History of Troop 97

Scouting At Trinity

By Walter Bryant
From the book “Trinity United Methodist Church 1889-1989” by Annie Ford Wheeler.

Scouting, which has been a lifelong interest to Morton Perry, continued pulling him back to to the city’s western side at least one night a week for nearly two years after the Perrys moved to Homewood in December of 1950. Friday nights and scouting were inseparable for the man who had been a part of McCoy Methodist Church’s Troop 72 since the late 1920s. He had grown up in the church and its troop, becoming its scout­master about 1936 or 1937 at age 21.

But during 1952 he began thinking to himself about the long drives as his green 1950 Chevro­let wound its way from College Hills, past Elmwood Cemetery, and into Homewood. The Perrys’ oldest son, Morton, Jr., was nearing the age when he could join a troop. And Trinity’s Boy Scout troop, which organized in the fall of 1950, seemed the logical choice.

So Perry switched his scout night from Fridays at McCoy to Wednesdays at Trinity.

In a way, his experience parallels that of many other Trinity families who continued returning to a church somewhere else in the city for worship on Sunday or other activities for a while after moving to Homewood. But when their children reached a certain age, some aspect of Trinity’s outreach to youth pulled both children and parents into the fold of Trinity.

In the 1930s, when Perry was scoutmaster at McCoy, he and his scouts used to ride the Edgewood street car past the young Trinity church on their way to Camp Andrews for weekend camps. The streetcar line passed behind Trinity Methodist and Edgewood Baptist Churches, passing over a wooden trestle spanning a marshy area behind Dawson and turning down to Oxmoor Road and finally to Broadway to where the tracks ended near the intersection of the Green Springs Highway and Lakeshore Drive. From this terminus, scouts from all over the Birmingham area used to hike up over Shades Mountain, down through the present site of Hoover, and turned west to the to camp on Alabama Highway 150, a short distance from the present-day Riverchase Gallleria*. Many troops maintained their own cabins around the lake at Camp Andrews. The camp was closed in the late 1940s and sold to a local lumber company. It was replaced with Camp Arrowhead near Clanton in the early 1950s.

In the late 1920s’ and during the 1930s, the only Boy Scout troop in the Homewood area met at Edgewood Baptist Church (now Dawson Memorial). The troop had a scout hut on the site of the present parking lot on the western side of the sanctuary. The only lasting records of this scout hut are early maps of Edgewood and references to the hut in minutes of the Edgewood Town Council. A one-story, frame building, it had served as the first town hall when Edgewood was incorporated in 1920. (Ini­tially, the Council met in a garage belonging to H. T. Brownell, Edgewood’ s first mayor, whose home was on Broadway.) When Edgewood, Grove Park, and Rosedale came together to form Homewood in 1926, one of the last official acts of the Edgewood Town Council was to bequeath their town hall to the Boy Scouts as a meeting place. How long scouts met in this building is not known, and no photographs of it have been found.

As Homewood continued to grow in t he 1930s and 1940s, Boy Scout troops organized at other churches. For a while in the middle 1940s, scouts from the troop at Edgewood Presbyter­ian Church used a two-room, concrete block hut on Mecca Hill, which measured 20-by-30 feet and was equipped with thirty bunks. (Mecca Avenue ended at Mecca Hill, a block or two off Oxmoor Road. Area churches held Easter sunrise services there in 1945.)

Shortly after school began in the fall of 1950, Boy Scouts organized at Trinity. The September 28, 1950, edition of The Shades Valley Sun carried the following announcement:

“A new Boy Scout troop is forming, sponsored by the Trinity Men’s Club. Boys are invited to attend the first meeting in the Trinity chapel (the old army chapel ) on Seminole Drive this Thursday night a t 7 p.m. For further information, contact W.T. lvey.”

A copy of the Application for Troop Charter for the first year shows the following leaders: scoutmaster, J . W. Nielson; assistant scoutmaster, William J. Bindewald; troop chairman, W.T. Ivey; and troop committee members, F. P. Mere­dith, Jack P. Mills, W. V. Guy, and H. Robert Snow, Jr.

