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District 9 Patrol
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(This appears to be a Troop historian’s report written by Fred Wilson in 1966. It covers the troop’s history up to that point, including the first 5 years when no one currently registered was involved. I found it some clippings and other memorabilia from Fred Gerbode. Organized by a Scoutmaster, this appears to be a condensation of a longer, handwritten document of Fred’s that is also in the file. I have corrected minor errors without notation, added clarifications in […] and added footnotes. Farrell Gerbode 3/ 25/ 2009)
Troop 740 was organized in May 1958 with six new scouts, and a six man troop committee- Mr. Timble, Mr.Goff, Mr.Glispin, Mr. Rule, Mr. DuBose, and Mr. Van Wagner. Eleven boys went to summer camp at camp strake in 1958. The troop went to El Rancho Cima for summer camp in 1959, 1960, and 1961. At one particular camp, the 25 boys who participated earned 121 merit badges. The troop had four patrols at the time. The checkered neckerchief originated when the troop did. On one campout at Camp Strake during a wind storm, a pine tree knocked down a power line and it fell beside troop 740’s campsite. The troop was sponsored by the Shearn Dad’s club and they met at the Shearn scout house. Mr.Swofford left the troop in 1962.
He came into the troop in September 1961. At this time, they were still meeting in Shearn School. In the fall of 1961, the troop started meeting in the Civic Club building(1). They had about 30 scouts. In 1962 they camped at Summer camp at El Rancho Cima. The troop also camped during the year at Stephen F. Austin Park and at Double lake, Sam Houston National Forest. At the Sam Houston National Forest, some boys got lost whil taking a 2nd class hike. There were no Eagle scouts in the troop while Mr.Brindle was Scoutmaster. The patrols in the troop were the Eagles, the Panthers, and the Owls. Lawry Cohen, Jeff Harkenson, and Mike Patton were the senior patrol leaders. Mr.Brindle left in May of 1963(2).
Mr. Robichaux came into the troop in May of 1963. Mr. Gerbode (3) was the assistant Scoutmaster. The four patrols of the troop were sponsored by the Willow Meadows Civic club and met in the Civic club building. They went to Sumer camp in 1963 at Tall Timbers, Camp Strake (4). To gain money for equipment for the troop they, had a car wash and sold light bulbs in July of 1963. There were about 33 scouts in the troop. The four patrols were the Ravens, the Panthers, the Eagles, and the Flaming Arrows. The senior patrol leaders were Lawry Cohen, and Tommy Robichaux. One of the highlights of the troop was on March 27, 1964, when at a court of honor, every rank was represented. The troop won the National camping award for the 1963 through the 1964 year. At that time, Mr. Van Wagner was the committee chairman. Mr.Robichaux left in April of 1964.
[Two additional handwritten] “Lawry Cohen received eagle 3/27/64” “’63 Tommy Robichaux O.A.”
Mr.Gerbode (joined January 1963) became Scoutmaster in April of 1964. I summer camp of 1964, Larry Fricke was tapped out for the O.A. This summer camp was at camp Strake(5). There were four patrols at the summer camp: The Rat Finks, Germs, Skunks and [Old Maids?]. In September of 1964, the troop went to Camp Strake and went Coon hunting, but didn’t catch any Coons. In October of 1964, they had the first bike hike(6). There were 19 boys. In November of 1964, the troop went to Washington on the Brazos(7). It was 16 *[F]. They didn’t go camping in December. In January of 1965, the troop went to Washington on the Brazos, and it was very cold. In February, they went to Hightower and it was 19*, and the Troop had the biggest group of Snipe hunters ever brought together. It was in February that the troop got the idea for the Scout House. In March of 1965, it was Camporee, and the troop got four Blue ribbons. In the last part of March, the troop asked Mr. Sloan, who was the principal of Red School, to give the Troop permission to build on school grounds. He agreed (8), and construction started early in July. Also, in March (9), they had a court of honor at Red school. At that time they had at least one of every rank represented there. There were three Tenderfeet [sic], five Second class scouts, three first class scouts, three stars, three lifes, and three eagles. In April of 1965, the troop went to Huntsville [State Park]. In May, they went to Camp Strake. In June, they went to camp Hudson, had watermelon, and swam. In summer camp of 1965, there were three Scouts, thirty-five boys, and one big, yellow school bus. Lee Van Wagner, Lee Stephens, Farrel I Gerbode, Don Brindle, and Mr. Nelson were tapped for the O.A. In September, the first court of Honor was held in the Skeleton (10). On September 25, 1965, the troop had a bike hike and there were 25 boys. In October of 1965, the troop had a carnival to earn money to finish building the Scout house. Also, in October, the troop added another patrol called the Panthers(11). In November 1965, there was a wet campout at Fulshear, Texas, where some pecans were picked for money to build the Scout house. The troop gathered 600 pounds of pecans and made $85.00. IN January of 1966, the troop went to Camp Strake. Fifteen scouts received the (hairy chest) award. The temperature was 19*, and it sleeted and snowed all day. In February of 1966, the troop went to El Rancho Cima. It was 30*, and the 35 boys there had a commando war. Also, in February, the troop held another Court of Honor in the new Scout house, and had doughnuts and coffee after it was over. In March of 1966, the troop went on a Camporee and got three Red ribbons and one Blue ribbon.(120
[Two additional handwritten notes about Eagle Scouts] “May 67 Lee Stephens” , “Oct 67 Dave Robinson”
(1) This was the Willowbend M.U.D. building. It sat on the west side of Cliffwood, immediately to the north of what is now the Willow Pool driveway. Trafton academy used it in its early days but I think it was torn down.
(2) Mr.Brindle left as Scoutmaster in 1963, but remained involved for at least a couple of years. He was my merit badge counselor for Citizenship in the home.
(3) Fred Gerbode
(4) Tall Timbers is now the Conference center and Cub world at Camp Strake. It was a 10-campsite addition to the original “Grand Lake” section of the camp. It has a dining hall, swimming pool, and aquatics waterfront at the northeast end of Grand Lake.
(5) Again in the Tall Timbers section.
(6) Bike hikes were to Camp Hudson, a Council property on Memorial Drive with entrance where Briar Forest drive begins today. Locked between the city of Houston and one of the Memorial villages, it seemed more “out in the woods” that Camp Strake does today
(7) Washington on the Brazos State Park near Navasota is the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Camping was permitted at the time near the bluffs of the Brazos river in what is now a “day use” area. Because of a bluffs and a sharp bend in the river, the site was very windy and felt even colder than it was.
(8) George Sloan’s agreement was just the first step. The matter had to be taken before the H.I.S.D Board for approval. The superintendent at that time was J.W. McFarland (sp?) County commissioner E.A. “Squatty” Lyons commended the plan to the board. The troop’s copy of the board-approved ground lease to the Post-Willow Dads’ Club for 99 years for $1 was destroyed in early 1994 when overzealous helpers during renovation of the Scout house cleaned out the Scout master’s desk.
(9) This court of honor was in May, not March. One of the three Eagles, Don Bridle, was not completed until April. The other two Eagles were Richard Osborne( February) and Farrell Gerbode Sr. (March). [Names from notes.]
(10)The steel frame, donated by Lee Van Wagner’s uncle of Mes-Tex Steel buildings, was up.
(11) Panthers already existed according to the text. The other patrol name that I recall from this period was Cobras.
(12) The document is signed Fred Wilson, possibly a troop historian.
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