Thursday, March 9: This week the Scouts will be putting together Breakfast Bags for the warming station and delivering them. Check your email for a link to the Sign-Up Genius for items needed. If you prefer that Ryan W. does your shopping for you, email Lisa W. and let her know how much to add to his budget and you can reimburse her on Thursday.
This weekend your PLC met and when the final details are ironed out the calendar and the App will be updated.
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There are still limited spots available for this weekend’s Merit Badge College. Visit GHVBSA for more information.
For anyone who would prefer to get one more weekend of snow fun in, Mount Peter is hosting a Scout Weekend March 11-12. This is NOT a Troop/District/Council event. Visit Mount Peter for more information.
Please keep checking your emails for important information from SM Kendall.
Thursday, January 26: This week’s meeting the Scouts will be cooking dinner for the Warming Station. Please be sure to bring any and all items you signed up to donate. Scouts may begin arriving at 5:30 p.m. to start cooking.
Upcoming Meetings: The first two meetings in February will cover First Aid for Rank Advancement. Some rank advancement requirements may overlap with the Eagle-required First Aid Merit Badge. Scouts should bring their handbooks to every meeting for rank advancement requirements. Scouts wanting to work on the First Aid Merit Badge should print out the WORKSHEET worksheet and bring it with them (and see Mr. Kendall for that all-important blue card!).
Calendar: The Troop Google Calendar and Team App have been updated. You can subscribe to the Google Calendar by clicking HERE and clicking on the “add to Google Calendar” button at the bottom of the page. You can subscribe to Team App by installing “Stack Team App” on your phone. Once you have installed the app search for “BSA T-169” and submit a request to subscribe.
Court of Honor, March 2: Rank Advancements and Merit Badges will be awarded. Please feel free to bring a snack or dessert to share with everyone to celebrate.
Merit Badge College, March 11: Registration opened on January 25. Sign up on the council website ASAP to get your choice of Merit Badge classes. Please see Mr. Kendall for a blue card which must be brought to the Merit Badge College. Location: O’Neill High School, Highland Falls.
Hikes, March 18 and April 15: Time and Location TBD. Please check your emails as the date grows closer. Mr. Ruiz will be leading hikes that can be applied to Rank Advancement and the Hiking Merit Badge. See Mr. Kendall for a blue card if you want to earn the Hiking Merit Badge.
West Point Camporee, April 21-23: Mr. Kendall has entered the Troop into the lottery for this event. When selection notifications are made, he will let the Troop know. If the Troop is not selected to participate, there will be a Troop camping trip that weekend instead.
This Week: Scouts will continue with knots and lashings. During Patrol time new Scouts will review ranks, advancement, and merit badges. New Scouts should also come with ideas for patrol names. Seasoned Scouts will work with the SPL, their Patrol Leader, and the Troop Guide on rank advancement requirements. All Scouts should bring their handbook, pen/pencil, and paper.
Swim Check: Any Scouts who wish to attend the upcoming Raft-O-Ree and/or Summer Camp who still need to successfully complete a swim check, please speak with ASM Kendall.
Raft-O-Ree: Please bring payment for the Raft-O-Ree (June 10-12) to this week’s meeting. The cost is $95 and includes food and all activities.
Camp Mattatuck: Registration will open soon. Please get your merit badge and activity choices to SM Fedina ASAP. Don’t forget to get those physicals done and your BSA Health Record filled out (including the extra forms required by Connecticut). Troop 169 will be attending Camp Mattatuck July 24-30.
Speaking of Merit Badges . . . check out this Bryan on Scouting article about Merit Badge rankings for 2021. Did Family Life remain the top earned merit badge? Did First Aid reclaim its spot on top? Or did another merit badge grab the top spot? What are the ten least earned badges from 2021 and can you challenge yourself to earn at least one of these rarely earned badges in 2022?
