By John Anderson
The First Congregational Church on Central St. has hosted Boy Scout Troop 101 for the past 90 years. The Pastor was approached by the Boy Scouts in 1923, and the Troop was formed the following year. Having a single host for 90 years is quite an accomplishment, and having a troop thrive for 90 years is another. Scoutmaster George Fournier said, “It’s a great marriage.” There have only been 13 Scoutmasters in the troop’s history, and Fournier has served for 21 years. His predecessor served 22.
Part of 101’s success is attributed to their busy schedule. According to Assistant Scoutmaster Larry Reich, they plan a camping trip every month except December and August, and they hold other events such as rock climbing and canoe trips to keep the boys focused on Scouting. Each summer, they participate in a high adventure trip or summer camp.
Scoutmaster Fournier told me, “We benefit the community in every way possible.” From raking leaves and shoveling snow for the elderly or disabled, to serving meals at the veterans’ shelters, to church projects, and to marching in town parades, these scouts are busy. Fournier added, “We hope they’ll become responsible and respectable citizens.”
The Eagle Scout award is the Boy Scouts’ top honor, and 45 have earned this distinction during Fournier’s tenure. Another will soon come. A recent Eagle service project made improvements to the garage and the computer room at the senior center. Other smaller projects like bottle and can drives have funded the holiday party at the center.
Troop 101 will celebrate their 90th this Sunday during the 10AM church service at the First Congregational Church. Scoutmaster George Fournier will make a presentation, and everyone is invited to a coffee hour at 11AM when decades of troop memorabilia will be displayed. All Auburn residents are invited, especially former Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts of the troop. Boys between the ages of 11 and 17 who may be interested in Scouting are invited to visit a troop meeting on Thursdays, 7PM at the church.