Newsletter 2011-01-21

Winter Sports Weekend

The annual NH Winter Sports Weekend is almost upon us. The Lanciano’s have once again graciously invited the troop to their mountainside “cabin” in Alexandria NH. Venture scouts (high school) are eligible to depart with the advance party on Friday. Ventures will meet and depart at the St. Mary’s Parish Center on Friday February 11th at 6pm.

The Adventure Patrol (8th graders) are also eligible to depart Friday if they work extra hard on the pancake breakfast fundraiser, by selling at least $200 worth of tickets.

All other scouts will meet and depart from the Parish Center on Saturday February 12th at 8 am. Scouts will return from the event for pickup at the Parish Center at 3 pm on Sunday. All scouts should eat a meal before they arrive, as there will be no meal stop on the ride up north.

The weekend will be filled with winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, shelter building, and other activities. This year’s competitive event will be a Team Luge competition. The event is a high-speed team sledding challenge down the 1 mile long mountain trail. Best cumulative team time wins. Scouts must navigate course challenges along the way, including the “gauntlet”, “snowball tsunami”, “avalanche” and other ominous obstacles. The winning sled team gets bragging rights, and a snowmobile tow back to camp. Losers have to walk back up the mountain! Scouts will design the course, and assign leaders to man the obscure corners for safety, and to catch short-cutters. Don’t forget your sled on this trip.

Ventures (and qualified Adventure scouts) should eat dinner prior to arrival, and plan for an outdoor patrol breakfast on Saturday. All scouts should bring a bag lunch on Saturday, and will cook patrol style meals for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. We’ll stop for a fast food lunch on the ride home. Meal planning will be done by scouts at the Feb 3rd troop meeting. Meals will be cooked by patrols outdoors over their wood fire.

BACK THIS YEAR! - Your Saturday night patrol meal will be part of the 2nd annual Troop 4 Outdoor Cooking contest. A fabulous patrol prize will be awarded to the winning patrol (deluxe BSA emblazoned BBQ cook kit). And a bonus prize if you can top the adult Pedro Patrol’s dinner (good luck on that!). Details will be discussed in a special contest meeting scheduled for the Jan 27th troop meeting.

Scouts will be sleeping in the heated luxury of the Lanciano cabin ground level (aka basement). While no tents are required, scouts should bring their full complement of winter camping gear (see website checklist), including sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

A permission slip (attached at the end of this newsletter) for this event is due at the beginning of the Feb 3rd Troop Meeting. Remember, as with all camping trips, if you sign up to go, and something comes up at the last minute, you must make arrangements to provide your assigned food items to your patrol leader.

NOTE – If you can’t go to the Feb 3rd meeting, and want to go on the trip, you must email Phil Bedard before Feb 3rd so that your patrol leader can include you in the plan. We need to enforce this rule for this camping trip. Late permission slips have been making for difficult patrol meal planning, and difficult transportation planning. Scouts that do not meet this deadline cannot attend. Play it safe and turn in your slip early.

Pancake Breakfast Update:

It’s almost here. The breakfast is scheduled for Feb 6th. Tell all your friends and relatives. Thanks to all the scouts who are working hard to sell tickets and advertisements. All scouts have picked up their initial 20 tickets to sell for the breakfast. Nearly $2000 worth of tickets, and $1000 worth of advertising, has been sold so far. Several scouts have sold several hundred dollars of tickets each. Great job! It’s not too late to get more tickets, and to cash in on the outstanding prizes to be given out to the top salesmen. See Wyatt or Sam at the next troop meeting if you need more tickets. Prizes will be based on tickets sold and money turned in no later than the Feb 3rd Troop Meeting.

The pancake breakfast is one of more important troop events of the year. All scouts (not parents) are expected to sell their initial $100 allotment of tickets and to participate at the event. The SPL has put together a plan with roles for all scouts at the pancake breakfast. Plans will be finalized at the Feb 3rd troop meeting. If you can’t attend the breakfast because of a serious schedule conflict, you MUST contact the SPL. The venture kitchen staff should report for KP no later than 630 AM sharp. Scouts in charge of a station (ticket booth, camp display, troop store, etc) should arrive no later than 7AM. The wait staff (all other scouts) should arrive between 700 – 715AM for set-up and waiter training, and must be in regular Class A uniform. Cooks should wear a Troop 4 T-Shirt. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Uniforms: Reminder

Wearing the scout uniform (tucked in and buttoned up) at troop meetings is a requirement for scout spirit, and scout spirit is a requirement for advancement to any rank, including Eagle. Wearing a jacket over the uniform throughout the meeting (in a well heated building) sets a bad example to the younger scouts, and for the purposes of scout spirit, is equivalent to not wearing the uniform at all.

Cooking Contests:

The Troop is bringing back periodic patrol food contests to our troop meetings. The most recent featured a Pizza Cooking Contest, where Judge Danny survived the sampling, and awarded the top prize to the Adventure Patrol. Keep your ears open for more contests coming soon.

June Whitewater Trip Deposits:

The Troop is planning a return to Maine for a 3day White Water Rafting and camping trip on June 24-26. We are using the same outfitter (Adventure Bound) as two years ago. This trip is a traditional troop favorite conducted every 2 years. Scouts will have the opportunity to earn the Whitewater Merit Badge on this trip. This notice is a “heads-up” that a $20 deposit (check payable to Troop 4) per person is required by the February 17th Troop Meeting. Most scouts and parents are already familiar with this trip, however, we will offer an information session at the Feb 10th troop meeting for those that are unfamiliar with the trip, or would like more information. While we may be able to take additional deposits after Feb 17th, only those deposits received by Feb 17th will be guaranteed a spot on our reservation. Adults are welcome to join their scout on this exciting trip. The Adventure Bound facility provides us with nice tent camping accommodations, a swimming pool, hot tub, and an entertainment hall for movies, card games, etc. Our rafting will be down the challenging Kennebec River. The total prices for the trip will be $85 per person.

Eagle Scout Reunion:

A big thanks to Troop Historian Brian for organizing the Troop’s first Eagle Scout Reunion in January. Thirteen of the Troop’s 22 Eagle Scouts, and several retired leaders, joined us for an outstanding night of fellowship and discussions on the path to Eagle. Sam gave an outstanding “State of the Troop” address to summarize the troop’s activities over the past year.

Advancement:

Keep your eyes on your email for announcement of your scheduled Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review. Come prepared. Many scouts are advancing this winter, so you may have just one opportunity to conduct your required conference and board of review prior to the March 3rd Court of Honor. Life Scouts that are ready to discuss eagle projects should contact the Scoutmaster, or their assigned Eagle Scout Mentor, to schedule a discussion on the proposal process. Any scout that has a question on their advancement status should contact the Scoutmaster early so as to avoid surprises.

Christmas Tree Pick Up:

Thanks to Mr. Matondi, Mike Mahoney, and other scouts who led and participated in this year’s Christmas Tree Pickup. This annual service event and fundraiser was very successful. The troop raised approximately $325.

Venture Outdoor Activities: Mr. Hobart has offered several outdoor and camping activities “for ventures only” this year. Unfortunately, there has been insufficient response on many events, so some had to be cancelled. The troop will continue to offer venture scout activities if the interest is there. Ventures should talk to the Scoutmaster or Mr. Hobart if they have a particular activity of interest. As you know, scouting is a boy-led program – so take charge, and let us know what you want to do. The adult leadership is prepared to guide and facilitate the activities you want, but we need your interest and leadership to make it happen.