A Page of memories of Troop 99 over the years. Scattered over the nation and world, T99 alumni may not be able to get together for
ACTUAL reunions at the old scout huts (several now long bulldozed) to talk over old times, but we can do it by way of our virtual
home town, the internet. This page relates some of the memories reported to the webmaster, which might remind others of similar
events. Updated Oct 5, 20099
John J. S, Jr, (early 1950s) recalled:
I will always remember Troop 99 as we were the most supported group of fellows there
ever was. We used to win almost all contests at camporees, and summer camp and were
hated by other troops in the Georgia Carolina Council. We went to all events in Military
vehicles, set up pup tents in dress right dress fashion and just looked "Strack".
[This reminisce brought back memories to the webmaster, John deTreville (1955-
1961) too . When I was in the troop we also often headed for campsites in Army â
€œdeuce and a halfâ€™sâ€� and also used army tents. I can still remember that
distinctive smell of a canvas army tent on a hot day. On weekend campouts we often
used the two piece pup tents. Other times, and at summer camp we used wall tents (see
picture). Later the troop bought some light green Official Boy Scout pup tents â€“ they
were especially nice because they were one piece and had floors.
Other military â€œattractionsâ€� of being on a military post were the military
training â€œdetritus.â€� What would please a young scout's fancy more than being
able to find piles of brass shell casings and .30 cal machine gun links from war games
on the post (see picture of 3 I found when I was helping my mother move into a new
house a few years ago). Almost every scout re-constructed a machine gun belt â€“ the
longer the better. Being boys, one great find was unfired blanks. The red waxed paper
plug could be pushed in, and the power poured out and ignited. The mother lode of â
€œlostâ€� training ordnance were booby trap simulators, especially the ones that let out
a loud shriek when the string was pulled. The scout leaders, of course, tried to keep us
from finding and using these, especially because on booby trap simulator that, although
it looked almost just like the whistling one, exploded instead. No shrapnel or fragments,
maybe, but with more powder than a cherry bomb or an M-80, they put forth a huge
flash and an ear-splitting bang, ]
|Army wall tent at Troop 99
Summer camp at Leitner Pond,
|.30 cal blank cartridges from Troop 99
scouting days at Fort Gordon. My
youngest tells me there is still a
re-constructed belt somewhere in the
garage, but I haven't found it yet.
Mike Dawson (1958-9) recalls: â€œI was in Bat Patrol with Robert Schoff and Sonny Stephens. There were some more guys, but I
can remember their names. We all lived off base close to Lumpkinâ€™s Pond, the old swimming hole. I remember the only [Boy
Scout} day I was there for because my dadâ€™s mess hall fed all of us.â€�
Robert Schoff (1957-9) wrote: â€œI remember a
camping trip to Clark Hill Res. where I broke my ankle while
carrying rocks to make a fire pit and had to keep the ankle in water
to keep the swelling down. I also remember the fun we had with
the greased water melon. â€œ [article at right from the Spirit of 99
on the ankle incident.]
Mike F (1972-3) wrote about experiences with Post 99, about the time that Explorers became co-ed.
â€œThe girl I started dating was involved with the Post with her brother. That is how I got involved with the Post. I remember going
to meetings at the Scout Hut on the base. The only campout that I can remember is a survival campout where the leaders took live
rabbits and chickens for us to "prepare". The girls in the Post made the animals their pets and our leaders ended up going back to
town to buy food for us to cook. I believe we camped at the Clark's Hill Recreation area that the base has at the lake.â€�
Webmasterâ€™s note: One thing I hear from a lot of former troop 99 scouts is â€œI only made Second Class (or first class or star,
etc) then my dad was transferred and I never got back in scouting.â€� Transfers and leaving friends and the troop behind were part
of the â€œbratâ€� experience. But as Green Bar Bill said, â€œonce a scout, always a scoutâ€� and you didnâ€™t have to make
Eagle to have fun, learn a lot, and build some good memories. Brats have to find their memories and experiences where they can.
They still count!
