Tag Archive for: Scouts

Scouting for Food in Kennebec Valley

Scouts in Kennebec Valley District, which includes Somerset, Kennebec, Franklin, Lincoln and Knox Counties, are taking time during the holiday season to help other people through the annual Scouting for Food Drive. “It’s great to see our Scouts giving back to their communities,” said Kennebec Valley District Vice Chairman Chuck Mahaleris. “A Scout is taught to be ‘Helpful’ and to ‘Help Other People at All Times.’ It is heartening to see our Cub Packs and Scout Troops taking time to put those words into practice.”

Troop #401, in Sidney, had their Scouting for Food drive early in November. “The troop collected a pickup truck full of non-perishable food, plus Scouts handed a check for $150 to the food cupboard from the bottle drive they worked on. The Scouts then separated the food by date and helped take care of the product,” said Troop #401 Scoutmaster Eric Handley.

In Pittsfield, Scoutmaster Shelley Connolly reported, “Amazing Job Cub Scout Pack #428 and Boy Scout Troop #428. We collected a lot of food and had $401.52 in cash donation.” Scouts in that Pack and Troop have an annual “Fill the Tent” program where they ask shoppers at Danforth’s Supermarket to help those in need. They had their collection effort on November 5. Food was given to the Somerset Elementary Pantry and another donation will be delivered to the Pittsfield Food Pantry after Christmas.

Similar efforts have also been held by Cub Scouts in Augusta and Camden with more being organized for December in other parts of the district. “As long as there is a need, Scouts will be there to help,” Mahaleris said.

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.

Cub Scouts present donation to Vassalboro legion

Pictured are front, Hunter Brown. Back, from left to right, Jim Kilbride, adjutant, Christopher Santiago, William Vincent, and Elliot Rafuse. (photo submitted by Chuck Mahaleris)

On November 21, the Webelos of Vassalboro Cub Scout Pack #410, on behalf of the entire pack, met with Jim Kilbride who is the Adjutant of American Legion Post #126, in Vassalboro. The Cubs delivered a donation of “Forever Grateful” notebooks and pens to be placed into the stockings provided to veterans at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital at Togus by the Legion Post.

Owen Riddle achieves Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout Owen Riddle, 14, of Sidney shows off the more than 70 merit badges he has earned in Scouting since joining in 2019. During Covid-19, many Scouting programs stopped meeting but many met virtually and Owen was able to meet with Merit Badge Counselors not only from around the country but as far away as Germany to complete some of the badges. To earn Eagle, a Scout must have earned 22 Merit Badges including 13 required for Eagle.

by Chuck Mahaleris

Owen Riddle, 14, of Sidney, received Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout rank, after earning more than 70 merit badges and completing a project for the Messalonskee Middle School where he attends school.

Family and friends from as far away as Pennsylvania gathered at the Augusta Elks Lodge on Saturday, November 12, to witness the ceremony. “I like challenges,” Owen said before receiving the Eagle rank. “Scouting is a lot of fun and I enjoy the program a lot.”

“By the authority vested in me by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America, it is my privilege and pleasure to pronounce you an Eagle Scout,” announced Pittsfield Troop #428 Scoutmaster Shelley Connolly. Owen’s mother, Sarah Riddle, then pinned the Eagle Scout medal on his uniform shirt pocket flap. His father, David Riddle, swapped off Owen’s old neckerchief for the new Eagle Scout neckerchief.

Owen received his first rank in his Scout Troop, the Scout Rank, on May 17, 2019. During his Eagle ceremony, he was presented 10 Eagle Scout Palms – one for every five merit badges he has earned above the 22 necessary to attain the rank of Eagle. Other awards he has received in Scouting include the Messenger of Peace Award, the National Outdoor Achieve­ment Award for Camp­ing, the Tho­mas Edison Super Nova recognition, the National Outdoor Achieve­ment Award for Conser­vation, the World Conser­vation Award, and the 50th Anniversary Environ­mental Protection Award.

Eagle Scout Dr. Paul Buckthal, Owen’s grandfather, led his grandson and the other Eagle Scouts in the room in the Eagle Scout Charge. “When you pledge yourself on your sacred honor, using the same words which are found at the end of the Declaration of Independence, you seal your eternal loyalty to the code of the Eagle Scout.” Paul earned his Eagle in 1962 but said that the skills he learned in Scouting and the life lessons of the Eagle Scout rank have been prominent in his life ever since.

