Tag Archive for: Scouts

Scouts: Bear Den carnival held in Augusta

Pack #684 Cubmaster Kevin Bricker looks on as Asher Decoteau tries his hand at the ski-ball game that Kevin built. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

The Bear Den Carnival took place on Monday, March 13, at the Fitzgerald-Cummings Post #2, American Legion Hall, complete with games and activities for kids old and young. The annual event was hosted by the youth of Cub Scout Pack #684’s Bear Den as part of their “Grin and Bear it” Elective Adventure. The Scouts had to plan the carnival, invite parents and youth from their pack and then run the program with the help of their parents. Scouts from Troop #631 were also invited to have fun and help with the event. Activities included a toilet paper toss, ski ball on a homemade table, log balance challenge, air hockey using tupperware and electric tape, corn hole, and more.

Cub Scouts Allison Doyle and Kevin Bibeau have a lively game of air hockey. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Gage McFarland tries to skillfully balance the log on two pieces of rope and get it to the laundry basket. Harder than you would think. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Eagle scout remembered

From left, Luanne Chesley with Troop #479 leaders Sam Boynton, and Christian Hunter, and Troop #479 Scouts Isaac Audette, Tad Dow, Kameron Rossignol, Mike Choate, Nathan Choate and Brady Newell. (contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Rémy Pettengill was honored posthumously with the Spirit of the Eagle Award during the Kennebec Valley District Scout Leaders’ Recognition Dinner held on March 11, 2023, at the Winslow MacCrillis-Rousseau VFW Post #8835, with his fellow Scouts on hand to receive the award. The award was presented by Luanne Chesley, chairman of Vassalboro, Kennebec Valley District Advancement.

The Boy Scouts of America created the Spirit of the Eagle Award as an honorary, posthumous recognition of a registered youth member who has lost his or her life in an accident or through illness. Rémy Joel Pettengill, age 17, passed on January 7, 2023, following a car accident on December 30.

The award is bestowed by the National Court of Honor as part of the celebration of life of Rémy. It recognizes the joy, happiness, and life-fulfilling experiences the Scouting program made in his life. The intention is also to help heal and comfort the youth member’s family and other loved ones over their loss. Because the Scouting program was so appreciated, loved, and enjoyed by Rémy, this award will serve as a reflection of the family’s and friends’ wishes as a final salute and tribute to their departed loved one.

Part of a message from the Pettengill family was shared at the dinner: “Each day Rémy walked this Earth, he greeted friends and strangers with a smile. He was a voice for those who could not find their own, he protected the weak, he championed the underdog, and he helped those in need. Please remember him with joy. Help Rémy continue his legacy – be kind to one another, hold the door open, smile, and care for those you know and even those you don’t. Love, laugh, live life to its fullest, and wear crazy socks!”

Rémy Pettengill was Senior Patrol Leader of Scout Troop #479, in China, and a student at Erskine Academy, in South China. He was proud of attaining Eagle Scout rank, becoming both an American Red Cross Lifeguard and a BSA Lifeguard, assisting to coach his brother’s middle school track team, working at Camp Bomazeen, and volunteering with China Masonic Lodge #45. He was a member of the Erskine track team, National Honor Society, and the BSA Order of the Arrow – Madockawanda Lodge.

“Rémy was their leader,” said Kennebec Valley District and Troop #479 committee member Ron Emery. “He was the person each of the Scouts in the troop looked to, to help guide the way. It is appropriate that they should receive the award honoring their Senior Patrol Leader and friend.”

Waterville scout leader presented with highest honor

Garth Smith, left, and advancement chairman Luanne Chesley. (contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Garth Smith, of Waterville, a leader in Scouting programs in Winslow, on Saturday received the highest award a local Scouting district can bestow on a volunteer – the District Award of Merit.

During the annual Scout Leaders’ Recognition Dinner held on Saturday, March 11, at Winslow V.F.W. MacCrillis-Rousseau Post #8835, District Advancement Chairman Luanne Chesley, of Vassalboro, presented the District Award of Merit to Smith.

