For nearly 50 years, BSA Troop 275 provides youth with quality values-based leadership opportunities using the Scouting program while providing high adventure outings to youth.
During April 1970, the Tall Corn Area Council and Central Iowa Area Council combined to become the Mid-Iowa Council. Several youth in Tall Corn Area Council Troop 158 asked Lee McMillen to start a new unit that would both more closely follow the Scouting program and participate in council camping events. In August 1970, Lee McMillen submitted the first charter for TROOP 275 becoming the unit’s first Scoutmaster. Lee followed the Scouting program "by the book" and participated in all district and council related Scouting events. Lee had grown up in the Scouting program within the Broken Arrow District as a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer. He earned the Explorer Silver award in 1954 (at the time, equivalent to the BSA Eagle Scout rank) and strives to serve the Mid-Iowa Council today.
Serving the Ontario Heights neighborhood around Ames’ Sawyer Elementary School community, Troop 275 initially met at and was chartered by University Christian Reform Church (today’s Trinity Christian Reformed church) located at 3626 Ontario Street Ames, Iowa.
As both Troop 275 and the University Christian Reform Church membership increased, the Troop outgrew the capacity of the church with the primary problem being a lack of storage space. The Troop’s charter moved to the Ames Evening Lions and eventually began meeting at the Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church at 209 Colorado Avenue Ames, Iowa. Sometime later, Troop 275 began meeting at Sawyer Elementary School. From 2005 – 2009, Troop 275 met Monday nights at the Latter Day Saints on 2524 Hoover Avenue. (While Troop 275 was not a "LDS" troop, we were allowed to meet in the gym at the LDS church during Monday's family night.) During 2009, Troop 275 began meeting at the North Grand Christian Church (aka the "dome" church).
Fast forward to the present. Troop 275 continues to provide high-adventure opportunities to youth while instilling the values of the Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. We meet weekly on Monday nights from 7:00 pm until approximately 8:30 pm. One Monday each month our boys’ patrol leaders meet (called a Patrol Leaders’ Council or PLC) so that they can plan our weekly meeting agendas and do meal and activity planning for our monthly campouts. Click here to view a few photos from our campouts and outings.
We actively participate each summer at a BSA operated weekly summer camp so that our scouts may work on many Eagle Scout required merit badges and other badges where they can explain, demonstrate, guide and enable usage of scouting and life skills.
Our older scouts plan an annual High Adventure or “Venture” outing. These have often been hiking treks or canoeing treks. Click here to view our High Adventure experiences.
Each year since 1992, Troop 275 plans a High Adventure program for our older scouts ages 14 - 17. Crew size is from 8 to 12 people (yes, including 2 to 4 adults) and there have been years due to high interest in the program where our troop has fielded more than one crew on a High Adventure outing.
Troop 275''s High Adventure Crew T-Shirts from Prior Treks:
Troop 275''s High Adventure/"Venture Crew" Advisors, by program year:
- 1992 - 2011: Mr. Meyer
- 2012 - 2014: Mr. Baldrige
- 2014 - present: Mr. Austin
- 1992 - The first year of High Adventure (originally called "Venture"). We were new to it and did not think of having trip t-shirts.
- 1993 - The first Philmont trip. This is where we first learned about t-shirts, but of course by the time we arrived at Philmont it was too late.
- 1994 - We tried having shirts made for the Northern Tier-Ely trip and used a small place in campus-town that did a terrible job. They went out of business a year or two later. The shirt had a map of the area in black ink on a red background. The map was barely readable.
- From 1995-2011 We used T-Galaxy/ Sadler Bros./ Signify Graphics (all the same company, just with new owners). Their quality was great, and price okay, but they have a minimum order of 12.
- 1999 and 2000 - We had too few participants to meet the minimum order of 12. We used the troop "Class B" t-shirt instead (the gray one with the red embroidered text).
- 2003 - Again, we had too few, but we found a place where we could order a collarless button neck shirt with "Wind River Range" on it. We were mistaken for a bowling team at the Ogallala Safeway.
- 2013 & 2014 - Instead of cotton t-shirts (COTTON KILLS!) we switched to synthetic materials for the Troop 275 Venture Crew t-shirts.
Troop 275''s High Adventure Crew Photos:
Troop 275 High Adventure Treks:
2015 - Ely, MN - Canoe Trip
2014 - Laguna Station, South Padre Island, TX
2013 - Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM (Itinerary 27 - "87+ miles")
2012 - Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, WI (two kayaking crews)
2011 - Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM (Itinerary 29 - "79+ miles")
2010 – Bridger Wilderness, Wind River Range, WY (two crews)
2009 – Northern Tier High Adventure Base, Atikokan, ON (two crews)
2008 – Laguna Station, South Padre Island, TX
2007 – Cloud Peak Wilderness, Big Horn Mountains, WY (two crews)
2006 – Northern Tier High Adventure Base, Atikokan, ON (three crews)
2005 – Popo Agie Wilderness, Wind River Range, WY (Alumni trip)
2004 – Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM
2003 – Bridger Wilderness, Wind River Range, WY
2002 – Laguna Station, South Padre Island, TX
2001 – Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM
2000 – Northern Tier High Adventure Base, Atikokan, ON
1999 – Laguna Station, South Padre Island, TX
1998 – Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM
1997 – Popo Agie Wilderness, Wind River Range, WY
1996 – Northern Tier High Adventure Base, Ely, MN (two crews)
1995 – Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM and
Cloud Peak Wilderness, Big Horn Mountains, WY (x2)
1994 – Northern Tier High Adventure Base, Ely, MN (two crews)
1993 – Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM
1992 – Bridger Wilderness, Wind River Range, WY
1982 - Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM
We went to Philmont in summer of 1982. The leaders that went were Leroy Strand, Don Watts (from Troop 196 the Elks Club), Robert McMillan, Sr. (Lee McMillan’s * founder T275''s * brother), and Art Anderson (also from Troop 196). The scouts that went from the troop were Eagles Kraig Downs, Steve Brown, Erik Lundy, and Mark Paris (from a Boone troop), then there was Donald McMillan, Rob McMillan, Jr., Steve Dinsmore, Mark Dinsmore, Todd Buchwald (from a different Ames troop), Steve Richards (who, didn’t finish because he got hypothermia somewhere between Ponil and Baldy base camp), and Dean Shoemaker. I have a group photo somewhere with the Tooth of Time in the background. We hiked to the top of Baldy with a Philmont staffer, none of the leaders went. We hiked back into base camp over the Tooth of Time. We say rattlesnakes, bears, elk and roadrunners. Write-up by Troop 275 Eagle Scout Erik Lundy
Troop 275 Scoutmasters:
01. Lee McMillan (1970 - 1972), Founder, Troop 275 - Mid-Iowa Council
02. Donald S Pady (1972 - 1973)
03. David Evans (1973 - 1974)
04. Leroy Strand (1974)
05. Michael J Avery (1975 - 1978)
06. Dick Brown (1978 - 1979)
07. Leroy Strand (1979 - 1984)
08. Paul Lundy (1984 - 1988)
09. Steven Richards (1988)
10. Al Lang (1989)
11. Tom Meyer (1990 - 1992)
12. Phil Propes (1993 - 1995)
13. Brad Osborn (1995 - 2004)
14. Chris Austin (2005 - 2012)
15. Hale Strasser (2012 - 2014)
16. Jake Strohm (2014 - 2016)
17. Chris Austin (2016 - present)
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