Troop 4 Welcome Letter – 2010-2011

Dear Parents and Families,

On behalf of all the Adult Leaders, and the new Scout Leadership Team led by SPL Joshua, I would like to welcome you and your sons back for another exciting 2010 – 2011 scouting year. We have many exciting and challenging activities planned for troop meetings and outdoor events – some old favorites and some new adventures as well.

This past year was filled with many outdoor adventures, including camping, backpacking, ocean island camping, winter camping, snow sport adventures, canoeing and hiking. The troop closed out the year with a great summer camp week at Camp Resolute, and a spectacular 50 mile canoe adventure on Maine’s wild and remote Penobscot River.

Over the past year there were many awards, merit badges, and badges of rank earned by the scouts. We are very proud of our five new Eagle Scouts from this past season; Mike Tusino, TJ Fasulo, Tim Brundrett, Jim Malnati and Spencer Carlin. Jim and Spencer’s Eagle Scout awards will be celebrated at our next Court of Honor in October.

Our scouts participated and completed many individual and group service projects, including Scouting for Food, the Relay for Life, providing holiday decorations at Draper Park, and work on several Troop 4 Eagle Scout projects.

The troop website continues to serve as an excellent resource for current information on activities and calendar dates/times. Be sure to check out the website on a regular basis at www.troop4milford.org

The Venture scouts will continue to have a “Venture Corner” in each of the troop newsletters with information especially for them. Mark Hobart has volunteered to be the adult Venture advisor this year. We will continue to bring in guest speakers to talk to the Ventures on a variety of careers and occupations, and plan to schedule some venture-only trips to challenge these older scouts.

Troop meeting activities will include old favorite activities including: cooking, scout craft, pioneering, engineering, advancement, demonstrations, and merit badge classes. The Patrol Leader’s Council will also schedule new activities to freshen up the program. The troop meetings will continue to be held 7:00 – 8:30 PM on Thursday nights at St. Mary’s parish center.

In addition to our regular assortment of monthly outdoor activities, the Troop has begun early planning for a multi-day backpacking adventure next summer in a scenic and rugged area of the White Mountains; perhaps the Presidential Range. More information will be announced on this trip later in the year, but for those interested, it’s never too early to get in shape. At a minimum, Scouts will have to complete the Personal Fitness Merit Badge prior to signing up for this trip. And it’s never too early to start thinking about the week-long High Adventure 2012. Bring your high adventure ideas to this season’s Patrol Leaders Council and committee meetings.

The Venture Scout organizational meeting will be held Thursday, September 16 from 7-8:30PM. This meeting applies to High School age scouts. On this same day/time, there will also be a leader training meeting for select scout leadership positions. The Scoutmaster and SPL will personally invite those scouts required to attend this meeting. The first meeting for ALL OTHER SCOUTS will be Thursday, September 23. This will be our organizational meeting for the year, for election of Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders, and the announcement of other leadership posts assigned by the SPL. Venture scouts will come to the meeting as well.

Dues for the Year:

The troop is collecting both the BSA re-charter fee and annual troop dues in one combined payment. The total due will be similar to last year. The specific amount will be based on the next troop financial report. The amount due will be defined in the first newsletter of the season (prior to the first troop meeting). There will be a discount for families with more than one scout in the program. If this fee is a hardship please email/call Phil Bedard (confidential). We will once again conduct a pancake breakfast as a supplemental fundraiser for our high adventure programs. We are expecting all scouts to fully participate in this year’s fund raising effort.

The annual dues are due at the start of the season. Please drop off your check at the start of the September 23 or September 30th troop meeting. If your son(s) can’t make either meeting but would like to continue in the troop, please mail the dues prior to September 30th to the Troop Treasurer, Mrs. Debra Laviolette at 7 Paulene Drive, Franklin 02038.  Please make all checks payable to Troop 4. As a courtesy to the troop and to assist in our planning, if your son does not plan to continue in our program, please have him call the scoutmaster to convey his decision.

For Assistant Scoutmasters in high school or college that can only occasionally attend – your annual fee is $15. Other registered adult leaders: no annual fee. Please remit a check to Mrs. Laviolette at the above address.

Reminders for the Troop Meetings:

We realize it’s hard sometimes to make the 7:00 PM meeting start time. Coming late from another activity or school work/job is fine, but when scouts arrive they should come into the meeting room (no detours to the corner convenience store). We will be starting the meetings at 7:00 PM.
- Uniforms must be worn to all the troop meetings.
- Return of troop camping equipment. Most troop equipment will be cleaned and put away after a trip. If your son does bring home equipment from a trip to clean – probably a tent, please clean it and get it back within 2 weeks of the event. Tents can be dried out in a garage or cellar – they don’t need to be aired out in the open. If you currently have any troop equipment, please return it by the September 23rd troop meeting.

Advancement and Badge Work:

Troop 4 has a long tradition of many scouts earning many awards and badges. The upcoming year will be another year of great accomplishments.

The troop will continue to help scouts working on Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class badges of rank at troop meetings and troop events. These scouts, as well as the other scouts in the troop, will also have the opportunity to work on merit badges in Communications, Personal Fitness, Citizenship, Camping, Environmental Science, and other badges soon to be determined.

This year, Life Scouts preparing for an Eagle Service Project will be assigned an adult adviser from the troop leadership. Advisers will be available for questions and guidance as you work on your project. Life Scouts will meet to discuss their Eagle advancement plans and/or project status as part of the Sept 16th venture planning meeting.

Scouts working on Star, Life and Eagle ranks will also have opportunities to complete their scout spirit, participation and leadership requirements at troop meetings and activities this year.

Adequate participation is necessary for scouts working on Star, Life, and Eagle ranks in order for them to demonstrate and meet the scout spirit, active participation, and leadership requirements for advancement. While it is up to the Scoutmaster to determine if the scout meets the requirements, the Troop Committee has established these minimum participation requirements (and there may be more on an individual basis):
- Scouts must attend and be an active participant in at least half the troop meetings in the scout year.
- Scouts must attend and be an active participant in at least 4 outdoor troop activities in the scout year.
- Scouts must attend at least 1 troop service activity in the scout year (e.g., cemetery clean-up, scouting for food, Christmas tree pickup, etc).
- To demonstrate leadership among your peers in the Troop, a minimum of 25% of the total number of Eagle Scout Service project volunteer hours (not the project leader’s hours) should be from Troop 4 Scouts, with a stretch goal of at least 50%.
- Scouts must demonstrate scout spirit during troop meetings and outdoor activities and obey the scout law. Violations of the scout law will delay advancement. Serious or repeated violations will be reviewed by the Scoutmaster and Committee to determine further action.
- In order to complete leadership requirements, scouts may need to attend more than the number of activities listed above, and may have to work independently to complete some requirements.
- Scouts wishing to advance more than 1 rank in a year would be expected to meet the meeting requirements and the appropriate ratio of outdoor activities for each period (e.g., 2 outdoor activities for half a year).
- The Scoutmaster determines if the scout has met any and all requirements for advancement. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a delay in advancement to the next rank, including Eagle.

Upcoming Events:

The complete calendar of events for the 2010-11 season is on the website. Here are a few dates for some upcoming events with more information to follow:

- A Troop Eagle Court of Honor on Thursday, October 21 for all the awards and badges earned since the June Court of Honor. Dinner will be served. Scouts and families should arrive at 6:15 PM. Dinner will be served at 630PM sharp, and awards will start about 7:00 PM. The evening will conclude around 8:30 PM
- The will be a troop fall backpacking trip to a rugged and scenic area TBD. The trip is scheduled for October 23/24.
- The Troop’s annual Halloween Party will be Thursday, October 28.

The first Troop Family newsletter will be out shortly with lots more information.

Please call or email if you have any questions.

On behalf of all the Adult Leaders, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you for all of the help from families and friends over the past year. We’re looking forward to an exciting new season!

Very truly yours,
Phil Bedard
Scoutmaster