Mr. Kreiser was interviewed by:
Thomas L., Troop Historian
Margaret L., Troop Committee Member
Mr. Kreiser: "My name is Father Thomas Kreiser. I was a member of Troop 174 beginning in June of 1976 and running through last year I was officially registered, but active until 1990.
Thomas L.: "What kind of activities did the troop do while you were in the troop?"
Mr. Kreiser: "That is a good question. We did a lot of camping. The first campout that I remember was in 1976. We actually camped on the field at Yorktown High School with the reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle by (General) Rochambeau. Actually, John McQuillan would have been there. That was my very first campout. The other thing I remember from my very early days was the first trip that I took with the troop. We wound up doing it about every four years up until 1984. It was a trip to Massachusetts to the Battleship Massachusetts where we would go and we would stay overnight. I have some pictures of that actually I will show you a little later on. In the beginning I was not too active in my very early days. It was not until 1978 or 1979 that I got active. Later on in the early 1980's to the mid 1980's we started to get involved in many more things. We always participated in the Klondike Derby that they still have. We went to summer camp every year, usually at Camp Read, which I think is still there."
Thomas L.: "Yes, it is."
Mr. Kreiser: "In the early 1980's, around about 1983, we started to get involved more so in the District Camp-O-Rees and in District events many of which we have trophies for because we won about three in a row with a very wonderful group of young scouts that we had, all of whom are Eagles on the (Troop 174 Eagle) plaque here. We did service projects for Grace Lutheran (Church). We did service projects at one point we were not sponsored by Grace Lutheran, you may not know that. We switched from here to the Yorktown Elks Club. I believe we were sponsored by them. I know that we met there. I would have to ask Irv Breitbart if we were actually sponsored by them. So we did not meet here for a couple of, well, actually for a long time. We moved from here (Grace Lutheran Church) as the troop grew to Thomas Jefferson (Elementary) School down the road where we met for quite a while. Then we met in the Elks Club in Yorktown on Waverly Road. Then we moved back to Thomas Jefferson School, and then I presume you moved back here where you met now."
Margaret L.: "They moved to George Washington Elementary School, and then they moved here."
Mr. Kreiser: "And they moved back here now that you have the room. Other activities . . . it will be easier once I see the pictures. We used to go on trips to Washington, D. C. I remember I was not on the trip because I was being confirmed that weekend, but I remember my brother going on a trip to Washington, D. C. where they visited Walter Reed Medical Center. We did a number of historical trails. The Philadelphia, I think we did Philadelphia. We did the Boston historical trail each time that we went up to the Battleship Massachusetts we would walk that. We did the Rockland historical trail around about 1984 or 1985. We did a couple of others. What else did we do? A lot of campouts. One of our favorite places to camp, and I do not think that they do it anymore, but we had an entire troop campsite set up in opposition to Troop 164, as a matter of fact we used to be a little competitive with them, over at the Field Home Nursing Home. Now it is the Field Home Holy Comforter. Where Holy Comforter is they cleared away a lot of the woods. We had an entire campsite, well we had a central campsite and then three other campsites that were developed with even tables and right down to a roll for paper towels. We had the whole thing done. We just kept building it up and building it up. We used to go there at least a couple of times a year. We went for many years running through the work of Irv Breitbart who was the Scoutmaster, we went about seven years in a row at least that I know of to the West Point Camporee held at Lake Frederick over by Central Valley, which was always a great time. I have a lot of patches and stuff that I shall put out in a little while for you to see. That was always a favorite thing. One of the other favorite things that we used to do each year was a trip to Camp Siwanoy, which was in Wingdale, NY. I do not think it exists anymore. I think the Council sold it, if I am not mistaken. (Camp Siwanoy was established in 1925 and was sold by the Westchester-Putnam Council about 2003.) In January, every January we would go cabin camping at Camp Siwanoy. Our favorite cabin was the Harrison Cabin. We had (used) it for many years where we would go and we would play in the Fort that was up there usually having snowball fights. If there was no snow we would have mud fights with other troops. We got in a little trouble once in a while. We used to play poker on the weekends. I do not know that I should tell you that, but that was a big highlight of the Siwanoy trip was always penny ante poker, and we would cook. About 1984 or 1985 a young group of kids, I was an Assistant Scoutmaster, and there was a young group of boys who were 14 or 15 years old who comprised our senior patrol who began a custom that I think probably has gone by the wayside, of designing dinner for the Saturday evening at Siwanoy around a theme. Our first one was we did an Italian dinner. We dressed all the boys up as Italian waiters. We had Italian music. The whole menu was written out in Italian. It was a very kind of fancy thing. We did it for several years in a row. The senior patrol cooked and cleaned and did everything in an attempt to kind of show the boys leadership to lead them to do other things. That was always the highlight. I am trying to think what else we used to do that would be a highlight. Let me think. We always participated, or we tried to always participate in the what used to be TLT "Troop Leader Training". I believe it is now called JLT "Junior Leader Training". We did have a couple of kids that participated in the National Jamboree, but we did not do it as a troop along the way. Those would be a lot of the activities.
Margaret L.: "Did you ever go to the National Jamboree?"
Mr. Kreiser: "I did not go to the National Jamboree."
Thomas L.: "How did Troop 174 start?"
Mr. Kreiser: "That is a good question which I wish that I knew. Dave Lerry was the first Scoutmaster. I was not in the troop from the beginning. I know that the number of the troop was chosen because we wanted to be number one and we were founded in 1974, so hence the name of the troop, 174. I believe if I am not mistaken and I may be, that it was that the initial people in the troop came from Troop 164. John McQuillan can help you out with that more than I can. It was a small troop begun in October 1974. I didn't get here until 1976. That is about all I can tell you about the founding of the troop except that the first Scoutmaster was Dave Lerry."
Thomas L.: "Has scouting changed your life at all?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Absolutely! Absolutely! Scouting has changed my life all for the better! As I said, when I first started in 1976 I was only eleven and I was not really involved. I did not particularly like scouting very much at that point. It was not until about 1979 when I joined the senior patrol because I was 14 years old that I really began to get interested in scouting. I had moved up probably to about First Class by then, but that was it. I did not do a whole lot of merit badges. I went on some campouts, but not all of them. When I discovered in 1979 as I moved through the senior patrol, I was Senior Patrol Leader for two years in 1981-1982 and 1982-1983 my last couple of years of high school. I really began to discover what the scouting program was about and it built a lot of leadership skills in me. I was a very shy boy and did not do a whole lot of things. Once I had to stand up and be a leader I really began to get over that shyness and in the long run being in scouting helped me in my vocation as a priest because it had taught me how to speak in public and how to do things like that which has been very, very helpful. It has given me resources as far as the skills that I have learned even as a boy, knot tying and lifesaving and all those kinds of things, have been very important. The skills that I learned as far as dealing with people have been very helpful to me. So yes, scouting has definitely had an impact, a positive impact on my life. In addition to that I still keep in touch with a good number of people from the troop. So the friendships that were made over the course of that thirteen or fourteen years, whenever I pass somebody's house who was in the troop I always think of them. Some of them are still local. Some of them I keep in touch with through email, etc. I am actually working on getting in touch with one of the old Eagle Scouts as well. So, yes, it has changed my life."
