a long-term troop activity can be reached in the event a similar situation arises.

Trip highlights included hiking, rock climbing, sand dunes, wading in a hot spring, swimming the Rio Grande, and backpacking along the South Rim.  Glenn Miracle and Don Buchanan observed that as the week drew on, the group drew closer together.


Scout Hassan Sutherland donated $10 to the troop to get his Sony Walkman back!


FPC repaired the door on the scout shed and installed a vent to help with the condensation problem.  If you need to get something done, just call June Owen, FPC Executive Secretary. 

1991:  SUMMER

Twelve Troop 11 scouts earned a total of 34 merit badges at summer camp(s).  Scouts attended Maverick Camp at Camp Strake, Boots & Saddles Camp at Horseshoe Bend, and River Camp. Two scouts attended summer camp twice.

Keith Webster,  along with ASMs Jere Ahrens and Jim Miller took five scouts to the Smoky Mountains in Arkansas for the June High Adventure trip.


SM Erich Wolz used the September camp-out at Camp Karankawa to focus on leadership training.  The scouts learned troop organization, guidelines, and the responsibilities of troop and patrol leaders.  Upon arrival, one patrol was short one tent and one patrol had an extra tent.  


Families could attend the November camp-out at Pedernales State Park.  Highlight was the Saturday night campfire.  Troop 11 retained Austin wilderness outfitter, Mountain Madness, to climb at Enchanted Rock.

Troop 11 assisted Webelos Pack 11 with their ice cream booth at the Scout Fair.


Troop 11 netted $2706 from selling Christmas greenery, and $485 from the woodcut, of which 70% went to each boy’s account and 30% went to Troop 11’s general fund.


Eagle scout Jeff Johnstone continued to serve as Troop 11 ASM while attending Stephen F. Austin State University. On Dec 17, 1991, as he rode his motorcycle to his job at Radio Shack, an oncoming car turned left directly in front of him.  Jeff was killed instantly.  He was 23 years old.

HISTORY:  1992

In 1992, Troop 11 had one patrol and only eleven registered Scouts.  The prospects for more were dim, because there were no nearby schools to recruit from.

Growth of the Presbyterian School and also Cub Pack 11 greatly aided Troop 11’s recruitment efforts. Cub Pack 11 had 15 adults and 36 boys registered, including Tiger Cubs.

Throughout all of 1992, Jamie Lorch organized Troop 11 to collect food for the homeless.  Food was collected at FPC on the fourth Sunday of each month. The scouts wore their very visible Class A uniforms, in hopes of recruiting more new scouts.

Scout Thad Hutcheson broke his leg at the Jan 6 troop meeting.  BSA insurance works!

In February, Marti Clement arranged for Troop 11 to participate in a YMCA  R.O.P.E.S. course as a confidence building activity. 

Jan - Golden Arrow District First Aid Meet

February - camp-out at YMCA Camp Cullen, near Trinity. 

March - Camporee at Camp Strake cancelled b/c of flooding

April - Sam Houston Trail 8-mile backpacking, Burleigh to Groce’s Plantation.

May - Huntsville State Park & waterskiing at Lake Conroe.

June 28-July 4 - River Camp at El Rancho Cima.

July - Jim Miller and Don Buchanan led Troop 11’s summer trip to Philmont.


In spring 1992, Troop Committee Chairman Gene de Laveaga nominated ASM Jan Ahrens for the Golden Arrow District’s Godfather Award.  He wrote, “Ms. Ahrens has handled advancement for the troop for three years, properly documenting and recognizing advancement through rank by the scouts, merit badges, and other items.  She has planned/ helped scouts to plan Courts of Honor and has readily volunteered for other tasks at the Troop Committee level.  Ms. Ahrens has given outstanding service and leadership for over three years.”


In spring 1992, Troop Committee Chairman Gene de Laveaga nominated Marti Clement for a Unit Service Award.  Marti had received the Godfather award for her work with the cub scouts. 

Gene wrote, “For four years, Ms. Clement has been an outstanding adult volunteer with Troop 11, handling more than any two other people combined.  She handles the recruiting/membership function for the Troop Committee, the annual (Christmas) Greens sales fundraiser, the food drive, Friends of Scouting, Scout Fair, ... the list could go on and on. 

She has given unselfishly of herself (even with four children to raise) has set a real example for others, is a tireless volunteer who REALLY gets things done, and thus our view that she is outstanding.”


At the December Court of Honor, Marti Clement received the Golden Arrow District’s Chairman award for the Friends of Scouting campaign.  This award was for Marti’s superior performance.


Prior to attending summer camp, Brandon Lorch served as a volunteer Den Chief for the Comanche District Cub Scout Day Camp (Capitol Area Council).   The eight scouts who attended summer camp at El Rancho Cima earned 19 merit badges. 

FPC reimbursed Troop 11 for storage costs while FPC rebuilt the Scout Shed.  And troop committee Treasurer Bob Frazier’s efforts proved successful — the Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State of Texas waived Troop 11’s penalty and interest assessment of $50.19 from the Oct 1991 wood-cut. Bob would serve as Troop 11’s treasurer for 14 years.  Thank you, Bob.

Christmas Greens sales netted Troop 11 $1800, with $1200 going to the troop and $600 to the scout accounts.


Cub Scout Pack 11 continued its successful program.  The Pack Committee had eleven adults.  There were ten Den Leaders, and forty-two cub scouts and Webelos.

HISTORY:  1993

Troop 11 had thirteen scouts, eight adult leaders and eleven members on the Troop Committee.  ASM Bill Kinsel helped train the scouts for their First Aid meet in January.  For more practice, the troop had a lock-in Friday night in the church gymnasium; the First Aid meet was Saturday morning.

On January 10, Kirby Lesher was recognized for being Troop 11's 75th Eagle Scout.  The names of all 75 Eagle Scouts and the dates they earned their award are to be listed on the Jeffrey Stuart Johnstone Memorial Plaque.  Kirby modestly told the audience that "any one of you can also earn the Eagle award by setting a goal for yourself and then pursuing it with determination."

Troop 11’s Scout Fair exhibit was entitled “Exploring Games.”  Troop 11s scout fair exhibit included rope-making, knot-tying and lashings.  In March, the scouts did the San Jacinto Historical Hike.

January - Enchanted Rock

February - camp-out at Inks Lake State Park

March - Texas A&M Merit Badge camp, Galveston

June - Colorado Rocky Mountain High Adventure trip.

July - Summer Camp, Camp Strake

September - Guadalupe River Tubing Trip.

October - Troop 11 camped at Martin Dies State Park with an emphasis on hiking and compass work.

November - camp-out at Lake Texana.

Bill Kinsel became Troop 11’s new scoutmaster in Dec 1993.


Erich was a very organized scoutmaster who presented the troop committee with a written report after each camp-out.

Erich wrote, “I was Scoutmaster for 2.5 years of what was supposed to only be a six-month term!  Jim Miller would finally be taking his long-planned trip to New Zealand, and I agreed to serve as interim Scoutmaster.  Well, my term officially started in December 1991 and ended up lasting through May 1993.  (Afterward,) I went back, officially, to being an ASM ....  In September 1995, my older son joined Tiger Cubs at his school (St. Vincent de Paul), and I just transferred my membership from Troop 11 to Pack 505.”

In October 2011, SHAC presented the Silver Beaver award to former Troop 11 Scoutmaster Eric Wolz.


Jim Miller writes, “I did leave in December 1990 to go to New Zealand.  After returning, I continued to help the troop.  I believe by the time I went to Philmont in 1993, I was acting as the Scoutmaster, but may have never been registered with the Scout office as such.  I know that by December 1993, I was telling the troop to find another scoutmaster as I was newly married and my wife did not want to share me (she has other opinions now!).  As a point of reference, I presided over Allen Clement’s Eagle COH (1996) as the Scoutmaster.” 

Jim has continued with Troop 11 in various capacities on the Troop Committee.  He currently chairs the Troop Committee, a position he has held since 2008.

HISTORY:  1994

Troop 11 had 21 registered scouts.  The troop went to Enchanted Rock in January with expert instructors from Mountain Madness in Austin. Cost was $80 per scout.

Packs 266 and 11 visited Troop 11 in March.  Houghton Hutcheson encouraged the Webelos scouts to join Troop 11.  His efforts paid off when four boys and three adults joined Troop 11 in April.  Ernest Knipp’s vision that Pack 11 act as a feeder for Troop 11 was coming true. 

During the HISD Spring Break, Kleber Denny led a trip to the Guadalupe Mountains.  The troop hiked McKittrick Canyon and camped at the Dog Creek Ranger Station.  Cost was $250 per person, half of which was for air fare.

1994 April camp-out to Port Aransas, camping at the Coast Guard station.  Chief Stanbro conducted a tour of the facilities and equipment.  Scouts tried out the rescue and safety equipment.

Bill Kinsel’s extensive first aid training paid off.  “The October camp-out was a wet but successful one.  Troop 11 took 1st place in the first aid competition.“ 



(article by Houghton Hutcheson, FirstPress church newspaper.  February 11, 1994)

This Sunday our Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts celebrate nearly three quarters of a century of services under the sponsorship of this church, by taking part in the 8:30 a.m. worship service and offering information at their booth in Fellowship Hall during “Take 10.”  The Scouting program, operated in cooperation with the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, emphasizes family values, skills development, and good, old-fashioned fun for boys ages 6 (first grade) through high school. 

Administered through the Education Ministry, chaired by Beverly Olmstead, the mother of two Eagle Scouts, our Scouting program has attracted an impressive adult leadership corps of more than a dozen FPC members.  Steve Winstead serves as Chartered Organization Representative, or liaison between FPC and the Boy Scouts of America.  He and Beverly oversee two very active units, Troop 11 and Pack 11.

Troop 11, the second oldest Boy Scout troop in continuous operation in the greater Houston area, welcomes boys 11 years old (or sixth grade) and older to its meetings in the Youth House at 7:30 PM on Mondays.  All boys participate in the election of their peers to leadership positions.  Scouting stresses the development of youth leadership skills, encouraging the older boys to serve as role models and skills teachers for their younger counterparts.  Active FPC youth Thad Hutcheson, who recently served two years as Troop 11’s Senior Patrol Leader, is currently completing requirements to become an Eagle Scout.

Under the enthusiastic leadership of Scoutmaster Bill Kinsel, Assistant Scoutmasters Kent Johnston and Jim Miller, and Troop Committee Chairman (and FPC elder) Kleber Denny, our Scouts maintain an active program which includes monthly camp-outs, a week-long summer camp at El Rancho Cima in the Hill Country of Central Texas, plus annual high adventure trips to destinations such as Philmont Ranch in New Mexico and the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas.

In January, the Boy Scouts hosted camping at Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, where they practiced rappelling.  Later this month, Troop 11’s camping trip at Inks Lake State Park will include day trips to a ranch to set out a compass course and to shoot skeet!

There’s excitement, too, for the nearly 40 elementary-aged boys being led by Cub Pack leaders Nancy Pecht and Houghton Hutcheson, Den Leaders Bo McKenzie, Gary Whitney, Amy Winstead, and Claudia Hutcheson, along with program leaders Ed Kennard, David Lionberger, Cate and Richard Ebbs, and Scott and Katie Jenkins.  The 1993-94 Scout year began with 75 Cubs and parents weekending at Camp Strake.  A highlight of that trip was the Saturday night cookout, complete with Dutch oven apple cobbler and spooky stories around the campfire.  Last month, 35 Cubs received ribbons for their hand constructed/painted cars in our annual Pinewood Derby; 12 were awarded trophies for the best of the best.  The car made by Parker Whitney, a member of Wolf Den 2 and FPC Second Grade SS class, was recognized as the Grand Champion.  Next month, the cubs will celebrate Boy Scout Month at the annual Blue and Gold Banquet where they will be entertained by magician extra-ordinaire Chris Boykin, son-in-law of FPC Director of Finance Annie Hickman.

Our scouting programs at First Presbyterian are a worthwhile and important part of our ministry to children and youth.  The values instilled and the skills taught will stay with the boys as they grow into men.  Our programs — open to church members and non-members alike — are an outreach.

FPC members and Boy Scout Troop 11 and Cub Scout Pack 11 leaders:   Nancy Pecht, Houghton Hutcheson, Claudia Hutcheson, Bo McKenzie, Amy Winstead, Steve Winstead, Bill Kinsel, Jim Miller, Kleber Denny, Kent Johnston and Darin Dalbom.


When Troop Committee Chair Gene de Laveaga resigned from the troop in June 1994, he took on one last job to design and obtain the new Eagle Plaque dedicated to Jeff Johnstone, Troop 11 Eagle Scout and ASM.

“The Jeffrey Stuart Johnstone Memorial Plaque will list the names of all Troop 11 Eagle Scouts and will hang in the Troop’s new permanent quarters.  Troop 11 thanks First Presbyterian Church for providing this plaque in memory of Jeff and his contributions to the troop.” 

HISTORY:  1995

Troop 11 had 24 registered scouts.  Campouts: 

January = Enchanted Rock,

Feb = Bastrop,

March  = Golden Arrow District camporee,

April = Martin Dies State Park,

May = Palmetto State Park,

June = North Carolina,

September = Pedernales Falls.

Oct = Webelos Woods

 Troop 11 netted ~$650 with their candy sale fund-raiser in September.


HISTORY:  1996

Troop 11 had 20 registered scouts.  FPC clarified its relationship with Troop 11 in a letter dated September 16, 1996. Pastor Ed Ewart made the following points:

  • The Scouting ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of Houston is an integral part of our entire children and youth ministries.
  • Scouting and Cub unit leaders are invited and encouraged to utilize the facilities and equipment of FPC under the authority of and in coordination with the children and youth ministries.
  • The following leadership positions are to be held by FPC members: Chartered Organization Representative, Troop Committee Chair, Scoutmaster, Pack Committee Chair and Cubmaster.
  • Each Scouting unit be granted permission to conduct one annual fund raising project that includes visibility at normal church functions, i.e. “Take Ten,” and “Wednesday School of Christian Living.”
  • The Children’s Ministry budget and the Youth Ministry budget, respectively, contain line items for the annual church sponsorship registration fees for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (about $300 for each.)

Richard Weekly’s Eagle Court of Honor was in November.  He thanked SM Bill Kinsel “because he taught me patience,” and Judy Robbins “because she saved my life.”

After SM Bill Kinsel resigned, the troop committee considered both ASM Rick Weekly and ASM David Lionberger to be the next scoutmaster.  Either would have made a great scoutmaster, but only David Lionberger met FPC’s criteria that Troop 11’s scoutmaster must be a member of FPC.

By year’s end, Troop 11 had grown to 23 scouts. 


Bill Kinsel was great at teaching scoutcraft to the scouts.  He began his tenure by teaching Safety MB and First Aid MB.  When Bill Kinsel left in 1996, Troop 11 had ten assistant scoutmasters:  Jan Aligo, John Hannan, Brian Jamieson, Tom Johnson, Molly Lee, David Lionberger, Jim Miller, Judy Robbins, and Rick Weekly.  Bill Kinsel’s ASMs made sure that every new scout who joined “fit” into Troop 11.  Troop 11 wanted itself to be for everybody — and it was.  No one wanted Troop 11 to turn into Troop 55, “the Evil Empire.”  This is still true today.  In 2018, the Troop 11 website said “We pride ourselves as a “Goldilocks” troop — big enough to have the equipment, leadership, and other resources to do what we want to do, but not so big that anybody gets lost in the crowd.“ 


ASMs Jan Aligo and Kent Johnston won the Camp Strake Cook-Off for their Cashew Chicken. 

Troop 11 continued its annual fundraiser, selling Christmas wreaths.  By this time, Troop had expanded the sale to include Christmas trees, stands, centerpieces and garlands.  Each scout got credit for 50% of the profit from each item they sold; 50% went directly to the Troop.  Kent Johnston wrote, “This has been a great fund raiser for the past eight years.  Last year we sold over $6,000 and made almost $3,000.”

Troop 11 had 16 registered scouts. 


Sometime in the 1996 or ‘97, SM David Lionberger named Troop 11’s adult patrol the Prairie Chickens, because at the time the adults were so few that they felt “endangered.”  It all began when an adult brought a rubber chicken to a campout.  

“The boys loved that thing.  They would put sticks in its beak to make it look like it was smoking; they put little flashlights inside to make a “ghost chicken.”   It would be kidnapped.   The adult patrol always ate very well and the older boys would hang around looking for handouts.  After the adults were all fed, the scouts could eat the leftovers, but had to kiss the chicken.    A small homage in exchange for some roasted turkey.”

Houston’s first Eagle scout, Peg Melton, was in Troop 11.  He was also an expert skeet shooter, and he frequently hunted prairie chickens.  When Troop 11’s adult patrol became aware of the tie-in to Peg Melton, they  named their rubber chicken “Peg.”


Kent Johnston remembers a story about Eagle scout Tony Aligo, “He had terrible handwriting, and he had written his name, Tony A., on a pair of gloves.  We found his gloves and wondered, ‘Who the heck is Tonya?’  So Tonya became his name after that.“

HISTORY:  1998

Troop 11 had 24 scouts.  In January, Troop 11 desperately needed a used laptop computer (Pentium chip) for troop records, especially advancement and activities.  Dorothy and Hall Webb donated a Windows 95/Office 85 laptop to the troop.

In February, Troop 11 received the “Polar Bear Certificate” from the Capital Area Council’s Wolf Mountain Camp (near Llano, TX) for camping in 28 degree weather.


by Kent Johnston

Troop 11 had been trying to set the forest on fire all afternoon.  With many matches we had managed to light just a few little fires, but they never got very big, or spread very much.  Every fire we lit fizzled out.  One scout, Rand Lionberger, had somehow started an old tire ablaze, and it made lots of really black smoke,  But nobody cared.   No one even bothered to go look at it burn.  After watching the black smoke for a bit from a distance, everyone went back to doing what they had been doing — trying to start the forest on fire.

After all, that was our assignment.  It was a wet spring, about 1998.  Scoutmaster Lionberger owned some acreage near Bellville with some woods on it.  He wanted to clear the woods for new growth and had obtained the proper permits from the county fire marshal and permission from the neighbors for burning the small forest.  And he invited the Troop 11 scouts, all willing pyros, to set the fire. 

That morning we had visited the nearby Texas Forest Service fire fighting facility.  We got a tour of their fire-fighting equipment and listened to the rangers discuss forest fire fighting techniques.  The rangers knew we intended to burn down SM Lionberger’s woods, and they gave us tips, as well as loaned us some special fire starting equipment for lighting backfires.

Now it was getting dark, and we had miserably failed to set the forest on fire.  It had not rained that day, but everything was just too damp, and the humidity was too high.  Just the wrong recipe for a forest fire.  Near the woods was a grassy clearing surrounding a big and tall cedar tree with up-pointing branches.

Setting the forest on fire was our main target, and no one had been trying to set the grass on fire.  Maybe SM Lionberger had it in mind to burn the grass from the beginning, or maybe, in desperation, he wanted to find something — anything — for the Scouts to burn.

For the grass, we used the fire starting equipment the rangers had loaned us.  The galvanized contraptions were sort of like garden sprinkler buckets, except they had a pilot light, and they plopped down burning fuel puddles behind us as we walked along.  They worked nicely, and the Scouts successfully got the grass to burning from both ends of the field.  Finally.  After much frustration and disappointment, something was actually burning.

The two grass fires burning toward each other were in bright contrast to the surrounding darkness.  Several critters – they must have been rabbits – were scurrying past us and out of harm’s way.  The dashing and dodging critters and the two fires were surreal, and everyone had their eyes glued to the fires that were both approaching the lone cedar tree from opposite directions.

Just at the instant the two fires came to that cedar tree, the entire tree virtually exploded into a jaw-dropping, gigantic, roaring fireball!  It happened so fast that the fireball created its own huge wind! 

Wow!  There we were, slack jawed, wide-eyed, hair standing on end, critters scurrying past us, a sudden, roaring, mushrooming fireball, and a tornadic wind blowing into the fire!  The fireball was so big and rose so fast that it sucked all the surrounding air toward it and upward.  It made a high-speed wind that lasted until after the fireball disappeared high into the sky!

Breaking into cheers and congratulating each other, everyone agreed that, without a doubt, this had to be the biggest and best campfire in the history of Troop 11.  And not only that, it was the Troop’s biggest and best one-tree forest fire of all time.


 (written by Kent Johnston. Printed in FirstPress, FPC’s church newsletter.)

First Presbyterian’s own Troop 11 took its older Scouts on an exciting, high adventure canoe trip of epic proportions, May 28 – Jun 2, 1998, canoeing from Mason, Texas, to Llano, more than 50 miles.  Our time on the river was four days and five nights, so we averaged more than 12 difficult miles each day. 

It was tough and adventurous going, as the river was low, and we sometimes had to drag our canoes long distances over gravel and rocks.  Sometimes there were so many huge boulders in the riverbed, we couldn’t tell where the main channel was, so we occasionally came to dead ends.  Fortunately, many parts of the river had lots of nice rapids and ‘haystacks,’ and it was a thrill to negotiate them without getting stuck on the rocks, if we were skilled or lucky. 

These weren’t white water rapids, but the next thing to it.  Due to the low water, our 11 canoes, paddled by 22 adults and boys, left many a canoe scrape or patch of canoe paint on the rocks of most rapids.  It was quite easy for stragglers to find where the pathfinders had been.  There was plenty of exercise and a few bruises getting out and in the canoes so many times.

Telling signs of the difficulty of the journey and the hot winds of the 105-degree temperatures were on our tee shirts.  Despite dipping ourselves in the river often to stay cool, our shirts were streaked with body salts, were sun bleached, and we wore out a few arm pits from paddling.  Deep tans and blonde-bleached hair were other evidences of a long and hard trek.

Our river journey was an opportunity to clean up as much man-made trash as we could manage.  We hauled out a truckload of old tires, bottles, cans and sheet metal.  There were also many opportunities for teamwork, advancement, good cooking and eating, and honing our  canoeing skills.  Several canoeing merit badges were earned.  And there was the satisfaction of accomplishment  at the end of a long, hard, 50-mile journey.

We are already looking forward to the next canoe adventure.  If anyone asks us what kind of outings Troop 11 does, we can say our emphasis is on canoeing, and we have paddled a lot of territory from Texas to Minnesota!


Upon the recommendation of Scoutmaster David Lionberger in May, the troop committee approved the purchase of two new canoes.


Troop 11 had 25 registered scouts.  “Major” high adventures were in even numbered years:  Boundary Water Canoe Area, Gila Wilderness. “Minor” high adventures were in odd numbered years:  Guadalupe Mountains, Llano canoe trip, Big Bend.

Webelos Woods was designed to give first and second year Webelos Scouts and their parents a preview of the Boy Scout experience: an introduction to a “boy led” program vs. the “adult led” program used in Cub Scouts.


