History of the Troop

Looking back to when it all began, we have to go back to the late 1953 era, when the Brighton area community was itself still very young.

Brighton Community Baptist Church was just recently formed to serve the community, mostly made up of World War II veterans and their families. Many young boys were growing up in the community and as boys generally are, were looking for things to do.

A group of men, members of the church, with the consent of the Board of Trustees, decided on forming a Boy Scout Troop. An Application for Troop Charter was obtained from the Buffalo Area Council office and filled out on Mar.26,1954. It was signed by Rev. Robert F. Lester, pastor of the church, on Apr.12,1954. The Troop Committee was made up of six members, its chairman being Reuben L. Krause. The other members were; Robert G. Prochnow, William A. Wheeler, Elson E. Johnson, Michael Ferrara and John W. Bowling. The troops first Scoutmaster was Charles W. Rowe and his assistant was Harold A. Waters. The troops initial Institutional Representative was A. Henry Krieger.

The troop was assigned number 286 and was located in the Kenton District. Its original roster consisted of five scouts they being; Wayne Krause, Peter E. Lawson, James W. Wheeler, John P. Melko and Roger D. Herbert.

On the early charter renewal forms, the Roster of Boy Scout Membership was limited to scouts being between the ages of 11 to 13. When a scout was 14 or older, he was listed under the Roster of Explorer Membership. As all the scouts were only 11 years old the troop had no listed explorers.

In the ensuing 18 months (Mar. 1954 to Oct. 1955) in which the original charter lasted, the troop grew to a total of 39 members, 3 of which were registered as explorers. Also in that time period 7 scouts separated from the troop. The troop also gained 2 new assistant scoutmasters one hailing been an original committee member, William A. Wheeler. It also gained 4 new committee members, totaling 11.

In the period of Oct. 1955 the founding Scoutmaster Charles W. Rowe, yielded his position to William A. Wheeler one of his assistant scoutmasters and accepted the chairman position of the troop committee. William E. Brown, another of the troops assistant scoutmasters accepted the position of Explorer Advisor for the troop, to provide leadership for the scouts 14 years and older.

From the previous years’ 11 committee members, 6 did not re-register but 5 did and the committee gained 5 new members totaling 10 committee members Also from the 38 registered scouts, 7 scouts and 1 explorer separated from the troop leaving the troop with 31 total members. During the year 13 new scouts and 5 explorers joined the troop, but of all the registered members the troop lost 14 before re-chartering time leaving a total of 35 registered scouts and explorers.

During the next year, the charter period was extended from Oct. 1956 to Dec. 1957, extending the charter by 3 months. The committee remained about the same increasing by 1. A new chairman, Norman E. Fitzsimmons was selected. Other changes were made in the leadership positions. William E, Brown, the troops Explorer Advisor stepped down to take a position as Assistant Scoutmaster. The Explorer Advisor position was filled by James E. Jones, a former member of the troop committee. Bernard W. Jones, a new member, joined the troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. There were 3 members of the previous committee that separated from the troop. They were replaced by 4 new members, one being Rev. Robert F. Lester, the church pastor.

During this time period and prior to re-chartering the troop had registered 27 new boy scouts and 1 explorer. Separations from the troop were 1 boy scout and 1 explorer. The troop had a total of 55 registered scouts, 44 of them being boy scouts and 11 explorers. Of the 11 registered explorers 6 were early registered boy scouts reaching the age of 14.

As in the previous 1957 year, several changes were made in the adult leadership positions. William A. Wheeler yielded his position as scoutmaster to Robert L. Gravenor a new member of the troop and became again a member of the troop committee. James F. Jones Sr. yielded his position as explorer advisor to Richard E. Friend also a new member of the troop. He also became again a member of the troop committee. William E. Brown an assistant scoutmaster separated from the troop, leaving Bernard W. Jones as the remaining assistant scoutmaster. The committee chairman Norman E, Fitzsimmons also separated from the troop and John Davis, another new member, accepted the position. A. Henry Krieger the Institutional Representative was another adult who separated from the troop. The position was filled by yet another new member Donald C. Collver. The committee gained in addition to the aforementioned new members 4 more resulting in a total of 12 members.

Otto Hoebel

Information compiled & written by Otto Hoebel



September 11th, 2017 – On November 6th, 2016, a Brighton Community Church congregational meeting was held at which time a vote was passed to dissolve Brighton Community Church on June 24, 2018.  For the first time in our history,  Pack 286 , Troop 286 and Venture Crew 286 had to find a new home.  Mark Oetinger, Scoutmaster of Troop 286 and Marc Varisco, Committee Chair of Pack 286 led a  group to search for new Tonawanda locations that could meet our space needs an would agree the responsibilities of a chartering organization.

Blessed Sacrament Church was quickly identified as that location. Blessed Sacrament had plenty of space which they were willing to dedicate to scouting.  Blessed Sacrament had a new leader, Father Matt Nycz, who was himself a scout in his native country of Poland.  Blessed Sacrament had hosted a Boy Scout Troop and Pack in the past so the congregation was familiar with scouting.  In June 2017, the agreement to make the move was made!

On September 11th, 2017 Troop 286 will held its first meeting at Blessed Sacrament Church under the leadership of its new Scoutmaster Dan Dahlke.

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