Thomas L: "Well, instead of looking at the pictures I guess we can look at the old troop stuff."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok. Later on we will look at the pictures. This trophy is the Scout of the Year Award. We began this around 1983. Jerry Kahn was our troop Committee Chairman. He passed away around 1983 and so the Troop Committee decided that in honor of him we would award each year to one boy a Scout of the Year Award. You can see, obviously, that the first two years were his twin sons who were both Eagle Scouts in the troop, Ricky and Mike, both of whom I keep in touch with. John Parsons was next. John's family still lives over off of Oakside Road. Mike Baca was the younger son of the Scoutmaster at that time in 1987-1988. His brother Bobby made Eagle Scout in 1985. Then Andy Solo who was a real great kid, I do not think that Andy ever made his Eagle, I think he kind of fell away from scouting in his high school years. He was a real great kid. They lived on London Road. I think they still do. I was talking about his mother to somebody the other day. Apparently it has not been awarded since 1989, but maybe you can bring that back and I will nominate you for the first one."
Thomas L: "Ok. Actually here are some pictures that were in this."
Mr. Kreiser: "These are pictures from long beyond when I was here, so I do not remember any of these people. It looks like to me that this would be, some of these would be the Memorial Day Parade in Yorktown just judging from the backdrop that is what it looks like. I do not know what the rest of them are, I can not recognize anybody. There are two plaques here. One in commemoration of our first decade of service to youth listing Scoutmasters Dave Lerry, Irv Breitbart, and Steve Taillie who moved when he finished being Scoutmaster to Saint Louis. He has moved around the country, but he is back in Saint Louis now. I still keep in touch with his son. This one we presented after ten years to Grace Lutheran Church in appreciation for being our sponsor. I remember actually giving this to Pastor Kennedy at one of the meetings."
Thomas L: "Well, I just have one little thing to comment about. It says, "In Commemoration of Sponsorship from 1974 to 1984". Unfortunately that raises questions about what happened after that."
Mr. Kreiser: "After that? That is up to your current Scoutmaster. Actually, might I recommend to Chris Long that you give them another plaque for thirty years of service to youth this year. These two plaques started our troop Library. Scott Taillie who was the son of the Scoutmaster at that time and Mike Kahn made the troop Library, the cabinet that used to sit in the old Fellowship Hall. I am not sure where it is now. They made the cabinet, and the books for all the merit badge books were in there. They made this (sign) at summer camp as well as made this showing the ranks of scouting. This used to sit on the top shelf of the Library."
Thomas L. "Well, there is no cabinet anymore."
Mr. Kreiser: "There is lots for you to work on."
Mr. Kreiser: "These were the original Skill Awards. Do they have them anymore?"
Thomas L.: "I do not think so."
Mr. Kreiser: "Skill Awards were for younger scouts to work on kind of as a precursor to merit badges. You had to earn certain ones for certain ranks. I think I actually have most of mine at my dad's house. There were twelve of them originally. I think before they cut them, they made a few others, and then they dropped them all together in favor of merit badges. This was also something else that sat in the troop Library. We had it as part of the troop Library to remind the kids of what they should be working on. Oh, my! These are some very old certificates from times when we made, oh my! That is just an Honor Unit recognition from 1984. This one we participated in the Diamond Jubilee of Scouting. This was a parade. I remember marching in this one in Peekskill on September 7 of 1985. That was when we were probably at our height in 1985/1986. We had a great group of young boy leaders. I was an Assistant Scoutmaster. We had a great Scoutmaster, Mike Baca. We used to march in parades. We actually used to be requested for a lot of stuff, various ceremonies and all kinds of stuff like that. That must be the Honor Unit again. This was one of our troop dinners. Do they still have the troop dinner in February every year?"
Thomas L.: "No, we have a pancake breakfast."
Mr. Kreiser: "We used to have a troop dinner for many years into at least into the mid 1990's because that was the last one that I went to. We used to have it over at Capri II in Peekskill. This particular pot luck dinner was after me. I got invited to the 25th Anniversary Dinner, but I could not come to this because I lived in Rome at that time. I was across the sea living in Rome, and I meant to send a greeting to everybody. 1992, I believe if I am not mistaken at that point that Denis Horbatuk who is here in the center was the Scoutmaster, but I am not positive. This is a little after my time. I think that is Denis' son. That is one of the Fenty boys, Bobby, I think. I would not know any of the rest of the kids. There might be a Paniccia boy in there, but 1996 is beyond me. This is nice to have. 1998 is beyond me. Those are beyond my time. Let us see what else we have. That is a really old one. These hats we decided, our troop symbol, and actually is there a troop neckerchief around any where? An old troop neckerchief?"
Thomas L: "I do not know."
Mr. Kreiser: "I will donate one to the archives. I had a couple. We had this . . . the Indian head symbol was our symbol for many years. Why they decided on it I do not know why. We had hats. These dated from about 1984, 1985, 1986. Either Steve Taillie or Mike Baca was the Scoutmaster. We also had blue, light blue like light denim style neckerchiefs made that said "Troop 174". They had the same Indian head on them. I have one at home. I will give it to you."
Margaret L.: "Tom turn around so he can see your neckerchief. That and the troop hat are the colors that the troop wear now."
Mr. Kreiser: "Now, ok?"
Thomas L.: "Actually the t-shirt still has the Indian head on it."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok. We had t-shirts as well. Let us see what else is here. I am having quite the stroll down memory lane. This is from 1997, the Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association. We did a lot of work with them. We became connected with the Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association I believe originally through Charlie Parsons who was the father of John Parsons. Charlie was a member, and I think still is a member of the Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association. So we used to visit regularly, give toys at the trucks and all that kind of stuff. This is right about the time when we went to the Klondike in 1990. That would have been right about the time when I was out of the troop because I was in the Seminary."
Margaret L.: "Where did they have the Boy Scout Klondike?"
Mr. Kreiser: "At this point they had it at Saint Basil's in Garrison, which is a big spot on Route 9D. It used to be a school (Saint Basil Academy)."
Margaret L.: "At Graymoor (Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor in Garrison)?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Beyond Graymoor. Actually, Graymoor is on Route 9. If you go just past Graymoor there is a left hand turn for Route 403. That takes you out to Route 9D. Make a right on Route 9D, up about two miles I think on your left is Saint Basil's. Most of the time when I was young I think I only remember going to one Klondike myself because I did not like the cold. They used to have it in what was then Mohansic Park, which is now FDR (State) Park (at the intersection of the Taconic State Parkway and Route 202 in Yorktown Heights)."
Margaret L.: "That is where they currently hold it."
Thomas L.: "Yes."
Mr. Kreiser: "This I do not know what it is, but it looks like the top from the flag of Pack, I forget which Pack. We used to have an affiliated Pack."
Margaret L.: "251?"
Mr. Kreiser: "251. 251. So that must be a part of an old flag pole from there. Here we go. This was, there are probably a number of these trophies. Back in the mid 1980's - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 - we went to all of the District Camp-O-Rees and we won prizes at a good number of them. This particular one happens to be for the scavenger hunt at the 1985 Jubilee, probably the 1985 Spring Camporee. Actually a good number of these trophies were probably made by John McQuillan. He used to do that. Again that looks like it is from Saint Basil's. Apparently we won First Place. We had a history of winning First Place in a number of things. Now that is interesting. This says "First Place" and they have a plaque for "Second Place" in the same Klondike Derby."
