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After 2 decades of molding young men, Troop 60 will disband

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Former Boy Scouts and their leaders in Troop 60 in Albion met for a farewell dinner at Hojack’s Bar and Grill tonight. The troop is turning in its charter next month.

Pictured, kneeling, include from left: Dale Adamo and Ben Metcalf. Standing, from left: Jonathan Doherty, Scout Executive Jess Markel, Dave Hollenbeck, past scoutmaster Mike Metcalf, and assistant scoutmaster Steve Yoder.

The troop formed in 1997 and was sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church. About 50 to 60 boys participated in the troop, with 12 attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

“It taught me a lot about character,” said Ben Metcalf, 26. ‘If everyone lived by the 10 Commandments and the 12 Scouting principles, we wouldn’t have any problems in the world.”

Ben and his brother Tom both earned their Eagle rank. Their father Mike was a long-time Scoutmaster and volunteer.

Some of the Scouts reminisced by their adventures, including winter camp outs, biking and canoeing trips along the Canal (all the way to Camp Dittmer in Phelps), the Pinewood Derby and other activities.

Troop numbers dwindled in recent years. There was one Scout left at the end of last June and he transferred to Troop 164 in Albion. There are two remaining troops in the Albion community, Troop 164 is sponsored by the Catholic Church and Troop 175 is sponsored by the West Barre United Methodist Church.

Many of the Scouts became leaders in the five-county Iroquois Trail Council by working at Camp Dittmer in the summers. Allen Sanford is among the recent Troop 60 Scouts who continues to be a leader at Dittmer.

Metcalf worked as a Scout Executive before joining Jim and Adam Kirby at their farm in Albion.

Steve Yoder has been an assistant scoutmaster for about 30 years, staying with the program after his son aged out. He started volunteering in Rochester, and was with Troop 60 from day one in 1997. Yoder has been paralyzed on the left side of his body since he had a stroke in his early 30s about three decades ago.

He didn’t let that stop him from sharing how to start fires in the wilderness and stay warm on winter camp-outs. His secret to staying warm in the cold: eat a lot of cheese.

“Everyone contributes something,” he said about the Scouting program. “It’s gratifying to teach them a skill and have them come back later and say, ‘You taught me that.'”

Jonathan Doherty is among the Eagle Scouts at Troop 60. He stayed on as an adult volunteer and will help at Troop 164. He organized the dinner tonight.

Troop 60 won’t be going away, even as it turns in its charter.

“You still have all these people,” said Jess Markel, a Scout Executive who attended tonight’s dinner. “Hopefully Troop 60 will be a phoenix and rise again.”