Six adult leaders and nine enthusiastic young men banded together in February 1937 and with the blessing of Reverend Hironori Nishii, organized Boy Scout Troop 40. The troop is one of the oldest and largest scouting units in Maui County, and has produced many Eagle Scouts. As of 2013, about 250 scouts from Troop 40 have earned the Eagle Scout rank. Many scouts from Troop 40 have grown up to become prominent citizens. Among them are successful business and professional leaders in our community today.
The troop has many fun activities throughout the year including camps, hikes, and get-togethers for special occasions. The troop organizes at least four overnight camps throughout the year at various locations on Maui. Occasionally, the troop travels to Lanai for camping trips. In 2012, the troop attended a summer camp on Oahu for the first time. Besides these camps, the troop attends the annual summer camp at Camp Maluhia for six days and five nights. Camp Maluhia provides opportunities for the scouts to take classes to fulfill advancement requirements and earn merit badges, to meet new people, and to enjoy the outdoors. Troop 40 hosts an annual Halloween event, and invites the Cub Scouts of Pack 40 and their families. Recent activities have included costume contests, pumpkin carving contests, displays, and games. In the past, the troop built a cardboard maze in the basement of the temple, and invited brave youngsters to enter and navigate the labyrinth. Other fun activities include launching rockets, picking strawberries, and picnicking at the beach. Scouts and leaders from Troop 40 have participated in a number of National Scout Jamborees held on the East Coast at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. The National Scout Jamboree is usually held once every four years with about 45,000 people from across the nation in attendance.
Troop 40 is active in local scout council activities throughout the year. Such activities include scouting program, community service, and fundraising activities. The year begins with the troop washing cars used for transportation for the Professional Golf Association tournament held in Kapalua, Maui. The PGA Tour provides monetary gifts to many of Maui’s non-profits and community organizations, including the local scout council. The troop is one of the representatives of the local council providing manpower and support for the tournament. In February, the troop conducts a Scout Sunday service at the temple and serves refreshments after the service to commemorate the founding the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. In April, the troop participates in the Scout-O-Rama or camporee events which showcase scouting skills. To remember our military service veterans, the troop assists with placing American flags on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day. In late September or early October, the troop and other scouting units march in the Maui Fair parade. The troop also assists with the Special Fair Day for the disabled at the Maui Fair. Also in October, the troop participates in the council’s popcorn fundraising activity. The troop also supports the council’s Friends of Scouting, annual fund drive. In November, the troop collects non-perishable food items for a food drive called, Scouting for Food, for donation to the Maui Food Bank. Also in November, the troop assists the council by performing yard maintenance at the council office. At the end of the year, the troop collects and donates toys to the Toys for Tots program.
In addition to council activities, Troop 40 does much for Wailuku Hongwanji Mission. To start off the year, the troop handles the fire cracker display for the New Year’s Eve service. Every other year in April, the troop mans a first aid station for Hanamatsuri, a gathering of Central Maui Buddhist temples celebrating the birth of the Buddha. For Mother's Day in May, the troop treats mothers and temple members by preparing and serving an elaborate brunch. During the summer and winter, the troop assists with temple cleanup. During the Obon festivities, the troop cooks and sells teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, chili, miso soup, and other food items. The troop provides manpower for building, painting, and dismantling the temple’s chow fun cooking shed for the Maui Fair. Additionally, the troop handles the chow fun production at the fair on Saturday nights. In October, the troop sets up and breaks down tents for the Buddhist Women’s Association Autumn Craft and Food Fair. In December, the troop harvests bamboo and makes kadomatsu, a traditional New Year’s decoration, for temple members and members of the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. The troop continues to support the temple by helping with recent yard sales and other events.
Recently on average, five scouts per year from the troop earn their Eagle Scout rank. Many of these Eagle Scout candidates select and perform projects that benefit the temple. Examples of completed projects include installing energy-saving light fixtures, building a display case, repainting classrooms, installing new flooring, installing irrigation systems, constructing landscape planters, fabricating and installing handrails, installing projector screens, installing fencing, repairing and repainting ceilings, and installing recycling bins. Many candidates seek donations of labor, materials, equipment, and funds for these projects, resulting in completion of most of these projects at no cost to the temple.
Troop 40 is an outstanding scouting unit. Wailuku Hongwanji Mission is proud of the troop's affiliation with the temple. Dwight Nakao is the current Scoutmaster of Troop 40. Many other parents and adults assist with leadership and support roles.