Historic Troop 9 - Founded 1917
The Boy Scout Handbook describes the events leading up to the founding of the World Scouting Movement in 1907 and the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. Shortly thereafter, in 1912, the scouting movement came to Austin, Texas.
Historic Troop 9 was organized on May 4, 1917 as an independent troop, meaning there was no organizational sponsor, in Austin, Texas. Scoutmaster and Troop paperwork was completed on June 8. The founding Scoutmaster was Mr. J. J. Mason with an address on Fiskville Road indicating the troop’s primary rural nature at that time. Mr. Mason was 27 years old and a Methodist minister and his three listed Assistant Scoutmasters were all farmers. The estimated population of Austin at that time was 40,000. J. J. Mason came from Avery, Texas with the experience of being a Scoutmaster for three years at the time of the founding of Troop 9 so he must have been very early to the Scouting Program in the United States. The original roster contained eight Scouts ranging in age from 13 to 17.
1917 and 1918 were difficult years for social organizations with danger from the worldwide flu epidemic and recruitment for World War I putting downward pressure on membership.
The next records we have for Troop 9 is a recharter document listing E. S. Blackburn, former Scoutmaster of Troop 1, as the new Scoutmaster and a membership consisting of transfer Scouts from Troop 1. These transfer members were older Scouts and the intent was for Troop 9 to function as an older Scout troop with membership requirements being the rank of First Class and the minimum age of 15. This recharter lists a membership of 10 Scouts. Troop 9 was still registered as an independent troop meeting at the YMCA of Austin.
In 1921, Troop 9 gained its first Charter Sponsor, the 1st Southern Presbyterian Church of Austin with Pastor W. R. Minter as Institutional Sponsor Representative and E. S. Knox as Scoutmaster. The Troop activities of the year 1921-1922 included Summer Camp, marching in the Armistice Day Parade, Flag Day Exercise, May Fest, Parents’ Night and acted as guides for the Interscholastic League at the University of Texas.
Historic Troop 9 continued on through the years, changing Chartering Organizations including the Austin State School while Troop 9 served as a troop for the residents in 1937 and 1938, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in 1939 and 1940 and the Bryker Woods School PTA since 1940.
Members of the troop attended the 1973 National Jamboree and the Jamboree flag is in the troop archives. Troop 9 also sent a crew to Philmont in the early 1990’s and again in 1996. The troop’s Venture Patrol, precursor to Venture Crew 9, attended the High Adventure Canoe Base in Atikokan, Ontario, Canada for a week-long canoe trip in 2002. Three members of Troop 9 attended the 2001 National Jamboree at Ft. A. P. Hill in Virginia along with the Scoutmaster who served on National Staff.
Troop 9 has attended Lost Pines Summer Camp every year of its existence and may be the only troop to do so as council records do not exist for this information and no other troop makes this claim from their history. Troop 9 also attended Buffalo Trails Summer Camp in 1997. In addition, Troop 9 held their own Summer Camp on the Devil’s River for a week each time in the summer of 1996 and 1998.
In 1998, Troop 9 began a tradition of high adventure trips involving several days and longer distances of travel. In 1998 and 1999, Troop 9 attended the Black Range Cavalcade, a week-long horse camp outside Winston, New Mexico. In 2000, Troop 9 created a caving expedition to Grutas del Palmito in Bustamante, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. In 2001 the troop took a week-long trip to canoe the Buffalo River and Arkansas along with cave exploration and hiking. The trip for 2002 was to Big Bend National Park to hike the many and various terrains. In 2007 another caving expedition was launched to Kickapoo Caverns, containing the largest formations in the state, outside Brackettville, Texas.
In 2000, older Scout members of Troop 9 also formed a Venturing Crew for these older Scouts to be able to take more adventurous trips than younger Scouts in the troop could accomplish. Initially the Venturing Crew number 9 was being used by another Venturing Crew and so the new Venturing Crew out of Troop 9 took the number 2009 for the year of founding and the Troop 9 heritage number. In 2007, the previous Venturing Crew 9 released and transferred the number 9 to our use and Venturing Crew 2009 became Venturing Crew 9 to coordinate with Cub Scout Pack 9 and Boy Scout Troop 9 all of Bryker Woods School PTA sponsorship.