FPC’s Pack 11 Webelos Leader Elliot Wiesendanger and Cubmaster Bob Frazier award Pinewood Derby Trophies to Layne Wiesendanger (his son), Marshall Frazier (no relation) and Austin Hawks.  (FirstPress, April 1999.)

1999 Troop Activities

Jan., Hutcheson Ranch.

April, Birch Creek Venture Crew camp-out w/Pack 55, monkey bridge training

Aug. 8 canoe trip, East Texas

Aug. 13 Venture trip to Llano with Flem Rogers

August, pool party at the Lionbergers

Sept., merit badge fair

Sept. 17, Enchanted Rock

Oct. 8, canoe Neches River

Oct. 15, Webelos Woods at Camp Brosig. American Indian theme. 

Oct 30, day canoe trip

Nov 19, backpacking trip Davy Crockett NF

Dec 4, Scout Fair at Astrohall



  • Purchased red camping trailer, troop canoes, and canoe trailer. 
  • Welded aluminum shelving in the red trailer.
  • Responsible for the Mini Gym/climbing wall and the basement Scout closet in FPC’s Lancaster Center addition.
  • Started tradition of doing service projects for our Charter partner, First Presbyterian Church.
  • Obtained and led the build out of a carport at the Travis Bldg for the Scout garage.  Originally it was a carport, but we walled it in and installed lighting, a roll-up door, shelving, and a dehumidifier.  We keep our camping gear and a camping trailer inside. 
  • Helped build the small patrol boxes.
  • Led the Boundary Waters High Adventure, MN, 1997.
  • Organized the first August pool party in 1996 to recruit and fill adult leader positions.
  • Served alligator, elk, moose, etc. on campouts.
  • T-11’s BEST FOREST FIRE ever!


  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • from Missouri
  • Father of Eagle Scout Rand Lionberger

(above bio and accomplishments list provided by Kent Johnston)


In February 1988, the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow women in leadership positions, including scoutmaster, ending a male-only policy.  Since then, women leaders have done much to support Troop 11. 

In the early 1990s, Marti Clement, Jan Ahrens and Judy Robbins helped out with the troop.  Marti started Troop 11’s Christmas greenery fund-raising tradition. 

Jan Aligo and Nancy Johnson joined Troop 11 in Dec. 1994.  Leaders were in short supply; Jan and Nancy really made a difference.  When they were with the boys, they pushed advancement.  Jan Aligo was a 5th grade teacher who the scouts called “Drill Sergeant,” much to her dismay.  Jan recorded advancement at meetings.  She went on camping trips, was Troop Camping Chairman and was in the OA Brotherhood.  Nancy Johnson went on a lot of camp-outs, too.  The scouts called Nancy “Judge Judy,” also much to her dismay.  Nancy became the Eagle coach; her job was to put Troop 11’s Life Scouts on ‘speed dial’ as needed to get them to complete their Eagle requirements.  If either Jan or Nancy saw a scout with too much time on his hands on a camp-out or playing with the campfire, they made him get his handbook and work on advancement with them.  

Other women leaders include Marcy Brown, Becky Galloway, Linda Elkin, Cathleen Trechter, Peggy Hines, Melanie Springer-Tollett and other moms.   Becky computerized the advancement and was a fixture at troop meetings; she recorded advancements as they were earned. 


Wood Badge is the highest level of adult leader training:  an advanced, national leadership course open only to Scouting volunteers and professionals. A great Wood Badge tradition is the “Ticket.” Each participant develops a contract or ticket — a list of five significant goals that allows them to use their newly-learned leadership skills in ways to strengthen Scouting in their home units, districts and councils (within 18 months).

Nancy Johnson remembers, “The thing that really got the troop moving was when David Lionberger, Rick Weekly, John Hannan and myself took a one-week Wood Badge course at Philmont in June 1996 and saw how a troop should be run.  It was eye-opening.  As part of our Wood Badge ticket, David and I made huge efforts to increase the size of the troop and the quality of the scouting program.  The adults had fun, which helped the kids have fun.  We went from about 11 boys to over 70 at one point.”


Kent Johnston recalls, “(Jan) knew everything about every boy: his buddies, his school, you name it.  When SM Hausknecht wondered how to put the boys into patrols, Jan immediately knew how to do it.  Without hesitation, Jan could name the boys who were on a camping trip six months ago.  She got the reputation of having eyes in the back of her head.  Despite not being with the boys, Jan would know exactly who cooked dinner, who cleaned up and who didn’t.  Nobody could get away with anything.  Jan was great.” 


In 1999, Troop 11 ASM  Nancy Johnson received the Golden Arrow District Award of Merit, for outstanding district service.  She ran several district programs:  Webelos Woods, Camporee and numerous Merit Badge Fairs. She eventually became Program Chair for the Golden Arrow District. 

1999:  HIGH ADVENTURE TREK TO THE GILA WILDERNES  (written by Kent Johnston)

The Gila of southwest New Mexico is the place where the ancient people lived in cave dwellings.  It’s the traditional birthplace of the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apaches, and it’s the site of the Apache wars.  It’s where Geronimo hid from the U.S. Army, where a broken leg was fatal for a frontiersman.  It’s home to elk, bear, and mountain lions.  It’s on the other side of the Continental Divide, and it’s the high desert headwaters of three forks of the Gila River, snow-fed and Pacific-bound.

Today the Gila Wilderness, inside the Gila National Forest, is devoid of roads or any other evidence of human occupation, save the cliff dwellings, a few signs of 1800’s gold mining, and primitive hiking paths.  This place, where the Rockies meet the Chihuahuan desert, is where First Presbyterian sponsored Boy Scout Troop 11 took its 1999 high adventure trek, a strenuous one week outing with extensive preparation and training.

Nineteen of us and our gear filled up two 15-passenger vans at the El Paso airport with little room to spare.  Our first night in New Mexico was spent among giant, mostly vertical volcanic rocks perched on a plain.  Sunday morning we held a communal religious service in the rocks, and everyone individually talked about what he felt most thankful to his Creator for.  A short distance away we found post-hole sized hollows in the rocks, used by Indians for grinding mesquite beans to flour.  Breaking camp, we headed off to the Wilderness.

We backpacked in and camped two nights in Geronimo’s hideout, the steep-sided Whitewater Canyon, opposite Skeleton Ridge, and hiked out by way of switchbacks over a 9,000-ft. crest. This trail was chosen because of its reliable water supply, Whitewater Creek. 

After a dip in a hot springs fed hot tub and a night’s rest just outside the Wilderness in a rustic lodge, we visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings, and set out on a day’s ride by horse down the Gila River, accompanied by pack mules, horse dogs, and wranglers, most of whom were rough handed, saddle tough cowgirls.  We camped two nights beside the river and used our time to work on horsemanship, to go fishing, swimming, and exploring an Indian cave dwelling with petroglyphs.

One of the goals of our trip was to explore a special place and have an adventure to remember for a lifetime.  And truly it was a high adventure trip to remember.

The 2000s


Troop 11 had 36 registered scouts. In January, the Troop Committee met to consider the applications of 22 Webelos scouts.  Could Troop 11 absorb such a large increase in membership?  Yes, we could!  Troop 11 had eight patrols:  Badgers, Shadow Cats, Black Cats, Vultures, Thunderbirds, Scorpions, Vikings, and Cobras. 


  • Jan 15 Hutcheson Ranch,       
  • Feb 18  Troop 11 camped with a Vietnamese troop at Aransas NWR, Mar 10  Camporee, Armand Bayou,
  • Mar 31  On Board USS Lexington,
  • Apr 7-9  Conservation/Ecology Merit Badge Weekend at Strake,
  • May 5  Canoeing Pecan Park,
  • Jun 11-17  Summer Camp, Cima-Horseshoe Bend, Boots-n-Saddles program,
  • June, Venture Crew 50-mile Colorado River canoe trip
  • July, Tubing Trip to New Braunfels
  • Aug, pool party
  • Sept, Double Lake
  • Oct, Enchanted Rock
  • Nov, Brazos Bend State Park, Arrow of Light
  • Dec, Scout Fair, Greenery Sales fundraiser


FPC former minister Dick Druary asked Troop 11 to operate a first aid station when his downtown men’s shelter moved to a new location.   

Three Troop 11 scouts placed in the Challenger 7 2000 Orienteering meet, sponsored by the Houston Orienteering Club:  Michael Brentari (6th place, 13-yr), Christopher Lam (9th place, 13-yr), and Richard Allen Temple (16th place, 15-yr).


Troop 11 held its 80th Reunion/Thank-You on March 26-29, 2000.   To publicize this event, Troop 11 displayed the 1929 Jamboree front-page Houston Post-Dispatcharticle (see page 36) in the display case near the FPC nursery.  This showed all the 1929 Jamboree scouts, particularly Troop 11 scoutmaster C.W. “Bill” Gribble, as well as FPC Fellowship Class member Frank Lenoir.


Dear Mrs. Lenoir,

Boy Scout Troop 11 is solemnly proud to celebrate the life of (FPC member)Mr. Frank Lenoir and recall his close ties with our group and his support of Scouting.

Mr. Lenoir’s picture has been on display for several weeks now in the FPC display case near the nursery, along with other Scouts who attended the 1929 World Jamboree with him.  The same picture was also displayed at Troop 11’s 80th Anniversary Reunion Dinner on March 27 at the church, and it was noticed and commented on by several attendees.  We are thankful Mr. Lenoir showed a film of the 1929 Jamboree to our younger Scouts last year.

The Troop received a memorial donation in Mr. Lenoir’s name from the Fellowship Class of FPC.  We would like to use this memorial donation toward a fund to buy a Troop 11 display case for the new church addition. 

Enclosed is a commemorative patch of Troop 11’s 80th anniversary observance, a small token to honor him and his more than 70-year relation with Troop 11.


Kent Johnston

Kent Johnston, Troop 11 Committee Chairman.


In 2000, Troop 11 ASM  Flem Rogers received the District Award of Merit, a council award presented by the Golden Arrow District. The award is presented to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level.  Flem had been one of the district’s commissioners for many years.


In 2000, FPC completed the Lancaster Center, an 80,000 ft2 three-level addition that housed classrooms, a library, science and computer labs, and administrative offices.  In 1999, anticipating the new church addition, FPC asked the troop committee what Troop 11 needed for  storage.  Kent Johnston’s reply, “We want our room to be named “The Scout Room” to establish “ownership”, and to have a walk-in closet, bulletin boards, awards displays, equipment storage, etc.  We expect the Scout Room to be used for Cub den meetings.“ 


Troop 11 had 49 scouts.  Budget to repair three canoes $1,700.  Troop 11’s service project was to help FPC move furniture.  Houghton Hutcheson was approved to be Troop 11’s chaplain.  The patrols were the Badgers, Shadow Cats, Black Cats, Scorpions, Thunderbirds, and Vultures.

2001:  CAMP-OUTS

  • Jan:  Creekview Ranch
  • Feb:  Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
  • Mar:  Camporee & Merit Badge Fair
  • Apr:  Archaeology MB at Big Bend, family camp-out
  • Apr:  camporee
  • May:  Pedernales backpacking
  • June:  Pecan Park
  • July:  El Rancho Cima summer camp at Ironwheel Mesa
  • June:  Hale Scout Reservation Oklahoma
  • July:  Yosemite, Venture Crew
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept:  Lake Somerville
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  Angelina National Forest
  • Dec:  Winter Camp


Troop 11’s “family camp-out” was at  Big Bend over spring break. Eight adults, four scouts and two cub scouts attended.  On the way up, they took a guided tour of cave dwellings and paintings at Seminole Canyon State Park.  Later, the troop visited Fort Davis and Judge Roy Bean’s “Law West of the Pecos” museum and saloon.  The troop had three full days at Big Bend to see Boquillas Canyon, Santa Elena Canyon and The Basin.


Challenger 7 2001 Orienteering meet: 

Christopher Lam

(2nd, 13-yr)

Richard Temple (8th, 16-yr)


In April, to prevent absences, the troop committee voted to allow boys in school sports programs to attend troop meetings in their sports uniform and arrive late if necessary. The sports uniform could take the place of a scout uniform.


Safety was paramount for the May 2001 family camp-out at Pecan Park and canoe trip on the San Marcos river.  Scoutmaster Dr. Mark Hausknecht wore his Personal Flotation Device (PFD) to the troop meeting immediately before the trip.  He told everyone that PFD’s must be worn at all times on the river; the troop watched the BSA Safety Afloat video.

While on the river, Troop 11 happened to pass by a SHAC canoe training event led by SHAC Canoe Coordinator Dal Wilkirson, assisted by two SHAC Canoe Instructors, Craig Davis and Michael Beard.  These men reported that Troop 11 put scouts at risk:  “Troop 11 scouts were observed swimming in the river with no qualified adult supervision, no lifeguards, no lookouts, and not wearing PFDs” and “It was only through divine intervention or pure luck that serious injuries or even death did not occur on this trip.” 

The SHAC Canoe Committee voted to suspend Troop 11’s water activities for one year.  Troop 11 Committee Chair Kent Johnston investigated the allegations.  ASM Nancy Johnson wrote the very reasoned six-page rebuttal letter that Kent signed and sent to Steve Leland, SHAC Director of Camping Services.

Why was Troop 11 not contacted directly and had to learn of these allegations by reading faxes and e-mails?  By what authority can the SHAC Canoe Committee suspend Troop 11’s training cards (Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat) and suspend all Troop 11 adults who were on the trip from water activities for a period of one year?

Troop 11 put in at 9:30 AM.  Scouts were NOT put on the river at flood stage, as confirmed by USGS data, which showed the San Marcos river crested at 6:17 that morning.  Duane Te Grotenhuis of TG Livery checked the water level that morning and confirmed that the river was not at flood stage.

Despite claims that there was a tornado watch, Troop 11 observed no thunder, no lightning and scouts had to use much sunscreen because of the bright sun.  In fact,  Michael Beard’s own e-mail said the flash flood advisories and tornado watch ended at 9:00 AM — 30 minutes before T-11 put in.

Everyone affiliated with Troop 11 wore their PFD at all times.  The troop checked for this many times:  at the livery, at City Park, and at the big portage.  The SHAC canoe instructors may have confused Troop 11 with one of the numerous other groups on the river that day.

Ansel Michels did get in front of the group, because he went under the bridge rather than portage around and chose not to wait for the canoes to put in.  Characterizing Ansel as a paraplegic is insulting — Ansel is on the Lamar HS swim team and he recently biked 125 miles for the MS 150.

Mark Hausknecht and Nancy Johnson did not wait 45 minutes to go after Ansel.  They went after him immediately upon arriving at the take-out point and found him less than 200 yards downstream, sitting with a group of women kayakers.  If the SHAC instructors believed this was an emergency situation, why did they not rescue Ansel instead of looking at their watches?

Nancy Johnson and George Elledge returned with the boys to provide the adult supervision, as requested. The three scouts in question were playing in the rocks, skipping rocks, and wading in calf deep water; they were not in the current. SHAC instructors told them only once to get out of the river, not three times as claimed.  Foot entrapment could have occurred, but since this was in water less than 12-inches deep while wearing a PFD, the danger was negligible.

With regard to Wilkirson’s allegation that Peter Raffel almost hung himself while playing with a rope swing, Peter denies this occurred, saying “... that would be stupid.

Kent told Steve Leland that giving Troop 11 the “death penalty” for a first time offense would severely curtail the troop’s scouting program.   Troop 11 was willing to listen to constructive advice as to how this can be prevented in the future.

The letter defused the situation.  Troop 11’s aquatics and canoeing program continued.  As a result of this incident, the Troop 11 Committee decided that future family camp-outs will not have a water activity.


Eighteen scouts went to Cima-Ironwheel Mesa and thirty scouts went to Hale Scout Reservation. Scouts took a bus charter to Hale; parents drove to Cima. The El Rancho Cima summer camp fee was $125.


High Sierra Adventure Trip, July, 2001.  Troop 11 backpacked 7 days and about 45 miles through the High Sierras of the Yosemite Wilderness, CA.  A highlight of the trip was climbing to the top of Half Dome and enjoying the view of Yosemite Valley, almost 5,000 ft below.  The expedition leader was Dao Bui, who hiked there when he was a student at UC-Berkeley.  Other leaders were Dr. Mark Hausknecht, scoutmaster, and Andrew Winstead, senior patrol leader.  Cost was about $600-700 per scout.

The photo from that shows kneeling: Nick Frazier, Mark Felder, Paul Hausknecht, Nicholas Hull, Alexander Witschey, and Jack Schlesinger.  Standing: Jon Pecht, Nancy Johnson, Bob Frazier, Andrew Winstead, Jan Aligo, Dao Bui, Richard Felder, Matt Hausknecht, Kent Johnston, Al Schlesinger, Nam Bui, Stephen Bruso, Steve Winstead, Joe Bruso, Dan Witschey, SM Mark Hausknecht, and Kurt Hull.

Jan Aligo shared a memory of the 2001 Yosemite backpacking trip.  “Unfortunately by the end of the trip my repaired knee decided my hiking time was over. Mark(Hausknecht)organized the boys to break up my pack between them and personally guided me down into the valley to be sure I did not fall and sustain injury.


Troop 11 assisted with a construction project at the Rice University Theatre.  Scouts toured Rice campus afterwards. 

December camp-out = Winter Camp.  Christmas greenery sales netted the troop $5300.


At the end of 2001, Troop 11 membership was at an all-time high, with a roster of forty-five (45) registered scouts, and twenty-nine (29) adult scouters, who unselfishly gave of themselves to shape the leaders of tomorrow.

2002:  CAMP-OUTS

  • January: Aransas NWR
  • Feb: Creekview Ranch
  • March: Camporee, Dossey Ranch
  • April: Lake Charlotte canoeing
  • May:  Double Lake
  • June: El Rancho Cima Ironwheel Mesa & Camp Pirtle
  • July:  Rio Grande
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept:  Comal River tubing
  • Oct: Enchanted Rock climbing
  • Nov:  Webelos Woods
  • Dec: Winter Camp



On May 7, Nancy Johnson, a United States Magistrate Judge and long-serving volunteer in various ministries for children and youth at FPC, was honored with the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, one of the highest recognitions given to an adult leader by the Boy Scouts of America.  US District Judge David Hittner nominated Nancy Johnson for the Silver Beaver Award. He wrote “Judge Johnson is ... admired throughout the SHAC for her dedication & energy in the service of youth.”

Nancy held many leadership positions in Pack 11 and Troop 11, including Troop Chair, 1996-1998.  When a Wood Badge course focused her attention on recruitment, she promoted Troop 11 by volunteering at the Golden Arrow District, running several district programs.  Along the way, she earned a host of awards and honors, including unit service awards from both Pack 11 and Troop 11, the Golden Arrow District Award of Merit, and Scouting’s highest adult leadership training award, the Wood Badge.

Cubmaster Houghton Hutcheson, “... my greatest single accomplishment in Scouting was recruiting Nancy Johnson into leadership.  After that, it was just a matter of getting out of her way.”  


In May, Flem Rogers taught the Junior Leader Training class at Rice Stadium on Memorial Day.   


As of June 2002, fifteen cub scouts completed the God and Me program.  Two Pack 11 Webelos completed the God and Family program.  They met with a church minister, completed a three-part lesson and did a service project to receive their Presbyterian Religious Medals.


Ten scouts and three adults, led by Scoutmaster Joe Powers and SPL Mark Felder attended summer camp.  The scouts completed 27 merit badges.  Leland Bybee, Stephen Bruso, Jonathan Marshak, Stephen Anthony and David Marshak  completed the mile swim. 


Troop 11 put in south of Dryden, TX, paddled 76 miles, and took out above the mouth of the Pecos River near Lake Amistad. With no creek water to be had, we had to filter Rio Grande water after letting it settle in a cooler overnight. 

Kent Johnson remembers, “I’ve canoed many Texas rivers, and I would say the 75 miles of the Rio Grande I experienced is unlike any of the others.  The channel width was very constant; the current was always very fast, about 5 miles per hour; the amount of silt in it was phenomenal — I’ve never been so endlessly filthy for so many days in my life.  You can see the dirt on everyone’s skin in the photos.  There was never any clean water to wash or to filter drinking water — always silty.  One evening I climbed a muddy bank to camp for the night.  My legs and feet were covered in mud.  There was no water to wash off, unless I would climb back down the bank to the silty river water, and then I’d just have to climb back up the same muddy bank and get muddy over again.   I slept covered in mud.”


In Oct 2002, Kleber became the Church Organizational Representative (COR), liaison between FPC and the scouts.  With Kleber as FPC’s scouting advocate, Troop 11 was confident that it would not lose access to its FPC meeting rooms, its “too-small” storage closet near the elevator, or its 2-car garage near the Travis St. Operation ID building.  Kleber coordinated Scout Sunday activities with FPC, including the bulletin inserts and the God and Country awards during the 8:30 AM church service. 

Kleber and Kent Johnston made sure that both Troop 11 and Pack 11 never scheduled an activity that would conflict with a FPC youth group activity, often changing the scouts’ plans since the FPC’s Youth Group did not make their calendar in advance.


In December, Troop 11 was holding steady at 41 scouts.

2003:  CAMP-OUTS

  • Jan: bike trip, Matagorda Island under a full moon
  • Feb:  Sea Rim State Park
  • Mar:  Lake Charlotte
  • Mar: Big Bend family camp-out
  • Apr: backpack at Pedernales Falls
  • May: Pecan Park canoeing
  • June:  Cima Ironwheel Mesa
  • July:  Boundary Waters Canoe
  • Aug:  Philmont backpacking
  • Sept:  Double Lake, Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  Galveston Island SP
  • Dec: Christmas Greenery Sales, Winter Camp


Scout Sunday is this Sunday, Feb 2, 2003.  As always, we will attend the Early Service in the First Presbyterian Sanctuary along with Pack 11, sit in reserved seats up front, and be recognized by the church.

CUB  PACK 11:  FEB 2003

Cub Scouting is very much a family-oriented Ministry.  Pack 11 is a Scouting program for boys in grades 1-5, drawing not only from FPC member families and from Presbyterian School, but also from a variety of other private and public schools in the area.  Under the leadership of Cubmaster Joe Bybee, Pack 11 in 2003 boasted a registered membership  of 66 boys.


In 2003, Troop 11’s Good Turn project was to spread two truckloads of mulch on the grounds. Troop 11 did one service project for FPC in the fall, and one in the spring.  The troop would ask FPC facilities manager Michelle Eutsler to find service projects. The scope was three or four hours of yard work type labor by a dozen or so 12-year olds.  To date, Troop 11 has done these service projects for First Presbyterian Church:

  • Trimming and pruning trees and landscape.
  • Spreading mulch.
  • Sodding grass.
  • Packaging books for shipment to the Middle East.
  • Replacing sand in childrens’ sand boxes.
  • Move furniture in the storeroom.

On Nov 8, seventeen Troop 11 scouts participated in the Good Turn Canoe Outing.

