The Beginnings

Bayport’s first Scout Troop was organized in 1917 and the first Scoutmaster was Rev. Carl Schaufuss, a student minister supplying the Bayport Congregational Church. The first Troop Committee was formed in 1918 and included Mr. Herbert J. Andersen, Chairman, George Lennartson and Harold Rothschild. The Troop was first registered at National Headquarters in March 1922 under the sponsorship of the Bayport Public School, and the Bayport Troop is now officially a 25 year Troop. 

The school principal, Mr. Halvorsen, was Scout Scoutmaster in 1922 and was succeeded that same year by Ray Cummings, the new principal, who continued as Scoutmaster for the next eight years. 

In 1927 the Troop was registered under the St. Paul Area Council as Troop No. 98 and the Troop Committee included Harold Rothschild, Chairman, George Lennartson and James D. Rowland. Eight scouts were registered that year. In 1929 the Bayport American legion Post No. 491 assumed the sponsorship and in 1930 the Troop Number was changed to 113. 

Membership and general activity increased rapidly until the peak year of 1937 when 62 Scouts were registered. Marvin Moen was Scoutmaster, with Hermen Acklin and Tom Serier as assistants, and Roy Sakrison was Chairman of the Troop Committee. Other committee, members were Harold Rothschild, Dr. E. V. Strand, Dr. R. J. O’Brien, and L. A. Berg. That year the Troop sent three members to the National Jamboree at Washington, D. C., Eugene Butler, Bob Berg and Donald Wilson, Jr. Other activities included the paper collection, Anniversary Party and Parents’ Night at the Village Hall, Camp at Square Lake, Sports Field Day at Hudson, Annual Fall Rally at Stillwater and the St. Paul Area Round-Up. The Troop also received the 10-Year Program Award for having one out of every four boys stay in Scouting four years. 

An important factor in the success of Scouting in Bayport has been generous public support and particularly the enthusiastic and unselfish service of the Troop Committeemen, many of whom continued to serve year after year. Perhaps special mention should here be made of those Committeemen who have served ten years or more. They are: Harold Rothschild, George Lennartson, Roy Sekrison, Dr. E. V. Strand and Dr. R. J. O’Brien. Harold Rothschild has the longest service record as he has been a Troop Committeeman continuously since 1918. 

Another Bayport Scouter deserving special mention is Frank Slaughter who has served eleven years as District Commissioner as well as five years as Scoutmaster of the local Troop. Both Harold and Frank have been honored with the Silver Beaver Award by the St. Paul Area Council in recognition of special service to Scouting. Marvin Moen is another Bayport Scouter who has been specially honored. He received the Scout Master’s Key in 1946 and shares the honor of this award with Frank Slaughter, who received his key in 1941. 

1920’s Scouting in Bayport

As told by Phil Huss to Joe Reding in 1986

In the mid to late 1920’s while Ray Cummings and Reverend Spencer were Scoutmasters of the Bayport Troop; things were much as they are today, more or less.

Regular meetings were held once a week in the old school, with much emphasis being placed on knot tying and first aid. With the onset of spring the Troop participated in the Decoration Day Parade.

For a short outing the Troop would hike down to Hobo’s Point, and roast wieners over a fire.

The big event of the summer was the canoe trip on the St. Croix. Equipment was a simple canvas canoe for 3 Scouts, a shelter half, a bed roll, and a good supply of number 10 fruit cans.

It took Reverend Spencer, Phil Huss, Ernie Serier, Warren Huss, Merrill Pickers, Max Bell, Lester Palmer and Don Henning three days to canoe to their camp site above the Nevers Dam, North of Taylors Falls. (Troop 113 will be doing a service project in this area in 1986). The use of shelter halves as sails made the trip easier.

Food and water were acquired along the way. Creeks were followed to their source and usually a previous adventurer had positioned a barrel or something over the spring to keep it clear. Fishing wasn’t very good, but Reverend Spencer “acquired” some very good corn from a field beside the river. Potatoes were pealed by the third man in the canoe, and the entire meal was ready to pop into the number ten cans, by the time they reached their destination. Nine pancakes was the norm for breakfast, with rice pudding and watermelon being favorites for supper desert.

The shelter halves proved to be of more use as ground cloths than tents, as the weather was fair. They also made a dandy place to roll up all your personal items, and then lash the bundle into the canoe.

The river was very peaceful; they often went an entire day without seeing another person. Provisions for the second half of the trip were purchased at Taylors Falls. The grocer was a helpful man, and used his truck to portage the boys around the dam.

They spent three days in camp, and then got up bright and early and canoed for home. The entire trip cost each boy 5 or 6 dollars.