Boy Scout history in Dallas’s White Rock area


This article’s origin is an exploration of Pack 862’s history. It has expanded to cover more units.

Pack 862 is a Cub Scout pack in Dallas’s White Rock area. It is chartered by Central Lutheran Church. I was involved with it for ten years as a volunteer and, before that, six years as its Unit Commissioner.

Corrections? More info? Pictures or movies? Email me!

Pack 862’s predecessor packs

Pack 862 had two predecessor packs: Packs 566 and 568.

Pack 568 seems to have been more active and longer-lived than 566. Also, I include Troop 568 in this section since it seems to be tightly associated with Pack 568.

Pack 568

Pack 568 was at Hexter Elementary, starting in the mid-1950s.

This Dallas Morning News article is from February 13, 1957. Despite what it says, Pack 568 was not new. Date stamps on below photos show Pack 568 activity from before then. Some Google searches suggest the Cubmaster’s name was Quilman B. Davis (not Quillman), and he was an attorney with Aztec Oil and Gas Company. According to Social Security records, he lived Sept. 25, 1924 – Sept. 29, 1987.

Some accounts show this to be a large pack with several dens. It appears to have disbanded in the 1970s.

Monte Miller, a brand new Wolf Scout in Pack 568 in 1955. He says his Cub Scout friends taught him how to properly roll the neckerchief and tie the ends together.
Monte Miller sharing his Pack 568 Cub Scout adventures with Frisky the cat in February 1955.
May 1956 photo of Monte Miller at the end of his Bear year (3rd grade) and younger brother Mark Miller at the end of his Wolf year (second grade).
Pack 568 Lion or Webelos Cubs doing vegetable puppets, possibly in the Hexter Elementary auditorium. People in the photo: unknown, Louis Chaney, unknown, Monte Miller, Ricky Roberts, unknown, unknown.

Monte Miller, of 575 Bondstone, has these recollections of Pack 568:

Den meetings were held weekly. At the time, our Den Leader was one of the Cub Scouts mothers. Activities were varied, always fun, snacks provided and we all earned advancement points.

Evening Pack meetings were always well attended. Formal ceremonies opened the Pack meeting prior to full Pack and/or Den activities. In good weather, we had games outside where we burned off lots of energy.

I recall many Pack field trips to interesting places in Dallas. The DrPepper plant tour was always a favorite as we could drink all the DrPepper we could hold.

During the Mrs Baird’s Bakery tour, we were allowed to grab a hot loaf just as the bread came out of the ovens on conveyor belts. The place smelled delicious and we always burned our fingers and tongues on the hot bread. I seem to recall taking home small souvenir loaves.

Touring the big Dallas Power & Light facility was a bit like a Mad Max movie. Scary cool!

The Pack’s tour of the Frito factory is not one of my fondest Cub Scout memories. As we were enjoying being treated royally, we stopped by a large conveyor belt of fretting baked Cheetos. Our tour guide told us to grab some. As we Cubs were hungry all the time, we -and especially me- woofed down more wears Cheetos than we should have. By the time we got to our cars and headed home, I tossed up a belly full of those Cheetos. For many, many years afterward I could not smell a Cheeto without a gag reflex turning my stomach.

According to a Dallas Morning News articles from May 24, 1964 (page 69) and May 31, 1964 (page 69), Pack 568 participated in a “flag-raising ceremony”, with Troop 55 and Post 55, at a Dallas Realtors parade in Lee Park. The ceremony followed the remarks of Bill Campbell, the then vice-president of the Dallas Real Estate Board.

Billy Montgomery, from 549 Parkhurst, remembers starting first grade at Hexter in 1959. He probably joined Pack 568 in 1960 as a second grader. His den mother was Peggy Dowleren, who lived at 622 Brookhurst. Peggy’s son Tommy was in Billy’s den. Gerald Brahinsky was also involved, and his father Henry was Cubmaster.

Pack 568’s Den 9 visits Dallas’s Central Fire Station, probably on March 8, 1959.

Pictured in the photo:

  • Top row: Carol Perkins, Maggie McCaffrey, Carol’s brother Don Perkins (was not in Pack 568), Carol’s brother Richard Perkins
  • Middle row: Howard Cantwell, Robert Feagan, unknown boy
  • Bottom row, on left: Jim Sowell, Maggie’s brother Mike McCaffrey, Maggie’s brother Mark McCaffrey (another source, with a fuzzier memory, identified the rightmost kid as Roger Sims, who later went to Troop 55?)

Not pictured: Den mother of Den 9: Shirley Sowell.

Jim Sowell, bottom left in the above picture, recalls above fire station visit being from March 8, 1959. He recalls possibly being sad in the picture: he may have learned that his favorite SMU basketball player, Bobby James, died in a fire that same day while visiting his family in Ruston, LA. Jim went on to Troop 49 at Casa Linda Presbyterian and became an Eagle Scout.  He later served as President of Circle Ten Council. At Camp Wisdom, Billy Sowell Scout Camp and Shirley Sowell Cub World are named after Jim’s father and mother.

Raylan Loggins, of the Peninsula neighborhood, started Hexter in 1961 and joined Pack 568 as a Wolf in 1963. He went through the program, eventually becoming Troop 861’s fourth Eagle Scout.

Raylan recalls Pack 568 having Webelos when he joined. His Cubmaster was Bill Binford, from about 1963-1965. Jim Wright took over from Bill.

Jim Baker attended Hexter Elementary in 1966-1973 (1st through 7th grades) and was in Pack 568 and Troop 568. The pack’s meetings were at Hexter. (Side note: Jim’s ended his Cub Scout career as the Arrow of Light award was being introduced. Previously, one would earn a Lion badge, and the final Cub Scout badge was the Webelos badge. It transitioned to roughly the Webelos badge replacing Lion and Arrow of Light replacing the old Webelos badge. Jim was awarded both the (old) Webelos and (new) Arrow of Light badges.)

Ted Dodson, of 828 Peavy Road, was in Pack 568’s Den 6 from 1957-1960. His mother Phyllis was his den mother.

Den 6 met weekly at Ted’s house. Den 6 had eight members, some of whom were Ted and Doug Coldwell, Rob Curtis, Jay Vestal, and Mike McCaffrey, all friends who lived near his house. Ted got his Webelos rank in 1960. His family moved to North Dallas, where he continued on in Scouting with Troop 806.

Pack 568 was very active and had at least 50 boys participating. We all were especially proud to wear our uniforms to school on the day of our weekly Den meeting and for special occasions.

We took field trips that included one very special memory where we all flew in a propeller driven DC3 from Dallas Love Field to Fort Worth Amon Carter Field [this airport was just south of DFW Airport, also called the Great Southwest International Airport -Aren]. For most of us, this was our very first plane trip. I remember being frightened, but in awe as we became airborne. We became alarmed when our ears started “popping” as the old WWII vintage airplane gained altitude. The adults handed out chewing gum to mitigate the change in cabin pressure. The boys all remarked that the cars looked like ants. We touched down at Amon Carter Field after a very short trip and took back off to Love Field. Some of the boys suffered from motion sickness and the adults had to clean up the plane before we all got off.

Another vivid memory was the Pinewood Derby. Once a year, all of the boys would buy a special race car kit that consisted of a small block of wood and four wheels with little wooden axle mounting brackets. Also included were four screws that served as the axles. We were given 2 weeks to build a race car by carving the woodblock and mounting the wheels. Adults could supervise, but were not allowed to help. There was a weight limit of 6 ounces [today’s limit is only 5 ounces! -Aren]. I was the winner of the Den 6 entries and also won the quarter final race, but lost in the semi finals. The 1958 winner was a boy named Chris Dalton.

The pack raised money by participating in different projects including selling light bulbs door to door. We would also make things like pot holders and key chains to sell.

I have fond memories of my time as a Scout and have benefited my entire life from the experience. I often recite the Motto, Pledge and Laws to people including all of my grandkids.

Ted Dodson’s memories of Pack 568 and Scouting.
Ted Dodson, member of Pack 568’s Den 6, from 1958.

