Scouts hold Klondike weekend at Camp Bomazeen

Willow Mudie is a Scout in Augusta Troop #603. This was her second Klondike Derby. “It was pretty chilly,” she said. “I wore sweat pants, ski pants, scarf, hat, two layers of sweatshirts, three layers of gloves and a big, comfy coat.”

by Chuck Mahaleris

Gerard Fortin, of Winslow, was as jolly as St. Nick dressed in his Santa hat and sweatshirt. He is a member of Troop #433. “It’s fun” he said, while his team was stopped outside McCurdy Lodge.

Despite the 14 degree temperature, Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, played host on Saturday, January 20, to an outdoor competition between Brown Bears, Northern Pike, Falcons, Arctic Sharks, a Wolf Pack, Antarctic Polar Sturgeon, and Spicy Meatballs. Those were the names of some of the Patrols of Scouts assembled to vie for the top spot in the annual Klondike Derby. The theme this year was the Polar Express and like in the movie, Scouts received a bell at each station with the word “Believe” engraved on it.

Julie McKenne,y of Belgrade, activities director for Kennebec Valley District, chaired the team of volunteers who organized the event attracting Scouts from 12 troops from Farmington to Damariscotta, and from Skowhegan to Bath. The Scouts competed as a patrol in stations that stressed teamwork to overcome challenges of such traditional Scout skills as fire building, outdoor cooking, winter safety, first aid and leadership training.

Millard Davis, of Clinton, is an assistant scoutmaster of Winslow Troop #433, and ran one of the stations. At his area, Scouts had to work together to get their entire sled over a large mound of snow and then return. “They had to work together to figure out what was the best way and the safest way to get their sled up and over the steep incline,” Davis said. “The ones who worked together completed the task quicker than those who spent more time arguing. We want them to practice teamwork.”

Asher Merrill, from Richmond, is a member of Troop #621, in Bath, and was having fun pushing the dog sled around camp as his patrol made their way from one activity station to the next. “It is fun,” he said from under his protective layers of clothing. Though only a Tenderfoot Scout, this was Asher’s second Klondike Derby and he knew that having fun began by dressing for the weather.

Willow Mudie is a Scout in Augusta Troop #603. This was her second Klondike Derby. “It was pretty chilly,” she said. “I wore sweat pants, ski pants, scarf, hat, two layers of sweatshirts, three layers of gloves and a big, comfy coat.”

Safety was a major concern for Scout leaders as well. Each station had a fire pit where Scouts could get warm and extra hats and gloves were available in case any Scout found themselves with wet, cold hands. “We also had McCurdy lodge where Scouts could go to get warm,” McKenney said. “Or they could get cocoa or soup there as well. We want everyone to have a great time at camp and that means staying warm.”

Photos by Chuck Mahaleris

Winston Duchette lives in Winthrop and is a member of Troop #603, in Augusta. He was a “Victim” half buried in snow waiting to be rescued during the Klondike Derby.

Moments of Pride at RSU #18 schools: Belgrade Central School

Belgrade Central School

Student Council: Belgrade Central School recently started a student council organized and led by Wendy Randall and Meredyth Browning. Students in third through fifth grade were invited to complete an application explaining why they wanted to be part of the group. The school was excited to receive more than 40 applications from students interested in being leaders in the building. At this time, 14 students with big ideas on how to make BCS a better place to grow and learn were selected to represent all of the third through fifth grade classrooms. Their first project was a huge success. They organized a collection of more than 200 Christmas cards to deliver to patients at a local nursing home and rehabilitation center to brighten their holiday. The group is highly motivated and engaged in planning many fun, school-wide community building activities. They are looking forward to sharing their Friendship Gram project in February.

Local scouts hold Lego derby

Tony and Simon Giroux, of Winslow, show off Simon’s “Double Play” Lego Pinewood Derby Car. (photos by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Seventy-five youths, mostly Cub Scouts, from Hartland to Buxton rolled into Camp Bomazeen, on November 4, for the annual Lego Pinewood Derby.

“We love to see Camp Bomazeen so filled with Scouts,” event chairman Julie McKenney, of Belgrade, said. “It was a sunny day so the Scouts put their cars together outside with their parent’s help and then everyone came inside the dining hall where the track was set up for the races. Counting Cubs and Scouts, parents, leaders, and siblings, there were close to 200 people in the place cheering on the Lego racers. It was very exciting. Love to see all the new folks and the smiling faces.”

