About the Troop

Troop Four is proudly sponsored by St. Mary’s Catholic church of Milford, MA. Our troop of approximately 40 scouts meets at the St. Mary’s parish center on Winter Street in Milford. We also store much of our troop equipment and supplies at the parish center, and we hold our Courts of Honor here, too. Scouts do not have to belong to St. Mary’s or be Catholic to join our troop.

Parental and Family Participation

Parents are always invited to attend troop meetings and activities. From time to time we ask parents to assist with driving and other activities. Many of our parents become adult leaders with the troop. Parents often take part in some of our camping and outdoor adventures.

Troop Calendar of Events

The troop runs on a program year of September through the following August. The calendar of events is set each fall and is posted and kept current at www.troop4milford.org.

Troop Meetings

Troop meetings are on Thursday nights at St. Mary’s parish center from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. The troop meetings run from September to the following June.

At the troop meetings scouts:

  • Work on Advancement
  • Participate in Scoutcraft activities and games
  • Plan activities and events
  • Have patrol meetings

Troop Four has many “hands on” type of projects during the troop meetings. Projects intentionally vary from year to year, but in the past have included:

  • Lashing camp gadgets and bridges
  • Metal working
  • Model rocket building
  • Soap box car construction
  • Catapult construction
  • Wood carving and wood working
  • Monthly cooking contests

Outdoor Activities

We strive for variety and adventure in our outdoor program. Our troop works hard to avoid “ruts” in repeating events. In a typical scout year our troop will do many of the following outdoor activities:

Canoe trips Whitewater rafting Day hikes
Camping trips (all 4 seasons) Backpacking trips Mountain hikes
Pig roasts Turkey roasts
Winter sports camping trips (skiing, sliding, snow boarding) Swim nights
Orienteering hikes Naturalist hikes
Boy Scout Summer Camp High adventure trips

High Adventure Program

Our troop plans for at least one high adventure type activity for each scout year – whitewater rafting, canoe trips in the wilderness, backpacking in the wilderness. In addition, every other year our troop plans a week-long high adventure. In the past we have gone to the Maine North Woods, the Adirondacks and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Our next week-long high adventure trip is planned for summer 2012.

What makes us different from other troops is that the high adventure program is:

  • Open to all scouts for the shorter trips, no age limits and nominal cost (if any)
  • Week long trips are open to any scout who has been with the troop one year or more. Scouts raise money every year to defray the cost of these trips. The scout cost for these trips has historically ranged from $300-$675, depending on the destination and mode of travel.  Note that the troop has not had to rely on the more expensive BSA High Adventure programs, which have age restrictions, and are more expensive. The troop is able to do this because of the significant wilderness and trek planning experience of many of our adult leaders.

This program allows scouts to have several adventure experiences well before he reaches age 14, the age at which many other troops only begin to have scouts do high adventure activities.

Summer Camp

Troop Four does a week-long summer camp experience at the Knox Trail Council’s Camp Resolute every year, including the years that we do a week-long high adventure trip.

Patrols and the Patrol Method

Every scout belongs to a patrol of scouts who are similar in age and interests. Our troop follows the Boy Scout patrol method where the scouts “run the troop” and do much of the planning. Each scout is given opportunities for leadership roles.

Our troop had scouts who age in range from 11 to 17, from fifth grade to senior in high school. We are very proud of many of our older scouts who teach and lead the new scouts.

Advancement

Our troop focuses on scout advancement activities.  As a result, we have been very successful with advancement of individual scouts along the scouting ranks. Over 20% of the scouts that join Troop 4 have eventually reached Eagle Scout; a much higher percentate than the national average.  We have had more than 25 Scouts reach the rank of Eagle in our short history.

Dues and Re-Charter Fees

Dues for the year are $95 per scout due in September with a $85 fee for additional siblings. This fee combines both Troop dues and the annual BSA Re-charter fee.  A few times per year, there are nominal fees charged for attending places that charge an admission fee, or for when we occasionally cook “troop” style – which is requested only if the scout attends the event.

All badges and awards earned by the scouts are paid by the troop. Scouts do have to buy a uniform shirt and belt (and we have a uniform exchange so uniforms or “spare” uniforms can often be obtained at no cost)

Fund Raisers

Our primary fund raiser is our annual Pancake Breakfast, which allows us to keep our High Adventure trip fees at a very reasonable level. These fundraisers have also allowed the troop to build up an impressive inventory of camping, high adventure and technical gear over the years, which allows us to increase the level of high adventure that we offer.

Outdoor Equipment for the New Scout

For a troop that does as many varied outdoor activities as we do, the new scout needs surprisingly little in the way of outdoor equipment. A backpack, a sleeping bag (we often have both for use for new scouts) and a list of equipment that can be found around the house is all a new scout needs. We provide a list of equipment for new scouts on our troop website. The troop provides tents, patrol cook kits, tarps, saws, etc. for scouts to use.

Adult Leadership

Troop Four has a strong adult committee of approximately 10 active adult members led by Committee Chairman Ken Rosa. The troop committee has a wide range of skills, interests and experience, and includes 2 former scoutmasters, former and preesent cubmasters, former committee chairman, and Eagle Scouts who continue to aid the troop with their scouting expertise.

The troop Scoutmaster is Ron Gorham. He is supported by five active assistant scoutmasters and several college age assistant scoutmasters. Ron has served as Scoutmaster since 2012, and also has served 3 previous years as a Troop 4 Assistant Scoutmaster.  The Scoutmaster and assistant scoutmasters have decades of combined scouting and outdoor experience.

Questions

For any questions, please call Ron Gorham at 508-868-8793 or email a gorhamfamily6@verizon.net