Traditions

Every troop has its own ways of practicing Scouting activities which give the unit a particular style or flavor. Troop 14 has developed a number of traditions which act like a "glue", connecting generations of Scouts by the bonds of common experiences, even though each Scout progresses through an individual Scouting career.  Some of the traditions began so many years ago that an origin is now unknown, but others can be reasonably traced to particular times, leaders, or events. In a way, the traditions give a snapshot of Troop 14's distinctive history and style of operation and together, the traditions define Fourteen's personality.

SRH: In the fall of 1938, the Troop conducted a camp out in what is now Samuel P. Taylor State Park. At that time, Scoutmaster Bob Anino was inspired to create an organization within the Troop whose rituals, significance, and levels of membership remain secret, known only each Scout of the troop who participates, which is every member.

Ye Old Clarion: Distributed to Scouts at Troop meetings to inform parents, recount patrol trips, make announcements, and remind Scouts of events, it began in the early 1930s. Before computers, Ye Old Clarion was prepared and mimeographed on the Troop meeting day in a small office just off of the basement large room by Scouts themselves.  In recent years, ASM Ehrman has been Ye Old Clarion's own editor, cajoling journalistic pieces from Scouts to be prepared on his own Gateway!

The Bob Anino Trophy Skin: A real tanned skin, upon which the winning patrol and patrol leader's name are permanently inscribed at the end of the quarterly patrol points sweepstakes, this unique record of competition goes back to 1930! With due ceremony and suspense, the Bob Anino Trophy Skin is announced at a Court of Honor, and accepted with humility by a proud PL.

OAFM, AAFM: "Once a Fourteen Man" originated with Scoutmaster Anino as part of the Troop meeting closing circle.  The Scoutmaster says "Once a Fourteen Man" and the Scouts respond "Always a Fourteen Man."  Today, the current Honor Scout is given the privilege. It is sometimes used in a Scoutmaster's correspondence.  The phrase symbolizes the strong ties Troop members have, which never leave a Scout's memory throughout a lifetime.

Troop 14 {pause} Rah:  The Troop responds to the number "fourteen" by yelling "Troop 14 {pause} Rah!"  This tradition developed during Joe Ehrman's tenure as Scoutmaster and he put the finishing touch on it.

Troop Room: In the mid-1930s, a small room adjacent to the stage of the large basement room of Calvary Church became the Troop's equipment storage and office. As years increased, its walls became decorated with camp or camporee awards, photos of individual Scouts, long chains of painted name boards for each active Scout by rank, the original and current Troop Charter, and many other important items of Troop history.   A 1936 painted window illustrates many events and aspects of Troop history, including patrol badges and camping events attended by the Troop. Recently, the window was updated and revised by artist Peter Davy, an Eagle alumnus. A visitor immediately sees a bold red and white color scheme and the Latin words "Concilium Delectorum" over the old double doors as decorative themes originated by Scoutmaster Gault Davis.  The new Troop Room, renovated during the past two years, is to the left of the stage in the basement.

Good Turn: This essential Scout activity by the Troop goes back to at least 1925.  In the early 1930s the Troop distributed food baskets, usable clothing and performed similar support for the City's Community Chest program, Red Cross fund raising and wartime civilian support were also carried out by Fourteeners. Currently, Troop 14 participates actively in the annual Scouting for Food Drive of the Council which assists many of the food bank organizations of the Bay area. The Troop also does a good turn to Scouting by maintenance work at Camp Royaneh before summer camp sessions begin.

Honor Scout: To periodically recognize excellence in Scouting as shown by a single Scout, SM Gault Davis used a Troop medal which was a silver medallion depicting a shield of honor. It was given once each year to the Scout elected on the basis of Scouting skills, leadership,, and being an exemplary role model for others. Later, SM Anino used a point system which used small tickets, given at Troop meetings. Each month the Scout with the most points was the Honor Scout for a month. In 1950, SM Roland Grannis changed the selection process to be based on outstanding Scouting leadership, contribution to Troop goals, and living the Scout Oath and Laws. He awarded a white neckerchief four times in the year. Becoming an Honor Scout is one of the highest Troop recognitions. Scouts work hard to be among those chosen!