Save the Date: Our biggest fundraiser of the year, parking at the Otisville Country Fair, returns and will be on August 25-28. Scouts and adults are needed to help this event run smoothly. Sign-up sheets will be emailed.
All Scouts: All Scouts will continue working in teams on lashings and will be making square frames. Scouts needing a refresher on lashings can check out Animated Knots for an easy-to-follow video.
New Scouts: Please remember to bring your handbook, pen/pencil, and paper to each meeting. Your Patrol Leader will be working with you on rank advancement and would like to sign off on requirements. During Patrol time new Scouts will be discussing Troop Leadership and the patrol method. The New Scout Patrol will also be coming up with a patrol name, cheer, emblem, and flag. Any new Scout who has not shown their Patrol Leader the completed parent guide should bring it with them on Thursday.
Seasoned Scouts: Please bring your handbook, pen/pencil, and paper and during Patrol time sit down with SPL Kristian M., ASPL Evan W., or Troop Guide Chris K. and review any rank advancement requirements you would like signed off on. You can also discuss rank advancement goals and work together to come up with a rank advancement plan.
May 20-22: Knoebels Campground and Amusement Park. The Troop will be tent camping and going to the amusement park on Saturday, May 21st. We will be meeting on Friday evening to load up the boys and head out. The scouts will need to bring a sandwich or snack with them to eat after we set up camp as it will be too late to cook Friday night. Check your email for all the logistical details. Cost is approximately $90.00 per scout, including food and park tickets. Mr. Fedina is very graciously paying for the cost of the campground rental to try and reduce the per scout cost. RSVP to ASM Kendall by May 1.
June 10-12: Raft-O-Ree 2022. This is a Greater New York Council event at the Ten Mile River Campground. We did this the year before COVID and the boys had a blast. We will meet on Friday, June 10th, load gear, and go. Scouts should bring a sandwich or snack for dinner after we set up camp. Rafting is Saturday and lunch is on the river at a landing site at about the halfway point. Breakfast Saturday and Sunday is with the Troop at the campsite. Dinner Saturday is in the camp mess hall. We should be back in Middletown about mid-day Sunday. Cost is $85.00 and includes meals and rafting. If you were unable to attend the swim test at the YMCA last week, speak with SM Fedina or ASM Kendall, please.
July 24-30: Summer Resident Camp at Camp Mattatuck. Scouts should be reviewing the Camp Handbook and getting their merit badge selections to SM Fedina. And don’t forget about medical forms: in addition to the BSA Health Record, there are additional forms required by Connecticut. Check your email for more details.
Fun in the Sun: Most schools are on Spring Break which means so is Troop 169. We hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine that is managing to peek out between rainstorms.
Seasoned Scouts: This is a great time to work on those odds and ends from partial merit badges. You should also be practicing your knots so you can work on them with our new Scouts. Animated Knots is a great resource with helpful videos for anyone needing to brush up on their knots. (FYI: New scouts will be working on the square knot, two half-hitches, and the taut line hitch.)
New Scouts: Don’t forget to practice the Outdoor Code (both what it says and what it means which can be found in your handbook) and work with your adult on the Parent Guide found in your handbook or online here: Parent’s Guide.
Next Week: Thursday, April 21: The Troop will continue with Pioneering and practicing knots and hitches. If time allows, Scouts will start building a camp gadget. Which camp gadget? You’ll have to show up to find out! In the meantime, keep practicing those knots!
Have a great idea for a meeting, outing, or trip? Let SPL Kristian M. know.
This week: Scouts will continue to work on their “wall” and install outlets and switches and then prime their wall for painting. Class A’s for opening and closing with Class B’s underneath for the messy work.
Community Service: We still need a Scout to lead and coordinate Troop 169’s contribution to St. Paul’s Warming Station. This is a great opportunity to give back to members of our community.
Upcoming Activities and Events:
Troop Klondike/Camporee: April 2nd at Hosking’s property on Guymard Turnpike. Great opportunity to put those Scout Skills to work. This is a one-day event, no overnight.
