We had a good zoom meeting and next week will be back to Emerson with daylight saving is still in effect. Lucien presented a wonderful video on stove safety. The PLC met Monday and we discussed ways to stay engaged outdoors. We are scouts. We use flashlights and lights as needed while camping so we will apply the same tools for the meeting until it gets too cold or snowy to say outdoors. So here’s what the PLC came up with and they have some good meetings planned.
Here’s the brief schedule – subject to change so please refer to the weekly announcements.
10/27/2020 – Emerson 6:00pm-7:00pm Stove Lighting practical experience & games
11/3/2020 – Fairyland (planned, and will need confirmation) Night hike – two groups 6:00pm – 7:00pm
11/10/2020 – TBD 6:00pm – 7:00pm -location dependant on where we can practice fire building
11/17/2020 – no Tuesday meeting instead Saturday 11/21/2020 Bike Trip 9AM Sanborn
11/21/2020 - 9:00 AM Bike Trip – Assemble at Sanborn
11/24/2020 – 6:00 pm – 7:00pm Night Games -location TBD
Simon’s Eagle project is well underway and he will need help this weekend. He’s building Kestral boxes that will be located in four (4) locations in Concord. The boxes are built but need to be assembled and put on posts.
Come help your former SPL!
Congratulations to Kevin O’Neil who passed his Eagle Board of Review on Thursday 10/15/2020. The board is conducted by the District Advancement Chair and I (Scout Master) introduce and sit in on the board. Kevin did a nice job answering some interesting questions about his scouting and what it means to be an Eagle. Here’s something for all the scouts. What do you think it means to be an Eagle Scout?
We met virtually last week and had a chance to connect. The Troop Committee also met to discuss and plan to support the Troop’s activities. Next week our plan is to meet virtually starting at 6 pm. I will also host the wrap-up for Family Life which will start at 7 PM using the same zoom meeting.
Lucien will be planning to cover some topics of importance to us all, including stove types and lighting to lashings. These are two specific areas we can use some help on. All scouts will benefit.
Here are the details for the troop and family life wrap up:
We will go back to Meetings Outside: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 we will meet in person at Emerson Field at 5 pm. Sunset is early and then we set the clocks back in November. We will announce our plan next week as to how we plan to meet. The challenge will be making the most of daylight or not, perhaps some night hiking or some sort of meeting outside.
During these times we need to innovate and be flexible to make our meetings challenging, scout based, and fun. Let’s continue to try new things. If any adults have any creative ideas (tour your work location, you have a cool topic to share, you have neat skills to demonstrate and share, and etc.) to share, please email Mr. Duggan with your ideas at email@example.com.
Do your good turn daily. There are always opportunities you just have to look for them and think of others.
Boundless Adventures lived up to its name and all of the scouts and some adults, including me, were challenged to take on new heights and tests of balance and bravery. Happy to say, only a couple of bruises while trying to follow Charlie and Lincoln who made the advance course look easy. Who knew they would put rolling logs steps on the course. That seems wrong. Thanks again to Mrs. McLeod for honchoing this event and we all had a nice time and great fall weather in New England.
The next stop was Camp Acton where we set up in two campsites, made meals, and enjoyed campfires and the company of scouts and Scouters (adults). New scouts learned ax and knife safety and the older scouts had to teach using the EDGE method.
Congratulations to Ben, Freddy, and Jonah for their ordeal and entry in the Order of the Arrow (OA). It’s good to have Arrow men back in our Troop after a hiatus. The OA is all about cheerful service and open to first-class scouts or higher. It’s the national honor society and an opportunity to meet scouts from other troops.
Since this was our first overnight, some of our skills are rusty. Lighting stoves and lashings seem to be at the top of the list of skills to work on. I would also say recognizing poisonous plants is another needed skill, even though we didn’t have any issues.
Tuesday's meeting was more on the fun side and a chance to regroup. Lucas Anthony’s Eagle project was signed off and Simon Cadavid’s project was approved. Stay tuned to the announcements for the need for help for an exciting project for Simon and the Kestral boxes.
Do your good turn daily. There are always opportunities you just have to look for them and think of others.
This weekend scouts will be challenged to be physically fit by taking on boundless adventures. This promises to be a lot of fun and challenging. Thanks to Mrs. McLeod for honchoing this event and we are all looking forward to it. Bring your gloves, lunch, and look for more details in the announcements. Later in the day, we will set up at Camp Acton for an overnight camping trip. I’m glad to be back out camping and putting into practice the scout skills that we have been learning. This is a hybrid family event. In most years we would have had a family bike trip to welcome families and new scouts to the Troop. So this event is more local and under COVID guidelines will be the next best thing. New scouts need to have a parent and the older scouts can come to join their patrols. What is different is that we will not be sharing tents and have options for cooking. Don’t forget to bring your own propane as camping fuels are up to the individual scouts and patrols.