Thomas L.: "We have several patrols."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok, it was different patrols. That sounds reasonable. We were probably about one at that time. Wiccopee District, yes this was another one. This may have been the first one that we won, either 1985 or 1986. We won several in a row. We had such a good troop. I remember I was not on the first one that we won, but Ricky and Mike Kahn called me at home on the Sunday that they came back to tell me that they had won and I could not believe it! Manitoga District. Is that what you are in now? Manitoga District?"
Thomas L.: "Yes. I actually remember getting that trophy."
Mr. Kreiser: "That was four years ago, so that would have been right as you were joining I would think. Klondike Derby 2000. This is from the mid 1980's. I do remember this one when we won the Wiccopee District Camp-O-Ree, but I do not remember what year, that may be 1985 or 1987 I am going to guess. What else have we got? This was the 1985 so that one must be the 1987, and this was the Jubilee Camp-O-Ree for the 75th anniversary of Scouting. We won First Place. Tom, we had a great troop back in the mid 1980's. We really did. We had a group of committed older boys most of whom are back reinvolved in scouting with their children now believe it or not. The Pioneering Camporee, I remember this one. I think this one was at Clear Lake (Scout Reservation) over in Putnam Valley. There are more trophies and stuff somewhere and plaques that we have. This is apparently what we have for now. It is such a trip down memory lane! It really is!"
Thomas L.: "Do you have any scouting advice?"
Mr. Kreiser: "My first scouting advice is "Stick with it!" Scouting is a wonderful program and it is something, if done correctly, that teaches a lot of character, a lot of leadership, and helps them to build skills that they will need in the world not only skills that you learn through your merit badges but skills that you need in cooperating with people, skills that you need in relating to people in a more adult way, so first stay with it. Second, "Try your best!" Always do your best to do your duty, so to speak. In everything that you do, in every merit badge that you undertake, in all of your service projects, and strive for the best. Strive for that Eagle rank. If every kid strives for that Eagle rank a good number will make it. You are about 15 right?"
Thomas L.: "14 years old, actually."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok, 14. Use your scouting experience well when you get out of scouting. Do not forget where you came from. I have been involved in scouting since 1974. I started as a Bear (Cub) Scout, and then as a Webelos when they had one year Webelos, not two year Webelos. With 174 for 14 years, in the last years before I entered the Seminary to become a priest I was doing four nights a week on scouting. I was a Den Leader for a Webelos troop (den). I was here (Troop 174) at least one if not two nights a week with something with the troop. I then took a break kind of when I was in the Seminary and then as a priest I have been Chaplain to two different troops. One in Monroe, NY and now to Troop 40, which we sponsor from our church in Hopewell Junction. All of what I learned in scouting, I was just talking scouting last night about an Eagle Scout ceremony coming up, there is another troop that is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, which is a Catholic men's organization I belong to and the Scoutmaster is a member so I was speaking to him about designing an Eagle Scout ceremony for his very first as Scoutmaster Eagle, who also happens to be his son. So, keep with it even afterwards. The skills that you learn now will be very, very valuable to you in later life. Employers like to see that somebody was involved in scouting because it immediately bespeaks the fact that somebody has integrity. The best advice that I can give you is never ever, ever compromise your honor!"
Thomas L.: "Ok. Did you go to the Garrison Fish and Game Club when you were in the troop?"
Mr. Kreiser: "No. We did not. Is that a big place where you go now?"
Thomas L.: "Yes. It is a hunting and fishing club that we go to. It is very nice. It has a frozen lake out there. It is an annual event now. There is a peanut fight there."
Mr. Kreiser: "Cool. I like peanut fights. Everything that becomes part of your history, you see, because my brother is also an Eagle Scout in the troop, and we still talk about times when we were younger. He was my biggest nemesis my first year as Senior Patrol Leader because there was a group of, I could point them out to you on the other plaque, there was a group of Eagle Scouts who were a year older than I was and they were Seniors in high school and I was a Junior in high school, and they were a pain in the butt my first year (as SPL) because they would never pay attention to me. They did not think they had to listen to someone younger than them."
Thomas L.: "Did you have a Scout Sunday where we would cook a breakfast for the congregation or the troop attend the church service?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Not that I recall as far as the cooking. We seldom did, but once in a while we did do an organized attendance for Scout Sunday. I do not recall ever doing it here because I have never been to a service here. We did go to a service, and I think it was for Scout Sunday, I think we went to mass at Saint Patrick's (Catholic Church) on the other side of Yorktown. One of our flaws as a troop then was our religious involvement. It was not until the mid 1980's that we started to even have anybody get religious awards. I am a priest and I do not have any of my (scouting) religious awards. They were not particularly encouraged in my early days in scouting. We did not do a whole lot. I saw the "God and Country" (religious medal) over there (on Thomas' uniform). Are you parishioners here?"
Thomas L.: "No."
Margaret L.: "We only have one family, one scout from our troop, who is (a member) here."
Mr. Kreiser: "We never had an overwhelming number. I think the reason why this was picked was because Dave Lerry was a parishioner here when the troop was founded. It was just pre Pastor Kennedy because he has been here so long, but in 1974 Dave's family used to attend church here so I think that is how this got picked as the spot. We have never had an overwhelming number of people in the troop, not in my experience anyway, who were (members of the church) here. We actually probably had an overwhelming number of Catholics in the troop."
Margaret L.: "And we still do."
Mr. Kreiser: "Probably still do. (We had) a few active Jews. We had the Kahns in particular and then Howard Gussack and his brother. Both he and his brother are Eagle Scouts. They were the first to really start the religious award phase in the 1980s when people were earning them when they got their "Ner Tamid" (Jewish religious award for a Boy Scout). Then we had several of the other boys who did in various denominations, did their religious awards."
Thomas L.: "Our troop has a (attends the Council's) Bowl-O-Ree fundraiser. Did you have that?"
Mr. Kreiser: "We did not when I was a scout. The Bowl-O-Ree as I recall began somewhere in the early to mid 1980's, I think in the mid 1980's. (The Council's William E. Kelly Bowl-O-Ree began in 1980.) I remember it being a part of life when I was a Cub Scout Leader in the late 1980's before I went to the Seminary, like 1986, 1987, 1988, but I think it was just coming along. We used to have and I do not think they even do it anymore, our major fundraiser for the year was the Tom Watt Showcase. Do they still do Tom Watt?"
Thomas L.: "No."
Mr. Kreiser: "Everybody hated it. It was a little suitcase and when you opened it up they had about twenty five items that you were supposed to go door to door and sell to your neighbors that ranged anywhere from $0.50 to probably $3 or $4. Then they added, which I used to love, in the late 1970's or early 1980's they added Tom Watt Christmas cards. They had a book, I am sure you have seen them various things, where they would show you one of the Christmas cards. That fell out of use probably, well no actually I think we were probably using Tom Watt when I finished scouting in 1988 when I went to the Seminary in 1988. Then of course there got to be concern about kids selling door to door. We were a very good fundraising troop, particularly from about 1983 to about 1988. We actually had a thing, I am not sure if you still have it, where instead of just giving the money to the troop a percentage would go to the troop and then each boy who participated in the fundraiser would have an account. That is why I was laughing before. There are old account summaries over there. Mike Baca who was the Scoutmaster from 1985 until 1989 was an accountant. Before he was a Scoutmaster he was the Troop Treasurer and so he used to keep accounts on all the kids. Whatever you earned in the fundraiser was what you had. I will tell you a cute story. (Looks at the Scoutmaster list.) Fred Paniccia was the Scoutmaster? I did not know that. Well, I can get you in touch with at least all the ones (Scoutmasters) until 1995 except Dave Lerry, but you said you had somebody (who knows his current address). I know where Irv is, I know where Steve is, I know where Mike is if he still lives there until a couple of years ago I sent him a Christmas card. Jay Cohen used to live on Somerston Road. Either 281 or 289 Somerston Road was his address. Denis Horbatuk you have already interviewed, I presume."
