Newsletter 2011-09-12

Troop Elections

The Troop conducted Senior Patrol elections at the end of the season.  Christian S. won the election, and he will appoint his crew of assistant and supporting leaders at the upcoming troop meetings.  The election of patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders is scheduled for opening night on Sept 22rd.  Note that all scouts will be given multiple leadership opportunities over the course of their scouting career.

 Trip Report – Presidential Range Backpacking Trip.

Five scouts completed a grueling 30 mile backpacking adventure over the Presidential Range this past summer.  This range has New England’s highest peaks, world’s “worst weather” and included a 14 mile stretch completely above tree-line.  While much of the trip included uncharacteristically fine weather, one full day saw 45 deg temperatures, steady 40 mile per hour winds, drenching sideways rain, and fog so thick, you could only see 25 feet. Some might say this is typical Troop 4 camping weather, but it was actually worse!  However, these scouts were well prepared, and handled the tough conditions admirably.  All of these scouts are well on their way to earning the coveted Backpacking Merit Badge, which has never been awarded in the troop.  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 Mid State trail in neighboring Douglas State Forest on the weekend of October 7th thru October 9th.   Older scouts who have completed the Personal Fitness Merit badge are eligible for the Friday night departure.  These scouts will complete a 3-day two night backpacking course that counts toward the backpacking merit badge.  Scouts will meet at the Parish Center for a 4pm (sharp!) departure.

The rest of the troop will meet on Saturday October 8th at the parish center for an on-time departure at 9AM.  This crew will do a 2-day, 1-night backpacking trip.  Along the way, scouts will cover territory that includes swift creeks, rolling forests, glacial boulders, and wildlife views.  We will also do backpacking and camping merit badge requirements along the trail.  Our group will be of sufficient size that will allow us to break into ability groups, so there will be a comfortable pace for everyone.  Our older scout backpacking veterans will give “light weight” packing training to the scouts during one of our planning meetings.  New scouts can get a first-hand look at a variety of camping equipment and see an appropriately packed backpack.  Due to the proximity and relatively gentleness of the terrain, this will be a great introduction to backpacking, and it will offer the troop more training opportunities to help us prepare for our upcoming bigger adventures.

All attendees (scouts/adults) will cook patrol style on backpacking stoves.  Scouts should also bring some money for a “diner style” lunch on Sunday’s return.  Detailed meal planning and packing instruction will take place at the September 29th troop meeting.  There is no fee for this trip.

Adult campers:  you will be hearing from new Pedro Patrol leader Dwayne Allemao on the adult dining plans.  Once again, the Pedro Patrol plans to set the gold standard for fine field dining, bottomless coffee pots, and a hot campfire.

If your son will be attending, please drop off the permission slip no later than the September 29th Troop Meeting, or email the form earlier to Phil Bedard.

Troop Eagle Court of Honor

The Troop 4 Eagle Court of Honor will be Thursday, October 20th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Mary’s parish center.

This Court of Honor will feature rank advancement and many merit badges from summer camp and summer adventures.  We will be doing the Troop’s famous pot-luck style dinner.  Families with last name starting with letters A-L are asked to bring a main dish.  Last names M-Z please bring a desert item.  All families should bring 1-two liter bottle of soft drink.  The troop supplies all paper goods and silverware.  You will receive a call or email from a committee member before hand to work out the details, in order to avoid duplicate dishes.   New scouts, family members and siblings are all encouraged to attend this family event.

Troop Dues and Medical Forms

Troop dues and medical forms are due at the Sept 22nd or Sep 29th troop meetings.  The annual medical form is available on the troop website, 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).  We apologize for the error in the kick off letter that incorrectly said $85 for 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.

Eagle Projects

Several Eagle Scout Service Projects are in process.  Please keep an eye out for “work party” announcements and try to help out these scouts as much as you can.  Thanks!

High Adventure 2012

A high adventure survey has been provided along with this newsletter.  We apologize for the length, but we wanted to provide as much background as possible to help with your responses.  Please read the survey carefully and respond by the requested date.  Your survey responses will help us to plan the best adventure possible.

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.  The card must be COMPLETELY filled out (all data fields) before giving it to the scoutmaster. 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 an upcoming troop meeting to offer scouts tips and strategy on effectively tracking your merit badge progress to completion.  Don’t miss this presentation; date to be announced soon.

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 (to be announced later this month) 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 Equipment

The troop has a remarkable (and expensive) inventory of outdoor equipment, including tents, water filters, axes, hatchets, stoves, cook kits, chef kits, a variety of specialized backpacking equipment, and lots of other sharp pointy items.  You are lucky to be in one of the best equipped troops in the area.  In order to maintain this fine inventory of adventure gear, we ask that scouts promptly return and thoroughly clean all equipment they have been assigned to clean at home.  Thanks!

Troop Recruiting

Troop 4 is always on the lookout for a few good young men.  Contact the SPL or troop recruiter 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 9/22 troop meeting.  Patrol members should use the Patrol Leader as their main point of contact for campout, event coordination, and patrol activities.  “The patrol method is not a way to operate a troop, it’s the ONLY way.”  A free bag of fire starters to the first scout who can cite the source of that quote.

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.  You will see the troop scribe near the “scribe box” at the beginning of each meeting.  Please have your scout deposit forms and dues in this box.  Of course, parents are free to direct special questions on forms and payments to any adult leader when required.

Recruitment Night

Thank you to all the scouts and leaders who supported tonight’s town wide scouting recruitment night.  The troop met many prospective scouts and parents, and expects 3-4 new scouts to join at the start of the fall season…which is an unusually high amount for this time of year.

Procedures for Campout Registration

Patrol campout planning is an important tool for patrol development and leadership.  Permission slips are issued several weeks before each campout.  The slips are due back no later than the 2nd troop meeting before the campout, which is when patrol campout planning is done.  Campout planning works more smoothly when permission slips are turned in on time so that the patrol leader can accurately plan for his patrol’s success.  Should scouts have questions on patrol planning before a trip, they should first contact their patrol leader before asking adult leaders for help.  Also, if a scout needs to cancel out of a campout at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances, scouts must notify their patrol leader and the scoutmaster, and must still arrange to bring their assigned supplies/food to the patrol before departure, as the patrol would not have time to re-plan / re-shop.

Venture Scouts

The ventures will conduct the annual Troop Planning conference on Thursday Sept 15 from 7pm to 830pm.  The second half of the evening is dedicated to a venture program planning session.  Mr. Mark Hobart has volunteered to be the Venture adult advisor again this year (thanks Mark!).  Ventures will discuss ideas for their program, and work to finalize a draft schedule of “venture only” events, which should occur roughly once per month.  Ventures should come to the September 15th meeting with some exciting ideas for the new season.  It is very important that all ventures attend this critical planning meeting.

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 for his recent work to improve the website’s look, content and schedule functions.  Through Steve’s efforts, the troop boasts one of the most informative and up to date troop web sites around.  And we’d like to welcome the new troop webmaster, Mr. Ken Rosa.  Ken will be taking over the duties for routine maintenance of web site postings, the troop calendar and photos.

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