Troop 51 and Scoutmaster Carl Gilsdorf
by Clinton Gilsdorf

Information on this page was provided by Clinton Gilsdorf, the grandson of Carl Gilsdorf. Clinton has also provided some exerpts from the newspaper The Raritan Township Fords Beacon.
Troop 51 appears to have been a quite active troop with many articles in the Fords Beacon. Clinton writes "My understanding from my father was that my grandfather started troop 51 because some of the neighborhood kids were interested in Scouting but needed a leader. My grandfather liked what Scouting was about and took on the role as scoutmaster".
The Friday, November 14, 1941 issue of the Fords Beacon has a front-page article about a meeting at Fords School No 7. "The hightlight of the evening will be the presentationof the Eagle awards to Scoutmaster Carl Gilsdorf and two other Scouts. These two Scouts and Scouter have all been members of Troop 51 for at least three years and have consistently worked to benefit the troop". This is interesting (to me) because in 1941 Carl would have been around age 35. Clinton tells me that in that era it was possible for older Scouts to earn an Eagle and that the age requirement was changed in 1952 to limit the awarding of the Eagle rank to Scouts 18 years of age or younger. Anybody able to comment on this?
Four generations of Eagle Scouts:
Clinton writes that his son has received his Eagle rank. The Gilsdorf family now has four generations of Eagle Scouts.
Carl Gilsdorf Senior (awarded 1941)
Carl Gilsdorf Junior (1953)
Clinton Gilsdorf (1986)
Corey Gilsdorf (2016)
Al Zusman comments about the Eagle rank:
A friend of mine, Al S. was an Eagle as well as his five sons and as of now two of his grandsons. The sons were Middlesex/TAE. I have also seen articles in "Scouting" about multi-Eagle families that go way back. I knew Mr. Gilsdorf from Cowaw. Great family!
Ed Dworak comments about the Eagle rank:
I earned my Eagle Scout medal in 1963 and added four "palms." You had to wait six months after earning the Eagle Medal to add a "palm" and then wait six months to add another palm and six months for the next and so on. When I turned 18, I had earned enough merit badges to add several more palms but could not after age 18. Interestingly, the first "Palm" awarded is a bronze, the second is a gold and the third is a silver unlike the Olympics where the progression is bronze, silver, gold. I've seen articles about many families where the father was an Eagle Scout and all four of his sons became Eagle Scouts so I don't think this is close to a record.
Editor's Note about the Eagle rank:
"For four decades, adult leaders had been allowed to participate in the advancement program, but that practice ended in 1952." This is taken from National Eagle Scout Association 2008 Eagle Scout Directory, page xvii. Go to National Eagle Scout Association, then click on History of Eagle Scout Award on the left-side of the page.

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