Thomas L.: "Yes."
Mr. Kreiser: "I did have a question actually. How did you get my email address?"
Thomas L.: "From Howard Breitbart."
Mr. Kreiser: "Oh, Howie Breitbart, because I asked my father. I said, "Did one of the scouts from 174 call you and ask from my email address and he said, "No." So I thought it must have been somebody else through the troop. A cute story about that thing with the accounts. I got a call this past October or the October before that from Barbara Conciatori (current Troop Committee Chairperson). She wanted to know if I wanted to remain on the Charter because I was on the Troop Charter until 2003. I could not figure out why they had left me on the troop Charter and it was because when we used to do those accounts. I had a lot of money in the account, but I was a Leader so we never took any money for campouts or anything like that. I must have had enough money in the account to pay my dues all the way to 2003! So, I kept being registered with Troop 174, which is ok with me. It is pretty good."
Thomas L.: "I could show you the Eagle Scout plaques."
Mr. Kreiser: "I know what a good number of them (Troop Eagle Scouts) are doing. Well, I should not say a good number of them. Jimmy Cronin I think I can get you in touch with. I think he is back in the area. His parents I think still live on Berkshire Drive off Gomer Street. John Haller I don't know. Paul Kreiser I can get you in touch with. He lives over in Putnam Valley. Glenn Bryan lives still on Ridge Street. He was a neighbor. He still lives with his mom on Ridge Street. Paul Basile I saw not too long ago at a funeral up in Hopewell Junction. I am not sure if his parents are still local. John Blasch I did not really know. The Wilkens I presume are still local if they still own a fruit farm. You can get in touch with Peter through them. John Cerauli. They used to live on Springhurst Street. I am not sure if they are local. Scott Taillie I still keep in touch with. He lives in Louisville, KY if you would like to speak to him. Michael Kahn I still keep in touch with. I am going to explain this to you Thomas. This group here - Scott, Mike, Ricky, Bobby, Howard, and Chris Millette, it is Christopher G. Millette not Christopher C. Millette I just got his address from Mr. Wieting. I do not have it with me, but I can send it to you if you want. He lives with his wife, Kim, in Pennsylvania. Howard (Gussak), I am not sure where he is, but I am sure I can find out where he is if you want to interview him. Bobby's dad was a Scoutmaster. They still live on Fairview as far as I know. Ricky and Mike, I am in touch with both of them, and Scott I am in touch with, so this whole group and they can give you history from I am going to say from about 1980. Ricky stayed with the troop and then came back. He can give you some history from the early 1990's. He came back as an adult and helped not for a long time, but he did what he could. Mike is back involved in scouting with his oldest son. He got back involved even when the boys were little. Scott's father who was the Scoutmaster, I can get you in touch with. They are back in Saint Louis and I have their address. John Ross I did not know well except that he used to have which was very popular back in the mid 1980's what we used to call a Rat Tail, with the old pony tail. Kenny Chuney, whose parents I do not think they live there. They used to live over on Court Street right off of Quinlan. Kenny was I think the only one of his three brothers to make Eagle. Joey Krupa was the third of the Krupa brothers to make it (Eagle Scout). Karl Hoegler who we called "Chuck" was in the military in the Air Force. His parents still live on Colonial Drive. I see them at Mass when I am in Yorktown. They have a long history with 174. I am surprised actually that they are not involved again because they have, when I was in college I had Mrs. Hoegler as my Biology professor and she got pregnant with twins. She had 18 year old twins at that point and then Chuck and then Charlene was younger about 11, and she got pregnant with twins who are now older than you (Thomas). My God! Really old! Mike Baca, I do not know what he is doing, but I am sure his parents could tell you. Bobby Baca got a Doctorate in River and Stream Management I think from the University of Dallas. His mother used to kid me all the time when I used to see her that he became a professional Boy Scout. Lance Chiaverini used to live on Quinlan Street and then they moved over to Cortlandt Manor. Mike Biscoglio, I think his mother still lives on Oakside Road. I used to be friendly with his sister. Brian Cohen, they may still be on Somerston. The Paniccias used to live on Quinlan Street I think. Jason's was the last Eagle Court that I was at. I helped Jason when I was in the Seminary. Jason and a group of boys did their Ad Altare Dei Catholic award. I was there and a moderator. I drilled them and I did not think they were going to pass and then I got word back that they were the best prepared kids that ever came before Jean Line. Is Jean Line still around?"
Margaret L.: "Yes, she is, and she still does the Catholic religious awards."
Mr. Kreiser: "God bless her! God bless her! She must be about 112 (jokingly) by now."
Margaret L.: "Art is still active, too."
Mr. Kreiser: "Billy Fenty I know only because I know his dad. The rest of these kids I would not know."
Margaret L.: "Do you know any more about the professions that the boys have?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Karl Ohlson who was one of our first Eagle Scouts is in the military. He graduated from West Point (United States Military Academy), which is what he always wanted to do. I can get you in touch with him. He is currently a doctoral student at Penn State. His mom and dad still live across from my mom and dad on Ridge Street, so I know all about him. He is married to a lovely, lovely, lovely girl named Maria and they have three children. Howie Breitbart is with his dad (Eagle Trophy). Mitch Allen, Carl might still keep in touch. He and Mitch were best friends. I think that Mitch got married, but that is about all I know about him. Jimmy Cronin I knew a little bit about, but I do not now. My brother Paul is a chef. He works at Turco's in Yorktown. He is the head chef at Turco's. If you peek in the back and see a red head that looks just like me, that is my brother. Glenn Bryan, I honestly do not know what he does. He was kind of a floater. He came to my mother's funeral and I did not recognize him because he used to have really kinky hair and he shaved it all off, so it was not until I saw his mother and recognized her that I knew who he was. Paul Basilie I do not know. I, of course, am a priest. Scott Taillie works in pharmaceutical sales. He developed a test for was it HIV? Something. Mike Kahn works in computers. Ricky Kahn is an attorney. Bobby Baca works with field and stream management. Chris Millette I believe, if he followed his passion, which the last time I spoke with him or got word from him was in the early 1990's when I was in the Seminary about 1993, he is a photographic journalist. I think when I talked to Mr. Wieting and got his address that he is still doing that. Chris Alwang I do not know. The rest of these guys I would not know. Kenny Chuney. Was it Kenny Chuney that was a chef or Dougie Chuney? I think it was Doug Chuney that was a chef because he used to work for the company that used to serve us at the Seminary. Doug Hoegler was in the military. I do not know if he still is. The rest I do not know, but that is at least a few for you."
Margaret L.: "A lot of variety."
Mr. Kreiser: "Yes, a lot of variety."
Mr. Kreiser: (Looking at his personal scouting memorabilia) "My first membership card dated the last day of October 1978! Those are just merit badge things. This was a patch from the Bicentennial in 1976 right after I joined scouting. You just had to do a Good Turn. This was from 1985 on the 75th anniversary of scouting. I probably should have made something (to store them). These were, you probably would not remember them, but these were the old style rank advancements. I think I have mine and my brothers. Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class. Those are actually Girl Scout badges. Now what did my sister . . . ? This was my original Webelos Colors. I do not have all of the old awards (Activity Badge pins) on them. I had more than three, I promise."
