BURR RIDGE – Fifty years is a long time for anything, but when a tradition of courage, integrity and character can be continued for that long, then it’s something special.
Troop 56 out of Burr Ridge celebrated its 50th anniversary Aug. 11 at the Burr Ridge Community Center with a potluck lunch and summer court of honor. In attendance were not only current boy scouts but also several former Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts and prominent residents.
“I have to admit, I was never a Boys Scout, but my priorities in life are God, family and country,” Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub said to the crowd. “I’m in good company today.”
David Biedrzycki of Willowbrook has been Scoutmaster for the past four years and while he never was a Boy Scout, he said he was just a “crazy guy who loves the outdoors.” What he has enjoyed most is seeing the boys grow and mature.
“I’ve seen some of these boys from Tiger Scouts and now they’re married and have kids,” Biedrzycki said.
One of those boys is his son, David, who is an Eagle Scout. David said one of his favorite memories of Boys Scouts took place with his dad as they took a backpacking trip in New Mexico at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch.
While there, he said his dad was carrying his sunglasses but lost them during a day of hiking. David and a friend walked the seven miles back to where they had started the day but did not find the glasses. David returned to camp, after a combined 21 miles of hiking that day. What happened next is something he can laugh about now.
“My dad comes up to me and goes, ‘I found your glasses,’” David said.
During the 50 years, Troop 56 has produced 96 Eagle Scouts, nine within the last year, and has had 750 members.
“To be a part of that is just awesome,” Assistant Scoutmaster Jeff Wilson of Willowbrook said.