The troop was founded in the summer of 1977.
The man who originally organized the troop was George Galloway, with help from the council representative, Joyce Murphey.
At the time the council was the George Washington council, today it is the Central New Jersey Council (CNJC).
John Dubnowski was the troop’s first scoutmaster. Joe Smith was the troop’s first committee chair and the first Assistant scoutmaster.
In October of 1977 there was a big organization meeting. The original sponsor of the troop was the Bethlehem Township Parent-Teacher Association, it then was transferred to the Bethlehem Township Board of Education. Historical sponsors also included St. Anne’s Catholic Church.
Troop 191 current sponsor is Valley Crest Farm & Preserve in Lebanon, NJ.
The first scouts were William Hamhm, Jimmy Hornbaker, Greg Powers, John Dubnoski Jr., John Foster, Brian Fergusson, Peter Horsh, Scott Schaippauf, Tommy Price, Tim Schreck, Jeff Brian, Jack Stanley, and Kenny Galloway.
The original committee members were Joe Smith, Earl Conrad, Joe Schreck, George Foster, John Fergusson, and George Galloway. The first meeting was in the first or second week of October. The first patrol was called the Flaming Arrows and does not still exist today. The First Senior Patrol Leader was Greg Powers. The first Eagle Scout was William Schoeller. The first Troop 191 camping trip took place at Yards Creek Scout Reservation in late October or early November. The first canoeing trip took place on the Mullica River in Southern N.J. the troop bought $50 from the cub scouts to buy the first troop flag. Attended the 1978 or ‘79 jamboree and also attended the ’81 jamboree as visitors. The first time that Troop 191 attended the Jamboree as participants was in 1997.
Mr. Conrad (person who provided this information) has been in the troop since 1977, he was the chairman of the troop committee. He first got involved with the troop when he received a phone call from a Trudy Horsch telling him that a Boy Scout troop was forming; there was a planning meeting at the house next to Hoppock (not the farm) to organize the troop. The Cub Scout pack had disbanded and had fifty dollars in the treasury which was given to the new Boy Scout troop. Originally there were about ten kids or less in the troop and there was no equipment at all. The first fundraiser that the troop did was selling kindling wood door to door, it raised about fifty dollars overall. To make even more money for the troop somebody got in contact with Koh-i-nor, a company that made drafting (drawing equipment). They agreed to let the troop have all of their old computer paper and cards. Using a local farmer’s truck about once a month the troop went to the Koh-i-nor plant and loaded up the truck. Then, an adult would drive to a Newark salvage yard and sell the paper. Mr. Conrad said that one of the perks of this job was that you got to eat breakfast on the way back.
Eventually Troop 191 raised enough money to make our first equipment purchase, the purchase was made at Johnson Camp Supplies in Binghamton, New York at their once a year sale Troop 191 bought our first five or six tents there. Afterwards the people who helped purchase the tents gathered at Mr. Smith’s house and waterproofed the seams of the tents. For the troops next purchase we bought cook kits, Dutch Ovens, and Chef Kits. Then the troop bought lumber off of the proceeds of the paper sale, and built the wooden cook kits that are still in use today. The troop had just bought all this new equipment but they had no place to store it. In the early 80’s, since one of the fathers had a contact in a south jersey salvage yard, the troop acquired a diner. The salvage yard donated the diner and the transportation of it to the troop. The Bethlehem Township committee allowed Troop 191 to put it where the salt dome is now. The mayor of the time, Don Craig, donated his time and equipment to help dig the foundations for the diner. When the diner was first opened up it was exactly as it was on the day it was closed, it had all of its silverware, napkins, dishes, menus, and other restaurant related stuff. Some dads spent nearly the entire summer cleaning out this diner. They did was cover the window with plywood. Then they built a wall in the middle of the diner. On one side kept equipment and the other was used for newspaper recycling, the troop got all proceeds from the newspaper and still do it to this day.
The troop used to go to Yards Creek for Summer Camp, we had lots of kids on the staff there. Before the troop had bought its equipment the adults used to sleep in Mr. Conrad’s tent that could easily fit ten people. It was nicknamed the Conrad Hilton. The tent went everywhere with the troop. In the early days of the troop there would often be more adults on camping trips than there were kids.
All of the original committee members, except for Mr. and Mrs. Smith have moved on.