Newsletter 27-Nov-2012

“Roasted Beast” Campout Report

A great time was had by all at the Troop’s Roasted Beast and Webelos campout at the Troop campsite in November. 35 Troop 4 scouts, 8 Webelos and many parents attended. The venture scouts did a superb job managing the field kitchen, efficiently smoking the meat, trying their hand at “trash can cooking” 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 obstacle 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.

MHS Swim Night

The next MHS Swim Night is December 6th at the Milford High School. No uniform required, and there is no fee for this event. The troop picks up entrance fee. Bring a towel, bathing suit and something for your feet (flip flops). Change of clothes too. There will be pizza and drinks available after swim. 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. Pick up time at the MHS is at 8.30pm.

Holiday Party

The troop’s holiday party will be at the December 20 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.

School Vacation

There is no troop meeting on Thursday 12/27/2012.

FREE Golf Clubs

Mr. Bedard has 3 used sets of clubs for grabs. Good starter sets. Comes with tees and a dozen golf balls. He will have them at the November 29th meeting for anyone who wants them. If more than 3 scouts want them we will hold a drawing at the meeting.

January Winter Camping Trip

The January Winter Camping Trip will be held on Saturday January 12, 2012 through Sunday January 13. 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. [December 21 update: The location will be the Blackstone Canal.]

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 two years ago 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 a 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 12. 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 13 by 11:30AM.

We will be planning the trip at the January 3 troop meeting. If your son is planning to attend, please return the permission slip by the January 3 troop meeting. If your son can’t make the January 3rd troop meeting but wants to attend, please call or email Ron Gorham 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

The town Christmas tree pick up is on Sunday January 6th. This is a fun combination fund raiser and service project that we participate in with other scout units in town. We are looking for two or three 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 Ron Gorham at if you can participate.

Special Service Event

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 1st (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.


There are many merit badges in progress. Communications Merit Badge will start this week, and will ramp up again with a Pancake Ad Sales planning and training session on Dec 13th. 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 in mid November. Mr. Weber has recently met for the CIT in the Community MB crew. And scouts were recently introduced to the Nuclear Science 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, Star and Life 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 10th.

Information Especially for Venture Scouts

Please contact your Venture Patrol leaders Alex Croteau and Wyatt Barie for your current schedule of events. The Venture adult leaders are Mark Hobart ( and Phil Bedard (

Venture Climbing Activity

The troop has arranged for a venture climbing trip to Central Rock Gym in Worcester on December 13th. Interested scouts must email ( Mr. Hobart to RSVP by December 3rd. Reference his earlier email for additional details, including a required waiver that must be signed. Scouts will depart from the parish center at 6:15pm sharp. The session includes training by certified climbing instructors. Return to the parish center for pickup will be at approximately 9:45PM (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).

Life Scouts….Eagle Board of Review Practice Run

Mr. Bedard will be available at the November 29th troop meeting to meet with Life scouts who are preparing for an Eagle Board of Reviews. He will conduct a mock review to help you be prepared.

Venture Poker Game

Stay tuned for an email with details for an upcoming game! Date and time TBD. In the meantime – start practicing your game….. “Cool Hand” Crouteau is already chalking this up as a win!

Scoutmaster Corner

Advancement: Reminder to all scouts to keep your handbook with you at all troop meetings and campouts. As you fulfill a requirement toward your next rank, ask an ASM or the SM to sign and date your book. This is so that when you feel you are ready for your scoutmaster conference – it will make it faster and easier to go through and check. The camping trips are a great time to work on advancements. If you feel you are ready for a scoutmaster conference – let me know ahead of time so we can schedule you sooner rather than later.

Remember that the December school vacation is a great time for individuals or patrols to gather together to work on advancement opportunities.

Parent Volunteers Needed: Volunteers are needed to assist with upcoming events. Contact Ron Gorham or Ken Rosa if you are able to assist us and the boys.

  • MHS Swim night: two adult volunteers needed. (1) adult to help pick up 6 bottles of inexpensive bottles of soda; (1) adult to order dominoes pizza ahead of time and meet the pizza delivery guy at the high school.
  • Christmas Tree Pick up: Adult to lead and coordinate Troop 4 drivers – preferably one who will attend the Tree Pick up.
  • Eagle Court of Honor (February 7th): need adult volunteers to assist Tara Speigelman with the set up and clean up of the ceremony.

Scoutmaster Contact:

Ronald Gorham
9 Jillson Circle
Milford MA. 01757

Cell: 508.868.8793