About Us





            Troop 117, BSA has deep roots in Littleton , Colorado.  Boy Scouting was still a teen-ager when the First Baptist Church of Littleton received its first troop charter in 1928 under the number Troop 112.  Only two other units then existed in Littleton, and one of them, Troop 110 at the Methodist Church, was disbanding (the pastor there didn’t approve of scouting), sending many of those boys to the newly formed Troop 112.

            Hallie Rhea was the troop’s first Scoutmaster.  Cameron Lockhead, a Littleton insurance man, Fred deKoevand Sr., and Owen Davis comprised the first committee.  Fourteen scouts comprised the first charter.

            By 1932, the troop was well established under the junior leadership of Lyman Ditson and Clifford Funk, but in 1936, adult leadership was lacking, and Lyman Ditson, then only 17, became the youngest Scoutmaster in the Denver Area Council.  The troop’s first complete charter in Council records is for the war years 1942-1943.  Earl Barcus was Scoutmaster assisted by Jack deKoevand and Howard Higby, 112’s only Eagle Scout, who later continued on to become a professional scouter.  At the time the troop had four patrols.  Allen Burt of Burt Chevrolet was a member of the Flaming Arrow Patrol.  In 1943, five registered members were serving with the US armed forces, two in the Navy and three in the Army Air Force.

            The strength of the unit seemed to wane during the years immediately following the war.  In November of 1948, twenty years after its inception, only 11 boys remained.  Adult leadership was no longer available and Troop 112 was dissolved.  After approximately four years, that number was given to a troop at Lowry Air Force Base.

            For eleven years, scouting lay dormant at the First Baptist Church which then met directly south of the now Bemis Library on Datura.  Late in 1959, the Men’s Fellowship enlisted Rev. W.E. Simmons as the Institutional Representative and James O. Bowman as Soutmaster.  Eleven boys formed the core of what was to grow into a pinnacle of scouting strength in Littleton , Troop 117.

            By the end of 1960, the Troop roster reached 18 scouts.  Two years later, ASM Irv Johnson assumed troop leadership.  Junior leadership was developing and the troop was gaining the age and rank spread necessary for effective operation.  Mr. Richard Vaughn became Troop 117’s third Soutmaster in 1963.  Under his guidance, Don Lowe and Jim Miller became 117’s first Eagle Scouts.  By the summer of 1964, 32 scouts were on the roster and during this period the Tucumshnish Indian Dancers (later to become the Wasechies) had their inception.

            A major void developed during the summer of 1964 when Mr. Vaughn decided he could no longer continue as Scoutmaster.  Neighborhood Commissioner, Jack Bakken, had an idea.  A new neighbor recently moved in from Minnesota who had been a Scoutmaster for 5 years, plus he had Indian Dance experience both as a Scoutmaster and as a scout.  So on an August evening 1964 Bakken invited him along to observe the troop to “help him determine what their problem was.”  The young, unaware neighbor was Tom Sholes, who through clever subterfuge, was shanghaied and became Troop 117’s Scoutmaster for the next twenty-five years.

            In two years, the roster again topped 30, and headed toward 40, which was the limit with which Sholes felt comfortable; four patrols of eight and a leadership corp. of eight.  This became the target number for troop membership.  Other guidelines that shaped the character of Troop 117 included:

  • Each scout should advance at least 1 rank a year and camp at least 10 nights a year.

  • Patrol leaders shall be at least First Class Scouts, SPL, Life or above.

  • Eaglen Scout completion in not encouraged before age 16.

  • The troop will meet weekly year around; patrols a minimum of twice a month.

  • Scouts will be offered a monthly campout and a one week summer camp.

  • At least one high adventure trip of one week duration or more yearly.

  • Junior leaders will run the troop with the guidance of the adult leaders and committee.

And it shall all be accomplished in an atmosphere of FUN.

          Concerned with the detrimental effects of easy advancement, Sholes developed the First Class Test, a 120 question review that required 75% to pass.  It included all the important elements of the previous ranks, was heavy in advanced first aid, and in outdoor skills relative to the types of activities in which the troop was engaging.  Met first with “consternation,” passing it became a badge of pride with the troop learned that Eagle Scouts from some of the trophy troops in Littleton were unable to pass it.

            Meanwhile, the Wasechie Indian Dance group became the troop’s identity, and later its prime source of income.  Under the guidance of three exceptional scouts, Brad and Ross Kershaw and Paul Hendricks, the dancers were performing on the average of 30 times a year and frequently won the Award of Distinction and Excellence at the Denver Area Scout Exposition.  They danced with extra vigor when invited to perform at the dedication of the new Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch near Elbert.