According to a Feb. 12, 1966 article in the Dallas Morning News titled “Scouts to Set Up Camp at Church”, Pack 862 was sponsored by the Victor Hexter School PTA. They participated in a Boy Scout Week display at St. John’s Episcopal School, along with Troop 55.

Pack 568 was around until at least the early 1970s. Per the 1972-1973 Hexter PTA book, Pack 568 and other Scouting or similar organizations performed flag ceremonies were opening PTA meetings.

Bill Salamon was in Pack 568’s Den 9 from 1957 to 1960. (NOTE: The boys in the above Den 9 were not part of his den, so we may have the wrong den number for one of these dens.) His den mother was Mrs. Greta Albach. He has these memories:

Pack 568 met out of Hexter Elementary School in Dallas. Monthly pack meetings were attended in full by parents and family all dressed up. Many ceremonies took place for the opening, including a flag ceremony.

We had our Pinewood Derby race in the auditorium at Hexter. I won the 1959 pinewood derby out of Pack 568. The Dallas Morning News was there and took a photo of me and two other Cub Scouts standing there, and we all had trophies in our hands. I still have my two trophies, one for the Den and one for the Pack.

I was also on the DC-3 plane that took off from Love Field Airport and flew to Amon Carter field in Fort Worth and then circled back around to Dallas. It was amazing view from my window looking down at all the buildings in downtown Dallas, especially the Southland Life building.

We took tours of Mrs. Baird’s Bread, and the Salt Mines in Mineola. And also went to a week long camp to Lake Texhoma where we had ceremonies to earn our ranks. There were five of us boys in one big tent.

The entire camp of Scouts attended a ceremony far away from camp in a large open clearing. The Boy Scouts put on a council of indians skit. They danced and chanted with spears in hand and were a little scary to this 8 year old Cub Scout.

At the close of the ceremony, all the new Cubs were told that they would have to watch the fire through the night. We had to take turns watching the fire in the clearing. We had to watch it alone by ourselves all night long in two hour shifts. We retired back to camp to sleep and a pack of 4 of the Scout indians grabbed me up and pushed me along the path way back to the clearing. They were very rough with me. They grabbed me by the shoulders and neck and as they pushed me along the path we came to the clearing where they shoved me down and made me sit in front of the fire. They told me to stay there and not say a word and watch the fire all night long. I knew it was in two hour shifts, so someone else would have to watch it after that. That was the longest time in my life that I ever felt alone and scared.

Mel Crutchfield was a Cub Scout in my den, and his father was a leader. I walked back to camp alone and scared after only one hour and found him sitting at a table talking to other Scout leaders. He walked me way back to the fire, set me down and told me long stories about fire and watching the fire, and how it was amazing, and how I was important to watch it. Then he left me and went back to camp. That was the first time in my life that I was really scared and felt alone. But the two hours did end and I was able to walk back to camp.

When I got back to the tent I was able to sleep. The Indians then woke another boy up and took him out to the fire and did the same thing with him.

My Den Mother, Mrs. Albach, lived one block behind us on Waterview. We had weekly Den meetings at her house on Wednesdays. Each Wednesday, we Cub Scouts we’re so proud of our uniforms that we wore them to school.

Mrs. Albach got me started collecting stamps. She gave me several, and when it was my birthday she gave me a stamp book, which I still have. I put all of the stamps in there and then continued collecting more over the years. I now have over 10,000 stamps. Some of mine are very rare and worth a lot of money.

Mrs. Albach wrote a skit. All the Cubs were in the skit, and we had lines to learn. She helped us with costumes and wigs and beards. We were a bunch of hillbillies, and it all took place in a general store. It was the first time for me on stage, and I was very scared to get in front of all those people. But I did it, and it was a great skit. Everyone loved it and many came up to me afterwards telling me how wonderful it was, and how I great I was.

Some of the other Cubs in our den were Kurt Albach, Mel Crutchfield, John Primdalh, John Wulf, and Scott Hammer. We had great times around White Rock Lake. We would take hikes through the trails and pathways, and sometimes on Saturdays we would all take our bikes and ride all the way around the lake. We even took a sack lunch and a drink.

The White Rock Lake Bath House was abandoned back then, and it was eerie looking. We used to climb the fence around the bath house and get inside and walk all around to explore.

What great times living around White Rock Lake. The experiences were life-changing as a young boy. Thanks to the Scouts and leaders of Hexter School and Mrs. Albach for being more than a Den Mother. She was our mentor and was amazing.

Pack 566

Existing simultaneously to Pack 568 was Pack 566.

Bert Topper was in Pack 566 starting in 1956.

Rahn Bruster remembers Pack 566 from the early ’60s. He joined in 1960 when he was in third grade. Rahn recalls at least ten dens and 5-6 boys in each den. Here is his memory of some events:

I do remember that we took a train from Dallas to Fort Worth to the Fat Stock Show one year and attended the rodeo. The cast of Bonanza was there and did a short skit. I also remember taking field trips to the top of the Southland Life Building, which at the time was the tallest building west of the Mississippi, and the Mrs. Baird’s bread plant. Also marching in a parade that ended on the field of the Cotton Bowl. Pretty cool stuff when you’re nine.

Also going on overnight camp outs at Star Ranch up near Denton.

Pack 566 met monthly in the Hexter auditorium. All its Scouts went to Hexter.

Raylan Loggins, who was in Pack 568 starting in 1963, recalls a small Pack 566 of 6-8 boys.

Roland “Stormy” Goss was Cubmaster for a few years, and his wife Katie was a den mother. Their sons David and Randy were members.

Randy was in Den 4, and he remembers these boys being in the same den:

  • Carl Dawson (his mom was also a den mother)
  • John Pritchett
  • Phil Moskowitz
  • Tommy Cox
  • Art Topper (Randy is less certain he was in Den 4)

Den 4 members generally graduated from Bryan Adams High School in 1969.

There was a third Topper brother, Mat, who was also in Pack 566. All three of the Topper brothers went on to get their Eagle Scout awards.

Randy remembers the pinewood derby being “exciting” and “certainly involved the dads”. The dads had their own competition with their own cars.

When boys were initiated into the pack in Randy’s days, there was a “branding” of the number 566 onto the chest of the new member. Of course, it was an ink stamp that was first put into a cauldron of “hot ice” (dry ice?) to make it look like fire. He remembers it looking real from a distance.

Randy remembers these field trips:

  • Train ride to Fort Worth to see the Stock Show and Rodeo. They met Dale Robertson, a western TV star and singer.
  • Mrs. Baird’s Bread factory (this was right by SMU)
  • Dr. Pepper bottling plant (this was just east of SMU on Mockingbird)
  • Salt mines in Grand Saline

Randy recalls that Pack 566 got too large, so another pack was started. Around that time, he thinks it had around seven dens with 8-10 Scouts per den.

John Pritchett, as per above, was a Den 4 member. This is him in 1959:

Pack 566 made awards from awards from Plaster-of-Paris. Provided by John Pritchett.
Pack 566 badges. Provided by John Pritchett.

After Cub Scouts, Randy and his brother joined Troop 36 at White Rock United Methodist Church. They both got Eagle at the same time. They and their dad stayed active through Randy’s sophomore year. They did leadership training and conservation training at Philmont Scout Ranch, and they did a trek with their Hawk Patrol in 1965.

From Randy:

Scouting has been a very positive influence in our lives and to participate with our dad made it even better. Skills learned are lifetime skills including leadership, presentation skills, goal setting, as well as camping, cooking, lifesaving, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, fire building, first aid, and on and on. Many of these we still use routinely with spouses and family. Both my brother and I were fortunate to participate with our sons in scouting and they received their Eagle rank also.

Unlike Pack 568, Pack 566 does not appear in the Dallas Morning News archives.

Troop 568 (first iteration)

Troop 568 was where several Pack 568 boys went. It met at Hexter Elementary. At that time, an elementary school sponsoring a Boy Scout troop made sense as Hexter went through seventh grade.

Al Bright recalls being involved in the mid-1950s.

