About Pack 53

Back in 1953, a group of men from the McFarland Lutheran Church were involved with the Boy Scout Troop 53.  Cub Scouting was a new idea from the Boy Scouts that would allow younger participants in Scouting.  (By the time boys reached Boy Scout age, they had quite a bit to learn about getting along with other kids, leadership, participation, and setting individual attainable goals.)  This group of men decided to form a Cub Scout Pack - Pack 53.  McFarland Lutheran Church was a  smaller building than what the Lutheran Church is now and had many night time activities other than Scouting.  There was a need to find another sponsoring organization.  As luck would have it many of these men were also members of the McFarland Volunteer Fire Fighters' Association.  The sponsorship of Pack 53 was moved from  the Lutheran Church to the Fire Fighters' Association.  Bill Mitchell took over as the Charter Organization Representative for Pack 53 in 1978 and continues to be very active in the Pack.

One of the founding members was  Bernie 'the Bear' Friedlund.  Bernie was very involved in Scouting in McFarland.  In addition to having a couple of boys go through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (reaching the rank of Eagle), he served as Scoutmaster, Committee Chairman,  and several other positions for Troop 53.  He also became the Charter Organization Representative to the Boy Scouts from the McFarland Lutheran Church.

Bernie had quite an influence on Scouting in McFarland. He knew that Scouts behaved better in uniform than in street clothes. He also knew that Scouts needed to be independent but also be allowed to ask for opinions of adults if needed.

Over the years, Bernie continued to keep Scouting in the McFarland community. Sometimes, the Pack and the Troop membership was down to less than 10.  At those times, the Council in Madison was suggesting dissolution of the Pack and/or the Troop and joining with another Pack or Troop in Monona or Madison. Bernie, along with other parents and leaders, recommended keeping the Pack/Troop organized in McFarland - a place where the Scouts lived.  When membership in the Pack approached 100, the Council in Madison suggested breaking Pack 53 into two Packs. Again, Bernie, along with other parents and leaders, recommended keeping the Pack as one.  If all the Scouts were in the same school, why separate the boys into two Packs? 

Bernie continued to attend Scout meetings each Monday evening, in uniform, until his health no longer permitted it. He was the example of Scouting for all of us.  Sadly, Bernie Friedlund passed away in May 2008.  In November 2002, a fund was set up to recognize all the contributions Bernie made to McFarland Scouting.

Video of the 1965 Memorial day parade in McFarland Wisconsin.  Bernie Friedlund is one of the Scout Leaders walking with the boys.


1965 Memorial Day Parade


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