Gabriel Booker and his father Michael Booker, of Augusta, work on his Lego car. Gabriel came in first overall last year and third overall this year at the races. (photos by Chuck Mahaleris)

Gabriel Booker, of Augusta, came in third fastest overall with his Raptor Rider Lego car. He knows just the right blocks to put together as last year his car was the overall winner of the event. His father, Michael said Gabriel is in second grade, at Lincoln Elementary School, and he is a Wolf Cub, in Augusta Pack #684. “He loves Scouts and all the fun things that they do,” Michael Booker said while watching Gabriel put together the block car.

Simon Giroux and his father Tony Giroux, of Winslow, are members of Cub Pack #445. “I built this car. It has a Storm Trooper inside. I call it Double Play,” Simon said. He is in second grade at Winslow Elementary. Tony enjoys seeing his son use his creativity to come up with the design for the car before he builds it.

Cheryl Sarto was very pleased with the program. She and her children Mya and Jaycob came from Biddeford for the event. “They loved it,” Cheryl said. “We originally went because friends that we met at Camp Hinds Day Camp this past summer are from Pittston and were going as well. So it was definitely worth it for us.” Jaycob is a Webelos in Saco Cub Pack #311 and is in the fourth grade.

Brayden Humphrey was there with his dad Ryan Humphrey. Brayden attends Somerset Elementary School, in Hartland, where he lives. Braydon had a full story for the driver of his car “Spidey”. He has Legos at home so this was a fun event. “It was a fun event to come and build a car and race it,” Ryan said. “He helped me with the metal parts,” Braydon said about the axles that hold the tires.

Up to four cars could run on the metal track at once and an electronic eye recorded who crossed the line first and computers recorded the speeds of each car. “It is very high-tech,” McKenney said.

BUSINESS NEWS: HealthReach welcomes Dr. Martini

Dr. Jenna Martini

This November, HealthReach staff in Strong, Livermore Falls, and Belgrade are happy to welcome Dr. Jenna Martini to their care teams.

Dr. Martini grew up in Peru, Maine. She earned her doctorate degree, Doctor of Osteopathy, from Touro University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, CA. She previously earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from The University of Vermont.

Dr. Martini has a wealth of experience across the healthcare field. After completing family medicine training, she worked as a primary care physician and education faculty in a remote region of Northern California. She recently completed a second residency training program in Osteopathic Neuromusculo skeletal Medicine through Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency in Augusta, Maine. Dr. Martini will bring these experiences to her position at HealthReach by providing osteopathic manipulative treatment to patients at three HealthReach locations.

Dr. Martini shares, “I believe in meeting people where they are at and working as a team to help achieve their goals. I consider each person as a whole – including body, mind, and spirit. Osteopathic treatments can help the body to function optimally so a person’s underlying health can shine through. It’s amazing to see how much a person’s life can improve in all areas when they feel healthy and well.”

Belgrade Regional Health Center, Strong Area Health Center, and Western Maine Family Health Center are all part of HealthReach Community Health Centers – a Federally Qualified Health Center consisting of twelve community health centers located across Central and Western Maine. Dedicated clinicians deliver high-quality healthcare – inclusive of behavioral health and dental services – to Maine residents. To ensure access for everyone, HealthReach accepts Medicare, MaineCare, and major insurance providers.

In addition, an Affordable Care Program is available to both uninsured and underinsured residents. Assistance is available for applications to programs that help with the cost of your healthcare and medications, including Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

Scouts hold haunted woods event at Camp Bomazeen

Dread Pirate Eric Handley, of Sidney, helped with registration for the Haunted Woods. He is also Scoutmaster of Sidney Troop #401 who camped over the weekend.

Text and photos
by Chuck Mahaleris

Sullivan Mudie, of Augusta, was at camp with his mom Lynette Mudie. Sullivan is a Lion Cub in Pack #684 and is in kindergarten. “I liked seeing the bumblebees,” Sullivan said. “And shooting the pumpkins with the BB Gun.”

