Since 1992, Turlock’s Boy Scouts of America Troop 451 has helped 84 young men rise to the rank of Eagle Scout, learning camping, safety, survival and life skills along the way. As Troop 451 nears its 25th anniversary in August, the organization is inviting members past and present to join them in celebration.
Turlock’s Troop 451 has grown immensely since it was first started in 1969, Troop Leader Doug Marks said. The troop was active for a short time from 1969-1983 and consisted of around 10 scouts, but eventually disbanded. In 1992, the First United Methodist Church in Turlock sponsored the troop to get it back up and running, and it has been going strong since. Now, there are nearly 50 Boy Scouts in Troop 451.
“Our troop is very active, and we have a lot of parental help. I think that’s what helps make it so popular,” Marks said. “Because of that help, we can have 10 or 11 activities a month.”
Troop 451 has stayed active over the years thanks to monthly adventures, like winter camping in the snow, hikes around lakes and backpacking in the wilderness. All along the way, scouts are learning camping skills like fire building and knife safety, wilderness survival, first aid, swimming and other tasks that allow them to earn “merit badges.”
The real lessons, however, are those that involve the heart, rather than scouts’ hands, Marks said.
The Scout Law is: “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”
“We try to instill those values in them,” Marks said.
Though Troop 451 has traveled to far places like New Mexico for some of their adventures, one of the troop’s favorite places is just a 40-minute drive away at Lake Yosemite County Park at what they call Scout Island. Though its more of a peninsula, Marks said, the “island” serves as the troop’s summer camp location year after year, and also where scouts receive their awards at the year’s end.
In honor of Troop 451’s 25th anniversary, a reunion will be held on Aug. 18 at Scout Island. Troop 451 is inviting all troop alumni and current members for a day of activities like knot tying and first aid competitions, canoeing, fishing and swimming, as well as the opportunity for “old school” scouts to meet with the new generation of scouts.
“We’ll test some of the older scouts to see if they still remember some of their scouting skills, and then there will be a dinner for everyone, awards and the retirement of U.S. flags,” Marks said.
The 25th anniversary celebration will take place all day Aug. 18 at Lake Yosemite County Park, 5614 Lake Rd. in Merced.