A History of Troop 117

Troop 117 was founded on February 12, 1958. There have been eleven scoutmasters since the beginning of the troop. Troop 117 serves scouts form the Whitpain, Plymouth, Whitemarsh, and Conshohocken areas. The current membership has grown to 36 scouts and 10 Assistant Scoutmasters.

 Troop 117 is one of the most active troops in the Baden-Powell District of the Cradle of Liberty Council. The troop meets at Epiphany of Our Lord R.C. Church at Walton and Township Line Roads at 7:00 on Thursday evenings. Troop 117 is also a recognized Quality Unit.  

 To join the Boy Scouts, a boy should either be 11 years old or have completed the Arrow of Light and be 10 years old.   New scouts usually join in the Spring of the fifth grade which allows them time to participate in the weekend camping program before their first long term summer camping experience. The Troop usually has two long term camping experiences every summer and 7 to 9 weekend camping trips through the course of the year. 

Below are lists of the former scoutmasters, sites where Troop 117 has been, and awards and recognitions we have received. 

Troop 117 Scoutmasters 

  • Charlie Hammes - Founding Scoutmaster        
  • Art Koch
  • Dick Coccialone
  • Ray Hill
  • Walter Brinkman
  • Jim Delaney
  • Jim Watson
  • Jack Muir
  • Al Gaboriault
  • James Madden
  • Jack Muir
  • Roger Milton
  • Mike Hajdak - Current Scoutmaster

Where Troop 117 has been. 

  • The Adirondacks, NY
  • Bass Creek State Park, NJ
  • Camp Ockanickon, Bucks County Council, PA
  • Camp Mack Boy Scout Reservation, Pennsylvania Dutch Council, PA
  • French Creek State Park, PA
  • Fort Washington State Park, PA
  • Philmont Scout Ranch, NM
  • Sea Base High Adventure Base, FL
  • Treasure Island Reservation, PA
  • Valley Forge National Historic Park, PA
  • West Branch of the Susquehanna, PA
  • Antietam National Battlefield Park, MD
  • Bashore Boy Scout Reservation, Pennsylvania Dutch Council, PA
  • Rodney Scout Reservation, Camp Rodney, Del-Mar-Va Council, MD
  • Musser Scout Reservation (Camps Delmont and Hart), PA
  • Gettysburg National Battlefield, PA
  • Hickory Run State Park, PA
  • Resica Falls Scout Reservation, PA
  • Ridley Creek State Park, PA
  • Toronto, Canada (Scope-Olympia)
  • Washington Crossing State Parks, PA & NJ
  • Various Points on Appalachian and Horseshoe Trails in PA
  • Tinicum State Park, PA
  • Fort A.P.Hill, VA - Site of the Jamborees
  • Camp Citta
  • Goose Pond Scout Reservation
  • New York City - Camp Pouch
  • Annapolis, MD
  • Greenbelt National Park, Greenbelt MD
  • Tohickon Valley
  • Camp Ware
  • Wye Island

Awards and Special Occasions 

  •  Klondike Derby: 1st Place '82, '84, '86; 2nd '86, '96, 3rd 2006 
  •  First Aid Rally: 1st '83, '92, '94; 2nd '93; 3rd '98
  •  Regional Orienteering: (Division) 1st '93, '96; 3rd '94 (Overall) 3rd '95
  •  Paddlerama: Partial 1st '87; Partial 3rd '94; 3rd '96, '97
  •  Kettle Cup 3rd '97
  •  1998 District Camporee , 3rd Place Overall
  •  2001 District Camporee, Clean Camp Award
  •  Cradle of Liberty Troop Award - '98, '99, '00, '01 


  •  National Jamboree '89, '93, '97, '01, "05
  •  Fawn Run '94
  •  Philmont '86, '95, '99, '02, '07 
  •  Adirondacks '96
  •  Sea Base '98, '01,"08

 History of Cradle of Liberty Council #525

Delmont Council #507 of the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1911 and consisted of Delaware and Montgomery Counties of Pennsylvania, hence the name, DELaware and MONTgomery.  Delmont Council opened several camps in its early years of existence.

