A Young Scout
Each week my Mother would make sure that I had the large sum of 26 cents in my pocket. Trolley fare was 8 cents one way, to be used only in case of rain or snow. This meant going by shoe leather and leave early, so as not to be late (no taxi service like parents provide today). Many a time we walked home while it was snowing. I missed very few meetings. Ten cents of that money went for dues. That paid for your yearly registration in the Boy Scouts, which I believe was 50 cents and the rest paid for youradvancement badges. As I look back, it was a long hike, going and coming from the western section of Trenton, but we did not mind it at all.
During the summer time, there were times that we would be early. There was a set of locks on the canal at State and Canal Street, so the boats could cross State Street (the Freeway today). A bridge, over State Street, would open to let the boats go through. Very often there would be a yacht or two berthed there for the night. We would be in uniform and would talk to the owners, who would be sitting on the deck enjoying the air. An invitation and a tour, topped off with a soda was treat we received often.
Henry Carey, a letter carrier for the US Post Office, was my first scoutmaster. Carl Lind was scoutmaster for Troop 34. I don't remember what he did for a living. Thomas (Pop) V. King, also a letter carrier for the US Post Office, was scoutmaster for Troop 35. He approved many of my scout craft tests. I would say he was one of two men most responsible for my enthusiasm for scouting. He had a strong feeling that every boy should know how to swim and enjoy the water. He could not swim himself, but standing waist deep in the water he taught many a boy how to swim. I was not one of those boys, since I knew how to swim before I joined scouting. His grandson knew how to swim about the same time he was learning to walk. Many parents are doing the same today with their little ones. He was just ahead of his time.
Albert (Dered) Dereskiewicz, who worked at Thermoid, was Scout Executive for the Trenton Scout council. With his guidance the council grew from Trenton to Mercer County around 1933. In 1937 Hunterdon and Warren Counties were added and the name of the council was changed to George Washington Council, as it is known today. Everyone knew George Davey as "Chief". He also had a big influence on me. He was easy to talk with. I would consider him as a "Boys' Man". He also took time to talk to you, no matter how busy he was. He made you feel you were important. I can still see him sitting in his chair, while talking to you, back to the wall, hands behind his head and feet on his desk, a favorite position for him.