Chicago Boy Scout troop celebrating 100 years this weekend

FOX 32 NEWS - A Boy Scout troop in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood is marking a major milestone this weekend.

The Boy Scouts nationwide were founded in 1910. Troop 608 in the north Beverly neighborhood started just seven years later, in 1917.

On Sunday, Boy Scout Troop 608 in Beverly will celebrate 100 years of scouting.

Walter Pilditch is an 86-year-old retired principal and joined the scouts back in 1943. He's earned the Silver Beaver Award for his contributions, and says scouting builds leadership.

“It's a trait that needs to be developed and one of the few youth organizations that really develops leadership,” Pilditch said.

On display at Sunday's celebration will be a century's worth of scouting gear, along with decades of membership records and photos. And probably just like a century ago, scouts say their favorite part of scouting is summer camp.

“I think the best part of being a Boy Scout is I really liked summer camp because it's kind of like one of the highlights of being a Boy Scout,” said Boy Scout Connor Dunn.

“I learned how to fish better and like be more patient, and learned how to shoot a shotgun,” said Boy Scout Connor Gilliland.

Over the last century, Troop 608 has produced 168 eagle scouts and they've performed about 15,000 hours of community service.

“We've done food drives, we've done clothing drives, bike drives, painted different areas, built planter boxes for the disabled. So the projects have been countless,” said Assistant Scout Master Matthew Andersen.

“I'll be doing mine soon. That will be something in the Dan Ryan Woods, it’s kind of like a restoration project,” said senior patrol leader Sam Broad.

The scouts are especially grateful to St. Paul’s Bible Church, which has hosted them for the last 100 years.

Scout Master Bob O’Hara joined the troop as an 11-year-old back in 1962.

“I've been at it now so long that I've got the second generation, making me feel very old,” O’Hara said.

But not nearly as old as Troop 608.

There will also be a ceremony Sunday for some new Eagle Scouts.

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