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Boy Scout Troop 21
(Rochester, Minnesota)
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Troop 21 - A Century of Scouting!!!




Dr A.H. Sanford - The founding Scoutmaster

Dr. Sanford's application to form a Boy Scout Troop!


The Original Charter for Troop 1

Troop 1 Rochester Boy Scouts of America was organized out of Dr A.H. Sanford's Sunday school class in November 1912 and the charter was issued on December 23, 1912. Scoutmaster Sanford’s references and committee members were Dr. A.H. Logan, Dr. T.D. Abernathy, Rev. J.B. Wood and Dr. A.C. Fawcett. The roster of registered charter scouts included: Fred Weeks, Robert Orr, Ellis Ehret, Horace Crofoot, Cyril Fox, Carroll Wilson, Woodruff Haines, Oliver Whitcomb, Richard Quale, Fred Quale, Andrew Bratager, Elmer Patterson, Summer Haines, Wilfred Knutson, Lowell Bratager, Lynn Safford, John Rowley and Sam Allen.

Early meeting places for Troop 1 included Edison School, the Episcopal Church, and even private garages. The troop briefly disbanded in December 1914 only to resume meeting in May of 1915. The troop was inactive from August 1917 to April 1919 due to the Spanish Influenza pandemic.  In 1925, Troop 1 joined with scout troops in Winona to form Gamehaven Council.  It was decided that troops 1 to 20 would be in Winona and that Troop 1 would become Troop 21.  The Troop was assigned to the Christ United Methodist Church, the institution where the troop was initially formed and has been meeting ever since!

T.M. Roberts, George M. Higgins, Ralph Rood, Harold Steevent and W.A. Moore served as scoutmasters during the 1920s. Frank Rosenow and Lyle Mosebrook earned the rank of Eagle, the first for Troop 21, in 1923. In 1931 Lyle Utzinger became scoutmaster, with Walter Heins as troop committee chair.  Although the Utzingers had 3 daughters and no sons, Lyle guided 32 young men to become Eagle Scouts! The Lyle Utzinger Memorial Fund provides funds so that two scouts from Troop 21 can attend camp each summer.

Other people have had a big part in the history of Troop 21: in 1928 the name Heins came on the roster and there have been three generations of Heins active in Scouting! Walter was a committee chairman from 1931-1936. Kendall reached the rank of Eagle in 1935 and after many years of further service to scouting he received his 50 year pin in 1979. In 1982 a memorial to Walter Heins was established to provide a camp scholarship to a scout each year.

George W Gibbs Jr was troop committee chair in the 1960s.  Mr Gibbs helped explore Antarctica on Admiral Richard Byrd's third expedition from 1939 to 1941.  He was a leader in the civil rights movement in the area and gained national attention in 1974 for being refused membership in the Rochester Elks because of his race.  Gibbs Elementary School is named in his honor.

Orville Kirkham became scoutmaster in 1970; an avid outdoorsman, he took scouts to Glacier National Park and Philmont as well as organized campouts every month, summer and winter. He also lead the Gamehaven contingent to the 1977 National Jamboree in Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania.  After 12 years of service and 21 Eagle Scouts, Mr. Kirkham became camping chairman for Gamehaven Council.  In 1980, Mr Kirkham was awarded the Silver Beaver Award by Gamehaven Council for his service to the Council. Mr Kirkham's son Paul and grandsons Kyle and Luke were Eagle Scouts in Troop 21.

In 1984, a milestone was reached as Brian Ramundo and Mark Lee became the 100th and 101st Eagle Scouts on the same night!  In 2009, Christopher Holland became the troop’s 150th Eagle! Four scouts, Brandon McGee, Erik Bachman, Tim Condon, and Brendan Wilder, were granted the rank of Eagle during 2010, the 100th year of Scouting in the United States!  Dr. Ivy Pillers also became the first female scoutmaster of Troop 21 in 2010.

In 2012, Troop 21 celebrated its centennial year!  A celebration was held at Christ United Methodist Church that included former scouts and scouters.  The oldest alumus of the troop to attend was 95 year old Kendall Heins who was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in 1935!  Photos of our centennial celebration are here.  This milestone was recognized by the US House of Representatives.  This year also represented the centennial year of the first Eagle Scout.  Troop 21 scouts honored with the rank of Eagle during 2012 were Patrick Stupca, Michael Winters, Daniel Steinbruckner, David Walker, Nick Johnson, and Thomas Carlson.

Photos of Troop 21

Here is a link to photos of Troop 21 from 1912 to 1970.

Here is a link to photos of Troop 21 from the
1970's and 1980's.

Here is a link to photos of Troop 21 from the
1990's through 2010.

If you have photos of Troop 21 that you would like to share, please contact Webmaster.