Charter members of Troop 97 were David E . Bingham, Richard Bingham, Julian Butler, Edward Chandler, Kenneth R. Daniel. William V. Guy, Jr., Larry Pratt, Gregory B. Rust, Van Sharpe, James Stewart, David Youland, and Frank L. Youland. Charter members of Explorer Post 297 were Bob Crowe, Lynn Meredith, and Courtenay Renneker, Jr. Membership doubled by the following year to twenty-five members.

A booklet prepared for Troop 97’s Silver Anniversary Banquet on November 31, 1975, showed the following men had served as scoutmasters: J. W. Nielsen, 1950-51; Charles S. Fletcher, Sr., 1951-52; Morton H. Perry, Sr., 1952-60; Harold E. Knapp, 1960-63; A.D. Roper, 1963 70; Richard E. Cunningham, 1970-73; and Willis C. (“Bill”) Rogers, Sr., 1973-77. Subsequent scoutmasters were: Don R. Hansen, 1977-81; and Lawrence A. Johnson , 1982-88.

Trinity’s program for Cub Scouts began a year after the Boy Scout troop was organized. Cub Scout Pack 397 was organized and held its first meeting on October 26 of that year; with Bert Zell as cubmaster, over fifty young boys organized into five dens. Assistant cubmaster was Weaver Saterbak. Other officials were: chairman, Sam Householder; treasurer, Dr. C.H. Winkler; and program chairman, Grady Lloyd . Den mothers were Mrs. E.C. Finch, Mrs. M.V. Huffman, Mrs. C.L. Thompson, Mrs. B.W. Franklin, and Mrs. J.G. Hitchcock.

Cub Scouts have operated continuously since then. In 1988 the cubmaster of Pack 397 was Jan Michael (“Tex”) Hawley, a fire fighter for Mountain Brook. He said there were eighty youngsters involved in Tiger and Cub Scouts in 1988 at Trinity. Tigers are a fairly recently created branch of scouting for first and second graders.

*Camp Andrews may be right about where Walmart is and around Paradise Lake.

Troop 97 around 1964 or 1965

Scoutmasters of Troop 97

James Warren Nielsen 1950 – 1951
Charles S. Fletcher, Sr. 1951 – 1952
Morton H. Perry, Sr. 1952 – 1960
Harold E. Knapp, Sr. 1960-63
A.D. (Dick) Roper 1963 – 1970
Richard E. Cunningham 1970 – 1973
Willis C. (Bill) Rogers, Sr. 1973 – 1976
Don E. Hansen, 1976 – 1981
Lawrence A. Johnson 1982 – 1988
Mark T. Wilson 1989 – 1991
Charles W. Allen 1991 – 1997
Fred H. von Herrman 1997 – 2000
Dean Snow 2000 – 2008
Steve Lloyd 2008 –

Eagle Scouts of Troop 97

1956
Richard Cross
Tommy Seay

1957
Allan Bell
Harold Owen Hagler
Charles Hare, Jr.
Randall Havicus
Steve Latham
Jack W. MacKay, Jr.
Morton Perry, Jr.

1958
S. Frank Carter
Bill Duffy
John A. Ivey
Dean Neptune

1959
James David Mason

1960
George E. Dailey, III
Robert D. Perrry
Mike Stanberry
William H. Wheeler

1961
Edwin R. Eldridge
Sam Hooten
John Meredith

1962
Edgar C. Brown, Jr.
William Allen Cobb
Douglass Roper

1963
Stan Hart
Harold E. Knapp, Jr.
Marvin C. Perry, II

1964
Bill A. Garwick

1965
James T. Baxter, III
James D. Newman
Allen C. Vaughn

1966
Walter L. Anderson
Timothy A. Chandler
Jerry S. McIntosh

1968
William B. McWilliam

1969
James A Bradford

1970
Dean A. Snow

1972
J. Tipton Bradford
John C. Cook, Jr.

1973
Bill B. Burge
Richard E. Cunningham, Jr.
Michael R. Hallman
Samuel Forest Jesse
John Wilson McLarty
Patrick W. McNulty
Willis Cole Rogers, Jr.
Douglas A. Rosebrough
Scott E. Serota

