Stow Independent... Online
May 23, 2012
Troop 1 Toasts 100 Years
By Ann Needle
As Boy Scout Troop 1 Stow celebrated its 100th anniversary Saturday,
reminders were everywhere of the role the organization has played in
town. The 200 guests at the Collings Foundation gala included elected
officials; former and current Scout leaders; Scouts and their parents
and siblings; Troop 1 alumni; and even a celebrated guest with the
middle name of his hometown.
Gordon Stow Carvill, 84, journeyed from his present home in Colorado to
celebrate Troop 1’s history of preparing hundreds of boys for
leadership in Stow and beyond. Carvill is Troop 1’s oldest living Eagle
Scout, and the third in Troop 1 history to earn that highest ranking in
Recalling his days with Troop 1 —
well before becoming a CPA and moving out West — Carvill offered a
lesson in Scout values of perseverance and leadership.
“In my first 18 months of Scouts, I didn’t even earn Second Class
[ranking],” Carvill chuckled. But that changed when Scoutmaster Richard
Herrick came on board, a man Carvill credited with motivating him to
obtain Eagle ranking in 1944.
the historic event, Carvill offered the crowd anecdotes of life growing
up in the town named for his own ancestors in the 1700s. His mother,
who passed away at 106, attended the West School. “Our high school
graduating class was the magnificent total of 11,” coming from a town
of only about 1,100, he recollected. And, there was what Carvill termed
his most vivid memory, the 1938 hurricane, where a person standing on
top of a hill “could lay against the wind.”
Carvill is far from the only testimony to Troop 1’s ongoing success.
There are many visible projects in Stow that were carried out by
potential Eagle Scouts in their quest for the coveted ranking — new
stairs at the town beach, road signs, a map to the Lower Village
Cemetery, a video of the West School’s history, to name a few. Scouts
of all ranks provide an array of services for Stow organizations,
including assisting the Stow Lions Club with Christmas tree sales and
conducting “work patrols” for elderly residents.
leadership scale, JP Benoit and Gary Bernklow, Troop 1’s long-time
scoutmasters, also earned their Eagles growing up in Stow and with the
Troop; each has sons that are current members of Troop 1. And Hank
Krantz, the Troop’s newest Eagle, is the Troop’s 60th young man to
receive that award.
The value of the Eagle rank
was on display, when Bernklow held up a formal Boy Scout uniform shirt,
containing the Troop 1 insignia. He explained that the shirt was found
at a local rummage sale, together with the Eagle badge pinned to the
front — something that triggered a few quiet gasps from the audience.
Researching the shirt’s origins, Bernklow declared he had found the
owner, Eagle Mike Wood, who was in the audience.
Said an abashed Wood as he received the shirt from Bernklow, “This is
what happens when a man moves out of his parents’ basement.”
The families of Scouts in attendance Saturday night attested to the
wide variety of skills they believe Troop 1 gave to their Scouts. Scout
mom Barbara Piantedosi said that for her son Mike, “Leadership has been
the number-one thing.” As Hank Krantz’s mother, Rachel, nodded in
agreement, Piantedosi continued, “It builds so much self confidence,
but I don’t think [the Scouts] see that.”
But asked the same question, newly minted Eagle Mike Piantedosi pointed
to “morals and character.” He also stressed the endless opportunities
for fun that come with the adventures that are crafted to help build so
On display were tables of
Scouting memorabilia — handbooks, campfire cooking kits, clothing,
badges — dating back to Boy Scouting’s founding year of 1912. Two slide
shows highlighted scenes from countless camping trips in the Stow Town
Forest and around New England. There also were shots from the High
Adventure trips that are taken every three years to distant camping
areas such as Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico. This summer, the Troop
heads for California.
Benoit and Bernklow
outlined this history and its close connection to the town. Bernklow
spoke of how the Troop was first sponsored by the Stow Civic Club
(every Boy Scout troop must have a sponsor), then by the Lions starting
in 1980, then by the newly formed Troop One Stow Alumni as of 2010.
Troop 1’s success also is reflected in the many adult volunteers who no
longer have sons active in the Troop — or, no sons at all. Take Ed
Reverdy, an Eagle who, with three daughters, naturally never had sons
in the Troop.
“I loved Scouting when I was
growing up,” said Reverdy. “My opportunity to give back is by being a
merit badge counselor,” someone who advises Scouts as they fulfill
requirements for a particular badge. “It thrills me to no end to see
these boys grow up in the Troop,” he said.
are the envy of many troops, with our members, our active alumni,”
Benoit told Troop 1 and its fans on Saturday. “One of our youngest
members said we are ‘Troop Awesome.’”