Harlem Troop 5 is a new Boy Scout troop with a rich history.

 

In 1988, Teachers College, Columbia University chartered the original Harlem Troop 5 with three adults and six scouts led by Scoutmaster Kevin Phillips. Each week the troop met in the community room of the Bancroft Residence Hall on 121st Street and each month the troop went camping.

 

From 1988 to 2001, Troop 5 averaged 11 months of camping each year while achieving 12 consecutive years of Honor/Quality Unit Awards. Each year included special events like Pinewood Derbies onboard the Intrepid, service projects, fundraisers, hiking of historical trails in areas as far as Boston and Philadelphia, white water rafting, canoeing the Delaware River, Klondike Derbies, maple sugaring in New Hampshire, Order of the Arrow elections, Yankees and Mets games, Courts of Honor, West Point Scout Days for both basketball and hockey games, museums like the National Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame, and Harlem District Camporees. 

 

As the most active troop of the Harlem District, some troop activities doubled as district activities such as the annual 20-mile hike from the George Washington Bridge to the Tappan Zee Bridge (along the Palisades), attendance at the West Point Camporee, and basketball tournaments at Teachers College.

 

Scouts from Troop 5 also frequented Ten Mile River Summer Camp, Junior Leader Training, and BSA high adventure treks in Maine, the Adirondacks, and New Mexico (Philmont).

 

Each month parents met to provide Board of Reviews and to encourage scouts in their advancement. Four members of Troop 5 achieved Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout: Luis Gonzalez, Patrick Sell, Jamil Ahmed, and John Greer (completed last requirements OOC when family moved).  Two scouts attained the second highest rank of Life Scout: Jimmy Arias and Edgardo Leon.

 

Unfortunately, in 2001 Teachers College chose to end the Troop 5 charter in response to the United States Supreme Court decision.

 

In March 2013, Kevin Phillips began serving as Manhattan Training Chairman. As a result, he called on the former scouts of Troop 5 to conduct the Outdoor Skills Training (ITOLS) for new adult leaders throughout New York City. The reunion of Troop 5 generated enthusiasm for the reconstitution of the troop as former members recognized the potential for impacting boys.

 

In October 2014, Harlem Troop 5 began meeting at the KIPP STAR Harlem Middle School at 433 West 123rd Street as the new chartering organization with five adults and five scouts. Kevin Phillips is Scoutmaster and co-leads with Assistant Scoutmasters Jimmy Arias and Jamil Ahmed who were previous Troop 5 members.

 

March 1, 2015 began a new "charter year" for Troop 5.  In the first 5 months, Troop 5 achieved the 2014 "Silver Journey to Excellence Award" as a result of: meeting weekly; camping monthly (3 times over the first 4 months); all scouts advancing at least one rank; conducting monthly parent meetings, committee meetings, Board of Reviews, Courts of Honor and PLC's (Patrol Leaders' Council) planning meetings; completing 3 service projects; introducing ScoutStrong; budgeting and fundraising sufficiently; recruiting and training new scouts and scouters (registered adult leaders); retaining all our scouts and adding some new ones; using the patrol method; and by setting a good example in living the Scout Oath and Laws.

 

Highlights of 2014-2015 included: the BSA and KIPP STAR Harlem Middle School agreeing to partner; first weekly meeting on October 1, 2014 with 5 scouts and 5 scouters (registered adults); 100% attendance by our parents on November 5, 2014; first campout, in tents, in dry but 20 degree weather, at GNYC's Alpine Scout Camp, resulting in all scouts and scouters earning the "Troop 5 Polar Bear Award", November 21-22, 2014; first service project completed by collecting litter on Alpine's "Red Circle Trail"; received a ribbon for our troop flagpole for "100% Boy's Life" subscription; scouts decide to name their first patrol the "Hawks", elect Brandon as the first Patrol Leader, who appoints Mohamed as the first Assistant Patrol Leader; Troop 5 gets "scooped" by the GNYC Scout Executive, Ethan Draddy, and invited to lead the opening flag ceremony for the 2015 GNYC Annual Board meeting; a warmer (30 degrees) second tent campout at the Bergen Council's Alpine Scout Camp, December 18-19, 2014; second service project completed by collecting litter on Alpine's "Old Yellow Trail"; introduced the BSA's "ScoutStrong" program on January 7, 2015 and encouraged scouts and parents to participate with the first "Troop 5 Scout Spirit Award"; the PLC and ASM'S attended GNYC's "Training Extravaganza" on January 10, 2015 at Manhattan Community College; hiked the BSA's "Revolutionary War Historical Trail" in upper Manhattan on January 19, 2015; third campout, first 2-nighter, 3 degrees in tents at a snowy Durland Scout Reservation, January 30-February 1, 2015, where all scouts/scouters earned the Camp Durland "Camper" segment and the "Troop 5 Polar Bear Award"; completed our third service project at Camp Durland by shoveling snow from ramps and stairs to the cabins; inducted Antonio as the first, second generation scout of Troop 5; Troop 5 served as Honor Guard for GNYC's Annual Meeting, Feb. 12, 2015 at Park Avenue's Mutual of America (pic.twitter.com/jQklqukcnY); Special guests for the March 4 Court of Honor - Steve Benini, GNYC Director of Development and former DE for Troop 5 - current District Executives Curtis Miller and Jessica Kerin - Campmaster Jimmy Ho from Westchester-Putnam Council - Big Apple District Committee Member Alex Santana (who gave an FOS presentation; Special guests for the April 1 Court of Honor - Ethan Draddy, GNYC Scout Executive - Bobbie Wallace, Unit Commissioner - Russell Morgan of Troop 771; Harlem Troop 5 is recognized with the 2014 SILVER "Journey to Excellence" Award at the April 1, 2015 Court of Honor; elected James to the Order of the Arrow on April 22, 2015; excelled at the Big Apple District Camporee, April 24-26, 2015 providing the Opening Ceremony, model campsite, reception honoring Wally's 25-years of service at Camp Alpine, and hosting the cooking challenge; Enjoyed "American Indian" theme May 15-17, 2015 at Rockland District Camporee at Camp Bullowa - first rainy campout - Troop 5 camped with Nyack's Troop 2 - service project was camporee set-up of teepee and council campfire; Troop 5's "Scouts of the Month" were Brandon and Nur (October), Joshua (November), Brandon (December), Nur (January), Joshua (February), Mohamed (March), Brandon (April), and James (May). 

