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Troop 140 meets at the Scout house on Galahad Road in North Hudson. Many of the troop's activities in the late 1930s through the mid-1950s took place at the Scout house. It was purchased on a tax deed and sold to reduce expenses. Star-Observer photo

Boy Scout Troop 140 reaches another milestone

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Boy Scout Troop 140 reaches another milestone
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Boy Scout Troop 140 marked its 80th year with an Anniversary Dinner and Reunion in the fellowship hall of Bethel Lutheran Church on Sunday.

More than 100 past and present Scouts, Scoutmasters and their families there to eat a Lutheran church basement dinner, celebrate the troop's storied past and renew acquaintances.

During a storytelling march through the decades of Troop 140, Doug Peterson told of visiting the White House during a trip to the National Jamboree in 1951 and shaking hands with President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower a day before the Korean War brought out.

Two summers later, he was camping on an island in Balsam Lake with other Troop 140 Scouts when a tornado struck, blowing away their tents. They went into the lake for protection from flying trees and watched as their camp disappeared.

Scouting had quite an impact on his life, Peterson said. "Great troop. Great people. Great leaders."

Former Scoutmasters Steve Wilcox, Hugh Gwin and Richard Green also shared memories of Klondike Derbies, licorice-eating raccoons and trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

"It was a life-altering experience for me," Gwin said of his early wilderness camping.

Gwin was a young attorney and Scoutmaster when he asked Wilcox, a recent graduate of UW-River Falls, to be his assistant in 1976. Both have been involved in Scouting ever since.

Wilcox currently serves on the board of the Northern Star Council of Boy Scouts. He said he greatly values the people he's met in Scouting over the year.

Eagle Scouts and past Troop 140 members Dan Stepan and John Dolan also talked of their Scouting days.

Dolan, who will soon graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, said scouting put him on a path toward success.

Keynote speaker John Andrews, Scout executive of the Northern Star Council, noted that Troop 140 is one of the six or seven oldest troops in the council.

"This is one of the best Boy Scout councils in the country thanks to your troop," Andrews said.

Current Scoutmaster Gary Robinson read statistics on the number of Scouts who go on to achieve success later in life.

Troop 140 began with organizational meeting at Bethel Lutheran in 1929. James A. Johnson, a 46-year-old assistant cashier at First National Bank of Hudson, was the first Scoutmaster.

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church joined Bethel as a chartered partner in 1932.

The troop has produced 119 Eagle Scouts, dating back to 1947.

Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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