Troop 229's
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Walnut St Cabin
General Nash Dist.

Boy Scout Troop 229
(Colmar, Pennsylvania)
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The history of the Walnut Street Cabin begins more than a dozen years before its construction with the origin of Colmar Troop 1. Troop 1 was organized in 1935 with 12 scouts and Mr. Robert Lane, Jr. as the Scoutmaster and with the sponsorship of the Citizens Committee. 

In 1946 Mr. and Mrs. George Alexander donates ground on Walnut Street to the Montgomery Baptist Church for the Benefit of the scouts. These grounds covered a three-acre area to serve the outdoor activities for the boys.

 In August of 1949 construction begins on the cabin using materials and money donated by local business and friends of scouting. The cabin walls were constructed of railroad ties donated by a nearby railroad company.  The scouts’ fathers provided the labor to construct the cabin and Mr. Melvin Saylor presided as chairman of the building committee overseeing their work. 

Formal dedication of the Cabin was in May 1950. Mr. Wilbur Fretz was the Scoutmaster at this time. Mr. Fretz and one of his assistants Mr. Hayes Herschler were both recipients of the District Order of Merit Award. Montgomery Baptist Church held the deed to the cabin and the surrounding land and was the sponsor of Troop 1. A Scout Mothers Auxiliary was organized in 1949 and was still going in the early 1960’s with Mrs. Gloria Jones as president. 

Sometime in the early 1950’s Mr. Hayes Herschler assumed the duties of Scoutmaster. In May 1956 the “Penn Valley Times” recorded three Scouts achieving their Eagle Rank. The Eagle Scouts were Dorrance Herschler, Phillip Herschler, and Robert Johnson. The advancement Chairman was Stewart Scheetz. During Hayes Herschler eight year tenure as Scoutmaster 12 boys reached the rank of Eagle Scout and twice the troop traveled to Canada for adventure trips in the summer. In the early 1960’s the Scoutmaster was Mr. Samuel Dalrymple, Jr.  At this point we lose the trail of Colmar Troop 1. 

Next we pick up the history of the cabin in 1973. This year Montgomery Baptist Church sold the property to the Colmar Volunteer Fire Company for the sum of one dollar. 

Troop 229 was organized in July of 1985 with Mr. Barry Pegg as the first Scoutmaster and the Elks Lodge sponsoring the Troop.  Several years later the Troop moves into the walnut Street Cabin with Mr. Tom Humber, who was an assistant to Mr. Pegg, as the Scoutmaster and Colmar Volunteer Fire Company the sponsor. 

The following spring construction begins on a bridge over the creek in front of the cabin. Materials of construction and the use of heavy equipment are donated by local businesses and friends of scouting including several long telephone poles forming the main structure of the bridge.  Once again the scouts’ fathers provided the labor and Mr. Garnett presided as chairman of the bridge building committee overseeing their work.  Each Scout in the Troop installed at least one plank of the walkway demonstrating their involvement with the construction. 

In December 1994 Troop 229 hold its first Eagle Scout Court of Honor followed by a second three days later. Eric A. Backlund achieved the Eagle Rank on December 11 and James R. Fisher achieved the Eagle Rank on December 14 of that year. Two months later their good friend and fellow Scout Geoff Dietrich joined them as an Eagle Scout becoming the third member of the Troop to achieve Scouting’s highest rank. Mr. Robert Miller was the Scoutmaster. 

In the spring of 1998, Don “Mr. D.” Dagutis revived interest in the Troop after several years of inactivity. During this first year, Mr. D. worked with only a few Scouts but he set the stage for the Troop to grow. Mr. D. camped with the scouts at the cabin and enjoyed summer camp at Ockanickon Scout Reservation for several years with Troop 229. In the spring of 2000, Mr. D.’s camping activity with the scouts became limited due to health concerns. That summer he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and missed a first summer camp with the scours. In august of 2000 Mr. Don Dagutis lost his battle with cancer and passed away.  Mr. Joseph Bell, one of Mr. D.’s assistants, assumed the duties of Scoutmaster of Troop 229. 

In the December 2000 Hatfield Township purchased the property and the cabin from Colmar volunteer Fire Company. Since the purchase, Hatfield Township has embarked on a program of improving and upgrading the building and grounds.