A box of Scout memorabilia donated to our Troop 1 BSA Unadilla Boy Scout Museum recently at first glance didn’t hold much of interest. The short inventory included two Cub Scout membership cards (1947-1949), a stamped metal Cub Scout neckerchief slide and another leather neckerchief slide embossed B.S.A. CRUMHORN MOUNTAIN 1950. Three Boy Scout membership cards (1949-1951), a Handbook for Boys (fifth edition-June 1948)—all spoke of the typical stuff of a young boy’s hike along the Trail of Scouting in the late 1940s and 1950s. Two boys’ novels, The Banner Scouts On A Tour by “Professor” George Warren and The Boy Scouts in Camp by George Dunston, silently spoke of his reading interests. A 1950s-style aluminum cook kit, a knife-fork-spoon set stamped “stainless steel and a little aluminum B.S.A. Bantam Lite mini-flashlight were all indicative of his personal camping gear of the time.
The vast bulk of Scouting items, like most of Hugh’s items, exist to recognize a Scout for his accomplishments in Scoutcraft, to engender feelings of kinship with other Scouts similarly outfitted, and to assist in the practice of his or her Scouting. Everything pertaining to Scouting can be collected—cloth and metal insignia, uniforms and awards, and extends to handbooks and advancement pamphlets, postage stamps, magazines, camping equipment issued by a national Scout organization, photographs, coffee mugs, and other items—but we think the items that tell a story the more interesting.
Our museum houses and displays Scouting items that chronicle the hundred year story of Scouting in Unadilla to the members of our troop and preserve our legacy for museum visitors in the future. None of Hugh’s items are especially valuable as collectibles, but in the story they tell of one young Unadilla Scout’s experience in America’s Centennial Boy Scout Troop,” they are invaluable.
Our thanks go to Carl Staff and his wife for donating Hugh Collins’ Scout items to the Unadilla Troop 1 Museum.