Troop 4 Family Newsletter – September 11, 2010

Troop Elections:

The Troop conducted Senior Patrol elections at the end of the season. Joshua won the election, and appointed Matt , Dev , Nolan and Alex  as Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders. This leadership team then selected new leaders for the various troop positions, such as scribe, quartermaster, etc. Select new leaders have been invited to participate in a leader training session scheduled for Sept 16. 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 23rd. Note that all scouts will be given multiple leadership opportunities over the course of their scouting career.

Trip Report – Penobscot 50 Mile Canoe Trip.

This year’s high adventure trip was a huge success. 18 scouts paddled 50 miles through the last tract of true wilderness in the Northeast. Great adventures were had as the troop paddled the lakes and rivers of the Penobscot River Corridor. Moose, loon and eagles were common sightings, and the troop members completed a variety of outdoor and wilderness related merit badges. Congratulations to Asbhy for earning the Honor Camper award, James for winning the wilderness journal contest, and Eric for earning the most improved paddler award. Special thanks go to all the adult leaders and parents who helped our scouts plan this great adventure. Keep an eye out for trip photo presentations at the upcoming troop meetings.

October Backpacking Trip:

The outdoor adventures continue, with a scheduled backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail in western Massachusetts on the weekend of October 23-24.

Scouts will meet Saturday October 23rd at the parish center for an on-time departure at 730AM. Our destination is home to many interesting features including cascades, dramatic ledges, and campsites with dramatic views to the east.

This trip will be more challenging than the April backpacking introduction trip, so all attendees must be physically fit. Consider starting the personal fitness merit badge to get in shape. Please direct any questions on this merit badge to the Troop 4 Personal Fitness Merit Badge Councilors listed on the troop website. While this trip will be challenging, the troop will split into several ability groups on the ascent, to afford scouts an opportunity to hike to our campsite at a comfortable pace.

All attendees (scouts/adults) will cook patrol style. 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 14th troop meeting. There is no fee for this trip.

If your son will be attending, please drop off the attached permission slip no later than the October 7th Troop Meeting, or email the form earlier to Phil Bedard.

Troop Eagle Court of Honor:

Thursday, October 21st from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Mary’s parish center. This special Court of Honor will honor our newest Eagle Scouts, James Malnati and Spencer Carlin. 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:

Due at the Sept 23th or Sep 30th troop meetings. The annual Class 1 medical form is attached, and 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 $95 per scout ($75 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.


All scouts who are ready for advancement, or who are very close, will be receiving an email from the scoutmaster 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 important 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 year, 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. A reminder on merit badge process: Scouts must obtain a blue merit badge card signed by the Scoutmaster before beginning any merit badge activity. Scouts are also responsible for ensuring that completed and signed off merit badge cards are submitted to Scoutmaster once all requirements are completed. Other merit badge “frequently asked questions” are answered on the troop website. The troop has also recently expanded our merit badge offerings with more merit badge councilors. Check out the website for the latest information. Lastly, Mrs. Amy Croteau will attend the September 23rd troop meeting to offer scouts tips and strategy on effectively tracking your merit badge progress to completion. Don’t miss this presentation.

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 the new troop Librarian Christian 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 Brian has taken the challenge to improve the collection and preservation of Troop artifacts. Please see Brian 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. Brian will also be coordinating this first Troop 4 Eagle Scout Reunion, to be held this winter.

Troop Equipment:

The troop has recently made significant enhancements to the troop equipment inventory. We have recently re-stocked with new and refurbished tents, water filters, axes, hatchets, stoves, cook kits, chef kits, and a variety of specialized backpacking equipment. You are lucky to be in one of the best equipped troops in the area. In order to maintain this growing inventory of adventure gear, the Troop has appointed TWO new quartermasters this year, James and DJ . All scouts should work closely with the quartermasters to account for, clean and return all troop equipment used at camping and other events. Any outstanding troop equipment from the summer’s high adventure trip should be returned at the Sept 23rd troop meeting.

Troop Recruiting:

Troop 4 is always on the lookout for a few good young men. Contact Troop Recruiter Justin 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 9/23 troop meeting. Patrol members should use the Patrol Leader as their main point of contact for campout and event coordination.

“Good Morning Everybody!”

Every scout who has ever camped with the troop has heard this pleasant and high decibel bellow at sunrise. Well, Mr. Lanciano finally has some competition, as the troop has tapped Franciel to be the troop’s first Troop Bugler. An authentic brass bugle will be issued to Franciel, to be used whenever there is cause to rally the troop during our activities. We plan to break in this new bugle for the first time at 5AM (maybe earlier) just outside Mr. Lanciano’s tent on the next campout.

A Scout is Reverent.

The troop will make an extra effort this year to raise the profile of the Chaplain’s Aide position during our troop events throughout the year. Thommy has been assigned this post, and is charged with helping the troop incorporate this very important part of the Scout Law into our activities.

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 at the start of the meeting. Scribe duties will be performed this year by Wyatt and Sam . You will see the troop scribes near the “scribe box” at the beginning of each meeting. Please deposit forms and dues to their box. Of course, parents are free to direct special questions on forms and payments to any adult leader when required.

Information Especially for Venture Scouts:

Venture Program 2010/2011: The ventures will hold a meeting on September 16th to plan the activities of the Venture Patrol, and to work with the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters to plan logistics and supervision of the troop meetings & trips for the new season. Mr. Mark Hobart has volunteered to be the Venture adult advisor this year (thanks Mark!). Ventures should come to the September 16th meeting with some exciting ideas for the new season.

Troop Four Website:

Please frequent the Troop 4 website at:
It contains lots of current schedule and other useful information. A special thanks goes to Mr. Steve Eddins and Mr. Bob Garber for their recent work to improve the website’s look, content and maintenance instructions. Through Steve and Bob’s efforts, the troop boasts one of the most informative and up to date troop web sites around.

Please call the Phil Bedard at 508-561-7058 or email at if you have any questions.