Jim Dodson, Ted Dodson’s father, was Scoutmaster of Troop 568 from 1957-1960. Ted was a Cub Scout in Pack 568 during this time but still participated (he moved to a different part of town before he could join Troop 568). These are his memories of Troop 568:

My father, Jim Dodson, was the Scoutmaster of the Boy Scout Troop 568 from 1957 until 1960. He earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1938 as a member of a troop in Chickasha, Oklahoma. I was the Troop “Mascot”. Jim Dodson served with several other adult leaders including Mr. Walt Spiro, Mr. Al Bright Sr., Mr. McShan (McShan Florist) and Mr. McCuskey. The Troop met at the auditorium of Victor H. Hexter Elementary School on a weekly basis.

Once a month, the boys [in the troop] would go on a weekend camping trip to one of the several facilities located in the rural areas outside of the Dallas area. These facilities included Camp Wisdom, Camp Texhoma, Camp Constantin, McCamey Farm, Cedar Hill and on land owned by the adult leaders. Many of these camping facilities are now part of suburban Dallas. The troop also staged many of their daytime activities at White Rock Lake. Once a year, scouts could elect to go to summer camp where you would earn some of the more difficult merit badges and fulfill the requirements for advancement during the two week period [today, summer camp is only one week -Aren]. Here, you could be selected to receive the coveted “Order of the Arrow” fellowship status.

The weekend camping trips were rain or shine and occurred regardless of the weather conditions. My dad facilitated the procurement of the first camping equipment used by Troop 568 consisting of 12 four person water resistant tents that were purchased from the Childress Canvas Company. The expensive tents were funded by dues paid by troop members and from the proceeds earned from a shooting gallery booth that was set up during the annual Hexter School Carnival [for many years, Cub Scout Pack 862 ran a booth at this event! -Aren]. The booth structure was built by the adult leaders. The rifles shot rubber bands at ping pong balls resting on top of coke bottles. Carnival goers would pay for a chance to win a small prize if they shot the ping pong ball off of the coke bottle. This booth was stored in our garage and I was a lucky boy to have it to play with when the troop wasn’t using it. Our garage was a popular place for the neighborhood kids to play in. The troop acquired 4 additional tents making a total of 16 by the time we left the troop.

The adult leaders were all military veterans and the troop learned how to march and practiced many military traditions. If a scout misbehaved, he was subject to corporal punishment in the form of “the belt line”. The boys would remove their belts and form a long line. They were staged about four feet apart standing in single file with their legs apart. The victim would be forced to crawl on his hands and knees in between the legs of his fellow troop members while they whipped his backside. The belts were canvas so it didn’t hurt that much, but it was a definite humiliation. We lived in different times. [Yup, different times. Strictly disallowed today. -Aren]

My dad was a good cook and we all looked forward to his Sunday morning pancake breakfast with ice cream on camping trips. He would bring small cups of ice cream stored in a cooler with dry ice and we would scoop the ice cream out on top of our stack of pancakes. We learned to cook using our “mess kits” or in cast iron Dutch ovens. He taught us how to use tin foil to make an envelope that we filled with potatoes, onions and meat. We placed the sealed “package” in the hot coals for 20 minutes and when it was done cooking, enjoyed a hot meal without having to wash dishes. [This is a popular meal in Pack 862 today!]

One of the troop’s favorite activities was when we played “Capture the Flag”. The troop was divided into two equal teams and a large area was designated with boundaries with a center line. A red flag and a white flag were each given to the corresponding team and hidden somewhere within the team’s area. The object was to capture the opponent’s flag without getting tagged. If you were tagged, you were put in “jail”. You could be freed if one of your team members rescued you by risking a daring journey into enemy territory to tag you without getting tagged himself. The game would take hours to play and was especially fun at night.

Scoutmasters of Troop 568:

  • Howard M. Cantwell, Jr., recalled by Monte Miller and Don Perkins as being a highly effective Scoutmaster. His son Howard Marion Cantwell, III was also in Troop 568. (Howard III’s obituary says he got his Eagle Scout award in 1962, while in Troop 55.)
  • George Feagan followed Cantwell
  • Jim Dodson, 1957-1960

Monte recalls this about Cantwell:

SM Cantwell [brought] a couple crates of CocaCola to summer camp. He guarded them closely but we managed to snatch one or two. He let on as if he didn’t know.” Don Perkins further recalls “I remember he always carried his cokes using only his middle and index fingers. Thought that was so cool.

Troop 568 1958 Trophy for Oak Leaf Skills event (courtesy Ted Dodson)
Monte Miller (left) and Al Bright (right) are awarded their Eagle Badges on December 5, 1960. Standing with them are parents Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Miller and Mr. and Mrs. William F. Bright. Picture presumably taken at the Hexter Elementary auditorium stage.
Explanation of prior picture, from the Hexter PTA newsletter.
Monte Miller, Robert M. Miller, and Mark Miller, all Eagle Scouts

Monte Miller and his brother Mark earned their Eagle Scout rank in Troop 568. Their father became an Eagle in Dallas’s Troop 1 in 1938, under Scoutmaster T. A. Hord.

This is Mark Miller’s Eagle Scout announcement in the Dallas Morning News:

Mark Miller Eagle Scout announcement in the Dallas Morning News, June 1, 1961

Around 1960, Troop 568 moved to St. John’s Episcopal Church. The Hexter Elementary facilities were inadequate: the pack and troop may have overwhelmed the facility. At least one person recalls Boy Scout leadership requiring them to switch to the number 55 because St. John’s already had that number. (That makes sense as St. John’s still has Pack 55 today.)

Don Perkins received his Eagle Scout award from Troop 55 in 1962. This is from the December 5 Dallas Morning News:

Don Perkins’s Eagle Scout announcement in the Dec. 5, 1962 Dallas Morning News

Al Bright’s Eagle Scout announcement from the November 26, 1960 Dallas Morning News:

Al Bright’s Eagle Scout announcement from the Nov. 26, 1960 Dallas Morning News

Troop 568 (second iteration)

Jim Baker recalls Troop 568 restarting around 1971. His father, Willard Baker, and also Harris Moore and Mr. Justice were behind reviving Troop 568 in 1971. Jim, David Moore, Kim Clark, Gary Justice, Bill Howard, Gary’s older brother, and more were initial members.

The troop maxed out at 2-3 patrols when Jim became Senior Patrol Leader in 1972.

Troop 568 was not able to meet at Hexter, and Lake Highlands Baptist Church didn’t permit them to meet in their then-new family center. They ended up meeting at the church that preceded Redeemer Bible Church, at the southwest corner of Easton Rd. and Lake Highlands Rd.. They met in a shed-like building in the back of the parking lot. The shed was near Dixon Branch, where they played a lot of games after troop meetings.

Troop 568 again folded after the summer of 1974 when Jim Baker and his friends David Moore and Kim Clark earned their Eagle badges and moved on. No other parents were willing to take on troop leadership.

From Jim:

We camped frequently within a few hours of Dallas. We did not do any long trips or jamborees as a troop, but we did participate in at least one camporee at Camp Wisdom. I remember learning signal flags and Morse code for that one. We went to Summer Camps each of the years from 1971 thru 1974. I recall going to Camp Texoma and Camp Constantin. Texoma has since moved and become Camp James Ray.

A few of us participated in Golden Acorn Leadership Development camp in the Summer of 1972 at Camp Texoma. That program is now called National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). I staffed Golden Acorn in the Summer of 1973 through the Summer of 1976. For the two years after Troop 568 folded I registered as a Lone Scout using the next Golden Acorn troop number. I earned an additional 10 merit badges for the bronze and gold Eagle Palms as a Lone Scout.

Willard Baker, Mrs. Maker, and James Baker at James’s Eagle Court of Honor in February 1974

Eagle announcement for James Baker, David Moore, and Kim Clark in the Dallas Morning News:

James Baker, David Moore, and Kim Clark Eagle Scout announcements in the Dallas Morning News, January 20, 1974

Troop 861

Troop 861 is chartered by Central Lutheran Church. It has been around since at least the 1960s.

At the beginning are photos from the early 1970s, from Ron Boruff.

