Troop 173 was chartered by the Sedgefield Civic Association in 1957. Yet from its beginning, Troop 173 has included boys from all over Morris County in its programs. While most of our members come from the area of Parsippany from Lake Parsippany to Powder Mill, we have had members as far away as Succasunna and Randolph.
For several years the Troop met in an old mansion on the former Ballantine estate where the Mack-Cali Business campus now stands. Upon completion of the gymnasium at Littleton School in the early sixties, its weekly Friday night meetings moved there. In 2009, the troop's home base for meetings moved to Mt. Tabor School off of Park Road.
During its 53 year history, seventeen Scoutmasters have led Troop 173, assisted by many trained Assistant Scoutmasters and an active Troop Committee. They have assisted in overseeing Troop 173’s active outdoor program for well over 1000 boys, of which 55 have become Eagle Scouts, or approximately twice the national average. Among our Eagle Scouts is a partner in an accounting firm, an attorney, a physician, a radio programming director and an Air Force officer. Undoubtedly the leadership skills learned as Scouts have helped them with their achievements.
Many of our youth leaders have had the opportunity to share the fellowship of Scouting across the United States, by participating in National Jamborees on both the east and west coasts, and in leadership training at the former Schiff Scout Reservation in Mendham, NJ and Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
Community service has always been an important part of Troop 173’s program. Eagle Scout projects have included work at public recreation space in Sedgefield, Glacier Hills, lake Parsippany and Knoll Park. Other service projects have been wide reaching – they have benefited the Parsippany Public Library, The Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance Squad, and we have helped victims of flooding by collecting supplies and money to be distributed by local disaster relief.
We have participated annually in the “Scouting for Food” national “Good Turn”; over 20,000 items have been donated to a Parsippany food bank. Troop 173 has been in the forefront of the recycling movement. One of our early fund raisers was a deposit bottle collection. For over fifteen years we collected scrap newspapers and magazines until Parsippany began mandatory recycling. Along with collections in the other sections of town, our newspaper collection allowed Parsippany to earn a grant from the State of New Jersey for expanding its recycling program.
Boy Scout Troop 173 upheld its theme of “Having Fun!” during a recent Turkey-on-a-Chain campout. The boys, ages 11 to 18, found plenty of fun during one long weekend from Nov. 1 to 3, camping out and cooking turkeys over a charcoal flame.
"This is our fifth annual Turkey-on-a-Chain campout, when we invite Senior Webelos Cub Scouts from Pack 142 and Pack 5 to join us and to see what Boy Scouting is all about," said Scoutmaster Ken Galley. Twenty scouts and 10 adults attended the campout, which was held at Winnebago Scout Reservation in Rockaway, N.J. The troop has forty members.
“In Boy Scouts, the boys run the program,” said assistant Scoutmaster Mike Martin. “The senior boys teach the younger boys. Scouting instills values in young people that will enable them to make ethical decisions during their lifetime, while achieving their potential. Scouting builds character and teaches service to the community.”
The Boy Scouts arrived Friday night and set up for their long weekend, “away from showers, running water and flush toilets,” noted Troop Scribe Jesse G. The Cub Scouts arrived on Saturday for an introduction to Boy Scouting, and the older scouts demonstrated to them the skills needed in fire building, knot tying, and first aid.
One group, meanwhile, prepared for cooking the turkeys over a flame. After cleaning the turkeys, they hung the large birds on a chain and wrapped them in tin foil. The turkeys roasted for the usual four hours over heat provided from charcoal briquettes that filled chicken wire baskets underneath.
The troop helped to cook the rest of the dinner, which included mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce and rolls. Dessert was chocolate cherry cobbler and apple cobbler, cooked in a Dutch oven in the fire. The troop enjoyed what was like an early Thanksgiving feast that night, said Jesse.
“Camping out teaches the boys how to work together as a team to get things done,” said Martin. “The scouts normally do all of the cooking; on this campout, however, everyone pitched in.” And later, around an evening campfire and under the nighttime sky, the scouts and adults enjoyed songs and skits.
Troop 173 is part of Patriot's Path Council. The Sedgefield Civic Association has sponsored the Parsippany troop since it was formed in 1957. The Boy Scouts meet each Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Littleton School. They enjoy such diverse activities as campouts in the woods, ski trips and trips to Wildwood, N.J., where the boys camp out on the beach.
“Following the Boy Scouts of America's tradition, the scouts learn and have fun. We have knot tying, fire building, orienteering, and wilderness survival. We go on campouts throughout the school year and we go to Boy Scout camp at Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation in the summer,” said Jesse. At the reservation, the boys are able to learn basics, earn merit badges, and participate in activities, including boating, archery, fishing, biking and climbing. The scouts stay overnight for one week with their troop during the summer months.
