Winslow scouts prepare for Memorial Day

From front to back, left, Alex Parsons, of Benton, Simon Giroux, Freddie Pullen, Lorelei Pullen, and Elliot Giroux, all of Winslow. The Cubs of Pack #445 joined scouts from Troop #433 in advance of Memorial Day to remember those veterans who had served and have since passed on. The scout near the headstone is Wyatt Collins, of Fairfield, who is a member of Troop #433, in Winslow. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Dan Bernier receives scouting highest award

Eagle Scout Benjamin Bernier, left, and his mother Jennifer Bernier, stand on either side of Dan Bernier after he received the District Award of Merit from Luanne Chesley, right, Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairman. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Waterville attorney Dan Bernier wears a suit when providing expert advice to clients on matters such as estate planning, probate law, litigation and government relations. But he was wearing his Scout uniform when he received the District Award of Merit on Wednesday, May 10, at the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, in Waterville.

The District Award of Merit is the highest honor a local Scouting District can bestow upon a volunteer Scouting leader. Kennebec Valley District delivers the Scouting program in Franklin, Kennebec, Lincoln and Knox Counties. Based on the Scouting demographics of the area, Kennebec Valley District was allowed to present two District Awards of Merit this year.

Garth Smith, of Winslow, received one earlier this year but Bernier was not able to attend the district dinner and received his award during the monthly Scouting Leaders’ Roundtable.

Bernier became active in scouting in 2006 when his son, Ben Bernier, joined the program as a Cub Scout in Waterville Pack #436. Dan became Cubmaster of the Pack and then when Ben moved on to the scout troop, Dan joined as well. In Troop #436, Dan Bernier held several positions during the years including Chartered Organization Representative, Committee Chairman and eventually Scoutmaster – a position he still holds. Dan has been active in Kennebec Valley District helping the Bushcraft program at Camp Bomazeen and assisting with efforts to grow the Bomazeen Old Timers which is an entity formed to provide support for Camp Bomazeen.

Dan Bernier was named Scouting’s Unit Leader of the Year in 2015 and has earned the Scoutmaster’s Key.

Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairman Luanne Chesley, of Vassalboro, made the presentation of the award to Bernier highlighting his work outside of scouting especially with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

“Dan is without a doubt a deserving individual,” Chesley said. “He is a man who works very hard in the background for the benefit of many scouts. It is a great honor that we honor him tonight.”

Bernier feels that scouting is valuable today because of its strong, outdoor program. “The big thing about scouting is getting kids outside and exposing them to a lot of things in the outdoors that they don’t normally do anymore that they used to do.” Waterville Troop #436 recently visited the sites of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on Patriots’ Day. “We meet on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., at the Methodist church. People who want to join can contact me at or the office number 877-8969.”

Mid-Maine Chamber names customer service specialist

Deborah Hellman

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, located in Waterville, welcomes Deborah Hellman as its new customer service specialist. Deborah has been named to the position, replacing Katelyn Hood, who worked for the chamber just under one year.

Hellman had a 25-year career in the aviation industry, focusing on passenger service and ground handling operations. She most recently was an innkeeper at two different prestigious bed and breakfasts in Portland. In 2022, she relocated to central Maine.

Deborah graduated from Sidney High School, in Sidney, Ohio, and Sinclair Community College, in Dayton, Ohio. She received an associate degree in applied science in aviation administration.

Included in her new duties as customer service specialist will be customer service, human resources, collections, supplies and equipment maintenance, and general administrative duties. She will also participate in many of the chamber’s signature events.

Mid-Maine Chamber President and CEO Kimberly Lindlof said of Hellman: “Debbie joins us as she settles down and moves into a new home in our region. She is a shining example of one who chooses the quality of life that our region has to offer, and we are delighted to have her join our growing team of do-ers. She greets everyone that she meets with a smile on her face and a willingness to assist.”

Hellman resides in Winslow with her four-legged furry son, Ollie.

Quick response to Kennebec River freshet

Quick response getting vehicles away from the rising flood waters. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

The Kennebec River overflows its banks into the Hathaway Creative Center parking lot on the morning of May 2. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

On Tuesday May 2, 2023, Waterville Fire/Rescue responded to 10 Water Street for a routine flood assessment. During times of severe rain, they generally check areas of concern including Water Street and along the Messalonskee River. Upon arrival, they located a flooded parking lot which included three cars that were on the perimeter of the water line. There was a significant amount of debris which washed up on the parking lot creating a roadblock to accessing the vehicles. Waterville Fire Chief Shawn Esler contacted Matt Skehan, Director of Public Works, and he quickly sent over with a crew with a truck and loader. They were able to move and pile the debris to access the vehicles. The building maintenance supervisor was able to secure keys for two of the three vehicles. Ace Tire was contacted to assist in the removal of the cars, and they did a great job. At one time, Rob, of Ace Tire, backed his flat bed truck into the water to access one of the vehicles. Public works did a great job of cleaning up the area.

