Scout leaders complete training in Belgrade

Training staff and course participants outside McCurdy Lodge at Camp Bomazeen. Front row, from left to right, Ginger Fails, of New Sharon, Brett LeBlanc, of Winthrop, Marcy Richardson, of Phippsburg, Tyler Pease, of Sidney. Back row, Allen Blake, of Raymond, Walter Fails, of New Sharon, Jason Crocker, of Jay, Dan Bernier, of Waterville, Shalee Hills, of Kittery, Geoffrey O’Brien, of Scarborough, Chris Fox, of Mechanic Falls, Joe Poulin, of Oakland. The four trainers are the first two (Blake and Fails) and last two in the back row (Fox and Poulin). (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Scout leaders completed training courses during the weekend of October 22 at Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade. Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) Training and the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) were the two courses offered. BALOO provides basic instruction for any Cub Scout adult leader or parent who will go on Cub Scout Den or Pack outdoor events, including pack camping overnighters and Webelos Den overnight camping. The IOLS training is for new Scouts BSA Scoutmasters (highest-ranking adult volunteer leader working with youth in a Scouts BSA Troop) and Assistant Scoutmasters in order to safely offer Scouting’s outdoor program to their youth.

HealthReach welcomes Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson

This September, staff at HealthReach Community Health Centers welcomed Nancy Johnson, Connector. The two practices Nancy joins include Belgrade Regional Health Center, and Lovejoy Health Center, in Albion. Nancy looks forward to helping patients access important services, such as affordable healthcare, health insurance, and other social and support services.

Nancy obtained her bachelor’s degree in secondary education, language arts from the University of Maine at Farmington. She also has a master’s degree in literacy education from the University of Maine at Orono. In 2021, Nancy served as a Patient Services Representative for MaineGeneral Medical Center, where she provided excellent customer service to patients and determined urgency levels for medical referrals. Nancy previously worked as a certified title I literacy teacher for the Augusta school department for over a decade. She also has experience in helping people with Medicare Part D matters.

Nancy joins HealthReach’s dedicated Connector Team – Tina DeRaps, LSW; Chenoa Jackson, LSW; and Courtney Koczera. Connectors provide free and valuable services to help with the high cost of healthcare. Connectors are here to help patients navigate a variety of resources, including MaineCare (Medicaid), Hospital Free Care, Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”), reduced-cost prescription medications through the Patient Assistance Program, and our HealthReach Affordable Care Program (“Sliding Fee”). HealthReach Connectors can also connect you to other helpful resources in your local community.

Scouts enjoy Halloween at Camp Bomazeen

Mario: Six-year-old Liam Casey, of Palmyra, was ready to set off on the hayride dressed as Mario. (contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Dr. Brody: Five-year-old Brody Dyer-Dolley was dressed like a doctor for the event and attended with his dad Jacob Dolley. Brody is a Cub Scout, in Augusta. (contributed photo)

The public is advised that ghouls and skeletons were spotted skulking through the woods of Belgrade on Saturday, October 1. The public is further warned that aliens and Imperial Storm Troopers were also spotted in the vicinity of Great Pond at that same time. Reports have also come in of princesses, cartoon characters and dinosaurs at the same location. There is no cause for alarm. They were all gathered for the annual Haunted Woods program at Camp Bomazeen.

“Haunted Woods is a lot of fun,” said Bomazeen Camp Director Julie McKenney of Belgrade. McKenney runs the summer programs at the camp and is also the Program Chair for the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting that puts on the costumed-event for both the Scouts and the general public. “It is a great way to show off the camp and the programs of Scouting,” she said. “Kids love to get into costumes and spend a day here at camp running the obstacle course through the graveyard (ball field decorated with fake headstones and body parts), going through the haunted house at the dining hall and trying their hand at BB gun shooting. Lots of parents came dressed in costumes too this year. I am not sure if they had more fun or if their kiddos did.”

Violet LeBlanc, aged 4, was dressed as a dinosaur. She said that her favorite activity was decorating the pumpkins. She came to the event with her father, Brett LeBlanc, of Winthrop. Brett is the assistant leader of the Scout program in Manchester and his daughter will be joining next year when she will be old enough to be a Lion.

Campion Poulin and his dad Joe Poulin, of Oakland, ran the archery range. Campion dressed as a creepy skeleton. Joe Poulin serves as the Pine Tree Council training chairman and enjoys teaching adults, but also teaching youth such as Princess Ella Poulin, of Sidney, how to use a bow and arrow safely. Ella is joining Cub Scouts this year as a Lion. Lion is the youngest level of Scouting and a youth – boy or girl – has to be in at least kindergarten to join. Ella is the Princess of the Great Realm but she and Joe are not related. Too bad for Joe.