Brian Hayes (1955-57) wrote, "I remember Jim Small and one night at the scout meeting we all had a piece of cake. Jim got
the piece of cake with a rock in it and he was honorary scoutmaster for the night. I remember that the Panther patrol had to many
guys and we had a group of us break off and form the Bat Patrol. Our Patrol Leader was Bob Goetz (I think).
Michael Cavanaugh (1966-1969) reports: While I was there Troop 99 always participated in the Council's annual Wonderful
World of Scouting, which consisted of displays, also a parade which could include floats; I remember (I think in 1966) using some
sort of Army vehicle (it might have been a trailer) and constructing a float using plaster-and-bandage material (the sort used for casts
to hold broken limbs) that someone, possibly ASM Sp/4 Paget who worked at the hospital, procured; along with lots of rubber
gloves to use while working with the plaster. Can't remember what the float looked like though.
At least during 1967 and 1968, Fort Gordon sponsored a camporee at least for the whole District, maybe even the whole Council,
all at Army expense -- tents, food, shows, whatever. (The Command was VERY supportive of Scout activities!) And even with
or despite Vietnam they spared little expense. I remember seeing several times seeing a demonstration of firepower. We sat on
bleachers on one ridge, overlooking a valley & another ridge with a few old tanks & trucks. Then, one by one, each weapon used at
company-level was demonstrated individually: pistol, M-14, M-16, .50 cal. machine-gun, hand grenade, gun grenade, mortar,
recoilless rifle); last, a whole company (including recoilless rifle mounted on jeep) engaged in a 1-2 minute firefight, including rounds
directed on the tanks & other vehicles on the opposite ridge. Very noisy! Very impressive! Very expensive -- I was told each
show cost about $1,000,000, and that Ft. Gordon did this at least once a month, busing in loads of businessmen from around the
region to show what we were doing to the Commies.
II'm not 100% sure if I remember this in connexion with the Scouts or not but I also remember seeing demonstrations by MP's of riot
control techniques. Some GI's would don wigs & Hawaiian shirts (this was supposed to be Bohemian/Hippie), throw rubber bricks
and shout "Burn, Baby, Burn!" while MP's in Class A's & helmet liners would herd them around a Potemkin village using bayonets
and barbed-wire contraptions mounted on the front of jeeps. (Not too much later I saw this same demonstration on TV, in Chicago
during the 1968 Democratic Convention.)
I visited Gordon in January(2006) The post as a whole has changed drastically! Nothing now seems to remain of the WWII post.
Old Post HQ is completely gone; all the WWII "temporaries" (which was most of the post even in the mid-1960's!) likewise. The
"new" NCO housing which I moved into in late 1966 (1st occupants of 1008A Tobacco Road -- all our addresses were Tobacco
Road) has greatly expanded, all the little roads now have individual names & buildings have been renumbered, Tobacco Road
seems not to be among them. Woodward Library was new then, looks like it hasn't been repaired since; and I see reference elsewhere
on the website to the gazebo by the "old" PX -- which was the brand new PX when I lived there!
Speaking of boys and ordnance, Michael Cavanaugh (1966-1969) reports that Scout Lake was ald artillery range. "I remember
finding their shrapnel in the form of lead shot about .50-.60 cal, esp. over across the dam where we used to set up campsites. I
remember finding several unexploded fused rounds there too. . . I also remember finding spent .30 cal casings most marked 1943
back in the woods behind the "new" NCO housing (new in 1966) which must have been from 3rd Army training for WWII. We
boys were so disappointed when the Army changed to the M-16 because the blanks were harder and more dangerous to break apart;
the M-14's like the M-1's had the little plugs you describe but the M-16's were crimped rather like .22 birdshot shells.
Bob Davis (1975) writtes: My brother David and I were part of Troop 99 in the summer of 1975. We were at Scout Lake many
times. I can recall two hikes that year. One was a thirty mile "preparatory" (i.e. blisters and sores) hike and the other was a 96 mile
"survival hike." I think our scoutmaster at the time was Captain Caputo (although the back of his car read "Don Carlo"). We made
the base paper I think for the survival hike and I think I was quoted about the size of a cottonmouth water moccasin my brother
found ("big enough to bite!").