“This troop is a very spectacular troop, considering all of the things we do, including having fun and giving back to the community,” said Jesse. The scouts have stayed actively involved in the community with a Scouting for Food collection in March, a roadside cleanup in April, and an ambulance squad cleanup in June.
Funds are raised by selling entertainment discount coupon books, as well as holding Trails End Popcorn sales in September and October. For more information, email Scoutmaster JoAnn Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chefs prepare the turkey over for the four-hour roast at the scout campout. Three turkeys are suspended from chains in the middle of the oven.
Troop guide Paul R, center, explains how the stove works to Shane M, Sean G, Dan Fr and Kyle P.
Senior Patrol Leader Mike F, center, prepares lunch while Ryan D, Steven S, Joe H and Shay G look on and lear
Campfire program in full swing!
A Helping Hand
By Jesse G - Troop 173 Scribe
"A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent." This is the law for the Boy Scouts of America. This is what scouts live by.
Troop 173 scouts put these words into action! Parsippany Troop 173, sponsored by the Sedgefield Civic Association since 1957, is part of Patriot’s path Council. The scouts help out at home and in the community. But the boys cannot take all of the credit; scout leaders do a lot of the behind the scenes work to keep the troop going. As an example of one of our community activities, I'll describe our recent food drive which was coordinated by Glenn Miller, member of the Troop Committee.
The food drive collects non-perishable foods for the Parsippany Christian Church on Vail Road which distributes it to the needy. The drive is on two Saturdays in the spring. On the first Saturday scouts hand out fliers and plastic bags throughout the neighborhood. Fliers are put by mailboxes, because door-to-door soliciting is not allowed. The fliers describe what goods are appropriate, as well as how and when they should be left outside for pick up.
The next Saturday the scouts go on their assigned routes and pick up the bags of food. The boys drop off their bags at the firehouse on Route 53 and the food is tallied. It is loaded into several cars and delivered to the church on Vail Road. This year we collected over 2600 items of food for the needy!
Reverend Hart is the pastor at Parsippany Christian Church and this year I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the food drive. He said he became involved with the food drive about ten years ago when someone from Troop 173 suggested the idea to him. Every year since then the church and Troop has teamed up on the drive. The food is kept on shelves in a special room in the church. Then people who need the food come by and they take as much as they need. Some people will come by on a regular basis. Others will come every two to three months. We are the only group sponsoring a food drive that fills the Church’s food pantry. During the holidays they also collect turkeys and hams from the parishioners. Last year the church filled up six refrigerators with turkeys and hams for distribution to the needy.
The Troop does many things to help the community, from food drives to roadside clean ups. This is possible only because of the adult leadership in our troop. So on behalf of the boys in Troop 173 I would like to thank Mr. Galley for being our Scoutmaster, Ms. Robinson for her care and dedication and Mr. Miller for helping us to give back to our community with food drives like this one. There are also so many others we would like to thank but the list would be too long. So to everyone on the Troop Committee I would like to thank you for keeping our troop going. We are very fortunate to have all of you.
For more information, call Scoutmaster John Worthington at 973 586-3978
We are sponsored by the Sedgefield Civic Association, and are located in the Fishawack District, one of five geographical divisions of the Patriots Path Council. Council facilities include the Service Center on Columbia Turnpike in Florham Park, and several camps, the largest of which are Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation, located near Waterloo Village in Byram Township and Winnebago Scout Reservation located in Rockaway.
The National BSA registration fee must be provided for all Scouts; one BOYS' LIFE subscription per family is provided by the troop as a resource for program material. Adult registration, funded by the Troop, includes a subscription to SCOUTING magazine. Fees are pro-rated for new Scouts. For all Scouts and adults, an Application Form and separate Medical History must be completed and turned in with registration. A Troop Resource Survey Sheet should be filled out and signed by a parent. Additional fees to fund secondary accident insurance are included with Registration.
Troop meetings are normally held on Friday nights when school is in session from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. Boys who hold leadership positions must attend other planning meetings throughout the year. Troop Committee meetings are held on thelast Monday of the month at a home of one of the members. Patrol meetings are held on a regular basis, normally as part of the Troop meeting .
Any operational expenses, such as insignia, awards, and training fees are paid for by the Scout's annual dues; payable as requested by the Treasurer. Dues become payable from the time a boy turns in his Scout application, and will be pro-rated from that time. Unreasonable delinquency in payment is reason for suspension from troop activities. Records of all income and expenditures are kept by the Troop Committee Treasurer. Payments should always be made by check payable to: TROOP 173, B.S.A., and turned in only as instructed. There are no Patrol dues.