 

In 2016, Corpus Christi Church (http://www.corpus-christi-nyc.org/) opened their gym to Troop 5 for meetings!  New scouts joined from the Corpus Christi School (http://www.ccschoolnyc.org/) and we enjoyed great cooking around the campfire at Alpine January 15-16; at Alpine for the Camping Expo March 4-5 (Polar Bear Award - tents on 2 feet of snow); at Alpine for the Big Apple District Camporee April 15-17; at West Point for the camporee April 29-May 1; at Bullowa for the Rockland District Camporee May 13-15; at Alpine June 10-11 (CPR training at Nyack Ambulance Corps and time with the Mayor of Nyack, Jennifer White); at Camp Keowa for summer camp July 31-August 6; at Alpine September 30-October 2 (included Palisades Historical Trail as Hike-a-Thon fundraiser and paintball at Pearl River Gun Club); at Alpine for Catholic Retreat November 4-6; and at Alpine for Winter Camp December 26-January 1.

 

Other 2016 events included the GNYC Training Extravaganza, District Roundtables, new Troop 5 neckerchiefs, sailing with Ship 272; Mets game, and Job was the top Camp Card Salesman. James was elected OA Chapter Chief, attended Philmont, NYLT, OA's "Prizm", and was named the 2015 "Scout of the Year" for Troop 5.  Jordan was the top Hike-a-Thon fundraiser.  Nayib completed the OA Ordeal, Troop 5's Year-a-Round Camper Award, and was named the 2016 "Scout of the Year" for Troop 5.

 

In 2016, our adult leaders were recognized with the Scouter's Training Award (ASM Ahmed and ASM Bisceglia); OA Ordeal (ASM Arias); Year-a-Round Camper (ASM Ahmed); and James West Award (SM Phillips, ASM Ahmed, and ASM Bisceglia).

Troop 5 earned the Journey to Excellence GOLD Award for both 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, Troop 5 was invited to a Klondike in Connecticut at Deer Lake Camp, Jan 20-22; enjoyed a warm weekend at Alpine, Feb. 24-25 which included the Camping Expo and hiking the Red Dot Trail; 6 inches of snow greeted us at Camp Durland, March 24-25; West Point Camporee, April 28-30; Rcockland Camporee at Camp Bullowa, May 19-21; backpacked at Alpine, June 16-17;summer camp at Keowa, July 30-August 5; great cooking at Alpine, CPR in Nyack and Hike-a-Thon from Alpine to GW Bridge, Sept 29-October 1

 

Other 2017 events included the GNYC Training Extravaganza, District Roundtables, new Troop 5 patrol names, sailing with Ship 272; Mets game, and Jordan was the top Hike-a-Thon fundraiser. James was elected OA Vice-Lodge Chief for Administration, attended the National Jamboree, served on NYLT staff, was elected Troop 5's Senior Patrol Leader, and completed Eagle Scout.  Jordan was the top Hike-a-Thon fundraiser.  Nayib completed the OA Brotherhood, served on summer staff at Keowa (named Keowa's  "Rookie of the Year"), was appointed Junior assistant Scoutmaster, and completed Eagle Scout.

 

Our adults distinguished themselves as ASM Ahmed completed Woodbadge, ASM Bisceglia was honored with the District Award of Merit, and CC Phillips received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award.  ASM McQueen-el attended Commissioner training at Philmont and then was appointed Big Apple District Roundtable Commissioner.  ASM's Bisceglia and McQueen-el attended the National Jamboree.  ASM Bisceglia served on Woodbadge staff earning his third bead.

 

Harlem Troop 5 @ Corpus Christi looks forward to continuing its rich scouting legacy of fun while developing character, citizenship, physical fitness, and leadership.

 

  Troop 5
  Harlem, NY