Troop History

After the U.S. Scouting movement began in 1910, scouting in Stamford was founded two years later by a man named Alfred Dater. Along with John Hoyt (the camp name is familiar to us all), he formed a local council in 1917, with Troop 11 initially having a couple of ‘missteps’ while being founded. According to records from the Stamford Advocate and Stamford Historical Society, our first documentation was in December 1919 already being ‘inactive’. Organized by our first scoutmaster Father J.J. Kelley of St. John’s Catholic Church. by January 1920, 48 scouts had registered, with no activity reports until the troop was again reorganized in October 1921 by a scoutmaster named W.A. Lilly, reportedly meeting at a baptist church. By 1926, the troop finally found its then-permanent home, meeting at the North Stamford Congregational Church under then-new scoutmaster Victor Fox. Our troop stayed at the North Stamford Congregational Church up until December 2016. From then until 2020 when covid hit, we were sponsored by Holy Spirit Church. We are so pleased to be meeting at the Long Ridge Fire Company. 

To date, the longest-serving scoutmaster was Harry McKeon, who after being a troop scout and assistant, became scoutmaster by 1933 and remained so until apparently the mid-1960s, after about 35 years of service. After scoutmaster McKeon moved, the troop temporarily disbanded but it reformed in 1967; a short period of interruption in an otherwise full century of great activities.

Our troop has been fortunate to be guided by committed and dedicated adult leaders and troop committees, with former scoutmaster Dave Welton being our ‘scoutmaster emeritus,’ with nearly 30 years of veteran service, fast approaching the tenure of Harry McKeon. Additional leaders of the past include; Alfred Ware during the late 1960s, Pat Perry, Mark Baharian, Fred Silverman, Mark Larusso, Rich Baron, and our current grand poobah, John Clapps. In more recent years they have been supported by dedicated assistant scoutmasters and committee members including; Tom Crohan, Dana Hunt, Chet Wickett, Andy Karwoski, Charles Colfer, Anne, and Les perry, Anna Martignoni, Lisa and Spencer Rankin, Ron Ruffinott, Jim Fountain, Mike Miller, Paul Bissett, Brian Benson, Rob Beck, Andy Siegel, Mary Ellen Burns and last but not least, Bill Janocha. 

Troop 11 currently boasts a high percentage of eagle scouts, with hundreds of hours of community service thru projects performed for our local camps, charities, and nature center rendered each year. Our most notable eagle remains an American hero, navy seal officer Brian Bill, killed in August 2011 with other service members fighting terror in Afghanistan. Despite societal trends, we currently have reached the highest number of members in decades, well supported by our pack 11 of younger scouts and adult leaders such as Daryl Smith, Hans Wernke, Ashley Morgan, and others.

This section was written by Bill Janocha on June 14th, 2021 with the help of former troop scribe Alex Zavoluck and Chris Janocha. Edited by Mike Schiffman.