For almost half of Troop 8’s storied history, Dick Ligertwood was the guiding force, the conscience, and the standard we tried to live up to. He was Scoutmaster from 1976 – 1981 and stayed active for almost 40 more years as committee member or chair, Chartered Organization Representative, and essentially Godfather to Troop 8 and Pack 8. When Dick led a crew to Philmont, it was a month-long excursion, driving both ways and seeing several historic sites along the way. Young scouts who initially feared his grizzled older visage, soon came to realize that he was a gentle, caring man with a quick wit who wanted them to have fun, and perhaps learn a few things along the way. The twinkle in his eye calmed, inspired, and encouraged scouts for decades.
Dick was a force in scouting on a council, regional, and national level. He was Scoutmaster of several JLT troops, the predecessor to our current NYLT program. He served on many Wood Badge staffs, usually providing considerable humor in the kitchen. Dick was a key leader in the old Morris-Sussex Council, and integral to the formation of our current Patriots’ Path Council. He was one of the founders of the Watchu program, helping train crews so they were prepared for a Philmont trek. He served on several national jamboree staffs and was a constant presence at the national training center at Philmont. As an active Flintlock, he worked to support the facilities of our camps for over 30 years. Dick was the perfect mentor for a score of Scoutmasters who followed him. He stayed in the background, “letting the young guys run things,” but was always available for sound advice and feedback. And on those rare occasions when we had a problem with the Council, an intervention from Dick always seemed to resolve the issue in our favor. When Troop 8 celebrated its 100-year anniversary, Chatham recognized Dick and the troop by honoring him as Grand Marshall of the 4th of July Parade.