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Boy Scout Troop 503
(San Leandro, California)
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History of Troop 702

Troop 702 (originally Troop 2) was established almost seventy years ago in the mid 1940’s by the Castro Valley Parent-Teachers Association. The Troop met on Wednesday nights at the “Scout Adobe” which was located behind the original Castro Valley Elementary School and is now used by the Hayward Area Rec Depart as the Adobe Art Center’s workshop. The Elm trees which surround the Adobe Center in fact were planted by the Castro Valley Boy Scouts in 1926. The first Scoutmaster of Troop 2 was Oliver Nielsen who ran the troop from 1944 until 1951. Mr. Nielsen was also one of the first Eagle Scouts in Castro Valley when he received his Eagle in January 1935. At the time of our founding the troop was located in the Redwood District of the Oakland Area Council but was simply known as Castro Valley Troop 2. The Oakland Area Council was the predecessor to the San Francisco Bay Area Council and was founded in 1916. The San Francisco Bay Area Council was not created though until February of 1964 (about 20 years after our Troop was founded) when the Oakland Area Council and the San Francisco Council (founded 1917) merged their organizations.

Our original Troop numbering sequence of “2” lasted about ten years as during the mid-1950’s our number was changed from Troop 2 to Troop 702. This re-numbering was done as the National Boy Scouts of America recommended a new numbering sequence for all troops by adding the district number as a prefix to the unit’s original one or two digit local number. This new numbering sequence would create a three-digit troop number. Since the Redwood District of the Oakland Area Council was known as District 7, Castro Valley Troop 2 became Castro Valley Troop 702.

In December of 1948 Ted Taylor along with Bill Nadalini and Tom Martin became the first Eagle Scouts of Troop 2 when they completed the requirements for Eagle. In 1954 our meeting location and chartering organization changed when the Troop moved from the Scout Adobe over to Stanton Elementary School in Castro Valley which had been recently built.

In 1966, two years after the merger of the Oakland and San Francisco Councils, there was a need to also consolidate districts. The Redwood district (Castro Valley), Chabot district (San Leandro) and the Arroyo district (San Lorenzo) were merged to form the Charrowood district. Charrowood was a play on the names of the three former districts Chabot, Arroyo and Redwood.

In 1970, 34 year old Bill Parker began his forty-one year tenure as the Scoutmaster of Troop 702 until his sudden passing in 2011. Mr Parker was the heart and soul of Troop 702 and his leadership qualities can be seen by the hundreds of Scouts that he inspired over the years. In 1984, after 31 years as being the chartering organization for Troop 702, the troop made the difficult decision to move to a new location to better suit the needs of our Scouts. Our new sponsor would be the Epiphany Lutheran Church (16248 Carolyn St., San Leandro) which from 1984 until 2011 was the charter organization.

In 1987 the San Francisco Bay Area Council once again merged its districts to consolidate the operations further. Charrowood District (Castro Valley, San Leandro & San Lorenzo) would merge with the South District (Hayward) to form the Tres Ranchos district. Troop 702 is currently a troop within the Tres Rancho district of the San Francisco Bay Area Council.

In 1994, Troop 702 had the honor of celebrating 50 years as a Boy Scout Troop (1944-1994). Sixteen years later in 2010, long time Scoutmaster Bill Parker celebrated his fortieth anniversary as Scoutmaster of Troop 702. In June of 2011 however our Troop was saddened by the sudden passing of Scoutmaster Bill Parker due to a serious automobile accident. With approval of the Troop Committee, Alan Dunn (longtime assistant Scoutmaster) took over as the new Scoutmaster for Troop 702. In November of 2011 the Troop chartering organization changed from the Epiphany Lutheran Church to the Creekside Community Church of San Leandro (951 MacArthur Blvd, San Leandro). The change in chartering organizations also involved the move of our Troop to a new location which provided the troop with additional facility resources.

In September of 2014, with enrollment declining Troop 702 merged with San Leandro Troop 503 to offer the Scouts from both Troops additional meeting and volunteer resources and the ability to have a larger Troop. With this merge, the committees for both Troop 503 and 702 decided to move forward using Troop 503 as the future identifier. All scouts that were in 702 would continue to be in Troop 702 until they aged out of Scouting.

For a list of the Troop 702 Scoutmasters since our founding in 1944 refer to the Troop 702 Timeline section.