Thomas: "I was extremely active when I was in Cub Scouts. I earned all of the Webelos Activity Badges and earned a lot of Arrow Points."
Mr. Kreiser: "These are my brother's (Webelos) Colors. We had two of everything. These are my scout badges. I think I was the Troop Scribe. I do not know exactly what I did, but I was the Troop Scribe. These are some old Skill Awards like you saw. I think to earn First Class you had to have eight skill Awards including Camping, Cooking, First Aid, and Citizenship, I think."
Thomas L.: "You worked on Eagle required merit badges."
Mr. Kreiser: "Right. Well, we had those too. This was, I think if I am not mistaken, you were supposed to hang this on your pocket and it was a Good Turn Knot. It was to remind you to do a Good Turn like on the Second Class badge. The original one from my uniform. That was the 164 (uniform number) from my Cub Scout uniform. Merit badge. I have a lot. That is when I was a Merit Badge Counselor. I was the Senior Patrol Leader. We were a Quality Unit in 1987."
Thomas L.: "And the original Boy Scout hat."
Mr. Kreiser: "And my original Boy Scout hat, yes."
Thomas L.: "Actually, I wonder if they still sell them?"
Mr. Kreiser: "I do not know."
Thomas L.: "It would be pretty cool if they did."
Mr. Kreiser: "Now I have more of these somewhere. I have a whole other drawer full of patches and stuff, I think. As I mentioned we went to the West Point Camp-O-Ree very often, and every year they designed a different patch. This one was from 1977. I did not go to this one. This one must be my brother's because that was my first year and I did not do a whole lot of camping. I have four or five, I think, West Point Camp-O-Ree patches. Are you still the Westchester-Putnam Council?"
Thomas L.: "Yes."
Margaret L.: "We are in the Manitoga District."
Mr. Kreiser: "The Manitoga District. See, we were the Wiccopee District. In that day and age there was no Manitoga (District). I do not know what kind of notes you want to take here. Some of these things I was present for."
Thomas L.: "I think I just need to say which pictures that you are describing."
Mr. Kreiser: "Right. This would be the brown (photo) volume. First page, top left. I do not know. It is a statue. I do not know where that was from. I think from Boston, but I do not know. Top right is a deep sea fishing trip that we took. From left to right as nearly as I can tell that is Michael Chuney, I do not know, in the blue shirt is Jimmy Cronin, I cannot see these people with their backs, in the foreground, with the hat on is Carl Ohlson who is an Eagle Scout. That may be Ricky Kahn, maybe, I am not sure. On the bottom I believe those two pictures are from Boston, but I am not one hundred percent sure. Next page, I am pretty sure this is all Boston. The red building I believe is the State House (Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill) in Boston. I believe that that is Paul Revere's tomb, if I am not mistaken, on the bottom. Next page, cemetery where Paul Revere is buried. Some government buildings, I believe, in Boston. This is William Dawes, Jr. I do not know who he is but somebody decided to take a picture. This is the Battleship Massachusetts when we were on there. I cannot believe this is on here, but still in Boston, however. That is aboard the Battleship Massachusetts. That I believe is Faneuil Hall in Boston."
Thomas L.: "Our troop went to Gettysburg (Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)."
Mr. Kreiser: "Oh, cool! I was there, but a long time ago."
Thomas L.: "We did the historical trail there. Actually we did all of them. We did a total of 50 miles of something."
Mr. Kreiser: "Those historical trails are deadly. On this top page this is all the Battleship Massachusetts. It may not be all the battleship because there was also a destroyer and a submarine on that base. On the bottom, again, is all battleship. The one on the bottom half of the page on the top right is someone who looks like me, but it is not me. That is a young man by the name of Russell Stein who was a member of the troop at that point. That is probably 1980. That was our 1980 trip. Again, more pictures from the battleship. More pictures from Boston. I cannot tell what that is. That is, I do not know if it is John or Frank Cerauli. I think that it is Frank, not John. I believe that the little guy facing away is Andy Quesenberry, if I am not mistaken. It was a long time ago. This was the trip on which on the way back from Boston we stopped at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut, so there are some pictures, some photographs. More pictures of Boston. There is a finger, it was not mine. This is me. I am pretty sure that the other person whose half a face you can see is Jimmy Cronin in that picture. That on the top right is Jimmy Cronin. Mickey Quesenberry. I cannot make out anybody else's face. Jimmy Cronin, myself with the big hair. I was doing something I should not have done. I was only 14. Bobby Cronin. Glenn Bryan. At the bottom I cannot tell who that is, that may be John Parsons. That is Bobby Cronin. I believe that is John Ross. That is Russell Stein and Frank Cerauli. That was at the campout at the Field Home. Those were, by the way, the original tents that the troop had back in the late 1970's. I do not know what you guys have now. We went to like these pop-up tents. This was 1979. Note that the senior patrol wore dark green uniforms like Venture Crews wear now. We all used to wear them. This was a trip to Washington, D.C. when they went to, among other places, we went to Walter Reed (Medical Center). They stayed at Walter Reed. That is Tommy Koenig, the guy without the red hat in the dark green. The one with the red hair is my brother, Paul (Kreiser). All the way on the far right is Douglas Chuney. That is John McQuillan in earlier days. To the other side of John McQuillan is Mike Chuney. On the far left the first two people are Michael and Stephen Krupa. I do not know who that is. The first one in the back row is Glenn Bryan. Down in front of him with the blue neckerchief is Bobby Carlos. From the left the first person with the red hat on in the back is Bryan McQuillan, that is John's brother."
Margaret L.: "Was Bryan in Troop 174?"
Mr. Kreiser: "No. He was in Troop 164. That is all that I can tell. That is 1979. I was not on that trip because I was receiving my Confirmation then. More pictures from Washington, D.C. I am not exactly sure what these are. This is the troop picnic, so this has to be little Mike Baca, so probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 1983/1984. This is Mrs. Kahn, the mother of two Eagle Scouts. Stevie Krupa. Bobbie Carlos. Jay Koenig was his name. That is Mike Kahn. That is Bobby Baca. Then little Mike Baca, and all the way on the right is Brian Cohen who was an Eagle Scout. The picture from White's with the White in the background, is where B.J.'s is now. That used to be White's. It was a department store. That was when we were going deep sea fishing, I believe. The picture on the bottom left hand side of the page, that was Anthony Blake. That was Ken Chuney. The blonde is a Quesenberry, but I cannot tell you which one. The next picture over on the bottom here that is Mr. Chuney. Doug Chuney. Bobby Carlos. What was his name? I cannot remember. Some mom. The tall guy in the back is Mr. Hoegler. Down in front with the hat on is Ricky Kahn. The red head facing away is Russell Stein. Down in the bottom half of that page, still at White's, a picture of Howie Breitbart. The other person facing the camera is Mr. Basile. The guy with his hands on his head is John Parsons, I believe. The bottom two pictures here, remember when I told you about Siwanoy? This was the first time that we did our Italian dinner. This is the senior patrol having dinner. So, around me going to your left is Mike Kahn. I do not know (the next person). I do not know (the person after that one). In the back is John Parsons. The guy with his hands in his hair with the big nose is Chris Millette. Then Bobby Baca. Kenny Chuney and Ricky Kahn. One of the two with the flannel shirts I am sure is Chris Alwang, but I do not know which one it is. I should know that. These I believe are pictures from Canada when we went to Canada."
