Grace Methodist Church in Delaware, Ohio, maybe the first local church to sponsor a troop. In 1908, Rev. L. Eugen Rush wanted to keep Methodist boys off the streets. He founded the Eastside Roughnecks. The name was eventually changed to the East Side Gang, and they became involved in activities like Scout troops engage in today.
Rush later contacted Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a British military hero who founded the Boy Scouts in England.
Baden Powell sent Rush a charter, making East Side Gang a troop in the British Scouting movement.
When the Boy Scouts of America started in 1910, Rush’s troop became Troop No. 1 in Delaware, Ohio. Now there is a Number One BSA Troop in each state and the District of Columbia. There were dozens of Methodist Churches in 1908-1909 that had established Boy Scout Troops. They joined the BSA after its creation in 1910. The pastor was often the first Scoutmaster. The connection of values, character and the church was natural.
Today, we follow in Rev. Rush’s pioneer footsteps in caring for youth. Why would Rush have ever given up his charter granted by the founder of Scouting? There was a new way. One that required change. A way that opened the door for connection long after Rev. Rush would be gone. It took trust and confidence to change. But that is what people who care for youth do.