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First Lutheran honors Boy Scouts

Caption
Diane Buzzard

As part of its yearlong sesquicentennial celebration, First Lutheran Church in DeKalb has designated Feb. 24 as Boy Scout Sunday in recognition of the part Troop 33 has played in the history of the church. All Eagle Scouts, former Troop 33 members and leaders are invited to join the congregation for the 9 a.m. service as recognition is given for the vital role the Scouts have played at the church. In 1925, Boy Scout Troop 3 was chartered under the auspice of First Lutheran Church. The first Scoutmaster, Erwin Osenberg, was assisted by Arthur Fahlund with the help of the church's pastor, E.W. Magnusson. At that time, there were five other Boy Scout troops established in DeKalb. John McQueen of Kirkland donated land north of Kirkland to the DeKalb Rotary Club. This land was given in trust to the club and was used to establish a camp for Boy Scouts in DeKalb County. It served as a Boy Scout camp until 1977, when it was sold to the DeKalb County Forest Preserve. Today it is known as MacQueen Forest Preserve. In 1928, the DeKalb County Council underwent a merger and became Chief Shabbona Council, with Troop 3 becoming Troop 33. Although mergers since then have brought new council names, the troop has retained its number as Troop 33. Throughout the years, Troop 33 has had an active outdoor program of activities. The current troop slogan is “Always an Adventure.” Troop 33 Scouts have hiked hundreds of miles of trails at Philmont Scout Ranch and attended national and world Scout Jamborees. From local weekend campouts to long-distance tours, Scouts have enjoyed many adventures together. Hundreds of boys have been part of this troop through the years; some are now dead, some are elderly men and others are in the prime of life. They have enjoyed camping in the woods, the smell of a campfire, exploring, working together, sharing fun and the wonders of growing up. In the 1930s, the Scouts obtained a portion of wooded land from the Charles Wallin family. A log cabin was erected for them to use, and the Scouts would hike there from the church for overnights. Today the area is the Nehring Forest Preserve. Eventually the Scouts moved out from the local area to camps elsewhere in the country, including Chin-Be-Gota Reservation, Camp Napowan, Camp Freeland Leslie in Wisconsin and Camp Lowden in Oregon, Ill. The list also includes Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and adventure trips including Bermuda Oceanography, Rocky Mountain Ski, a 400-mile bicycle trip, Smokey Mountains, Florida Keys, Yucatan, Boundary Waters and more. After the original Scoutmasters, the following men have served the troop: Gustave Lund, L.E. Cooper, Ramon Bowers, Harold Snow, Don Smith, Grant Farris, Ray Bowman, Warren Scott and Roger Hart. In 1976, Cliff Golden became the Scoutmaster and is still serving in that position. Community leaders who assisted the Scoutmasters have included Ed Carlstedt, Carl Lund, Carl A. Swanson, Franz Romeis, John Barker, Glenn Johnson, Clarence Yaeger, Elmer Williams, Lou Bergren, Dick Retrum, Leo Olson, Ron Marten, Terry Marten, Rob Carlson, Cathy Cliffe, Larry Aska and Bob Snow. Seventy-five Scouts from Troop 33 have become Eagle Scouts. The six most recent are Derick Peterson, Ben Heinsohn, Matthew Watson, Colin Prall and Jared deSeife in 2007 and Nick Murphy in 2008. This group has made many contributions to the area and nationwide. Improvements to a forest preserve, homeless shelter, preschool playground and local recreation trail are some. Reaching out to others, the Scouts held a Christmas toy drive for hurricane victims, refurbished bikes for needy children, created a nursing home library, had a paper collection and did repair projects for a homeless shelter.

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