Newsletter 2011-04-24

Summer Camp (Fees, and Important Information Night): A reminder that the early bird rate for summer camp payment ends soon.  To receive the reduced rate of $340, please turn in your payment at the May 12th troop meeting (earlier is welcome).  After that date, the price is $370.  The rate for the second scout in a family is $269/$299 respectively.  The early bird deadline does not apply to new crossover scouts; you get the early bird rate even if you sign up later.  All checks should be made payable to Troop 4.  There is lots of summer camp information posted on our website

IMPORTANT – The Troop will be having a great summer camp information night at the April 28th Troop Meeting.  The session will start at 7:50pm.  Parents are welcome to join.  We will meet in the small hall, and will cover the merit badge program, camp activities, the waterfront, the troop’s Nomolos campsite, camp dining, and all other aspects of this annual troop summer camp tradition.

Merit Badge Books: The Troop continues to pursue work on many merit badges, and as a result, there is a high demand for merit badge booklets.  If you purchased merit badge books that you no longer need, please consider donating them to the troop library.  If you borrowed a merit badge booklet, and are no longer working on the badge, please return the booklet as soon as possible.  Merit badge books, and any troop library questions, can be directed to Troop Librarian Christian.

Merit Badge Info Night: The troop will provide an overview of the Merit Badge program to all new scouts at the April 28th troop meeting.  Discussion will cover the signup/blue card process, roles and responsibilities of scouts-leaders-councilors, badges offered, eagle versus non-eagle required badges, and tips on keeping merit badge records and work well organized.

Advancement: We are in the home stretch to wrap up advancement requirements prior to the next round of scoutmaster conferences and board of reviews.  If you are interested in advancing this spring, please make every effort to come to the May troop meetings and campout to partake in the scheduled advancement activity.  Also planned for this spring is a continuation of our Environmental Science and Inventing Merit Badges.  Those working the Inventing Merit Badge should be bring their prototype and working model (along with notebook sketches and documentation) to the May 5th Troop Meeting.  There is a great prize for the best invention; a deluxe BSA patrol chef kit.  This is a large and very complete kit with each piece emblazoned with the BSA logo.  The kit comes in its own stainless steel carrying case.  Inventions will be judged based on creativity of the solution, the effort involved, how well the invention addresses the user’s needs, and the quality of the documentation (invention notebook, sketches, etc).


May Camping Trip will be Saturday, May 14th and 15th, at the Troop campsite in Milford.  We will meet at the parish center on Saturday morning at 9:30 AM.  We will return for pick up at the parish center by 12:00 PM on Sunday.  Scouts need to bring a bag lunch and the items listed on the Troop 4 camping equipment list, including their scout handbook.  The list is available on our website.

This local campout at our secluded Troop campsite is very convenient for scouts that have sports games to attend.  Scouts can check out to attend their game, and then return after it is over.  Be sure to indicate on your permission slip if you arriving late, or need to leave for a period, in order to attend a game.

Any scout desiring to reach Tenderfoot, 2nd Class or 1st Class rank by the end of the spring season should attend, as we will be covering many of the remaining advancement requirements at this event.    This campout will have a survival and woodland games theme.  Activities will include archery, tomahawk throwing, and wilderness survival fire starting training and contests.

We will be cooking patrol style over open wood fires for dinner and breakfast.  Scout patrols will create their own menus and duty rosters at the May 5th troop meeting.  Dutch ovens and dutch oven recipes will be available for scouts that have interest in this cooking technique.  Scouts need to bring a bag lunch for Saturday.

In addition to the survival and woodland theme activities, the troop will also cover other advancement requirements, hold several games and contests, and will conduct an entertaining Troop evening campfire.  Prizes will be awarded for the best patrol skit, song and stand-up comedy act.

If your son will be attending this campout, please complete the permission slip and return it to the Troop Scribe at the May 5thth troop meeting (earlier is preferred).  If your son would like to attend but won’t be at the May 5thth troop meeting, please call or email Phil Bedard at 508-561-7058 or before May 5th.   We may 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.  Note that the troop’s Milford campsite has very limited parking, so adults that plan to attend are encouraged to carpool.


Order of the Arrow

Unfortunately, the OA Lodge has still not confirmed the election of our new members. The first Ordeal for new members is scheduled for May 13-15, and we understand the lack of information is frustrating.  If your scout has interest in attending the May Ordeal, and he received verbal notice at our previous troop meeting that he was elected, we recommend that you go ahead and register for the Ordeal at the Lodge’s website.   On our most recent call to the Lodge last week, we were told again that new member materials were to be mailed out next week.  Newly elected members that are not available to attend the May Ordeal have another opportunity to attend in September.

Troop T-Shirts

The Troop is assessing demand to make a purchase of our lime green Troop T-shirts (aka Class B shirt).  Our plan is to purchase these before summer camp.  If interested in purchasing one of these smart looking shirts for $10, please sign up and indicate your size (Youth M, L, Adult S, M, L, XL, XXL) at the next troop meeting.  These shirts are great for scouts, parents, and siblings.  Class B shirts are also highly recommended for those attending summer camp.  No payment required until delivery.

Cemetery Clean-Up – Thanks!

A big thanks to all the scouts, parents and leaders who participated in the cemetery service project cleanup last week.  The troop collected a tremendous amount of trash (a whole dumpster!).  The church (and our sponsor) are very appreciative of all your help, and the improvement in cemetery appearance is significant.

White Water Rafting Trip

The trip is ON!  Scouts will begin detailed planning in late May.  Remember that this trip required advanced sign-up and payment of a $20 deposit.  Those that have signed up are listed below.  The rafting company has only a limited number of state permits for rafters on a given day, so if your name is not listed, and you wish to go, we may be able to get you on one of the few remaining slots.  Please call Phil Bedard as soon as possible and submit your $20 deposit at the next troop meeting.  The total price per person is $85, so the final payment is $65 per person for those that already paid the deposit.  Please bring a check payable to Troop 4 with final payment no later than the May 26th troop meeting.  To recap the previous newsletters… the trip price is a special price for Scout troops, and is really a good deal.  The price covers raft training, all equipment, a guided all day exciting rafting trip down the Kennebec River, riverside BBQ lunch, 2 nights camping in a resort campground, to include swimming pool and hot tub, athletic fields, and a nice lodge for late night movies, etc.

Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 30.  This is the only parade that the troop attends each year.  Scouts should meet in the Stop and Shop parking lot near the 99 Restaurant at 9:30 AM in full uniform.  Scouts may be picked up at Draper Park at Noon.  Please notify Phil Bedard if your scout plans to attend.  It’s important for the Troop to have a good showing at this important event.