“Garth has served in large ways and some small ways in the Kennebec Valley region,” Chesley said. “In smaller ways, Garth has helped out at various events sometimes in the background or making sure things run smoothly logistically. Some examples include delivering firewood for the Klondike Derby, running stations at the camporee, or simply moving things from Point A to Point B at Camp Bomazeen. On the larger scale, Garth has volunteered at the District Pinewood Derby. The derby has a lot of kids and a lot of chaos, but Garth has helped many years to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.”

Smith works at the Maine Center for Disease Control and is a graduate of Waterville High School before taking classes at Husson College and Merrimack College.

Smith, who is currently registered as the Committee Chairman for both Troop #433 Boys and Troop #433 Girls, in Winslow, has also served as Popcorn Kernel, Scoutmaster, and was recognized for helping start a new Cub Scout pack. He has been active in Scouting since 2011 with his son.

Outside of Scouting, Garth Smith is an active member of the Waterville Lodge of Elks #905, serving as an advisor to the Antlers Youth Program; assisting with the youth Hoop Shoot and the Trunk or Treats program the Elks hosts.

“I was very surprised,” Smith said. “Scouting is a valuable program for young people to learn leadership skills. It is an organization that promotes and provides opportunities for family bonding. I am proud to be a part of it.”

“Garth is all about the kids,” Chesley said. He was nominated for this award by Millard Davis, of Winslow Troop #433, and was unanimously approved by the District Award of Merit Selection committee. The committee approved the awarding of two such awards but the second will be presented at a later date as they were unable to be present at the dinner.

China scouts provide morning worship on Boy Scout Sunday

Front row, from left to right, Isaac Audette, Sam Quick, and Brady Newell. Second row, Chuck Mahaleris, Nathan Choate, Kameron Rossignol, Nicholas Choate, Sam Boynton, and Scoutmaster Christian Hunter. Back row, Sean Boynton, Bruce Rueger, Matt Bodine, Michael Choate, Derek Rossignol, and Ronald Emery. Absent from photo are Scott Adams, and Priscilla Adams. (photo courtesy of Ron Emery)

by Ron Emery

On February 5 – Boy Scout Sunday – the Boy Scouts from Troop #479, along with some of their leaders, provided the Morning Worship Service at the China Baptist Church. The scouts, under the leadership of Scoutmaster Christian Hunter, have taken part in Scout Sunday Worship service for 30 years (Missing 2019-2021 because of COVID restrictions). Very few Boy Scout troops in the Kennebec Valley District are provided this opportunity. The scouts from Troop #479 were invited to prepare some of the worship service by Rev. Ronald Morrell. Under Rev. Morrell’s direction and with assistance from the Committee Member Ronald Emery, the worship service gave each of the scouts a chance to participate in the Sunday Morning Worship, as follows:

Call to Worship, by Scout Nathan Choate;
Invocation and Lord’s Prayer by Scout Sam Quick;
Responsive Reading, The Scout Law by Scout Kameron Rossignol;
A Scout Remembrance and Tribute In memory of Scout Rémy Pettengill, by Chuck Mahaleris Kennebec Valley District Chairman;
Preparation for Prayer by Scout Nicholas Choate;
Pastoral Prayer by Scout Sam Boynton;
Children’s Message, The Five Finger Prayer by Scout Leader Derek Rossignol;
Scripture Reading, The Scout Beatitudes by Scout Isaac Audette;
Offering: Nicholas Choate, Nathan Choate, Sam Boynton, Kameron Rossignol;
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication, by Scout Isaac Audette;
Message ‘IF GOD COULD SPEAK’, by Scout Leaders Mike Choate and Ronald Emery;
Benediction by Scout Brady Newell;
Invitation and Prayer for Refreshments by Scout Leader Ronald Emery

The twelfth point of the Scout law, a Scout is Reverent, was exemplified by the scouts. A large congregation including boys and leaders in uniforms enjoyed the Sunday service. Fellowship hour was hosted by Troop #479 in the vestry.

Klondike derby held at Bomazeen

Troop #485 Scouts Derek Corson and Taylor Hayden, both of Skowhegan, show off the emergency shelter they put up while blindfolded. (photo by Mike Labbe)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Photo by Mike Labbe

The Klondike Derby drew Scouts from surrounding area towns and as far away as Boothbay Harbor and Gorham to the snowy fields and trails of Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, on Saturday, January 21. There were more than 100 Scouts and Cubs in attendance.