1971 camporee at Camp Wisdom. Back right is Scoutmaster Bob Boruff. Kneeling are Ronny Boruff, David Sheppard, and Steve Craig. Others unknown.
1971 trip to Keystone Ranch.
Back row (L to R): Brad Loosley, Monty Sheppard, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, not sure, Steve Craig, Jody Bishor.
Middle Row (L to R): Tom Green, Mike McKnight, Jimmy Preston, John Green.
Front Row (L to R): Ronny Boruff, David Sheppard, John Cox, Dave Howell (standing).

Keystone Ranch was a privately owned ranch about an hour southeast of Dallas. The owner allowed our troop to camp there anytime. It was a weekend camping favorite.

We are working toward our camping merit badge, learning how to properly use an axe.

Ron Boruff
Lake Texoma summer camp, 1971. L to R: Ronny Boruff, John Cox, Mike McKnight.

Every summer our troop would go to one of the BSA summer camps for a week. Camp Texoma and Camp Constantine were our favorites.

Ron Boruff

The Brazos River was one of our favorite weekend canoeing destinations. It was close with great camping along the shore. Our troop made many weekend trips down the Brazos through the years.

Ron Boruff

The next few photos are from the troop’s June 1971 White River, Arkansas canoe trip.

In 1971 our troop took a week long, 63 mile canoe trip down the White River in Arkansas. We caught trout like crazy!! We all earned the “fifty miler award”. We canoed from Bull Shoals White River State Park to Norfork, Arkansas.

Ron Boruff
A photo stop on the way to the White River. Yes, this is a buffalo, but Ron Boruff is sure they did the White River, not the Buffalo River. They saw the sign and wanted to stop for a photo op.

People in the above picture, as identified by John Cox:

  • First row (kids across the bottom): Dave Howell, David Sheppard, Jimmy Preston, John Cox, Tom Green, John Green
  • Second row (mix of kids and adults): Joe Stuart, Mr. Sheppard, Steve Craig, David Odom, Brad Looseley, Mr. Howell
  • Back row: Mr. Green, (unknown youth), Ronnie Boruff, (unknown youth), (unknown youth), (unknown adult)

Annotated photo provided by John Cox.

A different version of the above photo, with numbers by each person’s name, provided by Ron Boruff (the photo’s original owner). Here’s his version of the names:

  1. Rick Green
  2. Mike McKnight
  3. Ronny Boruff
  4. Not sure
  5. Not sure
  6. Scoutmaster Bob Boruff
  7. Not sure
  8. Monty Sheppard
  9. Steve Craig
  10. Kevin Branton
  11. Brad Loosley
  12. Dave Howell Sr.
  13. David Howell
  14. David Sheppard
  15. Jimmy Preston
  16. John Cox
  17. Tom Green
  18. Bill Craig
  19. John Green
1971 trip down Arkansas’s White River

In the above photo:

  • Bottom row: David Sheppard, Kevon Branton (curly, red hair), Jimmy Preston, John Green, John Cox
  • Second row: Tom Green (arms crossed), Mike McKnight, Ron Boruff (has braces), Dave Howell, (unknown)
  • Last row: Rick Green, Dave Howell, Sr., Monty Sheppard, (unknown kid), Robert “Bob” Boruff, Steve Craig, Bill Craig (man with glasses), unknown (in front of Bill, head between Dave and (unknown)), Brad Loosely
1971 White River canoe trip. Paddles up, let’s go!
1971 White River canoe trip shoreline camp.

1971 White River canoe trip. Back row (L to R): not sure, Brad Loosley, David Howell, not sure – tall guy. Next row: John Cox (hiding), John Green (in front of John Cox), Steve Craig (yellow shirt), David Sheppard, Mike McKnight, Kevin Branton. Front row: not sure, Ronny Boruff, Tom Green, Jimmy Preston.
1971 White River canoe trip. Standing (L to R): Brad Loosley, Dave Howell Sr., not sure, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Steve Craig, not sure, not sure, Mike McKnight, Bill Craig, Ronny Boruff, Rick Green. Kneeling (L to R): Kevin Branton, Tom Green, John Cox, Jimmy Preston, David Howell (yellow shirt), John Green (striped shirt), David Sheppard.
January 1972 campout to McMillan’s Ranch

McMillians Ranch was a privately owned ranch near Athens. The owner loved the scouting program and opened up his ranch for us to use whenever we wanted. It was another great weekend camping destination… At each campout, every month, there was an organized activity supervised by our Scoutmaster, Bob Boruff, to help us earn merit badges or advance ranks. Many of us earned the “Camping Merit Badge” here.

Ron Boruff
February 1972 campout to Fort Griffin State Historic Site

Our troop, under the leadership of Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, went on at least one weekend camping, canoeing, or backpacking trip every month of the year. Rain, sleet or snow! Texas State Parks were always a favorite. Ft. Griffin [State Historical Area] was a great place to go as they had a wonderful group camping area. We particularly enjoyed this location because of the open area as we would always have a Saturday night (after dark) “capture the flag” contest that would last for hours – the one rule – no flashlights allowed! Crazy fun!!

Ron Boruff
March 1972 campout to Lake Lavon. Standing (L to R): Jimmy Preston, not sure, David Howell, Kevin Branton, Steve Craig. Kneeling: not sure, Mike McKnight, Ronny Boruff. The dog is Ronny’s and is named Shad.
April 1972 campout, unknown location. Top row (sitting on the rail) L to R: Steve Craig, Chris Christian, not sure, Tom Green, Ronny Boruff, Mike McKnight, John Green, not sure. Front row (L to R): Jimmy Preston, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, David Sheppard, not sure, David Howell, Kevin Branton, Brad Loosley. Not all of the troop members are present.

Not sure of this weekend campout location [see above photo]. It is one of my favorite photos showing Scoutmaster Bob Boruff and Troop 861.

Not all of the troop members are present. Each month Bob Boruff would plan a weekend campout, and we would go regardless of the weather. Sometimes we would have 25+ go and sometimes we would have 6 go. We always, always had so much fun!!

Ron Boruff
Summer camp, June 1973, at Camp Constantin

Unfortunately this photo is not very good quality, but it shows our excitement in winning the camp “obstacle course relay race”. It was a long obstacle course set up by summer camp staff that required climbing, tree swinging, canoeing, swimming, running, tree climbing, orienteering, fire building, endurance and determination. Our troop beat all of the other troops to win first place. We were extremely athletic, enthusiastic and well trained to compete in all of the events. We loved to compete! Through the years Troop 861 won the “gold” many times at camporees and summer camps…

Ron Boruff
Summer camp, June 1973, at Camp Constantin. (L to R): Dave Howell Sr. with son David Howell in front, Bill Craig with son Steve Craig in front, Monty Sheppard with son David Sheppard in front, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff with son Ronny Boruff in front. Brad Loosley (in the back, next to Bill Craig) also in the photo.
Departing for the 1973 National Boy Scout Jamboree.
1973 National Jamboree. Farragut State Park, Idaho. Troop 861 members: Back row (L to R): Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Ronny Boruff, Brad Loosley, Dave Howell, Steve Craig, Dave Howell Sr. Front row (L to R): John Green, Tom Green, David Sheppard, Chris Christian. (Note: I am unable to color-correct this photo. The neckerchiefs should be blue as in other Troop 861 photos.)

The 1973 National Jamboree was another highlight of Scouting! We all piled into a van, pulled a trailer and headed to Idaho for two weeks that we will never forget. Scouts from all over the nation and world came to Farragut State Park in Idaho to camp, trade patches, and enjoy all of the activities. Bob Hope was a guest speaker one evening. I still have the patches that I traded for, including one that I got from a scout troop from Japan.

Ron Boruff
September 1973 campout to Keystone Ranch. Jody Bishor is pictured.

This photo [above] really shows how wonderful Keystone Ranch was. We had access to open fields, miles of area to explore and a beautiful lake to camp next to and fish. It was also an amazing place to play after dark, no flashlights allowed capture the flag. We’d set up the game before dark, divide into teams and play for hours. The flags would be set several hundred yards apart. I remember doing the “army crawl” for what seemed like miles!

Ron Boruff
October 1974 campout to Fort Parker State Park. Standing (L to R): David Sheppard, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Jody Bishor, adult Miller Branton, Steve Craig, Kevin Branton, John Green, Ronny Boruff, Chris Christian, Adult Gordon Christian. Front (Kneeling) L to R: Paul McClusky, not sure, not sure, Jimmy Preston (far right).

