Help solve the mystery of the Troop 938 Boy Scout bugle

Put on your detective hats and help solve the mystery of the Troop 938 Boy Scout bugle.

Here’s what we know:

  • Patricia Shields from Missouri found a silver-tone Rexcraft Boy Scout bugle for sale at a Goodwill in St. Robert, Mo.
  • She purchased the instrument with the friendly, courteous and kind intention of helping the bugle find its way back to its original Scouting home.
  • The bugle has a hand-etched “T 938” on the side (see the photo below). I assume that stands for “Troop 938.”
  • The Goodwill store is two hours from St. Louis, but the bugle could have belonged to any Troop 938 anywhere in the U.S.

This is where you come in.

Here’s what we don’t know:

  • How did it end up at the Goodwill store?
    • Did a family member of a former Scout clean out the basement and think the item wasn’t worth keeping? Or did Troop 938 leave it behind on a campout? What’s your theory?
  • Which Troop 938 is this? 
    • Are you a member of a Troop 938? Do you know of one in your council? Maybe this Boy Scout bugle belonged to them.
    • Or do you know of a now-defunct Troop 938? Maybe one of its members wants its bugle back.
  • What year was this bugle purchased?
    • Rexcraft began distributing official bugles for the Boy Scouts of America in 1919 and advertised their products in Scouting magazine in the 1930s and 1940s (see an ad from 1930 below).
    • I suppose it’s possible this Troop 938 bugle was purchased, fittingly, in 1938. Did your troop own a Boy Scout bugle like this one?


Patricia’s Good Turn

Patricia’s goal is clear: return the bugle to its rightful owner.

“I just feel that some troop is missing its bugle and would like to have it back,” Patricia says. “Please let me know whether or not there is anything you can do.”

Help solve the mystery

Take a look at some more photos below. Do you see anything that might indicate its era or original owner?

And if this is your troop’s bugle, leave a comment below with a way to contact you.

found-bugle-2 found-bugle-3 found-bugle-4

About Bryan Wendell 3043 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.