The following is a compilation of the history of Troop 6. Dates and events are as described by newspaper articles from the times and letters and stories from the persons who lived the events.
It was the summer of 1920 when newly wed Harold Holman of Idaho Falls was approached by Rev. J. C. Rollins of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church about organizing a Boy Scout troop at the church. Sometime later, officially in November of 1920, Troop 6 came into existence.
The fledgling troop was not the first in the city, indeed the number, six, indicates that it was “troop number six of Idaho Falls”. Also, it was not the first troop to be sponsored by the Methodist church. Troop 4 had been re-organized in the spring of 1920 and was a going concern. Apparently one of the reasons for the forming of Troop 6 was to alleviate the overcrowding of Troop 4.
The history of Troop 4 extends back even further to before World War I, to 1913 when it, along with three other troops were formed from a boy scout troop known only as the Boy Scouts of Idaho Falls. This troop had been in existence, as an unofficial boy scout troop since late 1911. Then came the war and scouting fell by the wayside as the men who normally would lead the scouts went to war instead. Thus, Troop 4 had to go through its re-organization later.
These two troops formed the nucleus of a very active scouting program in Idaho Falls. Rev. Rollins was the scouting commissioner for the area, and scoutmasters D. R. Barekman of troop four, Harold Holman of six and a Dr. West of troop one kept the boys active. Mr. Holman recalls one event in his letter to the members of the troop at their fortieth year celebration...
“In August of 1921 a group of us took all the Idaho Falls Boy Scouts on a two-weeks trip through Yellowstone Park. There were 110 boys, which constituted practically all of the boys in Idaho Falls that belonged to the Scout organization. We were able to secure the services of a man and his wife as cook. They had just been married and were willing to go along, do the cooking for their transportation and food for the two weeks. Mr. Clyde Brainard, who operated a trucking company, furnished 3 trucks and drivers. The merchants of the town furnished all the provisions, and each boy paid $15.00 to buy gas, oil and other unforeseeable expenses. As I remember, there were only 5 men besides the cook who went along as supervisors. There was Dr. Rollins, a Dr. West, Dr. Shattuck, Clyde Brainard and myself. If you think it was not a real job for 5 men to supervise 110 lively boys then I recommend that you try it. I lost 10 lbs. in two weeks, but I think the whole trip was a great success for there was no serious unpleasantness and the the conduct of ever-y boy was surely a great tribute to Scout training. We circled the Park and returned home to Jackson Lake country, Wilson and Swan Valley”.
This outing was the annual long-term camp for Troop 4, soon to become a tradition for Troop 6. It is these long-term outings" that provide the most memories for the persons associated with scouting, particularly the boys.
Troop 4 started this tradition the previous year when, as the Idaho Times of September 2, 1920 reports …
BOY SCOUTS HAVE BIG TIME.
Troop Four of Idaho Falls Spends Eight Happy Days in Upper
Country on Annual Outing
Troop four of the Idaho Falls Boy Scouts have returned from an eight day outing spent in the Fish Lake region about 35 miles east of Ashton.
Sixteen boys from the troop made up the party and were in charge of Scoutmaster D. R. Barekman and Dr. J. C. Rollins of the Trinity M. E. church and R. E. Roberts, manager of the Boise-Payette Lumber company. Troop Four has only recently been re-organized and Scoutmaster Barekman has the boys interested in the work and a fruitful year is looked for. A· unique feature of their outing was the fact that the eight day outing was financed by the boys alone ...(about two lines unreadable) ... the trip was a success. The trip was taken from Idaho Falls to Ashton by train and the hike taken up from that place to the camping grounds. Mr. Roberts loaned a Ford truck, which was used to transport the supplies from the railroad to the camp. The boys are very enthusiastic over the trip and are anxiously awaiting for another similar trip next year.”
Another annual event for the scouts is Scout Month, February, when the anniversary of scouting in America is celebrated. The tenth anniversary of scouting for the Trinity troops went something like this ... (Idaho Times February 6, 1921)
SCOUTS WILL ATTEND
Special Services Will Be Held at Trinity Church
to Commemorate Anniversary
As the first number in the program for scout anniversary week Dr. Rollins, pastor of Trinity church, announces a special service for boys Sunday evening beginning at 7:30.