Fund-raising activities are conducted to underwrite additional operating expenses, purchase and maintain camping equipment, and for special activities. Participation in these fund-raisers by all families is essential to maintain a quality program for the Troop. Many fund raisers provide for a commission to the most active participants which can be used to subsidize any Troop expense/activity fee. Your active family participation in the Fund Raising program will therefore assure that the activities can be afforded by your son(s).
The Scout program needs Scouts to attend and take part in ALL regularly scheduled troop and patrol meetings and activities. Youth Leaders must also be present to plan and run these activities. A Youth Leader will forfeit his leadership position if he misses more than two of the monthly planning meetings. The Troop and Patrol meetings provide instruction and training for the monthly weekend activities. Therefore, in order for a Scout to attend the weekend campout/activity, he may be required to attend one or more specific planning sessions. Common courtesy requires that the Scout notify his Patrol or Troop leadership if he should be unable to attend any regularly scheduled meeting. In order for a Scout to advance, he is expected to attend at least 50% of the regularly scheduled meetings and other scheduled activities.
HEALTH & SAFETY
All Scout activities require at least two adults be present in case of any emergency. Scouts are not to participate in any BSA activities individually. They should always buddy-up or be escorted by a parent or Troop Leader. Any Scout who, by his actions, endangers the well-being of the rest of the Troop is subject to immediate suspension from participation in Troop activities as determined by the adult Troop Leaders. Emergency contact phone numbers will be provided for each event if at all possible.
We participate in a number of special activities, such as Camporees, the Klondike Derby, and summer camp; and try to plan at least one major activity each month, These activities are just as important as the Troop meetings, and it is expected that Scouts in our Troop will attend the majority of them. Parental participation (driving and/or attending activities) is REQUIRED in order for the program to work; financial incentives for both driving and leading troop activities are available as authorized by the Troop Committee. A Parent's Permission Slip will be provided for each activity, which must be completed and turned with payment prior to the Scout's departure. In order to encourage active participation with other Scouts, Personal Electronic devices (including cellphones) are not permitted at Troop Activities, unless specifically approved by the trip leader. Any that are brought on a trip will be stored by the adult leader until the event is completed.
Scouts are encouraged to complete the First Class rank within a year, and thereafter progress at a minimum rate of one Rank every twelve months. Each Scout's advancement progress will be reviewed by the Advancement Committee at appropriate intervals. Advancement will be recognized at several Courts of Honor throughout the year. Both Scouts and parents are required to attend these special meetings. ALL Merit Badges and Projects MUST be approved by the SCOUTMASTER before work on them is begun. The Handbook should be brought to the Scout meetings and activities, for sign-off when a requirement is completed, and to allow the Advancement Chairman to update Troop records. The Scout must retain signed records of all advancement, for future verification of awards.
Scouts are expected to wear a complete uniform at all Troop Meetings and other designated activities. It is the responsibility of the Scout HIMSELF to insure that his uniform is neat and available when needed, with all insignia in the proper places. Scouts may be denied participation for failure to wear the uniform. The uniform is NOT required for fund raising. Sneakers are required for meetings in the gym. The uniform, as required by this troop, consists of Scout shirt, Scout pants, Scout belt, Troop neckerchief, neckerchief slide and proper insignia, For warm weather, Summer Camp, or Summer Leadership Training, a Short Sleeve shirt, Scout Shorts, and Scout socks will be required. Scouts are strongly urged to turn in outgrown uniforms for our Uniform Exchange, where they can be passed on to younger Scouts.
Official BSA uniforms and equipment are available at the Scout Service Center, 1 Saddle Road, Cedar Knolls. When a Scout joins the Troop, he is presented with the Troop neckerchief and T-shirt. All badges earned by Scouts are presented by the troop along with an official record card. Upon request, duplicate insignia will be obtained for sale at cost. Insignia can also be purchased at the Service Center upon presenting the card corresponding to the badge.
EXPECTED OF TROOP 173 PARENTS:
Gain an understanding of our Troop and of the Scouting program, so that your son may fully benefit from Scouting.
ENCOURAGE your son to take an active part in Scouting. The more he puts into the program, the more he will gain now and in the future.
PARTICIPATE by helping with transportation, attending Courts of Honor, taking part in troop activities, and serving as an instructor or counselor with whatever special skills or knowledge you have.
SUPPORT the Troop Committee and Leaders in their efforts.
HELP us by bringing to our attention in person or by phone, PROMPTLY, anything which we may have overlooked or included in our troop program which you believe is improper.
Any boy who has completed the Cub Scout "Arrow of Light" award, is at least I I years of age, or has completed 5th grade may join Scouting. Interested boys are invited to visit us at one of our meetings WITH A PARENT.