Jon Costantino couldn’t quite say for sure where his Boy Scout troop ranks among the longest-running in the United States, but there isn’t much doubt that Grass Valley’s Troop 4 is among the oldest.
“We’re certainly one of the first,” said Costantino, scoutmaster for Troop 4. “There were a couple that started before us, but they have not been in continuous service like we have. On the West Coast, I believe we’re the second oldest in California.
“And, the entire Boy Scouts of America just celebrated its 100th anniversary a few years ago, so we’re definitely among the oldest.”
Grass Valley Troop 4 will celebrate its 90th anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park, hosting a hot-dog barbecue with music, demonstrations and plenty of the troop’s historic relics on hand to honor “those who came before us,” Costantino said.
Since 1928, the Grass Valley Host Lions have sponsored the local troop, which officially began in 1922.
“There are bigger troops in town, troops with 25 to 30 and more members,” he said.
“One reason we’re having this celebration is to recruit people and let them know we’re still around with an active calendar of hiking, biking and camping.”
Along with Eagle Boards, containing carved names of Eagle Scouts dating back as far as 1926, Troop 4 will display a 1925 journal kept by a scout in chronicle a trip to Capitola.
It took the troop three days to make the trek, Costantino said.
As part of the event, scouts decked out in their “Class A” uniforms will present the colors at 3:30 p.m. to officially get the celebration off the ground.
A presentation of 90-year patches will follow, along with a historical perspective provided by former scouts and scoutmasters.
Scouting demonstrations will follow, including a “barrel boat,” comprised of three barrels with a plank placed above to carry a scout across the lawn.
“It’s pretty high comedy with people going all over the place,” Costantino said. “It’s one of those teamwork exercises, where you can’t roll too far forward or too far back. It’s always real popular at camp.”
Costantino, a former scout, said he returned to the Boy Scouts mainly due to his 14-year-old son, who had graduated from the Cub Scouts.
“I just think you can’t get enough of the outdoors,” said Costantino.
“And with all the camaraderie … they’re taught leadership, social skills, conflict resolution and they don’t even realize they’re learning it.”
Those interested in learning more about or even joining Troop 4, but are unable to attend Saturday’s celebration, may do so by dropping in at a meeting 7 p.m. Mondays at the Scout Lodge in Memorial Park.
More information is also available at the Troop 4 Facebook page or by calling Costantino at 916-716-3455.
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