The Junior Forest Rangers
By Wayne I. Elliot, Age 9
Hampton, New Hampshire
Wayne I. Elliot [In later years]
In the spring of 1938 a club, called The Junior Forest Rangers was formed by "Bill" Elliot of Hampton. A group of boys were asked to come and join. One Saturday morning, the boys were assembled in the top of Elliot's garage which was to be their club room.The officers chosen for the first year were as follows:
|Whitney Russell||Vice President|
Other committees were chosen to find out and represent different things. Every one was asked to think of a name for the club and Donald Palmer suggested the "Jr. Forest Rangers" as a name; it was voted on and he was credited with choosing the name of "Jr. Forest Rangers."
This club was organized to get the different boys ready for the "Boy Scouts of America" and to help preserve the forests of the United States. Meetings were held every Saturday, at 9:30 in the morning. The order of the meeting was as follows:
Call To Order
Salute To The Flag
Collection of Dues (5 cents)
Entering of New People
Any Other Things
The boys went on several hikes, went to different places, played all kinds of sports, etc. The numbers of members increased week by week until a large number were in the group. The club used to get up athletic teams and play other teams in town and out of town. Nobody knew it then, but out of this club was to grow one of the best baseball teams the town of Hampton had ever seen.
"Bill" Elliot, a great believer in Sports, coached this team in his spare time. As week after week went by, this club grew in numbers and each player on the team was getting better and better. They learned that team work was what counted and that was the main thing that made them a good team. The summer of '38 passed and fall came and passed and along came winter. The club played teams in hockey and basketball. All the time the club was getting more and more successful. The members of that first year were as follows:
|Wayne Elliot||Harvey Elliot|
|Donald Blatchford||Donald Palmer|
|John Holman||Wilson Dennett|
|Russell Merrill||Whitney Russell|
|Arthur Little||Donald Benoit|
|Richard Grenier||Foster Pierce|
|Robert Taylor||Wallace Shaw|
|Elliot Noyes||Bill Holman|
This was the Roll for the first year but as the years went on more boys joined. The boys used the Community Club [at 364 Exeter Road] to play basketball and hockey in. Under the coaching of Bill Elliot the boys learned rapidly. With all this happening the first year of the Jr. Forest Rangers ended successfully.
With the coming of the 1939 season, the Kiwanis Club of Hampton started the "Hampton Park League" for boys. The Jr. Forest Rangers entered a baseball team into this league with a few more boys added to its lineup. The Kiwanis was awarding a trophy for the team winning the most games and the team winning it three years in a row could keep it. The Rangers entered the league with the following lineup with hopes high of winning:
|Norman Merrill||First Base|
|Whitney Russell||Second Base|
|Russell Merrill||Second Base|
|Elliot Noyes||Third Base|
|Harvey Elliot||Third Base|
|Tom Kierstead||Third Base|
|Wayne Elliot||Short Stop|
Nobody could touch this team that first year and they finished victorious. The team didn't lose a game that first year.The team worked good and they worked together all the time. A banquet was given for the boys of the league at the end of the year. The Rangers entered the next season with almost the same team as the year before. They were defeated twice the next year but still finished in first place. They were rapidly growing better all the time. Still the next year they entered the league with about the same team as the year before and lost only one game. This retired the trophy to the Rangers for winning the most games for the three seasons.
The next season was to be the best for the Rangers and the league. They opened the season with almost a new roster. They won game after game and finished without a defeat. Donald Blatchford didn't lose one game during these four years. A banquet was given at the end of the year and different things were presented to the teams, etc. Wayne Elliot was elected as most valuable player with a .640 batting average and a 1,000 fielding average. Donald Blatchford was elected most valuable pitcher. Some of the best players were given to other teams to weaken the Rangers but it didn't. The Rangers went on to play the best year they had ever played in their entire history.