Troop 248 Unit History

Troop # 1 is formed in Oakdale

The first scouting troop was formed and chartered for the town of Oakdale on July 24, 1923, just 13 years after scouting was founded in the United States of America.

A "Group of Concerned Citizens in Oakdale" was the first Chartering Organization and signed the first charter for Troop # 1 of Oakdale. Mr. Ralph H. Moore was the first Scoutmaster with Mr. W. Kenneth Thompson and Mr. William M. Hadden serving as Assistant Scoutmasters for the new unit. The troop committee was made up of Mr. William L. Fluke, Edwin S. Thayer, and Calvin A. Fuhner. The troop was active, however after several years the unit disbanded due to several issues.

Troop # 248 is formed in Oakdale

The entire community got behind the young unit and through the efforts of Scoutmaster Davis and the Troop Committee, a piece of ground was provided for the unit to build a scout building, known today as Killbuck Lodge Scout Cabin on Clinton Avenue in Oakdale. In 1934 the Boy Scout Cabin was dedicated in a ceremony, where, to the community and the troop the building was officially named "Killbuck Lodge".

The new troop number of "248" was officially and duly installed on March 10, 1933, by Mr. J.B.Herman and Mr. Frank (Skip) Hall, District Commissioners for the Allegheny County Council of the Boy Scouts of America. During the ceremony, Reverend James N. Hunter gave the instillation address to the unit, families, friends, and many from the Oakdale Community. The "Scouting Interest" continued to peak in the community and the unit continued to grow rapidly. By the end of 1933, the unit had won the prestigious "Presidential Award for Outstanding Units". This was the first in a long line of awards for the unit. The troop continued to grow and prosper through the 30's and early 40's. An Explorer Sea Scout Post, Ship 248, was also formed. Many of the members of the troop had dual memberships in the post and the troop. From 1942 through 1945 were low points for the unit, as well as the entire National Scout Program. World War II placed a huge drain on the unit for senior youth and for adult leadership. Scouting throughout the country answered the call for men and manpower. For those too young for the war, scouts helped the war effort through Victory Gardens, home front support and Civil Defense, Relief packages, first aid supplies, and through recycling and scrap drives. During three separate scrap drives for metal and rubber, the Boy Scouts of America collected so much Aluminum, scrap non-ferrous metals, and rubber tires, that the Federal Government asked them to stop collecting, because they could not handle all the scouts collected! Scouts also built aid carts for the injured equipped with stretchers, bandages and assorted first aid supplies. Scouts all over the United States did whatever they could for the war effort. One troop located in Pearl Harbor mobilized the unit within ½ hour of the bombing of our fleet the scouts from this unit set up a soup kitchen and for the next week fed wounded and aid workers at Pearl Harbor.

During the 1950's, members of the troop made their first trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. This has become a routine trip for the troop or members of the unit every 3 to 5 years since the original crew.

During the early 60's the troop conducted a renovation of the scout cabin. The 3 original rooms were removed from the back of the cabin for safety reasons and the inside was paneled. From the early 50's to it's close in 1976, the troop attended "Camp Tionesta", in Tionesta, Pa as our annual summer camp program. In 1967, Allegheny County Council and that the troop was part of, and the Nemicolin Trails Council merged to form the Allegheny Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

During the 1970's the troop saw its highest numbers in membership with an active rooster of 59 youth in 7 patrols and 22 adult leaders. During this time the unit also won the Chartiers District yearly Unit Advancement Award for 4 years in a row averaging over 100% advancement for youth each of those 4 years. The troop also formed Explorer Post 248 for older scouts. In 1975, the post became a coed high adventure post designed for older teenage youth from 14 to 20.

In 1980 Allegheny Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America opened its summer camp facility known as Heritage Reservation. Heritage is a 3000-acre property located in Farmington, PA and is one of the première scout camps in the United States. Troop 248 was one of the charter units for the new camp and has attended summer camp at Heritage since its inception. Many of the members of the unit were instrumental in working on the development and building of Heritage Reservation.

In 2009, Boy Scout Camp Heritage Reservation celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Seventeen youth members and three adults of Troop 248 attended Summer Camp during the week of July 5-11, 2009. This date marks 30 years of continuous camping at Heritage Reservation /Camp Freedom for the unit.

In 1990, President George Bush recognized the unit for thier dedication to the high ideals of leadership, service to youth, and citizenship. Pa Governor Robert Casey also recognized the troop during this time for their service to the community and leadership.

From the early 70's to the close of the 90's, Troop 248 has made 5 separate trips to Gettysburg, Pa, three trips to the National Jamboree in Virginia, 3 trips to Washington D/C., and 2 trips to Canada. One of our best trips included a weeklong stay and a visit to Washington, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA. During this trip, the troop hiked the Lincoln Pilgrimage Trail, the Yorktown Trail, The Jamestown Trail, The Yorktown-Jamestown Trail, and the Manassas Battlefield Trail Loop. All members of the troop that attended the trip earned 5 hiking trail patches, 3 hiking trail medals and the Historic Trails Award and the 50 miler Award. Also during the early 70's, the troop completed 3 separate "Boot and Paddle trips offered by the Allegheny Trails Council. Boot and Paddle was a 5 day-153 mile canoe trip from Camp Tionesta to Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River. The troop has hiked the Forbes Trail and the Braddock Crossing Trails as well as the Baker Trail, Warriors Path Trail, and the Johnny Appleseed Trail several times.

Conservation has always been a large part of the troops program and will continue to be a very important feature. Many members of the unit have earned PA State Citations from the PA Game Commission, PA Fish & Boat Commission, and the DCNR Dept. of Forestry for their contributions to conservation and the environment.

In 2000, Several of the troop leaders have taken additional training in the Department of the Interior's "Leave no Trace" camping and this will be one of our objectives throughout the next 20 years. Leave no Trace camping is an important feature of the program where we leave as little of a footprint on the earth as possible. Many people have been to campsites where, because of the shear mass of people using the area, the ground has been impacted to the point where even the grass is worn away. Leave no Trace is exactly what it says, when we leave the area there is no trace we were there.

In 1993, the Allegheny Trails Council merged with the East Valley Area Council and formed the Greater Pittsburgh Council, which is the current council membership for Troop 248.

In the early 2000, Chartiers District merged with Montour District of the Greater Pittsburgh Council and formed Frontier District. Troop 248 is part of the Frontier District of the Greater Pittsburgh Council

In 2009, Boy Scout Camp Heritage Reservation celebrated its 30th Anniversary of Scout Summer Camp. Seventeen youth members and three adults of Troop 248 attended Summer Camp during the week of July 5-11, 2009. This date marks 30 continious years of Summer Camp at Heritage Reservation, Camp Freedom for the unit. Prior to the opening of Heritage, Troop 248 has attended one of the numerious summer camps in the area including Tionesta, Anawanna, Twin Echo, Semicanon, Bucoco, Custaloga Town, and Agawam. Attending Summer Camp has been a tradition and the highlight of each of our calendar years since the inception of the unit.

In May 2011 the Greater Pittsburgh Council and Penn's Woods Council merge and form "Laurel Highlands Council."