Camp Mattatuck: Troop 169 will be returning to Camp Mattatuck for Summer Resident Camp this year. We will be attending July 24-30. Scouts should start thinking about their Merit Badge Choices and have their selections finalized when registration opens. Don’t forget the all important Scout Physical and medical form! Check your in-box for an email from Ms. Kendall about registration and payment.
Raft-o-Ree: In order for our Scouts to participate in this event (June 10-12, Ten Mile River Camp) the Troop needs additional adult leadership to attend with the Scouts. The Scouts had a lot of fun rafting in 2018 and this event should be great fun again this year. If you can help out please speak with SM Fedina.
If you have an idea for a camping trip, activity, or outing – please speak with SPL Kristian M., SM Fedina, or ASM Kendall.
This Week: Thursday, March 3: Scouts will continue learning drywall repair. Please wear your Class A uniforms for opening and closing but wear a Class B underneath for working with messy materials. We look forward to welcoming back our visiting AOLs from Pack 169.
Community Service: St. Paul’s, who provides our meeting space, runs a warming station and is need of breakfast bag and other donations. We need a Scout to take on coordinating a Troop 169 donation to this worthy cause. Please visit Warming Station for more information as to dates and items needed. The Scout taking this on should check our Troop calendar with Mr. Fedina and SPL Kristian M., then pick a date to collect our donations (and send that information out to the Troop) and put together the breakfast bags, and then arrange for drop off of the breakfast bags. This is a great opportunity for any Scout needing community service hours for rank advancement.
Upcoming Trips: and Events:
Merit Badge College, Saturday, March 19: Registration is still open for the GHVC Merit Badge College. Need an Eagle required Merit Badge? Want to work on a Merit Badge just for fun? Check out GHVC Merit Badge College for course offerings and registration information. (Not a Troop event.) Don’t forget to get a signed blue card from SM Fedina.
Knoebel’s: Please check your inbox for an email from ASM Kendall regarding Knoebel’s Scout Day (5/5-5/8). If you have not already responded, please do so.
Extreme Sports Weekend: NNJ Council is again running its Extreme Sports Weekend at Camp Turrell (5/20-5/22). If you would like to see this event added to the Troop Calendar please speak with SPL Kristian M., SM Fedina, or ASM Kendall. For more information visit Extreme Sports Weekend.
Rafting Trip: The Greater NYC Council is again running it’s Raft-O-Ree (6/10-6/12). You can find more information HERE and if you are interested and would like to see it added to the calendar please speak with SPL Kristian M. or ASM Kendall. For more information visit Raft-O-Ree.
Thursday, February 17: This week’s meeting will be a continuation of drywall repair – so once again, Class B’s.
GHVC 2022 Merit Badge College: Registration for the Merit Badge College is open. Check out the Merit Badge Catalog and Schedule for merit badge offerings, pre-requisites, schedules, and logistics information.
Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Program: PEEC is offering the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge during their Badge Festival on March 26. (Not a troop event; provided for informational purposes only.)
Summer Camp! Troop 169 will be returning to Camp Mattatuck again this summer. Check out the 2022 Merit Badge Schedule and start planning for a great week of resident camp. Check your inbox for an email from our Trusty Treasurer Mrs. Kendall for payment and registration information.
Buddy System: As many of our Scouts are approaching Eagle Rank, some may have long-term merit badges to earn (personal fitness, personal management, family life, just to name a few). Sometimes having a buddy can help with accountability and motivation. If you are looking for a buddy to work on a merit badge with, just ask. You can approach a Scout you think you work well with, you can ask your SM or ASM for suggestions, or you can ask during opening or closing announcements. You can work with your buddy virtually or set aside a few minutes before each meeting to check in with each other.
This Week’s Meeting: Thursday, February 10 Scouts will learn drywall repair with SM Fedina and ASM Kendall as work on the Home Repairs Merit Badge continues. This will be a Class B meeting (joint compound and Class A’s don’t mix!).
