African American Scout
following article was made possible by the Friends of Midland
organization, which contributed photographs, information and primary
research materials from their archives. Originally formed to rescue
and rehabilitate the historic Midland Cemetery, the Friends of Midland
also have an interest in local African American history, including the
Hygienic School and Steelton's African American churches, community
groups, daily life and organizations. They are very interested in hearing from former
students of the Hygienic School, former residents, and anyone interested
in Steelton's African American history, and can be contacted at the following address:
Boy Scout Troop 107, Steelton
The photograph to the left came from the collection of Mr. Moore of Steelton, Pennsylvania. It depicts a group portrait of a boy scout troop in Steelton from several decades ago.
The photograph has been retouched to remove some tears, and the image at left is only a portion of the picture. Click on the image for the full photograph.
Troop 107 was organized in 1941 by Mr. John E. Hughes of 406 Ridge Street. Mr. Hughes was the scoutmaster and the troop was "sponsored by the 1st Baptist Church of Steelton, Rev. E. L. Green, pastor." (John B. Yetter, Steelton, Pennsylvania: Stop - Look - Listen, 1979, p. 135.)
Florence Rowe wrote to identify the troop as
#107, and she provides the following identifications for the scouts:
Ed Dornell of State College added more identifications and some wonderful reminiscences of his time in the troop:
"From the enlarged photograph of Boy Scout Troop 107 the following are some additional names of those depicted: Top row beside Scout Master Albert Branch is John Robinson, Philip Clark, and Robert Hill. Front row beside Isaac Johnston is Ernest Johnson, Ike Hill, and Charles Lawson.
"To the best of my knowledge, John Hughes was the first scout master of troop 107. He was a very proud man with a lot of vision. During The Second World War, he directed his troop to collect scrap metal and old newspapers which were sold to purchase a truck, which allowed for even larger amounts of scrap to be collected. This material was then sold to purchase a school bus, making 107 the only scout troop in south central Pennsylvania with its own transportation. People were always wide eyed and amazed when we arrived in our big yellow bus to compete in soft ball games and other scouting activities. Troop 107 was largely responsible for clearing the property near Halifax, PA which became the YMCA's ' Camp Inglenook'. The troop spent two weeks sleeping in tents and fighting off snakes to clear the area for the construction of cabins. Mr Hughes was a tough taskmaster, he once took troop 107 on a march/hike from Steelton to Lancaster a distance of some thirty miles. Miscreants were treated to a punishment know as ' paddy-whacks', where the offender had to run through a gauntlet of troop members who used their web Boy Scout belts to inflict as many hits as possible.
Mr. Hughes had been awarded the 'Silver Beaver Metal' for some scouting achievement. He proudly wore this emblem as if it was the Congressional Metal of Honor. In addition to the Boy Scout motto of 'Be Prepared' Mr. Hughes had a motto for 107, 'Second to None'!!
Although I never rose to a scouting level beyond 'Tender Foot' I am still proud to have been a member of John Hughes' Troop 107."
(Email correspondence, Ed Dornell to Afrolumens Project, subject "Steelton Boy Scout Troop 107," July 13, 2005)
Eugene Allen, USAF Retired, of Columbia, South Caroline, writes:
"Following are some of my recollections of Steelton Boy Scout Troop 107. It is appropriate that the first stanza of our troop song was (as I remember):
We are the boy scouts of 107,"Perhaps someone, whose memory is better than mine, can fill in the blanks. As the vault of memories is unlocked, I'm sure others will send info which will be helpful in creating a word picture of our 'yester-years.'
"As information, several of us tried to create a "geezer troop" here in South Carolina to accommodate other "hormone casualties" of scouting. The rules of Boy Scouts, unfortunately, do not provide for such a thing and our request was turned down. The guiding thought was that we would complete the merit badge requirements so that we could qualify for Eagle Scouts. By so doing, we wanted to complete something important that we had dropped out of during our formative years.
[Regarding the photograph] "I recognize Alfred Washington, Ronald McKamey's brother, as the person on the left of the top row. Some of the others look familiar but I am unable to associate a name with the face.
"Some more of my memories of troop 107 are:
(Email correspondence, Eugene Allen to Afrolumens Project, subject "Fw: Steelton Boy Scout Troop 107," July 14, 2005)
Like the boy scout photograph, above, the troop is not identified in this photograph. Several of the persons on this photograph are identified, however. The adult on the right is identified as "Mrs. Reed." In the back row, the second child is identified as Catherine Hurst, and the fourth child is identified as Ethel Brookin.
Florence Rowe provides the following
Also from the collection of Mr. Moore, this image was scanned from a badly faded photocopy, the original photograph not being available. It has been digitally enhanced to bring out details.
Click the image for the full picture.
Other Steelton Articles:
material on this page copyright 2005-2006 Afrolumens Project
The url of this page is http://www.afrolumens.org/century_of_change/scouts.html
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This page was updated November 11, 2006.