Boy Scouts celebrate centennial

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Boy Scout Ben Trela waits to present the colors at the Allen Park March 9 City Council meeting as part of a Boy Scout Centennial presentation.

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Boy Scouts from Troop 1052 are continuing the tradition of their founders by doing good deeds – even a hundred years after the organization was founded.

Troop members did their good turn by opening the March 9 City Council meeting by presenting the colors as a prelude a presentation about the organization, which is marking its 100th year.

Mayor Gary Burtka was a member of the troop as both a Cub and Boy Scout.

“I’ve been here all my life in this city, and that’s my troop,” he said. “I’m kind of proud of that.”

Troop members were given an opportunity to share their celebration and the message of Scouting with residents during the televised council meeting.

Troop 1052 Scoutmaster Dave Oakley has been a member of the organization for 38 years and joined at age 7. He presented a history of the Scouts’ traveling mural, “A Century of Values,” celebrating their centennial in 2010. The commemorative work has made an epic journey around the country.

Mural artist Bill Morrison is from Lincoln Park. He is a co-founder of Bongo Comics (along with Matt Groening and Steve and Cindy Vance), and serves as its creative director.

As a Disney illustrator, he worked on the “Little Mermaid” movie poster. He also worked as an illustrator for “The Simpsons” and created his own comic, Roswell.

Bill Morrison put together the mural to honor his father, Bob Morrison, who is also Oakley’s trainer, for getting his Silver Beaver Award for 25 years of service to Scouting.
Bill Morrison spent over 300 hours on the canvas, Oakley said. The original was presented to the National Museum on the anniversary of Scouting, Feb. 8, 2010.

The mural depicts the history of Scouting as well as the current ranks. It also contains the religious Scouting symbols for different denominations.

The mural also depicts the first national jamboree, and honors the Order of the Arrow, a national service fraternity that a Scout is elected into by his fellow Scouts.

Norman Rockwell, who depicted Scouts in many of his artistic renderings, is honored in the mural. The artwork also represents service work that has been performed by Scouts in earlier decades.

President and Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, Bob Hope, John F. Kennedy and Neil Armstrong are featured in the mural, as are former President Ronald Reagan, Bill Gates and Walt Disney.

The mural also depicts Detroit area Scouter Ed Whitehead, who requested to be in the mural. He is 103 years old, and since he reached his century mark, he asked to be part of the mural, Oakley said.

The mural can be seen online at

Burtka asked Oakley to suggest troops local boys could join to become active in Scouting.

Oakley listed Troop 842, which meets at Trinity United Methodist Church at 9077 Allen Road; Troop and Pack 1051 at Allen Park Presbyterian Church, 7101 Park Ave.; Pack 1052 at St. Frances Cabrini Parish at 9000 Laurence; and Pack 1062 at Arno Elementary School, 7500 Fox.

“It’s interesting to know over the past five years the amount statistically of Eagle Scouts just went up from about 10 years ago four of every hundred to six of every hundred,” Oakley said. “We are truly blessed to have a couple Scouts who are still in our troop who are helping out the younger boys as den chiefs working with the little guys.”