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.
The Klondike is a great test and learning experience. It will be cold but you will be prepared. This weekend will be a good chance to see how well you have learned as you put those scout skills into practice. For example, fire-building, knots, orienteering, lashings, and first aid. Our troop has risen to this challenge and we take pride in our teamwork and leadership. This weekend, remember to be a good leader you also have to be a good follower. Our scout law says to be obedient and we can put that into practice for each of the stations that you will be doing at the Klondike. Each station we will put forth our most skilled scout to help lead the others. This is known as situational leadership and it will take some coordination and help from all to be successful.
Work together, communicate and for those leaders, be loud, clear and concise. For those obeying, listen (not talk), and follow the lead of others. Use the scout law as our guideline.
This month will be a short and busy. Klondike, one Troop meeting, Tubing at Nashoba, winter break, and then our Court of Honor.
Please arrange a Scoutmaster conference if you need one.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.