Paoli 1 participates in Radnor Township's parade through Wayne every year. It is one of the few chances the troop gets to march and for the Drum and Bugle Corps to preform. It is also a chance to showcase the Troop to the community and aid recruitment.
The Memorial Day Parade is preceded by weeks of practice for both the marchers, color guard, and Drum and Bugle Corps. The SPL and his Staff Patrol work tirelessly to make sure the newer boys learn the basics while also polishing the skills of the older scouts. Uniforms are also inspected and strict orders are given ahead of time detailing what each scout is expected to wear on parade day so the Troop is looking its best.
The day of the parade, the Troop gathers at the Radnor Financial Center for some last minute practice and corrections to the formation. Assistant Scoutmasters, Man Scouts, and some staff also prepare the other Paoli 1 additions to the parade. The Van and trucks are decorated with Paoli 1 magnets and haul trailers carrying canoes and kayaks respectively. The Troop also has a large inflatable balloon which is frequently anchored to a truck. An Army Jeep has also been added to the parade convoy in recent years.
The parade route begins on Lancaster Avenue at the exit to both the Randor Financial Center and St. David's Square. It follows Lancaster Ave. for 1.2 miles past the reviewing stand at Wayne Presbyterian Church and ends at the war memorial across from Radnor Middle School on South Wayne Avenue. The scouts march the entire distance in formation with the color guard and Drum and Bugle Corps leading and the small convoy of vehicles bringing up the rear.
Memorial CeremonyEditAfter completing the parade, the Troop falls out in preparation for the following ceremony. While they wait the scouts are given ice water and soft pretzels to prevent dehydration and exhaustion. Upon the conclusion of the parade, the township holds a lengthy ceremony at the war memorial bearing the names of the community's war dead since World War One. The Troop stands in formation throughout the entire ceremony which includes: an honored speaker, a presentation to the Grand Marshall(s) of the parade, a benediction and an invocation, the reading of over one hundred names belonging to the community's war dead, the playing of patriotic music, and a twenty-one gun salute. The Troop is frequently asked to participate in the assembled color guard and also to present a wreath during the ceremony.
The Extra Two MilesEdit
Immediately after the memorial ceremony ends, the Troop reforms and continues its march another two miles to the St. David's Episcopal Church. Though completely independent of the parade, many people in the neighborhood come out to watch the Troop as it passes. The Troop does its best to maintain discipline but it does allow for a little more leeway for the tired scouts. Some years the Drum and Bugle Corps even tests new beats and songs that they have been working on during this portion of the march.
Scoutmaster Colonel Clifton Lisle. The Troop reduces to two or three columns of scouts with first year marchers in the first (right) column. As the Troop forms up, Dick Bensing gives a brief biography of Col. Lisle and description of his impact on the troop. In silence the Troop route step marches into the cemetery and comes to a halt in front of Col. Lisle's grave. The marker is flanked by the color guard carrying the American and Troop flags and the site is decorated with a wreath.
The short ceremony begins with the SPL having the Troop recite the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Pledge of Allegiance. This is followed by a speech by Craig Hadden in which he discusses the Troop's traditions and the importance of service. This is then followed by the playing of Taps (often with an echoing bugler) to end the short ceremony. The Troop marches out, again in silence, and then is dismissed around 1:30-2:00.