Tourism Forward: Boy Scout Troop’s 50th Visit

May 5, 2017

[Part of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s ‘Tourism Forward’ series]

Bermuda’s hospitable people and a hog penny are the driving forces behind why a Boy Scout troop from Manchester, Connecticut has just completed its 50th visit to Bermuda.

The young men who make up Troop 25 are between 17 and 18 years-old and are rewarded with a trip to the island as a way to celebrate their seven-year journey through the Boy Scouts programme.

“This is the last hurrah for these guys,” said Paul Maidment, scoutmaster emeritus. “They’ve been together for seven years. They’ve camped on the ground for seven years.

“We come here and people ask: ‘Where are you camping, out on Darrell’s Island?’ We say no, we’re at the Fairmont Southampton.”

St Peters Church Bermuda May 2017

Mr Maidment, born in 1958, visited Bermuda when he was 17. Back then he was a member of Troop 25. Now more than 40 years later, he brings a collection of current Boy Scouts every April while the boys are out of school for spring vacation.

It’s something all of them look forward to, not only when they turn 17, but from the time they enter Troop 25 at age 11.

Boy Scout Evan Keeran said: “The first night you’re in the troop you’re told the whole idea of the Bermuda trip. You’re given a hog penny – the penny that you use here [in Bermuda] – and it’s really something everyone looks forward to and it’s also something that everyone earns.”

Troop 25 first came to Bermuda in the late 60’s and had a blast roaming freely around the island and getting to know her people and culture. The following year they tried Bahamas. They decided unanimously to return to Bermuda because it’s closer, better and more memorable.

Troop 25 has chosen the island ever since. About 350 visitors thus far and those boy scouts have made dozens of Bermudian friends along the way, including Colin Anderson who hosted the entire group for dinner at his home.

1969 St. Peters

Andrew Helmin who was on the trip last month became enamoured with island life and immediately took to wearing Bermuda shorts, complete with a necktie and blazer. Even before he left for Connecticut he was thinking about when next he might be able to return to Bermuda.

He said: “I would love to come back. Actually I want to live here because of how much of a paradise it is and because of the people here. I love the culture – I love the identity of Bermuda.”

1982 St Peters Bermuda May 2017

“It’s not lost on us that Troop 25, and many other Bermuda loyalists, cite our people as the reason they keep coming back,” said Glenn Jones, the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s director of public and stakeholder relations.

“The Bermudian hospitable spirit is part of the story our marketing team tells the world because Bermuda’s people is what sets her apart from other destinations.”

Watch the Tourism Forward video series online at the BTA’s Vimeo channel. Tourism Forward also airs on cable on Channel 82.

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  1. Quinton Butterfield says:

    Awesome story!! Thanks for coming Troop 25!