100 years of scouting

The storied history of local Boy Scout troops will be open to the public as they celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouting in Webster City on Sept. 27, 28 and 29 at Wilson Brewer Park.

Scouting officially began in February 1913 when Murray McMurray organized his Webster City Boy Scout Troop, now called Troop 517. It set the stage for the City’s strong involvement and support of scouting programs.

The Community Museum, housed in the preserved 1902 Illinois Central Depot at Wilson Brewer Park, will be open extended hours on all three days to showcase historical Boy Scout displays, including MacKinlay Kantor’s 1916 Boy Scout uniform. The displays cover all the city’s different troops, including Troop 511 which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2014.

The Museum will also have media presentations of Troop 17’s South Building posters from 1913 to 1972 and Scout activity movies dating from 1938 to 1972.

A smoked pork chop dinner served by Troops 517 and 511 is set to kick off the outdoor events Friday evening. The dinner is open to everyone and will also offer a hot dog kid’s meal. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for the kid’s meal.

Opening ceremonies with an official fire start display begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by a ghost story from Charles McMurray and a Scout song sing-a-long around the campfire.

The movie, “Follow Me, Boys!” the 1956 Disney adaptation of Mac Kantor’s “God and My County” novel of the McMurray scouting era, will be shown outdoors at dark.

A full day of events is slated for Saturday with the combined Troops serving a $5 pork burger or $3 kid’s hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a joint fundraiser.

Beginning at 1:15 p.m., Troop 517 will hold an outdoor Court of Honor and Eagle Scout ceremony.

Former Scouts and guests can board a bus at 2:30 pm, for a tour of Dolliver Park, their old Scout camping grounds, along with a stop at the Otho Museum to view their large Boy Scout collection. The former Scouts will gather at the Moose Family Center later Saturday evening to renew acquaintances.

Troop 517 will also present a bottle rocket display at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

For the Friday and Saturday activities, attendees should bring a lawn chair to enjoy the events. To RSVP for the weekend’s events or for more information, the troop’s Facebook page is WC TroopSeventeen.