TROOP ORGANIZATION and History
Chartered Organization: BSA and the Chartered Organizations have an agreement whereas BSA will allow the owners to run a Boy Scout Program as a youth outreach effort. This agreement is also known as a “owned franchise”. You may as well call the Chartered Organization our “owners” because they own us.
The agreement states that Westover Baptist provides the troop with a meeting place and is responsible to appoint and oversee all of the adults. In exchange, BSA will provide training for the adults.
Our original charter papers issued in February 1945 listed two chartered organizations. Westover Baptist and the Westover Civic Association. The military service members upon returning from WWII jointly reached out to Boy Scouts in 1944 to establish a Boy Scout Troop and actually had 5 patrols of joined youngsters active in late 1944. For a time, we were the largest and most active troop in Arlington.
Early in our history, the troop equipment was stored in various garages and basements till the decision was made to build the scout garage. We not only built the garage but the brick wall which extends to from the garage to Washington Blvd. The garage originally had a flat roof and every time it rained, we had 2 inches of water inside the garage. The decision was made to add a roof with extra storage which resolved the constant flooding. There was plans for an inside set of steps but nobody could decide where to put it so it was taken off of the plans.
We meet in room 170, which is also known as the "OLD SOCIAL HALL" which is better known now as the “Bike Room”. Question then was on what night to hold the meetings. The final decision was made. On Wednesday night, there was church service and the room was still warm on Thursday night – thus – the meetings were set for Thursday. The original start time for the weekly meetings was 7:15 but so many of the scouts showed up at 7:30, thus the meeting time was moved back to 7:30.
The FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY was held on September 16, 1995 where all four Scoutmasters and former Scouts that could attended. This anniversary was videotaped and will be shown on special occasions. The famous quote "Mr. Hitch, Mr. Hitch, I think something stepped on me last night" is in the video. Scouts slept on a tarp "under the stars". As the story is told by Scoutmaster Hitch, the "something" was a bear.
At one time, there was a waiting list to join Troop 162 so it was decided to create Boy Scout Troop 163 which existed for about 10 years. Troop 163 folded about 30 years ago. Troop 163 was the original troop to sell Christmas Trees as a source of funds. The original tree lot was at a vacant lot at the intersection where there is now Rt 66 and Washington Blvd. Troop 162 eventually inherited the Christmas Tree business when Troop 163 folded. Troop 162’s money earning project back then was collecting newspapers and taking them to a recycle place for whatever cents per pound we could get.
Scoutmaster Hitch had passed away some years ago. To show that we have a small world, we did not know till mid week that his two grandsons were our "Site Guides" at Camp Bowman (Goshen Reservation). A video of the Troop's 50th anniversary was sent to the grandsons which was the first time they heard their grandfather's voice (and heard his long stories).
Scoutmaster Bittenbring also passed and he did something which I found interesting. His remains were donated to George Washington University for their medical students studies.
Scoutmaster Heuser moved to Denver, which he is still around somewhere.
Scoutmaster Ingles is still active and now an Assistant Scoutmaster and was the first Scoutmaster of our troop to be an Eagle Scout. Scoutmaster Bissell is the second Scoutmaster to also be an Eagle Scout.
One of our Scouts was in the news not long ago. Scout David Brown was in our troop but did not reach Eagle. Not sure what sequence David accomplished these but he was a medical Doctor, was also a test pilot for the US Navy, was also a member if a NASA shuttle craft that burned up in the atmosphere upon it's entry.