November 26, 2009

Washburn Boy Scouts celebrate 80 years

By Alyssa Schafer

Even though several decades have passed, the tradition of scouting is alive and well in Washburn. While Washburn Boy Scout Troop 79 is still active, it could use more members to help restore it to its former glory. According to newspaper archives, Washburn claimed the first Boy Scout troop in the state in 1914. The troop was organized by the Rev. J. C. N. Pengelly of the Washburn Congregational Church. Pengelly was an English minister who became familiar with the Boy Scout movement while living in England. Current Washburn Scout Master Laurie Sheldon said the troop was quite active at that time. They held concerts, sold calendars as a fundraiser and camped out. During one exercise, troop members dropped a boy off a mile from town and formed patrols to catch him before he made it back to town. It was January, and, surprisingly, the boy made it back to town without being caught.

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