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Troop 37 Scoutmasters

1917-1918 Herman Peters

1918-1919 Robert Walker

1919-1920 W.J. Stedman

1920-1922 E.B. Harper

1923-1924 Victor Henry Morgan

1924-1928 Edgar McDowell

1928-1929 Ray E Clark

1929-1934 S.C. Garrett

1934-1934 A.R. Wagner

1934-1938 Edgar McDowell

1939-1942 Reverend LeRoy Colburn

1942-1946 Robert Reynolds

1946-1947 Gordon Gooodrich

1947-1948 Louis Steindler

1949-1950 Russell Cerf

1950-1951 Rod Bayer

1951-1953 Dr. Seymour Galina

1954-1957 Bert Smith

1957-1959 Louis Smaus

1959-1961 Dick Le Clair

1962-1963 Wesley "Eddy" Russel

1963-1964 David Hill

1965-1967 Michael E. Browne

1967-1971 Phil Porter

1972-1974 Bill Marcum

1974-1974 George Coffey

1974-1978 Bill Friese

1978-1980 Bob Foerster

1980-1987 Dave "Doc" Ellis

1987-1988 Jim Bishop

1988-1992 Dave Pankratz

1992-1997 Bob Smith

1997-2000 Steve Swenson

2000-2002 Bob Bolles

2002-2004 Gordon Abraham

2005-2007 Dave Luedtke

2008-2009 Gordon Abraham

2010-2014  Rod Sinks

2014-2017  Steve Wu

2017-      Andrew Gray

 

Troop 37 History

Troop 37 History

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The following is a brief history of Troop 37 that was prepared by Edwin B. Woodworth in 1968.  Brian Boggs added additional information  based on Troop 37 records.

 

Woodworth prefaced his write-up with the following remarks:

 

So may people have contributed so much to our Troop that it may in a way be unfair to try to single out any above the others.  However, in reviewing its history, three names and three periods strike me as being particularly significant.

 

1) 1917-1919, when Herman Peters had the interest and energy to organize the Troop and get it on its way.  The initial meeting site was in the second story of McDuffie's Grocery, the building of which still stands at Second and Main.

 

2) 1924-1928 and 1934-1938, when Edgar A. McDowell, on two separate occasions brought the Troop to a position where it was publicly recognized as the outstanding Scout Troop in the entire District and Council.

 

3) 1949-1953, when Dr. Seymour Galina and his associates brought the Troop back from near extinction to one of the most outstanding in the area.

 

Edwin B. Woodworth - 5/8/1968

 

 

1935-1938 --- In 1935 the active Scout membership rose from 21 to 37; the Troop participated in the Swanton summer camp with 19 Scouts attending; and Gilbert Gamlen* won a cross country trip, representing Los Altos with other members of the Santa Clara County Council.  In May, 1936 Troop 37 received the Roos Brothers Trophy for the outstanding Scout Troop in the District, defeating Troop 57 of Palo Alto, which had been a consistent winner in previous years. In October 1936, the entire Troop attended the Northern California Regional Chaparral at Sacramento.  In 1937 a scouting contest was staged, the highest six to participate in summer camping program at Fallen Leaf Lake.  Winners were Gilbert Gamlen*, Pat Taylor*, Dick McClure, Warren Jensen*, Jim Taylor, and Bill Seeley.  They were accompanied by Assistant Scoutmaster Fred Pfleger* who, a former member of the Troop himself, had relieved Mr. McDowell of considerable responsibility.  In 1938 Fletcher Raymond, one of the earlier Los Altos Eagle Scouts, joined Fred Pfleger as Assistant Scoutmaster.

 

*Still living in the area in 1968

 

1939-1948 --- During the two years preceding World War II, the Reverend LeRoy Colburn served as Scoutmaster.  During the War, Renaud Hoffman devoted a great deal of time to the Troop, serving in whatever capacity needed - as did others.  The Troop devoted considerable effort toward the Communities needs. In October 1942, Robert Reynolds, a faculty member at Mountain View High School, joined the Troop as Scoutmaster with Louis Steindler as Assistant Scoutmaster.   Reynolds had been prominent in Scouting in the northern part of the state and had thorough knowledge of out door Scout life in addition to teaching boxing, wrestling and drilling.   It is also worth noting that in 1943, under the direction of Renaud Hoffman, a small 25th anniversary celebration was held, at which four former members of the Troop - Jack Shoup and Orville Rockhold* of the 1919 roster, and Edgar McDowell and Gale Dutton of the 1922 roster, spoke.

 

In early 1946, Gordon Goodrich served as Scoutmaster.   At a January 1946 Court of Honor and dinner, Guy Shoup, pioneer Scouter and long time friend of Troop 37, outlined the history of Scouting in Los Altos.

