Troop 200 started in 2006, when a small group of three moms found out that their sons were not happy with the way their troop was. Those mothers would eventually become the first female Chairman of the Briones District, the first Committee Chair, and a member of the OSLC Executive Committee. The first Scoutmaster was John Spahr, the first ASM Chuck Poloka, Michele Poloka as Treasurer, Jennifer Spahr as a member of the Committee, Joan Grimes as Committee Chair, and the Charter Organization Representative was Pastor Strasser.
Very soon after the start of the troop, a neckerchief had to be decided on. So, the troop had a competition between the scouts and ultimately a black neckerchief with a red background and a gold fleur-de-lis was chosen. But before Troop 200 received them, the neckerchiefs were shipped from Pakistan, but went to Dubai, then Germany, France, England, France again, New York, France, Dallas, and finally Oakland, travelling over twenty-four thousand miles.
The troop then started to raise money by selling US flag kits in order to purchase a flag with the embroidered information of our troop. This was only the first step to becoming official, and a bank account was set up with the help of Mrs. Poloka, insurance was covered by the council, and the troop was registered with the IRS. Some additional funding was also provided by OSLC, Mrs. Grimes, and her husband.
The five founding scouts had to make some decisions. They decided where they wanted to go for overnights and summer camp, and thought that Troop 200 should focus on two things – leadership and community service. And after just five years, the troop had grown remarkably fast, going from five to seventy. But along with that came some challenges. The scouts in the troop were wearing class A to meetings now, as opposed to the class B’s they donned previously. Some didn’t like that, and they left. Every meeting there would be a uniform inspection, and travelling had to be in class A. There was also a lack of ASMs. With all the new scouts, there had to be some patrols, and for those, patrol leaders. Some scouts stepped up, and one of those five’s goals had already started to show progress. There were just too many Scouts for just one summer camp, so Troop 200 added Wolfeboro to their list of just Wente. But, there was a large age gap between the original scouts and the newly recruited ones, making their relations somewhat awkward. To combat this, youths who had bad experiences with scouting, or more specifically, their troop, and quit, although they liked BSA in general, were recruited into Troop 200.
Sadly, a scout in the troop, Colin Wiseman, passed away due to suicide. This was extremely hard for all in the troop. Those who attended his funeral, including four other troops, received a special epilet in honor of him. It was a very large and a very traumatic event for many, and he will always be remembered.
Troop 200 has come a long way since 2006, winning both a gold and silver level BSA Ready & Prepared Award twice; the only troop in MDSC to do this. The Presidential Award was given to the troop at the District Camporee in 2009, and we contributed over one thousand hours of community service in our first year alone, going on to contribute two thousand in our second year, and three thousand in our third. Over the years, over 60 eagle scouts have come out of Troop 200, and for many years this troop raised more money than all others in the Briones District, and supporting the Council as well as themselves. We participate in many different leadership activities. These have changed Troop 200 drastically, helping scouts to become resilient problem-solvers, giving them confidence, pride, leadership skills, and character. Troop 200 has even produced nine Silver Beaver Awards, the highest award an adult leader can obtain. Overall, Troop 200, through hard work and amazing adult leaders, has grown incredibly successfully throughout the course of thirteen years.
– Caden Siv (2019)