2003:  VENTURE CREW 11

FPC first sponsored Venture Crew 11 in 2003.  Venture Crew 11 had  16 crew members, and 6 adult leaders:  Mark Hausknecht, Nancy Johnson, Kent Johnston, David Lionberger, Candace Roberts, and Dan Witschey.  Venturing is a BSA program for young men and young women that includes challenging high-adventure activities, sports, and hobbies for teenagers that teach them leadership skills, provide opportunities to teach others, and give them an opportunity to learn and grow in a supporting, caring, and fun environment.


Dr. Hausknecht continued Troop 11’s tradition of two FPC service projects per year.  Troop 11 cleaned the basement of the Lancaster Center, raked leaves, installed grass, and even did repair work.

With his Troop 11 scouts, Mark shared his appreciation of nature and the obligation he felt to preserve it. He loved canoeing and led many canoe trips. While canoeing, he would pick up trash whenever he could. He instilled within his scouts a strong work ethic, self-reliance, and a love of the outdoors.  He was a kind man and the scouts loved him.

A leading cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush, he was affiliated with the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, Houston Methodist Hospital, and the Houston Cardiovascular Associates.  He rode his bicycle to work at the Texas Medical Center.

Marcy Brown recalls, “Mark was my son’s first Scoutmaster — and an amazing role model. As busy as a cardiologist is, he made sure that if anyone in his troop needed him, they could call his office and mention the word ‘scout”’ and the call would be put right through.


Joe Powers became Troop 11 scoutmaster in June 2003. 


Participants were scouts Harvey Powers,  Jon Marshak, Jeff Frazier, Nick Frazier, Paul Hausknecht, Marshall Frazier, Joseph Knight, Austin Payne.  Adults  were Joe Powers, David Marshak, Bob Frazier, Mark Hausknecht, Kent Johnston, Jan Aligo.  As planned, the trip was a mere  41 miles, but the actual distance covered was 50 miles including side trips and — (ahem) navigation errors.  This qualified everyone for the 50-Miler Award.

AUGUST 2003: 


We will climb the steps at Rice Stadium wearing weighted backpacks.  Since we will be training together, we will get to know each other, and we can mix the crews or not, depending on what the group wants to do.

HISTORY:  2004

Troop 11 had 60 registered scouts, with 33 registered adult leaders.  Cub Pack 11 had 47 cub scouts, with 18 adult leaders.  Venture Crew 11 had 16 crew members.   Ken Odegard made it possible for Troop 11 to have its very own website, Once set up, Jan Odegard took over responsibilities for Troop 11’s website.


  • Jan:  Aransas NWR
  • Feb:  Enchanted Rock
  • March: Guadalupe Mountains (spring break family camp-out), & camporee
  • April:  Scout Fair, Chain O’Lakes
  • May:  Galveston Island State Park, incl. gulf charter fishing boat
  • June:  Colorado Rafting & Ironwheel Mesa summer camp at El Rancho Cima
  • Aug:  Jul 31 to Aug 8, Yosemite Wilderness High Adventure
  • Sept:  Pecan Park canoe camp-out
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods, fall merit badge fair
  • Nov:  Pedernales Falls
  • Dec:  Enchanted Rock


      Troop 11’s spring break family camp-out trip, Mar 13-20, was to Guadalupe Mountains State Park.  The troop stayed at Washington Ranch located along the Black River in  the foothills of the Guadalupe mountains, and now owned by the City of Carlsbad.  The group toured Carlsbad Caverns and hiked to the top of the Guadalupe Peak, the highest peak in Texas.


Jun 26-Jul 3, the Colorado River raft trip enabled thirty-five scouts and adults to earn their 50-miler award, which was presented at the September Court of Honor.  At one of their camping sites, the scouts built tent platforms made of gravel enclosed by heavy timbers.  Total distance = 62 miles over 5 days.  Troop 11 ended the trip with a service project for the Colorado Parks Department; the troop built four picnic table platforms. 

2005:  CAMP-OUTS

Troop 11 had 61 scouts.

  • Jan: bike trip, Bastrop State Park
  • Feb: Flem’s Ranch
  • Mar:  Llano River canoe
  • Apr:  Chain O’Lakes, Scout Fair
  • May: Galveston State Park, charter fishing boat
  • June: Camp Pirtle summer camp
  • July:  Boundary Waters canoe base, Glacier National Park backpacking
  • Sept: Pecan Park (cancelled due to Hurricane Rita)
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov: Lost Maples state park
  • Dec:  Enchanted Rock

2005:  75-MILER AWARD

In September, the following scouts were awarded their Boundary Waters Charles Sommers–National High Adventure 75 Miler award:  Cal Cooper, Julian Cooper, David Doerries, Chip Gill, Wesley Gill, David Marshak, and Will Marshak.

In September, Troop 11 put storage shelves in the Travis Street storage room.


The Scout of the Year award is determined by the Troop Committee near the end of each calendar year.   “The award is intended to not only recognize the Scout chosen, but also to remind the Troop 11 Committee of the importance of offering productive ways for boys to demonstrate their growing maturity and competence through the Scouting program.

Award Criteria

Growth in what Scouting offers, and recognition for growing maturity and competence.

  • Active at meetings and camp outs.
  • Assertive in leadership roles or to help his patrol as a team member.
  • Shows Scout Spirit.
  • Behaves by the Scout Oath and Law, sets a good example.
  • Proficient or growing proficiency in camping and outdoor skills.
  • Progress in advancement.
  • Wears the uniform properly.
  • Any other notable evidence of growing maturity and competence.”


In 2005, Troop 11 ASM Marcy Brown and Troop Committee Chair Kent Johnson each received the District Award of Merit, a council award presented by the Golden Arrow District in the same manner that the Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is presented to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level.   


The following scouts received the Voyageurs Historic Trails Award in December 2005:  Julian Cooper, Cal Cooper, Wesley Gill, Chip Gill, Will Marshak, David Marshak, Andrew Coe, Kent Johnston, Evan Peterson, Leif Peterson, Will Jordan, Bill Jordan, David Doerries, Scott Dossey. 


  • Jan:  Flem’s Ranch
  • Feb:  Pedernales Falls, Wolf Ridge primitive camping
  • Mar: Big Bend, spring break family camp-out
  • April:  Pecan Park
  • May:  Galveston state park
  • June:  Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch
  • July: Colorado back-packing climb Mt. Harvard
  • Sept:  Wolf Mountain
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  Bastrop State Park
  • Dec:  Pedernales State Park


In 2006, SM Joe Powers led the older scouts at the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch Mountain Man high adventure program.  Kent Johnston writes, “2006 Mountain Man was such a big deal it needs to be well covered in the history.  SM Joe Powers either created or took advantage of 2006’s excitement for BTSR Mountain Man; he led about seven (7) boys in the program. Afterwards, there was a big buzz about their escapades, and Mountain Man became legendary in epic proportions. Joe Powers enjoyed Mountain Man in a big way, (he was) especially manly at atl-atl throwing.”

From Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch website, “The Mountain Man is a week long experience for older Scouts and Venturers who would like to experience the life of a Mountain Man in the fur trade era of the 1840’s.  Participants will experience the primitive lives of men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, and Daniel Boone. Scouts will explore the contributions these men made to the growth of our country.

"Participants will enjoy activities such as stories around the campfire, Dutch oven cooking, tomahawk and knife throwing, black powder shooting, atl-atl spear throwing, archery, tanning deer hides, flint knapping, making soap and rope from plants, and Mountain Man swimming. Scouts will learn about tracking in the wilds and reading trail signs, as well as information on edible plants and plants for survival.


ASM Flem Rogers has been with Troop 11 for over 20 years.  He has been the charismatic leader/host of many high adventure trips, camp-outs, and training.  Flem was Venture Assistant Scoutmaster in 1998, 1999, and 2000.  He was on the ‘98 Llano River trip, the ‘99 Gila Wilderness trip, and the 50-mile Colorado River trip in 2000.  He led the Junior Leader Training at Wolf Mountain.

An Eagle scout himself, Flem hosted many Eagle Courts of Honor while wearing his vintage scout uniform (1920s or 30s).  His Eagle Challenge at these Courts of Honor is well-known.

For the years 2005-2015, he hosted Troop 11 for their annual shooting sports camp-out at his Woodville, TX tree farm, affectionately known as “Flem’s Ranch.”  This wooded east Texas acreage was perfect for shooting .22s, black powder rifles, shotguns, axe throwing, and pioneering projects.  Did someone say “monkey bridge?”  

Flem taught Pioneering Merit Badge each year and still attends troop meetings to supervise building Troop 11’s Zip Line for Webelos Woods. 

He is responsible for Troop 11’s North Star booth at the scout fair, and he began the tradition of wearing Class B uniforms at the Monday meeting after a camp-out.

Flem is an amateur historian and avid gun collector.  He revived  Troop 11’s traditional royal purple neckerchief.  He is responsible for Troop 11’s ceremonial candle holder at the Courts of Honor.


Kent Johnston wrote the Troop 11 Annual Report, submitted to Rev. James Harper.  Troop 11 had grown from 11 scouts in 1992 to 71 scouts and 54 registered adults in Dec 2006.  The troop’s growth can be attributed to the Presbyterian School, which helped Pack 11 grow, and to Troop 11’s excellent adult leadership. 

Troop 11 was blessed to receive $2000 from ExxonMobil, who provided grant monies to its employees for hours contributed to a charitable organization. Troop 11 continued to hold three fund-raisers each year:  November popcorn sale, December greenery sales and Scout Fair tickets.

2007:  HISTORY

By January, Troop 11 had 72 registered Scouts and 61 registered adults.  Troop 11 was a 2007 Golden Arrow District honor unit.  In Feb 2007, six scouts earned their God and Church awards:  Erik Biegert, Caleb Dunn, Kalen Hines, Peter James, Ryan Techmanski, and Peter Ten Eyck.  Three scouts earned their God and Life awards:  Robert Scott Dossey, Travis Evert, and Colin Williams.


Troop 11 had 75 scouts.

  • Jan: Aransas National Wildlife
  • Feb:  Flem’s Ranch
  • Mar: Angelfire Resort spring break ski trip family camp-out
  • April: Enchanted Rock SP and Scout Fair find the North Star
  • May: Inks Lake  SP
  • June:  El Rancho Cima
  • July:  Philmont
  • Aug:  Appalachian Trail
  • Sept:  Guadalupe River SP, tubing on Comal, GAD Aquatics Day
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  Lake Charlotte
  • Dec:  Pedernales SP


In February, the following Troop 11 adult volunteers were recognized at the Golden Arrow District (GAD) Recognition Dinner and each received a Unit Service Award: Ed Biegert, Marcy Brown, Becky Galloway, Cal Cooper, John James, David Marshak, Jan Erik Odegard, Joe Powers, Elliot Wiesendanger.  This GAD program to recognize its volunteers began in 2007.


Troop 11 used its go-to scout fair booth:  find the north star.  One Troop 11 scout observed, “This is a repeat of what we’ve done maybe 10 times.


28 scouts and 8 adult leaders. Jim Miller, acting scoutmaster.  ASM Don Callender handled the merit badge paperwork at camp. 


Cathleen Trechter, treasurer, prepares the Analysis of Camping Income/Expense for the prior year to calculate the average break-even fee for the seven previous camp-outs and recommends a camp-out fee for camp-outs beginning after November 1.  The troop committee reviews the analysis to determine the base amount to charge for camp-out fees.  For 2007-08, the base camp-out fee was $30 per camp-out. 


July 28-Aug 4. Troop 11 flew to Asheville, North Carolina and stayed at Daniel Boone Scout Camp.  The camp provided two High Adventure guides, an operating kitchen and facilities, including showers.

Troop 11 split into two hiking teams.  One group hiked 10 to 12 miles per day going north from the base camp and had a very scenic trip. The second (less strenuous) group went south and averaged 6 to 8 miles per day.  Daniel Boone Scout camp provided the food, cooking equipment, stoves, rain fly and water purification equipment.  Cost per person was $270 for the week. 


Christmas Greenery 2007 was a big success with over $30,000 in sales thanks to the 44 Troop 11 families who participated.


Troop 11 had 71 registered scouts and 65 registered adult leaders.  By year’s end, they would have 78 scouts.  Cub Pack 11 had 47 cub scouts and 30 adult leaders.  The troop had eight patrols, including Bears, Beavers, Antelope, Owl, Ravens, and Wolves. 


  • Jan:  Buescher SP (bike riding)
  • Feb:  32 Troop 11 scouts and 14 adults camped at Flem’s Ranch (shooting sports, ax throwing)
  • Mar:  spring break at Wolf Mountain
  • Apr:  Enchanted Rock SP, Scout Fair
  • May:  Galveston Island  SP
  • June:  Sea Base, FL, and Pirtle Scout Camp
  • July: Colorado (White water rafting on Arkansas River)
  • Aug:  cancelled
  • Sept:  Double Lake SP (cancelled – Hurricane Ike)
  • Oct:  Camp Brosig, Webelos Woods, T-11 hosted
  • Nov:  Inks Lake SP
  • Dec: Enchanted Rock SP


Troop 11 presented an award to Becky Galloway in deep appreciation for her outstanding service to Troop 11 as Advancement Chair, 2001 – 2008.  Cathleen Trechter received an appreciation  plaque for outstanding service to Troop 11, both as Treasurer and invaluable asset, Jan 2005 –  Feb 2008. 


In 2008, the Sam Houston Area Council presented Joe Powers the Scoutmaster Award of Merit “for service with enthusiasm, wisdom, experience, and understanding resulting in a dynamic Boy Scout troop.  Among the requirements are tenure, training, Quality Unit Awards, a majority of Scouts attaining First Class rank, an extensive outdoor program, and strong summer camp attendance.”

Joe Powers began Troop 11’s policy that Scouts must sleep in Troop 11 tents until reaching First Class, at which time they could use their personal tents.  His idea was very good for Troop 11.


White Water Rafting, Arkansas River in Colorado, Buena Vista, CO.

  • Day 1, drive to Palo Duro Canyon State park, 665 miles.
  • Day 2, Visit Capulin Volcano; Skyline Dr at Canon City. CO, camp at Collegiate Peaks, National Forest Service, 450 miles.
  • Day 3, Tour Arkansas River valley from Leadville to Salida.
  • Days 4 – 9, Rafting.  Wilderness Aware guides will serve as counselors for White Water merit badge, if you request. 
  • Day 10, Visit Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and camp at Sugarite Canyon State Park, NM, 250 miles.
  • Day 11, drive to Llano, TX, camp at Wolf Mtn, 660 miles. 
  • Day 12, drive to Houston, 240 miles.  Total miles, 2,775


SPL                     Kipling Klimas

ASPL                   Noah Morris

Scribe                 Ross Techmanski

Historian            Max Rank

Librarian             David Stubblefield

Chaplains Aide  Ashan Khan

Den Chief           Drew Tollett;           

                           Adam Homeyer

Quartermaster   Michael Black

Instructor           Ford Anderson;

                           Peter Ten Eyke

JASM                  Travis Payne;

                           Andy Powers;

                           Benjamin Bruso

Raven PL            Andrew Listi

Raven APL          Adam Homeyer

Beaver PL           Thomas Gill

Beaver APL         Ross Techmanski

Wolf PL               Ziggy Caughman

Wolf APL            Nolan Hines

Owl PL                Marshall Gregory

Owl APL              David Elkin

Buffalo PL           Howard Deng

Buffalo APL        John Snyder

Antelope PL       Jacob Simms

Antelope APL     Kalen Hines

Bear PL               Jack McInerny

Bear APL             Max Rank

Eagle PL              Robert Schmidt

Eagle APL           Ken Odegard


Kent Johnston received the Silver Beaver Award in October.  Kent began as a Troop 11 ASM in September 1993; he retired from Troop 11 in May 2018, serving in various capacities over the years.  Kent had excellent administrative and organizational skills with a gift for forward planning and attention to detail.  Kent attended most camp-outs, including high adventure backpacking and canoe trips.


In 2008, Troop 11 acquired 12 new one-man, sit-upon kayaks with a generous $8000 grant from FPC’s Permanent Funds Committee. Troop 11 used these kayaks at Inks Lake in November. 


Christmas Greenery 2008 was a big success with over $28,000 in sales; 41 families participated.


Troop 11 – Consistently delivering an active, high quality Boy Scout program inside the Loop.  “Troop 11 is a highly active, mid-size inner Loop Boy Scout group chartered by the First Presbyterian Church located at 5300 Main in the Museum District. The troop holds the distinction of being the oldest Scouting organization in Houston and the SHAC, and it produced the area’s first Eagle Scout in 1918.

‘The Troop is run by boys under the guidance of a remarkable group of adult leaders. The boys also plan the annual calendar and, based on discussions with the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee, set goals for advancement, participation and community service. The program focuses on advancement to First Class, training for merit badges, and monthly overnight camping trips which usually include hiking, fishing or canoeing events. Each month, the troop also strives to have a part-day service project or training opportunity.

“High adventure trips during the summer are the ultimate goal of nearly every older boy who meets the age and rank requirements. Recent trips include Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MN), Philmont Scout Ranch (NM), Sea Base (FL) ocean adventure, White Water Rafting on Arkansas River (CO), backpacking in Yosemite Wilderness National Park (CA), Glacier National Park (MT), Mt. Harvard (CO), and Appalachian Trail (NC).

“Summer Camp is an important event on every boy’s June calendar. Troop 11 rotates between El Rancho Cima near Wimberly, Texas, Pirtle Scout Reservation in the Texas Piney Woods and Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

“As a spring break trip the troop attempts to involve the entire family and typically organizes a week-long family camping trip. Recent trips have included both Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park.


Cub Pack 11 had 62 Cub Scouts and 11 adult leaders.  Scout Troop 11 had 76 registered scouts and 61 registered adult leaders.  Venture Crew 11 had crew members and adult leaders.


  • Jan:  Camp Strake
  • Feb:  Flem’s Ranch, Scout Sunday
  • Mar:  Garner State Park, FPC Service Day - CrossOver Houston
  • Apr:  San Marcos river retreat at Pecan Park
  • May:  Bastrop State Park
  • June:  Buffalo Trails Scout Ranch, June 6-13, Calvary Adventure Camp
  • July:  Philmont July 3-16, Expedition Number 704-I
  • Aug:  Pool Party
  • Sept:  Guadalupe River tubing
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  backpacking at Lost Maples SP
  • Dec:  canoe at Palmetto SP


Troop 11 boy scout Will Jordan, a Life Scout, passed away in March 2009 of natural causes.  A long-time scout, Will began his long scouting career as a Cub Scout with Pack 80, became a Boy Scout with Troop 80 and earned his Life rank with Troop 11.  Will was on track to earn his Eagle in 2009.


Philmont is THE trip for every scout.  Without fail, Philmont is the highlight of a scout’s adventure.  Troop 11 had two Philmont treks for the summer of 2009 (20 scouts and 4 adult leaders).  From Base Camp, Troop 11 hiked to the following camps:  Miner’s Peak, then to Abreau, Crooked Creek, Wild Horse, Lambert’s Mine, Aspen Springs, Devils Wash Basin, Vaca and ended at Turkey Creek.


In fall 2009, five Troop 11 scouts earned their God and Church award:  Dante LaChina, Nicholas Ledesma, Brendan Miller, Will Pinter, Ross Techmanski.  Two scouts earned their God and Life Award:  Caleb Dunn and Peter Ten Eyck.  Peter Ten Eyck is noted for earning all four religious awards:  God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, & God and Life.


At year’s end, Troop 11 had 83 registered scouts.

The 2010s

Troop membership was 70 registered scouts in 2010.  On February 18, eleven Troop 11 scouts attended BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration at Minute Maid Park. 


  • Jan: Aransas NWR w/whooping crane boat tour,
  • Feb:  Food Drive, Flem’s Ranch
  • Mar:  spring break family camp?
  • Apr:  Enchanted Rock
  • May:  Pecan Park canoeing
  • June:  Cima River Camp, and Florida Sea Base
  • July:  BWC cancelled
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept:  tubing on Guadalupe
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods; SHAC Jam
  • Nov:  Pedernales Falls State Park, backpacking
  • Dec:  Lost Maples

In October 2010, Troop 11 made an awesome Slide 4 Life (zipline) for the SHAC JAM, held at the Texas World Speedway in College Station, TX.  The JAM celebrated the 100th anniversary of Scouting and was the largest Scouting gathering in the nation outside of the national jamborees. A Troop 11 scout ended up in the hospital with a collapsed lung at the SHAC JAM, though the EMTs did not recommend a hospital visit.  Cause was a pre-existing condition not listed on his medical form.  Afterward, Kathleen English and Steve Stelzer contacted parents to get properly updated medical forms. 


Christmas Greenery 2010 was a big success with $25,000 in sales, thanks to the 37 families who participated. 


“Seven Years of Faithful Service, The Most Outstanding Seven Years Since 1914”

The following is excerpted from Kent Johnston’s 2008 SM Award of Merit application.

“Joe Powers is currently registered as Scoutmaster and has served as Troop 11’s Scoutmaster for 4-1/2 years.  In each year of his tenure, the Troop has earned the Quality Unit Award. SM Joe Powers took Boy Scout Leader Fast Start, New Leader Essentials, Scoutmaster Specific, and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills when he was still a Cub leader and before joining the Troop.  He has taken Wood Badge and earned his beads.  SM Powers has changed the Troop’s calendar and outdoor program specifically to allow new Scouts who joined in January, who are active and attend summer camp, to reach First Class and to receive their rank awards the following December, or 11 months after joining.  SM Powers uses the patrol method well to develop boy leadership.  He has excellent relations with the Troop’s charter partner, First Presbyterian Church of Houston, and he is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Houston.  Through him as Scoutmaster, the Troop carries on an extensive outdoor program which includes each year nine weekend campouts, a spring break trip, summer camp, and two or more summer high adventure trips.  SM Powers makes sure that Troop 11 presents a positive image of Scouting in the community, and expects high standards of behavior from his Scouts.  He leads a troop operation that attracts and retains Scouts very well.”

When Joe Powers retired as scoutmaster, Troop 11 adults sent in their quotes about Joe Powers’ tenure. 

Wade Stubblefield: “You have to include him cooking up some donuts with new scouts (and envious adults) looking on!”

Kirk Sprunger: “A very fond memory is all the cobblers that Joe has made over the years on Troop 11 campouts.  Joe made a science out of knowing the precise number of charcoal briquettes required to heat the Dutch oven and the exact placement of the briquettes on the lid to cook it properly.

Heidi Glantzberg: “I always think of Joe with the rubber “Prairie Chicken” hanging close by while he wards off scouts from the adult camping cuisine.

Heidi Glantzberg: “I also remember one canoe trip when Kent forgot plates for lunch and Joe literally ate his tuna salad out of his hand.

David Marshak: “Joe took great pride in his compact, lightweight backpacking gear.”

Linda Elkin: “We spent the next night in the mosquito infested swamp campground where Joe was the model of patience in making several trips back to the bear bags through the clouds of mosquitoes to hang “smellables” all of us forgot we had.”

