History of Troop 251
Reverend Glenn Carpenter was a pastor for the Presbyterian Church from 1916 until he went into the First World War in 1917. Upon his return, Reverend Carpenter called together a group of men from his church; which included Ray Haas, Chas Clark, Dr. Clint Scott, Dr. Frank Collar, John Raynor, Glenn Porter, Harry Clark, and Max Hill. After considerable planning, Reverend Carpenter invited a group of boys to discuss chartering a Scout Troop.
The meeting was a success, not only had a troop been born, but a long dispute between the Polish boys and the other boys of the community had vanished. Before the starting of the troop the boys spent their Saturday mornings at the gravel pit hurling rocks at one another. After the chartering, the Polish boys and others worked and played together in activities in and out of scouting.
In the 1920’s, a Kalamazoo Scouter by the name of Major Miller came to Vicksburg to instruct a fife and drum bugle corp in Troop 51. In the latter part of the 20’s, the group evolved into a Boy Scout Band under the direction of Chas Brocato (also of Kalamazoo). Being the only band in the community, the unit performed in multiple events held in Vicksburg during the summer. During the thirties, Troop 51 could not keep the troop continually active due to the hardships of the Depression.
The troop re-chartered in February of 1940 and has continually done so since. In 1949, a cabin was built on Barton Lake, near Vicksburg, and donated to the youth of Vicksburg by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Aulms. The property was, and still is, call Camp Char Le Maude. For more information on the cabin & property at Camp Char Le Maude visit this link: https://friendsofvicksburgyouth.org/ . The cabin did not become the official meeting place for Troop 51 until 1964, the same year that Troop 51 received the 100% Boys Life award. In 1965, the troop celebrated twenty-five years of continuous chartering.
In February of 1973, after falling on rough economic times, the Fruit Belt Council ceased operations. Troop 51 was transferred to the Southwest Michigan Council and was re-designated Troop “251”. (The Southwest Michigan Council has since become the Southern Shores Council.)
Today Troop 251, now consisting of both boys and girls, continues to meet weekly at Camp Char Le Maude (aka the “Troop Cabin”) during the warmer months and at our Charter Organization during the colder months. The Scoutmaster, along with his/her fellow adult leaders and the Scouts’ parents, continue to guide each Scout thru the BSA Scout method that has stood the test of time for decades.