St. James Church
Getting to know our fellow Scout Families better, Fun Times, a Great Meal, and the Privilege of Honoring one of our own was had by one and all this past Sunday, January 8th, 2017 at our Annual Pot Luck Scout Dinner.
Thanks to everyone on the Committee who helped to organize this (I’m not going to embarrass myself by omitting anyone, you all know who you are!). It takes a Village to get everything lined up months ahead of time, then phone calls and emails weeks ahead of the dinner (and a lot of scrambling the day of). We’d like to thank Reverend Melissa and St. James Church again for their generosity for providing us with this wonderful venue, and the use of their kitchen facilities.
At this year’s dinner, we honored 20 years of service to the Scouts by our Troop Chairperson John Hartinger who attended with his wife Carol, daughter Kate and younger son Joey. Older son Dan could not attend but wrote a wonderful tribute (read by Scoutmaster Carl), relating how his Dad’s dogged determination and love of nature, and the Scouts directly influenced his own career choices. Dan is currently the National Monuments Campaign Manager of the Wilderness Society In Washington DC.
John was the Cub Master for Pack 5 in Montclair operating out of Hillside Middle School and moved over to Troop 12 when Dan and then Joey became Boy Scouts there. He became the third leg of the Troop’s Triumvirate, (with Scoutmaster Jeff Gaskin and Greg Spinelli), that replaced “Doc” Norman Leard when he retired after decades as Troop 12’s 2nd Scout Leader. While Jeff and Greg handled the tactical operations of the Troop, John became the Chairperson managing the charter, hosting committee meetings, and making sure the Troop ran a good program amongst other things.
Along the way, John just happened to save Camp Glen Gray from getting bulldozed and turned into mini-mansions, when it was going to be sold by the newly formed Northern NJ Council of the Boy Scouts to developers. (You can read an interesting history of Glen Gray and of the story to save it in this great New York Times Article: “Breaking Camp” from April 2001).
While Dan and Joey both officially left the Boy Scouts years ago, John remained Committee Chair and filled in when either Greg or Jeff couldn’t.