Kent Johnston: “... at Boundary Waters, Joe was (his son) Harvey’s troll motor so Harvey could fish, rather than paddle.”

John A. James:  “When we went to Pirtle Summer camp we had a golf tournament that required that we make (a) our clubs and (b) golf bags. I was Joe’s caddy and he won the tournament!

Kirk Sprunger: “The story that I heard from those who went to Glacier was that Joe traveled a longer trek one day and stayed in a hotel with a hot shower.  Had a hot dinner in a restaurant and then returned to the trail the next day like he had done nothing unusual.” 

Linda Elkin responds, “As a participant on the ‘hotel’ hike in Glacier, I feel I must defend our patrol.  The ‘hotel’ was a hostel where we had shipped half our provisions.  No glamour there, but there was indeed a shower.  Our total hike was 60 miles and others were just jealous they didn’t think of it!  Former Girl Scouts (Chris Powers, Sarah and Linda) are smart that way.  We tried to hide nothing; we were bragging.”

Phil Schmitt: “Always memorable are the “Scoutmaster Words of Wisdom” at each meeting.  His messages to the boys always paint an interesting picture with the moral tied up very neatly at the end.”


  • Jan:  Camp Strake
  • Feb:  Flem’s Ranch
  • Mar:  Enchanted Rock
  • Apr:  Schmitt’s Ranch
  • May:  Galveston Island SP
  • July:  Philmont, Hale Scout Reservation
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept:  tubing on Guadalupe
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  camp/bike at Beuscher State Park
  • Dec:  backpacking at Lost Maples State Park

2011:  HISTORY

Pack 11 had 80 Cub Scouts, with 12 adult leaders.  Troop 11 had  62 registered scouts.

In April, Troop 11 camped for the first time at Schmitt’s Ranch in Caldwell, TX.  Highlights included fishing and orienteering in the wide-open spaces.  This camp-out proved so popular that it became a staple on the annual list of camp-outs for many years to come.

May 16 was the Eagle Court of Honor for Drew Callender and Ryan Techmanski. 

July summer camp was at Hale Scout Reservation in Talihina, OK.  Jonathan Keener was SPL.  Troop 11 attendees:  Esperanza Yvette Ayala, Kent Johnston, Alex Sturtevant, Cameron Gentry, Brooks Bradley, Gabriel Jasso, Will Pinter, Nolan Hines, Ziggy Coffman, Phil Schmitt, Jim Gentry, Melanie Springer-Tollett, Connor Burwell, Tristan Klimas, Jonathan Keener, Drew Tollett, Adrian Jasso, Sean Gentry, Noah Scantlebury, Benji Tollett, Chris Tollett, Nick Ledesma, and Michael Schmidt.  Activities included cardboard boat contest, Electricity MB,  Archery MB and fishing. 

October camp-out was Webelos Woods. Because of dangerously dry conditions, this year marked a first for the Webelos Woods camp-out, as any outdoor burning, such as campfires, charcoal grills, propane stoves or lamps was prohibited. 



      On October 8, Troop 11 scouts attended the non-profit Faith In Practice’s 2011 fund-raising Gala at the Omni Hotel.  Faith In Practice has medical, surgical, dental and educational mission teams that serve throughout Guatemala. 


Troop 11 had nine monthly camp-outs in 2011.  Bradley Brooks had the most camping nights, 14, of all the scouts.  Ziggy Coffman was second with 13 nights.  Scoutmaster Stephen Klimas’ participation was 100%; he camped all 18 nights. 

2011:  TROOP 11 EAGLES

Troop 11 produced 73 Eagle scouts in the seventeen year period from 1995 - 2011.


Troop 11 had 57 scouts.

  • Jan:  Aransas NWR, with service project
  • Feb:  Flem’s Ranch cancelled due to weather
  • Mar:  Enchanted Rock State Park
  • Apr:  Schmitt’s Ranch
  • May:  canoe/kayak trip to Cedar Hill Park on Lake Charlotte. 
  • June: Sea Base Florida
  • July:  El Rancho Cima
  • Aug:  trampoline party at Sky Zone, pool party
  • Sept:  tubing at Palmetto State Park
  • Oct:  backpacking Lone Star Trail
  • Nov:  Webelos Woods
  • Dec:  Brazos Bend State Park


Camp-out Jan 18-20.  Amber Mollhagen was the PIC.  SM Stephen Klimas took ill and the camp-out was in danger of being cancelled until Don Grieb volunteered to be the 2nd adult, with Jim Gentry.  This was Troop 11’s family camp-out for the year as well as the first camp out for our new scouts from the Webelos, who had just had their Arrow of Light ceremony Jan 15.  Troop 11 skipped the whooping crane boat tour to do a service project and an ANWR program. 


Ministry Report: Houghton Hutchison introduced Jim Miller from Troop 11 and Allen King from Cup Scout Pack 11, who reported on the progress, growth and plans for the scout program of First Presbyterian Church. Research is being done to establish a scouting program for the Nehemiah Center and how to store all the scouting equipment in one location.


In March, scouts attended a West University City Council meeting for Citizenship in the Community merit badge.


In March 2012, Troop 11 had 59 scouts.  Despite the large number of parents, Troop 11 had difficulty finding enough adult leaders for the camp-outs.  Even though Scoutmaster Stephen Klimas and ASM Jim Gentry were on most every camp-out, Troop Committee Chairman Jim Miller had to constantly ask for adults to provide “3-Deep Leadership” thoughout the year.

George Wilkinson became SPL in Spring 2012.


The backpacking trip in Davy Crocket National Forest was cancelled in favor of a “camping and mini-camporee with shooting sports” at the Schmitt’s Ranch near Caldwell, TX.  This replaced the February Flem’s Ranch camp-out that had been cancelled due to weather.  Scouts enjoyed fishing, orienteering, archery, shotgun shooting and more. 

Stephen Klimas and Robert Schmitt directed an Orienteering Merit Badge Course; Phil Schmitt supervised the fishing activities.

Troop 11’s NRA-trained adult leaders, Bob Anderson and Kirk Sprunger, supervised the shooting activities.  Emmett and Peggy Hines (archery range certified) supervised archery.  Flem even lent Troop 11 his throwing axes!


At the behest of FPC’s Stephanie Drew, Jim Miller recruited Troop 11 scouts to help plant an orchard at Dodson Elementary,  as well as clear a huge lot near Generation One Academy, an early childhood Christian school. 


Original plans called for the troop to attend Buffalo Trails Scout Ranch in July, but not enough adults could commit to a full week.  The resourceful Troop Committee had Troop 11 attend nearby El Rancho Cima summer camp.  This allowed parents to “rotate” thru the various days of summer camp.  Adult Jim Gentry stayed at Cima for the entire week. 


Scoutmaster Stephen Klimas, Troop Committee Chairman Jim Miller and Camping Chair Jim Emanuel sent letters to parents, asking for adult volunteers.  These letters are reproduced below, only to focus what has always been a recurring problem.

"Scouting is one of the most worthwhile things I have gotten involved with. Where else do your boys get to build fires, learn outdoors skills, learn citizenship and leadership skills, hike, canoe/kayak, rock climb, shoot rifle and shotgun, go caving?  ... Our troop has had a long history of providing a great scouting experience for YOUR boys and it’s only possible when we have involved adults. ...  Please help us to keep Troop 11 the best scouting experience possible for your boys.

Thank you,

Stephen Klimas

Scoutmaster, August 2012"


Dear Adult Members:

... This weekend, the Troop has ... 13 boys signed up to go, but only two adults, Stephen Klimas and Jim Gentry. 

While two adults meet the (BSA) requirement of two deep leadership, ... a minimum of three adults should go on any campout.... The problem arises when one adult has to travel away from the troop activity to get medical attention, it leaves ... the boys with just one adult and one vehicle. ... this is not an acceptable situation.

For that reason, on future campouts, we (ask) that a minimum of three adults go, and that there be at least one adult for every eight kids.  If your son enjoys the camping program, we ask that you participate in that program and go on campouts.... 

Please help us keep the vital camping program alive and well. 

Jim Miller

Troop Committee Chairman, September 2012


"Did you know that our Scoutmaster, Stephen Klimas, has not missed a monthly camping trip for over two years? That is amazing!!  Jim Gentry also has an excellent attendance record on the monthly camps with only one or two misses in the same time frame!!  These two men have been carrying the camping program on their shoulders.

Jim Emanuel,

Camping Chair,

Sept. 2012"


In September 2012, PIC Ruthie Elizondo organized a “toobing” campout at Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, Texas.  Camp-out fee was $50.00:  $40.00 camp fee and $10.00 tube rental.


SM Stephen Klimas,“Troop elections are September 24, when we will elect our ASPL who will assume SPL duties in the spring.  If you plan to run for ASPL, please prepare a 2 minute speech or sales pitch for why you will be a GREAT SPL.  Andy Kinsella will be taking over as SPL at the end of tomorrow night’s meeting and we will bid a fond farewell to current SPL George Wilkinson.”

Andy Kinsella became SPL in Fall 2012.


In October, Troop 11 had 48 scouts, 16 Venture scouts,  54 adults, and 11 merit badge counselors.  The nine patrols were named Antelope, Bear, Buffalo, Beaver, Bob White, Eagle, Fox, Owl, and Wolf.  In the fall, Troop 11 selected new Class B uniforms.

Venture Crew 11 was chartered to take advantage of Philmont rules related to the number of crews from a single unit that could go in a given time frame. Philmont realized what everyone was doing and changed the rules.  Troop 11’s Venture Crew only went to Philmont and died out about 2017.


Mr. Richard Cadle taught the Personal Fitness Merit Badge in October.



Dear Members and Parents:

It is time once again to .... pay dues for Boy Scout registration and insurance.  These funds are used to pay for the Sam Houston Area Council camps and scouting programs. 

  • Troop 11 or Crew 11                           $75.00
  • Dual Membership  (T-11 & C-11)       $90.00
  • Adults                                                  Free!


Michelle Herrero was the PIC (person in charge) of the Webelos Woods November campout, held at Spring Creek Park in Tomball.  Troop 11 put its best foot forward, not only for the guest Webelos, but for all the Webelos at the event. 

Afterward, SM Stephen Klimas wrote “Many thanks to the scouts and adults who helped this weekend for a successful Webelos Woods camping trip. We have an awesome bunch of boys and adults lined up to enter Troop 11.  Some highlights: 

Thanks to all the hard work and good fun, Troop 11 got to be 2nd in line for dinner on Saturday.  Great new Webelos, Lots of zip-lining, Geocaching!  ROOT BEER!  Will King advanced to Tenderfoot.  Nick Herrero is the first recipient of the Flem Rogers Scout Spirit Award.


Sunday, Dec 2 was greenery distribution day.  Scouts signed up to work in shifts, and were paid $5/hour—which went into their scout accounts. 


Bonnie McMillen was PIC (person in charge).  For the Webelos 2 of Pack 11 to make  their Arrow of Light on time, they accompanied T-11 to Brazos Bend. Activities included a meteor shower viewing on Friday night at the Observatory, work on Webelos Handyman and Craftsman badges, and on first-year scout requirements.  Benji Tollett led the Saturday night campfire.  SM Stephen Klimas led a geocaching activity.  Saturday was pizza and movie night! Troop 11 turned one of the shelters into a deluxe cinematic experience!


Troop 11 had 58 scouts.

  • Jan:  Aransas NWR
  • Feb: Flem’s Ranch, Woodville
  • Mar:  Enchanted Rock State Park, climbing
  • Apr:  Schmitt’s Ranch, Caldwell
  • May:  Galveston State Park
  • June: Philmont
  • July:  Camp Pirtle, Jamboree
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept: San Marcos River Retreat
  • Oct:  backpacking Pedernales State Park
  • Nov:  Camporee, Webelos Woods
  • Dec:  Brazos Bend State Park


David Miller, Adam Homeyer and Andrew Listi received their Eagle awards.


Mr. James taught both Personal Management and Family Life merit badges, required for Eagle and difficult to get.  Scout Sunday was February 10.  Troop 11 scouts attended the 10:45 service.

Scoutmaster Klimas, “Thanks to all the boys who put on their uniforms and  came out to Scout Sunday today. Although gratitude is not part of the scout law, this is a great time of year to thank our charter organization, 1st Presbyterian, for allowing us to use their facilities.”

In February, Kathleen English made sure Troop 11 scouts updated their medical forms.  On every camp-out, one of the Troop 11 adults acted as Medicine Man to dispense ALL medications.


By 2013, Troop 11 had firmly established the tradition of the “Grubmaster.” Each patrol had a Grubmaster, responsible for the meals. In their Class A uniforms, all Troop 11 Grubmasters met at a grocery store (Kroger or H.E.B.) on  Wednesday before a camp-out to buy the food.

Similarly, Troop 11’s patrol Quartermasters met the Wednesday before a camp-out at the scout shed to pack all the gear.

FLEM'S RANCH, FEB 15-17, 2013

For many Troop 11 scouts, the Flem’s Ranch camp-out is the highlight of the year.  Flem Rogers often let Troop 11 camp on his property and he spent much valuable time working with the boys during those weekends.

Supervised by Phil Schmitt on the rifle range, Troop 11 scouts worked on their pioneering skills and learned  how to safely shoot .22 rifles, a shotgun, a black power rifle, as well as throw hatchets and shoot archery.

Scoutmaster Klimas wrote, “This past weekend’s annual trip to Flem’s Ranch was nothing short of awesome. Despite cold nights, once the sun rose, we had picture perfect weather. Activities included .22 rifle shooting, ironsights and scope, shotgun shooting and tomahawk throwing. That was in the morning. Afternoon was spent by the older scouts felling trees and stripping the branches to make new spars for future pioneering projects. The older boys also built a monkey bridge while the mighty Buffalos, our new scout patrol, earned their Tot’n Chip and their Firem’n Chits. Sean Gentry earned the  Scouting Spirit Award for his leadership of the Buffalos as Troop Guide. 

“Thanks to all the parents who came along and special thanks go out to Robert Barham for pulling the troop trailer, Bob Anderson and Kirk Sprunger for being our range-masters, and of course, Flem Rogers who gave time and use of his land to make such a great camping trip possible.”


After the Flem’s Ranch camp-out, Scoutmaster Stephen Klimas wrote, “The next two meetings will be rock climbing in the mini-gym with Mr. Parsons in preparation for E-ROCK!”  Under the guidance of Troop 11 climbing instructor Dan Parsons, scouts practiced before they hit Enchanted Rock in March.

Dan Parsons said, “The annual Troop 11 Enchanted Rock trip is a scout favorite and is great fun.“ With eight new scouts, Troop 11 had to scramble to get enough backpacks.    

Connor Burwell became SPL in Spring 2013



22 scouts and 8 adults attended the camp-out at Schmitt’s Ranch near Caldwell, TX.  Scouts enjoyed orienteering, hiking, fishing, a service project,  cooking, and the closing bonfire. Schmitt’s Ranch had plenty of cut log stools for those who did not bring a chair.  Robert Schmitt led the orienteering expedition, with Mr. Klimas supervising the initial preparations.  Chris Tollett and Jordan Johnson assisted.  On this camp-out the Philmont crews had an extended training hike with full packs.  For a service project, Troop 11 scouts gathered dead branches and piled them into pre-determined safe burn sites. 

Sean Gentry and Mr. Schmitt prepared “Sean’s Beautiful Stew” for Saturday night dinner, serving up cowboy-sized portions cooked the old-fashioned way in a Dutch oven over wood coals. Mr. Klimas followed up with his “Magic Dutch Oven Desserts,” AKA “Magic Cobblers.” The Buffalos assisted Sean O’Connor with food preparation, fire building and other camping advancement activities.

APRIL 2013

Troop 11 had 56 boy scouts, 19 venture scouts, 50 adults, and 17 merit badge counselors. The six patrols were named Antelope, Bear, Buffalo, Beaver, Fox, and Wolf. 

At an April troop meeting, the Buffalos worked on 1st class cooking requirements and older scouts worked on Cooking Merit badge.  This culminated in a cook off with prizes.


In April, Scoutmaster Stephen Klimas successfully completed his Wood Badge course, taught by course director John Richard.


Scoutmaster Klimas, “Tonight is the 1st annual Troop 11 Chili Cookoff! We will meet at the scout shed — NOT the church.  Tonight, we will....

Organize patrol boxes

Plan food for Galveston Camp out (the RIGHT way)

Have the Chili Cookoff and cleanup”

Parents acted as judges; prizes were awarded for best-tasting, most unusual flavor, most original presentation, etc.


Russell Cadle and Gavin Grieb had their Eagle Scout Court of Honor Saturday, May 4, 2013 in the main sanctuary of Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

MAY 2013

The May 6 meeting covered good clean-up practices and the diseases you can get if you don’t follow them.  Stephen Klimas gave a demonstration of one-pot cooking and (dare I say it?) COBBLER!

For Galveston State Park,  Troop 11 could not reserve enough sites — so this was not a family camp-out as orginally planned.  “Plan B” was quickly put into effect, and the families joined the troop on Saturday.

On May 20, the troop met in the chapel for a Court of Honor. 


Robert Barnham was the PIC (person in charge) of summer camp at Camp Pirtle (near Carthage).  The Troop ‘elders’ agreed on $300 cost for each scout. This low price was possible since Troop 11 subsidized part of the overall expenses.  The troop paid the camp fee for all adults who accompanied the boys to camp.


This fall, Stephen Cullar-Ledford began using EventBrite (online) for announcements, to sign up for trips, and to pay annual dues.  Camp-out payments could be made by credit card, check, from scout accounts, or scholarship.  EventBrite made things a lot easier. 

Texas Parks unexpectedly closed Palmetto State Park for our weekend, Sept 14-15.  So Troop 11 camped at the San Marcos River Retreat. 

Scoutmaster Klimas, “... (We)  are ... having ... the Webelos of Pack 34 (visit) us to see a Boy-Led troop in action. Let’s show them how it’s done!  We need to close the deal on selling Troop 11 to them. We have an awesome troop let’s show the world!

“We will also be welcoming in ZIGGY COFFMAN as our new SPL as Connor Burwell retires!


Ziggy Coffman became SPL in Fall 2013.

OCT 17-18, 2013

At Pedernales State Park, Troop 11 hiked  6-miles with packs over rivers and hills to take in gorgeous views before spending the night in the primitive camping area.  Cost per scout was $40.



Formerly called “Webelos Woods,” the November Camping Trip at Camp Brosig in Sealy was renamed the“Fall Camporee/ Webelos Event.”  Cost to each scout was $40.  The Persons-in-Charge were Ruthie Elizondo and Stephen Cullar-Ledford

 Troop 11 hosted Packs 11 and 34 by teaching them Pioneering skills.  The troop held its OA elections, including a tap-out ceremony.

Afterwards, “We had a very successful Webelos Woods/Camporee this past weekend! We convinced Pack 34 to join us and, combined with Pack 11, will probably get around 20 new scouts! Great job on being a boy-led troop and to all the adults who stepped up to make this such a success! ”


In November, Troop 11 recognized George Wilkinson as a Super Recruiter, as he recruited the entire Webelos Den, Pack 34.


  • Jan:  Shipley’s Ranch
  • Feb: Flem Rogers’ Ranch
  • Mar:  Enchanted Rock State Park, climbing
  • Apr:  Schmitt’s Ranch, Caldwell
  • May:  Inks Lake State Park
  • June: Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch
  • July:  Boundary Waters Canoe
  • Aug:  pool party
  • Sept: Guadalupe State Park, Tubing
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods, Camp Brosig, Sealy, TX
  • Nov:  Village Creek canoe & Swamp Base, Louisiana
  • Dec:  Troop 11 Winter Camp at Schmitt’s Ranch


As of January 1, 2014, Troop 11 had 59 registered scouts, with 49 adult leaders and members of the troop committee.  Patrols were the Antelope, Bear, Beaver, Buffalo, Fox, Owl, Prairie Chickens, and Wolf.  Troop 11 would end the year with 79 scouts.

Stephen Klimas “Happy New Year and Welcome Back.  Troop 11,  we are going back to regular troop meetings this coming Monday. We will be welcoming our new EAGLE Patrol from Pack 11 and working on joining requirements as well as planning the activities for Shipley Ranch!  Come and start the new year with a bang!

The January service project was at the Houston Cat Club Charity Cat Show on Jan 4-5. Scouts sprayed and wiped cages in the judging rings and helped at the information booth.


All the new scouts earned the Scout Rank plus some advancement towards 1st Class! 


Troop 11’s adult volunteers served as merit badge instructors.  Scoutmaster Klimas wrote, “All the following merit badges are being taught this spring: Communications, Citizenship in the Community-Mr. Schmitt, Citizenship in the Nation-Mr. King, Citizenship in the World-Ms. Libertino, Personal Management-Mr. Schmitt and Mr. King, Family Life-Mr. King, and Cooking-Mr. Klimas.”


On February 14-16, Troop 11 returned to the scouts’ most-favorite campout of the year: Flem’s Ranch, east of Woodville.

Activities included rifle and shotgun shooting and tomahawk-throwing, as well as a great pioneering project and a big bonfire.

NRA-certified adults led the shooting activities, using proper  range safety rules.

To date, this February camp-out at Flem’s Ranch was the largest campout in Troop 11 recent memory with 50 people registered to attend, including fifteen “Prairie Chicken” adults. The troop continued its tradition of stopping at Whataburger on the way to the campout.


Troop 11 attended the 11:00 AM worship service.


Troop 11 scouts paddled canoes and kayaks, and enjoyed fishing at Lake Charlotte on March 21-23.  All scouts used personal flotation devices while on the water.

A call went out for volunteers to pull the THREE trailers (troop equipment, canoe and kayak) so that the troop could save money by not renting a van and pickup truck. 


Under the guidance of ASM Lyman Paden, Troop 11 completed the flag ceremony requirement for 2nd Class that they had been working on at the troop meetings.  In keeping with the theme, the game at meetings was Capture the Flag.

APRIL 2014

Troop meetings focused on cooking merit badge, under the supervision of Mr. Lyman Paden, assisted by scoutmaster Mr. Klimas. Scouts looked forward to completing their Cooking MB at the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off. 

Benji Tollett became SPL in Spring 2014.


Kathleen English started early to get all scouts up to speed on their medical forms for summer camp. 


The troop focused on Dutch-oven cooking and orienteering merit badge/advancement oppor­tunities.

Remember Sean’s Beautiful Stew, Schmitt’s Venison Stew and Mr. Klimas’ Legendary and Award-Winning Cobblers; Mr. Paden has some mad Dutch-oven cooking skills to look forward to as well. At Schmitt’s Ranch, good food is where we shine!

“Activities include: shotgun shooting, 22 long-rifle shooting, tomahawk throwing, orienteering merit badge, fishing, bonfire burning and cooking.

Phil Schmitt was trained and certified by the NRA to hold Shotgun Shooting Events and also served as a Range Safety Officer.


