Newsletter 2011-11-30

TROOP 4 Family News Letter –

November 30, 2011



Swim Night:  This week’s troop meeting (Dec 1st) 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.  The troop pays the pool entrance fee.


Holiday Party: The troop’s holiday party will be at the December 22nd 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 12/29/11.

Troop 4 Racing Success: Congratulations to sixteen Troop 4 scouts, leaders and family members that participated in the recent Milford High School Boosters 5K race on chilly Thanksgiving morning.  Out of 380 racers, Matt Bedard came in 8th, Andrew Fauerbach placed among the leaders in the youth category (14 and under), zipping effortlessly past the scoutmaster in the process, and Andrew Gallagher turned in a new 5K personal record time (a “PR”).  Nolan “the purple flash” Hobart also turned in a great run, and was instrumental in coaching his dad across the finish line.  The Hobart’s also received the award for the most family members in the race (7!).

January Winter Camping Trip will be Saturday January 21, 2011 through Sunday January 22.  We will be camping in the town of Upton’s Peppercorn Forest, site of past and present Troop 4 Eagle Service Projects.  Peppercorn Forest is a large town forest with lots of trails.  A troop scouting team recently discovered a secluded camping spot that is perfect for winter camping. The main campout spot is a large site, perfect for the Pedro Patrol (adults) and younger patrols.  Older patrols may fan out to claim one of three small hilltop campsites overlooking the main site.  The cluster of sites is near good trail sledding, the “gorge of doom”, and a small pond, perfect for hockey.

Planned activities include sledding, hiking, animal tracking, snowshoeing, and perhaps some night-time model rocket launches.  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 good warm fires to cook – and to stay warm with, too!

We will be using the regular troop tents to sleep in Saturday night.  However, depending on the snow cover, some scouts may choose to build and sleep in snow caves.  Several scouts made these shelters last year and actually slept much warmer than the rest of us in our tents.  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 very handy on this trip, for both sledding and for hauling in your gear.  If you have one, please bring it.  Please take the time to securely tie your gear to your sled before arriving at the parish center.  The hike in to the campsite is approximately 1 mile.

We will meet at St. Mary’s parish center at 9:00 AM on Saturday January 21.  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 22 by 11:30AM.

We will be planning the trip at the January 12 troop meeting.  If your son is planning to attend, please return the attached permission slip by the January 12 troop meeting.  If your son can’t make the January 12 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!  There is no fee for this campout.

Town Christmas Tree Pick Up:  is Sunday, January 8.    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 at the December 15 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.  Sheath knives, which are only allowed by Life Scouts upon approval by the Troop Committee, parent and Scoutmaster, will be judged as a separate category.

Pig Roast Campout Report.  A great time was had by all at the Troop’s Pig Roast and Webelos campout at the Troop campsite in November.  30 Troop 4 scouts, 10 Webelos and many parents attended.  The venture scouts did a superb job managing the field kitchen, efficiently roasting the pig and preparing and serving a variety of tasty side dishes.  Scouts also organized and led a variety of fun contests and events, including the archery range and an orienteering course.  A big thanks goes to the scout and troop leadership for organizing a great campout, and for obtaining the many supplies and equipment needed,

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

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.  We plan to use pine boughs to decorate the nativity scene on Saturday December 10thth (tentative), at 9:30AM. Date depends on town installation of the nativity scene.  An email will go out before the event to confirm.  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.


Advancement:  There are many merit badges in progress. Some scouts are wrapping up the fall edition of the Personal Fitness Merit Badge.  Communications Merit Badge is in high gear, and will ramp up again with a Pancake Ad Sales planning and training session on Dec 8th.  Scouts on this badge must also perform a 5min speech at a troop meeting (contact the SM or SPL to schedule), must complete a leadership role at either the Court of Honor (Feb) or an upcoming campout Campfire program, and attend a government (town, commission or committee) meeting.  Personal Management recently kicked off with Mr. Lanciano and Mr. Rosa in mid November.  Mr. Allemao has recently met twice with the Woodcarving MB crew.  And scouts were recently introduced to the Indian Lore MB.  Interested scouts should continue to work these badges at home, and should consult with their Merit Badge Councilor along the course of their completing remaining requirements.  Many other badges are fair game, too.  Just be sure to get a scoutmaster signed merit badge blue card AND speak to the merit badge councilor BEFORE you begin any badge work.  Councilors are listed on the troop website.  Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class and Star advancement are all in high gear, too, with many expected to advance at the next Court of Honor.  Remember – those wishing to partake in snowmobiling activities at the Feb campout must be Star rank; a big incentive to advance!  If you wish it to be presented your badge/rank at the next COH, you must finish all badge and rank advancement requirements by Jan 12th.

Venture Climbing Activity:  The troop has arranged for a venture climbing trip to Central Rock Gym in Worcester on December 15th.  Interested scouts must email ( Mr. Hobart to RSVP by December 5th.  Reference his earlier email for additional details, including a required waiver that must be signed.  Scouts will depart from the parish center at 615pm sharp.  The session includes training by certified climbing instructors.  Return to the parish center for pickup will be at approximately 945PM (tentative).  If the crew is relatively small, the attending adults may be able to drop scouts off directly at home.  Once the final headcount is determined, Mr.Hobart will reach out to those attending with some return time/location updates.  Cost for training and climbing time will be $22 per person (check made payable to Troop 4).


Troop Four Website: Please frequent the Troop 4 website at:

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