Tag Archive for: Scouts

Silver Beaver award presented to area scout leaders

by Chuck Mahaleris

The Silver Beaver is the highest award a local council can bestow upon a volunteer Scout leader. Two local scouters from across the Kennebec Valley District of Pine Tree Council received this award, Kelly Pillsbury, of Benton, and Joseph Poulin, of Oakland. Kennebec Valley District delivers Scouting in Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, Somerset, and Franklin Counties.

Poulin has been active in scouting since 1990 when he was a Webelos Cub Scout and then crossed into Oakland Troop #454. He earned his Eagle Scout award in 1997. Since 2002, he has served as a volunteer leader in scouting at the local, district and council levels. He is currently serving as the vice chairman of Kennebec Valley District, training chairman for Pine Tree Council and a member of the Pine Tree Council Executive Board. Additionally, he has served as program director for Day Camp and Fun Pack Weekends. “I enjoy seeing youth succeed and grow,” Poulin said.

Kelly Pillsbury is a former district chairman for Kennebec Valley District and currently serving on the district committee and as a committee member for Troop #479, based in China. Both have received the District Award of Merit which is the highest award a local scouting district can bestow upon a volunteer. Pillsbury is a past Exalted Ruler of Waterville Elks Lodge #905 during which time she formed the “Antler Lodge” to bring the Elks program to youth. She joined scouting in 1995 as a Tiger Cub parent and has been active since. “Kelly has been active in Scouting for more than twenty-five years,” said district member Ron Emery, of China. “Kelly always has had goals to advocate that training was important for Cub leaders, scout leaders as well as scouts, and the troop committee should always support and encourage that training.”

The awards were presented in Raymond, at Camp Hinds, on January 18, by Pine Tree Council Vice Chairman Scott Valcourt.

Sidney girl achieves Eagle Scout status

Eagle Scout Einin Riddle, of Sidney. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Einin Riddle, of Sidney, is just 14 years old but has accomplished something fewer than six percent of all scouts achieve – she earned the Eagle Scout rank.

The event was held at the Augusta Lodge of Elks on Saturday, April 6. She has earned 62 merit badges, her most recent was the Aviation Merit Badge. She has also earned six Nova and Super Nova STEM advancements.

She is homeschooled and is registered in the Lone Scouts program but has been active with Troop #428, in Pittsfield, and is currently a Den Chief helping with Cub Scout Pack #428. Troop #428 Scoutmaster Shelley Connolly presented her with her Eagle Scout certificate.

Connolly serves as her mentor in the Lone Scout program. Riddle plans to attend Thomas College, in Waterville, with a double major in criminal justice and psychology so she can become a psychologist. “My life vision is to be an individual who can help others,” Riddle said. “I always feel great helping other people.” She praised scouting and promised to always live the Scout Law.

Local scouts attend Red Sox game at Fenway Park

Scouts from the Winslow area Pack #445 took part in the Scout Day festivities. Front row, from left to right, Winslow Wolf Cub Ryder Johnston, Lion Lorelei Pullen, Tiger Elliot French. Back, Vassalboro Arrow of Light William Vincent and Winslow Bear Freddie Pullen. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Freddie and his sister Lorelei Pullen of Winslow pose with Wally the Big Green Monster himself, mascot of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Former Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti once said about Fenway Park, “As I grew up, I knew that as a building (Fenway Park) was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation’s capital, the czar’s Winter Palace, and the Louvre — except, of course, that it is better than all those inconsequential places.” Legends of the game such as Ted Williams, Carl Yas­rzemski, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and David “Big Papi” Ortiz have all left their mark on the storied ball park. On Saturday, April 14, Scouts from Winslow area and Hartland area had the chance to touch the Green Monster and to see Fenway Park the way those icons saw- from the field. This happened during the annual Scout Day at Fenway.

“Walking out on the field was pretty cool,” admitted Troop #403 Scoutmaster Danielle Morse, of St. Albans. “Our trip was great. We had six Scouts go. The boys had a great time and thought it was cool to be able to touch the ‘Green Monster’ from the field.”

Scouts from our local area joined those from across New England to cheer on the BoSox, have hot dogs and peanuts and cracker jack, and took part in the Scout Parade on the field during which they literally walked in the footsteps of Manny Ramirez, Mookie Betts, and Jim Rice.

