Troop 701 – A Brief History

Scouting in Wakefield started in 1913, only a few years after the Scouting movement came to these shores from England. Its life was brief due to World War I. In 1925, it was revived when the Wakefield YMCA sponsored Troop 1 with an application dated 11/24/1925. The first charter was received on February 29, 1926.

In 1930, sponsorship was taken over by a group of citizens. The old peanut factory at 6 Church Street, owned by John Beebe, was cleaned up and became Scout Headquarters. In those days, the troop was part of the Quannapowitt Council. Summer camp was held at Camp Manning in North Andover.

The 9:29ers, a newly formed men’s group at the Congregational Church became the sponsoring group in 1935. From 1935 to 1952, many of the Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters came from the ranks of the 9:29ers. From 1953 to the present, the First Parish Congregational Church has been the troop’s home and sponsoring organization. The records show that the troop had a second headquarters on Elm Square and also met at 25 Eustis Avenue.

Troop 1 became Troop 701 in 1959 when they were transferred to the Minuteman Council. Minuteman Council merged with the Greater Boston Council in February of 1993 to become the Boston Minuteman Council. During that merger, Powderkeg District became known as Patriot District. More recently, the Boston Minuteman Council underwent a redistricting that resulted in Troop 701 now being part of the Flintlock District.

From 1925 to 2013 Troop 701 has had 28 Scoutmasters and a great many more dedicated Assistant Scoutmasters and Committee Members who have worked hard to provide a program that meets the aims of Scouting. Special mention must be made of Mr. Edward Schmidgall, who served as Scoutmaster for 17 years (1960-1977) and as Chartered Organization Representative until his death in December 2011.

Troop 701 is extremely proud of its record of Eagle Scouts, Scouting’s highest achievement. While the records are incomplete, the total number is at least 109 (as of the end of 2012), with 31 of those earned during Mr. Schmidgall’s tenure as Scoutmaster.

Troop 701 is registered with the National Boy Scouts of America. The history of the BSA can be found here. Here is a short description of the Boy Scouts of America, as given in Wikipedia.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers.[2] Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.[3]

The BSA goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to inculcate typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.[4][5]

The BSA is a constituent member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The traditional Scouting divisions are Cub Scouting for boys ages 7 to 10½ years, Boy Scouting for boys ages 10½ to 18 and Venturing for young men and women ages 14 (or 13 and have completed the 8th grade) through 21. Learning for Life is a non-traditional subsidiary that provides in-school and career education.[6][7] The BSA operates traditional Scouting by chartering local organizations, such as churches, clubs, civic associations, or educational organization, to implement the scouting program for youth within their communities. Units are led entirely by volunteers appointed by the chartering organization, who are supported by local councils using both paid Professional Scouters and volunteers. 

-Wikipedia retrieved 9 February 2013