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Looking for scout leaders from early 1960's in Alaska

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I'm also interested in this info.


Was a member of Troop 353, Wildwood Station, Alaska (little Army/Air Force station outside of Kenai)


Was the SPL from 65-67.


Often wondered what happened to my SM (Warren W Wilde-he would joke about having his intials on the OA patch when we both did our Ordeal in'66), and the ASM, Doug Best.


Best years of my life! Those two men (and my Dad who was the CC) made me what I am today!

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Now you've got me rev'ved up! What a small world it is! My original message was in reference to Wildwood Station, Alaska, where I began my time in the Scouts. We were there from 61-63. The leader I'm looking for is Dave Horton who was a scout commissioner and was in the Air Force. The troop was actually 653 [still have the shoulder patches on my original shirt] when I was there. Our meetings were at the "Scout Hut" which was an old quonset hut on the way to Building 100 where top military secrets were kept.


In recent times I've reconnected with two fellow Scouts from Wildwood, including the SPL who's dad was the Post Commander. None of us could recall the Scoutmaster's name, but amazingly all three of us remember Dave Horton.


In the summer we attended scout camp at Camp Gorsuch, at Chugach, Alaska, east of Anchorage near Eagle River. It's still there after all these years. I also ended my Scouting experience in Alaska [after living in three other locations in the "lower 48"] at Ft. Richardson and graduated from High School in Anchorage. At all of the district campouts and at Camp Gorsuch was an unforgettable fellow named "Hopi Joe" [Marino]. He and Dave Horton were best of friends so I figure if I can find him he can tell me how to connect to Dave Horton. Hopi Joe was still at Camp Gorsuch when I attended camp there in 1967.


I called Camp Gorsuch a year ago and spoke to Scott Powell, the camp ranger for over 25 years who was among those killed at the national jamboree this year. He didn't know Hopi Joe's whereabouts but connected me with Bob Smith, who was Scout Executive when I was there. From Bob I discovered that Hopi Joe was also full time in the Air Force and was on permanent loan to the Boy Scouts for several years. When he left, he moved to the Eastern states area and was active there at a Scout Camp. I've just learned that it was Camp Bedford in the Adirondacks.


So that's where the readers of this forum come in. Perhaps some of you remember Hopi Joe and may be able to tell me where I can find him. I've already tried the Adirondack Scout Council with no success. Better yet, maybe Hopi Joe or Dave will read this and respond.




armybrat68(This message has been edited by armybrat68)

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Small World indeed!


We got up there in December of 64 (as I recall the water tower was still down from the earthquake) and left in May of 67.


My dad was Air Force, was NCOIC of the GATR site there.


We did summer camp at Hidden Lake, as I recall on the way up to Anchorage about 50 miles or so.


I want to go back there so bad! I planted 100 trees aroung the lake there on the post in the summer of 66 for the Soil and Water Conservation MB; they ought to be full size now!


Remember our arrival there very well (hard to forget!) After flying up on a 707 from Seattle, and changing to a DC-3 for the flight to Kenai (with the Aircrew walking up to the cockpit wearing parkas, mucklucks and carrying lunch pails!), got to Kenai and were met by our sponser. Pat McCready in his VW bus. After dropping us off at our quarters, he returned with half a Moose, which He, my Dad and I butchered up in the basement (as I recall, you could store the meat at the commisary)


Was also a member of the Rod & Gun Club there on base-could get all the bricks of 22 I could shoot! Which I did!


We did a lot of our camping there on the post, up the road going to the aforementioned lake halfway off to the right going up. We did winter camping using spruce boughs on top of the snow and building lean-too's with them also. Leave No Trace not being thought of then!


Times were good there for a 12-15 year old. I could (and did)wander around the woods all day with my fellow Scouts, no dangers. We would take out 22 rifles along and plink-I would take it along with me on the bus to school and shoot after school on the schools shooting team! Try that now a days!


We had several canoes, we would canoe out to the far side of a lake, catch some trout for supper (had moose steaks for back-up meals!). Nothing better than a freshly caught trout fried in butter over a open fire!


"Twas the best of times"

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What a parallel world we live in!


We arrived in March of 61, two months after Dad went there. We flew from McChord AFB on a charter flight with the original Alaska Airlines to Anchorage. From there we also flew to Kenai on a DC-3 Pacific Northwest Airlines plane. We arrived to snow and ice and bitter, biting, freezing wind. Our trip to our new home [quarters that Dad had got ready for us] was in a 10-year old Army carryall [called a Suburban!].


Life was a real adventure there for a 11-12 year old. Our winter camporee was held out off of North Kenai Road next to a frozen over lake. It was appropriately called a "Freez-a-ree." I still have my patch with an igloo on it. We participated in competitions with other troops that included activities on the lake! With weather at below 0 temperatures eating proved to be a challenge. I can still remember trying to eat eggs right out of the messkit frying pan only to have them freeze to the pan. You had to pass them over the fire and then quickly take a bite. And water in our canteens was a lost cause, too.


We set up camp in a clearing in the woods behind the scout camp and kept it going continuously all summer, before and after scout camp. It was just a bunch of boys camping out with no parents or adults except when they came every few days to check on us and bring more food. We managed to get through the summer without burning down the woods or getting hurt.


Every afternoon at 5PM Taps played on PA speakers throughout the post as a full color guard let the flag down. All vehicles stopped and military personnel got out and faced the direction of the flag and saluted. One of my scout friends had persuaded his older brother to give me his old 3-speed bike that had been stripped down, including removing the handbrakes. The only way to stop was to put your feet down on the ground. One afternoon I was pedaling as fast as I could and rounded the corner where the flagpole was just as Taps started playing. Naturally the cars in front of me stopped. I had to choose between slamming into the back of a car or hitting the curb. I chose the curb and went flying through the air just as the color guard was finishing up folding the flag. I can still hear the stifled laughs coming from them. Although it's funny now looking back, it wasn't funny then. I became painfully aware of the worth of the Scout Motto.


Thanks for the tip on scoutmates.com. I'll give it a try.

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