Sabrina Garfield is Cubmaster of Winslow Pack #445 noted that it was fun to watch the game and see the players live and even more fun because the Sox beat the Angels 5 – 4. “It was very exciting,” Garfield said. “It was all of my Cubs’ first game – mine, too!” The Sox had a 9 win and 7 game loss coming out of their Scout Day victory which included Masataka Yoshida’s first homer of the season.

This year’s Scout Day was a winning way to start off a busy Spring and Summer Scouting season and the Scouts thought it was a home run event.

Local scout leader receives training award

Scouting Training Chairman for Kennebec Valley District Walter Fails, left, presents Christopher Santiago, of Vassalboro, with the Scouter’s Key. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Since kids don’t grow up overnight, it can sometimes be hard to tell from week to week how much of a difference you’re making as a scouting volunteer. Scouting leaders who complete training programs deliver stronger programs that reach each youth where they are every single week. On Sunday, March 24, four area leaders were recognized for completing all requirements for specific training awards as well as the more challenging to earn Scouter’s Key.

A training award is a position-specific recognition earned by scouters who meet certain tenure, training and performance requirements.The tenure requirement is one year for den leaders and two years for all other positions. Basic training for your position, plus specified supplemental training depending on their scouting position. Additionally, the scouter must do four or five things, which vary by position, such as participating in an annual unit-planning meeting or giving primary leadership in meeting a Journey to Excellence objective.

A Scouter’s Key is a more advanced award earned by the top leader in a unit (i.e., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Advisor or Skipper). They must have three years as the top unit leader within a five-year period. As with the training awards, a Scouter’s Key requires basic training for the position they held plus specified supplemental training. Additionally, their Scouting unit must achieve at least the Silver level of Journey to Excellence for at least two years, they must participate in at least one additional supplemental or advanced training event, and they must complete one or two other program-specific requirements.

Christopher Santiago, of Vassalboro, earned the Den Leader Training Award, Scouter’s Training Award for the Cub Level and Scouter’s Training Award for the Troop level. Jamie Russell and Drew Riddle, both of Randolph, earned the Scouter’s Training Award for the Troop Level.

Christopher Santiago earned the Scouter’s Key for his work in the Cub Scout level of the program. The awards were presented by Kennebec Valley District Training Chairman Walter Fails, of New Sharon. The event was held at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Hall. Kennebec Valley District Scouters deliver the programs of Scouting in Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, Somerset, and Franklin counties.

Three scouters honored for decades of service to scouting

Scott Bernier, of Augusta, was cited for lending a hand for 45 years. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Three scouters were recognized for decades of service helping youth develop in the scouting programs. Scouting only happens due to the continued service of these volunteers. Scott Bernier, of Augusta, was honored for 45 years of scouting tenure, Alan Duplessis for 35 years and Karla Talpey for 30 years. Both Duplessis and Talpey are from Jackman. All three were recognized during the Kennebec Valley District Scouting Recognition Dinner held ,on March 24, at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Hall.

The Veteran Award recognizes adults for their tenure in Scouting. (Note, however, that tenure earned as a youth member may be included.) Veterans agree to live up to their scouting obligations, make themselves available for service and be active in promoting scouting as circumstances permit. They must also be currently registered in the BSA. Veterans receive a a certificate and veteran pin, which is for non-uniform wear.

Scouts receive Papa Bear award

From left to right, Karla Talpey and Alan Duplessis, of Jackman, Sherwood Hilt, of Union, and John Wood, of Hope, receiving the Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball Award of Service. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Congratulations to John Wood, Alan Duplessis, Sherwood Hilt, and Karla Talpey on receiving the Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball Award of Service at the Kennebec Valley District Annual Scouting Recognition Dinner, held on Sunday, March 24, at the Winslow Parks & Recreation Department Hall. Talpey and Duplessis are both active in Jackman Troop #497 and are members of the Kennebec Valley District committee.

Hilt, of Union, and Wood, of Hope, have been active as district members of both Kennebec Valley District and the former Downeast Districts of Scouting. Wood currently provides Commissioner Service to more scouting units than any other volunteer in the district.

The award is the highest award that an adult leader, committee member or adult volunteer can be nominated for within a unit. The award consideration should be given based on outstanding service to youth within a unit above and beyond that of what is required of an adult. Also his or her ability to exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. The award is given to those who work in support of Scouting without seeking anything for themselves.

Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball was a long time Scoutmaster of Troop #443, in Winslow. He was also highly involved in Kennebec Valley District of Scouting as a district volunteer and a Unit Commissioner. He also spent all of his summers performing the duty of Camp Commissioner for Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade. Ray also had several sons who were Boy Scouts. Ray was an active member of his community and church. Ray always went above and beyond the call of duty wherever it was. Ray stayed active until he became ill and had to retire from scouting. Raymond Kimball died on November 25, 2007.

Area scout leaders recognized for efforts in reorganizations

From left to right, Sabrina Garfield, Christopher Santiago, and Jamie Santiago receive their James D. Boyce New Unit Organizer Awards at the Kennebec Valley District Scouting Recognition Dinner, held on March 24, at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Hall. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

William D. Boyce signed the papers to make the Boy Scouts of America official at exactly 11:03 a.m., on February 8, 1910. On March 24, volunteers from across the area gathered at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Hall to honor three Scouting leaders who helped get two new Scouting programs off the ground to benefit their respective communities. Sabrina Garfield, of Winslow, and Christopher and Jamie Santiago, of Vassalboro, were recognized for restarting Cub Scout Packs #445 and #410, respectively, in 2022 and keeping them active and vibrant. The award they received was named for Chicago publisher William D. Boyce.

William D. Boyce was in London in 1909 when he got lost in the fog. Out of the fog stepped a “little lad of 12” who offered to help him find his way. Boyce tried to give the youngster a tip, but the boy refused, saying he was just doing his Good Turn as a Scout. Boyce was intrigued by the Scout Movement, which had begun in 1907 in England. He returned home from England with pamphlets, badges and a uniform. Six months later, on February 8, 1910, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

The William D. Boyce award is presented to those who help start a new or restart a defunct Cub Scout Pack, Scout Troop, Venture Crew or Sea Scout Ship. In essence, the recipient must lead the entire process of organizing a new unit. The process begins when a prospective chartered organization is assigned and ends when the new unit renews its charter for the first time and receives Journey to Excellence recognition at the Bronze level or above.

“I am so thankful to my Scouting village,” Sabrina Garfield said. “I am grateful for this experience with my kids, not just because of what it teaches them but because it’s so much more than just that. It’s a family affair. Cub Scouting gives the kids a chance to teach things to others and to learn from others. It’s taught them about leadership and teamwork and how to compromise. It’s taught me too. And I have met some pretty amazing people through this journey.”

Christopher Santiago said, “Scouting is a true labor of love for me and as much as I do, I wouldn’t be able to do it without the supportive and engaged parents in my two units representing the Town of Vassalboro and Vassalboro BSA Scouting Troop #410 and Pack #410, as well as the amazing Scouters whom I have come to know as mentors and colleagues. These awards are because of all of them!”

Scouts mark 114th year with Sunday services

Scouts with Father March, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, in Augusta. Front row, Tristan Morton, Augusta Troop #603, Brent Trundy, of Augusta Cub Scout Pack #684. Back, Anthony Fortin, Troop #603, Trenton Franklin Troop #603, Fr. Nathan March (Eagle Scout). (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

February marks the 114th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and it is also when most Cub Scout Packs and Scout Troops hold Scout Sunday services in their communities. The Twelfth Point in the Scout Law is that “A Scout is reverent. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.” To encourage members to grow stronger in their faith, religious groups have developed the religious emblems programs and also welcomed Scouts in to their houses of worship for the annual Scout Sunday service.

Scout Sunday can be held anytime during the year when it is convenient to the church, but many gather for Scout Sunday in February. During these services, Scouts take an active part in the program. At St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, in Augusta, part of the St. Michael’s Parish, Scouts on February 4 participated in the liturgy, served as ushers, greeted parishioners, and managed the offertory. Anthony Fortin, of Augusta, is a Scout in Troop #603, “Scout Sunday is important to me because I get to bring my religious life and my Scouting life together and enjoy a day as being both a Catholic and a Boy Scout which are two major aspects of my life.” Trenton Franklin is also a Scout in Troop #603 and took part in the Scout Sunday program even though he is not a Catholic. He found it to be a great way for him to show reverence while exploring and learning about other faiths.