It was expected based on a 12:30 p.m., prediction that the water line will recede, pending additional rain. Chief Esler contacted Kennebec EMA and advised them of the situation. Otherwise, emergency personnel learned of a few missing kayaks, a dock, and a few small items that went missing along the stream. Additionally, the fire department has been busy over the last couple of days pumping out basements.

Members of the Waterville Public Works Dept. cleaning up along the flooded parking lot. Three vehicles had to be removed from the rising water. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

Waterville scouts at Nobscot Reservation

Waterville Troop 436 with the Minuteman Statue in Concord. Xandr Dunton, Elijah Benn, Tucker Waldie, Samuel Bernier, Joshua Knight, Micah Waldie, Tobias Crocker, Malahki Kornsey, and Isaac Benn. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Friday, April 14, found Boy Scout Troop #436, of Waterville, spending the weekend at Nobscot Scout Reservation, in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Early Saturday morning, they headed to Lexington to hike the 10-mile “Sons of Liberty Trail” to the North Bridge, in Concord.

“Along the way we visited many stops including the capture site of Paul Revere and Merriam’s Corner. We had lunch while watching a reenactment of one of the skirmishes that occurred as the Minutemen chased the British back to Boston,” said Scout leader Bruce Reuger, of Waterville. Scouts participating were Joshua Knight, Samuel Bernier, Malahki Kornsey, Tucker Waldie, Isaac Benn, Micah Waldie, Elijah Benn, Xander Dunton and Tobias Crocker. Leaders were Daniel Bernier, Shawn Benn, James Kornsey and Bruce Rueger.

All live in Waterville except for the Benn family who live in Westbrook. Shawn Benn is an Eagle Scout from Troop #436 and is active with his sons in the program.

The following morning the troop headed home to Waterville but stopped in Marblehead, Massachusetts, to hike the 2-mile long “Spirit of ’76 Trail.” “Along the way we visited many historic buildings, the birthplace of the United States Navy, the home of the first commander of the U.S. Marines, Fort Sewell, where the USS Constitution was protected from British warships and one of the oldest cemeteries in the country. The hike began and ended at Abbot Hall where the famous painting “Spirit of 76″ is housed,” Rueger said. “Unfortunately, Abbot Hall is only open on weekends during the summer months.”

Cub scouts pitch-in on Earth Day

Cubs in Pack #445, in Winslow, walked several miles collecting trash around town on Earth Day. Shown here are Ashish Dabas, of Winslow, Able Byroade, of Albion, Lorelei Pullen and Freddie Pullen, of Winslow, Easton Vigue and Colton Vigue, of Albion, Ryder Johnston, of Albion, Alex Parsons, of Benton, Simon and Elliot Giroux, of Winslow, Gavin McGowen, of Benton, Owen Clark, of Winslow, and Josh Collins, of Waterville. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Cubs Scouts in Winslow Pack #445 spent Earth Day- Saturday April 22 – picking up trash around town. Sabrina Marie Garfield, Den Leader for the Wolf Den, organized the project as a way of teaching the Cubs that they have a responsibility to make their community a little better than they found it. The Wolf Den is made up of boys and girls in grade two and they cleaned up litter from more than four miles in town including around the elementary, middle and high schools; Fort Halifax park; Norton Street Playground area; near the town hall; Halifax Street playground, monument and cemetery; the Crummet Street trail; and along Monument Street.

Lorelei and Freddie Pullen collecting trash, in Winslow, on Earth Day. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Since 1910, conservation and environmental studies have been an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts have rendered distinguished public service by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil, and water. Past generations of scouts have been widely recognized for undertaking conservation Good Turn action projects in their local communities. Through environmental explorations, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts visit the outdoors and discover the natural world around them. Many natural resource careers are born in Scouting.

There are meeting plans, badges and awards for every level of the scouting program to remind youth about their role in protecting our natural places. Some include the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, the Sustainability Merit Badge, and the Cub Scout World Conservation Award. At all levels of Scouting, they learn “Leave No Trace” methods.

Garfield said, “We had a lot of volunteers. Most of the kids cleaned up their assigned areas and then chose to move on to do other places, too. Then after we were all done and they were hanging out and playing or heading to their cars to go home, the kids were still happily cleaning up trash they saw as they went. They were very proud of their hard work as they should be. They all did a really great job.”

“We chose Green Up Day to help the earth and help keep animals safe,” said Cub Scout Freddie Garfield. “Trash affects the earth and earth affects nature and the animals, and people are animals, too, so it affects all of us.” Young or old, everyone can do something to lend a hand.

