By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Scoutmaster George Brenckle handed over the reins of Northborough Boy Scouts Troop 1 after 12 years of leadership, earlier this year.
Troop Committee Chair Ernie Wolshin and Chartering Organization Representative Ted Newman presided over the outdoor turnover ceremony at the Church of Nativity in Northborough Feb. 27.
That same day, Arnold Oyola officially became the Troop’s new Scoutmaster.
Capping off years of work
Brenckle started his role as Scoutmaster in 2009. Over the years, he became instrumental in creating memorable experiences for scouts, including trips to the World Scout Jamboree, a “High Adventure” trip to the Boy Scout’s Philmont Scout Reservation in New Mexico, and a scuba diving excursion at Florida Seabase in the Florida Keys. Those big-ticket trips punctuated years full of hikes and local camp outs.
Alongside trips, Brenckle enjoyed challenging his Troop. At his urging, numerous scouts climbed the six highest mountains in New England. Similarly, under his leadership and guidance, 31 scouts attained the coveted Eagle Scout status.
Brenckle also set personal challenges for himself. He hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018.
He became an Order of the Arrow Vigil member and a Wood Badge recipient.
He received the Scoutmaster Award of Merit and will continue to hold various roles within the Boy Scouts of America Mayflower Council and Headwaters District.
Stepping down as head Scoutmaster, Brenckle is still even staying on as an Assistant Scoutmaster.
“George has been a fantastic Scoutmaster for Troop 1,” Adult Committee member Craig Cox told the Community Advocate. “He turned his love of hiking, camping and the outdoors into a very rewarding pursuit positively influencing over 75 Scouts during his time leading.”
He elaborated, saying, “George has done a great job instilling Scout values while planning really exciting trips.”
Stepping up to replace a mentor
Though he’s only recently moved into his new role, Oyola began volunteering with Troop 1 in May 2015, when his son Mateo joined.
From there, he held various positions with the Troop and the aforementioned Mayflower Council. He helped Brenckle organize activities and accompanied the Troop on trips.
He is an Order of the Arrow Brotherhood member and Wood Badge recipient, like Brenckle.
As added experience, Oyola served as acting Troop Scoutmaster while Brenckle hiked the Appalachian Trail.
“Arnold brings tremendous energy to the Troop,” Ernie Wolshin said. “He has some great ideas for the Troop and really values inclusivity. I am very confident the Troop is in great hands.”
Troop 1 continues to meet through the pandemic via Zoom and through outdoor, socially distant activities. Troop leaders say they expect ten new scouts to join this year.
More information on Troop 1 can be found at http://troop1northboro.org.