            In 1968 the troop filled up with 40 scouts and extended backpack trips became the norm.  Anyplace with a name ending in Wilderness was fair game, such as La Garita, Maroon Bells, Eagle’s Nest, Holy Cross, Rawah, the Flat Tops and Mount Zirkle, when summer camp was still at Tahosa and the troop closed camp for several years with a climb up Long’s Peak.  The troop never missed a year at summer camp, usually at Peaceful  Valley .  Until 1974, the troop owned its own 53 passenger school bus which confused many a jeeper when they encountered it on roads it never should have attempted.  Old “Bertha” finally passed away in 1974 descending west from Eisenhower Tunnel.

            In the early 70’s, Troop 117 joined forces with a senior Girl Scout troop from Littleton who wanted to learn the rough and tumble ways of the great outdoors.  For nearly five years the girls hiked, camped, backpacked, rappelled, and even snow-caved with the boys, who quickly learned that they were every bit as tough (and sometimes tougher) than the guys themselves.  The co-ed adventure was a high point in troop history.

            At the time there were the “Big Four” in Littleton, Troops 114 and 314 at the Methodist Church, and 344 and gigantic 444 at First Presbyterian.  By the mid-70’s the Denver Area Council was referring to the “Big Five.”

            In 1975, the troop discovered Utah with a week long pack trip in the La Sal Mountains outside of Moab and several days in Arches National Monument.  They became instant desert rats.  For the next 14 years the troop made sojourns to the canyon country to visit “All American Man” in Canyonlands, wander Grand Gulch, Bandelier, Fish, Owl, McCloyd, and Arch canyon in search of Anasazi ruins.  Three times it loaded its canoes to paddle (and occasionally dump) in the 18 challenging rapids in the 90 mile stretch of the San Juan River between Bluff and Clay Hills Crossing.  This truly was the “Classic Period” of the 20th century troop and was scouting at its best.  (See a list of Long Term High Adventure Trips outlined below.)

            Unable to enlist a Patrol Dad for the Eagle Patrol, mom Barbara Slaten, a rugged backpacker, volunteered.  Barb, famous for her “creative cussing” classes, was a lady ahead of her time.  The troop registered her as B. Slaten, as at that time, women couldn’t hold Assistant Scoutmaster Positions.  Only one member of Barb’s patrol failed to achieve Eagle.  That reason: he moved!

            One additional highlight was the construction of five teepee’s (one for each patrol, Elk, Buffalo , Bear and Eagle, plus one for the Leadership Corps) with the aid of the fantastic sewing skills of “Ma” Conway .  Each patrol painted its proud new home, but was told by the Council that they couldn’t bring them to camp.  Undaunted, they had the Littleton Fire Department fire proof and document the teepee’s safety, painting the required internal sigh of No Fire in the Tents… in Lakota language.  And Troop 117 went to PV in teepees… for many years.

            The troop during the “Classic” years had a summer camp reputation of being clowns, mischief makers, individualists, and non-conformists.  With them, there was never a dull moment.  They marched to dinner one evening with the entire troop outfitted in tuxedo tee shirts.  To protest inspections at summer camp, the entire troop showed up at uniform inspection wearing their uniforms inside-out!  Yet virtually every scout skills contest they entered, be it in water or on land, they won hands down.  This confused many camp directors until they realized they were dealing with an extremely bright, creative, and fun-filled group of kids.

            Over his tenure, Tom Sholes was not only blessed with talented boys, but was backed by a covey of exceptional ASM’s like Brad and Ross Kershaw, Irv Johnson, Ed Fitzsimmons, Bob Parsons, Jim Colburn for 11 years before his untimely death, plus Bob Finnell and Ken Conway.  Hard working, long term troop committee chairman included Leon Kershaw, Dick Theis, Duane Newell, Duane Zentner, Bob Tharp and Lou Conti.

            In 1977, the First  Baptist  Church , which had taken a more charismatic posture, chose to drop sponsorship of Troop 117.  Scoutmaster Sholes approached Reverend Bob Clark at the Ridge Road United Church of Christ who consented to provide sponsorship of the unit and did so until 1990 when that congregation dwindled and the church property was eventually sold for housing.  Sponsorship then shifted to Grace Presbyterian.

            Tom Sholes resigned as Scoutmaster in 1989 prior to his move to Larkspur and was replaced by Assistant Scoutmaster Ken Conway, but remained as advisor to the Wasechie Dancers for several years.  In 1991, Jeff Woods, a United Airlines pilot, took the reins until 1993 when Bob McCloud became scoutmaster.