“For 90 years, the Gardiner area Scouts have called Christ Church their home,” the church posted on their Facebook page on February 4. “Today we thanked them for being a part of our community and shared a blessing with them in recognition of their acts of service. Just look at these sweet faces that are growing into the giving hearts of tomorrow. Brittany St. Amand, one of the leaders of Cub Pack #672, said of the church community, “They’re always so kind and welcoming to our Scouts.”

The Moose River Congregational Church held their Scout Sunday on February 11, and Scouts and leaders from Troop #497 served as greeters, presented the offering and gave the readings. Troop #497 Scoutmaster Karla Talpey said, “A Scout is Reverent. It is a part of who we are, being Boy Scout, or a leader. Taking the time to be thankful to God for all that we have and are given is an integral part of the ways of life of a Boy Scout.”

Winston Duchette of Troop #604, in Winthrop, took part in Scout Sunday Mass held at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church where he attends Faith Formation classes. He is also the troop’s chaplain aide and in that role led the opening prayer during the Eagle Scout ceremony held to honor two of his fellow Scouts recently.

Vassalboro select board honors scouting

Front row, from left to right, Tiger Scout Greyson Malloy, Wolf Scout John Gray, and Webelos Scout Henry Gray. Back, Webelos Scout Anthony Malloy, Arrow of Light Scout William Vincent, Scoutmaster Christopher Santiago, and Selectmen Rick Denico. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

On the 114th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, the Vassalboro Board of Selectmen read a proclamation by Town Manager Aaron Miller recognizing the anniversary of Scouting on February 8 and also recognizing the service to the community performed by Scouts in both Cub Scout Pack #410 and Scout Troop #410.

“Whereas, the Scouts of Vassalboro have given service to the community through their participation in such worthy programs as the annual Scouting for Food Drive, Spring and Fall “Scouting for Food” Food Drives for Vassalboro Food Pantry, marched in Memorial and Veterans Day parades, participated with Vassalboro American Legion Post #126 for Flag Day Retirement Ceremony, volunteered to staff Blacksmith Shop for Vassalboro Historical Society, participated in Vassalboro Days and Duck Race, participated in Honor Flight Maine Welcome Home Ceremony at the Portland Jetport, completed Eagle Scout Project consisting of a Story Book on Hiking Path, volunteered at the Vassalboro Community School PTO Pancake with Santa, volunteered at Vassalboro Tree Lighting at the Mill and participated in the Wreaths Across America at the State of Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Augusta, on Civic Center Drive,” read part of the proclamation.

“Based on Robert Baden-Powell’s international scouting movement, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was a remarkable institution that expanded rapidly following its introduction into America in 1910,” according to the Library of Congress. “Primary goals of the American movement were to help boys develop the skills, the knowledge, and the “character” required to better serve themselves and their country.” Since then, Scouting has expanded to include girls as members at both the Cub Pack and Scout Troop levels.

Selectman Rick Denico has a scouting background. He served as Scoutmaster of Troop #410, Kennebec Valley District chairman and member of the Pine Tree Council Executive Board. He encouraged the youth to get involved in their community and lend a hand as Scouting teaches.

Winslow Cub Scouts learn about constellations

Caitlin Walker, Program Director with the Children’s Discovery Museum, engages the Cubs in the wonders of the universe. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Ricky Pullen and Lorelei Pullen of Winslow try their hand at making constellations of their own. Using plastic wrap on toilet paper roll secured with an elastic band, Lorelei used a marker to place dots for stars on the wrap. Then they held a light to show on the wall with the design of her homemade constellation. She made a house. Other constellations made by Pack #445 Cubs included a Dragon, Viking, and the Wolf . Lorelei is a Lion Cub with Pack #445. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

On Tuesday, January 23, Winslow Cub Scout Pack #445 held its meeting at the Waterville Children’s Discovery Museum. They learned about constellations, which ones we could see in the night sky above Waterville and Winslow and the stories behind them.

The 14 Cubs taking part in the program explored the planetarium dome and made constellations of their own. Cubmaster Sabrina Garfield said ,”The Children’s Discovery Museum put on a wonderful display and the kids and parents really enjoyed themselves. Learning about constellations engages interest in so much – like using stars for navigation or landmarks, it opens up curiosity about the wonders of the universe and the idea of exploration of space. This lesson has also taught our Cubs that most of the astronauts that walked on the moon were once Scouts.”

Those youth and adults from Winslow and surrounding towns looking to join the Pack on future adventures- global or galactic- contact the pack at winslow.cubscouts445@gmail.com.