Troop 4 Family Newsletter – September 17, 2009

Troop Elections

The Troop conducted Senior Patrol elections at the end of the season. Ben S. won the election, and appointed James L., Richard R. and Pat B. as Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders. This leadership team then selected new leaders for the various troop positions, such as scribe, quartermaster, etc. This change to early elections and appointments allowed us to conduct training prior to the start of our new season so that we can ‘hit the ground running’ at next week’s first ‘all hands’ troop meeting. While many posts have been filled, some election activity remains. The election of patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders is scheduled for opening night on Sept 24th.

Trip Report – Mt. Washington Backpacking Trip

A big thanks goes to Jeff Croteau and Mark Hobart for helping scouts organize the troop’s first ascent of the Northeast’s highest peak. At over 6200 feet, and the home of the ‘world’s worst weather’, the August Mt. Washington trip required careful planning and preparations. This crew perfected a lightweight packing approach for meals and patrol gear that will set the standard for future high adventure backpacking trips. A group photo on top of the fog shrouded summit has been posted to the troop website. These scouts have prepared a presentation of their trek to be shown at an next week’s troop meeting.

October Backpacking Trip

The troop will demonstrate these new backpacking skills on the weekend of October 23-25. The troop will travel to the Taconic Mountains in the MA/NY/CT tri-state area. This trip will feature a combination of cabin camping at the AMC’s Northwest Camp and tent camping along the Appalachian Trail. Experienced backpacking scouts desiring a faster pace and very challenging route may choose to leave on Friday afternoon directly after school. This group will meet at the St. Mary’s parish center for an immediate departure at 3pm. They will arrive at the trailhead at dusk for a very short ½ mile backpack to the cabin before dark, followed by a challenging hike to a wilderness campsite on Saturday.

First year scouts, and other scouts not able to leave on Friday will meet Saturday at the parish center for an on-time departure at 8AM. This group will travel on a 5-mile route over the Appalachian Trail to the same AMC cabin. This 2nd group may break into ability groups depending on the number of attendees. Both groups will backpack out on Sunday morning, stop for a fast food lunch on the ride home, and arrive home for a parish center pick-up at 4pm.

Our destination is home to many interesting features including the highest peak in Connecticut, and the highest land point in Connecticut. A nickel to the scout who can explain how these can be two separate places. We will also traverse exposed ridges, deep ravines and rocky summits.

The option for a Friday or Saturday departure may change based on the number of attendees and leaders. It is therefore very important that all scouts and leaders planning to attend turn in the permission slip no later than the Oct 1st troop meeting in order to allow for the required logistics planning. Early submittals via email to are strongly encouraged.

Due to the challenging nature of this backpacking trip, all attendees must be physically fit. New scouts unaccustomed to strenuous activity should begin a fitness program now in order to be ready for this trip. Consider starting the personal fitness merit badge to get in shape. Same goes for older scouts/adults that want to participate. Please direct any questions on this topic to any of the Troop 4 Personal Fitness Merit Badge Councilors listed on the troop website.

All attendees (scouts/adults) will cook their backpacking meals individually, using only boiled water for meal preparation. Veterans of the Mt. Washington trip will provide detailed instruction on meal preparation and ingredients each person must buy. Ingredients can be easily purchased at a local grocer at low cost. Scouts should also bring some money for a fast food lunch on Sunday’s return. Detailed meal planning and packing instruction will take place at the October 8th troop meeting. All scouts must then bring their fully packed back-pack to the October 15th troop meeting where a “shake-down” will be performed to ensure each scout is well prepared. Scouts must “be prepared” by bringing every item on the checklist provided at the 10/8 meeting – no exceptions. On 10/15, each backpack must brought to the meeting in “ready-to-hit-the-trail” condition. Also, a nominal $5 fee (check payable to Troop 4) is required to defray the cost of the AMC Cabin.

Again, if your son will be attending, please drop off the permission slip no later than the beginning of the October 1st Troop Meeting, or email the form earlier to Phil Bedard.

Troop Eagle Court of Honor

The Troop Eagle Court of Honor will be Thursday, October 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Mary’s parish center. This special Court of Honor will honor our newest Eagle Scout, Mike Tusino. Awards earned by all other scouts since the last Court of Honor will also be presented. There will be a dinner before the awards ceremony. The troop committee is planning the details and will communicate more information to families shortly.

Troop Dues and Medical Forms

Troop dues and medical forms are due at the Sept 24th or Oct 1st troop meetings. The medical form is required for each scout. Unlike summer camp forms, only a parent signature is required. Vaccines, if current, can be stated as such. The combined troop and re-charter dues are $85 per scout ($65 for additional siblings). More information on these forms and dues was previously provided in the kickoff letter, which is still posted to the troop website.


Many Life scouts are actively working their Eagle service projects. Keep an eye out for emails and phone calls from these scouts as they recruit help for several interesting projects, which involve service to the Milford Bike Trail Committee, the Milford Geriatric Authority, and our own sponsor, St. Mary’s Parish. Please help them as much as you can.

All scouts who are ready for advancement, or who are very close, should have received an email from the scoutmaster recently with reminders on badge wrap-up, service hour wrap-up, or to schedule a scoutmaster conference. Due to the limited number of meetings between now and the Court of Honor, it is mandatory that scouts meet the deadlines established in these emails, and attend their scheduled conferences/reviews, if they desire to advance this fall.

Merit Badges

There are many merit badge activities planned this fall, some starting very soon. The venture planning meetings, and patrol leader’s council, will determine which badges will be offered, and when. Look for announcements at upcoming troop meetings.

Troop Library

Merit badge booklets are a significant expense for the troop. Please help the troop to be thrifty by returning any borrowed booklets to the troop library as soon as you are finished. Contact troop Librarian Matt B. if you have any library questions, would like to donate booklets, borrow books, or are seeking a particular merit badge book that’s not in the library.

Troop History

Troop Historian Wyatt B. has taken the challenge to improve the collection and preservation of Troop artifacts. Please see Wyatt if you can provide useful artifacts, like newspaper clippings of Troop 4 scouts, an especially good picture or two of a Troop 4 event, or any other notable artifact.

Troop Equipment

Troop Quartermaster Joshua S. is seeking the cooperation of the entire troop to maintain the cleanliness and integrity of Troop tents, cookware, and other high adventure / camping gear. All scouts should work closely with Joshua to account for, clean and return all troop equipment used at camping and other events. Any outstanding troop tent from the last Mt. Washington trip should be returned at the Sept 24 troop meeting.

Troop Recruiting

Troop 4 is always on the lookout for a few good young men. Contact Troop Recruiter Nolan H. if you know of friends that you think would be a good fit to join our troop.

Patrol Leaders

The strength of Troop 4 is based on the strength and initiative of our patrols. Patrol leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders will be elected at the 9/24 troop meeting. Patrol members should use the Patrol Leader as their main point of contact for campout and event coordination.

Procedures for Submitting Troop Forms/Dues

Troop meetings can be very hectic at the start. Families can help by submitting routine dues, trip payments, permission slips and medical forms directly to Troop Scribe Cody M., or his designee/assistants. This year, the scribe will set up shop just outside the opening classroom to cut down on congestion. Of course, parents are free to direct special questions on forms and payments to any adult leader if required.

Venture Scout Corner

Venture Ideas for 2009/2010

The ventures recently held a meeting to discuss their Eagle Service Project status, and also to identify ideas for Troop and Venture meetings & trips for the new season. The crew put many exciting ideas on the table. The scout and adult leadership will work hard to make these happen. This batch of ideas is on the agenda for discussion at the first Patrol Leaders Council meeting, and includes ideas such as:

  • Merit Badge Classes
  • Frisbee Golf Tournament
  • Shotgun Shooting and Archery Nights at Maspenock
  • Troop Meeting “Tailgating” night… real football food, cooked on real tailgates
  • Troop Meeting taste test tournament (coke/pepsi, gatorade/powerade, tobasco/franks, Milford tap/Poland, etc)

The PLC will work these ideas, and others, into the upcoming season.

Guest Speakers

Troop 4 has a strong tradition of bringing in excellent guest speakers on topics of interest to venture (high school age) scouts. Speakers this year may address topics like “Engineering Careers”, “The Greenway Challenge, aka, The Apache Relay on Steroids”, and other topics relevant to venture scouts. Parents – if you have a topic of interest you would like to present, please contact Mr. Bob Garber or Phil Bedard.

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders

  • Sept 24 – First general troop meeting. Troop elections.
  • Oct 1 – Troop Meeting (troop dues / medical form deadline / campout permission slip are due) and scoutmaster conferences
  • Oct 8th – Troop Meeting, including backpacking meal prep, packing instruction, and board of reviews.
  • Oct 15th – Troop Meeting, including backpacking “shakedown” and board of reviews (if required)
  • Oct 22 – Eagle Court of Honor
  • Oct 23-25 – Troop Backpacking Trip
  • Oct 24-25 – Scouting for Food
  • Oct 29 – Troop Halloween Party


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