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The walls of First Congregational United Church in Corvallis were lined Sunday afternoon with old photos, newspaper clippings and historical notes about the history of Boy Scout Troop One.

Some noted events significant to the troop, such as, well, its chartering back in 1919.

Others had to do with the troop’s contributions to the community in its earliest days such as delivering food and medicine during a Spanish flu epidemic in 1919 and 1920. Or noting how Troop One Scouts painted the word “Corvallis” on the roof of McAlexander Fieldhouse at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) to better aid air navigation in 1929.

On one side of the room was a large map of Benton County, with a pin marking the site of every Eagle Scout project a troop member has done in the last 50 years: The map had more than 30 pins on it.

Scouts, parents and alumni of Troop One celebrated its 100th anniversary Sunday with an open house that included demonstrations of scouting skills such as lashing and Dutch oven cooking and a ceremony marking the occasion.

Scoutmaster Jack Barth said over its 100 years the troop has had around 1,500 members pass through it, usually with a membership of around 20 scouts at any given time.

“The fact that scouting and this troop have gone on for a hundred years is amazing,” he said. “It shows the value of the skills it teaches.”

Barth said cooking, first aid and citizenship are some of the most important things Scouts learn. He said the program also gives participants the chance to interact with adults other than their parents.

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“You see them come in as little kids and they come out as amazing young men,” he said.

Cimarron Kauffman, a 23-year-old former Troop One member who earned the Eagle Scout rank, visited the anniversary celebration Sunday.

He said scouting taught him outdoor skills that helped him while working on field research projects. But he said beyond the outdoor skills and things usually associated with scouting, the program helped teach him social skills.

“They are just really good skills in general,” he said.

He said he also got to go on a lot of cool outings, including scuba diving, snow camping and whitewater rafting.

Kauffman said he thinks the troop has endured so long because it is a welcoming and supportive environment.

Langston Holavarri, a sixth grade student at Cheldelin Middle School and current Troop One Scout, said his best experience in scouting thus far was going to summer camp at Camp Baker in August.

“I always wanted to be outdoors a lot,” he said. “I like to do things like fishing and setting up campsites and Boy Scouts is all that and more.”

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Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net or 541-812-6091.

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