Canton’s Troop 241 celebrates 60th anniversary
by Rebecca Johnston
October 26, 2013 10:44 PM | 1943 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Canton Boy Scout Troop 241 Senior Patrol Leader A.J. Nutt and retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Mills, right, lead members of the unit in the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening in Cannon Park before they ventured out on a ghost tour of the city. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Canton Boy Scout Troop 241 Senior Patrol Leader A.J. Nutt and retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Mills, right, lead members of the unit in the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening in Cannon Park before they ventured out on a ghost tour of the city.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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CANTON — Boy Scout Troop 241 of Canton is marking a monumental anniversary, celebrating 60 years of helping build leadership in young men in the community.

The troop, which was founded in 1953, still meets at the McCanless Scout Hut on Muriel Street in Canton, named for the man who donated the site for use by the Scouts and who is credited with being the first Scout from Cherokee County.

An Open House and get-together is planned at the Scout Hut Nov. 2 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the 60th anniversary, followed by a reception and barbecue banquet at 6 p.m. at River Church at 2335 Sixes Road.

A number of outstanding leaders have commanded the troop over the years, including Dan Owen, who led the troop for more than 30 years from 1976 to 2012, when he retired from active duty. Retired Chief Superior Court Judge Frank Mills is another longtime Scout Leader. The late Al Schwamlein of Canton served before Owen as the troop leader.

Owen, who was a Boy Scout in the 1950s with Troop 142, still helps lead the group in community involvement, including a longtime project promoting and building a series of trails for hiking in the Boling Park and Sutallee area of the community.

Owen said there were three troops that have served Canton over the years: Troop 142, chartered in 1928; Troop 153 chartered in 1943 and the forerunner of Troop 241; and Troop 241, chartered in 1953.

“From my time, we have always, since we were started, always felt we were a part of the city community and tried to do whatever projects we could to benefit the city, such as parking for Riverfest, storm drain marking for the city, and we have had several projects for trail work down at Boling Park,” Owen said.

The original Troop 142 was chartered in 1928, Owen said. E.M. McCanless was the committee chairman, and his son William McCanless, received his Eagle Scout award that year.

R.B. “Dad” Sims was Scoutmaster and there were about 30 Scouts in the troop. The troop originally met at Canton City Hall on Saturday evenings, before the Scout Hut was constructed.

In the 1951 application for Troop 241, Jim Wheeler was the committee chairman and members of the committee were Lee Evans Jr., Charlie T. Kellogg, Alton H. Giles and J. Howard Forrest. The First Baptist Church of Canton was the sponsoring institution.

The roster of Boy Scouts lists Latimer Ridgeway, Wendell Bailey, Billy Cantrell, Barry Giles, Charles Kellogg and Joe Sewell, according to copy of the charter provided by Owen.

The project for the Scout Hut was approved by the city of Canton in 1939 and built in 1940 on the property deeded to the city for that purpose by the McCanless family.

Today the Scoutmaster for Troop 241 is Mark Deveau.

Another of the leaders, Marcus Head, said that the Boy Scout experience is great for those involved.

“I just think Troop 241 is a great benefit to the boys and we have such depth of leaders that go back probably 60 years, that have been role models to the boys,” Head said. “We have been real big on outdoor adventure, hiking and backpacking and that was instilled through Dan Owen.”

Head said his son is 12 years old and that he is getting to enjoy the experience with his son.

To purchase tickets for the banquet on Nov. 2, visit billblountdesign.com.

For more information on Troop 241, visit its website at www.troop241.com.

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