Thomas L.: "That fort?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Yes. This was at Fort Henry. I am not sure exactly where it is. (Fort Henry is located in the City of Kingston, in Eastern Ontario, Canada.) Some totem poles. One of the cities, I think it is Toronto, but I am not sure. These are basically more pictures. The guard at Fort Henry. Bottom picture on this page, I do not know precisely where that is, those were the old camp stoves that we used to have. They probably have new ones by now. The adults in this picture are Mr. Parsons, and Mr. Kahn who died. The kids from the back, the one with the glasses is John Ross. I believe that is John Politi. Mickey or Andy Quesenberry. The one facing away that is kind of heavy is Kenny Chuney. This is at Downing Park, I think, at a picnic. The one facing the camera is John Parsons. Those are not in order unfortunately. This is not my book. More pictures from the battleship, more pictures from the battleship, and more pictures from the battleship. I believe that this may be the (National) Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. I am not sure. These are more pictures from Canada, mostly of Fort Henry, including a picture of a Mountie (Fort Henry Guard). More pictures that are from Boston. That is me facing away from the camera. I had big hair. It was the 1980's, what could you say? These pictures are from a West Point Camporee. This was our campsite. This was I think our campsite also, it is double-exposed. Always at the West Point Camporee they had a rope bridge. You had to walk the rope bridge, and then you would cross this way and they would have rope rappelling that you would go down backwards. It was always fun. It was one of the highlights of the weekend, always. I am not sure what this is. I was not there. I think that was a trip to New York City. That may be like the Circle Line or something that the kids went on. That is, I am going to say mid 1980's. From the left are Mr. Basile, Mrs. Basile, I do not know, Mr. Parsons, Mr. Hoegler, Doug Chuney, Kenny Chuney, Bobby Baca, Russell Stein, I cannot tell, and then Mike and Ricky Kahn. This was, I do not have any idea. I have no idea where this is. I was not there. One of the Kahn's could tell you because that was Ricky. They slept inside. I am thinking believe it or not Thomas, that may be here (Grace Lutheran Church), but I am not sure with the curtains there. It might be one of the old rooms."
Thomas L.: "That is pretty cool!"
Mr. Kreiser: "Yes, that was either, oh no. I am sure. This was the New York (City) trip. I was not on this trip, that is why. They are staying in New York City. This is pictures from the USS Intrepid. That is where they were. These are more pictures from New York (City). Oh my God! That is John Blasche! The last picture in the album I will go through. John Blasche, Bobby Carlos, Anthony Blake, Doug Chuney, Russell Stein, Brian Cohen, I do not know the one who is facing away from the camera, and I cannot see who is behind him, Rich Ferrante in the light blue windbreaker, John Ross, Bobby Baca, John Politi, Mike Aliva, and this is Irv Breitbart in the back. In the front, I cannot see a lot of these kids. I am not sure (of the first person). I think the second one is John Parsons. That is Ricky Kahn, Mickey Quesenberry, I do not know. That is Scott Taillie. I am sorry this one is Andy Quesenberry, the second one is Mickey Quesenberry, Chris Alwang, and I cannot tell who the last one is. That is it for that album."
Mr. Kreiser: "The second album, there are not too many pictures in here. Oh my God! A lot of this is filled with Eagle Courts of Honor, with pictures from Eagle Courts of Honor. Why that first page is blank I do not know. This is the very first (newspaper) article about the troop. That is Dave Lerry receiving that flag from Dante Spadaccia who at the time was the town Supervisor. That was from the Peekskill Evening Star, I think, or The Reporter Dispatch. The second one was from The Yorktowner, I believe, was the name of the newspaper then. There are a couple of articles from 1975, which were about camping and a Court of Honor. You can read through those. They went to Canada in 1975, there we go, from The Yorktowner. Some other campouts, trips. This was from the Klondike, I believe. We were in the Wiccopee District and they also covered the Muscoot District from 1976. That is a Krupa. I do not know who the other guys are. The second one in from the left was the oldest Krupa, Mike Krupa, I think. This is a great old picture! This is summer camp 1976. Dave Lerry, John Schmultz, I do not know who that is, that is my brother Paul, that is Marc Lerry, Glenn Bryan, Tommy Kearins, I believe that is Doug Sieverding but I am not 100% sure, Johnny Ramirez I think but I am not sure, Mike Rambush, Mike Chuney, Carl Ohlson, Bryan Lerry, and Mr. Bryant. How is that for a memory! Another Court of Honor. English Scouts. Mr. Lerry somehow, I think through IBM, had gotten these boys to come over for the Bicentennial."
Thomas L.: "My dad works for IBM so that is interesting. Also some Swedish scouts visited Camp Read some years ago."
Mr. Kreiser: "Really! I did not know that."
Thomas L.: "I have one of their patches."
Mr. Kreiser: "Great! That was another (newspaper) article about the British scouts. This is county executive, Mr. Delbello, and he is receiving letters from the mayor of Manchester, England. I do not know who these scouts were. They were not members of our troop. This is the English Scoutmaster with Mr. Lerry. This is Mr. Adrian Toon. That was at the final gathering. We have a letter from the mayor in Oldham, which must be in England to the mayor of White Plains at that point. I do not know what that means, but there is a (newspaper) article there. Some more Courts of Honor. Then we move into Eagle Scout presentations, so you can read through them yourself. This is Ken Powers on the left and Marc Lerry. Notice again that we wore the dark green uniforms, not the light green uniforms. Included in these sometimes are the program from it, and the invitation. The next one is Carl Ohlson. I do not believe we have a picture of it. Somewhere at home I probably have a picture of it because he was my neighbor. These may demand redoing. You can tell they are falling apart. This is Howie Breitbart in 1979."
Thomas L: "Howard Breitbart Earns An Eagle Award".
Mr. Kreiser: "Yes. This was Mike Krupa and Mitch Allen in 1979 also. This is Dave Helfgott. Dave came from, it may have been Troop 164, I cannot remember. He came in right at the end and got his Eagle. I remember that. He was a nice kid. Jimmy Cronin was 1980. Jay Gussak. You might have noticed we have a lot of brothers who are Eagle Scouts. We have two Gussaks, we have two Kahns, we have two Kreisers, we have three Krupas, so we have a number of brothers who all achieved Eagle. This was Jay Gussak. He still works locally. I think Irv is still in contact with him somehow. This was my brother's. John Haller and my brother, Paul Kreiser."
