About Troop 3

Troop 3 is a proud member of the Youth Ministry of Northwest Hills United Methodist Church – our sponsoring organization.  Be sure to check out the main NWHUMC web site:  http://nwhillsumc.org/

Troop 3 meets every Monday night (except for Mondays following campouts, which are sometimes reserved for Troop parent/adult meetings) from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Youth Center of Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, located on Hart Lane directly across from Murchison Middle School.

Meetings cover many diverse topics.  Meetings focus on various rank advancements, merit badge requirements and skills necessary for upcoming campouts, such as canoeing, rock climbing, fishing, backpacking, etc.  Depending upon the meeting topic, the meeting may be presented by one of the Scouts, a Scoutmaster, a parent with special knowledge, or by an expert in a specific area.

The types of campouts (e.g. shooting, kayaking, backpacking) are determined by the scouts in an annual meeting / survey. With this input, campouts are planned and scheduled.

The Troop attends a traditional summer Scout camp every other year.  During the off years, the Troop will plan and execute a high adventure trek such as canoeing the Current River in Missouri or mountain camping and white water rafting in Colorado.

If you are interested in joining our troop, please see the "New Scout Info" link on the left for more information and the process.



 By:  Michael Eddins and David W. Stroud

It is 1915 - Albert Einstein first publishes his "General Theory of Relativity".  Tensions run high as the world plunges headlong into World War I.  In Austin, Texas, a group of boys approach a young law student named J. Harris Gardner.  They want to start a Boy Scout troop and they need him to sign the papers saying that he will be their Scoutmaster.  Scouting was in its earliest years, having only been introduced to the United States five years earlier.  In the early days, you applied for a Scoutmaster Commission to start a troop.  It cost $3.00 to do this.  J. Harris Gardner would go on to become a state District Judge and the first Travis County juvenile court judge.  Judge Gardner was fond of stating, "I did not organize the troop, the troop organized itself around me."

This is the beginning of Troop 3, founded in Austin at the University of Texas in 1915.  Very shortly after the troop was founded, it moved across the street to University Methodist Church.  In 1972, enrollment in Troop 3 was down to 4 to 6 boys.  At this time, Scoutmaster Bill Ward approached Jack Eddins about taking over the Troop and moving it to an institution that could attract more members.  Mr. Eddins agreed and moved Troop 3 to its present home, Northwest Hills United Methodist Church.

Troop 3 has been continuously chartered since 1915, thanks in no small part to a dedicated group of men willing to lead young men.  Troop 3 Scoutmasters include:

Judge Harris Gardner

1915 -- 1918 (founding Scoutmaster)

Dr. Joe Koenig

1918 -- 1924

Walter Rundell

1924 -- 1927

J. B. Petty

1927 -- 1933

Herschell Walling

1933 -- 1936

John A. Focht

1936 -- 1941

Rodney J. Kidd

1941 -- 1956

Bill Ward

1956 -- 1972

Jack Eddins

1972 -- 1991 (moved Troop 3 to current home)

James Eddins

1991 -- 1993

Dr. Jerald Mankovsky

1993 -- 2003

David W. Stroud

2003 -- 2015

Brad Sprague

2016 -- 2018

Karl Martin

2019 -- 2022

Jeff Russell

2022 -- Present

These Scoutmasters have successfully guided the troop over the years with the help of numerous Assistant Scoutmasters, Troop Committee Members, and parents.

Troop 3 has a very long and proud Scouting heritage.  With a philosophy that the best delivery of the Scouting Promise is with a strong outdoor program, Troop 3 remains very active for a centenarian (104 years and counting) and offers an outstanding youth program.  Monthly campouts punctuated by high adventure summer outings and long-term summer Scout camps give boys a chance to experience the outdoors and challenge themselves.