 

It is worth noting that in the summer of 1946, under Scoutmaster Louis Steindler, the Troop postponed its two week summer trip to Camp Oljato to help local orchardists harvest the apricot crop. 

 

Following the War, Warren Goodrich, Russel Cerf, and others held Troop 37 together.

 

1949-1954 --- In 1949 Dr. Seymour Galina* moved to Los Altos and, with previous scouting experience in New Jersey,  accepted an appointment as Assistant Scoutmaster.  Shortly thereafter he became Scoutmaster, and commenced a program of building membership and leadership that brought new vitality to the Troop.  Troop 37 had dwindled to 6 active members in 1949, and by 1953 it not only had rebuilt to what had been considered the maximum size of four patrols of eight each - but, with the permission of the District Council had added patrols and membership until the total membership had swelled to 62.  During this period Dr. Galina was assisted by and worked with such able leaders as Fred Wickman*, Dave Ellsworth*, Jack Huston*, Bert Smith*, and Dr. Fred Ott* - and Junior leaders like Jerry Lewis*, Joe Proctor*, Chris and Mead Hemmeter - and Ray and John Wickman, and Rod Beyer.   The  Troop Charter renewal dated March 1952 listed forty-five Scouts with meetings conducted on Tuesdays, 7:30 PM at the Scout Hall.   In addition, the Los Altos Rotary Club,  formed in 1949, became Troop sponsor,  a role they maintained to the present day Troop. The December 9, 1952 Court of Honor Program, held at the Scout Hall, listed the Apache, Crow, Racoon, Flaming Arrow, Panther, and Cobra Patrols.  Dr. Galina was Scoutmaster, Dr. Ott served as Assistant Scoutmaster, and Harold Proctor was Chairman of the Troop 37 Committee.  During 1953 the Troop met at the Scout Hall; however, Courts of Honor were held at Hillview School (March 17 and June 2) and Loyola (October 27 and February 24, 1955).  In 1954, 35 Scouts from the Troop attended Camp Oljato.

 

1955-1959 --- In the late 1950's, Carl Olds, Bert Smith - and later Frank Sato continued the program of a large Troop, with multiple leadership.  A great many individuals gave of their time and talent, among them being Dr. Ott, Fred Norman - and, with Frank Sato, Fred Dunnett, David Yoshida, and A.J. Rose. During this time also, the older boys were formed into a separate unit know as "Post 37", which provided a source of junior leadership.  In 1957 Troop 37 benefited greatly when Louis Smaus, an Eagle Scout from the San Mateo Council, became Scoutmaster (1957-1959), and during the following three years he and Frank Sato provided  the key leadership for both Troop 37 and Post 37.  In that year a very substantial representation was sent to Camp Oljato for the summer session, including Dave Brown, William Hoffman, Robert Means, Richard Tobie, David Capron, Jeff Lundy, Francis Itaya, David Swenson, Stanley Dowling, Thomas Lally, Gregory Mostyn, William Stout, Eric Hoffman, Ronald Myers, Michael Partlett, Michael Goodwin, Robert Smaus and Norman David.  The October 1957 Court of Honor was held at Springer School.

 

In 1958 many of the same boys returned to Oljato, with the addition of Adrian Boer, Ken Carlton, John Foster, Robert LeClair, Doug Gordon, Jim Wholey, Robert Prussian, Tom Krueger, Barry Swackhamer, Barry Nichols, Doug Ramsey, Keith Meisner, Lee Hildebrandt, Mike Barlett, Chris Smart, Paul Smith, Ron Myers, Richard Norman, Curt Shaw, Bill Wilson, and Louis Kovitz.

 

In March 1959, 8 Scouts from Troop 37 went snow camping, using sleds and ski equipment to reach Cold Springs Ridge near Sonora Pass.   In May the Los Altos District Camporee was won by the Rattlesnake Patrol of Troop 37, composed of Curt Shaw, Pat McDaniel, Bill Wilson, Gordon Yule, Harlow Williard, Tim McDaniel, Barry Swackhamer, Bob Smaus, and John Litton.

 

In September 1959 Scoutmaster Lou Smaus, Frank Sato and L.J. Gutheil took an arduous 65 mile hike through the Kings Canyon National Park, using four burros for packing equipment, accompanied by Scouts  Adrian Boer, Frank Itaya, Bill Marshman, Ron Myers, Ricky Norman, Bob Smaus, and Harlow Willard.  In Gutheil's trip report, he provided sound advice that future trips cut down on the amount of food, take slightly less equipment, never attempt a trip with fewer than three adults, carry at least 2 water bottles, and if the ability of any boy is questionable, insist that his father go on the trip.  The Troop also made a trip to the Pinnacles.