Camping: Every Troop must maintain a solid camping program. As early as 1918-1919, Troop members participated in summer camping, first on the private Howard Estate, nearby the hamlet of Olema, western Marin County, now the location of Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters. Troops from the new San Francisco Boy Scout Council had also used the sand dune areas near today's intersection of Sloat Blvd. and 26th Avenue for weekend overnight camp-outs for training and experience. This seashore location near the city's urban edges was called Camp Lilienthal, after the first Council President and Scouting supporter, Jesse W. Lilienthal. But soon residential expansion crowded this location --- Camp Lilienthal eventually moved to an area above Fairfax until it was sold in the 1970's -- and Council leaders sought a permanent, year-around, rural camp.

An existing private campground called Cazadero Redwoods, on a tributary of the Russian River, had been acquired by 1920 for future Scouting purposes. As the Council grew to include San Mateo, Marin and San Francisco county troops, a nearby, major year-around facility was needed, so a 20 acre parcel called Watson Ranch was purchased in the late 1920s. Camp Royaneh opened there in 1925.  For Troop 14, "Fun in the Sun at Camp Royaneh"' was the traditional June camping session, with many weekend overnight camping trips and outings for additional experiences and training.

Ray-0-Han Trek: Named for Raymond 0. Hanson, an annual backpacking trek is a major wilderness experience that challenges Scouts to use their skills and experiences over several days and over substantial distances to journey into beautiful places of our State.  The first "Ray-O-Han Trail" was held around 1955 when Wes Howell organized and led Explorer Post 14, from 1952 to 1962.  The "Ray-O-Han Trail" did not become a troop activity until much later.  The "Ray-O-Han Trail" derived its name from "Camp Ray-O-Han" which Scoutmaster Gault Davis established in the High Sierra at Cora Lakes during the period 1944-46.

Alumni Reunions: About 1400 active alumni have held reunions since the early 1950s when former SM Philip Bush and others decided to hold a reunion banquet on three year cycle. The idea was so successful that in 1955 about 200 14 alumni came. For the 50th anniversary event in 1964, more than 500 men attended. The 1992 75th anniversary banquet included several hundred former Troop members some traveling from South America, Europe, and from all corners of the the United States to see one another on that special event.

Calvary Church Sponsorships: Symbolizing the very long sponsorship of the Troop by the Church, the alumni raised sufficient funds for a large, beautiful commemorative tapestry hanging in Calvin Hall. From the days of Hanson and Bemiss, many Church clergy, staff and congregation members have seen, and occasionally heard, Fourteen's Scouts who represent other religious traditions in addition to Scouts from congregational families. For decades, an official Chartered Sponsor Representative has been a member of the Troop's Parent Committee. Providing a large meeting space, the Troop Room facility, and so much more assistance, Calvary Church plays a vital role in Fourteen's traditions.

Troop Triangle: While the exact date of origin for use of the distinctive triangle is unknown, it is known that SM Gault Davis worked in the Troop Room which had a triangle above the door, and that a triangle representing the three parts of the Scout Oath was above the Troop Room door when SM Ehrman joined in 1936.  In 1965, for the Troop's 50th Anniversary, SM Ehrman redesigned the neckerchief (which had previously been a felt white "14" on the back of a red neckerchief) to include the three colored sides of the triangle to symbolize important aspects of Scouting:  Advancement, Leadership, and Tradition.

Troop Committee: Each troop must have a supporting parent organization which provides assistance to Scouts, the unit's Scoutmaster, and is a link to the sponsoring group. Fourteen's Committee was composed of only three fathers of Scouts for many years but is now includes each parent or guardian and a Scout representative as well. Meetings are monthly, usually on a Troop night, and in recent years, as many as 50 parents attend. The Committee's officers include Chair, Vice - Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, with subcomittee leaders for Outdoors activities, Advancement (Courts of Honor and Boards of Review), and Special events. The Troop 14 Parents' Committee is a very active, vital, and financially supporting foundation for the Troop's continued excellence.

Not so traditional traditions: The flashlight hike became a tradition during the early 1960s, although SM Anino held some during his tenure.  The ski trips go back to the 1930s, now regular a feature of the Troop's annual program. The annual snow camp was started by Mr. Johnck and Mr. Magee in the 80's.  Many yells and songs were written by talented SM Bob Anino over the years just for Fourteen. At Camp Royaneh, local character - "Uncle Zeke"' from Cazadero sometimes drops in at the dining hall to share fascinating local news.  Part 14er, Larry Teshara was Scoutmaster of Troop 351 for ten years and a Troop 14 Committeeman during the time his sons were members of our Troop.  He serves as a Camp Commissioner when he is at Royaneh.