Congratulations to Sandy Paden for receiving the 2014 Twin Bayou District Cub Scout Award!  He is expected to become a great Troop 11 scout, too.

MAY 2014

Scoutmaster Klimas led a Troop Leadership Training event at FPC on May 3 for all scouts with a position of responsibility.


Troop 11 scouts performed a flag ceremony at Pershing Middle School for a lacrosse tournament. 


SM Klimas provided an easy introduction to backpacking with a short one-mile hike to the primitive camping sites at Ink’s Lake State Park. Troop 11 scouts visited nearby Longhorn Caverns State Park, then spent Saturday afternoon swimming. Older scouts worked on the backpacking cooking requirements for their cooking merit badge.


Troop 11 attended summer camp at Buffalo Trails Scout Ranch near Alpine, Texas.  Much of the $600 cost was for transportation.  Distance from Houston to BTSR was 584 miles, a 9 hour drive. 

At the parents’ request, Troop 11 made available a large plastic container at the scout shed to drop off CARE packages for their scouts.  These were a box of goodies (no food) that parents believed would raise the morale of their homesick scouts. 

That summer, BTSR presented a new edition of their TRAIL TO EAGLE program for first year campers. New scouts could earn 41 combined requirements (Tenderfoot to First Class), First Aid and Swimming merit badges, and  their Totin’ Chip and  Firem’n Chit.

ASM Sean O’Connor reported “It rained very hard while we were at the observatory as we came back to a very wet camp. In the morning we had a group talk about the importance of learning to deal with adversity and being able to bounce back.

“Since joining scouts in 1976, I have never worked with a more friendlier group of boys. I foresee a very bright future for this group.



June 28 to July 6, Troop 11 had a high adventure trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Cost was more than $1,300 per participant.  Airfare, $433;  outfitting with canoes and food only (no gear), $500; van rental, $150; other costs, $300. 


SEPT 12-14

Always fun and relaxing, this was one of the Troop’s favorite annual trips.  Picnic lunch in New Braunfels, and tubing on the Comal River.


ASM Flem Rogers supervised the scouts at troop meetings to build a zip line for Webelos Woods in October.  Troop 11 also focused on general advancement work.

Michael Schmitt became SPL in Fall 2014.


Camp Brosig, Sealy, TX.  Again, Troop 11 built and operated their awesome zipline while recruiting Webelos to join the troop. This was Michael Schmitt’s first camp-out after becoming SPL. 


Troop 11 re-registered on a school-year basis, not calendar year.  Scouts renewing only with Troop 11 paid $85. (Those joining in Spring 2014 paid $45.00).   Troop 11 & Venture Crew 11 dual registration was $100 for Scouts whose ages were between 14-18, AND working toward Eagle or Palms.  Venture Crew 11 members paid only $40. 


Troop meetings included a program on how to organize a Boy Scout campfire, as well as an Inter-Faith Service.


At the Oct. troop meetings, Mr. Kahn taught water safety in preparation for the Village Creek canoeing trip.  This was a two-day canoe trek down Village Creek.  The troop camped Friday night, put-in Saturday morning, paddled for four to six hours and then made camp on a sandbar. Troop 11 paddled almost 11 miles.

Troop 11’s OA scouts ran an OA election for another troop at Temple Emmanu El on Sunday, Nov 9.  The prior Monday, Troop 46 ran Troop 11’s OA election.


ASM Sean O’Connor helped with December’s cooking program.  Maggie White, a registered dietician, helped plan menus for Winter Camp.  Troop 11 scouts also made paracord survival bracelets, and welcomed Webelos II scouts from Packs 54 and 55.  One evening, Troop 11 met at the scout shed for tent rolling, sand sweeping and Emergency Preparedness preparation.

On December 6th,  Troop 11 conducted a “mock” emergency mobilization to complete the most challenging part of the Emergency Preparedness merit badge


Kent Johnston wrote “Here is a photo at the breezeway outside Fellowship Hall with most of the 86 cases of greenery sold by Troop 11.  Most cases contain 10 pieces of greenery.  Another 256 wreaths by mail were also sold but are not pictured.  Altogether these would fill a big fraction of an 18-wheeler load, and the value would be over $30,000. When the truck arrived at the church with the greenery, there was a fire drill in progress, so the driver had to leave the load outside.  The church’s guards brought it all in.


Kent Johnston,

Thank you very much for all you do for the Troop and the Greenery. It is all very well organized by you. We certainly do appreciate your yearly efforts. I am sure the members of the church who come by the greenery sale count you as part of their own traditions.

— Melanie Springer-Tollett


Troop 11’s own 2014 winter camp gave scouts the opportunity to accomplish a ton of advancement in a short amount of time. Troop 11 scouts knew that “Schmitt’s Ranch” meant exciting shooting sports, demanding pioneering projects, challenging orienteering events and outdoor fun.


  • January:  Family Camp-Out at Huntsville SP
  • February:  Flem’s Ranch
  • March- Camp Brosig Camporee
  • April:  Enchanted Rock
  • May:  Galveston SP
  • June:  Horseshoe Bend
  • August:  Philmont
  • Sept:  Palmetto SP/Tubing Comal River
  • Oct:  Webelos Woods
  • Nov:  Brazos Bend SP
  • Dec:  Troop 11 Winter Camp at Schmitt’s Ranch


Troop 11 held its annual family campout in January.  The new scouts were introduced to Boy Scout camping and how it is different from Cub Scout camping.   Hint:  the adults are not in charge!  Troop 11 would end the year with 75 registered scouts.

The scouts mountain biked and fished, while the Philmont Crew did a 9-mile shake-down hike with full packs.  The adult Prairie Chicken patrol provided Saturday dinner for non-scout guests. 

February brought troop elections.  The elected ASPL became SPL in six months.  SPL had to be First Class and have National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).  FPC recognized Troop 11 during a worship service for Scout Sunday.  The troop attended Bellaire, Southside Place and West University City Council meetings.

In March, Jim and John Emmanuel provided 16’ scaffolding to put new lighting in the Scout Garage.  ASM Jeff Techmanski (whose two sons are both Troop 11 Eagle scouts) provided materials, supervision, and labor. 

Evan Ryan became SPL in Spring 2015.

ASM Sean O’Connor surveyed the scouts to find out their program interests.  The most popular camp-out was Flem’s Ranch; the most popular activity was Shooting Sports.  The most popular destination was the USS Lexington.  Sean observed, “... several of the more physical activities (canoeing, biking, and backpacking) show a bi-modal distribution suggesting the boys either love it or hate it.

The Twin Bayou District asked Troop 11 to host the 2015 Spring Camporee at Camp Brosig.  Troop 11 set-up, manned the events, and kept everything flowing well.

Vicky Nielsen stayed busy in 2015.  She took Troop 11 to the Aquila Saturday merit badge fair in March, maintained the scouts’ service hour records, and taught Physical Fitness MB for the older scouts.

Troop 11’s Patrol Leaders’ Council addressed some March camp-out issues.  They voted  to allow electronics in vehicles only if acceptable to the driver, but upon arrival at the campsite, all electronics will be placed in a leader-maintained box for safe keeping.

Thirty-two scouts and adults went to Enchanted Rock in April. Scouts looked forward to Enchanted Rock because the troop always arrived about midnight and then hiked two miles to their primitive campsite.  Bert Adkins kept the troop organized with its required medical forms.

In April, Eagle Scouts Andy Kinsella and Connor Burwell facilitated the “Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)” at FPC.

On the way back from Galveston State Park in May, Troop 11 toured the new Galveston SeaBase which opened in Nov 2014.  Also in May, Troop 11’s Philmont crew took a 20-mile shakedown hike on the Little Lake Creek Trail, part of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. 

With summer fast approaching, the Troop Committee discussed plans for a new trailer.  Kent Johnston said the current troop trailer carries 36 each of cots, foot lockers and chairs.  43 scouts had signed up for summer camp at El Rancho Cima, so arrangements were needed to carry gear for seven more scouts.  The Troop Committee approved $2200 for a new single axle brush trailer. 

Committee Chairman Jim Miller reported that the June Court of Honor had eight Eagle Scouts.  Lyman Paden received the Twin Bayou District Award of Merit.

2015 is the year of the Blanco River floods; El Rancho Cima’s River Camp lost all of its wall tents, dock and watercraft.  SHAC had to cancel all activities at River Camp for the summer.  Troop 11 switched to the Horseshoe Bend area of El Rancho Cima and had to scramble to find tents for all the scouts.  Troop 11 sent 44 scouts and adults to Horseshoe Bend. Scouts paid $400 to attend; adults were free. The fee included camp fees, t-shirts and transportation.

Benjamin Negron became SPL in Fall 2015.

Webelos Woods was in October at Camp Brosig.  Stephen Cullar-Ledford said, “(Webelos Woods is an) ... annual Twin Bayou district event where Webelos and their families have a chance to interact with multiple troops to help decide which one to join. Troop 11 is famous for our zipline, warm hospitality and patrols who do well in the camporee competitions.”

November found 36 scouts and adults doing a five to seven mile introductory backpacking hike at Brazos Bend State Park.  Troop meetings focused on backpacking skills. Isaac Steves and Evan Byrd taught Leave No Trace camping. 

Erik Nielsen organized the scouts who needed service hours to work at a water station for the Ronald McDonald House Race on Dec. 5.

Kent Johnston organized the Christmas greenery sale.  This year, Troop 11 sold more than 650 greenery items!  Kent reported, “Treasurer, please post the attached Greenery commissions, over $2,000, to Scout Accounts.  This 2015 Christmas Greenery was our 27th annual, and it is the Troop’s main fund raiser.  Each family who participated is receiving half the profit of their sales to their son’s Scout Account.

Troop 11 ran its own Winter Camp again at Schmitt’s Ranch in December. The troop taught Orienteering and Citizenship in the World merit badges.  Scouts enjoyed shooting sports including rifle, shotgun, tomahawk throwing, and archery.  Activities included field games like capture-the-flag, campfires, pizza night, astronomy, and fishing.  As always, there was a significant service project to show the troop’s appreciation.


Troop 11 had 85 registered scouts.

  • Jan-Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp, Project COPE
  • Feb - Shipley’s Ranch
  • Mar - family camp, Stephen F. Austin State Park,
  • Apr - Twin Bayou Camporee
  • May - USS Lexington
  • June - Sid Richardson Scout Ranch
  • July - Galveston Sea Base
  • Aug - Ellington Field
  • Sept - Palmetto State Park/ Tubing on the Comal River
  • Oct - Webelos Woods
  • Nov - Lost Pines, Shooting
  • Dec - Winter Camp, Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota)

TROOP 11:  SPRING 2016

In February, First Class Scout Henry Morgan took it upon himself to organize a volunteer event at the Houston Food Bank.  BSA made new Cyber Chip requirements for the Scout and Star ranks.  These involved Internet safety rules and online behavior.  In April, Star scout Zach Bryant organized a “River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash” service project at Mason Park.   At the Weekley YMCA service project, Healthy Kid Day, the scouts moved tables & chairs, and did general gopher work.

Aidan Mollhagen became SPL in Spring 2016.

In May 2016, four Troop 11 scouts served as the Color Guard at the Sam Houston Area Council Annual Banquet.  This year’s event  honored the 100th Anniversary of Houston’s first Eagle Scout. H. Palmer “Peg” Melton, a member of Houston’s “first” Troop 11, earned his Eagle in February 1918 (Houston Daily Post, Feb. 11, 1918).  Yes, SHAC celebrated two years early.  At that time, no one knew the Sept 14, 1941 Houston Chronicle story had the wrong date.

Eleven Troop 11 scouts became members of Colonneh Lodge by completing their Order of the Arrow ordeals in 2016. 

Troop 11’s own Lyman Paden taught the adult Youth Protection Training class.  This was required training for all adults going to summer camp.  Adults who camped with Troop 11 also had to take the Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills training.

Staying as far away from the flood-prone River Camp as possible, ASM Erik Nielsen took Troop 11 to  summer camp at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch near Hurst, Texas. This high tech summer camp had a flight simulation center with sixteen F-16 cockpits, a space shuttle simulator, a sailing base with 24 sailboats, a  Viking ship, climbing tower and two blobs.

In July, SM Sean O’Connor led Troop 11’s trip to the new Galveston Sea Base.  Troop 11 manned a first aid station for the Braeswood Place Fourth of July Bike Parade and Carnival.   In October, Troop 11 helped Braeswood Place neighborhood to maintain Karl Young Park.  The scouts trimmed trees, waxed playground equipment, and painted the tennis backboard.

August found Troop 11 at Ellington Field for “Aviation Day.”  The scouts toured the Air Traffic control tower, and got a behind the scenes look at fueling, hangaring, tie-down & parking, aircraft rental, maintenance and flight instruction.  Then they went to the Hobby Airport Museum.

Sage Cullar-Ledford became SPL in Fall 2016.


Antelope Patrol

Sage Cullar-Ledford    SPL

Sandy Paden               ASPL

John Deltz                   QM

Issac Steves                 QM

Evan Ryan                   Scribe

Ethan White                Scribe

Nicholas Kapusta        Bugler

Henry Morgan             Bugler

Benji Tollett                 JASM

Bear Patrol

Zachary Bryant            PL

Beaver Patrol

Elliott Conely               PL

Eagle Patrol

Jackson Nielsen           PL

Owl Patrol

Everett Adkins             PL

Wolf Patrol

Evan Byrd              PL

Troop 11 was the 2016 host troop at Webelos Woods at Camp Brosig near Sealy, TX.  The troop constructed their Zip-Line with even bigger spars to make it the biggest, fastest ride ever! 

In October, Richard Byrd and John Powell, with able web management by Stephen Cullar-Ledford, took over the Christmas greenery sales from Kent Johnston.  For a November service project, Erik Nielsen took a group of scouts to man a water station at the Hermann Park Fun Run.  Afterwards, they picked up trash.  In November, Richard White and Richard Byrd worked with the scouts at Lost Pines on their Shotgun Shooting or Rifle Shooting merit badges.  Scouts spent the afternoon at the rifle range.  Troop 11 had a service project at the Houston Food Bank in December.  This counted as both a troop event and service hours.

December’s Winter Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch was Dec 26-31.  Cost per scout was $400; scouts could choose from over 50 merit badges.


Troop 11 has good relations with Robert, who owns the auto repair shop adjacent to Troop 11’s storage shed.  Robert pays for Troop 11’s light bill, as the light circuits in the shed are connected to his auto shop’s meter.  Robert looks out for Troop 11 and not just watching for burglars.  When the scout storage shed had a transformer fire, Robert smelled the smoke, and got in to put out the fire.  In late 2016, Robert ran pipe from his air compressor into the troop’s scout shed so we can fill up the trailers’ tires before each road trip. 


In 2016, ASM Erik Nielsen organized Troop 11’s “Trail to Scout,” “Trail to Tenderfoot,” and “Trail to First Class” advancement programs.  This was a big job because when entire Webelos dens would join, Troop 11 would have dozens of new scouts. 

At each meeting, the older scouts and ASMs would teach, then the new scouts would run to find a parent to demonstrate their new knowledge.  An adult had to check off new scouts’ completed requirements in their scout handbook. 

ASM Erik Nielson got it all done, whether it was getting enough adults for two-deep leadership at meetings, reminding the boys to bring their handbooks,  teaching First Aid, keeping track of the completed physical fitness requirements, or taking the troop to the USS Lexington (May 2016).

Erik wrote “Great job on the Trail to Scout Monday night, seven boys completed the Scout requirements.  Noah Baker, Matthew James, Christopher Joseph, Luke Schoppe, Nayak Shah, Nicholas Vo, and Jayden Waits.” (Sept. 2016)


We sadly report the news of one of our past Adult Leaders, Emmett Hines, who suddenly passed away November 12, 2016.  “Emmett and his wife, Peggy, were active with Pack 11 and Troop 11 for well over a decade positively impacting many lives. Their two sons, Kalen and Nolan, were active Cub and Boy Scouts making many friends and memories with the troop.

“Peggy and Emmett Hines served the Troop in many ways as Adult Leaders, swimming and archery instructors, merit badge coaches, and mentors throughout the years.  They pre-tested countless T-11 Scouts for summer camp swimming ability before departure to camp. 

“Peggy was an Assistant Scoutmaster 2007 - 2015 and taught Swimming and Personal Fitness Merit Badges. Emmett coached hundreds of swimmers, authored books and articles on swimming, and was a certified archery instructor who patiently showed many of our scouts how to hit their targets safely and effectively.”


“Treasurer, please post the attached Greenery commissions, over $2,700, to Scout Accounts.  This 2016 Christmas Greenery was our 28th annual, and it is the Troop’s main fund raiser.  Each family who participated is receiving half the profit of their sales to their son’s Scout Account.”  — Kent Johnston.


  • Jan - Colorado Bend SP, Backpacking and Spelunking
  • Feb - Backpacking and Lone Star Trail service project
  • Mar - District Camporee @ Tellepsen Scout Camp
  • Apr - Lake Livingston State Park, Family Camp
  • May - canoeing/kayaking on the San Marcos river
  • Jun - summer camp, Camp Kia Kima near Hardy, AR
  • July/Aug - Colorado Trip/ Blanca Peak and Continental Divide hike
  • Sept - Toobing on the Comal; Camping at Palmetto State Park
  • Oct - Webelos Woods
  • Nov - Survival Camp-Out, Schmitt’s Ranch
  • Dec - Winter Camp

HISTORY:  2017

Troop 11 would emphasize backpacking for the next 16 months. SM Sean O’Connor led an in-town practice backpacking hike on January 7. 

The January camp-out was really two trips in one:  a 17‑mile backpacking trip, and a cave exploration.  Backpackers saw Gorman Falls, a hidden rock bowl formation, and the Colorado River gorge. A professional guide took the spelunkers underground into Turtle Shell Cave.  Participants included  Bailey Stidman, Patrick O’Connor, Bill Chen, Everett Adkins, Zach Bryant, Henry Neeriemer, Sandy Paden, John Deltz, Sage Cullar-Ledford, James Neeriemer, Nick Kapusta, Elliott Conely, Reuben Sieler, Kevin Vo, Chris Joseph, and Aidan Mollhagen.

Scouts took the classroom portion of Cooking Merit Badge at FPC.  The troop considered Cooking MB to be the most difficult Eagle required merit badge.  ASM Rebecca Brown taught the classroom portion of Skiing Merit Badge in February at FPC.  Troop 11 hosted the canoe race at the March Camporee.  The second in-town backpacking hike (2 hrs) was in March.

ASM Lyman Payden facilitated the Youth Protection Training for adults at an April troop meeting. 

Troop 11 scouts Andy Walsh and Roman Williams became members of Colonneh Lodge by completing their OA ordeals in 2017.

At Troop 11’s family camp at Lake Livingston State Park in April, scouts could work on their Fishing merit badge.  The younger scouts worked on First Class requirements.  Dinner was a Dutch oven patrol cooking competition.


Sandy Paden became SPL for Spring 2017.

Erik Nielsen organized a service project at Hermann Park Conservancy on April 9.  Neil Bailard led a shake-down hike at Brazos Bend State Park on April 29.  In preparation for the May canoe trip and for summer camp, the troop had swim tests at the YMCA on Stella Link. 

Troop 11 chartered a bus to/from June summer camp Camp Osage at Kia Kima Scout Reservation in northern Arkansas. More than ten adult leaders went on this trip.  Use of a chartered bus helped to eliminate overnight stops and let Troop 11 take a maximum of 55 scouts.  Rather than have first year scouts enroll in the camp’s first-year program, Troop 11 worked on the “Trail to First Class” curriculum during regular troop meetings.  This allowed first-year scouts to sign up for a full slate of summer camp programs and merit badge classes.

Troop 11 scout Sandy Paden joined other SHAC scout representatives in attending the 2017 National Scout Jamboree at The Summit=Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  Over 700 scouts attended this quadrennial event.

ASM Chris Bryant organized Troop 11’s August high adventure trip to Colorado, which included a variety of state parks in Texas and New Mexico.  Destination was Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Activities included: extended Continental Divide hike, sandboarding on the dunes, and exploring volcanic cinder cones.  One group of scouts had a 3-day backcountry climb at Blanca Peak and the other group backpacked in the national park.


Troop 11 cancelled its Aug 26  trip to the Typhoon Texas Water Park because category 4 hurricane Harvey hit Houston on Aug 25.  At its peak on September 1, almost one-third of Houston was under water.

Troop 11 scouts scrambled to help out their family and neighbors.  Troop 11 families were quick to offer aid, offering their spare bedrooms and garage apartments.  With homes severely water damaged, scouts had to rip out carpet and sheetrock. On September 12, Troop 11 volunteered at the Lightning Logistics warehouse to help with relief goods. This was billed as “more fun than ripping out sheetrock.” 

Over several days, SM Sean O'Connor wrote " Troop 11 has vast resources of people, places, and equipment.  If you need assistance or can offer assistance please share.... our shed has 8 canoes, 12 kayaks, 2 trailers, stoves, propane, water containers, and coolers. ... Remember, this is going to be a long process.  As we have all been taught in Scouting, do not put yourself in harm's way trying to help someone else.  Do not feel obligated to travel somewhere if it is unsafe, there will be plenty of opportunities to help in the coming days.... I just want to thank everyone who helped today.  Maggie White coordinated the collection of 8 bags of clothing and numerous scouts helped with the clearing of two houses.  I also want to thank the many other scouts who are helping friends and neighbors in their neighborhoods.... Many times I have been very impressed with the Scouts of Troop 11 but perhaps never more than today.  Thanks for the very hard work ... SO PROUD!"

TROOP 11:  FALL 2017

Jackson Nielsen became SPL for Fall 2017.

In September, Ms. Nielsen helped the younger scouts with Physical Fitness merit badge at the weekly scout meetings. 

For years, Troop 11 scouts wanted to build their own shelters and start fires on camp-outs but troop leaders always said no as that  violates Leave No Trace principles.  The November survival camp-out at Schmitt’s Ranch was the exception.  “It’s a weekend of building wilderness survival shelters, starting fires without matches or lighters, and cooking without the normal conveniences. It’s the long-requested SURVIVAL WEEKEND!” Twenty-six Troop 11 scouts and scouters attended.

On Nov. 18, Scouts working on their First Class had a hike and backpacking practice on the Memorial Park Trail.  The scouts identified plants, and hiked five miles.

Chris Bryant offered an Eagle Scout application and project information session to all Life scouts on Saturday, Dec. 9. Troop 11’s Life scouts now had a flowchart of the process.

For most scouts, the December meetings were all about Physical Fitness MB requirements. 

Troop 11 ended the year with 90 registered scouts.