1975
T. Ross Hallman
Robert S. Uhlich

1976
William D. French
William B. Harrell

1977
Tom B. Leonard
Gary H. Snow

1979
David R. Hansen
Edward R. Hansen
Kenneth O. Kirk, Jr.
Michael E. McNulty
Otis Brad Thrash
Mark H. Zassoda

1980
Michael H. Benninghof
Joel Drew Smith
David B. Walston

1981
James Kenneth Davidson
Lawrence Albert Johnson, Jr.
Charles Brent Smith
Shawn M. Wright

1982
Robert Walker, III

1984
Reynold S. Hortberg
Clay Leonard
Noel B. Leonard

1985
Stephen W. Damsgard
John D. Glasgow
Charles B. Nance

1986
Robert H. Boyce
Christopher W. Glass

1987
John Mark Alexander
Ralph W. Damsgard
R. David Kachelhofer
Patrick S. Mosely

1988
Robert Paul Henderson
Wesley Louis Lovelady

1989
William D. Hood
Gregory John Lukins
Derek Lee Moore

1990
John Michael Coggin
Charles Jeffrey Moses

1991
William Joel Forsee
Jason Daniel Lee

1992
Charles W. Allen, Jr.
Mark William Henderson
James C. Summers

1993
James Jennings Allen
Joshua C. Parker
W.A. Thagard
Mark Andrew Wilson

1994
Daniel Ray Alexander
Michael Hans Fritschi
Eric M. Haas
David Earl Lawley
Brandon W. Shaw
Martin James von Herrmann
Arthur Nelson Wade

1995
Gifford Bennett Haynes, III

1996
Michael Brooks Barron, Jr.
Mathew Joseph Hails
Aaron Fekry Ismail
Henry Clay Quillen
Christopher George Wade

1997
David Arthur Bacon
Christopher Harrison Bailey
Larry Michael Carr

1998
Kevin Michael Corley
William Christopher Graves
Patrick M. Hails
Joe David Jackson
Robert K. Prince
Richard Wayne Thomas
Peter F. von Herrmann

1999
Daniel Thomas Carter
Cully Andrew Dorer
Charles Henry Eager, Jr.
William Caldwell Mackin
Thomas Clinton Swindle, Jr.
Lucas M. Wilson

2000
Daniel Hill, Jr.
Ian Anderson Snow

2001
Nathaniel Dodd

2002
Robert Brent Emerick

2003
Christopher Crichton
Peter Luckianow
Grant Moore
Vaughn Traywick

2004
Jeremy Burgess
Bradley Caldwell
Wink Crittenden
John Eager
David Hall
Andrew Snow
Martin Still

2005
Alex Crichton
Robert Levy
Hunter Reynolds

2006
Paul Craig
Kevin Fly
Adam Lloyd

2007
Sean Phillips
Colin Albea
Austin Boehme
Nick Badger
Stan Badger
Hugh Snow

2008
Walker Donaldson
Drew Templeton

2009
Russell Lloyd
Geoffrey Cook
Caleb Weaver
Christian Mays

2010
Mitchell Anderson
Ben Laws
Burton Nabors
David Boyette
Zach Gaston
Lee Templeton
Andrew Hall
Chase Callender
Geoffrey Lein
Evan Mays

2011
Spencer Boyd
Davis Goode
Joseph D. Gillis
LeRoy R. Holt
Wilson M. Roberts
Aaron P. Stansell
Douglas Coghlan
Gabriel Schrader

2012
Samuel C. Campbell
Zach Blomeley
Zachary C. Sims
Josh Gardner
Arthur E. Walker
John M. Slaughter
John R. Page

2013
Nick Anderson
John Bailey
Charles A. Kelly III
Justin Fletcher

2014
Phil P. Hontzas
Denzel W. Royal
Jackson Langlow
Peter B. Simpson
Sourav Banerjee

More to come…