The Early History of Troop 3
1917—Troop 3 officially forms and is chartered by St. John’s Church in Burlington, IA. The first official activity of the troop is selling War Bonds to help the nation during WWI. The troop sells $1,675 worth of bonds.
1923—Ben Speigel becomes Troop 3’s first Eagle Scout. He is the first of 104 Eagle Scouts that have been awarded by Troop 3 in its 100 years.
1927—Troop 3 attends a baseball game as guests of the St. Louis Browns. Before the game vs. the Yankees, Troop 3 presents a custom fountain pen to Babe Ruth
1928—Scoutmaster Lawrence “Hap” Dehner becomes only the third scoutmaster in the United States to be awarded the Scoutmaster’s Key, an award for outstanding leadership of youths.
1935 — “Hap” Dehner is awarded the Silver Beaver Award. This is the highest award that can be bestowed by a local Boy Scout council.
1937—Former Troop 3 scout Mark Panther holds the Big Ten javelin record and is selected for the US Olympic team.
1942—Troop 3 leads a drive to collect salvage paper and rubber in Burlington for the war effort.
1942-1945—Several former members of Troop 3 are serving their nation in Europe and the Pacific during World War II
Service to Community and Church
Throughout its history, Troop 3 has given constant service to the community and to the Church. In the early days, Troop 3 was the largest of 4 Boy Scout Troops sponsored by St. John’s. The first twenty five years saw 6 of its member go on to the Priesthood. It also saw several of its former members serve in the armed forces during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It has been active in helping with Christmas boxes for St. Vincent de Paul, Relay for Life, Earth Day clean-ups, tombstone repairs at the 6th Street Cemetery, assisting with the local air show, and countless numbers of community projects that helped 104 individual boys reach the rank of Eagle Scout.
Currently, Troop 3, the oldest Boy Scout Troop in the state of Iowa, still prides itself on a continuing commitment to service. The troop is active in the annual Faith Festival, St. Vincent de Paul Christmas boxes, providing clean up activities around St. John’s, raking leaves for the elderly and handicapped, providing the fire for the annual Easter Vigil Mass, retiring old and worn US flags, tree planting in and around Burlington, the Garrett’s Path 5K, maintenance of the example prairie at Aldo Leopold School, and Christmas Tree disposal after the holidays. The track that Notre Dame’s Pack 3 uses for the Pinewood Derby was built by members of Troop 3. In addition, the troop has several members in both the Order of the Arrow, and the Tribe of the Silver Tomahawk, Boy Scout’s honor societies. Many of the troop’s boys and adult leaders have earned the Catholic Church’s religious emblem awards.
Several of the adult leaders in Troop 3 are former youth members who stayed to help the next generations, and many adult leaders stay on after their boys have gone on to keep helping our youth.
Recent History of Troop 3
1996—Don Schier becomes Scoutmaster of Troop 3. His grandfather was one of the signers on the original charter in 1917. He is still Scoutmaster to this day.
1996 to present—Several Troop 3 members have been elected as Chief of the Tribe of the Silver Tomahawk, a Boy Scout Honor Society based at Camp Eastman. They are Kenny Hootman, Josh Schier, Jordan Schier, Matt Siefken, Brandon Howard, David Carter, and current Vice-Chief, Brennan Creelman
1997—Troop 3 is awarded the Quality Catholic Unit award by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting
1999, 2000, and 2014—Troop 3 sends boys to the Philmont High Adventure reserve in New Mexico as part of the Mississippi Valley Council contingent
2012—Chris Macbeth becomes Troop 3’s 100th Eagle Scout
2014—Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa declares a “Troop 3 Appreciation Day” in honor of the troop’s over 100 Eagle Scouts
2016—Troop 3 is awarded “Unit of the Year” by the Shoquoquon District of the Mississippi Valley Council.
2017—Troop 3 Adult Leader Larry Dirth is awarded the Silver Beaver award by the Mississippi Valley Council
2017—Troop 3 is sending scouts to the National Jamboree in West Virginia
Troop 3 Scoutmasters
1916 to 1918 Fr. Beno Fesser, O.S.B.
