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About Us

Introduction

Boy Scout Troop 457 is chartered to St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 6540 Main Street in Williamsville, NY, and meets in the Fellowship Hall most Wednesday nights during the Williamsville District school year from 7:30 PM until around 9:00 PM. We appreciate the church's generosity for serving as our charter organization and for allowing us to use their facilities for our meetings. Please note that Troop members do not have to be members of this church, and while many are not, we do participate in church services on some occasions ("A Scout is Reverent").

Troop 457 has about 100 active members, and like all good Boy Scout Troops is a Scout-led Troop, meaning that Scouts in our Troop are given many opportunities to develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Our Scouts elect a Senior and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders, and other officers of rank who meet monthly to plan and carry out the yearly Troop program of activities. Once planned, the whole Troop participates in organizing the event and making it a success. High energy, enthusiasm, and team spirit characterize our Troop.

The Troop's current Scoutmaster is Mr. Wilson, and the current Committee Chair is Mr. Kennedy. We should also note that Troop 457 is part of the Onondaga District of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council. The council is located at 2860 Genesee Street in Cheektowaga, NY, and has a well-stocked Scout Shop for uniforms, equipment, and other Scouting-related items.

History

Troop 457 was chartered to the Boy Scouts of America in 1971. It has always met at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, which moved from the city of Buffalo to its current location in 1965, and has become a part of the church's community (there is a very nice history of the church online). It has become a tradition to show our thanks to the church in several ways, such as organizing cleanup activities in the fall and a pancake breakfast fundraiser in the winter. We also participate in church services when requested.

Our Eagle Scout Roll of Honor goes from 1977 to the present day, and we are proud that so many have completed the journey to this prestigious rank. There are also thousands of other Scouts who have learned and grown through the programs our Troop has provided, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many volunteers.

Another Troop tradition is the end-of-year Court of Honor, where all Scouts are recognized for their accomplishments during the past year. This is usually followed by snacks contributed by the families, and is a nice way to finish up before the summer break.

Weekly Participation

As mentioned earlier, we meet regularly at the church, and we find a weekly schedule beneficial to keeping the program interesting for the Scouts. During these meetings, the Scouts perform activities such as:

  • Plan for future events such as weekend camping, summer camp, and service projects;
  • Hold Patrol meetings;
  • Participate in Merit Badges classes;
  • Practice Scouting skills;
  • Maintain, organize, and inventory Troop equipment; and
  • Play Troop or Patrol games;

And, of course, have a good time while doing all of the above.

The Great Outdoors

Troop 457 camps out on a monthly basis from September through May, and embraces the Patrol method, where Scouts in groups of 8-10 cook their own meals, organize themselves, and coordinate their activities in conjunction with Troop activities. Cold weather training sessions help new Scouts learn how to camp safely during the winter months, and we run orientation sessions for new Scouts at the start of the year to help them learn what gear they should purchase (and not purchase).

Our monthly campouts incorporate a variety of Troop traditions, such as the Turkey Roast campout in the Fall, Patrol campouts in December, the Klondike Derby campout in January, a new Tenderfoot campout in March, and various campouts in April, May & June.

We have a strong summer camp tradition, where many of our Scouts go for a week of tent camping combined with Merit Badge classes and activities that are both fun and instructive. We usually camp at Schoellkopf Scout Reserve, our local Council's camp, every other year, as well as out-of-Council camps such as Camp Gorton or Camp Barton in the Finger Lakes, and Massawepie Scout Camps in the Adirondack Mountains. We have found that different summer camp programs have different things to offer, and alternating makes for a more well-rounded and interesting experience.

Our older Scouts participate in BSA national programs such as Philmont Scout Ranch and The Florida Sea Base. We have also started our own "high adventure" program, with Troop-organized trips such as recent excursions to the Adirondack Mountains for climbing and winter sports activities.

We also do a yearly four day fall trip, usually to a place of historical or cultural interest, and other such opportunities as they arise during the year. In the past, we have visited NYC, Gettysburg PA, Washington DC, Boston MA, and Valley Forge/Philadelphia PA.