1974 pancake breakfast fundraiser at Central Lutheran Church.

Each year our troop would organize and coordinate a fund raiser to raise money for troop members that couldn’t afford to participate in our annual “big trips” like the Grand Canyon, the White River, Philmont, National Jamboree or the various leadership camps or summer camps. This photo is an all you can eat $5 pancake breakfast on a Saturday morning at the church. All of the scouts would sell tickets in the community and to friends and family for several weeks leading up to the breakfast. We had a great turnout. The money helped many of the kids that otherwise couldn’t afford to go with the troop to the Grand Canyon that year.

Ron Boruff

The next few photos are from a 1974 Grand Canyon trip.

1974 Grand Canyon trip. Standing (L to R): Brad Loosley, adult Bill Craig, Steve Craig, Kevin Branton, adult Miller Branton, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Mike McKnight. Kneeling (L to R): not sure, not sure, Ronny Boruff (white shirt), Jimmy Preston, not sure (far right).
1974 Grand Canyon trip. Standing (L to R): Brad Lapsley, Adult Mr. McClusky, Jody Bishor, Adult Gordon Christian, not sure, Adult Mr. Cox, Kelly Canuteson, Paul McClusky (white shirt), Jason Wischmeyer. (Kneeling): Paul McDonald, Chris Christian, Tracy Timmons, John Cox (white shirt), not sure.
1974 Grand Canyon trip.

In 1974, Troop 861 went on a backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon. Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, as well as several father volunteers led our troop on one of its most beautiful and challenging adventures! We all piled into vans and drove several days to arrive at the Grand Canyon, camping along the way. Once there, we hiked 20 miles, spending 4 wonderful days and 3 nights on the trail. The daytime temperature in June ranged from 90 to 100+. We hiked the Kaibab Trail down to the bottom in one day spending 2 nights camping near Phantom Ranch on the Colorado river. Then, hiking out on the Bright Angel trail, we hiked halfway out to the Indian Springs campground spending our third night out. Finally, on the last day we hiked the rest of the way out and back to the South rim. It was another scouting highlight!!

There were so many on this trip we had to take two group photos! Through the years Troop 861 grew from a core group of about 8 boys to over 30. Word spread that our troop went camping at least once every month and boys were joining right and left!

Ron Boruff
Eagle Scout notice in The White Rocker, from April 11, 1974.

The next two photos are from 1974 summer camp at Camp Texoma. This former Circle Ten Council facility is now Camp All Saints of the Episcopal Church. What we know today as Camp James Ray was a separate camp owned by the former Texoma Valley Council.

Summer camp 1974 at Camp Texoma. They are holding the coveted Lake Texoma War Canoe Victory Paddle. Standing (L to R): Jody Bishor, Kelly Canuteson, David Sheppard, Mike McKnight (tall one), not sure the one directly in front of Mike McKnight or the one peaking behind, John Green, Steve Craig (white shirt), Tracy Timmons is the one between John Green and Steve Craig, Kevin Branton (to the right of Steve Craig), John Cox (yelling), not sure, Brad Loosley (tall one with in back), Tom Green (far right). Kneeling (L to R): not sure (far left), Ronny Boruff (blonde hair), Jimmy Preston, not sure, Paul McClusky (glasses), Jason Wischmeyer (white shirt)
Summer camp 1974 at Camp Texoma.

In 1974 Troop 861 went to Lake Texoma summer camp. Here we enjoyed camping, canoeing, sailing, working on merit badges, shooting rifle and shotgun, archery, swimming, flag football, arts & crafts, hanging out with friends and competing in any and all contests. Here is a photo of our troop after we won the “War Canoe Paddle”. Our troop competed against all the other troops at the summer camp, including the troop made up of Lake Texoma staff. The troop of “Lake Texoma Staff Troop” had never lost the canoeing competition, but they did that day! The canoe war race tested our canoeing skills, swimming skills and our resolve to win in a canoeing obstacle course where there were no rules. The first canoe to run the “out and back” obstacle course and cross the finish line wins. It was an all out war, and was it ever fun! The other troops faded quickly as the “Texoma Staff Troop” took the competition to a whole new level, but we were up for the challenge. Most of their team was older and stronger, but we had canoeing experience that few could match. In the end, after practically drowning the competition, including the “Texoma Staff Troop”, Troop 861 took home the gold – the coveted Lake Texoma War Canoe Victory Paddle!!

Ron Boruff
November 1974 at McMillan’s Ranch. “We enjoyed perfect camping weather.”

From January 1975, another favorite weekend camping location was the National Grasslands (northwest of Ft. Worth). In the photo (L to R): not sure (uniform), Ronny Boruff, Jimmy Preston (behind Ronny), Kevin Branton (orange cap), David Sheppard (blue cap), John Green, Tracy Timmons, Jason Wischmeyer, not sure (yellow stripe shirt), Adult Miller Branton, Brad Lapsley, Kelly Canuteson. Scoutmaster Bob Boruff is taking the photo.
Enjoying exploring the ruins at the Fort Griffin State Historic Site, April 1975.

The next few photos are of a 1975 trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.

1975 Philmont Scout Ranch.
1975 Philmont Scout Ranch. “We made it!” This was taken after we completed our 75 mile, two-week backpacking adventure at Philmont. It was an amazing two weeks. Each day we would break camp and hike to a theme camp in the New Mexico mountains. Standing (L to R): Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Kevin Branton, John Green, Ronny Boruff, Steve Craig, Jimmy Preston. Kneeling (L to R): Paul McClusky, David Sheppard, Jody Bishor.
1975 Philmont Scout Ranch. (L to R) front: Scoutmaster Bob Boruff, Ranger Riko, Jody Bishor, Steve, Craig, Jimmy Preston. (L to R) rear: John Green, Kevin Branton, David Sheppard, Ronny Boruff, Paul McClusky.
1975 Philmont Scout Ranch. Enjoying the Indian-themed camp. (L to R) front: David Sheppard, Paul McClusky, Kevin Branton, Jimmy Preston. (L to R) rear: Steve Craig, Jody Bishor, John Green, Ronny Boruff, Scoutmaster Bob Boruff.
1975 Philmont Scout Ranch.
Troop 861 at a campout, probably late winter early spring 1990.

People depicted in the above photo:

  • Matt Senter is in the gray sweatshirt on the left
  • Jared Gradle is in glasses
  • David Holman is in back, with a red hat on
  • David Bennett is in the middle with black hair and uniform short on, with a smile
  • Tye Walker next to David Bennett, in the grey and red sweatshirt
  • James Pecht is behind and between David and Tye (he graduated high school in 1995, helping to date this photo)
  • Gary McCoy is in red, white, and blue t-shirt
  • Dan McCoy is Gary’s dad and is cooking
  • Michael Clark is the boy who is standing
  • Gordon Christian is the older man behind Jared, who is looking into the trailer
  • Steve Clark is the other man behind Jared

Michael Clark posted the above photo on Facebook in 2011. Some memories shared by others on that post:

  • David Bennett: “I think that’s the trip that saw us swimming in creeks filled with cow manure. Fun!”
  • Matt Senter: “Those were some great leaders! Took us out camping at least once a month if I remember right?”
Gordon Christian, Gary McCoy, and Dan McCoy
James Pecht, Gary McCoy, Michael Clark, Adam Norrell, David Bennett (left to right of the five facing the camera) (the kid on the far left, not facing the camera, is named Kyle Watson, and his dad was in Vietnam). This may be a court of honor at the Dallas Corinthian Sailing Club at White Rock Lake. Per Evan Brott, this was probably from 1990.
Possibly same event as prior photo.
First row (L to R): Jared Gradle, James Pecht, Michael Gill, Kyle Watson, Evan Brott, Sky Sweitser.
Second row: Dan McCoy (behind Jared), CJ Brott (blue/white striped shirt)
See below for why Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta are boats on the table.
Per Evan, the “Y” patrol patch on Michael’s and Kyle’s shoulders stood for “Y Knot”, and it was Sky’s idea. Even recalls Sky being patrol leader.
James Pecht, Vern Pect, Mrs Gradle, Jared Gradle, and scoutmaster Gordon Christian. This was taken at the concrete circle just south of the Bath House at White Rock Lake.