 

1960-1968 --- During this period, the Scoutmasters - and principal leaders - were Dick LeClair (1959-1961), Wesley "Eddy"  Russel (1962-1963), David Hill (1963-1964), Michael E. Browne (1965-1967) and starting in the summer of 1967, Phil Porter.  Meetings were now held each week at Springer School on Mondays. The original Scout Hall had been torn down about 1958;  Los Altos was represented by several additional troops; and the leadership of each troop came largely from parents of members.  Some of those who served directly with the scoutmasters were Hartwell Tucker, Bob Smith, Jud Butheil, Jim Whitney, and Paul Sulizbch - and a little later, Marinus Boer, Frank Rand, Irvin Reimer, Niel Nielsen, and George Taylor.  During 1960, the Troop prepared Christmas baskets for the needy and participated in the Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign.

 

In June 1962 Paul Saltzbach, 17 year old Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, was given a unique citation by the Los Altos Rotary Club for his leadership contribution to scouting.  As a community project, the Troop also painted house numbers on curbs and mailboxes, with permission of the Town of Los Altos.

 

In the recent past Scoutmaster Mike Browne (1965-1967) has given the troop exceptionally strong leadership, with the help of Phil Porter, Ron Johnson, and others.  The strong outdoor program has been continued, and one of the most rewarding activities has been the building of light, collapsible kayaks by nearly all members of the Troop, and the river treks which have followed. In 1965-1966, Troop outdoor activities included a See America First Expedition tour to Southern California, the annual Rain Camp-out at Pinnacles in January, Annual Snow Trip to Lake Tahoe, kayak float trip on the Russian River, and a bicycle Camping on Wheels at Yosemite.

 

In May 1968, Scoutmaster Phil Porter was helped by Assistant Scoutmasters Ron Johnson, Harold Haedrich, Bob Broeder and Barry Ryan - and considerable responsibility was taken by Junior Assistant Scoutmasters Dave Yule and Frank Odasz, and Senior Patrol Leader Hans Boer.  The summer program for 1967 was conducted in the High Sierras; and that for 1968 consisted of a 50 mile backpack in the Trinity Alps followed by a four day kayak trip down the Sacramento River.

 

1972-1979  During this period, Bill Marcum (1972-1974), George Coffey (1974),  Bill Freise (1974-1978), and Bob Foerster (1978-1980) all took a turn as Scoutmaster.  Assistant Scoutmasters and Committee Chairmen included Phil Porter, Bill Goss, Frank Dramer, Don Lorimer, Tom McCarthy, Don Levy, Frank Odasz, Tom Hahn, Jim Willoughby, and John Brey. The Troop continued to meet at Springer School, holding its meetings on Monday nights.  It was a small Troop, ranging from 16 to 24 Scouts, but an active one.  In 1973, summer camp was held at Mt. Lassen National Park, backpack trips in the Pinecrest area above Sonora and Hendy Woods State Park, a bike trip in the Pinnacles, and of course, kayaking on the American River.  Notable activities in the following year were the Northstar ski trip and a backpack to the Devils Postpile.  During 1974, Richard Levy and Gary Marcum earned their Eagle Scout awards.   For it's summer outing in 1975, the Troop went on a two week excursion that included 30 mile backpack followed by a week of camping.  They also winter camped below Sonora Pass.  In 1976 the Troop had 18 Scouts and was characterized as a "Young Troop".  Their main summer activity was attending Camp Oljato.  In September 1976, a young Scout named Jeff Ellis joined the Troop, later to be followed by brothers Brad and Mike.  This started the involvement of the Ellis family, and particularly their father, Dr. Dave Ellis (better known as "Doc Ellis" by the Scouts), who served as Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster over the next 20+ years.  It also started a period of re-growth in the Troop.  Activities in 1978 included a 10 day trip in August to Lake Shasta for kayaking and swimming as well as kayaking on Cache Creek and the Russian River.

 

Jim Foerster was selected for the Herman Peters Award in 1978, and in 1979, he earned his Eagle Scout award.  In July, the troop consisted of 26 Scouts.  This year also marked a transition for Troop 37 when Troop 39 of Los Altos merged with us.  Troop 39, sponsored by the Los Altos Kiwanis Club, had been in existence for 32 years, and at times had Explorer Post 39 affiliated with it.   They met at Portola School and later at the Los Altos Youth Center.  At their final troop meeting held June 11, with Troop 37 as an invited guest, Brian Robinson became the last Eagle Scout of Troop 39.   This meeting marked the beginning of Troop 37's use of LAYC, which took over Troop 39's Monday night time slot.  Several years later, Scoutmaster Dave Ellis, in an eloquent letter on parent involvement, reflected on Troop 39 when he wrote:

 

"In 1979 Troop 39, also of Los Altos, ran out of leadership and asked to merge with Troop 37, which they did.  We inherited several outstanding scouts, and some excellent camping equipment.  The pots were all beautifully cleaned and marked with the troop number.  Clearly, someone really put a lot of care and love into the troop's hardware, but somewhere along the line they forgot to put the same effort into the people resources of the troop and it folded.  Troop 37 has gone for 64 years without making the same mistakes, and I feel confident that we will carry on the tradition with a little help from all of you."

