Elmhurst scout troop celebrates centennial
by Chase Collum
Aug 15, 2014 | 1184 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For 100 years, the tradition of scouting has been running strong in Elmhurst, home to Boy Scout Troop 17, which came together to celebrate another anniversary at the Queens Botanical Gardens on Saturday.

Several hundred members were contacted for the event, and throughout the day current troops, alumni, friends and family gathered at the garden to celebrate the momentous occasion.

There, they enjoyed a retrospective photo gallery and display of scout memorabilia, a camping, fishing and backpacking demonstration, a climbing wall and other outdoor activities, as well as a presentation on sustainability.

In a short ceremony outside the garden’s gift shop, the current patriarch of the Troop 17 family, Ralph De Falco, who has been running the troop since he took over as temporary scoutmaster in 1954, accepted an award on behalf of the troop for keeping the tradition going for a century.

“Scouting is only 104 years old, and this troop is 100,” said Field Director Joe Schlitz. “That is a singular accomplishment, and as everyone knows, Ralph is a true example of scouting. He’s forgotten more about scouting than most people know.”

DeFalco shared a few memories with the attending crowd, and hailed all those who have continued to be a part of the Troop 17 family even after moving on to adulthood.

“All I can say is it’s nice to see not just our alumni here, but people who are involved in scouting outside our troop,” DeFalco said.

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