Kids and parents clad in cute or creepy costumes skulked through Camp Bomazeen on October 14 for the annual Haunted Woods event. Cub Scouts and their parents donned fantastic or phantasmic costumes on Saturday and visited different activity areas around camp such as Archery, BB Gun Shooting, the Haunted House run by Augusta Troop 603, outdoor cooking, the obstacle course, pumpkin painting, and arts and crafts. In the evening, after the younger Scouts went home with their parents, the older Scouts from area Troops took part in the haunted hike that lasted until the witching hour (11 PM). Julie McKenney of Belgrade organized the program. “It is so much fun to watch the younger kids and their parents have fun together at Camp,” she said. “Everyone loves to get into the spirit of Halloween and it is a great family program. Then at night, the older Scouts test their Scouting knowledge and their courage as they have to survive the Haunted Trail at night.” The Troops also had a gateway competition and a stew cookoff.

The Haunted House beneath the dining hall was guarded by the Grim Reaper (Joseph Maranda) and his son Owen Maranda, of Augusta and Chelsea. Owen is a Tenderfoot Scout in Troop #631, where his dad is one of the Assistant Scoutmasters. “I’m having fun directing people into the Haunted House,” Owen said.

HealthReach welcomes family nurse practitioner

Kaylee Wolfe

This September, staff at Belgrade Regional Health Center are happy to welcome Kaylee Wolfe, Family Nurse Practitioner, to the team.

Kaylee earned her master’s degree, Family Nurse Practitioner, from the University of Southern Maine. Previously, she earned her dual-major bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick. Wolfe has a wealth of experience from across the field of Nursing – including experience in both Emergency Nursing and specialty medical work with the LGBTQI+ community. Wolfe most recently graduated from the Keith Haring Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in LGBTQI+ Health.

Wolfe shares, “My philosophy of care is centered around creating a safe and comfortable environment where my patients can be their authentic selves. Primary care is a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding, and I work hard to earn the trust and confidence of my patients in every interaction. I am thrilled to be joining an organization like HealthReach – one that shares my belief that all people deserve access to high-quality and affordable healthcare. I look forward to offering new services, including HIV prevention and treatment, as well as gender-affirming care.”

Wolfe joins Belgrade Regional Health Center’s existing team of healthcare professionals, including Doctor Amy Madden; Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Leslie Rita Alfonso LaBarbera; Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Theresa Rush; and Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) Abigail Dalzell, Katie Gillihan, and Andrew Twaite. Our clinicians offer care for patients of all ages and from all walks of life.

Belgrade Regional Health Center, founded in 1977, is a part of HealthReach Community Health Centers – a Federally Qualified Health Center consisting of twelve community health centers located across Central and Western Maine.

KVCOG schedules household hazardous waste pickup dates

The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, based in Fairfield, plans to host Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days in October in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Skowhegan, Anson, Bingham, Canaan and Madison will collect from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Skowhegan Transfer Station, 29 Transfer Station Drive. This is open to residents of those towns, who must call their own town office to schedule a time slot (Skowhegan, 207-474-6902; Anson, 207-696-3979; Bingham, 207-672-5519; Canaan, 207-474-8682; Madison, 207-696-3971).

Winslow, Belgrade, Clinton, Fairfield, Oakland and Waterville will collect from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 21, at Winslow Public Works, 135 Halifax St. Residents must call their municipal office to schedule a slot (Winslow, 207-872-2776; Belgrade, 207-495-2258; Clinton, 207-426-8322; Fairfield, 207- 453-7911; Oakland, 207-465-7357; Waterville, 207-680-4200).

Those who don’t have an appointment slot made with their town will not be able to drop off that day.

Many chemicals commonly used around the home are hazardous, either alone or when combined with other chemicals, and need to be disposed of by professionals trained to handle hazardous materials, according to a KVCOG news release.

Improper disposal of these materials can disrupt the function of sewage treatment plants or private septic systems, contaminate ground water, and harm animals and residents. Items that are difficult to recycle or dispose of — such as electronic waste, batteries, paint, anti-freeze, chemical cleaners, yard chemicals, old fuels, oils and mercury thermostats — many of which can also become harmful if left unmonitored.

The council will have local law enforcement officials on hand in Winslow and Skowhegan to collect and properly dispose of any pharmaceuticals that residents want to bring in.

