There is a lot to cover this week so please take some time to read through.
Scout House Clean up
Last year the Troop (not Eagle projects) built two benches and refurbished another for the Great Meadows. The benches look great and were funded by donors as memorial benches to loved ones. A small group of scouts, Nick, Will, Ben, and Luke helped with effort and the familes were very appreciative. Jared Green, Superintendant, is also very pleased with our support of the Great Meadows. Check them out next time you are hiking or XC skiing in Great Meadows. We have been asked to build another bench and we are coordnitated with the family. We will need help and we will keep you posted. Scouting can make a difference.
Two scouts, Ben and Freddy, along with the Concord Girls Scouts led the flag ceremony for the Town Meeting. Troop 132 has been doing this for years. Well done.
Eagle Tips and Our Troop’s Mission
Attached you will find the Ten Tips for Scouts thinking about Eagle and an Eagle Project Checklist. You can find more BSA material online. Here’s your Scoutmaster and Mr. Rzepczynski’s tried and true tips. The biggest theme – Be Prepared, Do your job (no excuses) and seek help (there is plenty available).
Eagle is not the end game and our mission. In fact, most if not all of our Eagles stay on to help the younger scouts because they are good scouts. Being a good scout is the aim.
Here’s the BSA Scouts mission: “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Please read the tips. They might help or at least, they can’t hurt. I’ve underlined oath and law. These are the keys and marks of a good scout. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but this is our mission and focus as a Troop. To achieve the mission we use the patrol method in an outdoor environment. That’s what we do.
This weekend we will be having our annual Scout House cleanup. Sunday 0800-1000 (8am -10am). This is an opportunity to get some work done for the Scout House and if you need any advancement work. I am happy to take a break for SM conferences. Please let me know when you arrive. Afterward, the PLC will be hosting a planning session from 10-12. This will help plan the year.
Many thanks to Mr. Rzepczynski and Mr. Sprague who helped me a great deal while I was away on business travel. Thank you.
April will soon lead to May and we have a lot of activities planned. Look at the announcements and plan ahead.
This Monday night two of our Scouts, Ben and Henry will help with the flag ceremony at the Town Meeting. Nick Higgins and Will will pass the batton and make sure Ben and Henry know the process and it is great our scouts can help in this small but significant way. If you are working on your Citizenship of the Community merit badge, you should attend the Town Meeting and learn about a topic and the process.
Do your good turn daily – don’t forget! Do scouting every day by living the scout law. -- Mr. Rzepczynski
Special thanks to Erik Limpaecher, leader of the Energy Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He did a great job presenting on energy resilience and disaster preparedness, based on his research and field work in New England and Puerto Rico. A good scout should be able to join a team like this to help others.
All scouts should take to heart his message that we should all “be prepared” for any disaster, even one in Concord, MA. As Mr. Limpaecher stated, every scout can ask their parents whether their family is prepared and help with an emergency plan. For example. if there is a significant power loss, does your family have a plan for coping with this issue? As scouts, we follow the motto, “Be Prepared”. So we should be ready for most events.
Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts explains the meaning of the phrase "Be Prepared": The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
Nice Job scout leaders with planning our first movie night at the Scout House. The choice of “Free Solo” was a good one. The climber Alex Holonld practiced and prepared many times leading up to his ascent. In some cases, he practices over 60 times to master certain pitches. Being prepared means you can do most anything. His special gifts of climbing enabled him to do that. You all have special gifts and its up to you to find them. Scouting may unlock or expose you to new things. Who knows, in the future some of you may camping in your cars, cooking your meals and climbing to new personal heights.
This week we reconciled the accounts with Holy Family Parish and closed on the 2019 Christmas Tree Pickup event with over $7400. Wow. Thanks to the Spragues and so many others who make this so successful. It’s a community event, we do a good turn and we get some funds for our troop. Super! There are not enough words of thanks to all the scouts & family.
This coming Tuesday Troop meeting we will have a guest speaker from Concord and one of our own, Erik Limpeacher. Mr. Limpeacher will describe how the government prepares for emergencies in and around our energy grid. As part of all of us being prepared and those learning about Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, this will be very beneficial. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
Congratulations to Miles Inman who recently passed his Eagle Board of Review. He earned it and he was prepared. He lives the scout law and that was evident and demonstrated in his board of review. Well done.
All of our scouts at this rank are well prepared and ready thanks to Mr. Rzepczynski. Mr. Rzepczynski’s has helped all our Eagles for the past several years now. His experience with the process and attention to detail makes us a stronger, well-prepared troop. When Troop 132 presents an Eagle candidate we can rest assured they have earned it, know it and can past muster. We can’t thank Mr. Rzepczynski enough for all his advice and counsel as each Star and Life scout knows.
