More than 250 scouts, leaders, alumni and friends of Boy Scout Troop 3 Derby recently gathered to celebrate the Troop's 95th anniversary. The event included a recognition of the past scout leaders, current scouts and several alumni were recognized with "3 for Life" awards. Fifty of the troop's current scouts attended through the generosity of Troop 3 alumni throughout the country who could not attend but wanted to be part of the celebration.
The even began with a social hour and photograph of the 55 Eagle Scouts present at the celebration, ranging from James O'Sullivan who achieved Eagle Scout Rank in 1933, to Alexander Neuendorf who earned Scouting's highest honor several weeks ago.
Following a formal opening Scout ceremony directed by Senior Patrol Leader Matthew Frovarp, the Celebration Chairman John Anglace provided welcoming remarks. Mayors Mark Lauretti, James Della Volpe and Anthony Staffieri were present to give greetings on behalf of their communities of Shelton, Ansonia and Derby respectively. Housatonic Council BSA President Richard Marano also offered greetings and congratulations on behalf of the 600 volunteers and 1,500 scouts who make up Housatonic Council's membership.
Crew 33 Committeeman Francis Skowronski presided over the Scoutmaster recognition. Troop 3 has had 11 Scoutmasters in its 95 year history, begining with Rev. Vernon Cooke and Rev. Alfred Budd, Ministers of the Derby 2nd Congregational Church, which sponsors Troop 3. They were followed by Edmund D. Strang, George Tierney Sr, Larry Potter Jr, Andrew Kopasz, Bruce Sill, Robert Penney, Randy Ritter, James Frovarp and Jason Thompson. Randy Ritter returned to become Scoutmaster again in 2007. Current Assistant Scoutmasters and Troop Committee members present were recognized for their outstanding service and dedication to Scouting and the Derby 2nd Congregational Church was recognized for having the longest sponsorship of a Congregational Church of a scout unit in the USA.
Scouts receiving rank advancement from Troop 3 almuni under the direction of advancement committee member Peter Laskos included: Scout - Colby McLiverty, Alex Main, Joshua Moscato, Joe Borelli, Joe Szewczyk, Jim Butler and Adam Sroka; Tenderfoot - Patrick Barton, Jesse Cornelson, Joshua Moscato,Jim Butler, Colby McLiverty and Adam Sroka;1st Class - Larry Cafaro; Life - Patrick Matuska andBronze Palm - Eagle Scouts Chuck Stankye IV and Christopher Wentz.
Assistant Scoutmaster James Frovarp recognized the following 10 scouts present who have achieved Eagle Scout Rank since 2007: David Spinetti, James Blaskewicz, Michael McMahon, James Liddel, Stephen Poppa, Charles Stankye IV, Christopher Wentz, Adarsh Salian, James Anderson and Alexander Neuendorf, who recently became Troop 3's 265th Eagle Scout. The recent group represents more than 2,000 hours in Eagle Scout community service project that have been complete in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. James O'Sullivan, Troop 3's oldest living Eagle Scout, then led all Eagle Scouts present in the Eagle Scout Oath rededication ceremony. Mr. O'Sullivan was then presented with a framed photograph of Troop 3 when he was a member in 1929.
Every 5 years the troop presents "3 for Life" awards to Pack 3, Troop 3 or Crew 33 alumni who have made a significant impact to Scouting over their lifetime. Recipients in the past have included Edmund D. Strang, Walter R. Archer Jr, Dr. Robert Feeney, Walter Petz, Rodman Kneen Sr, Charles Rotteck Jr, John Anglace, Robert Skowronski, Francis Skowronski, Constantine Testone and Anthony Pepe. Joining the previous recipients are William Menna, Robert Bednarcik and Rev. John Carr. Menna's award was presented by Rodman Kneen, Bendarcik's by Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Christopher Wentz and Carr's was presented by Dr. Sherwood Lewis.
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Robert Feeney, Troop 3 alumnus, retired Vice President of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and supporter of the Troop 3 International Exchange Scout Program. Dr. Feeney related his experiences of growing up in Derby in the 1930s, learning life skills from Edmund D. Strang, and attending Yale University before joining Pfizer. Regarding Troop 3, Dr. Feeney quoted David Brooks, the columnist of the New York Times , who recently said “ We are not defined by what we ask of life. We are defined by what life asks of us. As we go thru life we travel thru institutions. Each institution comes with certain rules and obligations that tell us how to do what we are supposed to do. By absorbing the rules of the institutions we inhabit, we become who we are. New generations do not invent institutional practices. These are passed down and evolve. We need to have a deep reverence for those who came before usand built up the rules that we temporarily take delivery of. We then become debtors who owe something to our institutions and notcreditors to whom something is owed”.
Troop 3 Assistant Scoutmaster and former exchange scout Edward Faulkner thanked Feeney on behalf of the many scouts who have benefited from the international exchange scout trips Feeney has sponsored to England and Ireland for more than 20 years. Faulkner then announced that the Troop was developing a Dr. Robert Feeney Troop 3 Exchange Scout Fund with the Valley Community Foundation to continue the annual exchange program. Fran Detoro represented her husband, Troop 3 alumnus Jamie Cohen, who is also Executive Director of the Valley Foundation. Detoro presented a check to Troop 3 on behalf of her family, Mary Pepe and the Valley Community Foundation. Scoutmaster Randy Ritter announced that the generous donation was grately appreciated and would be the first to the new exchange scout fund along with the World Scouting Friendship fund donations collected from the attendees of the celebration.
Event chairman John Anglace was then recognized for his efforts on behalf of the celebration committee. Anglace has chaired the troop's celebration events for 20 years. The celebration concluded with a slide show of Troop 3's 95 years of Scouting.