 

As 1979 closed, Phil Grey and Jason Willoughby were recognized with the Herman Peters Award.

 

1980  Dr. Dave Ellis took over from Bob Foerster as Scoutmaster.  January featured an overnight campout at Mt. Tamalpais.  The Yosemite Snow Camp slated for February had to be cancelled due to heavy storms.  In March, the Troop participated in a Wildlife Camporee at Grant Count Park on Mt. Hamilton Road.  As a salute to the new decade, the Camporee was designed to emphasize greater awareness of the natural environment.  April featured a kayak trip down Cache Creek, characterized as the first river run with new kayaks in "white water".  In July, the troop hiked from Skyline-to-the-Sea, an easy 10 mile trip starting at Big Basin State Park.  At the annual Troop 37 summer camp in late August, the troop scheduled two weeks for backpacking, kayaking, and advancement. 

 

1981  Winter activities started with a campout at Castle Rock in January and winter campout in February at Kirkwood.  Campouts at Forest of Nisene Marks, Sunset Beach, and on the Russian River (canoeing) were held in the Spring months.  16 Scouts attended a weeklong summer camp at Lake Shasta with Scoutmaster Ellis and ASM Norm Dulleck and Pete McSweeney in late August.  The Planning Conference was held in late November to plan the 1982 Activities Calendar. 

 

1983  Signals, Troop 37's monthly newsletter, was launched in 1983.  It reported on the Eagle project of Jim Terman, who painted an apartment at Stevenson House for the Retired in Palo Alto.  Jim played beat-the-clock by completing his project and paperwork on August 24, one day before his 18th birthday.  Summer camps consisted of the two-week Troop 37 Scout Camp held at Sawmill Lake during the last 2 weeks in July, and four Scouts accompanied by Dave and Esther Ellis and Chuck Olsen were at Camp Oljato for a week.  In addition, Scoutmaster Ellis and Jerry Howard led 7 Scouts on the 50 miler in the John Muir Wilderness.  To raise funds for the Troop, Scouts collected newspapers for recycling.  Each Scout receive 50% of what he collected in his Scout account, to be used for camps and scouting activities.  The Christmas Potluck and Court of Honor were held at the Los Altos Lutheran Church.  As with past years, the Troop decorated a tree to give to a needy family.   At this meeting, Mrs. Michelle Dulleck stepped down after having served as Committee Chairperson for the past 3 years.  During the search for Michelle's replacement, it was decided (by committee) that all Parent Committee members should resign effective at the end of the year, and the selections for the new positions hopefully would be named at the Winter Court.

 

1984  In January, Dick Blanding accepted the position of Committee Chairman, a position he would fill for the next six years.  At the Scout-A-Rama, held in late May at Stanford University, the Troop again set up its kayak pond, better known to some as Lake 37, and provided kayak rides for all takers.  Lake 37 required 3000 gallons of water!  The Troop gained notoriety when the Lake was drained before other exhibits were taken down.  The Survival Camporee, designed to test scouts in camping skills, provided soaking rains and a great hail storm, which led to the making of snowballs, or where those hail-balls.  The Committee Chairman's Chirp, Dick Blanding's column in Signals, originated with the April 1984 edition.  Pete McSweeney designed new Troop 37 T-shirts featuring our famous kayak-in-the-sunset emblem on the sky blue shirt.  A prerequisite for receiving the free T-shirt was having dues paid-in-full.  During a weekend camping trip to Los Banos Creek Reservoir, the Troop responded to fight a grass fire that resulted from a young boy playing with matches.  Our Scouts, arriving by canoe, kayak, and on foot, battled the blaze for over half an hour with wet towels, canteens, shovels, and good, old fashion stomping.   When two large trees ignited, the Scouts retreated to a game trail, which they widened into a firebreak.  They succeeded in halting the fire and helped rangers and professional firefighters put out the last of the flames.   During the summer, the Troop again attended Camp Oljato in July and held Kayak Camp during the 1st week in August at Carr Lake, just off I-80 at Emigrant Gap.  If that wasn't enough, 50 mile and 30 mile backpack trips were also held.  At the Christmas Court, Scouts made items that were offered for sale at a Silent Auction.  The proceeds were donated to the Semper Virens Fund and the Marine Mammal Center. 

 

1985  The Troop stayed at the Norden Youth Hostel during the Tahoe Ski Trip, held the last weekend in January.  In February, the Troop snow camped at Yosemite and enjoyed skiing at Bager Pass and ice skating at the rink in Yosemite Valley.  Webelos night, held in early March, hosted over 40 Webelos and their leaders.  Activities included a slide show by Scoutmaster Ellis; hot chocolate, stick bread and raspberry cobbler cooked on coals and backpacking stoves; a first aid demonstration featuring a "horrible leg wound pumping "blood" on the floor; and rappelling from the oak tree by the History House.  At the March Court of Honor, Dave Stiff was presented with the Herman Peters Award.  At the Camporee held at Boulder Creek Scout Camp, Troop 37 rigged a new, extra heavy-duty rope for the rope swing across the creek, providing an activity to be enjoyed by scouts for years to come.  To orient parents of Scouts who just joined the Troop, Scoutmaster Ellis and Committee Chair Dick Blanding held a new parents’ meeting, where troop activities were discussed and the Troop 37 Welcoming Packet was handed out. To celebrate the end of school, the Troop headed to Point Reyes for biking and an overnight at the Point Reyes Youth Hostel.  Summer activities included a week at Camp Oljato (24 Scouts attended) followed by Kayak Camp at the end of July, and the 50 miler in Kings Canyon National Park.  Scoutmaster Ellis attended the National Jamboree at Camp A.P. Hill, Virginia as a group leader for the Stanford Area Council.  Five Troop 37 Scouts also attended.  The Troop also planned a Labor Day trip, the climbing of Half Dome (from the rear, no scaling the face this time!) in Yosemite.  In October, the 38 Scouts and 10 Dads headed to Pinnacles for a weekend of hiking, rock climbing, and camping.  After Saturdays dinner, 5 raccoons were spotted in trees over the cooking area and 10 wild pigs feasted on the leftover spaghetti from the Kayak Patrol.  Planning Conference again was held at Boulder Creek Scout Camp.  The Holiday Potluck Family Dinner was held again at the Los Altos Lutheran Church Hall.  A Christmas Tree was again decorated and donated to a needy family.

 

1986  At the beginning of the year, the Troop consisted of 57 Scouts  divided into 7 patrols.  Five scouts, Troy Dulleck, Brad Ellis, Eric Hedman, Mike Morgan, and Sven Olson, were Jr. Assistant Scoutmasters.  In January, Scoutmaster Ellis announced that he would like to step-down as Scoutmaster due to additional responsibilities as Stanford Area Council Camping Chairman.  (It would take a year to select his replacement.)  The January ski trip to Tahoe was held on the 18-20, with skiing at Boreal, Sugar Bowl, and Alpine Meadows.  Thirty-one Scouts attended. Weekend trips in the Spring included a biking and campout on Angel Island and a Russian River Trip in which the Troop rented canoes to float the river.  Everything went well on the river trip, except for the singing around the campfire.  The boys didn't know very many songs. The summer camp at Oljato was very successful, except for the bears in camp.  It was suggested that a dog in camp might keep the bears away.  A 15 mile backpack trip was scheduled for mid-July, Kayak Camp was held in early August, and the 50 miler in late-August. In September, the Troop took their kayaks to the Mokelumne River near Jackson for a weekend trip.  With all the ups and downs of the river, and a fair amount of submarine-like behavior, the Scouts navigated the river without casualty.  (Extra flotation and bailers were required implements for the trip.)  The river action was videotaped by Dr. Hammerstrom, and Scoutmaster Ellis took pictures suitable for framing.  Dan Hedrick's Eagle Project consisted of a blood drive.  He succeeded in getting volunteers to donate 59 pints of blood for the Stanford Blood Bank at a time when there was a shortage.  Robert Wood's Project, in conjunction with the US Dept. Of Agriculture, was to raise 100 fir trees in plots and then replant them during the winter.  At the Christmas Court of Honor, Dr. Dave Ellis stepped down as Scoutmaster, after serving 7 years.    He was succeeded by Jim Bishop.  Scoutmaster Ellis was recognized by the Stanford Area Council with the Award of Merit for his contributions to Scouting.

 

1987  The January ski trip was attended by 30 Scouts who skied and snowboarded at Apine Meadows, Boreal and Squaw Valley. The "Three Musketeers", Dan Hedrick, Robert Wood, and Scott Neumann, received their Eagle Badges at a triple Eagle Court.  Kayak Camp was held at Buck's Lake.  Thirty-two scouts attended Camp Oljato and were led by Judd Stiff, Dick Blanding, and Don Kinell.  Fifteen new Scouts joined the Troop over the summer.   Those that went on to earn their Eagle Rank included Josh and Mike Caulkins, Bobby deVos, Ben Saenz, Al Dickson, Erik Neumann, and Bobby Smith.  In August, Committee Chairman Dick Blanding started the Chairman's Chirp message in Signals.  The Troop planning conference was held at Boulder Creek, and was attended by scouts Greg Pronko, Jay Bishop, Ben Scofield, Dan Pankratz, Chris Farnum, Martin Kojnok, Matt Siler, Dan Feldstein, Kevin Kinell, Chan Hammerstrom and dads Jim Bishop, Dave Ellis, Norm Dulleck, Bob Smith, Don Kinell, and Bob Schwehr.   Culinary highlights included a turkey dinner cooked by the dads.  They also planned the 1988 calendar.  At the Christmas Court, the troop decorated a tree and brought presents, which were then given to a local charity for distribution. 

