Just like the city itself, Taylorsville BSA Troop 1996 is marking its 25th year in 2021Dec 09, 2021 03:49PM ● By Carl Fauver
Taylorsville Boy Scout Troop 1996 and Cub Scout Pack 4996 recently celebrated their 25th anniversary at Camp Tracy in Millcreek Canyon. (Robert Pieper)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
Boy Scout Troop 1996 Scoutmaster Jason McDonald said it’s purely a coincidence the troop he now leads was born at the same time as Taylorsville City itself. It’s not like the new city held a contest to quickly form a BSA troop at the time of their incorporation. City organizers were too busy writing ordinances and rounding up city council and mayoral candidates.
But, purely by happenstance, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church (2700 West Builders Drive, about 5170 South) established the troop, and Cub Scout pack 4996 that same year. That’s why the troop number is 1996, and the Pack number is 4996.
Taylorsville City officials have marked their 25th anniversary this year with a couple of big things, including the re-creation of their stand-alone police department. They also recently cut the ribbon on their new $3 million Centennial Plaza, nestled in next to city hall and the new Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center.
The Troop and Pack 25th anniversary was a bit more subdued.
“We gathered our troop and pack members, and their parents, at Camp Tracy (in Millcreek Canyon) to celebrate the 25th anniversary,” McDonald said. “We had some of the previous leaders share their memories., and we served anniversary cakes for each group. It was a lot of fun.”
Of the eight Scoutmasters, Troop 1996 has had over the past quarter-century (including McDonald), half were either at the celebration themselves or sent family representatives to the event.
Former Scoutmaster Charlie Campbell recalled a troop camping trip to Yuba Lake and a time when the scouts participated in a “mini-ironman” competition.
Robert Pieper is chairman of the adult committee that oversees Troop 1996 activities.
“We had about 75 people at the celebration,” Pieper said. “It was a lot of fun to hear some of those old memories.”
There seems little doubt the past two years have been the most challenging for the troop and pack, thanks to coronavirus. For starters, since McDonald became Troop 1996 Scoutmaster in June 2020, his Scouts have not been able to attend a single meeting inside St. Matthew’s.
“Due to COVID, they have still not reopened the church for our meetings,” McDonald said. “That was not a problem through the summer. We met outside at Valley Regional Park (across 2700 West from the church). I’ve also held a few meetings at my house. It’s not been a big problem. But it will be easier once the church reopens.”
McDonald’s troop now has 16 Scouts, who travel in for those weekly meetings from West Valley City, Magna, Murray and West Jordan. Their biggest scouting activity of 2021 came last summer, when they attended a weeklong camp at Bear Lake.
Since becoming Scoutmaster, McDonald has not yet presided over an Eagle Court of Honor. But that’s expected to change soon.
“We have three boys who are getting very close to finishing up their requirements to become Eagle Scouts,” he said. “One scout, a Cyprus High School senior, recently finished up his Eagle service project. He directed the other scouts in helping him with a food drive for his in-school food pantry.”
That Scout, Cayden Anderson, said people were very generous. They were able to gather a lot of food quickly.
“We delivered fliers asking for food donations to about 600 homes in two neighborhoods,” Cayden said. “About half the homes gave us donations. We were able to put together about 800 snack packs for the [Cyprus HS] Pirate Pantry.”
Cayden’s mother, Julie Anderson, leant a hand by advertising the food drive on social media. She also provided her Venmo account details, for people wanting to make a cash donation.
“Cayden’s food drive received $265 through Venmo,” Julie added. “We used that money to buy additional food.”
Anderson hopes to have his Eagle Court of Honor early next year.
Meanwhile, McDonald is glad to be at the helm, guiding Troop 1996 into its next 25 years. At the moment, he has one son who’s 4, and two others who are just three months old. So, the troop will have to remain up and running for several more years, just to get them involved.