In 1992, Dave Holmquist’s Eagle Scout Project involved locating and mapping the missing graves of veterans at Oak Hill Cemetery in New London in order to properly place bronze star markers. Holmquist, a Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Deputy whose father was a veteran, is also a military veteran and his son is currently in the Navy.
Hudson and Holmquist were both members of Boy Scout Troop 228 in New London, which is celebrating its 75th birthday at a community celebration at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 29, in their Scout Hut, located next to the Lutheran Church in the peace.
The troop was originally organized in 1928 but experienced periods of inactivity, particularly during World War II. But since 1946, she has been continuously chartered by the New London American Legion Post 537.
Being chartered continuously for 75 years puts the troop in rare company, said John Andrews, executive director of the Northern Star Council, which oversees the majority of Boy Scout troops in Minnesota.
The birth of the Boy Scouts has Willmar roots
Scouting began in the United States in 1910 and one of the country’s first troops was located in Willmar.
Ludvig Dale, a Norwegian immigrant who lived in Willmar in the early 1900s, established the Willmar Boy’s Corps of Cadets around 1909, then organized an official Boy Scout troop in October 1910.
Dale, who was once editor of the Willmar Tribune (now the West Central Tribune), went on to write stories and books about Boy Scouts and became involved in Scouting statewide and across the country. national level, including fundraising and purchasing property for Scout Camps.
Andrews, who wrote an article on Dale’s involvement with Boy Scouts for a history book on Camp Minnetonka, said Dale had played an “instrumental” role in the growth of Boy Scouts in Minnesota and across the country – as well as in Kandiyohi County.
A Boy Scout troop in Wayzata, which has been chartered continuously for 106 years, is the oldest in the state.
A troop in Montevideo has been continuously chartered for 99 years by the Lutheran Trinity Church; Willmar’s Calvary Lutheran Church has sponsored Troop 224 for 86 years; and this year the Dawson and New London troops are celebrating their 75th anniversary.
According to Andrews, less than 10% of the 400 soldiers on the Northern Star Council, which is one of the largest scouting councils in the country, have been continuously chartered for 75 years or more. Almost all of the oldest troops are in the metropolitan area.
Andrews, who will be the keynote speaker at the 228 Troop’s 75th anniversary in New London, said a community’s commitment to supporting a Boy Scout equals Troop members’ long-standing commitment to making service projects for these communities.
“Civic engagement is the key to the survival of a community,” he said.
In order to earn an Eagle Scout rank, a Scout must complete a major project before their 18th birthday, but Scouts – even those who don’t achieve Eagle – do service projects year round.
The community service projects encouraged in Scouting establish “a lifelong attitude about civic engagement and putting others first,” Andrews said. Over the years, the types of projects undertaken have evolved.
Shortly after the creation of the Boy Scouts in 1910, they became a “household name” for their savings bond sales efforts to support World War I and were the “largest entity” for the sale of war bonds around this time, Andrews said.
During World War II, Scouts collected milkweed seeds for use in life jackets for the Navy.
In the 1970s, when pollution and environmental problems were high, the Boy Scouts implemented Project SOAR, which stood for Save Our American Resources. The Scout for Food program continues to help fill the community’s food shelves.
Other projects, such as clearing road ditches, participating in Memorial Day ceremonies and official flag-burning ceremonies with local American legions, are completed each year as well as specialized projects such as building a ramp for a disabled neighbor and helping others of all ages in need, with the support of adults in the community.
“Scouting is a vehicle for generational transfer,” said Andrews. “This is a generation supporting the next generation, and the next and the next and the next.”
The generational aspect is especially true for Dave Holmquist, whose son, Robert, earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2020, making them the only Eagle Scout father-son team in the New London troop.
Dave Holmquist said Scouting had a positive impact on his self-management and leadership skills which took him through the military, college and his career. He is happy that his son has had the same kind of experiences to guide him into the future.
Like most children, Hudson said he enjoyed camping with scouts and always used knotting techniques, but it was his first aid training that was put to the test when his little girl took off. had an attack of high fever.
He recalled the incident almost 40 years ago, saying that in panic he was holding his daughter incorrectly as she grabbed her and thought to himself, “idiot, think about your training. “and quickly did what he had learned as a boy. Scout.
By the time the ambulance arrived, her daughter was fine.
“Scouting has helped me throughout my life,” said Hudson. “It makes you a better person if you follow the laws and the oaths of the Boy Scouts. “
Hudson, a Vietnam veteran and member of the New London American Legion, serves as the Legion’s liaison with 228 Troop and has started volunteering more with the troop.
Holmquist said the 75-year partnership with the post of the New London American Legion is “phenomenal” and a testament to the strength of the community’s support for Scouting.
In 1969, Hudson was the third scout in Troop 228 to achieve his Eagle Scout rank. The troop now has 92 Eagle Scouts on its roster.
These accomplishments will be celebrated during the anniversary celebration, which includes a flag raising ceremony and speakers at 1 p.m. and an open house from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a Cour d’Honneur ceremony. .
The event will be held outside by the Boy Scout Hut, which was built in 1886 as the town’s train depot. The troop has been using the building since 1976 and recently completed a major renovation after moving it to its current site next to the Lutheran Church of Peace.