 

1988  The January ski trip to Tahoe was attended by 55 scouts and Dads who braved blizzard conditions on the trip to Lake Tahoe (chains went on at 2000').   Using a portable light rig, the scouts built a half-pipe at the Pronko's cabin and used it well into Saturday night.   On Sunday, they had excellent snow conditions at Northstar Ski resort followed by one of those gloriously bright, day-after-the-storm days when you could ski forever.  In April, Jim Bishop passed the Scoutmaster's torch on to Dave Pankratz.  As a youth, Dave had been in several scout troops in Germany, Washington State, and Riverside, CA and earned his Eagle Rank in 1960.  The Troop also went on the Skyline-to-the-Sea backpack trip during April.  Kayak Camp was held at Jenkinson Lake, located about 45 miles from Lake Tahoe.  Twenty-seven scouts along with dads Brandon Burke, Mike Saenz, and Camp Scoutmaster Bob Smith started the trip, and they were later joined by Dads Jarin Feldstein and Ben Farnum.  In July, the troop climbed into six-man rafts and headed down the South Fork of the American River.  The 5 gallon bailing buckets in each raft were used in water fights which filled several rafts to the gunnels and some of the dads were dunked in the general melee.  Using perfect leverage, Bobby Smith upended the unflappable Mr. Blanding right out of his boat.   Eight scouts and 5 dads, led by Ben Farnum, went on the 25 mile backpack trip to Rutherford Lake just below Yosemite Park.  In September, the troop headed to Limantour Estero and Drake's Bay for a weekend of kayaking.  As the tide went out, the group was able to get out and walk in 8 inches of water and tow their kayaks back to the put-in spot.  The Planning Conference was again held at Boulder Creek.  At the Christmas Court, the Troop celebrated its Seventieth Birthday.  Mr. Marvin O. Adams, who joined the troop in 1918 and Mr. Edgar A. McDowell (1922) were among the invited guests who recalled Scouting in Los Altos Troop 1 during the early years.  Ester Ellis baked three cakes especially for the occasion.  Former Scoutmaster Dave Ellis was awarded the Scoutmaster Award of Merit by Council Commissioner John Kilfoil.  Jay Bishop was selected by his peers to receive the Herman Peters Award.

 

 

1989  The January Tahoe Ski Trip again headed to Boreal Ridge, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.  Advanced planning by Scoutmaster Pankratz and coaching of Mr. Novak, Mr. Dedrickson, and Mr. Burke produced Skiing merit badges.  Only one injury was report during the weekend, that of a wooden dummy holding a SLOW sign that was flattened by Tripp Rea, who may have been skiing with his head on backwards at the time.   Those skiers who skipped the Super Bowl were rewarded with fresh powder and no lift lines.   In April, the troop headed to the American River Bike Trail for two days of cycling and an overnight campout.  Later that month, 10 scouts and 5 adults, started at Big Basin State Park and hiked the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail.  In late May, the Troop held Family Camp at Del Valley Reservoir near Livermore for a weekend of swimming, sailing, biking, and windsurfing.  In June, Dick Blanding passed the Troop Committee Chairman's job on to Woody Rea.  Kayak Camp was held at Little Grass Valley Reservoir located northeast of Marysville.  A highlight of Camp was the arrival of a reporter from Scouting Magazine, who photographed Troop 37 in their kayaks.  Past Scoutmaster Dave Ellis led a contingent of Troop 37 Scouts (Dan and Alex Pankratz, Ed Overell, Joel and Brian Neal) to the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.  Eagle Scout Steven Spielberg attended and led the Jamboree in the Boy Scout Oath.  The 25 miler, again led by Dr. Farnum, headed to Ostrander Lake in Yosemite.  The trip was characterized by wild, snappy trout, hairy mammoths buried deep in an ice cave, hawks large enough to carry off a struggling Boy Scout, and Mosquitoes as large as F-16s.  On October 17, the Loma Prieta Earthquake occurred, and Troop 37 held a scavenger hunt to collect materials and cash donations to help people in the Santa Cruz/Watsonville area who were in need as a result of the quake.  The Planning Conference was held on the USS Samuel Gompers at Naval Air Station Alameda.  Twenty-five scouts and dads slept and ate with Navy regulars, toured the ship and armory, and established the calendar for 1990.  At the end of the year, Devin Kinell was selected as Scout of the Year and Dave Pankratz was awarded the Scoutmaster Award of Merit.  At the end of the year, 76 Scouts were in the Troop.

