Troop Four Family Newsletter – December 5 2007

U. S. Marine Toys for Tots Drive: Thanks for all the families who donated toys! We now have until the December 6 meeting now to donate. Any scouts who would like to donate new toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive please bring them to the December 6 troop meeting. One of our long-time sponsors, American National Power, is collecting for the marines this year.

The January Winter Camping Trip: will be Saturday, January 5, 2008 through Sunday January 6. We have confirmed the site to be The Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area in Upton. This is the first time that the troop has camped at this location. We will have a wooded, evergreen site at the side of a hill, protected from the wind. It is a perfect site for winter camping.

The site is accessed from the Milford side (at the end of Camp St. /Reservoir Rd. /Crockett St.). From the parking lot the site is about a mile walk on the trails. Scouts should bring a sled to pull the troop/patrol gear (and their packs). We have done several of these winter campsite walk-ins with sleds and it work out great -and is fun too.

At the winter camping trip we will be doing some aluminum foil (no pots and pans to clean) and Dutch oven cooking. The winter is a great time to do this type of cooking because you need some good warm fires to cook – and to stay warm with! In addition, we will be doing other winter activities -depending on how much snow cover we have – making igloos, snow shoeing, etc.

We will be using the regular troop tents (not the backpacking tents) to sleep in Saturday night. These tents have worked great for other winter campouts. The Troop 4 Website has a list of gear needed for a one night winter campout. Most scouts already have most of the gear and anything else is usually around in the scouts homes. We will be patrol cooking for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. Scouts should bring a bag lunch for Saturday (no soda).

We will meet at St. Mary’s parish center at 9:00 AM on Saturday January 5 and leave about 9:30 AM for the site. We will need a few parents to drive to/from the site. We will return for pick up on Sunday, January 6 by noon.

Because of the holidays and school vacation, we will be planning the trip earlier than usual – at the December 13 troop meeting. If your son is planning to attend, please return the attached permission slip (click here) by the December 13 troop meeting. If your son can’t make the December 13 troop meeting but wants to attend, please call or email Dave Kirchner before the 13th so we can include him in planning for the event.

Winter camping is fun and a great outdoor experience – and not that difficult. The adult leaders and troop have many years of winter camping experience and all of our trips have been a great time. If the weather is too severe or cold we will cancel the trip.

Hope for lots of snow cover and hope to see you there!

Town Christmas tree Pick Up: will be Sunday, January 6. This is a combination fund raiser and service project that we participate in with other scout units in town. We are looking for one or two more parents with pick up trucks or trailers to drive around our assigned territory in Milford to pick up the trees and transport them to the town disposal area. It starts about 8:00 am and ends about noon. We will be camping this weekend so we really need a few scouts and parents who won’t be camping to help out. Please call or email Dave Kirchner if you can participate. We had to schedule the camping trip the same weekend because that was the best fit for all of our winter activities.

Troop Knife Contest: will be at the December 6 troop meeting. Scouts can bring a knife that they can use under the troop/BSA rules and enter it for a variety of contests (sharpest, best looking, most functional, etc.) There will be prizes for the winners. We will also be doing some wood whittling and carving that night so scouts should bring a knife.

Troop Yankee Swap: will be at the December 13 troop meeting. Scouts who want to participate should bring a small gift wrapped with a cost of less that $10. The activity is basically a grab bag and the scouts do a “swap” as each gift is unwrapped. It’s a lot of fun. We will have some refreshments at the meeting too.

The Annual Pancake Breakfast: will be Sunday, January 13 from 8:00 AM until noon at St. Mary’s parish center. This is our big fundraiser to raise funds for our activities and for this year in particular to help offset the cost of our 2008 high adventure trip to Colorado. All scouts have been given an initial 20 tickets to sell for the breakfast.

Scouts who will be attending the high adventure 2008 trip must sell at least 20 tickets (or have their family buy the tickets or the unsold portion). The sale of the 20 tickets plus any other ticket sales above the original 20 will result in a dollar for dollar reduction in the cost of the high adventure trip!

Scouts can get as many tickets to sell as they want. See Dave Kirchner if you need more tickets.

There will be ticket sale prizes for all scouts, regardless if they go on the high adventure trip or not! There will be some great prizes (think of something sharp and personally engraved) for scouts who sell the most, second and third amount of tickets. For all the other scouts who sold any tickets at all, there will be a drawing of 3 additional great prizes!

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders

  • December 6 is a regular troop meeting and knife contest
  • December 13 is a regular troop meeting and Yankee Swap night
  • December 20 – no meeting – Happy Holidays!
  • December 27 – no meeting – Happy Holidays!
  • January 3 is a regular troop meeting
  • January 5 is the Troop winter camping trip at Peppercorn Hill
  • Sunday January 6 is the Christmas Tree Pickup
  • January 10 is a regular troop meeting
  • Sunday January 13 is the pancake breakfast
  • January 17 is a regular troop meeting
  • January 24 is a regular troop meeting
  • January 31 is a regular troop meeting and Board of Review
  • February 7 is a regular troop meeting and Board of Review
  • Saturday February 9 is the Winter Cabin Camping trip to Camp Split Rock

Troop Four Website: checkout the Troop 4 website at: We have lots of information and event calendars/dates listed.

Please call the Dave Kirchner at 508-478-5915 or email at