  • #1Jan: Camp Edgewood, LA, shooting sports
  • #2Jan: Winter Campout, Guadalupe Mts and Carlsbad
  • Feb: new scouts at Camp Tellepsen.
  • #1March: Kisatchie Hills, LA 15-mile backpacking on the Wild Azaela trail for 2018 Philmont crew members
  • #2March: Twin Bayou District Camporee, McKaskle Methodist Retreat
  • Apr: family camp at Lake Texana, Brackenridge Recreation Complex
  • May: Pedernales Falls State Park, backpacking & photography
  • June: Summer Camp, Wehinahpay Mountain Camp, New Mexico
  • July: Philmont shakedown hike on Lone Star Trail
  • Aug: Philmont (cancelled due to fires)
  • Sept: tubing on Comal at Palmetto State Park
  • Oct: Webelos Woods, Camp Brosig
  • Nov:  Village Creek, canoeing
  • Dec: Philmont Winter Adventure and Troop 11 Winter Camp at Schmitt’s Ranch

HISTORY:  2018

January was a winter hiking and backpacking campout to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns.  Troop 11 completed an ascent of Guadalupe Peak, the “Top of Texas.”  The trip started COLD — 18 degrees the first night!  This was a very strenuous 8½ mile hike with a 3,000 foot elevation gain in one day. This trip helped prepare for Philmont 2018. Cost per scout was $400.

February’s “New Scout” Campout covered all of the skills necessary to setup a proper campsite, patrol box, patrol kitchen and cleanup. The new scouts reviewed the Patrol Method and the importance of a duty roster.  Special focus was on cleanliness and the BSA 3-Pot Method for clean up.  The new scouts learned cooking methods and how to create healthy menus.

Former SM Stephen Klimas returned to a troop meeting for a Wilderness Yoga session.  “Thanks to former Troop 11 Scoutmaster, three-time Philmont trekker, and yoga dude Stephen Klimas for teaching our Philmont-bound crews ‘wilderness yoga.’”

Troop 11 attended the 8:30 service at FPC for Scout Sunday on February 25.  ASM Rebecca Brown began Family Life merit badge instruction (required for Eagle) at the March troop meetings.  Over the weekend of March 2 – 4, 2018, Troop 11 sent 39 Scouts and leaders to the annual Twin Bayou District Camporee at McKaskle Retreat Campgrounds in Hockley, Texas.

Over the weekend of March 9 – 11, 2018, Troop 11 Scouts and leaders planning to go to Philmont did a shakedown hike in the Kisatchie National Forest, near Alexandria, Louisiana. Scouts hiked the Wild Azalea Trail, north from near Woodworth to a trailhead near Valentine Lake. Despite the extreme rains, the three crews accomplished the primary purposes of this journey: long days of hiking, learning what gear works (and what is NOT waterproof), and each crew bonded and learned to function as an autonomous team.

Troop 11’s family camp-out was in April at Lake Texana. Stephen Cullar-Ledford wrote, " It was hot all day ahead of a cold front that finally blew through just after midnight with a 53 mph gust that flattened everyone’s tents. It was much cooler after the storms and beautiful on Sunday. We had a great service project clearing invasive trees by an inlet of the lake."

In the spring, Sean O’Connor recruited scout Luke Kirchner to be the Troop Librarian.  Mr. Kirchner, Kent Johnston, Jim Miller and Mr. Moore (Pack 11), met to discuss what to keep in the two storage closets, and how to re-organize everything.  Pack 11 items were moved upstairs; Troop 11 items were moved downstairs.

Zachary Bryant became SPL for Spring 2018.

In April, Troop 11 met at the Sam Houston monument to work on orienteering for a First Class requirement.  SM O’Connor showed the scouts how to use the Compass and Google Maps apps on their smartphones.

The May campout was a backpacking and photography trip to Pedernales Falls State Park. The troop stayed at Camp Brosig Friday night, then drove to Pedernales Falls SP. The older boys who did not go on the 10-12 mile Philmont hike taught first aid and knots for their Life rank requirements.

ASM Erik Nielsen reported to parents how the May campout went:  “Leadership:  while the older boys did their long hike, Alex Citardi, Noah Baker and Henry Neeriemer did a great job teaching Trail to First Class, First Aid and some rope work.  They took a big step toward growing into their role as part of the next generation of leaders of the troop.  All the boys survived the hike, there were some sore feet, some exhaustion, but all the non-Philmont hikers made it 2 miles in, set up camp, cooked, played, slept, hiked out two miles, and got to experience the beauty of Pedernales Falls, with varying degrees of help.”

 At the end of June, Troop 11’s  Philmont crew had a 20-mile backpacking “shakedown” trip on the Lone Star Trail.  The troop had two July service projects.  Vicky Nielsen coordinated the Houston Food Bank; Natalie Sieler coordinated with the Be A Resource (BEAR), an organization that works with Child Protective Services.


In May 2018, scoutmaster Sean O’Connor wrote, “I am certain everyone has heard the Boy Scouts of America (forthwith known as Scouts BSA) are rolling out the inclusion of girls in all parts of the Scouting program.  This means girls will be able to join Cub Scout Dens in current Packs and create Scouting Troops.  First Presbyterian Church has confirmed an interest in adding a female Scouting Troop to their Youth Ministry, same as Troop 11 is part of their Ministry.


Kent Johnston joined Troop 11 as ASM in September 1993.  He retired from Troop 11 in May 2018, one year after his grandson Benji Tollett earned Eagle.  Kent Johnston’s administrative skills helped Troop 11 thrive over the past 25 years.  An organization like Troop 11 needs much work done behind the scenes; as Troop Committee Chair from 1998-2011, and ASM before that — Kent did it all.

Kent was the driving force behind this updated 2020 Troop 11 History.  He wrote many stories; he provided the troop records, e-mails and troop committee minutes for the years 1990-2017.  Kent kept an up-to-date spreadsheet with lists of ALL Troop 11 camp-outs; ALL Troop 11 scoutmasters, and ALL Troop 11 scouts who earned their Eagle rank.  He knew Troop 11’s exact membership by year. 

He used these detailed records to write Troop 11’s annual report to First Presbyterian Church.  The annual report had many attachments that covered Troop 11’s membership, adult leaders, activities, and financials.

To honor Ken Johnston's 25 years of service to Troop 11, four of the scoutmasters with whom he worked were in attendance:  Jim Miller, Mark Hausknecht, Stephen Klimas, and Patrick O'Connor.  The group photo of all five of them is a great photo.

Committee Chairman Jim Miller presented a special scouting statue to ASM Kent Johnston in appreciation of 25 years of service to Troop 11. 

Natalie Sieler wrote, “You may have heard that our wonderful Mr. Kent Johnston will be moving to Conroe, and retiring from Troop 11. Mr. Johnston has  served First Presbyterian’s Troop 11 for over 25 years. ... I cannot begin to tell you everything that he has done and continues to do to help our boys and the Troop. He has been responsible for leading our yearly greenery fundraiser ..., he’s been the membership chair, in charge of all things “patch and neckerchief” related, assembles packets for the new scouts, orders name patches, keeps our roster updated, serves as a Merit Badge counselor, and so much more.... “In (my son) Reuben’s words, ‘When I think about what an Eagle Scout is, I think of Mr. Johnston. He is encouraging, he selflessly gives of himself to help the Scouts, he doesn’t call attention to himself and expects nothing in return.’“


In July 2018, Troop 11 and all of Houston was shocked to learn that beloved former scoutmaster Mark Hausknecht had been shot and killed while riding his bicycle to work in the Medical Center.  Troop 11 scouts Christopher Lewis, Aiden Manego, Alden Davenport, Lucas Sieler, Cormac Tully, ASM Fulton Davenport, Regis Penn, and Aaron Manego ushered at his Memorial Service held at First Presbyterian Church.

TROOP 11:  FALL 2018

When the fall began, Troop 11 had 99 registered scouts.  A call went out for more adult volunteers.  The August pool party was hosted by the troop families that Troop 11 helped during Hurricane Harvey.  Troop 11’s world class physicians taught First Aid Merit Badge along with First Aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class on a September Saturday morning at FPC.

Evan Byrd became SPL for Fall 2018.

The fall camping season began with scouts and parents signing the Code of Conduct form, required in order to go camping. The Troop 11 Code of Conduct addressed general behavior, safety issues and consequences.

ASM Chris Bryant completed his adult leadership training to earn his Wood Badge.

In support of the camping program, Mr. Williams, Mr. James, Mr.Walsh and 25+ scouts met for Shed Day.  They washed all tents, fixed the trailer, and made great progress on the patrol storage lockers.

Troop 11 had a very exciting Winter adventure at Philmont scout ranch over the Christmas holidays, Dec 27 - Jan 2.  Scouts experienced winter camping, snow shoeing, built snow shelters (Quinzee), cross-country skiing and earned either the Search and Rescue or the Snow Sports merit badge (and many scouts earned both).  Cost  per scout was $500.

Thirty new scouts joined Troop 11 in 2018.  Troop membership was now at 94.


  • Jan: Camp Edgewood, shooting sports
  • #1Feb: Backpacking on westernmost portion of Lone Star Trail
  • #2 Feb: New scouts, Camp Tellepsen
  • Mar: Twin Bayou District Camporee, Camp Edgewood, Louisiana
  • Apr: family camp-out, Double Lake
  • May: campout at Stephen F. Austin S.P. w/optional triathlon at Typhoon Texas
  • Jun: Philmont scout ranch (12-days)
  • Jun: Summer Camp, Camp Woodruff, Blairsville, GA;
  • Oct: Webelos Woods, Camp Brosig
  • Nov: Zip-lining at Adrenaline Rush Ziplines, Jacksonville, TX
  • Dec: Winter Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch

HISTORY:  2019

Troop 11 began the year with 90+ scouts.  Alex Citardi, Liam Logue, and Silas White were the first three winners of 2019’s cooking contest.


Troop 11 and the new Troop 12 (girls) camped at Double Lake during the same weekend. There were some shared activities such as Saturday night dinner and some advancement.  Each troop had its own separate tent area.

April’s family campout was not only a blast, but also allowed scouts to  complete some rank advancement requirements. Older Scouts had a service project and a long hike. 

Elliott Conely became SPL in Spring 2019.


Troop Committee member Phillip Brunson reported “Troop 11 should be very proud to have such senior leadership. Elliot, Henry, and Sandy did an amazing job leading our lashing station!!!


Three girl Cub Scouts earned their Arrow of Light award, the highest honor for Cubs.  Poet Harris, Zoe Jung and Bianca Sieler eagerly await the start of FPC's Scouts BSA troop for girls.  Each hopes to become and Eagle Scout.


At an April troop meeting, the Office of Emergency Management spoke to the scouts about emergency preparedness, and Search and Rescue to the scouts finishing their Search and Rescue Merit Badge.


Scouts attended a Bellaire City Council meeting to complete the Citizenship in the Community merit badge and/or Communication merit badge requirement. 


On May 25, SHAC representative Dwayne Jones presented the official “Chartered Unit” plaque to Troop 12 Scoutmaster Natalie Sieler and Troop Committee Chair Jim Miller.


Troop 11’s May service project was at the Houston Food Bank.  Troop 11 scouts returned again in July and August for more service hours.

COH:  MAY 25

Bailey Stidman and Zach Bryant received their Eagle awards.  Troop 12 scoutmaster Natalie Sieler received Troop 12’s first troop charter from SHAC representative Dwayne Jones.


In July, Troop 11 scouts Andy Jones, Jonathan Powell, Andy Walsh, Sandy Paden, Alex Citardi, John Deltz and ASM Lyman Paden participated in the 24th World Scout Jamboree jointly hosted by Scouts BSA, Scouts Canada, and Asociación de Scouts de México at The Summit — Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  152 different national scouting organizations were represented at this unique scouting festival.


Seven scouts and two leaders traveled to Philmont for a 2-week backcountry trek.  Stephen Cullar-Ledford and Paul Williams were the adult leaders.  The scouts were Liam Williams, Troy Deltz, John Deltz, J.D. Fuller-Guia, Roman Williams, and Elliott Conely (crew chief).


Fifty-three Troop 11 scouts received 192 merit badges; nine scouts advanced in rank.  Sage Cullar-Ledford and Elliott Conely received their Eagle Scout rank.  New scoutmaster Chris Bryant was introduced.

Bailey Stidman became SPL in Fall 2019.


November brought a new addition to the Troop 11 camping line-up:  a zip-lining trip to Jacksonville, TX which included a r-e-a-l-l-y long half-mile continuous run.  Troop 11’s Buffalo patrol won the camp cooking competition. The trip included a Scout’s Own Service (non-denominational interfaith prayer/meditation service) with a troop from the Dallas area. 


Many Troop 11 scouts and leaders spent their winter holidays in the outdoors attending SHAC’s Winter Camp or National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), both held at the Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch.

The 2020s

HISTORY:  2020

Troop 11 has 98 registered scouts, with the following patrols:  Buffalo, Antelope, Wolf, Beaver, Bear, Owl, and of course — the Prairie Chickens!


  • Jan - none
  • Feb - Lone Star Hiking Trail (Troop 11 plans to  hike the entire trail over the next three years)
  • Mar - Twin Bayou District Camporee, Bovay Scout Ranch. T-11 is the host troop this year.
  • April - backpacking trip
  • May - camp-out
  • June - backpacking/ Philmont shakedown hike
  • June - summer camp, Camp Cris Robbins near Colorado Springs
  • July - Philmont Scout Ranch (Troop 11 will send two crews)


At Troop 11’s February Court of Honor, 32 scouts received 61 merit badges and 12 scouts advanced in rank.  Second Class scout Henry Tully served as emcee for this COH; Zachary Bryant was appointed Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM).  Newly elected SPL John Deltz and ASPL Aaron Manego were congratulated by those in attendance. 

John Deltz became SPL in Spring 2020.


In the first Troop 11 OA election since 2017, 12 scouts were nominated for membership in the Colonneh Lodge. These scouts were recognized in a ceremony at the 2020 Twin Bayou District Spring Camporee and were invited to attend an OA Ordeal in the coming year.


SPL:                 John Deltz

ASPL:               Aaron Manego

Bear PL:           Lucas Sieler

Buffalo PL:       Cormac Tully

Wolf PL:           Aiden Manego

Antelope PL:    Liam Logue

Beaver PL:       Jonathan Powell

Owl PL:            Nayak Shah


Troop 11 will celebrate its first 100 years with an Anniversary Celebration event at FPC on Saturday, March 28, 2020.  All current and former Troop 11 scouts, leaders, and families are welcome to join in the festivities as we celebrate the rich legacy and bright future of Troop 11.

Appendix A:  T-11 Eagle Scouts

At least 201 scouts from various FPC sponsored organizations earned the Eagle rank or its equivalent.  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.

From Troop 11’s 2008 Annual Report to FPC, “The Troop does not put a strong emphasis on attaining Eagle rank; rather, it aims to help new Scouts advance rapidly to First Class rank in one year.  Attaining this rank early leaves them plenty of time to make Eagle rank on their own.

1918    Henry Palmer Melton

1921    Fred Stull

            the “new” Troop 11’s first


            Houston’s 26th Eagle


1923    Bliss Louis

            Vincent Crowder

            Whitman Mounce

1924    Travis Smith

1925    James A. Clapp Jr.

            Philip Laughlin

            Hal Cox

            J.O. Jackson

            Edwin Moore

1929    Earl C. Douglas, Jr.

            George Latimer

1930    Jack Van Gundy

            Leroy Sims

1932    Bob Dawson

1933    Malcolm McCants (Nov 25)

            Robert P. McCants

1937    C.S. “Scranton” Harrington

1941    Carrol A. Lewis, Jr.

1942    Tommy Jordan (1944?)

            Tommy Baker

            Murray G. Smyth, Jr.

            Harmon Ferguson

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

            Albert Newnam

1955    Harry Dillashaw

            Thomas R. Hurst

  1. Ludwell Jones III

            Edward Lee Summers

            Explorer Post 1

1957    Kenneth W. Jack,

            (Nov 5, age 14)

            Richard Corso

            Explorer Post 1

1958    Jimmy Jennings

            Air Squadron 11

1958    Steve Mahood

            Air Squadron 11

1959    James A. Allbright

            Byron Alec Brown

            Frederick Parker Gregg

            Doug Holford

            Charles Joel Parker, Jr.

            Albert Jerry Russell

1959    Henry C. Hess

            Air Squadron 11


1959    Jim Cox

            Air Squadron 11

1960    Roger Byrne

            Clark Gregg

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

            Richard H. Moffatt

            Mike G. Musaway

            John Newnam

            Robert Schoenvogel

Troop 11 produced 42 Eagle Scouts from 1950 - 1966.

1967    Roy H. Moffatt

            John M. Zabcik

1970    Timothy Bautsch

1971    Carlo Corso

            Blake W. Rusk

1972    Bryson W. Rusk

1973    Jefferson S. Moffatt

1974    Mark Hellums

1978    Paul Fleming

1981    Bruce Cameron

1986    Jeffrey Johnstone

1988    Anthony Day

            Peter Key

1989    Jeremy Samuels

            Robert Garner

1993    Kirby Lesher

1995    Thad Hutcheson

            Jordan S. Handel

1996    Matthew Robbins

            Richard Emory Weekley

            Allen Clement

1998    Rand Lionberger

            Christopher Johnston

1999    Will Hutcheson

            Tony Aligo

2000    Glenn A. Drummond

            Kristopher Johnson

            Jonathan Pecht

2001    Anh-Tuan Bui

            (recognized as the 100th Eagle scout in Troop 11)

2002    Anthony Drew Kennard

            Nam Quoc Bui

2003    Ansel E. Michels

            Matthew E. Hausknecht

            Mark D. Felder

            Nick Frazier

2004    Edward K. Biegert

            Alex Witschey

            Jonathan W. Marshak

            Andrew Winstead                              

            John “Jack” Schlesinger

            Stephen Bruso

2005    Layne S. Wiesendanger

            Jeff Frazier

            Paul Hausknecht        

            Landon T. Schaeffer

2006    Nick S. Hull

            David E. Doerries

            Robert Scott Dossey

            Daniel Resley

            Reid Carazzone

            Andrew Davidson Stubbs

            Travis Michael Evert

            Christian L. Wiesendanger

            Ben Buckner

            William J. Marshak

2007    Andrew Coe

            Stephen Daniel Winstead

            Ken Odegard

            Thomas P. Caughman

            Colin P. Williams

            Harvey D. Powers

2008    Alexander J Lazaris

            Joseph Knight

            Wesley Gill

            Sami M. Khan

            Austin Payne

            Palmer Reid Wilson

            Christopher W. Winters

2009    Nikolas James Lazaris

            Kevin Culver

            Peter James

            Robert Orr

            Peter Ten Eyck

            Julian Cooper

            Marshall Gregory

            Travis Payne

            Andy Powers

2010    David Elkin

            Stephen Benjamin Bruso

            Evan Peterson

            Ahsan Khan

            Ford Anderson

2011    Robert Schmitt

            Ryan Techmanski

            Jonathan Parsons

            Colin Sprunger

            Jonathan Patrick Keener

            Erik Biegert

            Drew Callender

Troop 11 produced 73 Eagle Scouts from 1995 - 2011.

2012    Jacob Simms

            Kalen Hines

            Andrew Listi

            David Miller

            Adam Homeyer

            Thomas Norman

            Russell Cadle

2013    Jack McInerny

            Thomas Gill

            Gavin Grieb

            Wally Khan

            Kipling Klimas

            Jordan Johnson

            Max Rank

            Ross Techmanski

            Arin Drtil

            Christopher Tollett

            Lucas Cooper

            Brooks Bradley

            George Wilkinson


2014    John Andy Kinsella     

            Nolan Hines


2015    Connor Burwell

            Tristan Klimas

            Brendan Miller

            Trey King

            Michael Schmitt

            Nicolas Ledesma-Lubertino

            Ziggy Coffman

            Will Pinter

2016    Nicholas Herrero       

2017    Benji Springer-Tollett


2018    Luke Elizondo

            William King

            Patrick O’Connor

            Reuben Sieler

            Liam Williams

2019    Bailey Stidman

            Zachary Bryant

            Ben Negron

            Elliott Conely

            Sage Cullar-Ledford

Other “Eagle Equivalent” Awards

1947 Murray Smyth Jr.


(Sea Scout Ship #1)

1948 Charles C. Wilder

Ranger Award

(Air Squadron #1)

Dale B. Brannon

Ranger Award

(Air Squadron #1)

1949 Dale Brannon

Ace Award

(Air Squadron #1)

1955 Homer Luther

Silver Award

(Explorer Post #1)



Jeff Moffat - organized and led the July 4, 1976 special Bicentennial courtyard flag-raising Ceremony at First Presbyterian Church. 


Christopher Johnston - Landscape Harris County Medical Clinic near 43rd and Ella.          

Rand Lionberger - Install an emergency call box at West U. park on Sunset.


Tony Aligo - Install butterfly garden at Poe Elem.

Will Hutcheson - Book drive for psychiatric hospital.



Jonathan Pecht - Install a walkway at his former school.

Kristopher Johnson - Improve a trail at Houston Arboretum.

Glenn A. Drummond - Clear a field for wildflower planting at Houston Arboretum.



Anh-Tuan Bui - Improve a trail at Houston Arboretum.



Nam Quoc Bui - Pave a walkway at Bellaire park.

Matthew Hausknecht - Pave a walkway at Bellaire park.

Jack Schlesinger – Make benches for Nehemiah Center.

Drew Kennard – Sand box at Nehemiah Center


Nick Frazier - Install covers over walkways at his school.

Mark Felder - Landscaping improvements at Hermann Park.

Ansel Michels – Raised garden bed at Russ Pitman Park.

Stephen Bruso – Landscaping at Houston Zoo tiger area.


Andrew Winstead - Landscaping at Nehemiah Center.

Jeff Frazier – Re-paint Children’s Water Playground at Hermann Park.

Jon Marshak – Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Alexander Witschey - Landscaping at Houston Zoo.

Reid Carazzone – Upgrade picnic area in Hermann Park.

Edward Biegert – Build playhouse at Ronald McDonald House.


Paul Hausknecht – Landscaping at Houston Zoo.

Landon Schaeffer – Landscaping at Operation I.D., First Pres.

Layne Wiesendanger – Landscaping at Hermann Park.

David Doerries – Restore lab tables at St Thomas Episcopal School.

Daniel Resley – Fundraising and landscaping at Houston Zoo.

Scott Dossey – Clean and paint benches, playhouse at Nehemiah Center.

Christian Wiesendanger – Fence demolition at Houston Zoo.


Nick Hull – Book drive for Nehemiah Center.

Andrew Stubbs – Landscape a butterfly garden in Memorial Park.

Travis Evert – Improvements at Nehemiah Center.

Ben Buckner – Improvements at St. Thomas Episcopal School.

Andrew Coe – Improvements at St. Thomas Episcopal School.

Will Marshak – Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Alex Lazaris – Building bat houses for Memorial Park.

Daniel Winstead - Landscaping at Operation I.D., First Pres.


Colin Williams – Build tables and benches for Yellowstone Academy.

Ken Odegard – Restore butterfly garden At Poe Elementary.

Sami Khan – Landscaping and grounds improvements at Nehemiah Center.

Wesley Gill - Landscaping at Operation I.D., First Pres.

Palmer Wilson – Landscaping an esplanade in West University.

Thomas Caughman - Restoration of Memorial Rose at Gethsemane United Methodist Church.

Harvey Powers – Landscaping classroom area at Bethany Methodist Church

Austin Payne – Tree and plant identification markers installed at Girl Scout Camp Agnes Arnold.

Joseph Knight – Outdoor classroom improvements at Bethany Methodist Church.

Kevin Culver – Landscaping and benches for a ball field at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.


Chris Winters - Improve a trail at Houston Arboretum.

Niko Lazaris – Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Julian Cooper - Improve a trail at Houston Arboretum.

Peter James - Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Peter Ten Eyck - Grounds improvements at Nehemiah Center.

Evan Peterson – Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.


Robert Orr - Improvements a at Houston Arboretum.

Benjamin Bruso – Landscaping an island in Herman Park.

Marshall Gregory – Landscaping at a City of Houston neighborhood park.

Andy Powers – Plant ID plaques at Bellaire Nature Center.

Travis Payne - Landscaping improvements at Bethany Methodist Church.

Jonathan Parsons – Build and hang screech owl houses, Nature Discovery Center.


David Elkin – Anti-pollution program for City of Southside Place storm drains.

Ford Anderson  - Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Colin Sprunger - Remove old planter and build new planter and clean grounds at Poe Elem.

Arin Drtil – Painting and improvements to youth patient recovery room in hospital.

Ryan Techmanski – Landscaping at elementary school.

Ahsan Khan - Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

David Miller – Build benches and landscaping at Forge for Families playground.

Robert Schmitt – Build rabbit cage at Poe Elementary.


Jack McInerny – Remove underbrush and garbage, document graves at 1870 Olivewood Cemetery.

Erick Biegert – Rebuilt park benches at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Wally Khan – Landscaping improvements at Pershing Middle School.

Jonathan Keener – Landscaping improvements at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center.

Drew Callender – Build a trail with side posts and rope rail at the Arboretum.

Jacob Simms – Build bocce ball court at Nehemiah Center.

Kalen Hines – Build crushed granite path at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Thomas Norman - Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Russell Cadle – Owl houses for Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.


Nolan Hines - Improvements at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center

Thomas Gill - Install porch swing on decomposed granite pad at Mandell Park.

Andrew Listi – Improve drainage at house for Agape Ministries’ students.

Adam Homeyer – Landscaping and adding picnic tables at Lifehouse of Houston.

Lucas Cooper – Clearing dead wood fire hazard at Houston Arboretum.

Kipling Klimas – Landscaping at Linkwood Park.


Max Rank – Bike trail at Nehemiah Center.

Gavin Grieb – Crushed granite path and Raised Planting Bed at Pin Oak Middle School.

Ross Techmanski – Landscaping at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Chris Tollett – Construction and hanging of owl houses.

Andy Kinsella – Construction of walk-in bird houses for the Wildlife Center.

Jordan Johnson – construction of exercise stations at Nehemiah Center.

George Wilkinson – Construction of a trail at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center.

Brooks Bradley – Landscaping at St. Thomas High School.


Nic Ledesma-Lubertino - remove dead plant remains after Hurricane Ike to reduce forest fire danger at the Houston Arboretum

Tristan Klimas - remove invasive bamboo; plant native plants at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center


Connor Burwell - Design and paint wall mural depicting the history of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Ziggy Coffman, clean, repair and paint the amphitheater at Carnegie Vanguard High School

Brendan Miller - remove invasive bamboo; plant native plants at Bellaire Nature Discovery Center

Michael Schmitt - replace material and improve drainage of walkways at the Bellaire Nature Center to improve access for people of all abilities

Trey King - refurbish vacant field at Salvation Army to create a soccer field: clearing, leveling, striping & install soccer goals.

Will Pinter - Design and construct a prayer garden at Faith Lutheran Church


Nicholas Herrero - Build benches and custom-designed trash cans for a new lunch area at the Energy Institute High School


Benji Tollett - Renovate/re-build garden and playground area at The House of Tiny Treasures, a pre-school for children affected by homelessness and unstable home situations.


Liam Williams - put in new flowering plants, shrubs and trees at Nature Discovery Center

Luke Elizondo - Partner with the Galveston Bay Foundation to mark storm drains and hang door hangers to inform people not to dump in the drains.

Reuben Sieler - build benches for the Forge for Families organization

William King - build benches at Shearn Elementary

Patrick O’Connor -  build and install new garden beds and composting bins for the student gardens at Shearn Elementary


Zach Bryant - To help English Language Learners, create a library at San Francisco Nativity Academy, a non-tuition based PreK3 through 1st-grade school serving low-income students and families.

Bailey Stidman - Build a wheelchair accessible trail at Houston Arboretum.  Replace  existing trail material to allow people of all abilities easier access to the site

Ben Negron - remove invasive species plants at Houston Arboretum

Sage Cullar-Ledford - build and install new garden signs, including a large world sign, at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center.  The signs help organize the student garden and highlight the regional origins of many of the garden vegetables

Elliott Conely - Remove invasive species plants at Houston Arboretum.


In 1963, Bob Dawson wrote, ““Since 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....Our senior leaders have always held that ‘OUTING is three-fourths of SCOUTING’ and the present Troop 11 is doing a good job of carrying on such traditions.  Such leadership is the paramount reason Troop 11 scouts know they are the most fortunate youths ever to take the scouting trail.” 

For 1918 to 1990, this scoutmaster roster is from Troop 11 rosters for 1918-1931 and re-chartering documents from 1930-1990.  I checked this “working” roster with Baker Lee Shannon, Oscar Hibler, Horace Oleson, Bill Philibert, Bill Gribble (C.W. Gribble Jr.’s son), Joel Parker Jr., and Bob Briggs.  After 1990, Kent Johnson kept detailed records, even down to the month, of when scoutmasters served.


  1. Dixie Smith                          May 1914 - Sept 1916

J.W. Lyle                                  Mar 1917 - ?

Howard. C. Coombs                ? - Feb 1918

John Bonner                            ? - April 1919

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                      March 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                  Jan 1988 -  Nov 1991

Erich Wolz                               Dec 1991 - April 1993

James “Jim” Miller                  May 1993 - Nov 1993

Bill Kinsel                                 Dec 1993 - Aug 1996

Dr. David Lionberger               Sept 1996 - May 1999

Dr Mark Hausknecht               June 1999 - May 2003

Joe D. Powers                         June 2003 - June 2010

Stephen Klimas                       June 2010 - March 2015

Sean O’Connor                        April 2015 - August 2019

Christopher Bryant                 September 2019 -

Appendix C - Troop Committee Chairmen

Walter F. Brown                      1920 - 1923

  1. 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

  1. 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                      1959 - 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 - 1990

Gene de Laveaga                    1991 - 1994

Kleber Denny                          1994 - 1996

Nancy Johnson                        1996 - 1998

Kent Johnston                         1998 - 2011

Jim Miller                                2011 - 2020

Appendix D: Assistant Scoutmaster Roster

1914    R.P. Gates

1915    Houston Wade

            Seymore Bowman

1918    Samuel B. Davis

1920    W.W. Gaston

            C.W. Gribble

1921    C.W. Gribble

1922    C.W. Gribble

1923    Fred Stull

1924    Alexander “Alex”


            Fred Stull

            John Sheldon

            Walter L. “Dutch”


            Victor Corte

            Bliss Louis

1925    Fred Stull

            Walter L. “Dutch”


            Robert Hughes

            Alexander “Alex”


1926    Fred Stull

            Robert Hughes

            Alexander “Alex”


            James Atlee

1927    Fred Stull

            Robert Hughes

            Alexander “Alex”


1928    (Troop 11 had six ASMs, but the troop roster does not name them.)

1929    Russell Lee Jacobe

1930    Russell Lee Jacobe

            Rockwell Rowe

1931    Kirby Smith, Jr.

            John Roos

1932    Kirby Smith, Jr.

            Russell Lee Jacobe

1933    Albert Mayo

            Robert Dawson

            Russell Lee Jacobe

            Kirby Smith, Jr.

            Fred Briggs

            Leroy Sims

            Earl Dougls, Jr.

            Alexander “Alex”


            John C. Van Gundy

1934    J. Otis Brown

            Earl Douglas

1935    J. Otis Brown

1936    Russell Lee Jacobe

            Ben Blum

            Howard McMeans

            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

            Daniel Kury

1945    James B. Hovey

1946    Baker Lee Shannon

1947    R. Matthew Lynn

            Murray Smyth

            Roy Beckelhymer

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

            Preston Gant

1953    Preston Gant

            Edgar L. Von Rosenberg

            Bill J. Philibert

            Preston Gantt

            Oscar N. Hibler

1954    Edgar L. Von Rosenberg

1955    Edgar L. Von Rosenberg

1956    Arthur Coburn II

            Charles E. Moore

1957    Captain James W.


            Joel Parker

1958    Joel Parker

            Wm. R. Valentine

1959    Joel Parker

            Wm. R. Valentine

1960    Wm. R. Valentine

            Charles L. Frisk

            Lewis Mattingly

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

            James McConnell

            Henry J. Flake, Jr.

            Bennett Lay

1965    Clarence John Zabcik

1966    Clarence John Zabcik

1969    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            William B. Ainley

1970    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            William B. Ainley

1971    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            William B. Ainley

1972    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            William B. Ainley

1973    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Jim Lenox, Sr.

1974    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

            Jim Lenox, Sr.

1975    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

            Jim Lenox, Sr

1976    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

            Jim Lenox, Sr.

1977    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

1978    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

1979    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Ed Fleming

            Paul Fleming

            Dan Tidwell

            Fred Steves

1980    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Bill Klever, Fred Steves,

            Dan Tidwell

1981    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Geary Eppley

            Charles D Gerhardt

            Keven E. Mason

            Gregory Roberts

            Bjorn Svenson

1982    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Geary Eppley

            Charles D. Gerhardt

            Gregory Roberts

            Bjorn Svenson

1983    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Charles D. Gerhardt

            Greg Roberts

            Bjorn Svenson

1984    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Greg Roberts

            Bjorn Svenson

1985    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Greg Roberts

            Bjorn Svenson

            Erich Wolz

            Forrest Davis

1986    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Erich Wolz

            Forrest Davis

1987    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Phillip Gibbs

            James Miller

            Fred Steves

            Erich Wolz

1988    Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Forrest Davis

            Phillip M. Gibbs

            Erich Wolz

            Jeff Grant

            Jeff Johnstone

            Fred Steves

1989    Jere Ahrens

            Robert K. “Bob” Briggs

            Forrest Davis

            Jeff Johnstone

            Fred Steves

            Erich Wolz

1990    Jere Ahrens

            Erich Wolz

            Forrest Davis

            Jeff Johnstone

            Robert Garner

1991    Jere Ahrens

            Robert Garner

            Jeff Johnstone

1992    Jere Ahrens

            Jan Ahrens

            Marti Clement

            Jim Miller

1993    Bill Kinsel

            Erich Wolz

            Marti Clement

1995    Rick Weekly

            David Lionberger

            Jim Miller

1996    Rick Weekly

            David Lionberger

            Jan Aligo

            John Hannan

            Brian Jamieson

            Tom Johnson

            Molly Lee

            Jim Miller

            Judy Robbins

1997    Jan Aligo

            Kent Johnston

1998    Flem Rogers

1999    Flem Rogers

2000    Flem Rogers

            Nancy Johnson

2005    Marcy Brown

2006    Don Callender

            Becky Galloway

2007    Don Callender

Appendix E: Troop 11 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.

In January 1930, by vote, the clerk of the FPC's Session was directed to "... write a letter to the Scout Master stating that on account of the disrespect which the Troop has shown in their conduct in the Sunday School room and on account of the condition they left things in after holding their meetings, that they would be no longer permitted to hold their meetings in this building, but that if they wanted to they could occupy the basement in the Library Building from now on until further notice."

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 met at the Presbyterian manse at Main and McGowan.  Troop 11 met Friday nights at 7:30 PM.  In 1935, FPC built Troop 11 a small frame Scout House on its property at Main and Bissonnet.  The Scout House at 5402 Main has also been called the Scout Hut 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 opened, probably from the same plans as the Fellowship Hall.  [Note:  In 1986, 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.  By 1990, it was called the Service Center.  FPC provided Troop 11 with a storage closet there.  Troop 11 conducted its Thursday night 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 small room above the Service Center.

Before the Lancaster Center addition was built in 2000, Troop 11 held its meetings in the church basketball gym.  The gym was demolished and the Lancaster Center was built where the gym, the Troop garage, and a parking lot had been.

SM Lionberger, whose wife was Clerk of the Session in 1999-2000, got the basement closet reserved to T-11, as well as getting climbing walls installed in the mini-gym.  Troop 11 met in the basement when the building first opened and often used the climbing walls, which have since been removed.

After a few years, the church middle school Youth Director wanted to remodel the basement, install the stage and the elaborate audio-visual system behind the wire cage in the back of the room.  Troop 11 would have to meet on the 1st floor.  In exchange, Troop 11 was given the 1st floor closet and keys to the other closets in the 1st floor room. 

Troop 11 now meets on Monday nights.

Appendix F:   The Scout Shed

In December 1972, the church sold the Faith and Friendship building to the Brazos Presbytery.  This building was located on the north side of the gym and was 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 shed in 1973, where they could  permanently store their equipment.  Located behind the gym (west side), the shed housed the troop’s two camping trailers, three canoes and camping gear.  Dated February 1, 1973, its building permit #771584 clearly stated “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 late 1989, 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 the Christian Education Committee meeting on February 13, 1990.  Kleber Denny presented the troop’s case.  Very simply, Kleber 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....”

In 1999, scoutmaster Lionberger began Troop 11’s long-term project to build-out what was originally a carport at FPC’s Travis Street Operation I.D. building. 

This would continue into the summer, working the occasional weekend.  Troop 11 adults walled it in and installed lighting, a roll-up door, shelving, and a dehumidifier; the scouts cooked the hot dogs.  T-11 ended up with a much needed 14’ ceiling 2-car garage. 

Called the Travis Street Carport, Troop 11 kept its camping gear and a camping trailer inside.  Nearby, but outside and exposed to the elements, were the six canoes on a trailer. 

Troop 11 worried that someday the church might need to demolish the Travis St building, including Troop 11’s garage, without which Troop 11 could not operate.  If the church would ever need to tear it down, Troop 11 has plans to propose that FPC replace it with a finished 4 or 5-car garage with 16’ ceilings and shelving for parking 3 trailers with high clearances.

Scoutmaster Joe Powers arranged for Troop 11’s use of a new storage shed near Hiram Clark Road and South Main.  For camp-outs, Troop 11 departs from this storage shed because it holds all of the gear, trailers, canoes and kayaks.  This is where Troop 11 stores its gear today in 2020.

Troop 11 has good relations with Robert, who owns the auto repair shop adjacent to Troop 11’s storage shed.  Robert pays Troop 11’s electricity bill, as the light circuits in the shed are connected to his auto shop’s meter.  Robert looks out for Troop 11 and not just watching for burglars.  When the scout storage shed had a transformer fire, Robert smelled the smoke, and got in to put out the fire.  In late 2016, Robert ran pipe from his air compressor into the troop’s scout shed so we can fill up the trailers’ tires before each road trip. 


1910s and earlier

“1914 Industrial Survey Planned.  Scouts of Houston, Texas Will Visit Seventeen Plants.”  Scouting Magazine, 11 November 1914.

“50 Years of Boy Scouting as Seen By Hoc — He’s a Guy Who Ought to Know,” Houston Press, February 13, 1960.

“Admitted to the Bar.”  Houston Daily Post.  February 1, 1913.

“Bids and Proposals.”  Houston Daily Post.  May 1, 1906.

“Boy Scout Happenings,” Houston Daily Post. Sept.19, 1915.

“Boy Scout Happenings.”  The Houston Press.  June 1915.

“Boy Scout Mobilization Next Thursday Evening,” The Houston Post.  July 29, 1919.

“Boy Scout News,” Houston Daily Post, February 27, 1916.

“Boy Scout News,” Houston Daily Post, September 12, 1915.

“Boy Scout News,” Houston Daily Post, October 10, 1915.

“Boy Scout News,” Houston Daily Post, November 14, 1915.

“Boy Scout News for Past Week.”  The Houston Post.  October 18, 1914.

“Boy Scout News for Past Week.” The Houston Post.  October 25, 1914.

“Boy Scout News for Past Week.”  The Houston Post.  November 8, 1914.

“Boy Scout News for the Past Week:  Prizes for Essays on Industrial Survey Upon Its Completion.”  The Houston Post.  November 29, 1914.

“Boy Scout Relay Race, Washington’s Birthday,” Houston Daily Post, January 26, 1917.

“Boy Scout Review Of The Recent Industrial Review.”  The Houston Daily Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 318, Ed. 1 Monday, February 15, 1915, newspaper,  Houston, Texas. (, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.

“Boy Scouts Arrange Relay for Washington’s Birthday,” The Houston Post, February 19, 1919.

“Boy Scouts Enjoyed Bill At The Majestic Theater,: Houston Daily Post.  January 30, 1915.

“Boy Scouts of Houston and Need For Scout Masters.” Houston Daily Post.  May 4, 1914.

“Boy Scouts Ready, Sherman School Troop Wanted to Join Wren’s Battalion.”  Houston Post. April 25, 1914.

“Boy Scouts To Hike.”  Houston Daily Post.  May 7 1914.

“Boy Scouts to Parade.”  Houston Daily Post.  July 3, 1914.

“Boy Scouts Will Aid In Religious Census.”  Houston Daily Post.  February 11, 1914.

“Boy Scouts Will Run An 11-Mile Relay Race,” Houston Daily Post, February 22, 1915.

“Boy Scouts Will Visit Factories.”  Houston Daily Post.  October 16, 1914.

“Changes at Post Office, J. Dixie Smith, Superintendent of Station A, and Haralson Transferred to Other Cities.”  Houston Post.  October 15, 1908.

“Christmas Relief Committee to Meet Tonight.”  The Houston Post.  December 9, 1914.

“Course For Boy Scouts Relay Race Tuesday,” Houston Daily Post, February 21, 1916.

“David M. Duller, Boy Scout Head.” Houston Daily Post.  July 22, 1914.

Druse, Clyde H. “Boy Scout Work, The Scoutmaster”  Houston Daily Post.  March 15, 1914.

Farber, Jerome H. “Houston, Where Seventeen Railroads Meet the Sea.”(Denver, H.H. Tammen Co. 1912.)

“February 22nd Is Fittingly Observed By Houston Folk,” The Houston Post.  February 24, 1921.

“First Merit Badge Class Was Organized.”  The Houston Post.  June 12, 1914.

“Force Increased To Handle Larger Mails,” Houston Daily Post.  December 6, 1912.

Glenn, Justin.  The Washingtons, A Family History.  Generation Eleven of the Presidential Branch.  Volume Seven, Part Two.  2016, Savas Publishing Company.

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.

Haskin, Frederick J.  “Boy Scouts Work in the Forest Camp” Houston Daily Post.  August 6, 1912.

“Heights Scouts Won W.C. Munn Trophy,” Houston Daily Post, February 23, 1918.

“Heights Troop No. 9 Won the Boy Scouts Relay Race,” Houston Daily Post. February 23, 1916.

“Helping Young Boys,” Houston Daily Post.  February 10, 1915.

“Houston Boy Scouts Visitors at Texas City.”  Houston Daily Post.  August 16, 1914.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Houston Scoutmasters And Officers,” Houston Daily Post.  April 18, 1915.  Photo of J. Dixie Smith.

“Houston Scouts Double Strength in 1918 Growth.”  Houston Post.  February 3, 1919.  Houston’s got its first Eagle scout in 1918.

“Houston Scouts To Celebrate First Anniversary Tonight,” Houston Daily Post.  March 9, 1915.

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

“Industrial Survey Planned:  Scouts of Houston, Texas, Will Visit Seventeen Plants.” Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 2, Number 13, November 1, 1914, periodical, November 1, 1914; New York, New York. (, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.

“Inspection Trips for Houston Scouts.”  Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, October 1, 1914, periodical, October 1, 1914; New York, New York.  University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

“Left PostOffice To Practice Law.  J. Dixie Smith Had Been in Government Service Long Time.”  Houston Daily Post.  October 1, 1913.

“Lewis H. Rueckert, Fencing Instructor at the  Y. M. C. A.”  The Houston Post.  January 2, 1910.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Library, Special Collection RGF-7.

“Many Youthful Offenders Kept Juvenile Courts Busy,” The Houston Post, February 17, 1915.

“Map Route of Relay Course,” The Houston Post.  February 12, 1919.

Men Of Affairs Of Houston And Environs, A Newspaper Reference Work.  Compiled by the Houston Press Club, 1913.  Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2011 with funding from LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation.

“Motorcycle Hit Wagon.”  Houston Daily Post.  May 21, 1918. 

“Name Houstonians.  J. D. Smith and S. A. Lilly Honored at Cleburne.”  Houston Daily Post.  April 22, 1911.

“New Boy Scout Masters Named And Court Of Honor Selected.”  Houston Daily Post.  May 31, 1914.

“New Scoutmaster at Fannin School.”  Houston Daily Post.  May 5, 1914.

“New Scout Commissioner Advanced Despite Accident.”  The Houston Chronicle.  September 14, 1941.  Article about Peg Melton.

“News From The Boy Scouts Of The City,” Houston Daily Post.  June 20, 1915.

“No Annual Fee To Be Charged.”  The Houston Post.  January 27, 1914.

“Officers Elected By Scout Council,” Houston Daily Post.  March 10, 1915.

“Officers Elected By Masons, J. Dixie Smith Chosen W.  M. of Holland Lodge.”  Houston Daily Post.  June 28, 1910.

“Plans Are Outlined for Boy Scouts to Take Swimming Lessons at Y.M.C.A.” Houston Daily Post.  May 13, 1914.

“Plans for Boy Scouts Relay Race Complete,” The Houston Post.  February 10, 1918.

“Plans Made For Field Day Celebration Of Boy Scouts.”  Houston Daily Post.  April 7, 1913.

“President of Clerks Lives In Houston.  J. Dixie Smith (photo).  San Antonio Express, April 28, 1910.

“Public Asked To Inspect Harris Boy Scout Camp.”  The Houston Post, April 13, 1919. 

“Resolute Boy Scout Loses Leg, But Comes Up Smiling,”  Houston Daily Post. 25 October 1915.

“R.R. Adcock Elected Scout Commissioner,” Houston Daily Post.  January 12, 1918.

Sawyer, Robert K.  A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting.  2012.  Gulf Coast Books.

“Scout Masters of City Meet Thursday Night.”  Houston Post.  April 9, 1914.

“Scout Summer Camp Ground to Be Picked at Meeting This Week,” The Houston Post.  May 15, 1919.

