Newsletter 2011-02-25

New Scouts:

Welcome to all our new scouts and families. We have 5 new scouts either joining from Pack 4 or coming into scouting for the first time. The first troop meeting that includes new scouts will be Thursday 3/3 at 7pm-830pm. There is a lot of great introductory program information on our website. Important information will also be distributed to new scouts over the next few days. Please email Phil Bedard at pbedard1@gmail.com if new scout families have any questions. We plan to meet many of the new scout families at the upcoming Pack 4 Blue and Gold ceremony.

Pancake Breakfast: Thanks to all for the hard work at the Pancake Breakfast. It was the biggest crowd to date. Fantastic results; over $6000 profit, which will defray the cost of next year’s really big high adventure trip. Great performances by all – ticket sellers, ad sellers, bake sale, troop store, chefs, waiters, entertainment staff and clean-up crew. Special thanks go to Stacey Barie, the Brundrett family, Bruce Hastings, Ken Lincoln, Tara Spiegelman, Amy Croteau, Mark Stiles and Peter Lanciano for supervising key aspects of this event.

Merit Badges:

Several merit badges were kicked off recently, including music, scholarship and personal fitness. It’s not too late to start. Contact the appropriate merit badge councilor for the badge that you are interested in.

Advancement:

For those scouts wrapping up merit badges, you must turn in a councilor signed blue card by the 3/10 troop meeting if you would like to receive the badge at the court of honor. Scouts looking to advance to the next rank at the next Court of Honor must complete all rank requirements no later the start of the 3/10 troop meeting, and you must email the scoutmaster in advance of 3/10 in order to have your scoutmaster conference scheduled for that evening.

Many scouts are starting the quest for the First Class Rank. The troop plans to do many of the lashing and fun pioneering related requirements at the upcoming troop meetings.

DATE CHANGE: Eagle Court of Honor: The Court of Honor was recently rescheduled from March 3rd to Thursday, March 24th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Mary’s parish center. This special Court of Honor will honor our newest Eagle Scout, Stephen Ward. 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.

Lanciano Cabin NH Winter Weekend:

A big thanks again goes to the Lanciano family for hosting us at their cabin for another exciting winter event this past weekend. There was tons of snow for great sledding and snowmobiling.

Venture Ice Fishing Report:

The ventures recently took to the ice for an ice fishing and cookout event on Fiske Mill Pond. Thanks to Mr. Hobart for coordinating the logistics and to Mr. Lanciano for providing pond access. Troop investigators are scheduled to speak with the attending scouts to verify the details of their amazing trout catch story. Photos will be posted on the website shortly.

Troop Day Hike:

Saturday, March 19th at the Holyoke Range in the vicinity of South Hadley MA. We will meet at the parish center at 8AM so that we have sufficient day light for the hike. We will return for pick up at the parish center by approximately 5:30 PM that evening. Scouts need to bring: a bag lunch, poncho or rain coat if it looks like rain that day, boots, a hat and gloves/mittens. A spare pair of socks is a must to bring. If the weather is cold, bring a warm coat as well. Scouts should bring two quarts/liters of water (no soda, juice, punch, etc.). Do not bring water in disposable water bottles – get a canteen or hiking water bottle at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for about $10. Scouts need to bring a day pack (school pack will work fine) to carry their personal and troop gear for the day.

The Holyoke Range is a great place to hike and explore. The range is home to the “Seven Sisters”, a continuous series of small peaks topping out at 1000 foot elevation, and overlooking the scenic Connecticut River Valley. We will be traversing the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which travels along the Metacomet ridge. This ridge is a unique and ancient traprock formation that extends from Long Island Sound in Connecticut all the way to the MA/NH/VT border area.

We will divide the scouts into age/ability groups and cover distances that are comfortable for each group. Younger scouts will tackle a 5mile route, and older scouts working on the hiking merit badge will tackle a 10 mile route.

At the end of the hike we will have some of Troop 4′s famous fried dough!

If you son will be attending the hike, please complete the permission slip and return no later than the March 10th troop meeting. If you son would like to attend but won’t be at this troop meeting, please call or email Phil Bedard at 508-561-7058 or pbedard1@gmail.com We will need a few parents to drive to/from and/or stay for the event. If you can help out please indicate on the permission slip.

SCOUTS – Camping Merit Badge Trek Plan Opportunity: For scouts looking to fulfill the camping merit badge “trek plan” requirement, here is a great opportunity. The troop will give credit to any scout who drafts a compliant trek plan for the March day hike. Use the web, where you should be able to find trail maps, road maps and town/park details. Your plan must include a trail map with a suggested 5mile hiking route (you can find a good map at the state’s website for this park), a road map (e.g., google map) with your suggested driving route from Milford to the park, local emergency numbers (police/fire), address of nearby hospital, troop leadership contact information (can be found on this newsletter), and your suggested schedule/itinerary for the day. In the very unlikely event that we have trouble on the trail, a good trek plan, left behind at home and on our car windshields, would help guide friends/family and rescue workers to our aid. In addition to merit badge credit for all entries, a great prize for the best Trek Plan will be awarded.