Our troop has many unsung Scouters (adults) who help all our scouts. That’s what makes us a strong, active troop. This means parents (and scouts) read the weekly announcements, support the program with both time and energy (our most precious resources), get our kids to the meetings, help with equipment, drive to far places, camp at remote locations, provide merit badge counseling, and provide adult leadership. We are all volunteers and are awarded with great scouts and a strong Troop.
This year, our Troop Committee Chair, Mr. Gekle, was nominated and recognized and awarded The Flintlock District’s Scout Leader of the Year. This award will be presented at the District dinner on April 24, 2019. This is for Mr. Gekle’s devotion to supporting our Troop, organizing the adults, acting as a honcho on Troop outings, facilitating monthly adult planning meetings, publishing the weekly announcements, representing the Troop to our council, leading high adventure trips, and a general commitment to the success of our Troop and scouts. He makes this look easy. Well done.
On behalf of Pack 133, Troop 132, and the Flintlock District, it is with great honor and appreciation to inform the Troop that Fred McWilliams is the recipient of the 2019 Flintlock District Service Award for his tireless and selfless devotion to Scouting in Concord. We appreciate all that Mr. McWilliams has done for Pack 133 over so many years. We all recognize his generous commitment to transitioning the Webelos to the Troop, his love of the outdoors, and making sure all of our Scouts (and leaders) are safe, learning new things, and having fun. With great enthusiasm, Pack 133 and Troop 132 congratulates Mr. McWilliams on this fantastic achievement and he will be presented this award on April 24 at the District dinner.
From Arthur Anthony - Friday night March 8th, the Troop 132 scouts drove out to a cabin in Western MA, so they could get an early start for skiing on Saturday morning at Berkshire East Ski Area. At 6:30 AM, the boys were up cooking and eating a hearty breakfast and were anxious to get out on the slopes. Once at the mountain (15 minutes away) the scouts had a blast skiing down the many winding classic New England ski runs of the “B-EAST”. The weather consisted of a beautiful sunny day in the 30’s, yet the scouts never had to wait in long lines (all the more for us!). After a full day of fun, it was back to the cabin to cook a big meal and play one of many card games. Later that evening, the scouts discussed reading and orienting topographical maps, then a quick game of flashlight tag outside. The scouts definitely had a much quieter sleep that night. Sunday morning we returned back to Concord with some impressive new ski stories to share.
From Troop: Thank you to the Anthonys for once again opening up their home in the Berkshires to host the Troop! The scouts had a great time.
Mr.Duggan is away this week so I (Mr. Sprague) am helping out by writing this week’s Scoutmaster Message,
This week we had the pleasure of hosting Webelos scouts as they get a peak at what it is like to be in a Boy Scout Troop. I want to thank all of the scouts (and adults) for making our guests feel welcome. It was awesome to hear Luke’s comments at the end of the meeting about how patient and inclusive you scouts were towards the Webelos. Scout leaders, good job for working to control the raw energy of our young visitors and keep things moving forward. The unbridled enthusiasm of the boys can sometimes be exhausting, but you all did a great job of taking it all in stride.
It is useful to remember where you came from. Most likely, you too were once a Cub Scout with a healthy set of lungs and boundless energy. Now that you are “older and wiser”, think about how far you have come since you were in the 5th grade. Take a minute to reflect on how much you have learned and experienced, and on how much you have grown. You should be proud of your accomplishments. You should also realize how important it is to set a good example for the younger scouts around you. They are watching you whether you realize it or not. You are a role model for the scouts that follow you, which means you can make a difference in shaping the character of the young men around you.
Spring will be here soon. There is still time to enjoy winter and get out to enjoy our upcoming trip to ski, board and enjoy Berkshire East.
That was a great Troop Court of Honor. Congratulations to all for being good scouts, earning your ranks, and merit badges. Remember the four parts to advancements and it holds true in any life situation. You learn, you are tested, you are reviewed, and you are recognized. Your advancement is up to you but remember, there are other scouts, scout leaders, and adults to help you along the trail. The best way, and in my humble opinion, the only way to advance is by doing. Go camping, go on any and all of our trips to learn scout skills, test the skills, try new things, and this will get you to where you want to be. You will always learn something and have fun with your other scouts along the way.
To this, scouting is different. In sports and other school activities, you might be a leader for an hour (sports event) or even longer if you get involved with student government. In scouting, you are actually accountable and responsible for your patrol and Troop all of the time as an elected leader. Yes, leadership is hard. Leadership means that you need to be the first to arrive and the last person to leave. But that’s what you learn through scouting. Putting others first makes a difference.
I hope you are enjoying your winter break. I’m spending some time up north on snowmobiles. We have seen many deer, fox and we saw two large moose on the trail. Enjoy what winter brings. This past Tuesday we had 24 participants tubing and all had fun. It was hard to tell all our troop members apart but so glad you enjoyed this fun event.