EVENTS: Spectrum Generations invites public to participate in 21st annual Golf Fore a Cause Tournament

Spectrum Generations, Central Maine’s Area Agency on Aging, invites the public to participate in the 21st Annual Golf Fore a Cause tournament at The Meadows Golf Club, in Litchfield, on Friday, June 9, 2023. This fun event will take place at 495 Huntington Hill Rd., where check-in starts at 8 a.m. and tee off is at 9 a.m.

The cost to participate begins at $125 per golfer, $500 per foursome and $600 for a foursome/hole sponsorship combo (a $100 sponsorship savings). There are several sponsorship opportunities to choose from and ways to participate.

This popular scramble includes 18 holes of golf with cart, a delicious BBQ lunch served at the turn, on-course contests including the Air Cannon with Leaderboard of Boston, longest and straightest drive, closest to the pin and more! Scoring enhancement packages and raffle tickets will be available for purchase. There are many post event awards for teams and individual golfers.

All proceeds raised support Spectrum Generations in its mission to promote and advance the well-being and independence of older and disabled adults, with the support of their care partners, to live in their community of choice. For over 50 years, the organization has been a leading provider of information and advice, referrals, programs and activities for older and disabled adults – including social dining and Meals on Wheels. To register your team, provide a sponsorship or learn more, please visit:

EVENTS: All Saints ten mile yard sale

On May 19 and 20, the annual 10-mile yard sale winds its way from Skowhegan to Cornville. At All Saints Episcopal Church on, 169 Malbons Mills Road, Skowhegan, you will find free activities, big bargins and, of course, food.

All Saints has many vendors to check out. From baby items to household items and jewelry. Under the tent you will find free make and take fairy garden demonstrations with Billie Sherman at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., on Saturday. The Climate Change Lobby will help anyone with Efficiency Maine information on heat pumps, new windows and insulation. Geeze Louise, That’s a Wrap, has her hand cut fries, muffins, coffee and wraps. All Saints Grill will have breakfast sandwiches and hot dogs.

All profit from the yard sale will help facilitate All Saints Contemplation Garden that will be open to the public. Call 207-431-2118 for vending spaces.

Browntail moth update (May 2023)

Browntail moth caterpillars can be identified by the two distinctive orange dots at the tail end and white tufts along the sides.

We’ve had some wonderful sunny and warm weather this past week; which means that many browntail moth host plants have been continuing to produce leaves and flower buds. However, this also means that there is more food available for hungry browntail caterpillars. With this in mind, it may not be surprising that we documented the caterpillars nearly doubling in size at almost all of our monitoring sites. Their growth at this time of the year is expected and is related to the caterpillars’ increased metabolism and appetite.

Each time a caterpillar grows larger, they have to shed the outer layer of their bodies (exoskeleton), a process called molting. Oftentimes, caterpillars will eat these old outer layers, but sometimes you can see the old outer layers on their winter web. As the caterpillars grow, they will molt a few more times, and therefore will have more toxic hairs on their bodies. Please take caution while performing outdoor yardwork near trees that have browntail caterpillars to avoid contracting a rash from the toxic hairs – wear long sleeves, eye protection, and gloves.

As we mentioned in last week’s update, eastern tent caterpillar is a native caterpillar that often gets confused with browntail caterpillar. At this time, both species of caterpillars are building their silk tents right now. Eastern tent caterpillar webs start small in the ‘crook’ of the tree where the branch meets the trunk or where branches join together. These tents can grow quite large, reaching around the size of a football. Right now, the eastern tent caterpillar tents are roughly the size of an adult hand and the white silk is much denser than browntail silk tents. Remember, browntail tents always stay on the smaller side and are often on the tips of the tree branches.

So far, we have not found evidence of any pathogens causing disease in browntail caterpillars at our monitoring sites. Some signs of pathogens may be:

• White/yellow fungal spores on caterpillars
• Swollen, puffy caterpillars
• Liquid expulsion of the caterpillar guts (often the caterpillar rests in an upside-down “V” shape)
• Dead caterpillars.

EVENTS: Hospice volunteers to offer weekend retreat for families

Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area has announced they will be hosting Camp Ray of Hope, a statewide weekend retreat for Maine individuals and families who have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives. The retreat will be held June 16-18, at Pilgrim Lodge, in West Gardiner.

Attendees are given opportunities to connect with other people from throughout the state who have experienced a significant loss. Adults, teens, and children will spend time in respective peer group settings and participate in workshops that encourage healthy outlets and self-care.

There will be opportunities to canoe or kayak, swim, participate in arts and crafts, and spend time in nature in a beautiful peaceful location. Childcare is available for children under three years of age.

Cost is $60 per person or $180 for a family of three or more. If cost is a barrier, please contact Kayla Coffin at 873-3615 ext.19 or For questions or to request a brochure and registration form, contact Jillian Roy at 873-3615 ext.11 or email