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Troop 349 Opened its Doors in March of 2009

The original group of founding scout of Troop 349 at Goshen Scout Reservation July 2009

The original founding members of the troop, this picture was taken in July of 2009 after the troop had won the honor oar while at Goshen Scout Reservation. This was our first year at summer camp and it set the precedent that each year the troop would win as many awards as it could from what ever camp it attended.

We are a boy-led, adult-mentored troop, cultivating in young men the skills, compassion, and confidence needed to believe in themselves so they can go on to become strong and intelligent leaders in their community, school, and families.

If you want to join a vibrant and active troop, then we’re the Troop for you!

349 History

The concepts and ideals that would go on to become the basis of 349 in Falls Church were laid out in November of 2008 while the founding leaders were on a campout with another local boy scout troop.

Three months later, in February of 2009 these same leaders approached the The American Legion, Post 130 to see if they would like to be the sponsor of a new troop. The 3 founding leaders Tony Ulses, Jim Custer, and Steven Valley met with Harry Shovlin where they laid out their vision of the troop and all agreed that it would be a good addition to the community.

The rest as they say was history, and here is brief recounting of that history:

  • The start-up paperwork formally proclaiming the 3 founding leaders desire to form a troop in Falls Church at the Legion Post 130 was filed with the National Capital Area Council of the BSA on Feb 12th 2009, it was approved and we received our troop number (349) later that same day.
  • There were 5 founding scouts (the 5 boys who were registered in the start-up paperwork): Matthew Valley, Jack Ulses, Truman Custer, Preston Custer, and Davis Hagigh.
  • Tony Ulses was our first Scout Master and Jim Custer was our first Quarter Master.
  • In early March of 2009, the 3 founding leaders put $500 each into the troop bank account to get it started, we decided at that point that we would always have at least $1000.00 in the account at all times and never go below that amount.
  • An initial open house was held on Feb 28th 2009 where 13 more boys from the community decided to become scouts and declared their desire to join 349 and the 5 founding scouts already registered. At this time we had 4 leaders: Jim, Tony, Steve, and Bob McComas who joined us from the Legion post. This original group went on to create and codify the traditions and the culture that has become Troop 349.
  • Steven Valley was the first Committee Chair, Mechelle Coppock was the first Treasurer, Melissa Dana was the first Communications Director, Alvin Furtner was in charge of Advancement, and Jim Pala was our Summer Camp Director.
  • The troop went on 7 camping trips that first year, our first campout was on April 18th 2009 and was at Quantico VA MWR. Our first summer camp experience was at Goshen Boy Scout Reservation where we stayed at camp Bowman site #1 from July 4 to the 11. From this point forward the troop decided that it would always go to Summer Camp on the July 4th weekend.
  • We had our fist committee meeting April 16th 2009 and 8 parents attended
  • We had our first Court of honor in Sept of 2009
  • We picked up one more scout in Sept of 2009
  • We went on two special visits that year: The Pentagon in April where we saw the 9/11 memorial, and the Capital in Oct where the boys met our State Senator Jim Webb
  • We had our first fund raiser in April of 2009, a yard sale that netted us about $550.00 we had our second fundraiser in Sept. 2009 providing lawn aeration to our neighbors that netted the troop $800.00, our third fundraiser was in December of 2009 selling mistletoe and we netted $500.00 from it.
  • We had our second Open House in December 2009 and we had 1 more scout join us form it, this brought the total number of scouts to 20.
  • We never skipped a troop meeting or committee meeting and we went on all planned campouts except for the Oct 2009 campout due to driving rains and flood warnings.
  • Our re-chartering started in Feb 2010 and it was finished in April. By the time re-chartering had finished we had lost 3 scouts, bringing our total number of registered scouts to 17.
  • We celebrated our first year of operations in March of 2010 with a steak dinner and slide show Court of Honor
  • In 2010 we had 100% Boys Life coverage and a near perfect attendance record by all scouts in the troop (perfect attendance = only 1 missed meeting per month) the scouts all advanced at least one rank and the troop as a whole earned over 70 merit badges.
  • Troop Master was installed on a troop laptop and we went into the 2010 season with 20 scouts (3 more had joined our ranks in Sept of 2010)
  • At this point Steven Valley stepped down from being the committee chair and Ash Johnston took over, that was in Sept 2010.

The troop has now gone on to exists for several more years and has kept to it’s small origins as well as it’s desire to focus on teaching the scouts in it’s ranks the principals of being strong caring leaders.

We have grown to become a strong family and we’re proud of all of the scouts who came before us as well as all of the scouts who will come after.



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