This coming Monday our PLC meets at 6 pm at Monument Hall. We will plan a shorter 1-hour meeting (6-7pm) so we can focus on the upcoming month's plan. Pizza will be served.
Tuesday is one of our three yearly Troop courts of honor (COH). This is a time to celebrate our accomplishments and we expect the entire troop to be present to support each other. Parents, siblings, friends, and relatives are invited and we suggest at least one family member attend and support their scout (even if your child is not earning anything at the COH this time). Scouts learn, are tested, reviewed, and are recognized. Come celebrate with us.
Congratulations to scout Andrew Meyer, who celebrated earning his Eagle with Troop 52 in Austin Texas this past weekend. At his Austin Texas celebration, Andrew wore his new class A’s with the Troop 132 insignia. Again, congratulations Andrew and welcome to our Troop.
Enjoy the rest of your vacation. Be safe. Look to do your good turn daily. If you look, you will find many opportunities.
From Jonathan Aibel (Klondike Honcho)
Sixteen hardy scouts braved the cold braved the cold and snow that was almost 1/4" deep (in spots) at the Klondike Derby held at Camp Sayre. The day was fair, and the troop got their campsite set up in good speed. Much fun was had lashing together a bridge between two boulders in our campsite, which later turned into a shelter for hardy Will Duggan.
The scouts faced eight different challenges of teamwork and scouting skills and were first in the tomahawk throw with one of the highest scores the judges had ever seen. Other contests included lashings, fire starting, knots, and log-sawing.
Then on Sunday, the big event -- the Derby! Sleds were pulled around Camp Sayre, through rutted trails, over rocks and up hills, nearly 1/2 mile. Some troops had sleds with wheels, like ours, and others only skies. Racing like a great pack of huskies, our scouts pulled the sled around in 5:45, earning third place in the wheels division.
From Bill Duggan (Scoutmaster)
It was not that long ago that the Klondike was a big challenge for Troop 132. Fire building was beyond our reach, tying knots was complex, and having an SPL leading the group of scouts on a timed tent set up was difficult. Over the years the scouts have embraced the Klondike. Each year we are in the top 3 for fire building, with at least 2 wins in 3 years. A solid second place in setting up an emergency shelter was also a crowning moment. The second place was due to the scouts working together under clear and concise leadership. One year, orienteering was won as the scouts did it in half the time as everyone else because they split up and got it all done (they later found out that this was against the rules).
This past weekend was the 2019 Klondike and the scouts from Troop 132 had another strong showing. The scouts won the Tomahawk throw (now 2 years in a row), placed 3rd in fire building (only 3 seconds behind #2), and came in 3rd in the overall standings. All those accomplishments were partially due to the culture that each scout has and passes on to the group of scouts. The scout may not be a patrol leader or other formal leader, but for that activity, the boys know who is the best and they allow that scout to lead. One of several outcomes of the Klondike is a strong Troop spirit and this spirit of working together pays off. We also welcomed the Webelos II from our Cub Packs who were joined by our Den Chiefs. Special shout out to Mr. Aibel, Mr. Sprague, Mr. McWilliams and Will Duggan for assisting as the adults.
Another unique mark of scouting versus other youth activities, is that scouting activities are done outside in an environment which can be cold, harsh and uncomfortable (sometimes unpleasant). What they learn is that they need to be disciplined in their response (too cold, to being uncomfortable) for the benefit of the Troop and think beyond themselves. The scouts need to overcome their own discomfort, tiredness, cold, injuries, and then be in a position to help other scouts set up tents, clean up after cooking, pick up trash, get water, chop wood or just be friendly to others. This happens. They grow and become scouts who live by the scout law. Well done Troop 132 Scouts!
Last week at our Troop meeting we went outside for a warm stargazing night. Be sure to check out the southern constellations and look for an asterism, which is a pattern which is not a constellation. We checked out the Heavenly G or Arc of Cappella –Stating with Aldebaran (Taurus), to Capella, Castor, Pollux, Procyon, Sirius, Rigel, and Betelgeuse. The scouts need to know the stars for the Astronomy merit badge and it is helpful for night navigation. Mintaka (rightmost Orion’s belt star), rises almost due east and sets due west.
Congratulations to Lincoln for earning Scout and Lucas H for earning 1st Class. Freddy is on his way to Star and Miles had his project signed as another milestone. Keep up the good scouting.
This week our Troop meeting will be at 6:30 at Nashoba Valley Tubing Park. All adult volunteers are invited to join the scouts tubing. This is as a small way to say thanks for all you do for the Troop and we hope you can join us. Nothing but fun sledding in winter. After the break, we have our Winter Court of Honor. Please invite your parents, relatives, and friends.