Troop 4 Family Newsletter – February 26, 2009

Change in Troop Meeting Date

Due to some unique circumstances, the upcoming Thursday March 5th troop meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, Mar 2nd. This one-time shift to a Monday night was made to ensure we had some extra adult leader support required for the opening night for our new scouts. Additional leaders will be on hand to provide orientation to both our new scouts and their parents.

Congratulations to our New Eagle Scouts!

Troop 4 is proud to announce that Gabe Lanciano and Jonathan Lincoln have passed their Eagle Board of Reviews, and are now Eagle Scouts. The Troop will celebrate their achievements at our June Eagle Court of Honor.

Welcome to our New Webelos Crossovers

Troop 4 is pleased to welcome a large contingent of new scouts and their families. New scouts are invited to attend their first Troop meeting on Monday March 2nd at 7pm. Note that this is a different date than previously announced. The troop has already begun plans for these scouts to form patrols, and begin their spring advancement through the Scout and Tenderfoot ranks. New scouts are required to complete and bring the Class 1 Medical Form and Web Release form to their first meeting. Both forms can be found on the Troop website. If you also have not yet turned in your BSA application, please do so at the first meeting. All forms can be turned into the Troop Scribe who sets up shop at each meeting at the rear desk. New scouts and parents are encouraged to frequent our extensive and well maintained Troop Website at for the latest troop information, and to review the Scout Equipment List.

Troop Day Hike and Orienteering Contest


The Troop Day Hike and Orienteering Contest will be Saturday, March 14 at the Hopedale Parklands Forest. We will meet at the parish center at 9:00 AM and leave about 9:30 AM for the park. We will return for pick up at the parish center by 5:00 PM that evening. Scouts need to bring: a bag lunch, poncho or rain coat if it looks like rain that day, wear boots, bring a hat and gloves/mittens. A spare pair of socks is a must. If the weather is cold, bring a warm coat as well. Scouts should bring at least one quart/liter of water (no soda, juice, punch, etc.). Do not bring water in disposable water bottles – get a canteen or hiking water bottle at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for less than $10. Scouts need to bring a day pack (school pack will work fine) to carry all their gear for the day.

The Hopedale Parklands Forest is a great place to hike and explore. There are miles of trails and hills that surround the Hopedale Pond and the Mill River. After hiking in to a remote hill top shelter, we’ll set up base for our Orienteering Contest. We will divide the scouts into age/ability groups. Using orienteering maps, scouts will plot strategy, and then seek out as many orienteering markers as possible in the allotted time. The troop has conducted these orienteering contests before with great success. At the end of the hike we will enjoy some of Troop 4’s famous fried dough!

If you son will be attending the hike, please complete the permission slip (click here) and return it to the Troop Scribe at the March 2nd troop meeting. All first year crossover scouts are strongly encouraged to attend as this is a great introduction to our outdoor program. If you son would like to attend but won’t be at the March 2nd troop meeting, please call or email Phil Bedard at 508-282-0283 or We will need a few parents to drive to/from and/or stay for the event. If you can help out please indicate on the permission slip.

Venture Scouts will be planning and leading this activity. Ventures will perform the course setup on March 7th using GPS devices, and will also lead the actual event on March 14th. Venture attendance at one of these two dates is required. Attendance at this hike counts toward the outdoor participation requirement (>= 50% of events) to advance to the next rank. Ventures must coordinate their attendance through event leaders Mike Tusino and TJ Fasulo.


Merit Badge Activity

Mr. Tusino is continuing his CIT Community merit badge classes at upcoming troop meetings. There was a strong showing of scouts at the recent town meeting. Those scouts that would like this Citizenship MB “town meeting” requirement to also count toward the Communications Merit badge must write and submit a written report to Mr.Bedard (email is best) that summarizes the meeting. Write the report soon while the event is still fresh in your mind.

Another round of the Personal Fitness Merit Badge was kicked off recently at the Midtown Family Fitness Center. All scouts starting this badge must submit a written fitness plan to either Mr. Croteau or Mr. Bedard before they begin their 12 week fitness program. Scouts must remember to log all of their workouts in accordance with the requirements handed out at the kickoff. Remember that completion of this badge is mandatory for those wishing to attend the August Presidential Range Backpacking Adventure.

Several scouts have recently completed the Communications Merit Badge through their efforts at the very successful planning and sales efforts for the Troop 4 Pancake Breakfast. Post-breakfast documentation activities (e.g., thank you letters, etc) will occur at upcoming meetings to help scouts close out on this badge.

Several venture scouts have eagle-required merit badges stuck in a “partial” status. Ventures should make a final effort to close out these badges soon, and should also review their remaining eagle-required merit badges. Most of these remaining badges are not conducive to work on at troop meetings, so scouts are expected to initiate and complete these badges on their own. Contact the scoutmaster for a blue card, and consult the appropriate Troop 4 merit badge counselor to begin work.

Troop Meeting Leadership

To ensure that the troop has consistent adult leadership at all troop meetings, the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters have met to establish a procedure for when a leader is unable to attend. When Phil Bedard is unavailable to attend a troop meeting, Assistant Scoutmaster Tom Sgammato will be the lead adult. If either Phil or Tom is unavailable, Assistant Scoutmaster Mark Stiles will be the lead adult. Both Tom and Mark have an extensive scouting background, and are prepared to handle any issues that may arise. This arrangement will provide scouts, parents and church officials with a clear point of contact.

Adult “New Leader” Guide

The troop has recently published a “new leader” guide to assist leaders that are new to the program. Contact Phil Bedard for more information.

Pancake Breakfast – Huge Success!

Thanks to all the scouts, parents, and adult leaders who planned, supported and attended our annual pancake breakfast. The troop made over $3000 profit, which will help defer the cost of our next high adventure trip. Scouts performed extremely well in all areas of operation, including the kitchen, table waiting, advertising sales, ticket sales, cake/bread sales, and dining center prep/cleanup.

Camp Tahosa Photo Albums

Camp Tahosa photo albums are still available. If interested, please contact Amy Croteau at

Winter Sports Weekend – Thanks to the Lanciano’s!

Another great winter sports weekend was had at the Lanciano cabin. A big thanks to Mr. Lanciano, Gabe and Sammie for hosting the troop.

Summer Camp Kick Off

Once again, the Troop will attend a week of summer camp at Camp Resolute in Bolton, MA from July 19-24th. Since there is no competing High Adventure summer camp this year, we expect a very strong scout and leader turnout. The Troop has drafted this year’s Summer Camp Parent Guide. The Guide will also be available on the Troop website. The guide establishes the due dates for all fees and forms, and provides new scouts parents with lots of good information on the summer camp experience. The Council has not yet released their parent guide and fees. Once this information is released later this spring, we’ll update the troop guidebook. Note the important deadlines for medical forms. Many doctor’s offices require long lead time on appointments, so please plan accordingly. Feel free to contact Phil Bedard with any questions.

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders

  • February 26th is a regular troop meeting
  • March 2nd is a regular troop meeting, and first for our new scouts.
  • March 7th is the orienteering course setup (time TBD) – venture scouts only
  • March 12th is a regular troop meeting
  • March 14th is the Troop Hike and Orienteering Contest
  • March 19th and 26th are regular troop meetings
  • April 2nd is a regular troop meeting
  • April 4-5 is the Troop Backpacking Trip (location TBD)


Call Phil Bedard at 508-282-0283 or email at