Durant reviving disbanded Scout troop

Boy scouts troop 618 was one of the oldest boy scout troops in Oklahoma until it was disbanded in 2020 due to the pandemic, but now it's coming back.
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - Boy Scout Troop 618 was one of the oldest boy scout troops in Oklahoma until it was disbanded in 2020 due to the pandemic. Now, it’s coming back.

Jim Blagg is the pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Durant and he said that the church is very excited to help get the troop back on its feet again.

“We are now stepping up to start it again, this time in complete collaboration with the boys and girls club of Durant,” Blagg said.

Chris Glendening, the Assistant Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Red River Valley Oklahoma, said that they are excited to work with the church and the troop to help serve the community.

“We’re trying to serve the same youth,” Glendening said. “Our missions are so intertwined that it was just a really good fit for the club and the kids that attend.”

Ja Laughlin, Scout Master of Troop 618, said that the troop is specifically focused on serving the at-risk youth in the community and helping them grow to reach their full potential.

“They can move to be the next doctors, lawyers, teachers,” Laughlin said. “This economic area has nothing to do with their future.”

The Boys and Girls Club in Durant is hosting a fish fry fundraiser on Saturday to earn money to help prospective scouts with costs like membership fees and uniform purchases.

Alane Laughlin, a committee member with Troop 618 and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Durant said that the fundraiser is going directly to help those who need it to get involved with the troop.

“A lot of the families that we’re looking to be able to support here, they don’t have that kind of money,” Laughlin said. “And that is what the fundraiser is specifically looking to do.”

Each plate will be $10 and will feature fresh fish, potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppies, and your choice of cobbler or Texas sheet cake. Family portions will feature four plates for $35, and kid and senior plates are also available for $5.

The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the club is inviting everyone to come out, enjoy the food, and support the community.

If you’re interested in getting more information on the boy scouts or how to join them, Scout Master Laughlin and Father Blagg will be at the fish fry on Saturday to answer any questions you may have, or you can call or text Laughlin at 918-519-7071.