Service With a Smile

We have a strong tradition of service to the community, and members of our Troop contribute many hundreds of hours per year to a variety of service projects. These projects can be as diverse as: helping to landscape houses for Habitat for Humanity or other such groups, building or repairing paths at a nature preserve, improving facilities for charitable groups, rehabilitating used bicycles for the needy, participating in food drives, acting as "victims" in a simulated disaster, and planting flags on veterans' graves on Memorial Day.

While service is a requirement for some rank advancements, we encourage participation as part of the core principles of the Scouting program, as expressed in the Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. Service projects can also educate Scouts about the various needs in the world around them, that doing good deeds for others instills a feeling of pride, and can help them learn practical skills in the course of assisting in these efforts.

The Path to Eagle Scout

Troop 457 has a strong rank advancement program, based upon national standards created by the BSA. Scouts learn important skills that will serve them well throughout their lives, and are recognized for their progress by advancing through various ranks, from Tenderfoot at the beginning of their journey to Eagle at the pinnacle.

The First Year

For Scouts in their first year, a program is run by older Scouts and adult leaders to help them advance to the rank of First Class. They will learn about the world around them, develop practical skills, and learn to work together as a team. Sessions at our weekly meetings are combined with activities on our monthly campouts to help them advance at their own, personal, rate of progress.

Merit Badge Programs

For Scouts at the rank of First Class and above, Merit Badge classes are run at our weekly meetings, thanks to a large, dedicated group of adult leaders. The size of our Troop and the level of parental committment allows us to teach eight of the twelve badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout every semester. The remaining four are usually earned at summer camp, but the leadership is also willing and able to work with the Scouts on those, as needed.

In addition to the twelve Eagle-required badges, there are over 100 additional badges that can be earned by the Scouts. These badges cover a range of mental, physical, practical, and entertaining areas of interest, and are a wonderful way to learn about things they may not otherwise have a chance to experience. We offer some of these badges during the Scout year, usually taught by adults who have hobbies or occupations in areas relevant to them, and they can be lots of fun. Many of these badges are also offered at summer camp, and through Merit Badge Workshops offered by our Council.

Eagle Service Projects

One of the final, and most difficult, challenges for an Eagle Scout candidate is his service project. This entails choosing a project that is approved by local council and the national organization, planning every aspect of it, and involving significant, supervised activity by Scouts and others. It is designed to demonstrate leadership, organization, and service to the community, and members of our Troop always contribute their time and resources to help the prospective Eagle Scouts.

To help Scouts who are at this point in their progress, we have a mentoring program to guide them through the process. These mentors help coordinate "Trail to Eagle" programs, give advice about service projects, and provide assistance with paperwork.

We Get Around

Here is a list of some of the places we've gone recently:

  • New York City, where we visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan.  We stayed at Camp Pouch on Staten Island, and took the Staten Island Ferry to our destination each day,
  • Washington DC visiting Air and Space and National Monuments and Attending National Veteran's Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery;
  • Boston, Massachusetts for a Freedom Trail hike and visiting Lexington and Concord;
  • Philadelphia and Valley Forge for historic hikes and tours;
  • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for the National Park Scout Program;
  • Fort George, Canada for the annual Scout Brigade, which also involves recreations of War of 1812 battles with the participation of both U.S. and Canadian Scouts;
  • Camp Schoellkopf, Cowlesville, NY for monthly campouts, summer camp, and the annual Klondike Derby;
  • Camp Barton - Cayuga Lake, Camp Gorton - Lake Waneta, and Camp Schoellkopf for summer camp;
  • Camp Stonehaven for monthly campouts and various first year campouts.
  • Cimmaron, New Mexico for Philmont Scout Reserve, in 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000;
  • The Florida Keys for Sea Base Scout Camp, in 2011, 2010, 2005 and 2007;
  • Nine Mile Island, Amherst, NY for a bike trek and campout;
  • Letchworth State Park- for an attempt at whitewater rafting, if only there was enough water!
  • Don Miller Park in North Tonawanda for a number of outings.
  • Dunn Tire Park, Buffalo, NY for a Bisons game and campout in the outfield.

Contact

Please email Troop 457 for more information, or please go to our Contact Us page.