Troop Four Family Newsletter – December 7, 2008

Donations for Soldiers in Afghanistan

Thanks to all the families who donated to the Army care package. We collected and shipped more than 35 pounds of very useful items.

The January Winter Camping Trip

The January will be Saturday, January 10, 2009 through Sunday January 11. We have confirmed the site to be the Hopedale Parklands in Hopedale, MA. This is a historic site, with an old 3-sided shelter built in the days of the original park construction by the owners of the Draper Mill. The shelter is located on a small summit overlooking Milford, and is in a secluded area that’s great for sledding, hiking, animal tracking, and other adventures.

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 snow shelters, sledding, 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). For scouts that have a plastic sled, please bring that along, too.

We will meet at St. Mary’s parish center at 9:00 AM on Saturday January 10 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 11 by noon.

Because of the holidays and school vacation, we will be planning the trip earlier than usual – at the December 11 troop meeting. If your son is planning to attend, please return the permission slip by the December 11 troop meeting. If your son can’t make the December 11 troop meeting but wants to attend, please call or email Phil Bedard before the 11th 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!

Town Christmas Tree Pick Up

The Milford Christmas tree pick up will be Sunday, January 11. 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 Bob Garber at 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

The Troop Four Knife Contest will be at the December 18 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.

White Water 2009!

Once again, the troop is planning our most popular camping adventure; the Maine Whitewater Adventure. The 2 night trip is scheduled from Saturday June 20th, through Monday June 22nd. We will be using the Adventure Bound outfitters, who have years of expertise in guiding Boy Scout troops down the Kennebec River. We will also be camping in relative luxury at the outfitters campsite facilities, which include a heated pool and hot tub. The cost will be approximately $90, which reflects a significant discount given only to Boy Scout troops. The cost covers the rafting trip, two nights of camping, and a river lunch. The troop will cook patrol style for all other meals during the trip. In order to secure a group reservation, we need to provide the outfitter with an estimated head count before the end of the year. Please reply to Phil Bedard with an email to indicate if you would like to go, or return the White Water 2009 Survey, no later than the Dec 18th troop meeting. We realize that June is a long ways from now. Your survey response is not a firm commitment. No money is required at this time. Note that historically, the June whitewater trips have been the most popular trip of the year for both scouts and parents.

Venture Career Nights Continue!

Pat Gallagher will be giving another Venture Career Night presentation at the December 11th troop meeting. Pat works in the Trade Show industry, and will provide an overview of his career, it’s benefits, and the education required. If you think you’d like to travel and work with a variety of industries, this might be the career for you!

Troop Yankee Swap

The December 18 troop meeting will include a Yankee Swap. 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

Troop Four’s annual Pancake Breakfast will be Sunday, February 1st from 8:00 AM until noon at St. Mary’s parish center. This is our big fundraiser to raise funds for our outdoor adventures. At the Dec 11th meeting, all scouts will be given an initial 20 tickets to sell for the breakfast.

Each scout is expected to contribute a strong effort on this sale and should sell at least 20 tickets. Scouts can get as many tickets to sell as they want. See Phil Bedard if you need more tickets. THIS IS THE PRIMARY TROOP FUNDRAISER FOR THE YEAR… PLEASE HELP.

There will be some great ticket sale prizes for all scouts, regardless if they go on a future high adventure trip or not! There will be prizes (knives, backpacking stoves, etc) for scouts who sell the most, second and third amount of tickets. For all the other scouts who sell tickets, there will be a drawing of 3 additional great prizes!

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders

  • December 11 is a regular troop meeting (campout permission slip is due)
  • December 18 is a regular troop meeting, w/Yankee gift swap, and OA elections
  • December 25 and Jan 1 – no meeting – Happy Holidays!
  • January 8th will be a troop meeting at a TBD location – Parish Center is closed.
  • January 10 is the Troop winter camping trip at Hopedale Parklands
  • Sunday January 11 is the Christmas Tree Pickup


Please call the Phil Bedard at 508-282-0283 or email at if you have any questions.