by Carrie Steinweg
LANSING, Ill. (May 30, 2019) – When Chuck Murach was recognized for 75 years of service at the recent Court of Honor Ceremony with Boy Scout Troop 276, he was a little confused. Murach hasn’t been alive for that long, so he wondered how they’d come up with such an odd number when honoring him.
It turns out they weren’t looking only at his impressive span of involvement in scouting, which began back in 1954 when he joined Coolidge Cub Scout Pack 26, but also including additional years of service in the military and to the community. Murach has made an impact on countless youths in Lansing who have been involved in scouting.
A history of service
A history of Murach’s scouting years was recited at the Court of Honor, and it includes his introduction to scouting as a Cub Scout at Coolidge School 65 years ago. After he crossed over to Boy Scouts, he joined Troop 47 at St. Ann and later joined the Explorer program.
In 1965 Chuck enlisted in the Army and was a Nike-Hercules missile technician. He served a year in Germany during his enlistment and was discharged in 1968.
In 1981, Chuck’s son became a Webelo scout and Chuck became the den leader. He followed his son into Boy Scouts where he served as the Assistant Scoutmaster and still holds that title.
Chuck received the District Award of Merit for Boy Scouts in 1987, the Legion of Honor Award presented by the Marine Corps League, and the Lansing Special Volunteer Award in 2013.
He’s been a member of St. Ann Church since 1952 and is the chairman of their maintenance committee. Murach is also a member of American Legion Post 697 and a past member of the Lansing Knights of Columbus.
A legacy of scouting
“I enjoy keeping the youth involved in the community and with the Legion and that patriotism and leadership I see develop,” he said. “We emphasize that not every scout is going to be a leader, but they all have the opportunity, and some really blossom. A lot of scouts become successful in careers and the military and it’s fulfilling.”
A passion for scouting is something that seems to be inherited in the Murach family. Murach’s father was very involved in the scouting program in Lansing, as was his son. He now has a grandson who is involved in scouting in Mokena, and his son is serving as a leader. “Time has flown by. I am amazed that my son is now a leader and I have a grandson who is a scout.”
“Mr. Murach’s faithful leadership and guidance in Boy Scouts and especially to Troop 276 has positively affected the lives of well over 1,500 Boy Scouts, adults leaders, and families,” said Mike Bergin, Committee Chair with Boy Scout Troop 276. “Every Scoutmaster of Troop 276 could not have performed their role with out the dedicated support of Mr. Murach. Mr. Murach performs so many tasks for Troop 276, and as Advancement Chair he has recorded our history, our advancement, our funding, and our successes in turning young scouts into outstanding adults.”
Murach also maintains a group page for scouting families on Facebook where he posts the group’s activities.
Troop 276 is turning 64 years old this year and has had three chartering organizations—26 years at the VFW, 17 years with School District 158, and 21 years with the American Legion, where meetings are currently held each Tuesday evening. Murach expressed gratitude to the American Legion for providing space for meetings and a shed for supplies.
The troop has had 16 scoutmasters and 76 scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout (with two more in the process of earning the rank). Murach has been recording the Troop’s history for over 35 years, and during that time 67 scouts have earned Eagle Scout rank.
Boy Scout Troop 276 currently has about 44 scouts, and new members are always welcome. The program is designed for ages 11 to 18. The active troop does one camping trip a month and numerous projects throughout the year. One that is met with a huge amount of enthusiasm is an annual visit to host a party for veterans at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno. Scouts serve food, distribute treats, and have raffles, and they help raise funds to hold the event.
In fact, to help raise funds, Troop 276 is holding a pancake breakfast and bake sale on Saturday, June 1, in the cafeteria at TF South High School from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Tickets are $5.00, and the Copper Muggers will be flipping pancakes.
TF South is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing.