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A BRIEF HISTORY OF TROOP 9

On March 13, 1926, the Pond Plain Improvement Association of South Weymouth completed the original charter for Troop 9 of the Boy Scouts of America. The original committee members of John Tigg, George Whitwood and Don Dodge enlisted David Greene to serve as Troop 9's inaugural Scoutmaster.

While the exact number of original boys in Troop 9 is unknown, and membership lists are not available for many years, records that are available indicate that Troop 9's yearly membership averaged 20 scouts, with a high being 64 scouts in the 1950's and a low of 12 in the 1990's. Current membership stands at 26 scouts.

Available records indicate that there are at least 500 alumni of Troop 9, of which the records indicate that at least 40 attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award of the Boy Scouts of America. Of the remainder, a great majority attained the ranks of Life and Star Scouts, the second and third highest awards in Boy Scouts. Official membership lists are not available prior to 1980, but records of the Pond Plain Improvement Association provided additional, but not complete, lists of names and awards for the years prior to 1980.

While an accurate timeline and history of Troop 9 is being compiled, the records located and reviewed to date indicate that Troop 9 has a distinguished and proud history of accomplishments and service, including:

· During World War II, scouts and leaders of Troop 9 worked with the local air raid wardens scanning the skies for enemy planes and ready to assist with spreading the alarm, if necessary. Troop 9 scouts were designated as official messengers, and as such, were issued photo identification cards by the War Department. Troop 9 also assisted with the collection of scrap metal, rubber and paper to aid in the war effort. During patriotic rallies and parades in Boston and throughout Eastern Massachusetts, a contingent of Troop 9 scouts and leaders were usually present to represent the town of Weymouth.

· Troop 9 scouts were, and still are, regular participants in town patriotic observances, including the Veterans' Day Parade and the decorating of veterans' graves with American Flags for Memorial Day. Recently, Troop 9, volunteered to maintain a town green and memorial in South Weymouth.

· For many years, scouts of Troop 9 maintained the grounds and building of the Pond Plain Improvement Association, a vital meeting hall and organization for the residents of South Weymouth. Over the course of years, Troop 9 has repaired the front porch, front stairs, side stairs, flagpole, numerous doors and windows, as well as painted the interior and exterior, cut the
lawn, raked the grounds and trimmed the trees. Scouts from Troop 9 were, and are, regularly counted on to spread the word on different events that Pond Plain hosted, as well as to assist in the set-up for these events and the cleaning after.

· Troop 9 has been a fixture in its South Weymouth neighborhood, regularly putting on Scout demonstrations for younger children. Scouts from Troop 9 would put together window displays for neighborhood businesses on a wide variety of topics, including: first aid, crime prevention, citizenship, handiwork, knot tying, physical fitness, wildlife and conservation.

· For years in the 1930's through the 1960's, Troop 9 was the dominant of all the Weymouth Boy Scout troops. Troop 9 would regularly host leadership and program courses for other troops and leaders. At camporees and athletic competitions for Weymouth troops at the old Weymouth Fairgrounds in the 1930's, 40's and 50's, Troop 9 would regularly place at the top of many of the events, and then represent the town of Weymouth at district and state camporees in those events. Troop 9 continues to represent the town of Weymouth in various state, council and district events, including consecutive championships in the last two Great Ponds Klondike Derbies.

· Troop 9 leaders have been tapped on numerous occasions by local troops and councils to chair camporees and leadership courses. In 1936, Troop 9 Scoutmaster, Mr. William G. Park was the first Old Colony Council recipient of the highest adult award at the time (believed to be the Silver Beaver Award), to recognize his accomplishments, dedication and services to the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Park joined Troop 9 in 1928, and for the next 50+ years, at least one generation of the Park family was involved in Troop 9.

· In 1994, Troop 9 ventured to West Point to participate in the Annual West Point Camporee, and despite record setting rainfall, had a group of scouts complete all of the events. For the last six years, Troop 9 has attended the annual camporee at Norwich University in Vermont, where it has competed successfully in the events, prevailing over scout troops from throughout the Northeast and Canada.

· Troop 9's camping activities have always been an integral part of Troop 9's scouting program. For at least 70 of the Troop 9's 75 years, a contingent of Troop 9 scouts have attended summer camp at Camp Squanto, Camp Child or another scout camp. Throughout its 75 years, scouts from Troop 9 have camped in all of the states in the Northeastern United States, climbed the White Mountains of New Hampshire and rafted the wild rivers in Massachusetts and Maine. In the 1930's and 40's, when transportation was not available, Troop 9 was a regular site hiking to its destination, whether it was in Weymouth, Plymouth, Boston or further.

· Eagle Scouts from Troop 9 have performed their service projects at or for many organizations in Weymouth, including, but not limited to: Weymouth Youth and Family Services, Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Sacred Heart Parish and School, Great Esker Park, Pond Meadow Park, Word of Grace Church, Stella Tirrel Park, Weymouth South Intermediate School, various public places, cemeteries and VFW Posts around town, as well as on the Boston Harbor Islands and at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Hingham.

Throughout the years, the South Weymouth community has actively supported Troop 9 by saving its newspapers for the scouts to collect in the 1930's through 1960's, to buying candy, wreaths or plants in the 80's and 90's, to donating their bottles and cans over the last few years. With the assistance of the community, Troop 9 is proud of the fact that a scout has never been denied an opportunity to attend summer camp or a campout because he could not afford to.