The nation’s “oldest continuously chartered and sponsored Boy Scout unit in the country” is now also a Brooklyn centenarian.
Award-winning Troop 20, which has met for the past 100 years at historic New Utrecht Reformed Church in Bensonhurst — and produced more than 25 Eagle Scouts — shares its milestone anniversary with the Scouting organization, which also turns 100 years old this year.
Recipients of numerous religious medals, including the prestigious International Awareness Activity Award, Troop 20 scouts have “continuously strived” to promote and uphold the good citizenship aims of Scouting by participating in community service programs, marching in national parades and conducting benefit drives in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus.
The troop was formed on January 10, 1910, and received its charter from the national Boy Scouts organization in March of that year, according to Robert Buonvino who, before he passed away in 2009, was scouting coordinator and president of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, 18th Avenue and 84th Street.
Fifteen boys were registered at that time, the late Buonvino said, and the troop’s first scoutmaster was James R. Adsit.
The first scout troops were formed in the United Kingdom in 1907, and registered in 1908. Several claim to be the first troop, however, due to poor record keeping during the inception of Scouting, the Scout Association does not acknowledge any single troop as being the first.