By Michael Bisceglia
Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 6, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Ah, age 75! Time to relax . . . just a bit. Time to lower expectations . . . just a bit. Time to bask in the glow of past accomplishments . . . not hardly!
Boy Scout Troop 177 of Hampton is about to turn 75 in February, and it's just getting warmed up.
There is some controversy as to whether Robert Bayden-Powell initiated the Scouting movement in 1907. More than likely, he did. There is no doubt, however, that Troop 177 was initiated in 1933.
Initially, it was sponsored by the Baptist Church, but since 1946 has been under the sponsorship of the [Hamptons'] American Legion Post 35. The troop is under the auspicious of the Manchester Council, which was called the Daniel Webster Council in 1929. There are two other Boy Scout troops in the town of Hampton, but Troop 177 enjoys the longest-affiliated troop tenure.
The highest rank to be achieved by a Boy Scout is that of Eagle Scout. In the 75-year history of Troop 177, 41 boys have achieved that coveted status. It should be said that in the first 13 years of existence, Troop 177 could boast of no boys achieving that rank. Then, just when Elliot Noyes achieved the rank of Star Scout and was likely to move on to Life and then Eagle, World War II broke out. Noyes became a member of the 10th Mountain Division and saw fierce fighting in Italy. After four years in the service, Noyes returned home to Hampton to fulfill the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout and eventually becoming a Scoutmaster.
Troop 177 has been involved in some remarkable service projects. One of the earliest was the scrap-paper drive. It was begun during World War II. In 1945, the troop was awarded the General Eisenhower Award for collecting 70,000 pounds of paper. It was a record for the Southeast New Hampshire District.
In addition to the Troop's Eagle Scout projects, Troop 177 has at least two ongoing service projects. They include the Adopt-a-Highway Clean-Up Project and the Food Pantry for Churches and the Salvation Army.
The Pantry Project is held on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17; it has been held annually since 1987.
There have been some impressive Eagle Scout projects over the years. A few include: the skating rink by the town's Transfer Station, the improvements on the exits at the Lane Library for use by town seniors, the landscaping and walkways for the Tuck Museum, and the extensive cleanup, documentation and refurbishing projects at the Pine Grove and Ring Swamp cemeteries.
Have there been any notable individuals who were former Hampton Boy Scouts?
You bet. The list includes doctors, authors, selectmen and one governor. Naves Road and White's Lane are named after former Scouts Robert White and Robert Naves.
Is Scouting important? Unquestionably!
Norman Rockwell proudly wore his uniform on numerous occasions during his adult life. Additionally, the New England artist was commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America to paint the cover for the Official Boy Scout Handbook.
Eleven of the 12 men who set foot on the moon were Scouts and Commander James Lovell of the Apollo 13 was an Eagle Scout.
Congratulations to Troop 177 on its upcoming 75th birthday!
A special thanks to Douglas Aykroyd, Scoutmaster of Troop 177 and to the wonderful folks at the Lane Memorial Library for their assistance in this article.
[Mike Bisceglia Jr. is a freelance writer who lives in Hampton.]