ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Troop 22 is one of the first Boy Scout Troops established in the United States. The Boy Scouts organization was originally founded in England by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. Soon thereafter in 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce visited London. There on the streets of the city, Boyce encountered a young Boy Scout of whom he asked for directions. Boyce, being highly impressed with the young lad’s good manners and helpfulness, endeavored to learn more of the scouting movement. Seeing the virtues of the scouting program, Boyce actively promoted scouting on this side of the Atlantic and incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8th, 1910.
Initially, Troop 22 was chartered as Troop 1. The accompanying picture of Boy Scout “Troop 1” was taken on Dec. 7, 1911. “The official date of the organization of the Atlantic Highlands troop is Dec. 1st, 1911.”* The first “Scoutmasters Annual Report” notes the official date as December 7, 1911. (*"From Indian Trails to Electric Rails" by Thomas H. Leonard, 1923, p 662).
Picture: Kneeling: Ralph Cossaboom, Howard Samo, James VanMater. Standing row 1: Kenneth Johnson, Frenwick Youenes, Frederick Katz, Edward Abel, Victor Cruser, Rev. J. H. Schaeffer, Theodore Davis. Standing row 2: Robert Flett, Dr. B. E. Failing, Asst. Scoutmaster, Paul Brunig, William Patterson, Joseph Dender
BSA Troop 1 of Atlantic Highlands disbanded April 1, 1915 because of World War I, re-organizing again January 23, 1917. Many men left to fight the war in Europe. When the troop restarted, it retained the Troop No. 1 title for 2 years; then it was Troop 1/22 for approximately 5 years. It became known as Troop 22 in 1924 and remains known as Troop 22 today.
The troop has over the years been chartered (in this order): (FPCAH) the First Presbyterian Church of Atlantic Highlands, the Atlantic Highlands High School/Public School, the Parent-Teachers Association of A.H., the Central Baptist Church, the Men's Group Methodist Church/1st Methodist Church, back FPCAH, and then back to the United Methodist Church in November, 1996.
Mr. Allen Resch has been the scoutmaster for 20 years. Under his leadership, hundreds of scouts obtained valuable skills and lessons in citizenship, outdoor activities and community involvement. Troop 22 now has 71 Eagle Scouts. This is the highest rank attainable and requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges, demonstrating scout spirit, service and leadership plus an extensive service project that the scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.
Stay tuned for future articles on Troop 22 events as 2011 unfolds. The next article will be: “Troop 22 - It All Started with a Woman.”
Article written by Jackie Thomas with special thanks to Barbara Valentin, “BSA Troop 22 Historian”