Troop 4 Family Newsletter – March 22, 2009

April Backpacking Trip

PERMISSION SLIP

The April backpacking trip will be Saturday, April 4th and 5th at the Douglas State Forest. We will meet at the parish center at 8:30 AM and leave about 9:00 AM for the forest. We will return for pick up at the parish center by 3:00 PM on Sunday. Scouts need to bring a bag lunch and the items listed on the Troop 4 backpacking equipment list. The list is available on our website. Remember to pack warm. April nights are still cold.

The Douglas State Forest has miles of trails, and includes the southern terminus of the Mid-State Trail. We will be camping in a remote pine glade that includes a lean-to shelter, and plenty of soft areas for tent camping. Scouts will be broken down into ability groups so that everyone can hike to the campsite at a comfortable pace. Once we establish camp, we’ll take side hikes to a nearby lake, and search out the elusive Tri-State marker.

Since this will be the first camping trip for many of our new scouts, we will be doing a lot of preparation and training at our upcoming meetings. For food, scouts need to bring a bag lunch for Saturday, will be cooking patrol-style on backpacking stoves for dinner and breakfast, and will plan for a trail-side lunch for the hike out on Sunday. Scouts will plan these patrol meals at the next troop meeting. At the following April 2nd troop meeting, all scouts that plan to attend this trip should bring their backpack fully packed as if they were ready to go. Older scouts (veterans of the Colorado alpine adventure team) will work with each patrol to perform a “shakedown” of each backpack to ensure scouts have all that they need for the trip, but no more. This will ensure that packs are light enough to allow an enjoyable trip.

If you son will be attending the backpacking trip, please complete the permission slip (link) and return it to the Troop Scribe at the March 26th troop meeting. All first year crossover scouts are strongly encouraged to attend as this is a great introduction to backcountry camping. If your son would like to attend but won’t be at the March 26th troop meeting, please call or email Phil Bedard at 508-282-0283 or bedard18@verizon.net 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.

PERMISSION SLIP

Troop Swim Night

Please note that the April 9th meeting will be held at the high school pool as the troop conducts our spring swim night. Meeting drop-off and pick-up is the same as a normal troop meeting. New scouts will have an opportunity to try their hand at the BSA Swim Test. This is good practice for the test given at summer camp. Pool games, belly flops, and pizza/soda will round out the night.

District Pine Wood Derby – Help Needed

The troop is looking for a couple volunteers to help out at the District Pine Wood Derby to be held on Saturday April 4th from 830am to 1pm at the Milford Youth Center. Volunteer’s can also cheer on one of Troop 4′s new crossover scouts, who has qualified for this competitive district race. Please note that this is the same day as the troop backpacking trip. If interested, please notify Phil Bedard at the next troop meeting. Volunteering for this effort qualifies as service time toward advancement.

Relay for Life – Staff Crew

The Troop is looking for a few scouts to work as staff at the upcoming Milford Relay for Life at the High School Track on Friday May 15 from 6pm to midnight. You need not stay the entire time. Scouts must arrange their own transportation. Duties include various set-up and clean-up jobs. Scout participation would count as service hours towards advancement, and the first five to sign up will receive an official “Staff” t-shirt. The troop will have registered adult leaders to supervise. If interested, please email Phil Bedard (bedard18@verizon.net) by Wed March 25th. If scouts need additional service hours, there may also be an opportunity to help clean up on Saturday morning. While the troop is not forming an official team this year, we would like to make a donation via our sponsor’s St.Mary’s team. Tax deductible donations payable to “The American Cancer Society” can be brought to any upcoming troop meeting. The troop’s relay staff members will present the donations to the St.Mary’s team captain at the event.

Merit Badge Activity

  • CIT Community badge activity is wrapping up. Arrange a meeting or discussion with Mr. Tusino (Tusino@comcast.net) to provide evidence of completing the final requirements.
  • Personal Fitness merit badge completion is required to attend the August NH Wilderness backpacking trip. The badge takes 3months to complete. See Mr. Croteau or Mr. Bedard for guidance on finishing or starting this badge.
  • Emergency Preparedness – For those that need this badge, the Troop will give you an opportunity to work on and complete the “Troop Mobilization” requirement at the next two campouts
  • Environmental Science – Troop meeting classes have restarted. Need this badge? See Mr. Sgammato at an upcoming troop meeting.
  • Communications – Many scouts have just wrapped up this badge. A few are very close, and need to document their recent Town Meeting attendance in a short report. See Mr. Bedard when ready to close out this badge.
  • New Merit Badge councilors – Mr. Barie is a new Family Life MB councilor, and Mr. Gallagher is a new CIT World and Golf MB councilor. Scouts with interest to begin any merit badge should first get a blue card from the scoutmaster, and then contact any of the registered councilors on the MB Councilor list (on the troop website) before beginning.

Advancement

The troop’s advancement program is in high gear. Older scouts are currently leading classes for Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class and First Class advancement. Many scouts are on target to advance to these badges of rank at the June court of honor.

Great Recruiting Year

Thanks to the recruiting efforts of several scouts and leaders, the troop has had a banner recruitment year. The troop welcomes 11 new scouts. We have new scouts from each of the town’s 3 cub scout packs.

Whitewater !!! Time to Register

The troop’s famous whitewater adventure is fast approaching. This two night trip is scheduled from Saturday June 20th thru Monday June 22nd. We will rafting Maine’s wild Kennebec River under the expert leadership of our Adventure Bound guides. There will be a guide in each boat. We will be staying at the outfitter’s deluxe campground that includes a swimming pool and hot tub. Saturday is a travel and campout day. Sunday is our rafting day. On Monday we break camp and travel back to Milford. Our program includes wet suits that provide warmth from the cold river water, and a riverside lunch. We’ll do fast food lunches on the drive up and back, and cook patrol style at the campsite for all other meals. This is the troop’s premiere event of the season. The steeply discounted price for Boy Scout troops is $80 per person. There will be no other expense except for some pocket money for fast food on the ride up/back. Those interested in attending must submit an $80 check payable to Troop 4 by May 14th. This is a firm deadline, as we have to submit payment to the outfitter to confirm our slots soon after. Much more information (forms and planning information) will be issued as the date approaches. As with all our trips, parents are welcome (but not required) to join us on this high adventure event.

Orienteering Contest – Huge Success!

Thanks to the Ventures who planned and executed a great orienteering contest at the Hopedale Parklands last weekend. Congratulations to the first place “Viking” team, and 2nd place “Team Franciel”.

Summer Camp Medical Form Requirement

The troop has already issued a “draft” summer camp scout/parent guide for our July attendance at Camp Resolute. The “final” version will be issued as soon as Council announces the rates and due dates. The troop recommends that all families make plans now to ensure that their scout will have a completed physical and signed off medical form by June 18th due date. For those getting a head start, the forms (Class 3 medical form, and Immunization Form) are included within last year’s “2008 Scout and Parent Guide.” Note that this medical form is different than the simple annual Class 1 medical form that is maintained in troop files.

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders:

  • March 26th is a regular troop meeting
  • April 2nd is a regular troop meeting. Scouts going on the April 4-5 backpacking trip must bring their “packed” backpacks for inspection.
  • April 4/5 is the troop backpacking trip to Douglas State Forest
  • April 9th is the Troop Swim Night at the high school pool
  • April 16th is a regular troop meeting
  • April 23rd – No meeting – School Vacation

Questions?

Call Phil Bedard at 508-282-0283 or email at bedard18@verizon.net