The first was Camp Pequea on the Susquehanna, about 15 miles southwest of Lancaster. In 1913, the first Camp Delmont was opened on Whites' Island in the Delaware below Scudders' Falls. Camp Delmont then moved to Pioneer Island in the Schulykill River in 1915. Then, in 1916, Delmont Council purchased 35 acres in Summneytown, Pennsylvania for $500.00. The property included a stone farmhouse. This is the present site of the Funk Camp at Camp Delmont, the home of the C.O.P.E. course.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Council #525 was formed in 1912* to serve the scouts of the city of Philadelphia. In 1913, Philadelphia Council bought Ridges and Marshall Islands in the Delaware River around Pipersville, PA, and renamed them Treasure Island Reservation, due to someone commenting that the purchase of the reservation was the "treasure" of the Philadelphia Council. Today, this is the oldest continuously operated scout camp in the United States.

In 1915, on Treasure Island, the Order of the Arrow, WWW, was founded by E. Urner Goodman and Carol Edson, Camp Director and Assoc. Camp Director, respectively. This was the creation of Unami Lodge, One and one of the greatest movements within Scouting history. By 1929 Camp Delmont had reached its current size of 794 acres. The camp consisted of Camp Wilbur, north camp; Camp Cedar, central and lakefront; and Pioneer Camp, the far eastern camp, and Camp Funk, where, after the launch of the Cub Scout Program in 1934, was the original Cub World Activity Center. In this year, 1929, Delmont Council, under the direction of Jack Foster, the sports director, founded Delmont Lodge, 43 of the Order of the Arrow. They selected the Saville Memorial Lodge as the lodge totem. They opened a cermonial site on the far side of Unami Creek, using the Bridge of Smiles as a cross. The Lodge House was Tops'l Lodge. After the demolition of the Bridge of Smiles, circa 1960, the ceremonial grounds were moved to an area behind Schweiker Lodge, main site, and below Oak Lodge, Thunderbird Rock, a pre-ordeal and brotherhood site.

 In 1930, Philadelphia Council opened the roughly 500 acre Camp Hart adjacent to Delmont Council's Camp Delmont along the Unami Creek. In 1934, Delmont Council changed its name to the Valley Forge Council #507. Roger S. Firestone, founder of Firestone Tires became influential in the Valley Forge Council, donating much money to the perpetuation of Scouting. In 1956, Valley Forge and Philadelphia Counicls formed a Federation, and founded Resica Falls Scout Reservation, a 4000 acre scout camp in the Poconos, with primary funding from Roger S. Firestone. A plan called for 5 smaller camps within the Reservation, similar to Delmont, however only 2, Big Springs and Great Bend were completed, and Firestone was opened as an Explorer Post.

Today, Big Springs and Firestone are still in operation, Big Springs being a traditional Summer Camp program, and Firestone based on a more rustic patrol method camping. Over the next 46 years, Valley Forge hosted the National Jamboree three times; 1950, 1957, and 1964; and opened the World of Scouting Museum in Valley Forge Park behind Washington Memorial Chapel. The Philadelphia Council holds the largest Scouting for Food program in the country. These two councils grow to two of the highest ranked councils in the nation. Resica Falls was released upon the demise of the Federation and remained in the hands of the Valley Forge Council.

In 1996, due to finanicial troubles in the Philadelphia Council, Valley Forge and Philadelphia merged to form a new council, Cradle of Liberty Council #525. The council maintains two headquarters, one in Center City, the Bruce S. Marks Service Center, and the Roger S. Firestone Service Center adjacent to Valley Forge National Historic Park. In 1999, the Cradle of Liberty Council opened Camp Garrison or Cub World, on new ground attached to Camps Delmont and Hart. Upon a generous donation from the CEO and Founder of Safegaurd, the three camps were grouped under the name of Musser Scout Reservation, creating a 1400+ acre super-camp in Green Lane, PA. Upon the merger of the two councils, the two OA Lodges had to be merged. Upon a vote of general membership of the two lodges, the name Unami Lodge, One were maintained and Delmont Lodge, 43 became defunct. This is the second time a lodge was absorbed into Unami One. Unalachtigo, 8 was an OA lodge based on the Turkey Clan of the Lenni Lenape. It was at Philadelphia's short lived Camp Biddle in Media, PA. It was folded at the closure of this camp in the late-1920's. Today, Cradle of Liberty is the third largest council in the USA and presently serves over 87,000 youth in Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Governed by a board of directors comprised of leading citizens and staffed by a professional Scouter team, the council is charged with both promoting and carrying out all types of Scouting programs in the three county area. http://www.colbsa.org/

Greg Heleniak 

BSA Troop # 117