Auburn's Boy Scout Troop 401 celebrates 90 years | SLIDESHOW

Troop 401’s oldest living Eagle Scout, Judge Eugene Otis, 90, was born the same year the troop was founded, in 1923.  - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Troop 401’s oldest living Eagle Scout, Judge Eugene Otis, 90, was born the same year the troop was founded, in 1923.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

For 90 years, Boy Scout Troop 401 has been an integral part of the Auburn community, providing young scouts with the tools and framework needed to transition into the future leaders of society.

The troop celebrated its anniversary with former scouts, members of the current troop and visiting dignitaries at Messiah Lutheran Church last Saturday.

Keynote speaker and Eagle Scout Rob McKenna, former Republican state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate and board member of the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts, explained why scouting matters.

"Troop 401 represents and – really better than any troop I visit – embodies the values and the value of scouting in America today," McKenna said. "The program is the No. 1 youth development and leadership development program in America today."

Examples of that success abounded at the celebration, with several of the troop's 81 Eagle Scouts in attendance.

Troop 401's oldest living Eagle Scout, Judge Eugene Otis, was born in 1923, the same year the troop was established. Otis earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1938.

Also honored was Sherrill Clark, who has been active with the troop for 45 years and continues to help guide young Scouts.

U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Auburn, 8th District) had originally been slated to speak at the ceremony, but was unable to attend.

Reichert, however, did send along a transcript of a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, lauding the troop.

"On this momentous occasion, I'd like to personally thank Boy Scout Troop 401 for its outreach to the community and its service to the Auburn area," Reichert said. "Each time I return to my district, Mr. Speaker, I am reminded of the incredible work of the Boy Scout troops in our communities.

"For almost a century, Troop 401 has helped make the future leaders of this country by combining educational opportunities with lifelong values of service, and ensuring they have fun in the process," Reichert said. "Investing in our youth is the key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society."

Reichert also sent along an American flag that had flown over the United States Capitol, in honor of the troop.

Troop 401, in conjunction with its chartering partner, the Kiwanis Club of Auburn, has provided a scouting program since 1923 in the Cascade foothills community. What began as Troop 1 under Scoutmaster Harlan R. Stone more than 90 years ago remains as strong and visible in the Auburn community today.

Troop 401 of today is 50 strong under Scoutmasters John Wilson, Chris Cushing and Gordon Bair. The year-round program is filled with activities and service – from camps and hikes, from work parties to special tours, from fundraisers to clean-up detail.

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