In the spring of 1986, a group of families asked Glori Dei! Lutheran Church of Arnold to sponsor a new scout troop. A planning committee was assigned and on April 2, 1986, the first meeting of Troop 995 was called to order.
Since that time, the troop has touched the lives of hundreds of young men in this area and produced 45 Eagle Scouts. And there from the beginning was Anthony Rezendes, first as a 17-year-old scout in 1986 and then as a leader for over 20 years.
“It has been a great experience all along,” said Rezendes, one of the coordinators for this weekend’s anniversary dinner and celebration event at the church. “We have had so many dedicated volunteers and scouts. Choosing which memories to share was tough.”
Throughout the church’s fellowship hall there were memories collected in scrapbooks lining the tables, a photo slideshow, and in conversations about days gone by.
“We are lucky to still have several older adults who remain active with the troop, despite the fact their children have grown up,” said Troop volunteer Alan Rosner. “It’s amazing because people are so busy these days.”
During opening remarks, Rosner thanked Pastor Tom Williamsen, who was the same pastor that agreed to sponsor the troop 25 years ago.
“I have to say that I think the church has benefitted more from our partnership than you have,” said Williamsen to the crowd. “With all of the Eagle Scout projects and troop activities, we have been given so many gifts.”
In a commemorative program, others shared their fondest memories of past troop activities.
For former scout Pat Hurley, a trip to Assateague Island was tops. “The horses woke us up in the morning,” he recalled.
For current scout Taylor Willison, caving sticks in his mind. “It was a surreal thing being so far under the earth in complete darkness.”
Roger Lettie’s son Jacob has been in the troop six years. “I think the special thing about this troop is there is such good chemistry, among the boys, the adults, and all the group together. We have such a good time when we go out camping.”