Boy Scouts Housatonic Council & Troop 3 Derby
Not every organization in the Valley can say they have played an integral part in the history of our nation. But when Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 3 in Derby, under the direction of Rev. Alfred Budd of the Derby 2nd Congregational Church, was only a few years old, a scout named Edmund Strang was tasked with organizing activities for the boys who were too young to be scouts, but who would congregate during meetings anyway. Cub Pack 3 was formed before Cub Scouts were officially recognized by the BSA.
"The National Boys Scouts were in the process of creating a program for younger boys and came up to study the structure of Ed Strang's programs," Scoutmaster Randy Ritter explains. "So, you can say, Troop 3 had a hand in creating the Cub Scout program across the U.S."
Troop 3 and its parent council, BSA's Housatonic Council, have many achievements to date, but members are always looking forward - not back - as they continue to groom young men in the Lower Nagatuck Valley to be civic-minded leaders tomorrow.
"The mission of the Housatonic Council is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law," says District Director Roger Stewart, who points to the rate of
advancement of scouts within the Council as proof that they are doing things correctly.
And while diversity has been an important topic lately for the National BSA, the Housatonic Council has always kept it top of mind.
"Each year, we are actively recruiting new members," Stewart says, noting that the Housatonic Council has roughly 800 to 1,000 scouts from across the Valley on an annual basis. "We are promoting the Scouting program in every elementary and middle school - public, private and have the demographics of the area."
Ritter adds that there is a common bond between Troop 3, the Housatonic Council and VCF - to improve the quality of life in the Valley region. "We want these youth to understand that they are a part of bigger world, and a global community. We're teaching youth to give back.
This alignment of values only strengthened the decision to establish funds at VCF, for the benefit of the Council and Troop 3.
"We had been in a more 'distant' fund but decided to join the new and growing Foundation in the 'Valley' spirit," says Stewart. "We have been pleased with that move ever since!"