Tag Archive for: Scouts

Cubs learn about outdoors

by Chuck Mahaleris

Warden Service Sgt. Josh Bubier shows Scouts the pelt of an animal that lives in Maine’s woods while parent Chris Vincent and Cub Scout Hunter Brown listen. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Cub Scouts in Vassalboro Pack #410 enjoyed meeting with members of the Maine Warden Service recently. Sgt. Josh Bubier and Warden Jake Voter took time the first week of August to discuss with the Cub Scouts the important role the Warden Service plays in protecting Maine’s unique natural outdoor heritage. According to Cub Master Christopher Santiago, the pair spent time talking about a day in the life of a game warden, what it takes to become a warden, introducing us to K-9 Koda, and showing the Cubs many different animals found here in Maine including: bobcat, red fox, raccoon, moose, black bear, otter, muskrat, possum, weasel, and fishers.

The Cubs enjoyed the entire presentation but were especially fond of meeting Game Warden K9 Koda – a four-legged hero. In May, Koda and Voter located a missing person, rescuing a 77-year-old woman who likely had spent two nights in the woods in Bremen just a few days after Koda and Voter found an 11-year old girl who had gone missing.

Santiago said, “What a great night for our Pack! A huge thank you to Sgt. Bubier and Warden Voter. Thanks to all our den leaders and parents who got the majority of our boys out to this event. We have a recruiting event at the Vassalboro family movie night which is on Saturday, August 20. I will be there around 7 p.m., and we have a recruitment event at the Vassalboro Community School open house on Tuesday, August 30 at 6 p.m.”

Vassalboro Pack welcomes parents and families of boys grades K-5.

Interested in Joining Scout Pack #410? Please contact via email: VassalboroCubScoutPack410@gmail.com.

All photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris.


China Boy Scout earns Eagle Scout status

Eagle Scout Kaiden Kelley

by Ron Emery

On Saturday, June 11, Troop #479, of China, honored an Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor held for China resident Kaiden Sawyer Kelley, at the China Masonic Hall. Family, friends and Scouts attended the ceremony marking the advancement of this young man to the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

Kaiden joins a group of Eagle Scouts who have completed community service projects with the help of fellow Scouts and other volunteers. Each Eagle candidate must plan and supervise an Eagle service project to demonstrate his capacity and willingness to exert his leadership ability in activities that are constructive and worthwhile in his community.

Kaiden’s Eagle Project had two parts. The first part was the maintenance on a local park trail. Talbot Cemetery Trail within Thurston Park had a large tree removed that was covering the entrance of the trail. The path to the gravestone had the trailblazer refurbished and additional signage was added to the trail. The second part was visiting Maine State Parks and taking 360-degrees pictures. These images were compiled on the website MaineParks.org and are available for anyone who wishes to visit Maine State Parks from home.

Kaiden and his family created the Eagle Scout Ceremony and invited other members of Troop #479 to take part in this celebration. Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Bodine was asked to be moderator for the ceremony. Pastor Ronald Morrell, Sr., gave the invocation. Scouts Isaac Audette and Bryson Pettengill posted the colors.

Kennebec Valley District’s Membership Chair Chuck Mahaleris called the Eagle Court of Honor to Order.

Assistant Scoutmaster Ron Emery introduced the special guests. Chuck Mahaleris brought greetings from Senator Susan Collins and read a letter from her. Other letters of sentiment were received from U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, as well as many others.

Kaiden is the son of Kern and Michaela Kelley, of China, and will be a senior at Erskine Academy, and will graduate in 2023.

Read more stories about the Scouts here.

Tristan Morton earns second of four medals

Fr. Skehan pins Tristan with the second of four medals “Parvuli Dei”. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Tristan Morton of Pack #603 was recognized by the Catholic Council on Scouting at a Mass in St. Mary Church, on Wednesday, April 27. The Mass was led by Father John Skehan and attended by the students of St. Michael School, in Augusta, where Tristan attends the fourth grade. After blessing the award, Fr. Skehan pinned Tristan with the second of four medals “Parvuli Dei” that follow Catholic Scouts as they mature in the understanding of the church and their faith. Reverence is one of the 12 moral elements of Scouting. Pack #603 is chartered at the American Legion Post #205, Augusta.

