THE HISTORY OF TROOP 1

Troop 1 was first registered as a Boy Scout Troop in March 1915. Records for the period 1915 to 1917 are not available because the Pikes Peak Council was not chartered until 1918 and most early records at National Headquarters were lost in fire years ago. Registration records and rosters exist for the years 1918-1922, 1925-1929, 1935-1937, and 1939-present. We have continuously been registered as a chartered Boy Scout unit since 1939. Troop 1 received its “65-year” Veteran Unit Bar in 2004.

The 50th Golden Anniversary of the troop was celebrated at the Annual Turkey Cookout for family and friends in 1989. Guest of Honor was famed mountaineer Robert Ormes, then 84 years old, and a member of Troop 1 in 1918. Professor Ormes spoke of his camping experiences at the old Scout Camp in Bear Creek Canyon. He attributed his love of the mountains to his camping experiences with Troop 1 in those early years of Scouting. Professor Ormes taught English at Colorado College and wrote about and mapped many areas in the Rocky Mountains. Two of his best known works are the Pikes Peak Atlas and Guide to the Colorado Mountains which continues to be published by the Colorado Mountain Club. Troop 1 often refers to the Ormes Guide for planning backpacking trips in the nearby mountains.

The first Troop in Colorado Springs was formed in September 1910, only seven months after the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in Washington, D.C. on February 8th, 1910. By February 1911, the troop had four patrols. There is no record uncovered so far to indicate the troop number but it was most likely Troop 1. There was no council of record until a field commissioner for the BSA National Council came to Colorado Springs in March 1917 to assist local Scouters to reorganize and put Scouting in the Pikes Peak region on a strong basis. By February 1918, there were fourteen troops with 285 Scouts. Troop 1 registered in 1918 with a total of 28 Scouts and 5 adults. In 2004, we had 56 active Scouts, 10 being Eagle Scouts.

The early registration records show that the Scouts of Troop 1 were active in war work of all kinds during World War I. Scouts sold liberty and victory bonds, raised war gardens, became messengers, and were made official dispatch bearers by the government committee on public information. They joined the boys’ working reserve, assisted farmers in harvesting their crops, and collected books in the drive for war libraries. In 1920, the Scouts of the Pikes Peak Council, largely among themselves, raised money and built a cabin in Bear Creek Canyon near the lower end of the Sentinel Rock Gulch for a weekend camp. The camp had a capacity of thirty Scouts and was known as Camp Vessey. Since March 1990, Troop 1 has conducted its annual spring ‘shake-down’ backpacking trip to the old Scout Camp in Bear Creek Canyon. The foundations of the cabins can be seen and a chimney is still standing which the troop uses for campfires.

Scoutmasters. We have had many Scoutmasters since registration -- an average of about 4 years per Scoutmaster. Scoutmaster Earle Spry had the longest tenure -- 10 years from 1988 through 1998. The second longest tenure is that of Scoutmaster Carl Peterson – 9 years from 1969 to 1977. Carl’s four sons all reached the rank of Eagle Scout during this period. The third longest tenure was that of Scoutmaster Donald Obee -- 8 years from 1939 through 1946 -- and the fourth longest was Scoutmaster Jerald Murphy -- 7 years from 1980 through 1986. Troop 1 had only 3 Scoutmasters during a 19-year span that ended with the retirement of Earle Spry in 1998. Scoutmaster Jim Springer’s 6 year tenure was from 1998 through June 2003. John Combs joined our Troop as Scoutmaster from July 2003 through January 2008. Felix Maes began service as Troop 1 Scoutmaster in January of 2008 and served until March 2011. Kris McCowen served as Scoutmaster from March 2011 until August 2011. Robert Herd was announced as Troop 1 Scoutmaster on August 19, 2011. Brian Matthiesen was announced as Troop 1 Scoutmaster on May 8th, 2014. Scoutmaster Matthiesen is the first Troop 1 Eagle Scout to return and take the Scoutmaster role. He is the troop’s 115th Eagle Scout, having earned the rank in 1994. James DiNola served as Scoutmaster during the period 2018-2019.

Troop 1 has been sponsored by several organizations over the years as shown,

SPONSOR , YEARS

Pikes Peak Council, 1918-1920

All Soul’s Church (Unitarian), 1921-1922

Myron Stratton Home, 1925-1937

Cheyenne Mountain School, 1939-1972

Canon Grade School, 1973-1978

Church Universal, 1979

Skyway Elementary School, 1980-1981

St. Paul Catholic Church, 1981-present

Copyright © 1918-2019 Troop 1 Colorado Springs Colorado