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000 Scoutmaster Bob Boles

2001 Scoutmaster Bob Boles

2002 Scoutmaster Bob Boles

2003 Scoutmaster Gordon Abraham and Committee Chair Rose Rambo ran the troop. Jim Clark served as the first Webmaster for the troop now that we were on a website and doing all of our registration and event signups on the internet. He started this program, designed the website, and even had a web server in his living room to keep an eye on all of the important data. This revolutionized our troop and made it easier for everyone from the drivers packets to the membership chair to the emails distribution. Even kids these days are using the web and having their own emails now.

 

 

2004 Scoutmaster Gordon Abraham and Committee Chair Rose Rambo ran the troop for the second straight year. We continued to go to Kayak Camp at Union Valley Reservoir but vowed to find a place next year that would be a little more pristine. At the end of our week long Kayak Camp this year, a bunch of RV’s with suped-up racing boats held a kegger party at the end of campsite. Jim Clark continued as Webmaster and all of the finances and scheduling ran smoothly. Linda Fairfax was our Outdoor Committee Chair. We held our monthly committee meetings at a structural engineer father’s office building. We used the same location for our monthly TLC meetings for the scouts.

 

 

2005 Scoutmaster Gordon Abraham stepped down at the beginning of the year and turned over the role to second-year Dad, Dave Luedtke, who ran the Kayak Camp the previous year. Rose Rambo continued on as Committee Chair. This year we only took in 20 new scouts to try and reduce the size of the troop. Linda Fairfax continued as the Outdoor Committee Chair. We moved our Kayak Camp to a gorgeous place at Jackson Meadow Valley, northeast of Truckee about one hour drive. This has about the most natural lake and pristine setting that we could find. The last bit of snow melts off within a day or two of us arriving. And we cannot get cell service for our cell phones, so the adults drive out about a half hour to get service so they can check up on emails and telephone calls. We started our Venturing Patrol for the 14 to 21 year olds, a co-ed version of the Explorers, and activity based group meant for older scouts. Kathleen Nickols started out as Crew Advisor. Justin Peng was the ASPL in the fall of that year.

 

 

 

2006 Dave Luedtke continued as Scoutmaster. Rose Rambo stepped down and turned over the role to Bruce Beiser. Geof Wildanger wore a top hat and black suit as the SPL for the spring season, trying to add a little culture to the rag-tag scouts. Stewart Fielding followed that act as SPL and decided that hard work and lots of changes was what was needed for the troop. Austin Schuh took over SPL at the end of the year. He is the oldest of three brothers in the troop. Their mother, Wyn, is very active as a merit badge counselor and backpacker extraordinaire. Their father, Michael, is an Assistant Scoutmaster, backpacker, and Yahoo Groups moderator; a role that keeps our emails from spamming up. All of the SPL’s brought a lot of energy to the troop as members of the really big new scouts years of 2002 and 2003. This year we only took in 12 new scouts to try and reduce the size of the troop just a bit more. We moved our TLC and committee meetings to a little house on Hillview Ave that was a historic landmark moved to that location for the Los Altos Community Foundation. They had a front room set up for a conference room. It was small and quaint and was fun for a couple of years. Kayak Camp was exciting this year as the last night of the camp is called, Pyro Night, and we let the boys do a fancy and somewhat larger fire than normal for the evening festivities. One thing led to another and the boys got carried away. Luckily we had all of our fire safety gear nearby, but it certainly led to some tense moments. Our big camp this year was to Northern Tier, in the boundary waters above Minnesota. We had three groups of 8 scouts canoe and portage over 100 miles.

 

 

2007:  Scoutmaster Dave Luedtke stepped down from that role late in the year and gave it back to Gordon Abraham again. Yes, Gordon wanted to have another crack at the role and see if he could even do an even better job than the three years before Dave Luedtke took over the role. And Dave Luedtke wanted to deal with the parents more, so he took over the Committee chair role from Bruce Beiser, who did a marvelous job for the previous two years. Austin Schuh and Max Butensky were the SPL’s for this year, maintaining order among the usual 120 scouts. We took in 26 scouts this year. We decided to move our TLC meetings and the committee meetings to a new local bank called First Republic that had a community conference room available for non-profits. This was a beautiful room with coffee makers and teleconferencing and white boards. We tried hard not to damage the place. The Crew was now up to 30 scouts, mostly girls from Troop 321.

