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Huntington Beach’s Boy Scout Troop 1 will celebrate 100 years with a park party Saturday

They’ve hiked up Mount Whitney, plumbed the depths of Death Valley and trekked the cascading Rocky Mountains.

Now they’re celebrating their 100th anniversary.

Boy Scout Troop 1 of Huntington Beach will hold a free centennial celebration Saturday at the Russ Paxson Cabin in Lake Park at Lake and 11th streets in Huntington.

The public can attend an open house from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and a ceremony at 2 p.m. to hear about the history of the troop. A noon lunch is invitation-only.

The troop is one of the oldest and continually active troops in the nation, said troop committee member Karie Gillen. It has about 90 active members, a testament to the growth of an organization that had 10 members when it began in 1917.

The troop was founded by Huntington Beach pastor M.W. Coates seven years after the inception of the Boy Scouts of America, Gillen said.

Since then, Troop 1 has participated in many community efforts. The 245 Eagle Scouts from the troop have helped on projects at Central Park, the Shipley Nature Center and several schools and churches. Eagle Scouts are required to perform community projects to earn that rank.

The cabin at Lake Park has served as the troop’s home base since 1924.

Funded through community donations, the cabin was an Army supply depot during World War II, Gillen said.

Due to a lack of maintenance, the city condemned the building in 1967. But it was rebuilt and rededicated as the Russ Paxson Scout Cabin about seven years later. The city designated it as a historical site the same year.

Paxson, now 96, sat in a chair inside the cabin Thursday morning, reminiscing about the role the troop has played in his life.

He became a Troop 1 Scout in 1933 and attained the Eagle rank years later, eventually entering World War II as an Air Force pilot. Paxson believes Scouting adequately prepared him for the mission.

“I was so sure of myself, and I got that from being an Eagle Scout,” he said. “I never had any doubt that I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Paxson said he always carries the notions of persistence and determination that were bestowed on him by the Boy Scouts.

He has stayed involved with the organization, still attending meetings every Monday, fueled by the belief that the Scouts can make a child a better person. He said he enjoys watching that process.

“There are so many sparkling examples that have grown up and drop by to share memories,” Paxson said. “It does my heart good.”

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter:@benbrazilpilot

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