“The Eagle soars high and seeks to rest only upon the lofty peaks,” Scoutmaster Connelly said. “As an Eagle Scout, you too must soar high. You must not swerve from the path of duty. You must strive to obtain that which is highest and noblest in life.” His Eagle Scout project saw the construction of eight handicap accessible picnic tables at Messalonskee MIddle School.

After high school, Owen plans to attend medical school and become a doctor. “My life vision is to become an individual that can help others,” he said. “I always feel great about myself when I am helping others in need.”

Three brothers complete Eagle Scout hat trick

The Pettengill family, from left to right, Lee, Aiden, Bryson, Rémy, and Danielle Pettengill. All three of Lee and Danielle’s sons attained the rank of Eagle Scout. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

CHINA, ME — Bryson Lee Pettengill, of Troop #479, received his Eagle Scout rank during a ceremony held on October 30, at the China Masonic Lodge. He isn’t the first in his family, however, to attain the rank of Eagle. Both of his brothers have also earned scouting’s highest honor. Aiden earned his Eagle on October 25, 2017, and Rémy, who is currently serving as Senior Patrol leader for Troop #479, earned his Eagle on August 28, 2019. Since the inception of the Eagle Scout award in 1912, 2.01 percent of eligible scouts have earned scouting’s highest honor but the Pettengill family has seen 100 percent of their children earn the award.

Danielle Pettengill pins the Eagle Scout medal on the uniform of her son Bryson. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Lee Pettengill, their father, praised scouting: “It means a safe place for boys to turn into young men. A place of friendship and tolerance. A place that teaches it’s OK to stumble and educates how to get back up gracefully and move forward with dignity. I don’t know about other troops but ours is an extended family of people going out of their way to help others both in the troop and the community.” Lee is an assistant scoutmaster with the troop and his wife Danielle is the troop advancement chairman.

More than 50 people attended Bryson’s ceremony including State Senator Matt Pouliot and State Representative Tim Theriault, who presented the 13-year-old China Middle School student with a Legislative Sentiment acknowledging his accomplishment, and a United States flag that flew over the State capitol building. “This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Pouliot said, admitting that he never got beyond Cub Scouts but appreciated the leadership development and service scouting provides. “It is a great program for our young people and it is a great benefit to our communities.”

Not only did Bryson receive his Eagle, but he also earned a Bronze Palm for his Eagle Scout ribbon in recognition of his having earned nine badges above those required for Eagle. As he is only 13, he could earn many more palms before he turns 18.

Scouts fill kayak for Feed-A-Neighbor program

From left to right, Arrow of light Lizzy Blais, Arrow of Light Willow Mudie, youngest brother future scout Sullivan Mudie, and cleverly holding the door Bear Cub Scout Scarlett Mudie stand in front of a kayak they filled with contributions from friends and neighbors at the Western Avenue Shaw’s, in Augusta. The photo was taken at the start of the collection effort but the Cubs were able to fill the kayak and also received monetary donations to help those in need. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Scouts from Augusta Cub Scout Pack 603 took part in their annual “Scouting for Food” Drive with a twist. This year they sought to collect enough canned and other non-perishable foods for the Feed-A-Neighbor program. Shaw’s Supermarket, in Augusta, hosted the event on Saturday, October 15, and shoppers were eager to generously help those in need during these difficult times. Scout leader Jeffrey Morton said, “After filling the kayak, it was a pleasure to present the Augusta Food Bank’s Executive Director, Bob Moore, with a check for $155 and the food contributions to continue Augusta’s effort to feed our hungry. In Scouting, we teach each Cub that they have a responsibility to “Help Other People at All Times” and to “Do a Good Turn Daily.” These aren’t just words they recite. It is how they live their lives.”

