The History Of Scouting In Lynnfield, Massachusetts
By Bill Laforme, The Lynnfield Advocate
April 4th, 2016
I thought this week I would take a look at the history of scouting in Lynnfield – which for the boy scouts reportedly started in 1928 when Troop 51 would hold its meetings, aptly enough, at the Old Meeting House, according to the local history book, “Lynnfield: A Heritage Preserved, 1895- 1976,” edited by Marcia Wiswall. By the time the Boy Scouts of America, established in 1910, came to Lynnfield in the late 1920s, the girl scouts were already a well-established institution in town, having started up in 1920. Mrs. Hannah Lambert of Lynnfield Center is noted as the founding figure in town, who in later years would receive the Friendship Award for her service. Initially, there were separate girl scout organizations for South Lynnfield and Lynnfield Center, before they merged in 1963. When the book was published in 1977, there were 250 registered girl scouts in Lynnfield. Back to the boy scouts – the history reports that Kenneth Worthen, the son of the first Lynnfield scoutmaster, Harry Worthen, put his training to excellent use: firstly by reviving a boy with artificial respiration after he fell through the ice on Pillings Pond, and then by accomplishing similar heroics after aman’s canoe overturned the next summer, also on Pillings Pond. Elsewhere in the book, it is noted that Lynnfield’s boy scouts and girl scouts were among the many residents who participated in various ways, including collecting newspaper and scrap metal, to help with the war effort during World War II.For what it’s worth, as of 1977, Lynnfield resident Charles F. Tallon had the distinction of being the oldest registered Eagle Scout in the northeastern U.S. , having earned that distinction apparently in another town back in 1921. Another Lynnfielder, Lauchlin J. MacKenzie, reportedly earned his Eagle Scout rank after becoming a scoutmaster in 1931 at the age of 40. He was described as being still active in scouting as of the book’s 1977 publishing – over the age of 80. Tallon and MacKenzie were also reportedly two of four Lynnfield residents in the late 1970s who had been recipients of the Silver Beaver Award, said to be the highest award bestowed by scouting’s North Bay Council to an adult.