Van Alstyne Boy Scout troop celebrates 100 years

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VAN ALSTYNE, TX -- A Van Alstyne troop celebrated a monumental anniversary today, and unveiled a new museum -- featuring historical items.

These boy scouts are members of a storied Troop, and that Troop was celebrated Saturday.

100 years ago Van Alstyne's Troop 44 was founded -- just two years after Congress chartered the Boy Scouts of America Organization. The troop is the 3rd oldest in Texas, and the fifth oldest in the U.S.

"It's a very cool thing that in such a small town that we have such a historic and very proud troop. We've been around for a very long time and that's a very cool thing," Hendricks

This centennial celebration was praised by many. President George W. Bush, Governor Rick Perry and several state representatives and congressman sent their congratulations and acknowledged the troop's success.

"I think it's great that they actually acknowledge that we are here and that they actually sent out some letters for us," boy scout Wiley Murphy said.

Troop 44 also unveiled their new museum. Inside this building, built by scouts in 1947, Boy Scout uniforms from the past hang and dozens of badges are on display.

Scout master Brian Hendricks says it's important the organization and the troop's history is memorialized.

"We were one of the first to be an integrated troop. My scout master, Bob Dickerson, has told me the story often about how there were separate troops in Van Alstyne, the black troop and the white troop and at one point they integrated those together," he said.

The troop is growing and leaders say they're confident their next 100 years will be a success.

"I love scouting. But, I'd rather be part of scouting than anything else," Murphy said.

"It's just a fun thing. You learn so much and it's so much fun," Hendricks said.

The museum is open to the public. Contact Troop 44 to schedule a tour.

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