NUTLEY, NJ — Scout Troop 147 Nutley, sponsored by the Franklin Reformed Church, was 95 years old on Feb. 29. The troop will be holding a 95th anniversary celebration dinner at the Franklin Steakhouse in Nutley, from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 30. The event includes a buffet luncheon. All current and former Troop 147 Scouts and Scouters are invited to attend, contact Michael Groome at Troop147.BSA@verizon.net for details and to reserve your seat at the dinner.
The troop was chartered in June 1917 under Scoutmaster W.J. Gray with Franklin Reformed Church minister Rev. Harold F. Schenck. The troop lasted two years, to 1919. Perhaps World War I contributed to the troop’s end due to lack of leadership. The troop had met in the basement of the church before the Community House was built. Nine Scouts had joined the troop.
With the completion of the Community House in 1923, the troop was re-chartered in February of that year and met in this building under Scoutmaster David Halliday with help from Rev. Schenck, who also served as the troop’s committee chairman. Troop 147 has had continuous tenure there for the past 93 years. Other ministers who also served as executive officers include:
• Rev. Arthur Rosenraad, 1928-1962;
• Rev. Leonard Jones, 1962-1980;
• Rev. Eugene Roberts, 1981-1989;
• Interim minister Rev. John Hart, 1989-1991; and
• Rev. Jill C. Fenske, 1991 to present.
The troop has had 14 scoutmasters in its 95-year existence. Current Scoutmaster Al C. Welenofsky joined the troop when he was 12-years-old, in October 1949, under Scoutmaster James Swan. In February 1950, Mark F. Hallam Sr. became the scoutmaster and led the troop until February 1965 when Welenofsky, the 13th Scoutmaster, who was trained by Hallam, took over and kept that position until February 2000 when Anthony Dalfino became the leader. In February 2008, Welenofsky again became the scoutmaster and has totaled more than 43 years in that position. He has however, served as a scout leader, scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster for more than 61 years.
The troop currently has 21 Scouts. There have been 121 Troop 147 boys who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, with the first two boys, Arwid Michaelson and Frank W. Scamell, earning the award in 1929. Scamell later became the scoutmaster, from 1935-39. In April 1952, Welenofsky was the 11th Scout to earn Eagle rank in the troop. Al has 72 of the 121 Eagle Scouts to his and their credit.