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About BSA Troop 97                                                                                             3/3/2015  

Chartered to St. Andrew Catholic Church, we are one of the oldest Troops in Fort Worth, Texas, tracing our history back to 1929.  We are located in the heart of the Trinity Trails District of the Longhorn Council BSA.  With 43 boys and 21 adults registered in 2015, our Scouts primarily come from Cub Scout Pack 97, also chartered to St. Andrew Catholic Church.  However, we also have Scouts from other local Cub Scout packs and a few scouts that never participated in Scouting at the Cub Scout level.

We meet every Tuesday night (including the summer) in the St. Andrew Parish Hall for one hour, between 7 pm and 8 pm.   Highlights of our Troop's year-round program include (almost) monthly weekend camp-outs with activities like climbing, canoeing, wilderness survival, aquatics, pioneering and more.  We also have a winter computer/gaming lock-in.

Each summer, we attend a traditional summer camp, where the Scouts have the opportunity to earn merit badges, develop leadership skills, and just have a good time.  The location of the summer camp we attend varies.  In recent years, we have attended summer camp at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch, near Bridgeport, TX, Worth Ranch, near Mineral Wells, TX, and Camp Wehinahpay, near Cloudcroft, New Mexico.  In 2009, we went to Kia Kima Scout Reservation near Hardy, Arkansas where we received the Kia Kima Thurderbird Award, which the staff awards to the best troop!  In 2010 we attended one of our council camps, Camp Tahauya, south of Waco, and in 2011 we went to Camp Tom Hale in Oklahoma.   2012 saw us return to Camp Wehinahpay in New Mexico, and in 2013 we went to a new camp for us, Camp Rockefeller near Damascus, Arkansas. In 2014 the troop attended Camp Simpson in Oklahoma and will return to Camp Rockefeller in 2015.

In addition to traditional summer camp, we try to provide our older Scouts (typically 14 and older) with the opportunity to attend a High Adventure experience each summer.  The High Adventure experiences that our Scouts have attended in recent years include:  Sea Base National High Adventure in Florida, Northern Tier National High Adventure in Canada, Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and the Chisolm Trail High Adventure at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in North Texas.

Since 2007, 20 Troop 97 Scouts and 6 Troop 97 adults have earned the prestigious "Triple Crown" award for attending all three of the BSA National High Adventure programs.  It is a goal of our Troop to provide every Scout the opportunity to earn this award during their Scouting career.  In 2015, Troop 97 will be attending the new Summit High Adventure Base near Beckley, West Virginia. This is a new opportunity for those Scouts and adult leaders who have already earned the Triple Crown award to achieve the new “Grand Slam” High Adventure Award.

Joining Requirements

Troop 97 is open to all boys who have completed the fifth grade, are 11 years old, or have earned their Arrow of Light Award and have yet to reach their 18th birthday. The program is open to all religions, ethnicities and levels of ability.  Each youth and adult member must complete a BSA application for membership and a 'Troop Individual Data Sheet', used to track personal and advancement information.  All new members are also required to complete a BSA Part A&B Medical Form.

When the Troop recharters in January, Scouts and adults are assessed a recharter fee.  This fee includes provisions for BSA member registration, BSA insurance, Boy’s Life magazine and Troop dues.  The Troop dues are used to offset the costs of advancement awards, merit badges, other awards and administrative expenses.  Combined recharter and Troop dues for calendar year 2015 are $100 per Scout.  It is the Troop's policy that no boy be denied participation in Troop 97 due to financial difficulties.  Any and all questions relating to joining fees may be directed to the Scoutmaster in confidence.  The Scoutmaster can be contacted at:  scoutmaster@fortworth97.mytroop.us

In addition to dues, there are fees for campouts, some council/district activities, summer camp, and High Adventure trips.  Because of the higher cost of High Adventure trips, the Troop provides many opportunities for Scouts to earn money to help finance those trips.

Our Troop's History

Troop 97 was originally chartered in Burleson, Texas by the Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1929.  Although records from the late 20’s are sketchy, it is believed that Troop 97 is the second oldest Troop in the District, with Troop 43 being one year older.  The Troop moved to Fort Worth in 1955 when St. Andrew Catholic Church was founded and the Church and the Knights of Columbus became its sponsors.  The first Eagle Scout of record is Billy Aaron in 1961.  Since that time, Troop 97 has produced over 100 Eagle scouts.  The first Scoutmaster of Troop 97 was David E. McVey, who served during the first three years of the Troop.

Our Council's History

This first Boy Scout Troop in Fort Worth was sponsored by the YMCA in 1910.  Among its first Scouts were Joseph Abey, Gordon Boswell, Rob Roy Price and Leroy Shuman.  Later Joseph Abey would become International President of the Rotary, Gordon Boswell would found one of the largest retail floral businesses in the southwest, Rob Roy Price joined the ranks of professional Scouting and served as Deputy Executive for Region IX of the BSA, and Leroy Shuman, who died of typhoid shortly after graduating from high school, had a Scout Camp named after him on Lake Worth. Though there were Boy Scout Troops in Fort Worth as early as 1910, the first council organization did not evolve until 1919 as the Fort Worth and Tarrant County Council.  After many incarnations, in 1949 it was renamed the Longhorn Council.  By 1993, Longhorn Council was the 30th largest of 357 councils in the United States. 

The first camp in the Council, Camp Shuman located on Lake Worth, was established in 1920. Scouts could get to camp on the Rosen Heights streetcar line.  Worth Ranch was created by the purchase of the land on the Brazos River in 1929.  Hills and Hollows Camp, owned by the Denton BSA Council, became part of the Longhorn Council when they merged with Denton in 1930.  In 1967, the Sid Richardson Foundation donated over 3000 acres, with 19 miles of shoreline on Lake Bridgeport, to the Longhorn Council.  In the late nineties when the Longhorn Council took over operation of the Heart of Texas Council in Waco, an additional 3 camps were added to its impressive inventory: Camp Tahuaya, Camp Shuler and Camp Braley.  The Council was first divided into Districts in 1926.  The earliest history of our District is murky, but until the mid-seventies it was known as the Horned Frog District.  By 1978 it had evolved into the District 31 - Trinity Trails District.  Currently, the Longhorn Council serves a 24 county area in North Central Texas and operates seven Scouting camps.  Additional information about the Longhorn Council can be found on its website, www.longhorncouncil.com.