Boy Scout Troop 140 marks 85 years
Hudson Boy Scout Troop 140 is observing its 85th anniversary this fall and the troop has a rich history in the Hudson area.
Troop 140 is Hudson’s oldest Boy Scout troop, and was officially chartered on Aug. 27, 1929. It is also one of the oldest continuously operating troops in what is now the Northern Star Council (formerly the Indianhead Council and St. Paul Area Council).
Troop records date back to 1947, and since then the troop has seen 130 Eagle Scouts. As part of becoming an Eagle, Scouts are required to complete a community project. Troop 140 Scouts have made many lasting imprints throughout the community.
When the troop was organized in 1929, it met at Bethel Lutheran Church. The Rev. Oscar Thompson was the first Troop Committee Chair. The first Scoutmaster was James A. Johnson, a 46-year-old assistant cashier at the First National Bank of Hudson.
The troop doubled in size within two years, and soon thereafter, it was joined by Zion Lutheran Church (now Mt. Zion) and that relationship has continued through the years.
From 1937 to the mid-1950s, the troop met at the “Scout House.” It was located at what is now Ferry Landing Park in North Hudson. The meeting moved back to Bethel Church in the 1950s.
The first troop meetings were held at Bethel Church on Saturday evenings, but not long after the 1929 charter, the night was changed to Monday evenings.
Despite not having a troop until 1929, Hudson is known as one of the birthplaces of Scouting in the Upper Midwest as a result of a camp that was held at the YMCA Camp St. Croix in 1910. A recent book documents the history of the Northern Star Council and this first camp, which was something of an experiment.
According to the author, working with the blessing of executives from the national YMCA, Scout leaders turned Camp St. Croix into one of the nation’s first Boy Scout camps.
Hudson’s Lakefront Park is also the home of a bronze statue commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts in America. Erected in 2010, the statue recognizes Hudson’s role in early Scouting. Hudson was among six cities in the Northern Star Council to receive “The Boy Scout,” the famous bronze statue.
Troop 140 currently has about 20 members, but that number often goes up and down after graduation. A fall recruitment effort is currently underway. The Scoutmaster is Dennis Storzinger and the current Committee Chair is Greg Small.
Camping and outdoor activities have always been a strong part of Troop 140. Troop 140 has continued to offer adventurous activities to Scouts.
There have been World Jamborees, National Jamborees, Council Expos, High Adventures to SeaBase, Philmont, N.M.; Boundary Waters canoeing, Sea Turtle Rescues, along with summer camp and weekend camps. Cave exploring, hiking, biking, climbing, swimming and boating are activities that Hudson Scouts have participated in, along with Scouts around the world. They have earned badges, done community service and learned the lessons of the Scout Law.
Over the years, Troop 140 has had many dedicated leaders. On this page is a list of all the Scoutmasters and committee chairs. Many of these people stayed with the troop in other positions for a number of years before and after holding these jobs. Many, many others have played an enormous part in the functioning of the troop.
One notable leader was Al Weitkamp, who died in 2002. A high school industrial arts teacher, Weitkamp joined the troop in 1943 as an assistant Scoutmaster. He became Scoutmaster in 1945 and held that position until 1964, when he again became an assistant Scoutmaster. In the late ‘60s, he became a committee member and remained active in Scouting up until the time of his death.