Margaret L.: "Why did they have their Eagle Ceremony together?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Because the troop threw it. That was the way it was always done. Two was normal. Then it got to be three was normal in the mid 1980's because we had so many Eagles at a time. This was mine. We had three. This was John Blasch, Paul Baisle, and that was me. I am glad they did not include the other picture. I had a very bad picture in my uniform when I took my hat off. That was my high school picture. This is Stevie Krupa and Peter Wilkens. There are a couple of pieces of this that are missing. I have them because they fell out and I have them up in Hopewell. I can send them on to you. That is Steve Krupa. I forget what the littlest Krupa's name was. It was here somewhere. He made Eagle as well. That is Barbara Wilkens' son, Peter. A terrible picture of him, but nevertheless. John Cerauli. We had two sets of three. These were my favorite kids and I am still in touch with all of these guys. Scott Taillie, Mike and Ricky Kahn. We had to tape this (Eagle Scout Ceremony), actually. Jerry Kahn (the father) was in the hospital dying of cancer at that point so we taped it. We thought he was going to be able to make it (to his sons' Eagle Scout ceremony), and then he was not able to go. He lived to see his sons as Eagles. This was a month later because we could not have all six of these kids together, but they all made it together. We had Bobby Baca, Howard Gussak, and Chris Millette. Interesting story about Howard Gussak, a piece of troop history. Howard and Scott Taillie after Howard made Eagle, it might have been 1985, Howard and Scott were working as CITs at Camp Read. They went somewhere on their day off. Howard was rolled over by a one ton boulder and lost the use of his legs for about a year, six months to a year. It is a miracle that he is even alive. He should have been dead. That is an interesting piece of troop history."
Margaret L.: "Can he walk now?"
Mr. Kreiser: "He can walk now. He was fine the last time I saw him. I have not seen him in quite a while. This is the very bad picture of me when big glasses were popular back in the 1980's. See, some of this stuff is falling out and these are extra pictures. That was Kenny Powers and Marc Lerry. I would love to get in touch with Marc Lerry. I do not know where he is. This stuff is all mixed up. This was at West Point. That is Howie, his Eagle. Mitch Allen, Taillie their Eagle, Peekskill Star. Oh my God! Days of old! This was later on in. It has to be the late 1970's, maybe even 1980. That was when we went to the firehouse. I do not know whose those were. Oh! Here are some good pictures! This is Mr. Bob Underwood who was a West Point graduate. We got hooked up with him and he was our first in to the West Point Camporee. With him is Carl Ohlson in this picture. Carl is an Eagle Scout from Troop 174. Always, from the time that I remember him, now Carl's parents and my dad have been neighbors for 50 years, from the time Carl was this big (indicated a child's height) he wanted to go to West Point. So he and Bob struck up a friendship. Carl indeed did go to West Point (United States Military Academy), and has been in the Army for the last 16 years. He is currently working on his doctorate in, I think, sports psychology, or something like that. He is going to go back and head up a department at West Point to work with the cadets. Stevie Krupa, Jay Gussak, a horrible picture of me that I should (jokingly) rip out. I believe that is it. There is stuff that never made it in. Some old invitations. Eagle Scouts, Eagle Scout programs, that was mine, there are a bunch of invitations and stuff. You can sort through those. I am sorry they are such a mess. I meant to get to doing them, but I never had the opportunity to do that. So, that is some of the history and some of the people. If you can not match up those pictures according to the tape just call me and we will get together again and we will write it out together."
Margaret L.: "As far as you know are those all of the scrapbooks?"
Mr. Kreiser: "That is everything that I know. I took those actually, ages ago. Ages ago I took those. It might have been at Jason Paniccia's Eagle Court back in 1995. I have had them for a long, long time meaning to caption them and all that kind of stuff, but I just never did get around to it. So, what else there, Thomas? What can I tell you about the troop?"
Thomas L.: "This camera takes pictures. I am just trying to take your picture."
Mr. Kreiser: "Let me pose for it. I had a feeling you were taking pictures before because I did not think you had just shot that."
Thomas L.: "This (photograph) will go on the (troop) web site along with your typed interview."
Mr. Kreiser: "Great! I get final approval on my pictures. You may use that. I give my permission."
Margaret L.: "What did you do for your Eagle project?"
Mr. Kreiser: "We have had some really good Eagle projects. I can tell you a few of them, if you want. My own personally was I was just about to graduate from Franciscan (Franciscan High School in Mohegan Lake) when I was working on it. They were setting up a computer room. That is how long ago it was. We did not have computers in my high school. So, I set up the computer room, cleared out the room, painted it, and got it ready for the computers. I also reorganized the book room where they stored textbooks and other such things. My brother, Paul who was a year ahead of me did sanding and painting and what have you at Thomas Jefferson (Elementary School). I think my favorite Eagle Scout project was Carl Ohlson's. Carl actually worked very hard. He worked a couple hundred hours on his Eagle project. He built, and they probably are still there but I would not guarantee that I could find them, on old Piano Mountain which is in Shrub Oak north of Route 6 off Sunnyside Street where Shrub Oak pool is, there is a nature trail there. Along that trail Carl built with the help of scouts and his dad who was a mason, so his dad taught all the boys the Masonry Merit Badge while they were working on it. Carl built two campfires. He built a council pit campfire and a three-sided cooking fire, which was a really great Eagle project. A lot of them also will be in the newspaper articles (in the scrapbook)."
Margaret L.: "Did the troop camp on Piano Mountain?"
Mr. Kreiser: "We did once that I recall. It was right after I joined so it had to be 1976/1977. I remember that was my first ghost story. They talked about Mr. whoever it was that lived on Piano Mountain, and if you listened close enough at night you could still hear him playing the piano and that is why it was called Piano Mountain, and all this kind of stuff, but that was a long time ago. Not since then that I know of, unless since 1990. Everything that is old is new again. It was and is apparently a very good troop from its inception. If there are other people that you want to get in touch with, if you would like me to email you some addresses of people that were former Eagle Scouts I would be happy to do that, and then you could get in touch with them to continue the history."
Margaret L.: "Was there ever a troop Eagle Scout Reunion?"
Mr. Kreiser: "No. I wish there would be. It would be a very nice thing to do because I would like to see where some of these people are now. It might be nice for the 30th anniversary. You would have to find them all, although I know where a lot of them are, at least the early ones. Anybody after my time I do not know where they are, but you could probably find them through the troop records and they probably still have parents who are still around. Yes, suggest that to Mr. Long. The 30th anniversary dinner that they are going to have, invite back all the Eagles that have made Eagle through Troop 174. We are two plaques strong all ready! 48 (Eagle Scouts), which is a lot! It has always been a real good troop. Is that everything?"
Thomas L.: "What was summer camp like?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Believe it or not I never went to summer camp as a boy. I only went as an adult. I liked it and I regret never having gone as a boy. I was always scared to go as a boy. I did not want to be away from home for that long. I think my first summer camp experience was 1984, and I liked it. I really did as a leader. I went about three years running and I worked also, we used to go to Camp Buckskin, if they still have those divisions up there."
Margaret L.: "That is where the troop currently goes."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok. Then I went with Cub Scouts about 1987 or 1988 it had to be, to Camp Waubeeka to the Cub Camp (Cub Scout Resident Summer Camp). That was not as fun because the kids cried. They were just little."
Thomas L.: "Did Pathfinder have a really big fire?"
Mr. Kreiser: "That was a campsite, wasn't it?"
Thomas L.: "Yes."
Margaret L.: "Week 1 up at Camp Buckskin there is a troop that every year comes back to camp to the Pathfinder campsite. They have a tradition of building a ridiculously large campfire after the Friday evening campfire program."
Thomas L.: "The flames go up to the treetops and the sparks go past that."
Mr. Kreiser: "I am not aware of that, but it could have been. As I said I did not go until the mid 1980's. I do not know if that troop came at that point."
Margaret L.: "Did you ever hear any stories from the boys in the troop who did go to camp? Where there any interesting stories?"
