By Kathy Boulukos
HEMPSTEAD, NY – More than 200 scouts, leaders, dignitaries, and friends were present for the celebration of the 55th anniversary of Troop 568 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead, NY.
The recognition began with the formal observance of the annual National Boy Scout Sunday ceremony held within the Cathedral. Awards were presented to the various Scouts for their individual achievements. This was followed by a formal luncheon given at the Rev. Nicholas J. Magoulias Cathedral Center.
The 55th Anniversary celebration was given to recognize the accomplishments of this remarkable troop, which has a thriving Cub Scout and Boy Scout unit. It was chartered in 1960 and since its inception, 64 boys became Eagle Scouts.
Many of these Eagle Scouts were present to participate in this program, which made it a great reunion since many came from a great distance to attend.
Guests remarked that the 55th Anniversary event was an excellent tribute to the dedication of the past and present leaders, parents and clergy for working together to include scouting as a viable part of the parish youth program.
Some of the speakers included several of the past Scoutmasters, including Peter Xanthos, whose father-in-law was one of the founders of the troop in l960.
Terry Perperis, Chris Comack, who spoke in memory of his father, and the current scoutmaster, Peter Paris.
Each anecdote contained fascinating insights into the program that continues to stimulate and enhance each boy and how scouting impacts each boy as he matures into manhood.
One of the guest speakers was George Boulukos, the head of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, who is a lifelong scout, and a recipient of the highest BSA award, the Silver Buffalo. He reiterated the importance of having scouting be an integral part of the youth programs nationally for our parishes. He thanked all the individuals, past and present, for their ongoing support of the Scouting program. “A program like this one cannot function without their dedication.”