Michael Clark shares that in 1990, Troop 861’s high adventure activity was a 50-mile canoe trip on the Buffalo River in Arkansas. In 1991, they climbed the 14,000 ft. Mount Elbert in Colorado. In 1992, they went to Yosemite and white-water rafted the American River.

1992 Yosemite trip

People from the Yosemite photo:

  • Front row: Sky Switzer, Evan Brott, Tye Walker, Matt Senter, Bryant Sivess, Scoutmaster Tom Switzer
  • Back row: David Bennett, Kyle Watson, David Gill, Harry Sivess, Harry Potter, Michael Gill, Michael Clark, Steve Clark, Daniel Potter, Mr. Watson

Evan Brott has a memory of two of these trips and other Troop 861 memories:

I went on two of the High Adventures (Mt. Elbert in 1991, and Yosemite in 1992) you mentioned. As you might be able to tell from that photo [see the above photo with Evan seated at a court of honor], I was overweight… So while I (somehow) managed to do a few 2-5 mile backpacking trips in the months before Elbert, and on the way there – when it came time to actually climb the mountain, I stayed at the base with Gordon Christian and his wife. I mostly remember that she was an excellent cook, and we went to a few museums in Aspen while the rest of the troop climbed. By 1992, most of the older kids had dropped out; the Yosemite trip was less athletic. We did indeed go rafting; but it was the sort of thing families pay tour guides to take them on. It’s still the only time I’ve ever been to California though, and it was beautiful.

The other major trip I remember was to go to NASA, here in Houston where I live now. It was to earn the Space Exploration merit badge; which, as you can imagine, wasn’t exactly a hands-on thing. Mostly, we memorized some basic facts about the Solar System; spent a night in Dallas using a telescope; but did a much better job than most scouts in checking off the “visit a planetarium” part.

For awhile, there were monthly trips – backpacking in 1990 and 1991, and then more “pitch a tent in a state park” in 1992 and 1993. Most summers, there would be a week at Camp Cherokee in Athens TX. I hated that camp. My only real pleasant memory from it was that I was the only one in the troop that could swim a whole mile; which was nice, because I was also the only one that couldn’t run a full one, or backpack for more than 2 without nearly passing out. I remember being absolutely unable to fire a bow for Archery, being a terrible shot with a BB-gun, being unable to make a leather-wallet, and one year, getting a spider-bite that turned black, so they sent me to a hospital (I was fine, but I found out I also don’t react well to penicillin shots). And also that the Camp had some kind of deal with Dr. Pepper and RC Cola – those were easy to come by, and I couldn’t stand them. It was always an ordeal to locate just some plain water.

I know we used to sell popcorn. A lot of it. I seriously annoyed a lot of neighbors with it. At least one, I clearly remember selling to a woman at a house; and when I returned with the product, a different woman answered the door. And was very put out by the fact that the first woman – whose name was on my receipt – had been at the house the week before. Looking back on it, I really hope I didn’t destroy a marriage.

Evan recalls Lincoln Stevens, Travis Allison, Issac Kaufman-Lynch, Brent Sumner, Alex Aland, Ian Mattingly, Johnathan Payne, and Justin Dickman being involved in Scouts at some point. They were all in Pack 55, and several may have been in Troop 861 for some time. He recalls:

By the time I started High School in 1993, Sky and I were the only ones near my age still in the troop; and we both quit the camping parts. The final merit badges we got were mostly academic stuff.

This is no surprise. Even today, few troop members are active through high school.

Evan further recalls working with a facility in White Rock Lake to earn the Sailing merit badge. It was likely the Corinthian Sailing Club, since that is where the Court of Honor was. They learned some sailing-specific knots and sailed on White Rock Lake for up to 1/2 mile. Evan even had some fun:

I managed to fall in [White Rock Lake]. My mother was very worried about that; the lake itself was not exactly clean. But other than some algae stains on my T-shirt, I was fine.

Why were Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta boats on the table in an above photograph? Per Evan:

I suspect those “model sailboat” things in the picture were for that merit badge. I think we did have one of those Regatta things once. I have much clearer memories of the Pinewood Derbies from Cub Scouts though. Or it might even have been from Indian Guides – when I was with a different group, mostly from Richardson and Garland. My father was really into the Derby thing; “my” car, that he and a friend basically made themselves, almost won a city-wide thing. before it got broken in the semi-finals.

John (Jody) Bishir, Eagle Scout from 1979, died in 2009. His obituary states, “He always wanted to learn to play the harmonica but never really did. He thought monkeys were hilarious.”

All the following Troop 861 photos come from Phil Allen.

Service Day, 2007
Texas Coastline Tour, July 2008
Compass Training, March 2009

Scoutmaster Phil Allen, June 21, 2009
Pack 862 crossover, February 28, 2010

Nich Pebworth Eagle Scout Court of Honor, April 22, 2012

Other troops

Troop 53

A Troop 53 was chartered around 1998 by the Hexter Elementary PTA. Raylan Loggins was involved. It was meant to be a “rough and ready”, backpack-type camping troop. At the time, they considered Troop 861 and other troops to emphasize out-of-the-car camping.

Troop 53 is not a historical number. Raylan recalls Circle Ten Council preferring they use Troop 862. They asked for a different number because they didn’t want to be perceived as the only destination for Pack 862 boys, and they asked for that to be a low number. (Low numbers have a cachet in Scouting.)

Troop 739

At one time, Reilly Elementary had a Troop 739. Jonathan Neerman was once a member.

Jack McElwain was once Scoutmaster (source).

Troops 742 and 744

Troop 744, alongside Pack 744, was originally out of Gill Elementary, per Robert Clark‘s recollection. At some point, it moved to St. Mark Presbyterian Church. The church also chartered a Troop 742, which likely folded decades ago. Troop 744 folded around 2016.

Jeff Veazey was a member of Troop 742 in 1965-1969 and recalls 742 being there roughly 1958 – 1973. He thinks the troop moved north, to Lake Highlands or Richardson, after then.

John Traylor was involved from 1969 or 1970 through 1973. Jeff remembers Alan Nix, Boyd London, Johnny Merril, Steve Smith, Jonathan Earle, and Danny Robinson also being involved. John also remembers Zach, the Weavers, Jack Loughleed, Ralph Canada, “and a few other guys”.

Jeff’s brother Jay Veazey recalls this:

Jeff did swim a mile [at summer camp at Camp Texoma] when he was 10-almost-11 and got an award for it. It was the first time anyone in troop 742 had ever been in water higher than our knees. I was the Senior Patrol Leader and when Jeff signed up for the mile swim, I was asked whether this was something we should, you know, allow. I told everybody that you should never be underestimated. Allowing a 10 year old to sign up for a hazardous endurance event…..those were different times, weren’t they? We just took things as they came. If somebody asked us if we could swim a mile or hike 20 miles, we thought about it and said “yes” or “no” and that was that. Although we were reasonably well-behaved, we didn’t ask permission when it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I figured you would swim the mile, or come close, and if you couldn’t make it all the way, they counselors would fish you out. If you swallowed some water I would have mentioned that later if you had started running a high fever. Hey, I had your best interests at heart—if you got meningitis I wasn’t going to withhold information that might allow the doctors to mercifully end your suffering.

John Traylor recalls this:

the Fox patrol learned an important fire safety lesson when they left their campsite with fire still smoldering and burnt down 1 or 2 tents with sleeping bags inside. By fall of ’73 (my junior yr at BA), swimming, school studies, girlfriend, other friends, etc were taking up most of my time and I gradually quit scouting… troop was still there, but it seemed to be in decay as more were leaving than joining… I’d lost touch before it moved.

Jeff also recalls:

When I was in Boy Scout Troop 742 when it was located at St. Mark Presbyterian, there was a kid who was my “jinx”. Granted, I had no problem finding pain and trouble on my own but whenever Rodney House was around bad stuff always happened to me. Everyone in the troop knew it, there was nothing I could do to avoid Rodney, so they avoided both of us like the plague to avoid being collateral damage.

