FOR TROOP 213, ST. CHARLES HAS BEEN THE WIND BENEATH ITS WINGS
by Rich Kelley, on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of St. Charles Borromeo Parish
Troop 213 of the Boy Scouts of America has enjoyed and flourished under the sponsorship of St. Charles Borromeo for the past 46 years. First chartered in 1962, the troop has a proud history of developing the character, leadership skills, and personal fitness of youths from Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and the surrounding communities.
St. Charles has generously loaned its gymnasium for the Scouts to use for their weekly troop meetings, which currently occur on Sunday afternoons. At these meetings the Scouts learn the classic scout skills – first aid, knot-tying, map and compass use — and plan their extensive calendar of activities.
Learning by doing: At least once a month the troop travels to one of the area campgrounds — Camp Alpine in New Jersey, Camp Pouch in Staten Island, or Ten Mile River near Narrowsburg, NY — to develop firsthand knowledge of outdoor lore: pitching camp, making and cooking over open fires, hiking, plant and tree identification, animal tracking, identifying constellations, and much more. In years past, the troop has even traveled as far as Yellowstone Park in California. Bowling, cycling, hiking, rifleshooting – a wide range of day trip activities also fill the troop calendar. Every summer the troop camps for a week at Ten Mile River, usually at Camp Aquehonga or Camp Keowa, where the scouts deepen their knowledge of scout skills through intensive merit badge sessions on subjects ranging from archery to astronomy, leather-craft to lifesaving, rowing to reptile and amphibian study. Troop 213 also believes in giving back to the community, which it has demonstrated by engaging in numerous service projects: blood, food and coat drives, serving meals at homeless shelters, Christmas tree recycling, and voter registration drives.
The Scouts lead: While the adult leaders offer guidance and support, all of these activities are designed to encourage self-reliance, initiative, and cooperation among the scouts—and to enable them to have fun while they grow and learn. In the process they discover new personal leadership skills and form friendships that last a lifetime.
Commitment to excellence: Becoming an Eagle Scout is the ultimate achievement for a Scout. It means he has mastered the core skills, acquired 21 merit badges, demonstrated leadership skills, and completed a service project. Troop 213 is very pleased to have had seven scouts advance to the rank of Eagle in the past eight years.
The troop welcomes new members, ages 10 to 18. For more information about the troop, please contact Rich Kelley, its current Scoutmaster: [email protected]; Cell: 917-576-1310.