Troop 70 was founded in 1930 and has been continuously in operation ever since. During the early history of the Park Cities area, the Highland Park I.S.D. provided meeting space for a scout troop in each of three elementary schools. Troop 70 has held its meetings at the University Park Elementary School since its construction in 1930 and is the only one of the three scout troops that has operated uninterupted.
Most of the troop's membership is from the HP ISD and particularly UP grade school students. The troop has attracted members from other schools and neighborhoods, including Dallas, Richardson, Carrollton, and Garland and several private schools. Each year the troop participates in a service project for the school to show its appreciation.
During the 1930s and 1940s the membership of the troop ranged from 20 to 40 boys. Fathers were the adult leaders and the troop had 14 Eagles from 1930 through 1946. In 1946 a young lawyer returned from World War II and was hired by a law firm in Dallas. Two of the firm partners had sons in Troop 70 and the troop needed a new Scoutmaster. When the young lawyer reported for work, he was told that in addition to his duties as a lawyer, he was expected to be the Scoutmaster of the troop for one year. Not having been told this in the interview process, Lon Sailers almost quit his new job over his surprise duties. Fortunately for Troop 70, he visited the troop and reluctantly agreed to the one year term as Scoutmaster.
Lon had a history in Scouting as a boy and earned the Eagle Scout award. He liked the troop and thought this might be a way to contribute something back to Scouting. Thirty-eight years, 238 Eagles, and over 1,000 Scouts later he retired as Scoutmaster due to ill health. Under Lon's leadership, the troop expanded its membership, programs, and contribution to the community. Many of our present community leaders were influenced by his leadership and their experiences in the troop. Lon passed on to the troop eternal on December 7, 1985.
The National Office of the Boy Scouts does not keep records on the number of boys who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout under each Scoutmaster. However, at the time of his death, Lon was recognized as having more Scouts obtain the Eagle rank than any other Scoutmaster. His record was not achieved through being lenient on advancement requirements, as any of his Eagles will attest.
Troop 70 is known as the "Jamboree Troop". It earned this name through its participation in the B.S.A. National Jamborees. The troop has attended each of the jamborees as a troop beginning with the 1950 jamboree in Valley Forge. The scouts in the troop raise funds to assist in the jamboree trip expenses. The troop has been able to pay 50% of each scout’s way to the jamboree. This is quite a record since the troop frequently takes over 50 scouts and leaders to the jamborees.
Many traditions that have developed in the troop are still in place today. The leadership of the troop continues to build on its traditions and has a program that meets the needs of the boys today. Emphasis is placed on participation, camping skills, and advancement. Through Scouting, boys will be exposed to skills which will help them develop into fine young men and good citizens, help deal with life situations and choices, and have fun doing it.
Throughout the history of Troop 70, hundreds of boys have made it famous as a hard working, great-fun, and an award-winning troop. One of the major factors contributing to this continued high standard of excellence is the active cooperation and participation by the scouts and their parents. Their participation is reflected by the number of former Eagles from the troop who have returned to work with the troop, whose sons are active in a troop, or who are active in Scouting with other troops. Currently there are seven Troop 70 Eagles active as uniformed adult leaders or on the troop committee. They are: Charles Holmes, David Eisenlohr, Hudson Lockett, Bob Pospick, Jim Phillips, Grant Holmes, and Carson Holmes. .
When a boy joins the troop, the parents join the troop as well. The troop operates on the basis that the boys learn most by doing themselves. However, a scout's interest and accomplishments will directly reflect the participation and support from his parents. The time a parent spends with their son in Scouting is quality time that builds a lasting relationship.