“I loved seeing all the scouts active and enjoying themselves,” said Klondike Director Julie McKenney, of Belgrade. She and volunteers spent months preparing two separate outdoor programs – one for younger Cub Scouts and one for Scouts in troops. The Klondike Derby is a fun-filled activity patterned after the days of the Yukon Gold Rush. Patrols build sledges like the early prospectors used as they hunted for gold. The members of each patrol serve as a team of huskies to pull their patrol’s sledge around the course.

Each patrol visited a number of stations, each having an Alaskan/Yukon town name. At each town the patrol was confronted with a problem requiring Scout skills to solve. Depending on how well the patrol works out the problem, determine the number of Gold Nuggets they received at that station. The patrol with the most gold nuggets at the end of the day was the winner..” Damariscotta Troop #213’s Bear Patrol won the overall program with Gardiner Troop #672’s Shark Bait patrol coming in second overall and Gorham Troop #73’s Burrito Patrol coming in third.

The sledges carried things needed by the patrol for the program such as cooking equipment, two gallons of water, two tarps, first aid kit, etc. The Scouts competed in activities such as fire starting, blindfolded shelter building, compass work, hatchet throwing, rifle shooting, big foot walking, etc.

“Scouts were given ahead of time a list of the right clothing to wear for the event,” McKenney said. “The goal is to have fun while outdoors. No one has fun if they are not dressed right for snow.”

Scott St. Amand, of Gardiner, ran the program for the Cub Scouts. “It’s awesome to see families coming out during a time of year when it’s easy to want to stay in, meet new people and make new friendships,” St. Amand said. “For the Cub Scouts, the s’mores making station was universally their favorite.”

Allison Dorr, a member of Winslow Troop #433G, demonstrates how to start a fire on snow in the woods. (photo by Mike Labbe)

Samuel Boynton earns Eagle Scout status

Sam Boynton, left, smiles as his mother, Jennifer Boynton, pins the Eagle Scout medal on his chest. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Samuel K. Boynton, a senior at Erskine Academy, in South China, was presented with the highest award in Scouting during a ceremony Sunday, February 5 at the China Baptist Church with family, friends and fellow Troop #479 Scouts on hand for the presentation.

Troop #479 Scoutmaster Christian Hunter said during the ceremony, “The pathway to Eagle can be described as a steep trail leading up to three peaks, the highest being that of Eagle Scout. Officially, the trail starts with the Tenderfoot rank and continues through Second and First Class ranks. Then, the mountain climbing begins. The path is marked with merit badges, leadership responsibilities, service projects, and the practice of Scouting skills and ideals. The first peak reached is that of Star Scout, the second is Life Scout, and, finally, Eagle Scout.” Sam’s climb to Eagle began when he joined Cub Scouting in 2011. By September of 2016, he had joined Scout Troop #479. He completed all requirements for Eagle Scout rank on September 19, 2022, when he passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review – exactly six years after earning his Scout rank.

Hunter, who is an Eagle Scout himself, said, “The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. To an Eagle Scout, honor is the foundation of all character.” Later he added, “Eagle Scout is not a patch, an award or certificate to hang on the wall. It is a way to live your life.” Samuel Boynton pledged to, “always obey the Scout law and help other people.” He promised those in attendance that he would work to “make my country and my community a better place.”

Boynton’s Eagle Scout project saw improvements to the Monument Trail, at Thurston Park. Sean’s parents were participants in the ceremony. Jennifer Boynton, Sam’s mom, pinned the Eagle Scout medal on her son’s uniform and Sean Boynton, Sam’s dad, replaced his troop neckerchief with one only worn by Eagle Scouts. Sam also received a Bronze Eagle Palm for earning five merit badges beyond the 21 required for Eagle Scout. Sam then presented his parents with Eagle Scout pins in recognition of the assistance and guidance they had given him through his Scouting career.

Samuel Boynton received a Legislative Sentiment from State Representative Katrin Smith, of Palermo, who attended the ceremony. He also received praise from members of the Congressional Delegation. U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree wrote in her congratulatory note, “Your hard work truly exemplifies the Eagle Scout spirit.” U.S. Senator Angus King stated in his letter, “You have set an excellent example for the members of Troop #479, and I hope your fellow Scouts will follow in your footsteps.”