1. Sitting under a tree working on knots, Rodney walks up and puts a hatchet into the tree about four feet above me. He walks off and the hatchet falls and hits the top of my head, narrowly missing taking off an ear.

2. Rodney takes a shovel and is going to tend the fire where I am cooking a meal for my patrol. Rodney loses control of the tip of the shovel and sends a half a dozen embers up the leg of my shorts burning the crap out of the back of my leg.

3. Rodney pushes me and my foot goes into a hole. A hornet hole. Stung about a half dozen times around the ankle.

4. Rodney is chasing a possum with a flashlight and doesn’t see the lines from our tent, trips and falls on the tent, bringing the whole thing down, landing on two of us who were just getting ready to go to sleep.

I hadn’t thought of Rodney in a while but it reminds me of what America is going through with Trump. It is impossible to stay out of his way and the guy is nothing but bad luck.

742 and 744 met in a Scout hut that was once the original St. Mark sanctuary. It was removed in the late 2010s.

Location of Scout Hut/old sanctuary. (source)

Historical photos of Troop 744.

Troop 746

Troop 746 is at St. Pius X Catholic Church.

Mr. Bennett on the left, unknown youth on right.

Pack 862

Pack 862 t-shirt showing a 1975 founding date.

Pack 862 was founded in 1975, per a t-shirt found in the storage closet, per Raylan Loggins’s memory, and per the annual recharter documents.

Matt Senter was a Cub Scout at Hexter from 1985 through 1988. David BennettGary McCoy, Ryan Duncan, Tye Walker, and Reed Heim were also in Matt’s den. David’s mom Sally Bennett was the Den Leader (often called “Den Mother” in those days), and Reid’s mom was Assistant Den Leader. The pack had about 10 boys at the time.

Matt recalls switching to Gary McCoy’s den once he was in Webelos.

Gary McCoy as a Wolf Scout in Pack 862

Gordon Duncan was Cubmaster for about 1.5 years in the mid-’80s. He remembers between 6 and 12 boys being in the pack. He believes the pack predates his involvement.

Sue Higgins took over as Cubmaster in 1987, when her son Adam aged in as a first grader. When she took over, the pack only had about six boys, all of whom were Webelos II (5th grade).

Sue recalls a clean separation in pack leadership. Other than the Webelos II Scouts and leaders, there was no continuity from the prior years. She was asked, “Do you want to keep the pack?” Sue was the genesis of Pack 862’s current era.

Sue, Irene Hollman, and Honey Taylor all had to do basic training and learn the rest of their jobs by obtaining the training manuals and going through them. Irene’s son David was a Tiger.

They did a School Night for Scouting and recruited four more Tiger Cubs and and some Wolves. There were no Bears.

Raylan Loggins joined along with Sue, with a son Ryan starting as a Wolf and another son starting as a Tiger.

In the spring of 1988 or 1989, Pack 862 did a pre-summer Cub Scout roundup, which according to Sue provided an “additional opportunity for all the kids who joined up that summer to go to a summer event with the district”. She thinks this event may have been Mom and Me at Camp Constantin.

Sue implemented the Blue and Gold banquet in conjunction with the Marine Corps’ birthday. She gad one of the Marines from recruiting station attend in full dress uniform with honor guards. They had a happy birthday cake for Marine Corps. (In fall 2017, Pack 862 revived the tradition of a celebration of the birthday of the Marines. The Blue and Gold Banquet is now in the spring.)

Sue was also a member of the White Rock District (WRD) committee, and in that role, she began the summer camp for the district. They had tried to do a summer camp in WRD for a long time, and too many working parents made it hard to work. Sue said they would have a “day-long summer camp for one weekend” with boats, flying kites, leader project, and a nature hike. The boys made things and brought a picnic meal. It was all out by the swampy area behind the Dreyfuss Club, possibly by Stone Tables. Pack 862 did their pinewood derby out there because the pack had no track.

In 1988, Raylan became Committee Chair, and Irene took over as Wolf (2nd grade) den leader.

In Sue’s years, the pack participated in the Scout Show and regularly won awards. One year they did a “Disney roundup” where they drew Cowboy Sam and built a rocking horse and hay bales and bucking broncos. Kids got to ride the broncos. One time, their Scout Show exhibit was carved (soap?) sailboats, which were raced in a tub of water. They tried to make all activities fun ways to do advancement.

In the late 1980s, when 862 was smaller, they had three years where there wasn’t a large camping event in the fall for Cubs. They did three lock ins: WRUMC once, other two were at the East Dallas Armory. They did Halloween dress up, games, activities, and more.

Raylan Loggins recalls Sue as being dynamic and getting people involved. During Sue’s tenure, the pack grew to around 100 boys. Sue’s goal was to have two people on each position in the pack committee, and she recalls mostly meeting that. This way, if someone became unavailable, they would have a backup.

Sue’s term as Cubmaster ended after her son Matthew‘s fifth grade year at Hexter, in 1992. For part of her time, Sue was also Hexter PTA president.

Under Sue’s tenure, the pack had an award called Cubby. A lady in the pack made a teddy bear. It was navy blue. The den that did the most advancement got to have the Cubby for the next month. Every den had to add something to him when they owned it. Cubby got patches, pins, hat, a Cub Scout shirt, and more. That tradition continued after Sue left. Sue also served on the District Roundtable staff, and she instituted the Cubby there, too.

There is a persistent rumor of a margarita machine showing up at a Pack 862 event during Sue’s time. In fact, it was a rented ICEE machine.

In 1992, Dave Howard became Cubmaster. His wife Karen was Hexter PTA president. Their partnership further solidified ties between the Hexter PTA and Pack 862. I talked with Dave before he passed, and he recalled the pack peaking at around 40 boys during his tenure.

Three boys in the 1992-1993 Tiger den earned the Eagle rank: Reagan Loggins, Ryan Olp, and Sean Wood.

In 1994, Gary Olp started a five-year tenure as Cubmaster. By 1997, Pack 862 had around 60 Cub Scouts.

Pack 862 raingutter regatta from 2000. Julie Cassidy is on left. Her son Michael McPherson is in front of Cubmaster Ted Hoffman.

Pete Puckett was Cubmaster in the mid-2000s. John Lohrengel took over from Pete in the late 2000s.

In the late 2000s, Pack 862 switched from being chartered by Hexter Elementary School to the Hexter Elementary PTA. This was part of a move by BSA national to move all Scouting units away from government agencies and to private organizations, out of fears of litigation.

In 2010, Scott Whitzel became Cubmaster. The pack hit 100 members his first year. With Aren Cambre’s initiative, the pack recruited an incoming class of twenty Tiger Cubs, split over Dens 3 and 8. This cohort grew to 28 by the time they graduated in 2015.

Pack 862 at Webelos Camp 2012

In 2013, Clay Hosterman became Cubmaster.

In spring 2014, Aren Cambre led pack into its its first adventure campout, albeit only for Webelos dens. Those dens did a campout to Pedernales Falls State Park with a day trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Fredericksburg.

Pack 862 Webelos at National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas in March 2014

In summer 2014, Pack 862 absorbed Pack 46 from Lakehill Preparatory School. As of 2017, Lakehill’s participation in Cub Scouts has tripled.

In 2015, Aren Cambre became Cubmaster.

December 2015 pack meeting highlight:

December 2016 pack meeting highlight:

In spring 2017, Pack 862 did its first adventure campout for the whole pack. It was a return to Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock with camping at Inks Lake State Park.

Pack 862 at National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas in March 2017

In 2017, Pack 862 restarted Scouting traditions at Reilly and Reinhardt Elementary Schools. Pack 707 is a young pack that served Reilly but folded; it was chartered at the nearby Elks Lodge #71. A long time ago, Reinhardt had a Pack 50.

As of December 2017, Pack 862 rechartered with 120 Cub Scouts and 13 dens.

December 2017 pack meeting

In March 2018, the pack took its third adventure campout to Caprock Canyon State Park.

In May 2018, the Pack 862 leadership almost unanimously endorsed Family Scouting, fully embracing the entire community by opening its program to girls. The Hexter PTA subsequently forbade the pack from accepting girls. To permit its new, inclusive policy, Pack 862 moved its charter to Central Lutheran Church.