 

 

2008:  Scoutmaster Gordon Abraham and Committee Chair Dave Luedtke lead the Troop with assistance from 35 active adult volunteers. Matt Stangl assumed the role of Outdoor Committee Chair from long-time volunteer Linda Fairfax who ran that group for almost six years.  Garth Vandevanter was SPL for the first half of the year after he assumed the position after his twin brother, Justin, led the Troop for the last half of the 2007 year. Matt Luedtke took the SPL position for the second half of the year. Kayak Camp was held for the third straight year at Jackson Meadow Reservoir after going four straight years to the Union Valley Reservoir. The new site is more natural and more remote, so cell phone coverage is very difficult. Drivers take their four-wheel drives up a nearby dirt rode to climb two thousand feet higher in order to get their cell phones to register. Pinnacles Camp in April and two weeks of Camp Oljato are some of the usual annual trips. This year we added 28 new scouts for a total of 130 total scouts. This includes 20 college students in the 40 member crew, headed by Bob Lee, who took over for Kathleen Nickols who ran that group for three years. Our big camp this year was again to the Northern Tier area. We also had to transition to a new website to hold all of our important event signups and registration data. The system that Jim Clark built for us outlived its hardware. His software skills are sorely missed at this point, because even though we could go to a state of the art web hosting vendor, we could not reproduce his excellent software design.  We limped along though and finally got a website. Then we added a TroopKit software package for the evens management, and rigged up Jim’s old server in Dave Lordemann’s house to still use the re-registration software he designed. Dave Lordemann and Andy Patti ran these important software sets from then on.

 

2009: Scoutmaster Gordon Abraham and Committee Chair Dave Luedtke continued on for another year. Gordon decided to lead the National Jamboree the next year, so we began a search for a new Scoutmaster. Rod Sinks took over at the end of the year. Alec Weeks took a second turn at SPL that year and really showed what a 17 year old, second term SPL can do to energize the troop. We continued to hold our TLC and committee meetings at First Republic Bank. Our Kayak Camp was once again at Jackson Meadow Valley. We now owned a 14 foot white trailer that could haul all of our cooking gear to Kayak Camp. A big hit with the trailer is that it has a hand pump shower stall for the adults. Organizing a near 100 person week-long camp requires about 30 adults to do all of the merit badges, board of reviews, and scoutmaster conferences for the scouts. The least we can do is let them shower. Our big adventures this year were the high adventure camp at Philmont and an expedition for the second year to the San Juan Islands on a 100 foot schooner called, The Adventuress.” At the end of the year, Eric Theis took over the role of SPL. He is the first of three brothers to enter the troop, so we may have a long line of the Theis family guiding the troop. His mother, Mary Rose Theis, has been in charge of the Service projects for three years already.

2010: Scoutmaster Rod Sinks and Committee Chair Dave Luedtke continued on this year in their roles. Matt Stangl stepped down as Outdoor Committee Chair and turned that over to Alex Apffel, a second year father with great computer skills, a requirement for that position. Mark Sinks, the son of Scoutmaster Rod, took over the role of SPL and guided us through a rough outing at a substitute camp for this year’s Kayak Camp. We had such a late and large snowfall that we could not get through the pass to get to Jackson Meadow Valley, therefore we went to an inferior site along highway 80 that served its purpose. We vowed to not let ourselves get stuck in such a situation again, even if it meant adding snowplows to the front of our trucks and plowing the pass open. Scoutmaster Rod has introduced geo-caching to our troop and has inspired the boys to compete in the local events. This is a great exercise for practicing compass and orienteering skills. Later that year, Arjun Venkatesh took over as SPL and led an effort to upgrade our software and events management system. Amazing that one of the focus for scouts now is to have computer and internet skills!  Our big outings this year were the Florida Seabase trip, Kayak Camp, and two weeks at Oljato, our council’s summer camp.

2011: Scoutmaster Rod Sinks, Committee Chair Dave Luedtke, and Outdoor Committee Chair Alex Apffel continued on this year in their roles. Dick Blanding, a former Committee Chair for Troop 37 back in the 80’s, is still the liaison for the Rotary Club, our charter organization. He has been in that role for about ten years now. We now use Mitch Kalcic’s warehouse for storage of our trailer and quartermaster gear. We have instituted the very important role of quartermaster in the scouts that work with Mitch in keeping our gear ready and up to date. This has been working very well for the past three years. We never had to worry about that from 2000 to 2006 because Ken Baer and his son, David Baer, used to keep all of the gear at their house. We took that for granted, so when David got his Eagle and aged out, we suddenly found ourselves in the need for this very difficult task. Another role that has been difficult is the Troopmaster software guru, a necessary person to run all of our advancement records, which can be time consuming considering that we regularly have around 200 rank advancements per year.

  
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