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  • Writer's pictureGreg Long

Troop 12 Scouting- It's a Family Affair

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Scouting is all about family. But there’s one scout in Troop 12 who can proudly say, “My grandfather was a member of Troop 12.”

Troop 12 has a long history in the Eugene/Springfield area. It started in 1947 and during that time was affiliated with St. Mary Catholic Church and/or O’Hara Catholic School. After many years, the troop disbanded in the mid 90’s. However, this is not the end of the story.

Meet Jim Klenke and his sons, Karsten, a founding member of Troop 12, and Kieran, a Webelos with Pack 12. Also in this photo is Don Klenke, the boys’ grandfather and a key piece to this story. You see, Don Klenke is also a Troop 12 Scout from many years ago. Here are some of his badges from 1952.

Check out our Q and A with Mr. Don Klenke:

Q: What do you remember most about Troop 12?

A: "Troop 12 meetings were on Thursday nights at the Columbus Hall (Knights of Columbus). All the scouts were from St. Mary’s Catholic School. Our Scoutmaster was Mr. Noud, and the two Assistant Scoutmasters were Mr. Ken Nugent and Mr. Tom Nugent."

Mr. Klenke remembers purchasing his Boy Scout uniform from JC Penney. He said he was responsible for providing his own gear and went to Eugene War Surplus to purchase items like a mess kit, canteen, shovel, belts, tents, and hatchet.

He advanced up to the rank of First Class. His paper route, scouting, and his increased involvement in sports became too much, so he elected to end his scouting journey before age 18.

Mr. Klenke says that being in Troop 12 increased his love for the outdoors. He remembers the fun times he had with his friends, hiking and camping. In fact, he recalled while hiking up Spencer Butte, his patrol encountered sheep grazing along the slopes.

Q: What is your reaction about Karsten being a Boy Scout in the same troop you were a part of as a young man?

A: "I couldn't be prouder of Karsten and Kieran. I'm so happy the two of them share my love of the outdoors and are continuing the family tradition of Scouting."

So what is it like for Karsten to belong to a Catholic Scouting Unit?

“As a member of Troop 12, I like being with my friends and meeting new friends. It's fun to have a new theme [topic] that we focus on each month-- and that it's boy scout led. I am learning skills I will use as I get older for the rest of my life. One of the best things about Troop 12 is that it's a Catholic troop. I like that we pray before and after our meetings."

Kieran is Karsten’s younger brother and he is excited about crossing over from Cub Scout Pack 12 to BSA Troop 12— just like his brother and grandfather.

“I am looking forward to camping and being a part of the same troop as my brother. It is cool that I will be in the same troop my grandpa was a scout in as a boy,” exclaimed Kieran.

The boys’ father, Jim Klenke, was not a scout as child, but Mr. Klenke played a pivotal role in its “relaunch.” Currently, Mr. Klenke wears two hats. He’s a Pack 12 Den Leader and he’s Troop 12’s Treasurer.

FUN FACT: Jim Klenke was one of four adult leaders who earned the Willam D. Boyce New-Unit Award at Troop 12’s Court of Honor in March 2021.

Needless to say, Jim Klenke does a lot for scouting. He, like the other founding members, understands the importance of having a Catholic Troop in the Eugene/Springfield area.

“I think Boy Scouts helps prepare boys and young men to be leaders-- but Troop 12 takes it a step further and reinforces their faith , and helps develop them into being men who follow their faith,” stated Mr. Klenke.

Troop 12 is blessed to have the Klenke Family as part of our story. #ThisIsScouting

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