My daughter’s car, an older Ford Explorer, has turned into the scout house gear locker complete with tents, flags, water jugs, and stoves. Also, if you have a red-handled ax that from was our last trip, please return it to met (it was mine). I neglected the cardinal rule of gear; If you like it. put your name on it. If you love it, leave it at home!
Good luck to our Order of the Arrow (OA) inductees and good luck with the Ordeal. The OA is the national honor society for scouting. Scouts are elected by the Troop and requirements are 15 nights of scouting, first-class, and for scouts who exemplify the Scout Oath and Law, especially cheerful service, and approved by the scout leader. The ordeal is camping out on your own with no tent and limited gear (easy for most of our scouts) and then performing service with good cheer. Good luck and do your duty.
This month we will be still meeting outside and will need to make some adjustments in November for the deceased daylight. Meeting outside is important and within guidelines. We will make some adjustments but continue to offer a challenging, rewarding, and fun scout program. After all, scouting is all about being outside.
The past Saturday outing was well planned, organized, and run by the senior scout leaders. I won’t name them all because it was a team effort. They all contributed to make it an interesting day full of learning, challenges, fun, and camaraderie. There were stations set up for knots, first aid, TotinChip, patrol breakouts, and a relay race full of challenges. Fire building and practice with an ax, saws, and knives were helpful to build skills. The foil meals were also well thought out. Patrols had a food budget and used that wisely and they even included vegetables. I’ll also comment that all the scouts behaved according to the scout law and were helpful and kind. It was an extraordinarily beautiful fall day and glad to have been at Camp Acton with the troop.
Parents for new scouts; there is a requirement: With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide" and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade. If you can do this and sign off on your boys' scout book, we will plan on the cyber chip training.
This was also a full week of scouting. The PLC meeting Monday planned the day and meetings through mid-October. Plan to be outside for as long as we can working with daylight. Wednesday night was the Flintlock District Awards Night. Mr. Mark Rzepczynski and I attended. District advancement chair Mr. Quigley was recognized and earned a special award. All our Eagle scouts will know or get to know Mr. Quigley. All the rumors are true. We also were there to cheer on and offer congratulations to Charter Org Rep of the Year - David Owen. David is a hands-on guy who has created national trails and was recognized for his achievements. Well done and well earned.
Thursday thanks to Mr. Herrero, Mrs. Sprague, and Mr. McWilliams as they took on the challenge to get Scoutbook record-keeping up today. Scouts, Scouters (adult scout parents), and parents will benefit. Well done. The joy of this Troop is the scouts and also the parents who all chip in to do the work to keep the program going. Special thanks to Mr. Rzepczynski who put in 4 days/nights of scouting this week and maybe more with all the work he does for Life scouts working on their projects. We as a Troop earn praise from the council because of this good work. Well done and many thanks.
Welcome new Scouts and Scout Families. It was thrilling to see our scouts in Class A uniforms, a flag ceremony with a bugler (thank you Nathaniel), and the new scouts who crossed the bench to part of our Troop. The leadership of Lucien, Christian, and Ben, plus the patrol leaders and Troop guide (Lincoln) all contributed to a warm welcome. Nolan, our newest Eagle Scout, was there to show them that they can be an eagle too and to stick to it. He recounted his best and most challenging times. All scouts were friendly and kind as we welcomed the new scouts.
Please come to Camp Acton on Saturday (today). Even if you can’t make it the whole day, please come for part of it to learn, practice, and advance your scout skills. It will be a rewarding day. Dress warm and be prepared to start fires, tie knots, practice first aid, and many more scout crafts. The day starts at 9 AM at Camp Acton today.
Crossover will take place next Tuesday (Sept 15) at Emerson field. Scouts shall arrive at 5:45 for set up. Class A for all. Face coverings and social distancing are required and we are looking forward to a simple but welcoming event.
We also welcome parents to become engaged with the Troop and there are plenty of opportunities. To make all these great events happen, we always need help. Many hands make light work is the saying and we urge all new parents to participate in the Troop.
This will be our first Emerson field Crossover and regardless of the location, new scouts will be warmly welcomed to the Troop. The senior leaders will run the event and will have some short inspirational and motivational messages for our new scouts. We will have some short games afterward, but be mindful that we will be in Class A uniform.
For our troop, the boys decided on Class A uniforms. In short, this is the scout shirt, neckerchief optional, shorts, or pants with a belt. No athletic shorts is what the boys decided as the uniform of the Troop. All the new scouts should have been provided books to start their scouting journey.
