Newsletter 2013-10

Winter Sports Weekend Trip Report

The annual NH Winter Sports Weekend is almost upon us. The Lanciano’s have once again graciously invited the troop to their mountaintop alpine adventure base in Alexandria NH. Venture scouts (high school) are eligible to depart with the advance party on Friday if they sell the minimum tickets. Ventures will meet and depart at the St. Mary’s Parish Center on Friday March 22 at 6pm. As a fundraising incentive, the Hawk Patrol (8th graders) are also eligible to depart with the advanced Friday if they work extra hard on the pancake breakfast fundraiser, by selling at least $100 worth of tickets.

All other scouts will meet and depart from the Parish Center on Saturday March 23 at 8 am. Scouts will return from the event for pickup at the Parish Center at 3 pm on Sunday. All scouts should eat a meal before they depart, as there will be no meal stop on the ride up north.

Don’t forget your sled on this trip. Intense sledding is the main feature. For safety, scouts are encouraged to bring a ski helmet or sport helmet if they have one. Interested scouts can also try their hand at cross country skiing and snowshoeing. There is no fee for this camping trip.

All scouts should bring a bag lunch on Saturday. All scouts will cook outdoor patrol style meals for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. We’ll stop for a fast food lunch on the ride home. Meal planning will be done by scouts at the March 7th troop meeting. Meals will be cooked by patrols outdoors over their wood fire.

Scouts will be sleeping in the wood stove heated luxury of the Lanciano cabin ground level (aka basement). While no tents are required, scouts should bring their full complement of winter camping gear (see website checklist), including sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

A permission slip for this event is due at the beginning of the March 7th Troop Meeting. Remember, as with all camping trips, if you sign up to go, and something comes up at the last minute, you must make arrangements to provide your assigned food items to your patrol leader.

NOTE – If you can’t go to the March 7th meeting, and want to go on the trip, you must email Scoutmaster Ron Gorham before March 7th so that your patrol leader can include you in the plan. We need to enforce this rule for this camping trip. Late permission slips have made it difficult for patrol meal planning, and difficult for transportation planning. Unfortunately this trip is not intended for the new weblos who are crossing over this month for safety reasons as they will require some Troop 4 outdoor training. Not to worry however as there are camping/hiking opportunities every month for you!

Pancake Breakfast

The breakfast is scheduled for March 3rd. Tell all your friends and relatives. Thanks to all the scouts who are working hard to sell tickets and advertisements. All scouts have picked up their initial 20 tickets to sell for the breakfast. Currently we have raised $1335 worth of tickets, and $790 worth of advertising, so far. One scout has sold several hundred dollars of tickets and couple scouts have sold over hundred dollars of tickets each. Great job to those working hard! It’s not too late for the rest of you to get more tickets, and to cash in on the outstanding prizes to be given out to the top salesmen.

Contact Mr. Gorham if you need more tickets. Prizes will be based on tickets sold and money turned in by the START of the pancake breakfast.

The pancake breakfast is one of more important troop events of the year. It is our only fundraiser. All scouts (not parents) are expected to sell their initial $100 allotment of tickets and to participate at the event. Proceeds help not only high adventure, but also allow purchase of all our regular camping gear, too. The SPL will discuss his plan for scout roles and responsibilities at the pancake breakfast. Plans will be finalized at the February 28th troop meeting. We will also conduct waiter training at this meeting.

If you can’t attend the breakfast because of a serious schedule conflict, you MUST contact the SPL (Ulisses) in advance. The schedule on the day of the breakfast will be as follows:

  • The venture kitchen staff should report for KP no later than 6:30 AM sharp. Cooks (ventures) should wear a Troop 4 T-Shirt.
  • Scouts in charge of a station (ticket booth, camp display, troop store, bake sale, Troop display, etc) should arrive no later than 7:00 AM.
  • The wait staff (all other scouts) should arrive between 7:00 – 7:15 AM for set-up and final waiter training, and must be in regular Class A uniform. Looking forward to seeing you there!

