101 Swinburne Street, Buffalo NY 14212
Troop 107 was established at St John Kanty in 1925, 15 years after the formation of the first Boy Scout Troop in the US. The first Scoutmaster was Adam Chmiel; Rev Andrew Garstka was Pastor and Rev John Glazik was Chaplain. In 1929 a meeting room in the original school, built in 1894, was designated for the scouts; The Mothers Club was organized, and the first long-term camping took place at Camp K (Camp Kosciuszko). Soon, 107 became the biggest troop in the state. Many leaders of the troop left to serve their country during the war. Many who returned still had a strong interest in scouting (“A Scout is Loyal”), and a group was formed for the purpose of sponsoring events to finance the needs of the troop, affording the opportunity for more boys to enjoy scouting to its fullest (“A Scout is Kind”).
It was not unusual for scout leaders to remain for many years, and one man, veteran John Szymkowiak, stayed for 31! A testimony to his enthusiasm, energy and leadership is the troop’s construction in 2011 of the Sargent John A. Szymkowiak Lean-to at Camp Schoellkopf. In the late 1960’s troop camping increased to monthly outings. Around this time it was necessary for the troop to relocate their ‘furniture’, memorabilia and gear to the third floor of The Lyceum. ‘Fr Norm’ Orsolits became Troop Chaplain in 1968; he attended all meetings, went to camp, and saw to it that all eligible boys earned the Ad Altari Dei religious award (“A Scout is Reverent”). That same year, 107 received the ‘Best Troop’ trophy from Bishop McNulty at St Joseph’s New Cathedral. The 70’s saw many new Eagle Scouts, countless awards (the troop’s motto: Excellence is never an accident), and participation in Camporees, Camporalls and Klondike Derbies. In Y2K (2000) the troop celebrated their 75th Anniversary. Adventures such as white water rafting, rock climbing, a canoe trip, polar bear (winter) camping, motor boating, water skiing, and a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, an unparalleled opportunity for high adventure and training located in New Mexico. Our scouts have served as summer camp staff at Schoellkopf and Scouthaven, and one (Steve Slazak) is the current Camp Ranger at Schoellkopf (“A Scout is Trustworthy”). After 30 years in The Lyceum the Scout Room was moved to the former Convent. The Convent became ‘home’ and provided outstanding space for the troop’s needs, which included five cartons of awards (the troop’s motto: Excellence is never an accident)! Rev Antoni Lutostanski, Pastor of St John Kanty, fully supported and encouraged the troop’s assistance at many Parish functions; this relationship has continued over the years at our Summerfest, Harvest Dinner, Meat Raffle, as Honor Guards at The Tomb during Holy Week, and whenever needed (“A Scout is Helpful”).
Yesterday’s scouts = today’s leaders! The troop’s leaders: Eric Augustyn, Paul Augustyn, Steve Blass, ‘Mr Bob’ Koza, Scoutmaster Randy Siejak, Dick Slazak Ron Slazak, Steve Slazak and Butch Wesolowski, are all former members of 107. Although not a former member, ‘Mr Dan’ Kowalczewski came to 107 about 20 years ago from the Big 6 Pow Wow and was a perfect fit. Our leaders have received many honors: Randy as Scoutmaster of the Year for 2011, and ‘Mr Bob’ recently received the American Legion and Scouting Square Knot Award (the troop’s motto: Excellence is never an accident). The troop is very proud that over the years several families have had two generations of scouts in 107, and it seems pretty certain that several families will be around to see a third generation scout in Troop 107.
St John Kanty Troop 107 is looking for a few good young men interested in the Boy Scout experience. Recruitment will take place Thursday, September 29 and October 6 at 7 p.m. in the Convent Center at St John Kanty Parish (on Broadway between Brownell & Swinburne Streets) and will be combined with a gym night. Boys 11 years or older, or if they have completed the 5th grade, are welcome to join. For further information call Paul Augustyn: 228-0781.