            During this period, Troop 117 advanced more than 40 scouts to rank of Eagle, none of which was younger than 16.  These include:


Howard Higby (Troop 112)   Don Lowe             Jim Miller

Ross Kershaw               Paul Hendricks*      Don Fitzsimmons

Dale Marshall              Steve Weir           Bill Shorthill

Greg Schroer               Rick Theis           Brian Lagrone

Jerry Moore                Brian Parsons        Grant Johnson

Alan Parsons               Lane Slaten         Steve Richardson

David Sholes               Andy Green           Paul Carnell

Paul Conway                Grady Holder         Joel Slaten

Jim Mahoney                Mark Zentner         Brian Kannady

Jeff Rallo                 Trevor Banister      Robert Hill

Steve Keckler*             Greg Zentner         Scott Kannady

Doug Kixmiller             Ron Clark            Joe Conti

Robert Lewis               Darren Brinker       Darren Kixmiller

Kyle Marquand*             Mark Baker           Mike Thompson

Paul Adams*                Todd Zentner         Curtis Weibel


* Indicates a long term member who completed or nearly completed his Eagle requirements with 117, but was awarded Eagle Scout by a different troop.





1965   Pike  National Forest Pack Trip.  Hwy 285 to Mt.  Evans , to Evergreen

1966   Mt.  Beirstadt Pack Trip

1967   Webster  Pass Pack Trip

1969   Lost Park Pack Trip

1970   La Garita Wilderness Pack Trip

1971   Maroon Bells Wilderness Pack Trip

1972   Eagles Nest Wilderness Pack Trip

1973   Holy Cross Wilderness Pack Trip and Climb of Mt. of the Holy Cross

1975   La Sal Mts. Pack Trip plus packing in Arches

1977   Rawah Wilderness Pack Trip and Arch  Canyon

1978   Flat Tops Wilderness Pack Trip

1979   All American Man Pack Trip in Canyonlands

1980   San Juan River Canoe Trip

1981   Mt.  Zirkle Wilderness Pack Trip

1982   Fish & Fowl Creek Canyons Pack Trip – San Juan River Canoe Trip

1983   Bandelier  National Park Pack Trip

1984   All American Man Pack Trip in Canyonlands

1985   Grand Gulch, Utah Pack Trip, San Juan River Canoe Trip, Mt. Zirkle Pack Trip

1986   Arch Canyon , Utah Pack Trip

1987   All American Man, Pack Trip in Canyonlands

1988   Grand Gulch, Utah Pack Trip

1989   Fish & Fowl and McCloyd Canyons Pack Trip


Information compiled by Tom Sholes, Scoutmaster from 1964 thru 1989.  All records of Troop 117 for that period are in his possession.


7160 South Perry Park Blvd.

Larkspur , Colorado  80118




Troop 117 - Eagle Scouts (As of October 2013)

Scout   Name

Board   of Review

Alexander   Grant Encinias


Justin   M. Hein


Cameron   Lee Martinez


Austin   Kyle White


Christian   Daryl Reicheneder


Ryan   Alexander Mansfield


Thomas   Elliot Doolittle


William   Abraham Doolittle


Evan   O'Neil Cordrey


Joshua   Michael Cook


Jordan   Meredith Leak


Robert   William Lavie


Logan   Nam Bui


Colton   David Pinto


Luke   Ryan Sample


Ian   Henry Davis Dawson


Edward   Oliver Orth


Brian   Leak


Ryan   Elliott


Alexander   Brown


Joshua   Hamblen


Henry   Lively


Grant   Weaver


Jared   Stewart


Jason   Hamblen


Nathaniel   Cejka


Nathan   Siegal


Bradley   Holmes


Gregory   Cejka


Alex   Dehne


Travis   Dehne


David   Billars


Kevin   Wachtler


Bradford   Dobos


Joseph   Langenhorst


Benton   Ferguson


Franklin   Gardiner


Randy   Lane


Ryan   Mccloud


Brian   Proud


Samuel   Snyder


Nathan   Meyer


Todd   Zentner


Darren   Brinker


Matthew   Kixmiller


Curtis   Waibel


Thomas   Hearty


Mark   Baker


William   Thompson


Joseph   Conti


Douglas   Kixmiller


James   Craig


Scott   Kannady


Ronald   Clark


Gregory   Zentner


Trevor   Banister


Paul   Adams


Jeffrey   Rallo


Brian   Kannady


Joel   Slaten


Grady   Holder


  Bardon Sholes


Andrew   Green


James   Mahoney


Steven   Richardson


Paul   Carnell


Brandon   Slaten


Mark   Zentner


Paul   Conway


Grant   Johnson


Daniel   Dawes


Gerald   Moore


Brian   Parsons


Gregory   Schroer


William   Shorthill


Don   Fitzsimmons


Clifford   Marshall


Ken   McCarter


Ross   Kershaw


Steven   Weir


Don   Lowe


Argie   Miller


Moses   Lucero


Jerry   Johnson


George   Garcia


Carl   Isberger


Arthur   Ivarson


Robert   Steele


James   Ed Taylor


Earl   Clark