My parents always told me that “you could never have enough friends.” Well, I am grateful for the many friendships I have developed in Scouting and one of the most special is that of the many wonderful adult leaders at Troop 240 Riverdale, especially former Scoutmaster Joe Acquafredda. Because of the strong ties between our two units, our troop continues to be invited to T-240’s annual Wintoree merit badge seminar at Camp Durland. In 2010, the two troops made an extra effort to celebrate the brotherhood of scouting and reflected on the Centennial celebration with a recounting of the history of merit badges and a display of scouting paraphernalia from the 1960s. In addition, Scoutmaster Joe Acquafredda led yet another impressive Wood Badge beading ceremony for one of his several adult leaders on Saturday night.
As everyone knows, Scoutmaster Joe passed away suddenly this past April from cancer. His legacy, which is something that is talked about a lot in Scoutmaster training, is enormous! He positively impacted hundreds of scouts and scout leaders during his many years in Scouting including the last 12 as Scoutmaster! He helped our troop immeasurably with his constant offering of encouragement and creative ideas. Joe’s unbridled Scouting spirit was simply big enough for everyone. And I am so grateful that our troop got to be exposed to this rare breed of leader! He, and his wonderful wife Edna, have been true friends.
Watching the scouts of the two troops inter-mingle during the weekend was particularly gratifying. It was a Norman Rockwell scene of all that is good in Scouting. As I told the combined group of +50 scouts on that picturesque Saturday morning: “you will have many circles of friends throughout life. Not all of these circles will intersect. That is ok. One thing is quite certain, however, your circle of Scouting friends will likely end up being true friends, ones that truly care for you and will do so for all of your life.”
More reflections & a Memorial on former Scoutmaster Joe Acquafredda can be found at the Troop 240 Riverdale website http://www.troop240ny.org
Oh yes, our troop completed over a dozen merit badges and another dozen merit badges were partially completed that weekend. For pictures of this memorable friendship weekend, please click here.