On February 8, 1910, W.D. Boyce, Edward S. Stewart and Stanley D. Willis incorporated the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) after Boyce’s trip to London while on his way to an East African safari. Before and after his adventure, Boyce visited scout headquarters in London to inquire about Boy Scouting and to gain the use of the publication Scouting for Boys for the purpose of developing a U.S. Scout program. Soon the BSA was chartered through the U.S. Congress to deliver its youth program with the aid of “Chartering Organizations” such as churches, schools, civic organizations, fire and police stations, rec. centers and other organizations wishing to develop a fun and respectable youth program.
In order to form a Boy Scout Troop, one needs to first find a Chartering Organization to sponsor the unit. Troop 421 is very fortunate to have had a great Charter Organization from the start – Grace Presbyterian Church of Arlington. Grace has not only supplied our troop a safe and comfortable meeting place and approved the troop adult leadership per BSA requirements, but the church has gone above and beyond in their support of Troop 421, Crew 421 and Pack 421, in addition to the nationwide support of youth in America. For this and much, much more, Troop 421 is very grateful.
Another requirement for forming a scout troop is to have a registered Chartered Organization Representative (COR). Our first Chartered Org. Rep was Kent Couch. Kent is a lifelong scout who, in his own words, “greased the skids” to get a troop at Grace Presbyterian. His scouting heritage and knowledge were real assets for a brand new troop.
Yet another requirement for starting up a Boy Scout unit is to recruit a Troop Committee Chairman. Tim Smith was our first Committee Chair and continued in that role for 7 years. Tim was very instrumental in forming the adult leadership side of the troop. His work included forming a troop committee, establishing its guiding policies, conducting boards of review, and overseeing all of the troop support functions.
Our first District Executive, Kevin Steffy, was another friend of the troop who helped us immensely as we got started and began learning the Scouting system.
We formed Troop 421 from a Webelos den out of Pack 214 that met at Wood Elementary. We had 13 members show for our first meeting which was held at Wimbledon Park in June 1988. We started with 3 patrols – Fox, Liberty, and Pedro. We continued to meet in the park throughout that summer and moved into Pastor John Poling’s barn for the fall of 1988 until it got cold. We then met in a child care center in Overland Stage for several meetings until the current Grace Presbyterian Church building was finished in January 1989. Our first court of honor was actually held in December 1988 in a meeting room at the Parks Mall.
Because of the time of year when we started Troop 421 (April 21st, 1988), all the area summer camps were full. So, we held our own summer camp at Leonard Scout Ranch in Granbury. And since 1988 was an Olympic year, the summer camp theme was Scouting Olympics. We had patrol competitions involving scout skills, first aid and knot tying relays, camp gadget building, string burning, compass course work, and other related competitions. We also began a troop tradition of hot summer camps. In 1989 the scouts started another tradition of attending summer camp at Worth Ranch – Our home for 9 straight years.
The charter members of the troop were special Scouts. They started with nothing. The Troop had no camping gear – no chuck boxes, no pots/pans, and no dining flies. No troop trailers. Nothing. They worked very hard in raising funds for the gear – some of which the Troop is still utilizing today.
They were new scouts who had no older scouts to lead them or learn from. Yet they worked hard, learned their scout skills, learned to be leaders and quickly became one of the best troops in the district, winning a District Camporee in only their second year. They in fact demolished the competition.
The charter/founding members of Troop 421 are the ones that established the standards of quality and traditions within the troop. They designed the troop neckerchief and t-shirts and demanded that the troop be boy led. Nine of the charter members obtained the rank of Eagle.
The troop became established and grew and grew and grew. We reached a pinnacle of 85 boys and over 100 leaders by 1996, and the success story continues to this day. In our digital age it is vital to “unplug” from technology and get out into the great outdoors. Troop 421 continues to meet this challenge today by developing boy led programs built to engage, encourage, excite, and employ activities that stir a Scout’s imagination and sense of adventure while developing better citizenship, physical fitness and leadership qualities.
Troop 421 has 100 Eagle Scouts and counting as of August, 2018, and the troop has been blessed by great adult leadership throughout its history.
- Louie Nash — 1988 -1996
- Greg Sartor — 1996-1999
- Greg Gooch — 1999-2000
- Jim Brettell — 2000-2002
- Greg Gooch — 2002-2004
- David DuBois — 2004-2008
- Donny Goforth — 2008-2014
- Mike Kinney — 2014-Present