Dad and Dinosaur: Brett LeBlanc and his daughter Violet, of Winthrop, on the hayride tour of Camp Bomazeen. (contributed photo)

Mario is the star of more than 200 video games and some movies and visited Camp Bomazeen from Palmyra. “I’m Liam Casey,” said the young man dressed as Mario. Liam is a Cub Scout from Pittsfield Pack #428 where he is a Tiger Cub. “The haunted house was a lot of fun,” he said. Just like in the game, our Mario had no trouble finding his way through the spooky happenings in the Bomazeen haunted house.

In all, approximately 100 youth and adults attended the event and medical professionals and those who like to pretend to be medical professionals were on hand. Brody Dyer-Dolley was dressed like a doctor for the event and attended with his dad Jacob Dolley. “I didn’t get scared,” Brody said after leaving the haunted house. Brody is a Cub Scout, in Augusta. Augusta Cub Scout Pack #684 had a family camping weekend at Bomazeen and used the Haunted Woods as the Saturday portion of their activities. Scouts and leaders from Augusta Troop #603 dressed up as evil creatures inside the haunted house and served as guides through the darkened interior.

Princess at the Archery Range: Princesses do not just wave anymore. They have to learn to protect their realm. Princess Ella Poulin, of Sidney, received archery lessons from Joe Poulin, of Oakland. There are many Poulins in her kingdom and she and Joe are not related. (contributed photo)

Halloween theme at Camp Bomazeen

Patch is the design from Dalton Curtis that will be used by the Bomazeen Old Timers to fundraise for their efforts to provide ongoing support for Camp Bomazeen.

Enjoy a day of Halloween-Themed Activities for families at Camp Bomazeen. Come in costume, join in the games and fun this fall! As you travel around, don’t forget to get your treat.

This will take place on Saturday, October 1, 2022. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., at Camp Bomazeen, 656 Horse Point Rd., Belgrade, for Cub Scouts and non-Cub Scout families. $7/pp. Walk-ins welcome!

All youth are to be accompanied by responsible adults. They are only able to accept cash for the door, pumpkins, hot food, and trading post. You can order your patches at the event for $5.

All participants are welcomed to participate in all the following activities during the day: sports and games, shooting sports, multiple crafts, decorate your own pumpkin for $5, cooking activity, Monster Mouth, concession stand, trading post, special guests, hayride wagon, and food and personal care drive, (non-perishable and unexpired items).

Saturday Schedule: 10:30 a.m., registration and check-in begins; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., activity periods; 4:15 p.m., closing ceremony at parade field. This is a chemical free location, please plan accordingly. Licensed service animals are welcomed. No pets!

For more information contact Julie McKenney, 207-530-0362 or Subject to change at a moment’s notice. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

LETTERS: Prefer Christians as their ruler

To the editor:

It won’t be long before voting will start in Maine. We should counsel what George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Proverb 12:5 also says, “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.”

The very first Supreme Court justice, John Jay, said, “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”

Remember these things when you pray and when you go to vote.

Marcel LeRoi

EVENTS: KVCOG to hold hazardous waste collection day

The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) will be offering Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days for the following locations:

On Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. – noon, the towns of Skowhegan, Canaan and Madison will be collecting at the Skowhegan Transfer Station. All residents have to sign up by calling their individual town office.

On Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., the towns of Pittsfield and Palmyra will be collecting at the Pittsfield Transfer Station. All residents have to sign up by calling their individual town office.

On Saturday, October 15, from 8 a.m. – noon, the communities of Winslow, Waterville, Belgrade and Oakland and will be collecting at the Winslow Transfer Station. All residents have to sign up by calling their individual municipal office.

According to Jessie L. Cyr, Community and Economic Development Specialist with Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, “we are all municipalities and nonprofit but these events directly benefit the people within our county and we feel it is a necessity to find the funding to hold these collection events.”

He continued, saying that 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. 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. Difficult to recycle -or dispose of- items can also become harmful if left unmonitored, items like electronic waste, paint, old fuels, mercury thermostats, etc. We also have local law enforcement officials on hand that day that will be collecting and properly disposing of any pharmaceuticals that residents want to bring in.

Area scouts take part in Klondike Derby

The sled. Scouts from China and Winslow show how they were the dogs in the dog team sled pulling. Part of the challenge was to build the sled so it can withstand the event while trying to keep it light. Scouts were also told some items were required to be on the sled for safety, and they could put other items they thought they would need. Some Scouts, who had packed too much, were “dog”-tired by the end of the Klondike Derby. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris

Camp Bomazeen, on Great Pond, in Belgrade, saw several inches of new snow, temperatures hovering between 0 and 10 degrees, and a camp full of eager Scouts hunting for gold during the annual Klondike Derby winter activity on Saturday, February 26.