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)

Vassalboro Cubs help with fight against cancer

Pictured are, front row, from left to right, Tiger Cubs Wesley Danielson, John Gray, Beckett Metcalf, and Lux Reynolds. Second row, Bear Cubs Henry Gray and Eli Richmond. Third row, Webelos Elliot Rafuse, Christopher Santiago, Hunter Brown, and Desmond Landreth. Back row, Cubmaster Christopher Santiago and Tiger Den Leader Christopher Reynolds. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

On Tuesday October 11, 2022, the Vassalboro Community School PTO held a Food Truck Night at Vassalboro Community School as a fundraiser for the Michaud family. Ira Michaud is the principal of the Vassalboro Community School and his son is battling a very rare cancer. Ira Michaud is himself a Cubmaster and his son Ian is a Cub Scout. So Vassalboro Pack #410 provided desserts for the food truck event in the form of a bake sale. The community came together in support of the family. Pack #410 was able to contribute $516.54 towards the $2,649.54 raised for the Michaud family.

Monument Trail at Thurston Park improved by Eagle service project

A photo of the Scouts, leaders, family and friends at the monument that worked on the trail, from left to right, front row, Jennefier Boynton, Scout Samuel Boynton (in front of the stone), Leader Sean Boynton. Second row, Leader Mike Choate, Scouts Nick Choate, Nathan Choate, Brady Newell, Kameron Rossignol, Leader Derek Rossignol, Scouts Bryson Pettingill, Isaac Audette, Kaiden Kelley, Leader Kern Kelley. Third row, Leader Scott Adams, Ross and Genevieve Hall, Scoutmaster Christian Hunter, Leaders Lee and Danielle Pettengill.

by Chuck Mahaleris

Samuel Boynton, from Boy Scout Troop #479, recently completed his Eagle Service Project. The goal was to recover a poorly kept trail in Thurston Park, in China. Thurston Park is nearly 400 acres of forest with streams and waterfalls, diverse wildlife, and cultural and historical landmarks with 5.2 miles of trails in the northeast corner of the town of China.

The trail’s name is the Monument Trail and his project included clearing the trail, removing a large fallen oak tree, and painting new (red) blazes to make the trail safer and more accessible for the public. The Monument Trail (0.24 mile long) is a ridge top trail that provides access to an 1838 monument stone marking the China-Albion-Palermo town borders. This also marks the boundary between Kennebec and Waldo Counties.

Family, friends and other Scouts helped Samuel to complete his project on August 6, 2022. China residents as well as others will benefit as they will be able to locate the monument. Stop by Thurston Park and take a look at this worthy Eagle project and view the historical monument.

Photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris

The monument trail is well marked with a red blaze on trees to keep hikers from getting off the trail.

The three town monument stone: C – for China – the back side has 1838 and P for Palermo – the left side has A for Albion.

Central Maine scouts attend camporee in Cobscook/Moosehorn

Christopher Bernier, Camp Director of the Camporee, leading the opening ceremonies, at Cobscook, for the camporee. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Scouts from all over Maine – with the largest contingent from Kennebec Valley District – garbed as brave knights, powerful wizards, elven maidens and stealthy rogues descended upon Cobscook Bay State Park, in Edmunds, for the 60th anniversary Cobscook/Moosehorn International Camporee on the weekend of September 16-18.

The event, organized by Christopher Bernier, of Winslow, and his staff, saw more than 100 Scouts and leaders competing in such themed events as Shield Decorating, Pennant Competition, Axe throwing, Catapult, “‘Tis Merely a Flesh Wound” (First Aid), Tug-o-War, Archery, mounted obstacle course to rescue the Princess, and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (Shot put throw to destroy the evil stuffed rabbit).

Bernier said, “The Cobscook camporee has been in the works for a year and could not have happened without all of the staff who came together to pull it off. The weather cooperated and everyone had a blast.” Some traveled three hours or more to attend the highly-anticipated program that has become the longest, continuously-run annual Scouting event in the nation.

Declan Noyes, of West Gardiner, is a Cub Scout in Gardiner Pack #672. He said that his favorite part of the weekend was the Scavenger Hunt where each troop scoured the woods and the edge of Cobscook Bay looking for magic items of tremendous power or weapons to help them in their battles against evil. “I also liked looking out at the ocean,” he said.

Daniel Deprez, of Gorham, recently joined Troop #73 and this was one of his first Scouting events. “There was a lot of fun stuff to do,” Daniel said. “I’m having fun.” He dressed as a brave knight for the weekend’s challenges.

Isa Russell, of Randolph, is a member of Troop #2019. “I think dressing up in costume and being in character is my favorite part,” said the maiden of Scouting.

Other activities included cooking challenges and costume competitions.