We will also likely have a bake sale table to sell goods donated by interested troop families. Keep an eye out for more information from the troop committee soon.

Troop Day Hike

The Troop Day Hike will be Saturday, March 9th at the Upton State Forest in Upton MA. We will meet at the parish center at 8.30 AM so that we have sufficient day light for the hike. We will return for pick up at the parish center by approximately 3:30 PM that afternoon. Scouts need to bring: a bag lunch, poncho or rain coat if it looks like rain that day, boots, a hat and gloves/mittens. A spare pair of socks is a must to bring. If the weather is cold, bring a warm coat as well. Scouts should bring two quarts/liters of water (no soda, juice, punch, etc.). Do not bring water in disposable water bottles – get a canteen or hiking water bottle at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for about $5-$10; they last forever. Scouts need to bring a day pack (school pack will work fine) to carry their personal and troop gear for the day.

The Upton State Forest is a great place to hike and explore. The trails are local, has caves to explore, ponds to slide on, beaver dams, and many wildlife to see. There are many “one off’ trails” that we can explore too. The troop did this trail many years ago. It is great for all levels of ability and a terrific trail for the younger and new scouts to join as we will tackle a 5 mile route.

No fast food stops are planned for this trip, so no pocket money is needed. We will return to St. Mary’s for pick up between 3 and 3.30pm. Scouts will call ahead if we are earlier than that.

If your son will be attending the hike, please complete the permission slip and return it no later than the March 7th troop meeting. If you son would like to attend but won’t be at this troop meeting, please call or email Ron Gorham at 508-868-8793 or We will 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.

Camping Merit Badge and Hiking Merit Badge Trek Plan Opportunity

For scouts looking to fulfill the camping merit badge “trek plan” requirement, here is a great opportunity. The troop will give credit to any scout who drafts a compliant trek plan for the March day hike. Use the web for your research, where you should be able to find simple trail maps, road maps and town/park details. Your plan must include a simple trail map with a suggested 5mile hiking route. The DCR/Upton State Forest website offers a good map. You must also include a road map (e.g., google map) with your suggested driving route from Milford to the start of your proposed hike. Include local emergency numbers (police/fire), address of nearby hospital, troop leadership contact information (can be found on this newsletter), and your suggested schedule/itinerary for the day. In the very unlikely event that we have trouble on the trail, a good trek plan, left behind at home and on our car windshields, would help guide friends/family and rescue workers to our aid. In addition to merit badge credit for all entries, a great prize for the best Trek Plan will be awarded.


Please join me in welcoming 11 new scouts to Troop 4. There are (3) scouts from Pack 32 and (8) scouts from Pack 4. A great recruiting year indeed! These new scouts are eager and ambitious. Please feel free to greet the new scouts and family members and help them out at during troop meetings and events. A simple “high five” in school will go a long way and helps maintain scout spirit too.

Eagle Court of Honor

Scouts Ben Sgamatto and James Symmes recently passed the rigorous Eagle Board of Reviews earlier this month. They are the troop’s 27th and 28th Eagle Scouts! The Eagle Court of Honor (COH) will be held on Thursday, March 21 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at St. Mary’s parish center to award our newest Eagles and feature rank advancement and merit badges earned throughout the fall season.

Dinner will be provided for the COH by the Sgamatto and Symmes Families. For the rest of the troop, families with last name starting with letters A-L are asked to bring 2 two liter bottles of a soft drink or soda. Last names M-Z please bring a desert item. New scouts, family members and siblings are all encouraged to attend this family event


This spring we will focus on some lower rank advancements (Scout, tenderfoot, second class and first class) and offer some additional merit badges, including Physical Fitness (eagle required) , Cycling, and Geocaching. Stay tuned for an email with additional information. Those of you who started on merit badges earlier this fall have time to complete them for the June COH.

Troop Four Website

Please frequent the Troop 4 website at for current postings, events, calendar and photos.


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