Scouts and Cubs from across Franklin, Somerset, Kennebec and Lincoln counties re-enacted the historic Klondike gold rush on sleds filled with gear and supplies and they were their own sled dog team. They competed as a team at different stations and earned “gold” nuggets by demonstrating teamwork, Scout spirit, and mastery of the skills that are needed to stay alive in the woods in winter.

“Our Scouts have been learning at troop meetings not only how to dress and pack for winter camping but also how to survive in the wilderness,” said Klondike Derby chairman Julie McKenney. “At the Klondike Derby, they put all that training to work at stations such as orienteering, shelter building, fire starting, first aid, fishing, and rescue.”

There were also Scout favorites including rifle shooting, tomahawk throwing and an obstacle course. Cub Scouts had fun with stations for their younger age group including sling shots, big foot walk, and the cardboard sled race. The Winslow Cub pack raced a cardboard box made to look like a dragon.

Skowhegan Troop #485 was one of three troops that earned 158 gold nuggets by the end of the day. Sam Bass­elett lives in Chelsea but is a member of Man­chester Troop #622 and enjoyed the shooting sports range.

Scott Adams of Troop #479, in China, ran the fire-starting station where Scouts had to build and light a fire in the snow and then boil water. Afterwards, they had to properly dispose of their fire area.

Albion Scout Caught his Trap: Trevor Pellerin, of Albion, shows off the mouse trap he caught in the “fishing pond” which was really a challenge to lash a sturdy fishing pole. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

John and his son Ian Martin, of Augusta Troop #603, show that scouting is a great program for families. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

OPINIONS: Plea to keep Bomazeen a scouting camp

Chris “Montawagon“ Bernier at his lodge.


by Chris Bernier

My name is Chris “Montawagon“ Bernier. I am a long time scouter from Winslow here in Pine Tree Council. I joined scouting in 1983. I received my Eagle Scout in 1994. Without scouting my life would have turned out drastically different. I was lucky to have both of my parents in our home growing up, however, my father worked a million hours a week it seemed. My two brothers and I got to see him often but not nearly as much as I wished growing up. I would say more than half of my male influences growing up came from scouting leaders. The other half my father.

My fondest memories in scouting were from summer camp. For me that was Camp Bomazeen. For some of the other youth in my troop it was a combination of Bomazeen and Camp Hinds. I was lucky enough to have attended Camp Hinds in 1989 for a week. I got to see both camps and participate in programs at both camps, however, my heart will always lay at Camp Bomazeen.

Many other youth, have made great memories at Camp Gustin, or Camp Nutter. Many at Camp Hinds. Pine Tree council is lucky enough for the moment to have four amazing non-replaceable assets. This is in danger of changing.

The council has incurred some debts and the national Scouts BSA lawsuits are requiring councils to fork over costs of damages. Yet another debt to our council. It is the responsibility of our council board to figure out how to pay those debts. Unfortunately, the executive board feels selling property (even if protected as a trust) is an option to pay those debts. I, as a Scout of 38 years and an adult leader/volunteer of 27 years feels that Pine Tree Council is about to jump off the cliff by the sale of Bomazeen, with Nutter and Gustin to follow.

That is why I am contacting you today. I would like to ask everyone in the district. Every Pack, Troop, and Crew member who wants to see this stay as a camp for Scouts in perpetuity, to write a personal letter stating why you think it is a bad idea to sell Camp Bomazeen, specifically. I would like to see leaders as well as youth include letters. I would ask you to personally sign it. Then either bring it to the roundtable where I will collect them and make sure they are used in a productive way to try to preserve our camps. If you cannot make it out to the roundtable, please mail them to me or you can scan them on your computer and mail them to me via email where I will print them out.

However, a signature is still strongly advised. I would like to put a deadline of getting these letters in my hand by December 15. At that time, I will take all the letters and make sure they get down to Pine Tree Council. Addressed to every board member and council employee. Think of this as a petition but with more bite as you are not just signing your name, you are explaining why you are signing your name. I would urge you to contact me about how you feel about this via email at

I would ask that you contact your chartering organizational representatives. Encourage them to become active in what council does. Every Troop’s chartering organizational representative has the obligation to vote on who Pine Tree Councils board members are annually. The council hosts a January meeting with a list of board members. If a majority “Yes” vote is passed those people are that year’s board for council. If a majority “No” vote occurs council must wipe the slate clean and start over. I encourage a “No” vote. Our council is in desperate need of a new board of directors. Most people are not aware of this. It is crucial, even vital, now more than ever, that we let council know that selling irreplaceable property potentially protected in trust is not a good use of resources. A better use of their time should be focusing on membership, “quality” program at all four camps and capital campaigns. If done properly this council could easily recover from its debts. Something the current board clearly is not focused on.