HealthReach welcomes podiatrist, Dr. Daniel J. Keane

This September, HealthReach staff in Albion, Belgrade, Coopers Mills, and Richmond welcome Dr. Daniel J. Keane, Podiatrist, to their team.

Dr. Keane earned his doctorate degree in Podiatric Medicine from the William Scholl College of Podiatric Surgery, in North Chicago, Illinois. He has a wealth of experience in the field of podiatry, including experience in rearfoot, forefoot, and ankle surgery; podiatric medicine; and wound treatment.

Dr. Keane shares, “In my many years of practice, I have always strived to treat patients as if they were family: providing the highest level of care with both respect and dignity. As a member of the HealthReach Community Health Centers family, I will continue to provide the best care possible. Patient relationships have always been a cornerstone of my practice, and I provide individualized patient care based on each patient’s needs. It is a rewarding and meaningful experience to join the team at HealthReach and to contribute to this community-based system of affordable and high-quality healthcare.”

Dr. Keane joins the existing mission-driven, values-focused care teams at the Belgrade Regional Health Center, Lovejoy Health Center (of Albion), Sheepscot Valley Health Center (of Coopers Mills/Whitefield), and Richmond Area Health Center. Clinicians offer medical and behavioral health services for patients of all ages and from all walks of life.

Scouts leadership group completes training

Adam Wright, of Lewiston, Doug Woodbury, of Rockport, and Jon Martin, of Augusta, demonstrate round lashings. They learned the skill so they can then instruct their Scouts on the skill. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Leaders from Cub Packs and Scout Troops around the area recently completed a variety of training programs. “It is encouraging to see so many scout leaders coming out to learn new skills,” said Walter Fails, of Farmington, who is the Chairman of Training for Scout Troops in Kennebec Valley District. “Every scout deserves a trained leader because trained leaders deliver better and safer Scouting programs.”

At Camp Boma­zeen, in Belgrade, 20 scouting leaders from across Pine Tree Council completed the Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) Training for Cub Scout leaders and the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) Training for leaders in Scout Troops. The training courses were held over the weekend of May 5-7. Both programs provide an opportunity for leaders to learn how to offer Scouting’s outdoor programs safely. “We all had a great time sharing experiences and knowledge,” said Scott St. Amand, of Gardiner, who heads up Cub Scout Leader Training for Kennebec Valley District and was one of the trainers for the weekend. “It was great to see the camaraderie, and willingness to jump in and help each other learn new skills.”

Of those completing the leaders program, it included area IOLS Training: Christopher Bishop, of Whitefield, who is a leader in Troop #609 B(Boys), in Windsor, Jon Martin, of Troop #603 B, in Augusta, Stephen Polley, is a leader, in Vassalboro Troop #410, Shawn Hayden, of Skowhegan Troop #485 B.

Those locally completing requirements for the BALOO Training: Frederick Pullen, of Pack #445, in Winslow, and Christopher Santiago, of Pack #410, in Vassalboro. Santiago also recently completed more than 500 hours of online training to complete the District Committee functions. Chris Fox, of Mechnic Falls, is the Abnaki District Training Chairman and helped with the training at Camp Bomazeen.

Shelley Connolly, of Pittsfield, completed Short Term Camp Administrator training with Western Los Angeles County Council on April 29. Shelley is going to be running the Summer Camporee, at Camden Hills State Park, July 30-August 1, and she will be helping set up the schedule, program, etc., for the Scouts BSA Weekend at Bomazeen.

Belgrade student at Maine Community College awarded the Leon A. Gorman Endowed Scholarship

Leon A. Gorman

Ten Maine community college students were awarded full tuition scholarships in honor of Leon A. Gorman for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year. The students were celebrated Monday, May 23, 2022, in an online event with Gorman family members and L.L.Bean leadership.

This is the seventh year the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship has been given. The scholarship supports three students at Southern Maine Community College, two students at Central Maine Community College, and one student at the other five colleges. Each of the ten Leon A. Gorman Scholars will receive an award equal to a full year of tuition at a Maine community college.

Among the 2022 Leon A. Gorman Scholars recipients was Allison Pease, of Belgrade, studying as a physical therapist assistant, at Kennebec Valley Community College, in Fairfield.

Information about the Maine Community College System is available at: