Troop 4 Family Newsletter – November 27th 2010

Backwoods BBQ Campout – Trip Report:

A great time was had by all at the Troop’s Backwoods BBQ and Webelos campout at the Troop campsite in November. 30 Troop 4 scouts and 5 Webelos attended. The venture scouts did a superb job managing the field kitchen, efficiently cooking and serving authentic smoked pulled pork and a variety of tasty BBQ side dishes. Scouts also organized and led a variety of fun contests and events. A big thanks goes to the scout and troop leadership for organizing a great campout.

Swim Night:

This week’s troop meeting (Dec 2nd) 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 advancement 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 will be Saturday January 22, 2010 through Sunday January 23. We will be camping in the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Blackstone River Park has a large forest with lots of trails and a secluded and sheltered pine grove camping spot that is perfect for winter camping. Planned activities include sledding, hiking, animal tracking, snowshoeing, a visit to King Philips Cave and Lookout, 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 spacious regular troop tents (not the backpacking tents) to sleep in Saturday night. These tents have more room to keep gear out of the snow, and 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). A plastic sled comes in handy on this trip, for both sledding and for hauling in your gear. If you have one, please bring it.

We will meet at St. Mary’s parish center at 9:00 AM on Saturday January 22. 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 23 by noon.

We will be planning the trip at the January 13 troop meeting. If your son is planning to attend, please return the permission slip by the January 13 troop meeting. If your son can’t make the January 13 troop meeting but wants to attend, please call or email Phil Bedard before that date 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:

Sunday, January 2. This is a fun 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. Our trucks leave the parish center at 8:30 AM sharp, and we will not return to the parish center until the end of the event, so please be on time. The event ends at noon. Please call or email Ken Matondi at if you can participate.

Troop Knife Contest:

Will be held at the December 16 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.

Holiday Party:

The troop’s holiday party will be at the December 16th troop meeting. Scouts that want to participate in our annual Yankee Swap gift exchange can do so by bringing an inexpensive wrapped gift in the $10-$15 range. Note that this will be the last troop meeting of the year. There is no troop meeting on Thursday 12/23/10.

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 boughs to decorate the nativity scene on Saturday December 4th, at 9:30AM. Please meet at Draper Park (near the general on the horse). We will wrap up by 10:30AM. Pick-up will be at the same spot.


There are many merit badges in progress, or about to begin. Mr. Matondi and Mr. Bedard have a Personal Fitness Merit Badge crew that is about 8 weeks into the 12 week fitness program. These scouts should look for an announcement of the final fitness test to be scheduled over the upcoming school vacation. CIT Community and Communications Merit Badges have recently kicked off, and activity will continue at troop meetings, and scouts should also work on these badges at home. Mr. Sgamatto’s Environmental Science Merit Badge class is scheduled to start on Dec 9th. Be sure to get a scoutmaster signed merit badge blue card AND speak to your councilor BEFORE you begin any badge work.

OA Election:

Scheduled for Thursday, Dec 16th 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, Richard.

Scouting for Food Success:

Thanks to all the scouts and leaders who participated in the Scouting for Food event, which was a big success. Approximately fifteen Troop 4 scouts worked on the Sunday of the event to help sort arriving food; a great showing. Thanks to Stacey Barie for volunteering to supervise this year’s event.

Pancake Breakfast:

Ticket sales for the breakfast have begun. 20 tickets were distributed to all scouts at the last troop meeting. The ticket package included a list of all the rules and incentives for this year’s ticket selling. There are lots of great prizes for the top sellers this year. Scouts are expected to sell a minimum of 20 tickets. Please turn in money to the Troop scribe as you sell tickets. The scribe will be tracking sales weekly and reporting on progress for both total troop ticket sales and the patrol ticket sales contest. This year’s pancake breakfast advertising sales has also kicked off. The Biohazard Patrol is in charge of this year’s ad sales effort. Their final ad salesman training session is scheduled for the 12/9 troop meeting. Logistical questions regarding this year’s Pancake Breakfast can be directed to Amy Croteau at

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