“Scouts Enlisting in Service to Country.” November 7, 1917.  Houston Daily Post.

“Scouts Plan Big Event For Thursday Night.”  21 July 1918, Houston Daily Post.

“Settlement House Has Established a New House Register System.”  Houston Daily Post. December 27, 1909.

“Several Applied For Merit Badges.”   Houston Daily Post.  June 7, 1914.

“Sunday Concert in Charge of Scouts.”  Houston Daily Post. February 11, 1918.  First mention that Peg Melton earned his Eagle rank.

“Tenderfoot Badges Awarded Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post.  June 3, 1914.

“Troop 5 Winner of Relay Race.”  Houston Daily Post.  February 23, 1916.

“Troop Twenty Is Winner of Munn Trophy in Ten Mile Boy Scout Relay,” The Houston Post. February 23, 1919.

W.C. Munn newspaper ad.  Houston Daily Post.  Feb. 22, 1916 and Feb. 22, 1917.  These publicized the Boy Scout Relay Races.

“Yearly Report of Scout Executive,” Houston Daily Post.  December 28, 1917.


“360 Boy Scouts Ready To Depart Monday For Camp,” The Houston Post.  August 29, 1921.

“40 And Eight Will Give Way To Boy Scouts,” The Houston Post, September 12, 1923.

“500 Boy Scouts Will Take Part in Yearly Field Day,” The Houston Post, April 15, 1923.

“600 Boy Scouts Plan Attendance At Encampment,” The Houston Post.  August 7, 1922.

“All Local Clubs To Show Interest In ‘Boys’ Week’,” The Houston Post.  May 9, 1922.

“Annual Boy Scout Relay Race to Be Run Tuesday,” The Houston Post.  February 21, 1921.

“Annual Roundup Stirs Enthusiasm of Scout Troops,” The Houston Post.  30 July 1922.

“August 7 To Be Best Show Yet,” The Houston Post.  July 8, 1923.

“Boy Scout Court Of Honor Holds Numerous Tests,”  The Houston Post.  January 23, 1921.

Boy Scout Round-Up program.  June 13, 1929.

“Boy Scout Troops Are Ready For Big ‘Round-Up’ Aug. 17,” The Houston Post.  July 17, 1921.

“Boy Scout Troops of Houston Making All Preparations for Great Field Day Event, April 21,” The Houston Post.   April 2, 1922.

“Boy Scouts Are Ready For Anniversary Meeting.” The Houston Post,  February 4, 1923.

“Boy Scouts Get Back to Winter Routine Work,” The Houston Post.  September 9, 1923.

“Boy Scouts Hold 11th Anniversary Meeting Sunday.  Five Troops Enter 100 Per Cent Class.”  The Houston Post.  February 7, 1921.

“Boy Scouts Make Plans For Annual Round-Up Aug 4,” The Houston Post,   16 July 1922.

“Boy Scouts Planning for Field Day at San Jacinto,” The Houston Post.  February 25, 1923.

“Boy Scouts Preparations For Annual Summer Outing Begin With Weekly Savings,“ The Houston Post.  April 30, 1922.

“Boy Scouts Score Distinct Hit With Annual Round-Up,” The Houston Post.  August 8, 1923.

“Boy Scouts to Celebrate Anniversary of Founding,” The Houston Post.   January 30, 1921.

“Boy Scouts to Attend Funeral of Drowned Lad,” The Houston Press.  August 30, 1922.

“Boy Scouts to Play Off Drill Ties Tuesday; Plans Made For Summer Outings at Round Lake,” The Houston Post, May 28, 1922.

“Boy Scouts Will Honor Founding Of Order Today,” The Houston Post, February 12, 1922.

“Boy Scouts Will Leave For Winter Outing Tuesday,” The Houston Post.  December 26, 1921.

“Boy Scout Work Is Described By Executive Head,” The Houston Post, February 13, 1920.

“Boys of All Ages Honor Guests At Rotary Luncheon,” The Houston Post.  December 9, 1921.

“Conopus Club to Have Boys’ Week Program,” The Houston Post.  May 9, 1922.

“Court of Honor Gives Other Tokens of Merit to Local Lads,” The Houston Post, 26 August 1921

“Coveted Eagle Scout Honors Awarded to 5 Houston Boys,” The Houston Post.  August 26, 1921.

Davis, Ellis A. and Edwin H. Grobe, eds. “John S. Bonner.  Biography.”  New Encyclopedia of Texas. Dallas, Tex. Texas Development Bureau, 1926. Vol. I, p. 558.

“District Scout Conference To Be Held Here,” The Houston Post, May 15, 1922.

“Dixie Camp Leaders to Visit Local Children,” The Houston Post.  April 2, 1923

“Five Hundred Boy Scouts Are Primed For Round-Up,” The Houston Post.  August 5, 1923.

“H. L. Mitchell To Direct Scouts In West End Section,” The Houston Post.  September 26, 1921.

“Harris County Scouts Eagerly Await Coming of Greatest Of Field Days, April 21,” The Houston Post,  April 16, 1922.

“Hornbuckle New Scout Chairman Houston Troops,” The Houston Post.  November 5, 1923.

Houston and South Texas, A Newspaper Reference Work.  published by The Houston Chronicle, 1921.  Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2011 with funding from LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation.

“Houston Boy Scouts Are Set For Big Field Day,” The Houston Post.  April 8, 1923.

“Houston Boy Scouts Ready for Jamboree.”  The Houston Press, page 8.  June 15, 1929.

Houston Post-Dispatch, (front page), 16 June 1929.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

Houston Scout Executive Makes Report for 1924.”  Bailey, George M. , Houston Post-Dispatch.  Vol. 40, No. 268, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 28, 1924.

“Houston Scout Sends Account of Tour Abroad.”  Houston Post-Dispatch.  August 11, 1929.

“Houston Scout Troops Close An Active Week,” The Houston Post.   December 3, 1923.

“Houston Scouts Celebrate Natal Day of Movement, “ The Houston Post, February 12, 1923.

“Houston Scouts Plan Drum-Bugle Corps Gathering,” The Houston Post, September 16, 1923.

“Houston Scouts To Leave June 4 For 2 Days’ Camp,” The Houston Post.  29 May 1921.

“Houston Scouts Will Hold First Annual Reunion,“ The Houston Post.  November 14, 1921.

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

“In the Crucible,” The Houston Post, May 29, 1924.

“J. Dixie Smith In Race For Office Of District Attorney,” The Houston Post.  March 19, 1922.

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.

“Lad Drowned At Boy Scout Summer Camp,” The Houston Chronicle.  August 29, 1922.

“Landers Offers Trophy to Best Drilled Scout Troop,” The Houston Post. March 25, 1921.

“Latest News about the Jamboree.”  Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 17, Number 8, August 1929, page 277, periodical,  (, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.

“Life Outdoors Proves Worth To Boy Scouts,” The Houston Post.  August 24, 1923.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Special Collection RGF-7.

“Loved Boy Scout Is Laid To Rest,” The Houston Post.  August 31, 1922.

“Meeting Monday Night To Complete Organization of Boy Scouts Council.”  January 26, 1924.

“Name Scout to Jamboree Today,” The Houston Post, May 28, 1924.

“News of Houston Girl Scout Troops,” Houston Post-Dispatch, December 22, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post. Dec 24, 1923.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post.  Dec 10, 1923.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post.  Jan 8, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post.  Feb 11, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts,” The Houston Post, April 12, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts,” The Houston Post, April 21, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  The Houston Post.  May 5, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  Houston Post-Dispatch.  October 20, 1924.

“News of the Boy Scouts.”  Houston Post-Dispatch.  October 27, 1924.

“Plans Complete For Mile Long Armistice Parade,” The Houston Post, November 11, 1923.

“Prize Winning Scouts Enjoy Rice Banquet,” The Houston Post, January 11, 1920.

Tips, Kern. “Rice Students Turn Attention To New Sports,” The Houston Post, February 25, 1924.

“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.

Scott, Hester (editor).  Civics For Houston, Volume 1, No. 7.  28 January 1928.

“Scout First Aid Contests To Feature Houston Work,” The Houston Post.  May 6, 1923.

“Scout Illness Halts Program,” “Scout Illness Halts Program,” The Houston Press.  September 11, 1929, pg. 2.

“Scout Loses Life In Swimming At Camp Masterson,”  Houston Post-Dispatch.  August 30, 1922.

“Scout Troop No. 20 Wins Fifth Annual Scout Relay Race,” The Houston Post.  February 22, 1920.

“Scout Troop 27 Cops Relay Race In Holiday Meet,” Houston Post-Dispatch.  23 February 1923.

“Scouts Celebrate Winning of Cup,” The Houston Post.  April 9, 1921.

“Scouts Hold Eleventh Anniversary Celebration,” The Houston Post.  February 6, 1921.

“Scouts Hold Eleventh Anniversary Celebration,” The Houston Post.  February 6, 1921.

“The Scout Roundup.”  May 19, 1924.  The Houston Post.

“The Scout Roundup.”  June 9, 1924.  The Houston Post.

“The Scout Roundup.”  June 30, 1924.  The Houston Post.

“The Scout Roundup.”  July 14, 1924.  The Houston Post-Dispatch.

“The Scout Roundup.”  August 24, 1924.  Houston Post-Dispatch.

“The Scout Roundup.”  September 8, 1924.  Houston Post-Dispatch.

“Scouts Practice For Relay Race To Be Staged Feb 22,” The Houston Post.  January 23, 1923.


“Scouts Ready for Journey to Jamboree.”  The Houston Press.  June 18, 1929, page 4.

“Scouts Resume Meetings Here,” The Houston Post.   September 3, 1922.

“Scouts Training for Round-Up At City Auditorium,” The Houston PostThe Houston Post, July 10, 1921.

“Second Annual Scout Roundup Being Planned,” The Houston Post.  July 2, 1922.

Session Minutes, Boy Scouts. Box 12, Folder 15.  Houston Metropolitan Research Center.  First Presbyterian Church Collection RG.I.0008.

Sewell, Ben.  Personal Interview.  July 5, 1990.

“Stidson Is Named New Scout Chief, Field Day Coming,” The Houston Post, 18 March 1923.

“Summer Camp Chief Topic Of Boy Scouts These Days,” The Houston Post, August 19, 1923.

“Sweeney Co. Presents Boy Scouts With Loving Cup,” Houston Post, December 3, 1920.

The Camp Tattler, summer camp newspaper.  Edited and published by Saul B. Lieberman.  August, 1929.

“Texas Observes Yearly Tribute to Republic’s Birth.”  The Houston Post.  April 21, 1923.

“Troop 8 Winners Of Prize in Boy Scout ‘Round-Up’,” The Houston Post.  August 22, 1921. 

“Troop 27 Cops Munn Loving Cup in Relay Race,” The Houston Post.  February 23, 1923.

Troop Explosion(published monthly by Troop 8).  Seymour Sacks, Editor-in-Chief, August 1928.

“Victorious Boy Scouts Celebrate Winning of Cup, Troop 11 Wins Trophy For Best Record For Efficiency,”  Houston Post, April 3, 1921.

“Washington’s Birth And Arbor Day To Be Observed Today,” The Houston Post, February 22, 1923.

“The Week in Scoutdom,” The Houston Post, 12 November 1923. 

“The Week in Scoutdom,” The Houston Post, 19 November 1923.

“The Week in Scoutdom,” The Houston Post, 16 December 1923.

Word, Tracy.  Personal Interviews.  December 27, 1989; March 18, 1990; and June 22, 1990.

Word, Tracy.  Personal scrapbooks, including pictures, newspaper clippings, 1949 Coloneh Lodge flap and other Troop 11 remembrances from the 1920s.  Much material on the 1929 Jamboree including the 44-minute 16-mm film.


Adcock, R.R., Houston Area Council Annual Report, 1930 thru 1934. HMRC, RGF-7.

“Cadwallader, Jr., Oscar.  “Boy Scouts Scout and Cub Circus,” River Oaks Magazine, December 1937.

Fifteen Boy Scouts, et. al.  The Scout Jamboree Book.  New York; London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1930.  (Note:  Ben Sewell graciously gave me his copy of this book, which includes a picture of the Longhorn Patrol performing their rope tricks.  The book is now in the archives, Special Collection RGF-36)

Houston Area Council.  Annual Reports.  1930-1934.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Library, Special Collection RGF-7.

McCants, Robert.  Personal interview; identify photos. June 15, 1990.

Red, David.  Telephone Interviews.  July 5, 1990 and July 12, 1990.

Red, David.  Photos of Sea Scout Ship #1 at Houston Yacht Club Harbor and inside FPC’s Scout Hut.  David Red and Hugh Gill photos.

“Scouts Honor H.R. Safford, L.C. Mooney.”  The Houston Press.  December 18, 1935.

“Scouts Honor H.R. Safford, L.C. Mooney.”  The Houston Press.  December 18, 1935.

Session Minutes, Boy Scouts. Box 12, Folder 15.  Houston Metropolitan Research Center.  First Presbyterian Church Collection RG.I.0008.

Shifflette, Andy.  e-mail correspondence.  May 9, 2017.  Tombstone photo, and  Abbeville Meridional newspaper article from Vermillion parish.

“Troop 11 Scout Chief Honored — C.W. Gribble Jr. Gets Banner Lauding Activity.”  (Houston Newspaper, not sure which one, 1933.)

“Youth Drowns In Canal At Gueyden, Thursday.”  Abbeville Meridional.  May 20, 1933.


“10 Scouts Cited for Services In Recent Hurricane.”  The Houston Chronicle.  Oct 9, 1941.

Hints to Squadron Leaders, 1943.  Catalog No. 3105.  Boy Scouts of America.

“Honor Escort For ‘Blitz’ Scouts,” 1942.  Unknown Houston newspaper.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Library, Special Collection RGF-7.

Minutes of Troop 11 Committee meetings, 1949-1959.  Prepared by Kenneth Jack.

“New Scout Commissioner Advanced Despite Accident.”  The Houston Chronicle.  September 14, 1941.  Article about Peg Melton.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal Interview.  May 7, 1990 and June 20, 1990.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and photos from the 1950s and 1960s.

Personal letters from:

Dan Kennerly to First Presbyterian Church.  June 23, 1949.

Red, David.  Telephone Interviews.  July 5, 1990 and July 12, 1990.

Red, David.  Photos of Sea Scout Ship #1 at Houston Yacht Club Harbor and inside FPC’s Scout Hut.  David Red and Hugh Gill photos.

“Scouts of 20 Years Ago Meet to Relive 1929 European Tour.” The Houston Post.  June 26, 1949.

The Sea Scout Manual, Boy Scouts of America, 1943. Elbert K. Fretwell, Chief Executive.

Shannon, Baker Lee.  Telephone conversation.  May 11, 1990.

Troop 11 financial records and account ledger, 1949-1959.

“The Week’s Best Pictures From All Citizen Editions.“  Murphy, John H.; Daniels, A. Pat & Farley, James L. The Citizen.  (Houston, Texas).  Vol. 1, No. 48, Ed. 1.  Wednesday, June 2, 1948.  (, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Bellaire Friends Library & Historical Society.


“72 Area Scouts Will Attend Jamboree,” The Southwest Citizen.  June 15, 1950.

“Area Scout Parents to Stage Meet.”  The Citizen. May 7, 1953.

“Bivouac For Explorer Scouts To Begin Friday,” The Bellaire Citizen, April 20, 1950.

“Boy Scout Troop 11 to Attend Jamboree.”  The Houston Chronicle.  September 1959.

“David Daniell Wins In Scout Contest,” Southwestern Times, 01 June 1950. 

“Dr. William States Jacobs to ‘Star’ in Brahman Meet,”  The Southwest Citizen. Thursday, Feb 2, 1950.

“Explorer Scout Brothers Take Practically All Top Awards.”  Houston Chronicle.  July 14, 1955.  Section C. page 5.

“Four Southwest Residents Among Leaders Of New ‘Scouterversity’,” Southwestern Times, October 18, 1951.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Hudson Forest Has An Interesting History,” Hudson Forest Homeowner’s Association.  (

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.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Library, Special Collection RGF-7.

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.

Minutes of Troop 11 Committee meetings, 1949-1959.  Prepared by Kenneth Jack.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal Interview.  May 7, 1990 and June 20, 1990.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and photos from the 1950s and 1960s.

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.

“Presbyterian Mothers of Scouts Will Meet,”  The Southwest Citizen, May 25, 1959.

“Rootin’, Tootin’ Texans Invade Valley Forge.” The Citizen, June 29, 1950.

“Seigel, Sandra.  “At Veterans Hospital, 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.

Troop 11 financial records and account ledger, 1949-1959.

“Troop 11 Scouts Receive Awards,” Bellaire Citizen.  February 2, 1950.

“Twelve Boy Scouts To Receive ‘God and Country Award’ At Men’s Meeting.”  First Presbyterian.  December 3, 1954.

“Work Toward Eagle All Over Except Last Hurdle.“  December 1957.  Houston Chronicle.


“50 Years of Boy Scouting as Seen By Hoc — He’s a Guy Who Ought to Know,” Houston Press, February 13, 1960.

“Area Scout Groups Ready For Camp,” The Bellaire Texan.  May 23, 1962

Dawson, Robert A.J. (Bob).  “General History, Boy Scout Troop No. 11, Houston, Texas.”  May 9, 1963.  (Unpublished — distributed at Bill Gribble Day.)

“Explorer Scouts Participate in Carrying Scout Report to the Governor.” 1960.  Not sure which Houston newspaper this is from.

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 Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Hudson Forest Has An Interesting History,” Hudson Forest Homeowner’s Association.  (

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.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

Linn, Jack.  “The Story of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council.”  333 pages.  Unpublished, 1964.  Found in Houston Metropolitan Library, Special Collection RGF-7.

Mattingly, Lewis.  Personal Interview.  July 23, 1990.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal Interview.  May 7, 1990 and June 20, 1990.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and photos from the 1950s and 1960s.

Personal letters from:

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.

“Scout Troops Announce Advancements,” The Bellaire Texan, October 25, 1961.

“Scoutmaster Gribble Will Be Honored Here.”  May 11, 1963.  Houston Chronicle.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, December 12, 1962.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, July 3, 1963.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, March 24, 1965.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, March 31, 1965.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, January 26, 1966.

“Scouts Advance,” The Bellaire Texan, November 30, 1966.

“Scoutmaster Gribble Will Be Honored Here.”  May 11, 1963.  Houston Chronicle.

“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.  (not sure which Houston newspaper this came from ....)


Davis, John P.  “Troop 11 for Men and Boys.”  First Presbyterian.  January 18, 1974.

Fisher, Gary.  1973 Jamboree Troop 5 Scrapbook (presented to First Presbyterian Church).  October 1973.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Hudson Forest Has An Interesting History,” Hudson Forest Homeowner’s Association.  (

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

King, Judy.  Except the Lord Build ... The Sesquicentennial History of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas 1839 - 1989.  First Presbyterian Church, 1989.

“Lenox awarded insurance honor,” The Bellaire Texan, 26 September 1973

Lenox, Jim.  “Something of Lasting Value.”  First Presbyterian.  October 26, 1973. 

“Lenox presents cheque.”  The ManuLife News.  August 9, 1973.  Reprinted with permission. Courtesy of ManuLife Financial, a subsidiary of Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.

Lenox, Jim.  “Something of Lasting Value,” First Presbyterian.  October 26, 1973. 

Oleson, Horace.  Personal Interview.  May 7, 1990 and June 20, 1990.

Oleson, Horace.  Personal scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and photos from the 1950s and 1960s.

Personal letters from:

Dr. John Wm. Lancaster to Mr. Jim Lenox.  October 23, 1973.

“Reunion Set By Troop 11.”  Bellaire Texan.  22 April 1970.

Thompson, H., et. al. Black Raven:  The History of Colonneh Lodge.  Second edition.  Sam Houston Area Council.  December 1979.


Byrd, T. 1983. The Devil’s Sinkhole: report of exploration, May 7-8, 1983. Unpublished report, 59 pp.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Hudson Forest Has An Interesting History,” Hudson Forest Homeowner’s Association.  (

Huffman, Minor S.  Sam Houston Scouts (1985).  Sam Houston Area Council.

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.

Minutes of Troop 11 Committee meetings, 1988-1989.  Prepared by Lee Spratling.

Personal letters from:

Rev. Buck Oliphant to Kleber Denny.  May 14, 1987.

Ernest Knipp to Joe Yoke, Bay Area Council.  May 4, 1984.

Troop 11 Gazette.  Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.  1984-1985


“Boy Scouts’ High Adventure Trek to the Gila Wilderness,” FirstPress, 1999.

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.

“Cub Scout Pack 11 Popcorn Sale,” First Press, March 1998.

Frisk, Eric C.  Personal Interview.  July 9, 1990

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

Hutcheson, Houghton.  “Boy Scout Sunday February 13, Troop 11 Celebrates More Than 70 Years of  FPC Sponsorship.”  FirstPress, February 11, 1994.

“Kirby Scott Lesher Receives Eagle Award.“  Houston Chronicle.  January 13, 1993.

Lenoir, Frank.  Personal Interview.  July 20, 1990.

Loftis, Nancy.  “A Camping We Went,” Villages Magazine.  July 1991.

Personal letters from:

Forrest Davis to Rev. Buck Oliphant, November 1990.

“Troop 11’s 75th Eagle,” FirstPress, February 7, 1993.

“Trophy Award,” First Press, April 25, 1999.


“Boy Scout Troop 11 Has Five New Eagle Scouts.”  Village News / Southwest News.  September 4, 2018.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

“Newest Eagle scouts at oldest troop.”  Houston Chronicle, Monday, June 2, 2008.

“Old Braeswood Eagle Scout Spruces Up Braeswood Park.” Old Braeswood News.  September 2009. 

“Troop 11 Scouts awarded Eagle rank.”  Houston Chronicle.  Thursday, May 24, 2007.


“Camp Development for the 21st Century”

Cutrer, Rachel.  William States Jacobs.  27 January 2011.

Gribble, Bill.  Personal Interview.  Photos from C.W. Gribble Jr’s Troop 11 scrapbooks.  December 24, 2016.

Houston Public Library - Sam Houston Area Council Archives (Special Collection RGF 7).  Documents, council records, newspaper clippings and films.  These include Jack Linn’s files.

Steinfeld, Jordan Magaziner.  The Buzz Magazines.  March 19, 2019.

Steinfeld, Jordan Magaziner. “Buzz About Town” column.  “Trailblazer Scouts” story.   The Buzz Magazines.  April 2019.

Steinfeld, Jordan Magaziner. “Buzz About Town” column “Eagle Scout Celebration”  story.  The Buzz Magazines. November 2018. 

Minutes of the Session, First Presbyterian Church, Troop 11 Annual Report.  November 15, 2011. 

Minutes of the Session, First Presbyterian Church, Ministry Report:  Troop 11.  January 24, 2012.

“Troop 11 at Summer Camp.”  Village News / Southwest News, August 2, 2011. 

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