Troop 591 to End Operations

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that Troop 591 will end operations as a Boy Scout Troop on March 31, 2017.

For the past 13 years, Troop 591 has served the youth of Westford through the values and methods of the Scouting program. Our Troop was founded by a diverse group of adult leaders – most who grew up in the Scouting program – with the aim of introducing our youth to the national and international Brotherhood of Scouting through a strong outdoor program.

Our mission included blending traditional Scout activities – camping, hiking, canoeing, climbing and biking – with trips designed to take our boys beyond our regional boundaries to show them that Scouting is Scouting – no matter where you are from or where you go you are a member of the family of Scouts.

We sent nearly 100% of our Scouts to 3 National Jamborees, had a several Scouts take part in an International Jamboree, toured our nation’s capital, organized summer camp in West Virginia, sailed out of the BSA’s Florida Sea Base and roamed the battlefields of Gettysburg. 

Closer to home we hiked Mt. Washington, canoed along the Connecticut River, snowshoed up to Carter Notch and kayaked Lake Umbagog in the north woods of New Hampshire.

Of the boys who joined the Troop, an astonishing number went on to earn the rank of Eagle. The Troop graduated 20 Scouts to the rank of Eagle during its 13 years of operation.

Troop 591 was never a large Troop. At its peak we had 12 active Scouts on the roster and we operated with as few as 6 Scouts. In spite of our diminutive size, we tried to instill in the boys a “can-do” attitude and a strong sense of Scout Spirit. We won several Troop of the Week and Scout Spirit awards at Camp Yawgoog in Rhode Island. We rose above the pack to win a number of awards in a variety of District, Council and Regional events.

In spite of our successes, our recruiting efforts failed to bring on new Scouts to replenish our ranks and we have found ourselves an older, smaller Troop where the Troop program is competing with school athletics, music and academic requirements. With a majority of our Scouts “aging out” this year and next, our ability to continue to offer a quality Scouting program has become a near impossible task.

Our inability to recruit new Scouts is not a problem with Scouting or lack of support in our community. In fact, Westford boasts 4 other active Troops in town and as Troop 591 winds down, our remaining Scouts will find homes in one of these other Troops. Our dilemma seemed more to do with personal dynamics – where brothers followed brothers and friends into other Troops – as well as a core leadership team due to “retire” in the next few years, which created a sense of uncertainty with prospective members. And perhaps we suffered the misfortune of being the only Troop in town to meet on Wednesday evenings.

While we are disappointed that Troop 591 will not continue as a unit, we are intensely proud of the legacy we leave behind in our community and in the Brotherhood of Scouting. Over the past 13 years we have made memories that will last a lifetime and seen our boys grow into men. The friendships that we made, the memories of adventures shared and the values that we learned will last long after our Troop flag is struck and our Troop’s bell rung for the last time. 

We would like to thank the Scouts, parents and families of Troop 591 for their support over the years. Without you we could not have had such a wonderful program.

Although a Troop no more, we remain – always – a family in the Brotherhood of Scouting.

Pete Leonard, Scoutmaster
Glen Valante, Chairman
Marty Jensen, Scoutmaster (ret.)