Troop 3 has backpacked rim-to-rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon, backpacked 50 miles on Arkansas’ Ozark Highlands Trail, and hosted its own summer camp twice in Texas and three times in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.  In June 2001 Troop 3 completed an 86-mile canoe trek on the Current River in Missouri.  In June 2003, Troop 3 conducted its third summer camp in Colorado – activities included white water rafting, horseback riding, and hiking in the mountains.  In June, 2006 Troop 3 revisited the Current River in Missouri for another 86-mile canoe trek.  In June 2008, we visited the mountains of New Mexico for another high altitude high adventure.

  • In June of 2010, Troop 3 reprised their Current River treks in Missouri with another 86-mile canoe trek.  We took 32 Scouts and 15 adults down the river over the course of six days.
  • In June of 2012, Troop 3 headed to the mountains of New Mexico for a high adventure trek.  We stayed at Tres Ritos Scout Camp in the Carson National Forest.  From this base camp, we set for for fun activities such as whitewater rafting along the Lower Gorge of the Rio Grande outside Taos; rock climbing in beautiful Comales Canyon; a day hike up to Serpent Lake; and an overnight hike and campout to Serpent Lake with a climb to the top of Jicarita Peak (over 13,000 ft!!).  We had a total of 32 Scouts and 13 Adults attend this wonderful outing.
  • In June of 2013, Troop 3 once again headed to the mountains of New Mexico.  This time part of the Troop attended summer camp at Gorham Scout Ranch, while a smaller contingency braved the mountains of New Mexico on a High Adventure Trek.  Gorham Scout Ranch, located at an elevation of 7,600 feet offers lots of merit badges and has nice, new facilities.  The high adventure crew was doing a shakedown for a Philmont Trek in 2014 and spent most of the week well above 10,000 feet and climbed to the top of Wheeler Peak (highest peak in New Mexico).  We had a total of 29 Scouts and 9 adults at Gorham, while 10 Scouts and 7 adults enjoyed the high adventure trek.
  • Our Philmont trek in 2014 was exciting since this was the first time the Troop sent its own contingent.  
  • In 2015, Troop 3 celebrated its centennial birthday.  The highlight of the year was a high adventure trek to Wyoming in July. We spent over a year planning for this trip and it was highly successful. We stayed in cabins at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp outside Dubois and headed out from there each day. Some of the things we did included touring Yellowstone and seeing Old Faithful, Lewis Falls, and the Grand Tetons. Other trips took us to Brooks Lake for hiking and an overnight camp for one group while a second group went up to Union Pass for hiking and an overnight camp.  We got to visit the hot springs in Thermopolis and visit the grave of Sacajawea.  In October of 2015, we had a birthday party and dinner for the Troop at Pioneer Farms.
  • In June of 2016, Troop 3 revisited Philmont.  This time, we had three full crews composed of 23 Scouts (including one from Troop 1) and 7 adults who went on three separate treks.  The rest of the Troop (and some of the Philmonters) spent a week at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch in the Davis Mountains for summer camp.
  • In June of 2017, Troop 3 reprised their Current River treks in Missouri for the fourth time with another 86-mile canoe trek.  We took 41 Scouts and 18 adults down the river over the course of six days.
  • in July of 2018, Troop 3 was scheduled to return to Philmont yet again. Massive wildfires led to the unprecedented closure of the entire camp. Undaunted, the adult trek leaders pulled together an alternative trek to the mountains of Colorado near Leadville.
  • In December of 2019, a contingent from Troop 3 attended a winter trek at Philmont. Ten Scouts and eight adults braved the snow and cold. They camped in the snow in Quinzees they constructed and survived sub-zero temperatures.  
  • In June and July of 2021, Troop 3 had 4 crews attend Sea Base at St. Thomas and Florida. Plans for two crews at St. Thomas were creatively adjusted to accommodate Hurricane Elsa that was threatening the area.
  • In 2021, Troop 3 helped start Troop 2, a sister Troop for girls, with Jack Skaggs as its first Scoutmaster. Troop 3 and 2 share a common Committee and some of the scoutmasters volunteer for both Troops.