Troop History

 

A brief history of Troop 888 … as told by Michael Connelly, our first Scoutmaster:

 

The troop was founded in 1988.  At that time, I was Scoutmaster of Troop 777 at Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, where I had been Cubmaster and a Webelos Den Leader.  I had taken over the troop about a year before.  It wasn't a large troop, but we were growing and had some good adult leaders.  Unfortunately, the facilities at that time were poor and we were meeting in a very small classroom.

 

I was a member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church, which sponsored Troop 15 and had very good meeting facilities, but almost no adult leadership.  They hadn't had a full-time Scoutmaster in a year.  The pastor at St. Andrews was a good friend of mine and was constantly trying to get me to take over that troop.  Since I wasn't going to just abandon St. Andrews, we decided to do something that had never been done before, combine the two troops into a new troop, with two churches of different denominations as sponsors.  The Scout Office was aghast and assured us that the troop would lose members and ultimately fail.  The rest, as they say, is history.

 

The neckerchief was designed shortly after the troop was formed.  The primary designer was the Senior Patrol Leader and my oldest son, Sean.  He got ideas from the other boys and incorporated them into the final design.  As I recall, the actual art work was done by Sue Reznick.  The coat of arms has the green shamrocks on an orange bar with a white background to represent the colors of the Irish flag.  The Minuteman is to represent the patriotism of the Boy Scouts.  The saluting Boy Scout is deliberately facing the Minuteman to represent that the Scouts, like the Minutemen, have the motto of "Be Prepared".  The knight's helmet is to represent that Scouting is a brotherhood, like the legendary Knights of the Round Table.  The helmet is purple and gold as a salute to the LSU Fighting Tigers.

 

While everybody loved the idea of the green neckerchief and the Irish colors, there was an Italian lobby in the troop.  Chad Indovina and Jeff Arrigo, among others, thought that the Italian heritage of many of our Scouts should be acknowledged.  It was finally agreed that the neckerchief would have a yellow border as the troop's salute to Italy.  In exchange, the Italian group agreed to go by the names of O'Arrigo, O'Indovina, etc. on St. Patrick’s Day.