Mr. Kreiser: "No, not that I recall, except one from my brother. When they went in 1976, the picture that is in that book, Paul got a toothache so he had to go to the dentist while they were at camp. I am not sure they were at Camp Read. They might have been at summer camp at Camp Siwanoy that year, I do not remember. The dentist gave him a shot of codeine to which he was allergic. On the way home he smelled so bad. He threw up all over, I think it was Irv Breitbart's car. He got sick all over the place. That was an interesting camping story! Howard getting rolled over by the rock was an interesting one. We did not even always go to camp. Sometimes we took a summer trip. We went to Canada one year. I was not in the troop yet. We went to Canada again, I think it was 1985. We had a really good time. Where else did they go? They went on several different trips rather than going to camp some years. Some of the other guys did more summer trips than I did, so some of the other guys may be able to tell you more than I can about that."
Margaret L.: "Where did you go in Canada and what did you do?"
Mr. Kreiser: "We went to Montreal. We went to Quebec. We went to Toronto. We saw all kinds of things. We went to old Quebec to the French Quarter. We saw the Cathedral in Quebec, Notre Dame. We stayed in a railroad car on a scout camp. It was a long Indian name which I cannot remember. We went to Ottawa, of course, and saw the capital buildings. When we went to Toronto we went to the Toronto Science Center, which was really cool and I do not even like science, but it was among the first interactive museums. Everything was a hands-on display, which was really cool. We went to the Hershey factory near Toronto and bought lots of chocolate because they sell all the rejects and bags of things that do not come out right so you could buy a whole bag for a dollar. We put them all in a cooler, then they ended up melting anyway and we did not wind up eating any of the chocolate. Then we came back across the border by Buffalo. The first night we went to Ausable Chasm in northern New York (near Plattsburgh) and went through the boat ride through the Chasm, which was fantastic! We stayed at a campground right by the border of New York and Canada. Then the next day we did Quebec, we went to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and then we came back down through Buffalo."
Thomas L.: "Didn't you go to a fort?"
Mr. Kreiser: "We went to Fort Henry. Yes, all those pictures that are in there. Yes, you are right, Fort Henry. I actually still have glasses from Fort Henry at my dad's house. I have little glasses that I bought."
Margaret L.: "When the troop did go to Camp Read at Camp Buckskin do you remember the name of the campsite? Currently the troop camps at the Ranger campsite, which is close to the dining hall."
Mr. Kreiser: "No. I do not think it was Ranger, but I do not know what the name was. If you said it I might be able to remember. I am not sure that we always went to the same campsite either. I think we might have bounced around. I do not remember and if you said it I might be able to remember it, but it does not leap to mind."
Thomas L.: "I heard that one of the buildings at Camp Read burned down. Did you notice the mug?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Oh, it is Read! (Mr. Kreiser noticed he was drinking from a Camp Read Thank You mug.) Cool! Were you on staff or something?"
Margaret L.: "I went with the troop to summer camp."
Mr. Kreiser: "Ok, so they gave you the Thank You mug?"
Margaret L.: "Yes."
Mr. Kreiser: "I do not remember anything burning. Did the Dining Hall burn down or the Nature Lodge?"
Thomas L.: "I think it was at Summit Base."
Mr. Kreiser: "Oh, Summit Base."
Margaret L.: "I do not know if you have heard. The old Tomahawk Dining Hall fell down under a heavy load of snow about two or three years ago. They had a few deep snowfalls that never completely melted so it got really deep, and then they had heavy rains. They knew the building was in need of repair and attention. It ended up collapsing and it was beyond repair. They even tore the chimney down. The Dining Hall at Buckskin burned before we joined the troop."
Mr. Kreiser: "I think I read it in the Sketchbook.
Margaret L.: "I think it happened in the wintertime. I think the ranger was driving by one day and noticed the Dining Hall was gone."
Mr. Kreiser: "It was on fire."
Margaret L.: "No, it had already burned."
Mr. Kreiser: "No, I had not heard of any other fires. Is Summit Base still open, the high adventure base?"
Thomas L.: "Yes, oh yes."
Mr. Kreiser: "Have you been?"
Thomas L. "Yes. I am not sure if they replaced the dining hall."
Margaret L.: "No, and they are not going to, but they have the indoor climbing wall there. They are building it up as a high adventure base."
Mr. Kreiser: "Where do people eat if there is no dining hall?"
Thomas L.: "They either go to the Camp Buckskin Dining Hall or Camp Waubeeka (patrol cooking).
Mr. Kreiser: "I never went up to Summit Base except once when we were doing Wilderness Survival (merit badge). I am almost positive that somewhere in the mid 1980's we did a trek at Summit Base. Canoeing. I was not on it, but I think they did a canoeing high adventure trip. Mike Baca would know. I think Mike Baca was on it. He was Scoutmaster at the time. Ricky Kahn I think was on that trip, too, so he might be able to help you on that one. We always wanted to go to Philmont (Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico), but we never made it to Philmont."
Margaret L.: "As far as you know has the troop ever been to Philmont as a troop?"
Mr. Kreiser: "No."
Thomas L.: "Hopefully we are going to go next year."
Mr. Kreiser: "Good. We never did up to 1990, I know that much. So, unless in the 1990's they went, but I think there would be a record of that. Are there pictures and stuff from the last ten years or so?"
Thomas L.: "I do not think so."
Margaret L.: "Mr. Breitbart mentioned that he had some photos, but he cannot find them and he was wondering if he passed them on to you? The things that you are now passing on to the troop, did you get those from Mr. Breitbart?"
Mr. Kreiser: "I do not think so. No. I got those from here. Those were in the troop bookcase, archives or library, whatever they were in. I remember whenever I was here for the last Eagle Scout ceremony I was here for I saw them and I said, "Let me take those and caption them." No, I did not get them from Irv. I do not remember him giving me other pictures. He may still have them somewhere. I am sure his wife has some. Sandy and Irv got married maybe ten or twelve years ago. Sandy was originally Sandy Kahn, but was widowed. Jerry Kahn was her husband, and so she and Irv got together and got married. I am sure that Sandy probably has volumes of things from when Ricky and Mike were involved, which would be a lot of pictures because Rick and Mike were very, very active. Each of them was the Senior Patrol Leader at one point and both Eagle Scouts, so you might find some more pictures. Ricky either continued on or came back post college to work with the troop for a year or two until he moved to the city. He may have some recollections of that time. He graduated in 1991 so that would be the early 1990's that he would know about. So that is your (troop) history."
Margaret L.: "You mentioned service projects. Were there any interesting service projects or stories about service projects that you remember?"
Mr. Kreiser: "Well, the one up in Piano Mountain was one."
Margaret L.: "That was an Eagle project."
Mr. Kreiser: "That was an Eagle project. Oh, service projects that we did as a troop, you mean?"
Margaret L.: "Yes."
Mr. Kreiser: "One of the most interesting
ones that I worked on was over at what is now Lasdon Park on Route 35.
We were there when they originally installed and dedicated the Vietnam
War Memorial. Our troop had a lot to do with that. We helped
to clear the land for the memorial, and then we got invited to serve the
day of the dedication. We were invited to escort some honored guests,
and a couple of guys actually got to drive golf carts. It was really
kind of neat. We helped with the parking. Irv was still the
Scoutmaster then, but I am not sure, maybe the mid 1980's. (The Vietnam
Veterans Memorial at Lasdon Park in Somers was dedicated on Sunday, October
Transcribed by Thomas L. and Margaret L.
Photo by Thomas L.