The scout name used by Andre Sidney, Scoutmaster for Kansas City Boy Scouts of America Troop 1027, is “Son of Tall Standing Blue Flame” because he likes to watch the campfire and the small flames dancing at the top. He’s also known as Happy Hunter because he likes to be out in the woods and escape the city.

It’s something he knows many young men in Kansas City’s urban core know little about and only few will experience.  It’s something he and other troop leaders for Kansas City’s only remaining Black scouting troop hope to change.  

“There is a need for scouting in our community,” Sidney said. “To take a young man who’s never left the boundaries of the city and give them the experience of camping and being outdoors, that experience is breathtaking. They really can take a deep breath and get a peace of mind.”

Scoutmaster Andre Sidney

Boy Scouts of America is a youth program that teaches character development and leadership skills through a number of outdoor activities including camping, hiking and even whitewater rafting.

Troop 1027 boy scout Jhase Hill reading from his scouting book. 

At one point, there were at least six Black boy scout troops in the Kansas City area. Troop 1027, the biggest one, became the last one after COVID-19 hit and they combined with Troop 1056.

The troop meets on Monday nights at 7 p.m. at the Ray Ealy Scout Cabin on 59th and Swope Parkway.  The cabin, which is more than 100 years old, is sponsored by and next to Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Troop 1027 boy scouts meeting outside of the Ray Ealy Scout Cabin. 

Sidney says he wants to give his scouts the same experience they would receive in a suburban troop.

“I have had scouts who’ve never been outside their neighborhood, let alone outside the city,” he said.

Freddie Alan, who has been involved with the troop since the 90s when his stepson joined, said he’s learned a lot about living in the woods since he’s become a member.

“I’ve learned things like what trees not to go by while going to the bathroom,” Alan said chuckling, “And how to cook. We can fry food, make cobblers, cake and it always turns out good. We make some of the best meals when we camp.”

Not only do the scouts learn outdoor and survival skills, but being a member can open doors later in life, including college scholarships and opportunities for reputable careers.

Burley Durant, a grandparent to a Troop 1027 scout, said he’s seen the group help build his grandson’s character and life skills.

“It gives them a sense of belonging,” he said. “They have built a great bond together.”

Troop 1027 is now accepting new members. For more information, contact Scoutmaster Sidney (816) 898-5925 or email: aesidney@gmail.com.

“To see their mind exploring and learning, it touches you spiritually and emotionally to know that you’re impacting their future, to know that you’re changing the life of another young man, another future leader, a future CEO, future boss of an organization or company,” Sidney said.

Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts You Should Know

 

Cooper

Harry Cooper was one of the first Black Eagle scouts in the country. Cooper was a member of Troop 92 from Kansas City and he earned the highest rank in scouting in 1920, according to documentation from the Boy Scouts of America Kansas City Council, the Heart of America Council.

Cooper (top left) and an all-White troop. 

Green

Ernest Green – Distinguished Eagle Scout and member of the Little Rock Nine.

Guion

Guion Bluford – Eagle Scout and the first African American in space.

MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. – Boy Scout and civil rights pioneer.

Powell

Colin Powell – Boy Scout and former Secretary of State.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan – Boy Scout and NBA icon.

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