Cub scouts complete building projects

Marci and Joshua Gilpin, of Skowhegan, work on the bird house. Joshua is in the second year of the Webelo program. (photo by Yvonne Brown)

Cub Scouts, in Skowhegan Pack #485, recently built birdhouses during their meeting which gives Cubs and parents a chance to work together on a project while teaching the Cub Scout about safe use of woodworking tools and the importance of being kind to animals. “It was a lot of fun,” said Cub Master Shanna Brown. The projects were built on January 15 at the Centenary United Methodist Church, in Skowhegan. Scouts in first grade completed requirement five of the My Tiger Jungle Adventure. Youth in the third grade completed requirement three in the Baloo the Builder Adventure and youth in fourth and fifth grades completed the second requirement of the Build It elective.

Kurtis Brown, of Norridgewock, is a Wolf Cub Scout. His family cut out all the bird house kits for the Scouts to build. (photo by Yvonne Brown)

Philo and his dad Zack work on a bird house together. Philo recently joined Pack #485. (photo by Yvonne Brown)

Logan Corson, of Madison, is in the Webelo program. (photo by Ashley Corson)

Eight local scouts complete training

China Baptist Church

by Chuck Mahaleris

Eight Scout leaders completed Youth Protection Training at a course held at the China Baptist Church, on January 4, 2023. Joe Poulin, of Oakland, who serves as the training chairman for Pine Tree Council, led the program. Those completing the course, which is required annually for all leaders who work directly with scouts, were Matthew Bodine, Ronald Emery, Aiden Pettengill, Samuel Boynton, Scott Adams, and Priscilla Adams, all of China; Luanne Chesley, of Vassalboro, and Brian Wedge, of Belgrade.

Poulin said, “Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders. Each adult leader must agree to undergo a criminal background check and annually complete the Youth Protection Training course either online or in person. Before we can take Scouts camping or teach them how to tie knots, we have to make sure they are in safe hands.”

Scout leaders are mandatory reporters if abuse is suspected and should take the following steps:

  1. Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
  2. In cases of child abuse injury or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately. In addition, if the suspected abuse occurred in the scout’s home or family, you are required by state law to immediately report/contact the local child abuse hotline.
  3. Notify the scout executive or his/her designee, if he/she cannot be reached call the 24/7 Scouts First Helpline at 1-844-726-8871 or email, scoutsfirst@scouting.org.

PHOTO: Frisbee relays

Pictured are Sam Madison with frisbee, John Gray who serves as the Denner, and Wesley Danielson. (contributed photo)

On Monday January 9, 2023, Tiger Den #410 members got together to learn about teamwork, good sportsmanship, following rules, and how to hustle. They battled it out in a fierce frisbee relay! The Tiger Adult Partners joined in the fun and Vassalboro Community School supported the Tigers, according to Vassalboro Cub Scout Pack #410 Cubmaster Chris Santiago. The Tiger Cubs are first grade members of the Cub Scout pack.

PHOTO: Local scouts clear cemetery markers of snow

Front row, from left to right, Scarlett Mudie, Bear Cub Scout, Willow Mudie, BSA Scout, “Lizzy” Blais, BSA Scout. Second row, Mrs. Jennifer Fortin, Marleen Lajoie (Col. Ret. ARNG), Tristan Morton, BSA Scout, Trenton Franklin, BSA Scout, Ian Martin, BSA Scout, Carmina Fortin, Jacob Blais, BSA Scout, Becky Blaise, CC Cub Scouts, Jeff Morton, CR (Col. Ret, USA), Anthony Fortin, BSA Scout Third row, Michael Fortin, CC Troop #603, Jon Martin, SM, Brian Franklin, Lynette Mudie, Lonwood Keller, VFW, VFW Post Commander Brian McComb, Phillipe Blais, ASM, Craig Bailey, VFW (MSG ret. USA) Not Pictured: Joshua Demers (Cub Scout Den Leader), Mack Demers (Tiger Cub Scout), and Landon Demers (Lion Cub Scout). (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Each year thousands of service members are remembered in National and State Veterans Cemeteries. This year VFW Post #887 and Troop/Pack #603, of Augusta/Windsor, cleared the markers and stones during a snowstorm to honor over 30 who have not been recognized before.