The Troop is also planning a scout day on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Camp Acton. This is important for new scouts to start learning scout skills such as totin chip. Earning this chip or in our case a card, demonstrates that the scout understands and agrees to certain principles of using different tools with blades. So I would ask and the Troop requires that new scouts do not have knives, axes, or saws with them until they earn the Totin Chip. Earning this takes 5 days at camp and we will do our best to get this type of training in during September. There’s so much to learn and the older scouts will now have to step up and help train and teach the younger scouts since we didn’t have a summer camp experience. Nothing like teaching to learn the material yourself!
September 11 was yesterday. September 11, 2001, America’s single-worst day of terrorism, nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners, sending two of the planes smashing into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania. Please remember Troop 132 former Assistant Scoutmaster Alexander Filipov who was killed on this day and the many others who were killed.
Schedule Update: Crossover scheduled for 9/8/2020 has been moved to the following week and we are working on potential alternate locations. While it would be great to have it at the North Bridge, there were restrictions that would potentially limit family participation so we are making alternative plans.
Please join me in welcoming the newest Eagle Scout to Troop 132, Nolan Roberts. Nolan earned his Eagle by passing his board of review last night, 9/3/2020 over Zoom. He answered a lot of questions about his scouting journey to district board members he never met before. This is always an exciting event. All the years of scouting brought together over a short span. My job as Scoutmaster is to field any questions about the Troop and our program, but generally to introduce the scout to the board. Nolan held many troop positions including SPL and did a great job. We are all very proud of his accomplishments. A special thanks to Mr. Rzepczynski who as Eagle Advisor prepares the guides the scout from Life to Eagle. Our goal is to form good scouts. It is always rewarding when they reach those ranks as icing on the cake. Be assured that we are also proud of all our scouts who live the Scout Law and grow in responsibility and kindness to others in the Troop. We witness this at every meeting, every event, and its who they become and it takes a Troop and a community behind them. This is why scouting matters!
Good Work Lucas Anthony who led the way to build 10 picnic tables. Scouts had a good opportunity to work with tools and did a quality job. Well done.
More service projects will be coming. The town Dropoff & Swapoff will most likely be canceled, so you should take advantage of these smaller service opportunities as they arise and more will be coming.
The Camp Acton Scout Day has a lot of promise. The scouts put a lot of time to plan this and all of the scouts will learn. The younger scouts will learn new skills and the older scouts will learn again by teaching. There is a saying that if you want to learn something, teach it. So they will put that into practice.
Outdoor summer game meetings are going well. The Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meeting was held last Monday, August 24 and the next PLC is scheduled for Monday 9/14 from 6 - 7:30 pm. I also encourage all senior scouts to attend the PLC, even if you don’t have a current position of responsibility. You can learn and participate in the decisions of the troop. The PLC put a lot of work into planning the September 19th Scout Day at Camp Acton. Similar to our Troop Klondike Derby, this one-day (9:00 am to 3:00 pm) outing will set up camp, break into patrols, use the buddy system to go through several “stations” where older scouts can teach younger scouts, and all scouts can test their knowledge and skills. Some stations will include tent/campsite preparation and set up, stove choices, stove operations for propane and liquid fuel, and first aid which will include burns, hypothermia, blisters, heat stroke, altitude sickness for the Philmont crew, and etc. Totn’ Chip will also be started (knife, ax, saws). We will have a noontime meal for those scouts looking for advancement for preparing and cooking a hot lunch meal. Scouts can bring their own lunch and in all cases social distancing and following the guidelines will help to prevent Covid. All are encouraged to attend and especially the younger scouts who did not have the opportunity to do a “trailblazer” summer camp program where they can earn Totn’chip and Firen’Chit. Of course, this will be fun and dynamic scouts in action. We decided to do a program focused on scout skills to kick off the year on learning and practicing good scouting.
Don’t forget, September 8th we will welcome our new scouts with a North Bridge Cross Over Event.
Good work from Henry and Lucas on conducting trail cleanups. They took a lot of trash out of the Rifle Range and some trash along the Nashoba Brook. This is good scouting and good citizenship.
Good work for Life Scout Kevin O’Neil on completing his library project and Lucas Anthony is building his project this weekend (see signup above). You can learn woodworking and get some tool experience with wrenches, sockets, and drills. To me, these are essential must-have skills all scouts should have including changing a tire. Someday we will do that for the automotive merit badge, but one thing at a time.
Looking ahead, the PLC is looking to host our September meetings outdoors and we will need to make adjustments to our schedule to capture daylight. Stay tuned because we are losing daylight and will need to start the meetings earlier and earlier. More information in the announcements.
I am going to take some time off from writing the Scoutmaster message.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.