These ‘Scouts’ are prepared for success

By on July 25, 2018

Things are heating up for a young band that made its debut at the Lititz Fire & Ice Festival in February.

Amazingly, the Scouts have only been performing together for five months, yet they’ve scored a deal to make an album, which is currently in the works. They have been recording their first album at TriForce Studios in Lancaster and five of the songs were written by the group. The main songwriter is 17-year-old Nate Yager, a senior at Lititz Christian School. The rest of the group are Justin Buckwalter, 19, a Warwick High School graduate, and his younger brother Josh Buckwalter, 17, a senior at Warwick High School. The newest member of the Scouts is Tom Hartman, 18, a recent Warwick High School graduate.

The Scouts, from left to right: Josh Buckwalter, Tom Hartman, Nate Yager, and Justin Buckwalter.

Justin Buckwalter plays bass and guitar, while Josh is the drummer. Yager plays guitar, and is the lead vocalist and songwriter. Hartman plays guitar.

“We’re very excited to be making a real record in a real studio,” says Yager. “I’m a big admirer of the Districts and they got started here in Lititz. I’d have to say the Districts are our inspiration.”
For most of the band members, it’s a dream to make it big. They would love to perform on stages at venues across the U.S. They would love to make more records and become a recognizable name for Indie music fans.

Not bad for a group of teenagers who first performed together on a stage set up on West Main Street for the Fire & Ice Festival on a chilly February evening. Next thing they knew they had a following and real fans. They received all kinds of positive messages from fans, which was enough to convince them that their dream might just be possible.

Along with the album they are currently recording, the Scouts have released songs on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify. They have a show coming up at TriForce Studios on Aug. 24.

“It’s hard to describe exactly what we are,” admits Yager. “I guess Indie Rock is the best label.”

Along with their own original songs, the Scouts do covers of the Districts, Pixies, Cage the Elephant, Weezer, Foo Fighters and Tom Petty.

Tom Hartman in the studio working on the Scouts’ first commercial project.

“We like a lot of different kinds of music,” said Hartman, who works at Clair Global in the tour prep area. Hartman is the newest member of the Scouts, recruited by Yager, when the trio decided they needed another guitarist to fill out the sound. Yager knew him from Lititz Music Co. on North Broad Street, where Yager works. So, in short order the three-member Scouts had become four.
Most of the Scouts members are interested in careers in music. Justin Buckwalter goes to Thaddeus Stevens College and is studying cabinetry. He is a master woodworker, who makes his own guitars from local wood.

Josh Buckwalter plans to go to York College of Music. Yager wants to go to college to study music and songwriting, and is currently at Berklee College of Music in Boston for a five-week summer youth program for music and performance.

“I wasn’t really thinking of being in a band,” said Hartman. “But when the opportunity came up, I thought, why not?”

Why not, indeed?

The Scouts got their start and their name from having been Cub Scouts back when Yager and the Buckwalter brothers were young. They remained friends over the years and kept in touch, even though they went to different schools.

All three teens performed at their respective churches, the Buckwalters at LCBC in Manheim, and Yager at Grace Brethren Church in Lititz. The very first time they performed together was in September 2017, when Dosie Dough needed a band for Second Friday. Dosie Dough owner Amy Lloyd asked Lititz Music Co. owner Ben Hartranft if he could suggest a band to fill in, since her booked band had cancelled. Yager worked part-time at the music shop and he got his childhood friends together to perform. They were a hit.

Later, when Hartranft was helping out with Fire & Ice Festival entertainment, he knew just who to call: the Scouts. Since their big debut in Lititz, the Scouts have been practicing in a basement studio at the Buckwalter’s home. They are recording their first album, which doesn’t have a title yet.

“We would like to get into some local clubs,” said Yager, noting that the Chameleon Club is considered to be a rite of passage for bands who make it. “That’s where the Districts got started.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at 

One Comment

  1. Clarence W. Martin

    July 26, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Laura did an outstanding job on featuring the musical group, The Scouts.
    It is encouraging to note that the Lititz Record Express is interested in emphasizing the achievements of young people in the community. The pictures were excellent as well. She is an asset to the newspaper staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *