Troop 755 Welcomes All to 65th Anniversary Campout Celebration
1947 heralded the invention of Tupperware. Sightings of flying saucers were first documented. Drive-in movie theatres dotted America’s landscape. Harry Truman was president. Here in Northville, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 755 was founded, and sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Northville.
Troop 755’s colorful 65-year history boasts strong community service, unparalleled leadership opportunities, and nearly 1000 rigorous campouts. Scouts recently explored caverns in Indiana and traveled by dogsleds in Canada. Yet no milestones, even High Adventure Trips to Alaska and Hawaii, compare to their one-time-only event on tap for late April, right here at home.
The troop will celebrate its 65th anniversary with an ambitious campout which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening April 27 and concludes at noon on Sunday April 29. Ford Field, in downtown Northville, will host over 150 Scouts and Scouters (registered adult leaders), past and present, for two nights of camping, training, demonstrations and ceremonies to commemorate this important anniversary. For 40 fifth graders, new to the troop, this marks their first troop campout.
Select activities are open to the public. Saturday’s activities include two service projects. The troop will spread mulch at Mill Race Village (adjacent to Ford Field) and help First Presbyterian Church with a clothing drive. At Ford Field, guests can watch diverse demonstrations, led by Scouts and Scouters. A reunion lunch will host many of the troop’s 193 Eagle Scouts. The 4 p.m. dinner will welcome troop families, alumni and friends, along with a special ceremony to honor previous Scoutmasters, Senior Patrol Leaders and Eagle Scouts. Troop 755’s Summer Camp Band (one of BSA’s few in-house bands) and Alumni Band will provide music.
Committee Chairman Alan Bennett looks forward to the “unique chance to welcome new Scouts and their families, along with the return of past Scouts and Scouters. Many have not been home for several years.”
4:30 p.m. Saturday’s flag retirement ceremony encourages citizens to surrender weathered American flags. Those with flags to retire can contact Scoutmaster Mike Kowalczyk at 203 675 5011, or go to www.troop755.org, then use the “Contact Us” feature to notify the troop. Tattered flags can also be brought to the ceremony or given to a troop member. Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) Aaron Kowalczyk, an NHS sophomore, reflects that “many people don’t know what to do with old flags. We’re trained to retire them properly. We’ve done this service dozens of times, and are proud to serve our community in this unique way.
As SPL, Kowalczyk is the troop’s youth leader for one year. Adult leadership starts with Kowalczyk’s father Mike, now in his third year as Troop 755’s Scoutmaster, who explains “the boys pick their own leaders. Adults have no vote. The fact that Aaron’s peers chose him is a great source of pride for me. He really cares about upholding the traditions entrusted to him.”
Troop 755’s motto, “A Proud Tradition”, is bolstered by 80 Scouters who volunteer with the 150-member troop. Scoutmaster Kowalczyk adds, “First Presbyterian Church of Northville has provided unsurpassed support since 1947. The church is an amazing partner.” These commitments, along with steadfast parental help, saw this group grow to be Michigan’s largest BSA troop, and the 34th largest troop in the nation.
The troop is confident that the high ideals and diversity of scouting will be readily apparent throughout the upcoming 65th anniversary celebration. “When we do service projects, ring the Salvation Army bell at Christmas and go on campouts, the sense of pride and optimism in the future is evident. The spirit is contagious,” notes Scoutmaster Kowalczyk. His son, SPL Kowalczyk concludes, “We’re proud to celebrate our history. We’re also anxious to welcome new Scouts and their families, along with past Scouts and Scouters. While we camp somewhere exciting every month, this will be really special. We’ve planned some awesome surprises and unforgettable activities, right in our own back yard.”
For more information: www.troop755.org