You may or may not be aware of it but the attorney general’s office along with the Bomazeen Oldtimers Association 501(c)(3) is suing Pine Tree Council in an effort to protect the property. The deed of Doctor Averill, who gave the camp for use to central Maine scouts, states that the trustees of Camp Bomazeen govern it. If for any reason a Camp Bomazeen Trustee member leaves said board, the council, who has jurisdiction over Camp Bomazeen, “Shall appoint a successor from the vicinity of where the former Trustee resided.” The deed also states that the original Trustees of Bomazeen were all from the Central Maine, Waterville, Madison, Skowhegan area. The last time I heard there was a Camp Bomazeen board of trustees was more than 20 years ago. The council has failed in its duty to put in place successors.

The deed states “First: Said property is to be held by said Trustees for the use and benefit for members of the Boy Scouts of America, said premises to be at all times available for camping purposes to the troops and members of the Boy Scouts of America, and especially for the troops and members of the Boy Scouts of America in the central part of the State of Maine.” If the council were to sell, it is Pine Tree Council’s obligation that the money received be held in trust for Central Maine Scouting, not to pay debts for poor money management. Any sales of this trust are to be done to further the intention of the trust.

In recent years scouting has been on the decline. Covid struck and rapidly helped to disrupt scouting. The answer to debt is not selling stuff and hope membership rises. The answer to debt is increased membership and give as many opportunities to children within scouting, at as many places as possible. Without our well distributed camps, providing outstanding programs becomes that much more challenging. The current board of directors at Pine Tree Council has clearly lost its way. We the leaders of the packs, troops and crews on the ground sometimes need to remind them what they are voting on. This is one of those times as our packs, troops and crews are the larger bases of income to the council.

I want to thank you for your time and I hope you will consider sending before December 15.

Please, let’s band together as a council and help to protect these four great properties for every youth of scouting to enjoy for the next 100 years of scouting.

Send your letter to Preserve Camp Bomazeen Letter Drive, c/o Chris “Montawagon” Bernier, P.O. Box #2444, Waterville, ME 04903.

PHOTOS: Scouts at Camp Bomazeen

Tristan Morton, of Augusta, Pack #603, and his mother. (photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Tyler Fisher, of Oakland Cub Scout Pack #454, spent time at the archery range getting ready in case zombies attack. (photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Eric Handley, Scoutmaster of Troop #401, in Sidney, was the largest lawn gnome in the world and welcomed people at the registration table for Haunted Woods. (photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Golf Fore Kids’ Sake raises over $48,000 for BBBS

First place gross, Bank of New Hampshire

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine’s 2021 Kennebec Valley Golf Fore Kids’ Sake, presented by Kennebec Savings Bank, raised $48,300 to benefit school and community-based mentoring services for children in Kennebec and Somerset counties. Twenty teams competed in the annual golf tournament, held September 3, at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club.

2021 Kennebec Valley Golf Fore Kids’ Sake Tournament Winners:

First Place Gross: Travis Frautten, Paul Collins, Matt Worthen and Sean Rankin (Bank of New Hampshire)

Second Place Gross: Scott MacCheyne, Todd Beacham, Mike Frautten and Mike Wilson (Great Falls Holdings)

First Place Net: Andy Dionne, Tim Borelli, John Smith and Jason Brown (MaineGeneral Health)

Second Place Net: Jake Coan, Ngoni Ditma, Randall Anderson and Lucas Worell (Cornerstone Insurance)

Contest Winners: Longest Drive (Men): David Chayer.

Longest Drive (Women):  Jessica Smart.

Closest to Pin (Men): Matt Loubier.

Closest to Pin (Women): Nicole Labbe.

Putting Contest: Bob Gatof.

Chipping Contest: Shad West.

Kennebec Valley Golf Fore Kids’ Sake is generously sponsored by: Kennebec Savings Bank (Presenting Sponsor); G&E Roofing, Cives Steel Company and Skowhegan Savings (Major Sponsors); Darlings, Central Maine Motors Auto Group, Sprague & Curtis, Lajoie Bros., New Hampshire Bank and Great Falls Holdings (Scoreboard Sponsors); SAPPI, InterMed and Mr. Bob Gatof (Lunch Sponsors)

First place net, MaineGeneral Health

Second place gross, Great Falls Holdings

Second place net, Cornerstone Insurance