Troop Four Family Newsletter – November 29, 2009

Troop Pig Roast Report

A great time was had by all at the bi-annual Troop Pig Roast and Campout. 25 scouts attended. We were also joined by eight Webelos II scouts and their parents. The venture scouts did a superb job managing the field kitchen, efficiently cooking and serving the hot roast pig and a variety of tasty side dishes. Scouts also organized and led a variety of fun contests and events, and demonstrated our new modular (and huge) medieval trebuchet launcher. A big thanks goes to the scout and troop leadership for organizing a great campout.

Swim Night

This week’s troop meeting (Dec 3rd) will be a swim night at the Milford High School pool. Bring swim attire and a towel. No uniform required, and there is no fee for this event. Younger scouts will cover important 2nd & 1st class requirements related to swimming and water safety. We’ll also have pool games, diving, and of course, pizza/drinks to end the night. Normal meeting time: 7pm start (sharp) & 830pm pickup.

January Winter Camping Trip

The January Winter Camping Trip will be Saturday January 9, 2010 through Sunday January 10. We will be camping in the Upton State Forest in Upton MA. USF is a large forest with lots of trails and secluded camping spots to select from. Planned activities include sledding, hiking, animal tracking, snowshoeing, a visit to Whistling Cave, and other adventures. At this winter camping trip we will be doing some aluminum foil cooking (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, too!

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 9. Patrols will have an opportunity to assemble their ingredients into tin-foil cooking packets using the parish center kitchen before we depart. We will need a few parents to drive to/from the site. We will return for pick up on Sunday, January 10 by noon.

Because of the holidays and school vacation, we will be planning the trip earlier than usual – at the December 17 troop meeting. If your son is planning to attend, please return the permission slip by the December 17 troop meeting. If your son can’t make the December 17 troop meeting but wants to attend, please call or email Phil Bedard before the 17th 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. Hope for lots of snow cover!

Town Christmas Tree Pick Up

The Town Christmas Tree Pick Up will be Sunday, January 3. 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. Please call or email Bob Garber at bobg.home@comcast.net if you can participate.

Troop Knife Contest

The Troop Knife Contest will be at the December 17 troop meeting. Scouts can bring a knife that they can use under the troop/BSA rules and enter it in the competition for sharpest, best looking, and most functional. There will be prizes for the winners.

Special Service Event: Decoration of the Town Nativity Scene

The troop will once again decorate the town’s nativity scene in Draper Park. The troop is looking for scout volunteers to help decorate. We have a head start this year because we already chopped down a stack of pine boughs at the last campout. We plan to use these to decorate the nativity scene on Saturday December 5th, at 930AM. Please meet at Draper Park (near the general on the horse). We will wrap up by 1030AM. Pick-up will be at the same spot.

Advancement

Troop Guides are working lower rank advancement activities for 2nd and 1st Class. Mr. Croteau has continued working with scouts on the Personal Fitness Merit Badge. For these scouts, remember to get your fitness plan APPROVED by your councilor BEFORE you start your 12 weeks of fitness, and be sure to maintain the mandatory daily log of all your exercises. Mr. Sgammato has initiated some fun merit badges at recent troop meetings (American Heritage and Genealogy). See Mr. Sgammato if you want in. In addition, many scouts have recently taken the initiative to meet with merit badge councilors in order to begin at-home work for Eagle required badges. This is a great idea, and is the kind of initiative that’s required to advance to Eagle. Communications MB (& pancake ad sales) is also off and running – See Mr. Gallagher for more info.

OA Election

The Order of Arrow election is scheduled for Thursday, Dec 17th at the regular troop meeting. A separate mailing will be sent shortly directly to those scouts who meet the eligibility requirements for this BSA honor society. Questions can be directed to the Scoutmaster, or the Troops OA Rep, Dan A.

Scouting for Food Success

Thanks to all the scouts and leaders who participated in the Scouting for Food event, which was a big success. Fifteen Troop 4 scouts worked on the Sunday of the event to help sort arriving food; a great showing.

Survival!

Troop 2, 4 and 18 have combined forces to bring famous author Michael Tougias to St. Mary’s parish on our regular troop meeting night of Dec 10th. Mr. Tougias has written many books with a survival theme, including Fatal Forecast (see summary below). Please arrive between 630-645pm. The show starts promptly at 7pm. All scouts must bring a two liter bottle of soft drink for the refreshment table. The other troops will provide snacks and paper goods.

An overview of the book/presentation:

Fatal Forecast:
“A Breathtaking book, the story is both marvelous and terrifying.”
- – - LA Times

What happens when a 90-foot wave hits two 50-foot boats 200 miles out to sea in November? Fatal Forecast chronicles one of the most incredible survival stories ever told. Using slides from the actual storm and rescue, award-winning author Michael Tougias tells the story based on his new book, Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea.

Upcoming Event Dates & Reminders:

  • Dec 3 – Troop Meeting at MHS pool, normal time
  • Dec 5 – Service Project / Decorate Nativity Scene in Draper Park
  • Dec 10 – Troop Meeting, 645pm Start, Survival Presentation
  • Dec 17 – Troop Meeting, OA Elections
  • Dec 24 – no meeting (Christmas eve)
  • Dec 31 – no meeting (News Year’s Eve)
  • Jan 3 – Christmas Tree Pickup
  • Jan 7 – Troop Meeting
  • Jan 9/10 – Winter Camping Trip

Questions

Please call the Phil Bedard at 508-478-5773 or email at pbedard1@gmail.com if you have any questions.