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About Troop 162

Boy Scout Troop 162, Southbury Connecticut, is excited to announce 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of the troop. 

Ray Coulomb was the driving force behind the founding of Troop 162.  At the time when Ray’s son was at Boy Scout age, Southbury had 2 existing troops. But, Ray had a different vision for a Boy Scout Troop, and Southbury Troop 162 was born.  He was the Scoutmaster along with 4 other dedicated parents.

The troop was originally chartered by Sacred Heart Church, and it was suggested that the troop be call Troop 3, relating the Holy Trinity, but was decided to be chartered as Troop 1.  Shortly afterwards this too needed to be altered since there was already a Troop 1 in existence. The troop flag, however, was already embossed with Troop 1, so as a compromise, Ray added “62” to the flag to become Troop 162 (as the Southbury already had a Troop 60 and 61). As the troop needed larger meeting space, the troop was eventually housed at the Purchase Firehouse, and was chartered by the Southbury Firehouse.  

There were many challenges at the outset. There was little money and equipment, and because the troop was so new, there were no older scouts to help lead the younger scouts.  They were also competing with the other troops for new scouts, but with time and perseverance, parents bought into the program. The momentum of the troop greatly expanded within the 2nd and 3rd years with the first canoe troop, white water rafting trip, and caving trip, and afterwards with the first trip to Philmont, a pinnacle of the high adventure program.      

Doug Boyd is an Eagle Scout, coming to Southbury CT from West Virginia following a career path.  With his son ready to bridge to boy scouts, Doug was encouraged to become involved with troop 162 after he saw how well the troop was laid out in terms of organization, function, and training, which was a tribute to Ray’s efforts in building the program. Doug soon realized, however, that recruiting was essential for the future of the troop, and he took charge in bringing in more young scouts and parents into the program.  Simply put, Doug’s goal was for scouts and parents alike to have fun. He had joy in seeing his own family, as well as other scout families, take part in troop events, which made the program more cohesive.    

Scott Bruce also started his experiences with his sons in Cub Scouts, and eventually with the Boy Scouts. When Scott was asked to be the next Scoutmaster his goal was to preserve the well devised and functioning program.  The ongoing challenge for Scott is scout recruitment and parent involvement. This year was particularly successful in recruiting new scouts, and the parent involvement has increased, which is crucial for maintaining the summer and high adventure programs.

Not every boy will become an Eagle Scout, but starting with Ray’s vision for the troop all agreed that the goal of the program was to develop a well-structured roadmap for the boys to follow in order to become an Eagle Scout, and along that journey experience high adventure, and develop leadership and life skills, and confidence. A key to this success was also communicating the program to the parents, as they appreciated watching their sons grow and develop within the program throughout the years.  

Another key to success was giving scouts a sense of community. One example is the troop volunteer work as the Southbury Training School, where helping residents in the Mini-Olympics, bingo, and cookie baking, helped scouts build heart and sensitivity. Other examples were the many Eagle Scout projects that involved the Southbury Conservation Commission, the Southbury Firehouse, the Southbury Ambulance, churches and synagogues, Southbury Parks and Recreation, and other parks within the area.  Ray’s, Doug’s, and Scott’s vision is for Troop 162 to continue to lead in developing the program for the benefit of the scouts and the community.