Newport’s local Boy Scouts of America Troop (#3) is celebrating 70 years as a group and is inviting all former scout families and supporters to join them for a 70th-anniversary party!

According to records at the Narragansett Council in East Providence, RI, Boy Scouts Of America (BSA) Troop #3 Newport was chartered by the Sheffield School Parent Teacher Organization in 1947. The original Scoutmaster was Francis Marshall and it started with 11 scouts.

BSA Troop #3 Newport is inviting all former scout families and scouting supporters to a 70th-anniversary party on Saturday, June 3 at 6:00 at Sanford-Covill Villa Marina, 72 Washington Street, Newport. The event is free to attend.

“It’s going to be like a family reunion” says Committee Chair Steve Hebda, “only better.”   Hebda has been involved with Troop 3 for the past three years since his son Peter, a sophomore at Rogers HS moved to Newport.  “We live by a common code so no matter the age difference or the miles that may separate us – Scouters are like family when they get together.  That is why so many military families enjoy scouting – wherever they go – they can fit right into a scout troop and feel at right at home.”

That is one of the defining characteristics of the dynamic of the current troop of about 24 boys from ages 11-17, more than half of the troop members are from military families and will not stay in Newport more than a year or two.  But that hasn’t affected the stability of the troop as the current leadership has stayed in place more than a decade.  Glenn Gardiner, Scoutmaster and Mike Flynn, Assistant Scoutmaster have been with Troop #3 Newport since their sons were active in the troop and took over the leadership in 2006.

Boys Scouts Of America Troop #3 Newport

Troop 3 is sponsored by Newport Elks Lodge #104 and is a member of BSA Narragansett Council, current scouts attend All Saints STEAM Academy, St. Philomena School, Thompson Middle School, Rogers, Middletown and Bishop Henricken High Schools and some scouts are home schooled.

Current and former sponsors are also invited to attend the 70th Anniversary party, those sponsors include Sheffield School PTO / PTA  (5/16/47 – 3/31/75), Lions Club of Newport (3/31/75 – 3/31/77) Trinity Church (3/31/77 – 3/27/87) and
Elks Lodge (3/27/87 to current).  Sponsors do or have provided a meeting place for weekly meetings during the school year and special events

In the past 70 years, 84 Eagle Scouts have been passed their Eagle board of review under the Troop #3 flag.  But many members spent a year or two here and complete their Eagle requirements elsewhere.

One recent example of an Eagle Scout moving on is Hunter Slade. Hunter was a Life Scout and student at Rogers High School while his father was a student at the War College.  During his year in Newport, Hunter completed a scoutmaster project and his Eagle project along with earning the distinguished Medal of Merit.  His scoutmaster project included leading scouts in a community service project at Ballard Park.

His Eagle project was to lead about 20 scouts in the improvement of the volleyball court at Miantonomi Park.  He earned his Medal of Merit along with another scout, Daniel O’Donnell based on testimony from their biology teacher, Mrs. Brooke Anderson who took the class on a field trip to a salt marsh to plant eelgrass.  One of the students was barefoot in the mud and cut himself and was bleeding profusely.  The scouts applied first aid and carried him to a location where the ambulance could meet them.

Hunter’s family moved out of the country after his Sophmore Year in 2015 and he became a Lone Scout.   According to Russ Milham, Advancement Chair for Troop #3 and advisor for Lone Scouts:  “On May 17th, an Eagle Board was formed at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan made up of 3 embassy staff, 2 of which are Eagle Scouts.  Hunter has been approved for Eagle Scout by this Eagle Board and I am now in the process of moving it on through Narragansett Council to the National BSA.

Boy Scouts of America has three objectives:  character development, citizenship training and personal fitness.    For more information about BSA Troop 3 Newport, please call Glenn Gardiner at 401 846-9583 x 2002.

For more information about the reunion:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bsa-troop-3-newport-celebrates-its-70th-anniversary-tickets-34575176283

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.