In December 2018, Pack 862 rechartered with 137 members, setting another membership record with 14% growth. That is when Pack 862 became the largest Cub Scout pack in Circle Ten Council.

In March 2019, the pack took its fourth adventure campout to San Antonio, camping at McGimsey Scout Park.

Pack 862’s Cubmasters:

Other packs

The White Rock area also had other strong packs.

Pack 46

Pack 46 was at Lakehill Preparatory School. While technically not in the White Rock area, this pack folded in 2014, and most its members continued Scouting through Pack 862.

Michael Davis was Cubmaster of Pack 46 for at least 1988-1990, possibly for a few more years. He believes that the pack was around for at least a decade before he and his son started.

Pack 49

Pack 49 was at Casa Linda Presbyterian Church. Robert Clark joined Pack 49 with a friend of his from Gill Elementary.

Pack 50

Reinhardt Elementary at one time had a Pack 50 and possibly also a Troop 50. These may have folded and merged into White Rock United Methodist Church’s Pack 36 or Troops 36 or 636.

An undated article from The White Rocker says that Pack 50 was the first Scout unit in the White Rock area when it was chartered in 1940.

Robert Reitz shares these recollections of his Scouting experience, which started with Pack 50:

I joined Den 1 of Pack 4 [ED: I think he meant Pack 50] at Reinhardt Elementary in 1954. Roy Skinner was Cubmaster. In den meetings, we did crafts, including a wooden cutting board and clothing sprinkler.

Mother was very proper. She changed her clothes to a dress and pearls when Robert’s father returned from work. Had lock tails.

She dressed as a hobo to lead our happy den of hobos at the Scout Show Circus at the Cotton Bowl.

We learned a song to sing: “Make America Proud of You”

Couldn’t want to join the Boy Scouts when I turned 11.

Joined Troop 742 at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Nov. 1957. His first tent mate was John Byrd.

The Scoutmaster was C. L. “Lum” Lewis, who was a deputy sheriff with Dallas County. His son, Dan, and I received our Eagle Scout awards in Troop 543 in May 1962.

Another boy in the troop was Mike Ruff, who bicycled from Mesquite to troop meetings. His two twin sons, Aaron and Brandon, were in the same troop as my son Adam, 30 years later, with Troop 5 in north Oak Cliff.

From Robert’s handwritten notes.

For a time, Pack 543 served Reinhardt Elementary. That pack was once chartered by Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church and later Casa Emanu-El United Methodist Church. It folded around 2016.

Pack 862 begun serving Reinhardt Elementary in fall 2017.

Pack 55

Pack 55, chartered by St. John’s Episcopal Church, has been around for decades. It is still active.

1987 field trip to Channel 4

Pack 706

Pack 706 was at Reilly Elementary.

John Sparks’s Cub Scout uniform.

John Sparks recalls:

…the pack at Martha Turner Reilly Elementary was Pack 706. I still have my uniform. I remember the introductory meeting like it was yesterday. I raised my Dad’s hand for him when they asked for volunteer parents to be den leaders. I am also amazed there is nothing in this article about Boy Scout Troop 890 at Lake Highlands UMC. [Note from Aren: Troop 890 is a great troop! It isn’t in this article only because this page focuses on the old White Rock District, mainly serving Dallas ISD. Troop 890 is in a different district and mainly serves Richardson ISD.] For many years in mid to late 80s (don’t know about today) it was known to produce the most Eagle Scouts in the area if not nationally. It was a very, very good troop. I got my Eagle Scout from it under Robert Spiva who passed away in 2017. His son Kelly Spiva who now lives in Frisco, Texas and Todd Spiva were both active and I believe patrol leaders.

John Sparks later went on to Troop 890, at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church, where he earned his Eagle Scout rank.

Mark Gray shared this story about his Scouting experience, which began at Reilly’s pack:

We met, awhile back, at Kellers on Garland Road. Still the best burgers in Texas! We spoke about the history of the Northeast Dallas Scouting Program. I told you I was a Cub Scout at M.T. Reilly Elementary. Dil DeLoach was Scout Master and my dad, C.W. Gray was assistant Scout Master. I couldn’t remember my Den # the day we spoke, but when I got back to California, I saw it to be Den 12.

My dad, Dil, and myself would dress up in authentic Indian clothing and do stage ceremonies with my dad dressed in leather buckskin pants, a beaded buckskin shirt and a feathered head dress that went to the floor. I wore a little ‘Braves’ outfit (same beaded buckskin material), and sat on the floor and beat a small ceremonial beaded drum with a campfire of dry ice. Dad would dance around the stage as a Chief would. It was an AMAZING sight. I was, and remain, so proud of my dad. He passed at 83 in 2007.

In 1960 the Big D Jamboree was held at the Dallas Convention Center downtown. There was probably 1,000 Scouts on hand from all over. It was a great event in my childhood.

In 1960 I came in second place in the Pinewood Derby, which was held at Reilly on the playground. I was awarded 2nd Place because my dad told me the second place Scout’s dad had apparently passed away recently, and my dad wanted this young man to be first place. How could I disagree? That was my dad. The lesson imparted that day? Kindness trumps trophy’s every time. As I said, that was my dad’s mindset. He was a humble man.

In 1969 I graduated from Bryan Adams High School, and my father was awarded “Sportsman of the Year” for our church league baseball program by the White Rock area teams. We played Saturday night’s through every summer at Norbuck fields. Casa Linda Methodist was our team. We played Buckner Baptist Orphanage yearly. They were a ragtag looking bunch of boys with the biggest hearts. I loved my dad, Scouting, summer church Baseball, and Leave It To Beaver.

As I mentioned to you at the time of our encounter, your son will remember his dad’s commitment to kids for as long as your son lives. He’ll be a stronger man because you are selflessly giving today, and he’s witnessing it firsthand. You’re a wonderful dad, as was my dad.

Mark provided several photos of his Cub Scout uniform:

Pack 862 begun serving Reilly Elementary in fall 2017, after Pack 707, a successor to Pack 706, folded.

Pack 744

Pack 744 was once at Gill Elementary, along with Troop 744. Robert Clark was there, before he transferred to Pack 49.

White Rock District

The White Rock District used to serve the part of Scouting in the White Rock Area, which was roughly the part of Dallas ISD east of White Rock Lake and Creek and north of I-30. The White Buffalo District was roughly the part of Dallas ISD west of White Rock Creek and Lake, north of I-30, and east of US 75.

The White Rock and White Buffalo Districts were merged into the Tejas Caddo District during the 2013-2014 academic year.

This is from an undated article from The White Rocker:

Perhaps no one effort proves more conclusively the solid type of people populating the White Rock area than the extensive development of the Scouting program actively in operation throughout the area.

The Scouting movement was started in the White Rock area with the formation of Pack 50 in 1940. At that time the White Rock area was part of the old Central District which included the Northeast section of Dallas.

In 1956 district lines were changed with Garland included and the formation of what became known as the Gar-Rock District. Again, in 1958 district lines were changed with the White Rock area coming into being. This area follows the same boundaries evidenced m other phases of the White Rock area in general.

Leighton Dotson was the first District Chairman of the Gar-Rock District serving for two years. In 1958 James W. Lee, Jr. was elected District Chairman serving the Gar-Rock District for one year and the White Rock District for the second year.

G. Brice Gaston was named Chairman in 1961 with John Maxwell serving the following year, 1962 and Bernard Whitten was elected in the Fall of 1963.

The White Rock Methodist Church was the first organization to sponsor a Scout program in the White Rock area [ED: this conflicts with the above statement about Pack 50] and they now sponsor Pack 36, Troops 36 and 636 and Post 36.

At the present time there are 25 Cub Packs, 26 Boy Scout Troops and nine Explorer Posts in White Rock District. Involved are a total of 1214 Cubs, 855 Scouts and 110 Explorers, 2179 boys who are gaining valuable lessons for the future guidance of their thinking and lives through the combined efforts of dozens of public spirited
men and women who take great, pride in the effort and the complete White Rock area in which they make their homes.