1919 to 1945 Lawrence “Hap” Dehner
1945 Herbert Schier
1947 to 1950 Carl Vorwerk
1951 Royal Law
1951 Joseph Hauser
1952 to 1958 Joe Vorwerk
1959 to 1960 William Kemp
1961 to 1967 Roy Brown
1968 John Walsh
1969 to 1971 Robert Brueck
1972 to 1975 Gene Siefken
1976 to 1978 Bill Clements
1979 to 1981 Pat Lawler
1982 Mark Brueck
1983 to 1984 Bill Palmer
1985 to 1988 Rolland Kineer
1989 to 1990 Mark Hootman
1991 Rolland Kineer
1992 to 1995 Francis Boyle
1996 to present Don Schier
Helping boys become men
Troop 3 currently engages in many of the same activities that has given it a rich history over the last 100 years. We meet every Monday night for an hour and a half. The first hour is dedicated to scout advancement, working on Scout/Tenderfoot/Second Class/ First Class requirements for the younger scouts and Eagle required merit badges for the older scouts. The older scouts are also charged with helping the younger scouts in their advancements. The Scout Oath, Scout Law, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Outdoor Code are always recited during every meeting.
Camping is still a big part of Troop 3. Generally, there is a campout every month. Boys work on outdoor skills on these campouts, but do also get a lot of time to just enjoy the outdoors. The boys are in charge of cooking meals, cleaning after meals, and making sure that we leave the campsite in better shape than we found it. Once a year, we try to include an educational trip on our outings. In the past 5 years we have visited the Caterpillar Museum in Peoria, the Mississippi Aquarium in Dubuque, the Omaha Zoo, and the Herbert Hoover Museum and Presidential Library in West Branch. In 2017 we are planning a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Home and Tomb in Springfield.
The summer always ends with the highlight of the year—summer camp at Camp Eastman. Usually, 75% or more of our active scouts attend this weeklong camp where boys work on advancement, swim, fish, hike, and make new friends. Most years, there are almost as many adult leaders that make this trip as youth and we will have leaders come from 6 different states to help with our youth during this camp.
Boy Scouts of America
Troop 3 – Burlington, IA
Chartered by Ss. John and Paul Parish
Who we are: Troop 3 was started in 1916 and gained its official charter in 1917. It is currently the longest continually operating troop in the state of Iowa. The troop’s current membership stands at 20 boys in grades 6-12, and just as many registered Adult Leaders. Our troop has produced 101 Eagle Scouts since its inception. Membership in Boy Scouts is open to any boy who has completed 5th Grade and is at least 10 years old. The maximum age is 18 years old. We have boys from all over the Burlington area, and new members of any faith are welcome at any time.
What we do: Troop 3 meets weekly on Monday nights at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria at St John’s. During our meetings we promote working on rank advancement and those merit badges required to become an Eagle Scout. 6 of our Adult Leaders are Merit Badge Counselors and one of our Adult Leaders is a Religious Emblem Coordinator. All parents are more than welcome to attend our meetings as well.
Elections are held every 6 months for Scout Leadership positions such as Senior Patrol leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Chaplain’s Aid, Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, and Historian. All scouts are encouraged to seek leadership positions.
Troop 3 is involved in many activities during and outside of their regular meeting time. We typically have a two-night campout each month, except for July when we participate in Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Eastman in Nauvoo, IL, and August. Our campouts are at State or County Parks, Boy Scout reservations, or other public campsites. At our campouts, we work on outdoor skills, merit badge requirements, conservation projects, and leadership skills for our boys. All scouts are expected to participate in scout duties during campouts (cooking, cleaning, gathering firewood, etc.). We also enjoy having cub scouts from Notre Dame’s Pack 3 join us for a day during our campouts.
Troop 3 also volunteers at many local events, such as Earth Day clean-up, the Garrett’s Path 5K, Relay for Life Cancer Survivor Dinner, tree planting in Burlington, prairie clean up at Aldo Leopold School, food basket preparation for St. Vincent de Paul, as well as help with special Masses in our parish (such as tending the fire for the Easter Vigil, and providing ministry help for Scout Sunday and Red, White, and Blue Masses) and events at Notre Dame.
Contacts: You can contact any of the following people for more information regarding our Troop, or to arrange a visit to one of our meetings:
Troop 3’s Summer Camp “home” at Camp Eastman
Troop 3 earning the Scout Unit of the Year for 2016
Boys learning map reading skills
Canoeing on the Mississippi River at summer camp
Boys participating in a memorial at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant honoring those who gave their lives serving our country
Earth Day clean-up crew with members of Notre Dame’s Pack 3
At the Old Iowa State Capital in Iowa City