Newsletter 20-Sep-2012

Troop Elections

The Troop conducted Senior Patrol elections at the end of the last season. Ulisses Ramirez won the election, and appointed James Symmes, Alex Hastings and Brian Spiegelman as Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders. New leaders for the various troop positions, such as scribe, quartermaster, historian, etc. have also been selected by the new SPL. Select new leaders also have been invited to participate in a leader training session scheduled for Sept 20. While many posts have been filled, some election activity remains. The election of new patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders is scheduled for opening night on Sept 27th. Note that all scouts will be given multiple leadership opportunities over the course of their scouting career.

Trip Report – Tahosa

This year’s high adventure trip was a huge success. 26 scouts and adults leaders traveled to Camp Tahosa in Ward, Colorado where two teams hiked 50 miles through the Rocky Mountain wilderness and up to the Continental Divide. Another team also impressed the camp with a trek up into the Rocky Mountain national forest and up Sawtooth Mountain. Great adventures and stories were had by all as the troop had some Deer, Moose, and Elk go through camp, marmots, picas, mountain chicken, Aspen and colorful wild flowers were common sightings, and the troop members completed a variety of outdoor and wilderness related merit badges. Some scouts (and adults) also tried there hand at rock climbing and a ¼ mile zip line. Some adults even practiced their hand at some fishing and culinary skills with some fresh trout for breakfast. Special thanks go to all the adult leaders and parents who helped our scouts plan this great adventure. Keep an eye out for a trip photo presentation at the upcoming troop meetings.

October Backpacking Trip

The October backpacking trip will be Saturday, October 20 and 21 along the Tully Trail in Royalston, MA. We will meet at the parish center on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM and leave at 8:30 AM. Please be at St. Mary’s at 8:00 AM so that we may load up the gear and check everyone in. We will return for pick up at the parish center by 5:00 PM on Sunday. Scouts need to bring a bag lunch and the items listed on the Troop 4 backpacking equipment list. The list is available on our website. Remember to pack warm. October days can be warm but nights are cold.

The area around the Tully Trail is known for its scenic views, including Royalston Falls, the highest Massachusetts waterfall east of the CT River. We will be camping along the river about a mile upstream from the falls, in a remote area that includes an Adirondack shelter, and plenty of room for tent camping. Scouts will be broken down into ability groups so that everyone can hike to the campsite at a comfortable pace. Once we establish camp, we’ll take side hikes to nearby sites, including the waterfall, a beaver pond, and a natural stone bridge. Since this will be the first camping trip for many of our new scouts, we will be doing a lot of preparation and training at our upcoming meetings. For food, scouts need to bring a bag lunch for Saturday, and will be cooking patrol-style on backpacking stoves for dinner and breakfast. We’ll make a fast food stop for lunch on the way home on Sunday – so be sure to have some money. Scouts will plan their patrol meals at the October 4th troop meeting.

For newer scouts that have not yet had an opportunity to purchase a backpack, we have one or two Troop packs that you can borrow for the event. Contact Ron Gorham.

If your son will be attending the backpacking trip, please complete the attached permission slip and return it to the Troop Scribe at the at the October 11th troop meeting. If your son would like to attend but won’t be at the October 11th troop meeting, please call or email Ron Gorham at 508-868-8793 or Also – We will need a few parents to drive to/from and/or stay for the event. If you can help out please indicate so on the permission slip.

If your son will be attending, please drop off the attached permission slip no later than the October 11th Troop Meeting, or email the form earlier to Ron Gorham.

Troop Eagle Court of Honor

The next Troop Four Eagle Court of Honor will be Thursday, October 18 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, Christian Slutz. 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.

Troop Dues and Medical Forms

Troop dues and medical forms are due at the Sept 27th, October 4th and no later than the October 11th troop meetings. The annual Class 1 medical form (link) 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). More information on these forms 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.

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. Other merit badge “frequently asked questions” is 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 the October 11th troop meeting to offer scouts tips and strategy on effectively tracking your merit badge progress to completion. Don’t miss this presentation.

Troop History

The new 2012-2013 Troop Historian will be announced at the first troop meeting on September 27th. If you have gathered any newspaper clippings of the Troop 4 scouts, have photos you would like to share from the summer events or have artifacts for Troop 4 – gather them and provide them to the Troop Historian. Let’s give our Troop Historian a head start with some great material for the 2012-2013 season.

Troop Equipment

The troop has recently made significant enhancements to the troop equipment inventory. We have recently re-stocked with new and refurbished tents, water filters, axes, hatchets, stoves, cook kits, chef kits, and a variety of specialized backpacking equipment. You are lucky to be in one of the best equipped troops in the area. All scouts should work closely with the quartermasters to account for, clean and return all troop equipment used at camping and other events. Any outstanding troop equipment from the summer’s high adventure trip should be returned at the Sept 27th and Oct 4th troop meeting. This years QM will be announced at the Sept 27th meeting.

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 9/27 troop meeting. Patrol members should use the Patrol Leader as their main point of contact for campout and event coordination.

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 or into the Scribe Box at the start of the meeting. You will see the troop scribes near the “scribe box” at the beginning of each meeting. Please deposit forms and dues to their box. Of course, parents are free to direct special questions on forms and payments to any adult leader when required.

Troop Four Website

Please visit and frequent the Troop 4 website at:

It contains lots of current schedule and other useful information. A special thanks goes Ken Rosa for maintaining the website last year. Mr. Steve Eddins will resume his former role as the Troop Webmaster! His recent work includes an improved the website, updating content and maintenance instructions. Through Steve’s efforts, the troop boasts one of the most informative and up to date troop web sites around.

Venture Program 2012/2013

The venture scouts held there first meeting last week to plan the activities of the Venture Patrol, and worked with the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters to plan logistics and supervision of the troop meetings & trips for the new season. The Ventures also held an election and selected Alex Crouteau and Sam Lanciano as their leaders. Congrats guys! Mr. Mark Hobart has volunteered to be the Venture adult advisor again this year with the assistance of Mr. Bedard (thanks Mark and Phil!).

Scoutmaster Corner

I would like to thank all of you who have welcomed me into my new role as Scoutmaster. I intend to continue the great leadership that Phil Bedard has provided over the last several years. Phil will now lead as the Advancement Chair – a very important role. I would also like to extend a warm thank you to Peter Lanciano for his many years of leadership to the Troop 4 Committee. Peter has decided to step down from being the Committee Chairman and will provide leadership as our new Assistant Scoutmaster, along with current ASM’s Brian Weber, Tom Sgammato, Tim Brundrett, Tim Lonergan and Christian Slutz. Ken Rosa has graciously volunteered to assume the new role as the Committee Chairman. Thank you all.

Please call Scoutmaster Ron Gorham at 508-868-8793 or email at if you have any questions.