Augusta scouts observe Scout Sunday at St. Mary’s

Front row, from left to right, Jacob Blais, Willow Mudie, Scarlotte Mudie, Elizabeth Blais, and Tom Carey. Back, Fr. John Skehan, Anthony Fortin, Ian Martin, Connor Poirier and Tristan Morton. (contributed photo)

Augusta Scouts from Scout Troops #631 and #603 joined with Cub Scout Packs #684 and #603 at St. Mary’s Church, in Augusta, on February 6, as part of the annual celebration of Scout Sunday.

Scouts joined parish leaders in distributing bulletins to parishioners, assisting with the offering, altar service, and recited both the Scout Oath and Law for the assembled congregation. Fr. John Skehan officiated and made the Scouts feel very welcome.

“Not every family attends the same church, but every Scout is taught to respect the religious freedom we enjoy in the United States. Our Scouts, today – on Scout Sunday, participated in this Catholic Mass and through this experience learned to appreciate the Catholic Faith,” said Scout leader Jeff Morton. “St. Mary’s Church and Father John opened their doors and hearts to our scouts. We were welcomed, allowed to participate, and learned so that our scouts can better understand their community and its religious culture.

Diversity, and tolerance are fostered through understanding and respect – this is what Scouting teaches.” According to District Chairman Joe Shelton, the BSA asks its members to affirm a belief in God. That doesn’t mean the Boy Scouts of America tells its members which religion to practice. Scouting provides youth members with opportunities to deepen their personal faith through programs such as the Scout Sunday event, leadership positions in their troop such as chaplain, and the religious emblems program. Scouts have a “Duty to God” and the Scout Law’s 12th and final point is that a “Scout is Reverent.” Lord Robert Baden Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, said in 1908, “No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have a religion.”

Longtime Boy Scout leader steps down

Scott, left, and his wife Priscilla. After 32 years as Scoutmaster of Troop #479, he is now serving as the Troop’s Committee Chairman and as the Treasurer of the Bomazeen Old Timers as he tries to save the Scout camp he loves. (photos courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

As 2021 is now in the rear view mirror, we can not let the year pass without recognizing one milestone that took place. Scott Adams stepped down as Scoutmaster of Scout Troop #479 in China, a position he held since August 29, 1989.

When Scott Adams became Scoutmaster of Troop #479, there were only four Scouts including his son Matthew. Thirty-two years later, Troop #479 remains one of the healthiest Scout Troops in Kennebec Valley District and can boast having seen 44 Scouts from their troop earn their Eagle Scout rank. Adams is remaining active as the Committee Chairman of Troop #479 and as the Treasurer of the Bomazeen Old Timers which is working to prevent the camp from being sold.

Scott Adams and Greenbar Bill. (contributed photo)

Adams has recently received his 60-year Scouting Veteran pin. He was a Scout in Troop #479 in 1966 under Scoutmaster Preston Mosher. “I joined because that was the thing to do,” Adams recalled. “The Scouting program was much larger back then. My two best friends were in the troop so I joined, too. I was into sports so cooking and camping were all new to me. I enjoyed Scouting but didn’t stay with it as a youth,” he said. But rejoined the program in 1984 as a member of the Pack Committee for Albion Pack #410. The next year, his son Matthew joined the Cub Scout program and Scott has not left it since. When the family moved to China, Scott and Matthew joined Pack #479 which was struggling and being reorganized. Scott and other adults stepped up and the “Pack took off.” Scott served as Den Leader and then Webelos Leader. When Matthew crossed over into Boy Scouts, Scott went with him. Three other Scouts crossed over as well and they made up the entirety of the troop at that time as it had been inactive for most of the year. Scott became Scoutmaster, received training for the position, and focused the program on the youth and getting them into the outdoors each month. “Our first camping trip was to my hunting camp in Unity,” Scott said. “The Scouts slept in tents but there was a cabin with running water if we needed it. We had a latrine but they learned how to dig their own, anyway. Scouting is about getting the kids into the outdoors. If you get them outside and show them that they can enjoy themselves out there, they will stay with the program. The longer they stay in the program the more they will learn about Citizenship, Character, Fitness and Leadership Development. We’re teaching life-long skills but doing it in a way that they enjoy it.”

Christian Hunter, who earned Eagle under Scoutmaster Adams, became the troop’s new Scoutmaster in February. “Looking back it is hard to believe all that Mr. Adams did as Scout­mast­er,” Hunter said. “Mr. Adams planned at least one campout and service project for the troop every month to keep the troop active and to help every scout in have the opportunity to advance in rank. At outings, Mr. Adams always kept the troop on tight time schedule to make sure we could get the most done in a day as possible, but still have some time to have some fun. Also at every outing we had delicious food and plenty of it. Scouts learned to cook in the outdoors. Mr. Adams was an excellent teacher, as Scoutmaster, and taught me and all the other Scouts in our troop many important lessons. Mr. Adams taught us how to plan outings, how to do everything in the Scout Handbook, and how to support and take care of our community. If you had a question about anything, Mr. Adams always had the answer, and would explain it to you so that you would understand. He always made sure to test us on the skills he had taught us, to make sure they would stay with us and help us as adults.”

Adams always kept the program flexible to accommodate the busy schedules of the Scouts. “We had a camping trip scheduled,” he recalled. “But only four Scouts signed up. When I asked, I found out that there was a dance they all wanted to go to on Friday night. No problem, we left for the camping trip early Saturday morning instead of on Friday night. Instead of four Scouts, we had 16 take part.”

There were two events he stressed that all of the Scouts take part in each year: Scout Sunday service at China Baptist Church and Memorial Day services. Adams explained that Pastor Ron Morrell would let the Scouts lead many aspects of the service on Scout Sunday. “One year we had 26 Scouts in the church choir on Scout Sunday,” he said. He also, over the years, brought the Scouts of Troop #479 to camporees both local and all over the nation, and to two that were held in Canada.

Scott Adams. (contributed photo)

Bomazeen Camp Director Bruce Rueger had nothing but praise for Adams’ dedication and appreciates his work with the Bomazeen Old Timers. “Scott is the most passionate and effective Scout Leader I have worked with in the program,” Rueger said. The Old Timers raise funds throughout the year to provide camperships for youth in the area to attend Camp Bomazeen and to purchase building material and supplies for the camp. “I can’t even begin to imagine where the camp would be without all of his work.” Now Rueger and Adams are working together to keep the camp from being sold so that Scouts from Waterville, Skowhegan and Augusta areas will continue to be able to use it for decades to come. “Bomazeen to me is what Scouting is all about,” Scott Adams said. “I will challenge anyone to come up with a waterfront and camp that is better than at Bomazeen. People do not realize the treasure that they have. It is simply outdoor camping at its best.”

Kennebec Valley District Chairman Joe Shelton was recruited by Scott. “Scott has been a steadfast member of his community through Scouting, Masons, Fire Dept. and Community support,” Shelton said. “I’ve known Scott since 2010 and he will help anyone who asks. If he can’t help he will find someone or someway to help. In the end Scott will do whatever he can for anyone who asks! I’ve never seen him turn anyone away that deserved his insight, guidance or assistance.”

Adams’ advice after more than three decades as Scoutmaster to others in the Scouting program: “I like to think that we had a program run by the Scouts. We always tried to make every kid feel welcome and give them an opportunity to succeed. Having a strong outdoor program made all the difference.” He said that sometimes life sent challenges to his Scouts. “I had a Scout who told me he had to quit. I asked why and he said that he was failing in school and needed to quit. I told him that he did need to focus on his school work but when he was ready, Scouting would be waiting to welcome him back whether that was in two weeks, two months or two years. He could pick up where he left off.”

Scott’s wife Priscilla has joined Scott on his Scouting journey. “He is always willing to help everyone,” she said in December 2021 during a regional Scouting leaders’ meeting where Scott was drawing the winning tickets for the latest Bomazeen Old Timers’ raffle. “He has always put just as much time and energy into the family as he has put into Scouting.”

Scoutmaster Hunter said, “Taking over as scoutmaster of Troop #479 is a huge undertaking because Mr. Adams was an excellent leader. There is no way I’ll ever be a Scoutmaster like Mr. Adams, but with the skills he taught me I will do my best to fill his shoes.”

Samuel Bernier earns Eagle Scout rank

Sam’s mother, pins the Eagle Scout medal on her son’s chest during the ceremony. (contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Family and friends, along with local officials, gathered at the Waterville Lodge #33, on County Road, for the presentation of Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout rank, to Samuel K. Bernier during a ceremony held on December 14.

Bernier, 15, is the son of Daniel and Jen Bernier, attends Waterville High School as a sophomore.

This past summer, Sam led his Eagle Scout project for the Waterville Community Land Trust. Bernier and a group of Scouts and other volunteers established a community park on the banks of the Kennebec River which required hours of site preparation, planting and erosion control. What was the most difficult part of the project? Sam replied, “Doing a lot of work when it was really hot was hard. Dealing with things that were out of my control like weather and weeds was also difficult. Planting 91 plants in two new gardens was a hot, difficult job. Not all of the plants did well at first. Slugs damaged some of the plants in the Woodland Garden. Transporting water to the site was not an easy job but we ended up with a lot of rain and that helped.”

Christopher “Montawagon” Bernier, left, of the Bomazeen Bushcraft program presents a tomahawk to Eagle Scout Sam Bernier. They are not related. (contributed photo)

He also pointed to unexpected challenges with aggressive Japanese Knot Weed, invasive roses, and scrubby weeds. The most surprising part? “I was surprised that so many people were so willing to donate money for materials and plants,” Sam said. “These donations allowed me and my team to focus on the two gardens instead of fundraising.”

State Senator Scott Cyrway, a former Scout leader himself, presented a Legislative Sentiment introduced in the House by Repres­entatives Bruce White and Colleen Madigan, and by himself in the Senate.

Camp Boma­zeen’s Bushcraft Director Christopher “Monta­gawon” Bernier (no relation), of Winslow, presented Bernier with a tomahawk.

Watervlle City Councilor for Ward 1 Mike Morris and a representative from U.S. Senator Susan Collins also made presentations.

Bruce Rueger, Sam’s Scoutmaster, served as master of ceremonies and said, “Sam is an outstanding Scout. He truly personifies the Scout Oath and Law. You can see the positive impact Scouting has had on this young man who has been in the program since he was a Tiger Cub (Kindergarten).”

When not involved in Scouting, Sam enjoys swimming and is a member of the Mid-Maine Dolphins and the Waterville High School swim program. He is also an avid hiker. This past summer he was able to put both of those interests to use along with Scouting when he worked at Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, as a lifeguard and Day Camp volunteer.

Benjamin Lagasse earns rank of Eagle Scout

Recently, Kristie Lagasse, left, pinned the rank of Eagle Scout on her son, Benjamin Lagasse, from Troop #479, China, at his family home in Windsor. Several attempts to have a traditional Eagle Ceremony were canceled for concerns because of Covid-19. Benjamin is the 44th Scout to earn the Eagle Rank in Troop #479, in China. Benjamin’s Eagle project was to pre-plan and create a bench and sign placard for the north side of the Grange to provide a respite to enjoy watching the alewife returning to the stream near the Grange, in Vassalboro. Benjamin is the son of Keith and Kristie Lagasse, of Windsor. He is a sophomore at UMA, in Augusta, and is in the biology program. He is working towards a physical therapy degree. (contributed photo)

Scouts honor veterans at local ceremonies

One of the primary goals of Scouting is to instill in young people a desire to become participating citizens and foster good citizenship. During Veterans Day, Scouts all over the area were busy working alongside veterans in several projects and events.

Youth and leaders from Augusta Cub Scout Pack #603 and Troop #603 assisted a Veterans Seminar, held at American Legion Post #205. Scouts from Jackman and Boothbay took part in U.S. Flag retirement ceremonies on Veterans Day. Winslow Scout Troop #433 (Boys), Scout Troop #433 (Girls) and Cub Pack #445 all attended the Waterville Veterans Day ceremony at Memorial Park, on the corner of Park and Elm streets, joining veteran groups and others to honor those who answered the call to duty. The ceremony had a presentation of the five branches of the military as well as the POW flag.

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)

Raingutter Regatta

Troop #603 Scouts Gibs Schefter and Jacob Blais are shown coordinating the races. Parents interested in Scouting should check out the Pine Tree Council website. (contributed photo)

The American Legion Post #205 hosted a Raingutter Regatta for Pack #603 as they opened their doors for a new school year. Over 30 families participated, and the kids built, raced, and took home their boats.