Local Boy Scouts to honor longtime volunteer at Feb. 7 event

Charles “Chuck” Hemstreet Sr.
Charles “Chuck” Hemstreet Sr.

A winter gathering for camp alumni, camp staff alumni and friends of the Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America will take place Friday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.

Charles “Chuck” Hemstreet Sr., a longtime Scout leader from Seymour, will be recognized with the Outstanding Camp Staff Alumni Award for more than 50 years of service to the Housatonic Council.

Hemstreet joins previous award recipients Emil “Bill” Martin, Henry “Jay” Decho, Robert “Bob” Dion and the late Rudy Gajdosik Jr.

How to get tickets

The event will include hors d'oeuvres, soda, coffee and a cash bar. The cost is $25 for registered members of the camp alumni association and 2013 camp staff, and $30 all others.

Those interested should RSVP to Raymond Oppel at 203-929-6616 or rayo58@sbcglobal.net. Proceeds will benefit the Housatonic Council’s Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation, an outdoor facility in the Litchfield County town of Goshen. The reservation is used for summer camp and year-round camping trips.

The local Boy Scout council serves the Valley towns of Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour.

From Cub Scout to Eagle Scout

In 1960, Hemstreet joined Derby Methodist Church-sponsored Pack 3 Derby as a Cub Scout under the direction of Edmund Strang and Paul Kassheimer. Advancing to Derby 2nd Congregational Church-sponsored Troop 3, where he attained Eagle Scout rank, and then becoming an adult leader within Troop 3 and Derby-Shelton Rotary Club-sponsored Explorer Post 33.

He was among the founding members of the Order of the Arrow Paugassett Lodge 553 and has been a lifelong supporter of Edmund Strang Scout Reservation.

Helped upgrade camp facility

Hemstreet served on the summer camp staff for many years and has volunteered many hours providing electrical upgrades to the campgrounds and cooking for fund-raising activities.

In 2002, he arranged for — and transported — $30,000 worth of previously-owned cooking equipment to upgrade the Strang Scout Reservation dining hall.

Led trips and oversaw gatherings

Hemstreet has served Troop 3 as a chaperone on numerous camping trips to Canada, the 1971 Europe trip and 1991 Cape Cod trip. He has hosted English and Irish Exchange Scouts and participated on the National Jamboree Committee for the Housatonic Council.

In 2004, he served Paugassett Lodge 553 as chairman for the Section Conclave, an annual gathering of 300 Order of the Arrow Lodge members from throughout the region.

He is an Vigil member and associate advisor of Paugassett Lodge, a Troop 3 committee member and an associate advisor for Venture Crew 33.

Electrician, husband and father

Hemstreet has worked as an electrician for Ansonia Copper & Brass and has been involved in numerous community organizations such as the Derby Lodge of Elks, Sons of Legionnaires and the Valley United Way Campaign.

He has been married to Scouting volunteer Kathy Hemstreet for 41 years and they are parents of Troop 3 Eagle Scouts Chuck Hemstreet Jr. and Jay Hemstreet, as well as daughters Mary Kate and Allison. They have three grandchildren.