Area Scouts look ahead
Historic troop ready to get back to life lessons
BOARDMAN — Scouts BSA Troop 9054 members continue to hone their skills as they see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
For Scoutmaster David Chauvin, this means seeing three Scouts wrap up their Eagle awards and returning to the life lessons that Scouting is known for.
“It has always been my belief that Scouting is important for the extra development of leadership, Scouting skills, moral development and social interaction with leaders and other Scouts,” Chauvin said. “This is especially poignant at this time going to the pandemic when you see how the kids are losing all of those items by not attending school or Scouting events.”
Chauvin knows what he is talking about when it comes to Scouting. He first was introduced as a Cub Scout on Youngstown’s East Side. It only lasted two years, then his family moved and he did not continue. He got involved again as an adult leader when his own son Dylan got into Scouting with Troop 54. Chauvin has served the past 25 years, first as an assistant, then Scoutmaster for Troop 9054 out of Heritage Presbyterian Church in the Boardman-Poland area.
“I basically grew up in Youngstown attending elementary school on the East Side then moving to Brownlee Woods and graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1968,” Chauvin said. “I attended (Youngstown State University) for four years, but left in 1972 to join the United States Marine Corps and served on active duty for three years. After my honorable discharge I went back to YSU to earn a bachelor of fine arts in art and also an associate in applied science degree in business tech.”
He continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1994 when he retired as a CWO4 (warrant officer). He then took his skill set and decided to give back through Boy Scouts and to support his son Dylan.
Troop 54 has a rich history that he wanted to see continue, Chauvin said. He looked into the history and found the troop is fast approaching its 100-year anniversary.
The former Brownlee Woods Troop 54 originally was founded at the old Third Reformed Church on the corner of Midlothian and Sheridan boulevards in 1927. It later was moved to the Brownlee Woods Presbyterian Church, a block away until that church merged with Heritage Presbyterian.
Chauvin served as assistant Scoutmaster for three years with Troop 54 before becoming Scoutmaster 22 years ago. In 2005, he said he helped to organize a Cub Pack, which had been disbanded several years before.
“The troop strength currently is at six Boy Scouts, having lost several boys who finished their Eagle Scout project and as we say ‘aged out’ and also lost three Scouts who have moved to other areas,” he explained.
The troop has not held a meeting throughout the pandemic lockdown, other than an occasional business meetings and working via social distancing, with the three Scouts going after their Eagle award. One Scout, Justin Sharpe, is doing reflection benches at Heritage Presbyterian Church, Tommy Akers is doing a blessing box to provide food items at Fairview Arts and Outreach Center on Youngstown Poland Road, and Todd Johnston is building a gaga pit at Montessori School in Brownlee Woods.
The troop has no girl Scouts, but that could change in the coming years. Chauvin said the Webelos — the designation for youth under age 10 1/2 working their way into Scouts — has two girls who may cross over later this year. At that time, the Scouts BSA will have them join an all-female troop.
Chauvin and his troop say they miss the adventures they had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important that the boys learn skills through the projects they are doing, he said.
Better yet, he would like them to learn the importance of giving back to the community once Troop 9054 returns to a more normal time.
“I hope once were able to begin regular meetings again that we can rebuild the framework of the troop and allow the boys to have fun and learn from new activities and adventures,” he said.