Formed in late 2020, Boy Scout Troop 1921 was tailored for and composed of North Tulsa youths. The troop name is no mistake. It hearkens back to the adversity that generations of families have overcome since the Tulsa Race Massacre – one of the worst examples in United States history. Now the great-great-grandchildren of victims are now able to give back to the community and choose a different path that helps them become great leaders in an area where gang violence is prolific and a part of daily life.
The associated expenses of joining a boy scout troop are often among the most common barriers to participation. Thanks to an anonymous grant and community partnerships, the whole program is expense-free for Boy Scout Troop 1921. A New Way partnered with Drexel Academy to obtain the first round of around 30 to 50 scouts; however, the program still has not opened up to other schools due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is an issue that Boy Scout Troop 1921 hopes will change soon, and new schools will be able to participate in the program.
When formed, Boy Scout Troop 1921 was the first African-American troop of its kind in Oklahoma and the second or third with similar demographics nationwide. The existence of this troop hits home for Troop Leader Devin Williams, who was able to attend Scouts early in life but inevitably was forced to leave due to the cost. Williams still watched his cousin rise to the level of Eagle Scout – knowing it was unfair that the opportunity was unavailable to him.
Scouting curriculum has evolved for decades, now including nearly any life skills and career skills that any child should learn and other educational aspects including science, technology, math, and engineering. These aspects still are combined with traditional outdoor skills, like proper tent pitching and fire starting. As you might imagine, these skills are fascinating for children who green up in the city and have not been exposed to much outdoor life.
Drexel Academy is proud to be a part of this new opportunity for young students. Boy Scout Troop 1921 is currently composed of students from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. As a strong supporter of education beyond textbooks, our staff and faculty are excited to see what the future holds for Boy Scout Troop 1921’s current and future members. For more information about the boy scouts’ program and current eligibility for students, please contact us.