This is not for the scouts alone, but every, boy in the community is cordially invited to attend.
Several of the scout troops will attend in a body. Seats will be reserved for the troops. The scout council has been invited and Mayor Bradbury will be present. There will be special music, some of it by the scouts themselves. Scoutmaster Holman will sing a solo.
Dr. Rollins will give a short address on "If I Were a Boy" and R. H. Snyder, chairman of the scout council, will speak on the aims of the movement.
It will be a helpful and interesting program. Anyone who is interested in the welfare of the boys of the city is cordially invited to attend.
Every boy between ten and ninety years of age is promised a seat. The mothers and sisters of the scouts and all other boys are invited. Let's go and fill the church to the roof.
Another way that the scouts have traditionally celebrated has been to hold a parade and so they did in February of 1921 ... (Idaho Times February 13, 1921)
“BOY SCOUTS HOLD PARADE OF TROOPS
As a culminating celebration for boy scout week a parade of the five troops of Idaho Falls was held yesterday afternoon through the streets of the city. The different organizations made a fine showing and kept their ranks well. Paul Peterson acted as marshal for the parade.
There were about 120 scouts in line. The column was headed by a 12-piece band. The sponsors of the organization followed at the head of the troops. They were Rev. J. C. Rollins, scout commissioner ...
.. . The five troops were under the direction of their respective scoutmasters. They were lined up in the following order: Troop 1 of the First Ward Latter-Day Saints' church, Dr. J. W. West scoutmaster; Troop 3, sponsored by the rotary club; J. L. Hodgins, scoutmaster; Troop 4 of the Methodist Episcopal church, R. A. Barekman, scoutmaster; Troop 5 of the second ward Latter-Day Saints' church, L. G. Fox, Scoutmaster; and Troop 6 of the Methodist Episcopal church, Harold Holman, scoutmaster. Each of the troops had standard bearers carrying an American flag, and the troop insignia.
We might now, think that these scouts must have been hardier than we, to hold a parade in February, but to follow it up the next week with a hike and a picnic ... sheer folly ... but for the scouts of then ... and now ... what fun!
(Idaho Times, February 20,1921)
“SCOUTS GO ON HIKE
Boys scouts No. 4 enjoyed a hike Friday evening under the direction of Scoutmaster D. R. Barekman and Dr. Nye,troop committeeman. Promptly at 5 o'clock the boys left the Methodist church and hiked to the Clark ranch on Crow creek east of town. A real feast was enjoyed on the creek bank and the twenty members ate heartily of sandwiches, mulligan stew, pork and beans, raspberry jam and hot cocoa and cake. The troop reached town at 9 p.m. This troop will participate in' monthly hikes in the future.”
The scouts apparently did not hold meetings on a regular basis but instead were called in when an activity was planned via a notice in the local newspaper. Here is one from January 4, 1921:
“The boy scouts of troop 4 will hold their regular meeting Tuesday evening at 7:30 at the Methodist church. The meeting will be conducted by D. R. Barekman - scoutmaster. All members are urged to be present and bring their gymnasium shoes.”
And this one from January 23 1921..
“Troop 4 Notice
All troop 4 scouts are requested to meet Sunday evening: January 23, in the scout room at the Methodist church at 7:30.”
Here is the earliest one found for Troop 6 - January 11, 1921...
“BOY SCOUTS OF TROOP MEET THIS EVENING
All scouts in Troop 6 will meet at the Methodist church Tuesday evening, January 11 at 7:30 o'clock. It is requested that the boys bring their gym shoes.”
Thus it is apparent that Troop 6 was in existence and well organized by this time. The official charter of the troop from 1925 states that it is a renewal of the charter originally granted in November of 1920.
The earliest charter now in our possession is for the year ending November 1922 which lists J. C. Rollins, J. G. Best, (should be J. S. Best) and N. Bronenkout as the troop committee and Harold E. Holman as scoutmaster. The years that followed saw these people helping the troop .