Wilmette, Community

Troop 5 cooks up a celebration to honor 100th year

Troop 5 members, alumni and supporters gathered around piles of pancakes and mark a milestone on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The troop’s annual pancake breakfast had more heft this year as part of a centennial celebration for the group, which was chartered out of First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette in 1922.

Troop 5 Scoutmaster Bryan Abbott said “Wilmette was a hotbed for scout organizations right out of the gate” after the Boy Scouts of America formed in 2010. Some Wilmette troops, such as Troop 2, have already had their 100-year anniversaries, and this year it is Troop 5’s turn.

The pancake breakfast was one of a series of events to mark the occasion, culminating with a Century of Scouting Celebration on Nov. 26 at Michigan Shores Club.

Ellie Weber, 19, serves pancakes at the breakfast event for Troop 5.

Through the decades, Troop 5 has produced more than 300 Eagle Scouts, the highest scouting rank, and countless of hours of community service, Abbott said.

Today, Troop 5 has evolved to serve youth in 3 age appropriate levels: Scout Troop 5, for boys and girls in fifth through 12th grades; Venturing Crew 5, a co-ed advanced adventuring group for youth in ninth grade through Age 21; and Cub Scout Pack 5, for boys and girls in kindergarten to fourth grade.

Scout Troop 5, a comingled boys troop and girls troop for youth in 5th grade through 12th grade.

Venturing Crew 5, a high adventure crew for boys and girls in the 9th grade through age 21.

Today, Troop 5 consists of three levels: Troop 5, for boys in fifth through eighth grade; Crew 5, for boys and girls in fifth through eighth grade; and Pack 5, for boys and girls in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The Boy Scouts of America allowed the participation of girls in 2018, and Troop 5 welcomed girls a year later.

“This troop has very much been in the vanguard of being open and accepting,” Abbott said.

Sasha Baumann, a seventh grader, has been with Troop 5 for going on two years. She admires the group’s female leaders and the troop’s outdoor activities and trips, which include a canoe weekend along the Wisconsin River and hiking and adventuring at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

She thinks other girls should consider joining, too.

“I hope to be a good inspiration for other girls and they can do the same things as boys,” Baumann said.

Former Scoutmaster Eric Robison — one of the longest-serving troop leaders, serving from 1981-1992 — was also on hand, enjoying the company and breakfast.

He also made sure to visit the men’s group that was meeting upstairs at the church and remind them that it was their doing that made Troop 5 happen in 1922.

“One hundred years ago they filed the paperwork,” said Robison, who has been with the troop for 47 years.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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