Recharter: ‘Tis the season for recharter and that means re-registration for Scouts. Dues will be due in March – keep your eye out for an email from our trusty Treasurer Mrs. Kendall.
New Council Shop Location: The new Council Service Center and National Scout Shop will be at the Hudson Valley Towne Center in Fishkill. Opening Day has not yet been announced. While it is a bit of a drive for us from Orange County, it is within walking distance of Cracker Barrel so I’m pretty sure Mr. Fedina will be volunteering to make any necessary Council shop runs.
This Week: Hopefully, everyone stayed warm and dry through our latest snowstorm. And hopefully, everyone maintained power. This week our Scouts will be learning about electrical wiring led by SM Fedina and Committee Member Mr. Niper. If you have a broken lamp hanging around, please bring it.
Upcoming Council, District, and Community Events:
Saturday, March 19, Merit Badge College: This year the Merit Badge College is back to live and in person and will be held at Kennedy Catholic Prep School in Somers, NY. For a list of available merit badges and registration information visit the Merit Badge College Webpage.
Delaware River District Winter Hike, February 6, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Join host Woodrow Adams for a 4-5 mile hike through the beautiful Port Jervis Watershed Trails. All scouts will need the scout essentials and proper attire for the weather. Maps will be available and a check station at the start of the hike. Warm refreshments will be served at the end of the hike. Check out District’s Facebook page for more information.
Snow Fun: Ever wanted to try snowshoeing or cross country skiing? PEEC is hosting Intro to Snowshoeing (February 5) and Intro to Cross Country Skiing (February 6). Both events are free but subject to snow conditions. Check out PEEC.org for more information. (Not a troop event, for informational purposes only.)
Thursday, January 27: Rank Advancement First Aid: ASPL Evan W. will be leading this meeting and reviewing first aid for rank advancement. Scouts should review the instructions given to them by our EMT Guest Speaker on various first aid scenarios in preparation for this meeting.
Reducing Waste: Scouts who want to help the Troop reduce their waste during meetings, outings, and campouts should check out this Bryan on Scouting article on how to be a zero-waste Scout troop. The key? Small steps. If you have an idea for a small step to improve the Troop’s environmental stewardship, let SPL Kristian M. know. Always mean to read Bryan on Scouting and then don’t? Well here’s a quick recap of the Top 21 columns read in 2021.
BSA & COVID 19: BSA has announced the end of COVID-19 modifications for rank advancement and merit badge requirements:
As always, the BSA’s top priority is the health and safety of all youth participating in BSA programs. In 2020, the BSA instituted several modifications to rank requirements and merit badge requirements (“advancement modifications”) to accommodate activity restrictions necessitated by COVID-19. Effective March 01, 2022, those modifications will be removed, and the standard rules for advancement and merit badges will again become effective.
By the time you read this 2021 will be done and we will have welcomed 2022.
Needless to say, 2021 has been a year of ups and downs. But Troop 169 persevered and had a great Scouting year.
Some of the highs:
The Troop ventured to a new summer resident camp in Connecticut and liked it so much they voted to go back in 2022 (check out the NEW MERIT BADGES Camp Mattatuck will be offering in Summer 2022);
The Troop participated in the Otisville-Mount Hope Presbyterian Church Thanksgiving Basket Program and donated five baskets to local families as well as additional items needed by the food pantry;
The Troop was able to hold their December Lock-In.
A new youth leadership team was voted in – SPL Kristian M. and ASPL Evan W.; Troop Guide Chris K., and Librarian Bryce L. (hint, hint – the Troop still needs a youth Webmaster!)
Productive meetings were held including the art of chess and practical automotive maintenance, first aid, and wilderness survival skills;
Scouts attended the United States Naval Academy STEM Scout Jamboree – virtually, but at least there was pizza;
We even got a few camping trips in – spread out and everyone in their own tent – but outdoors and together safely.
As we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022 we must thank our adult leaders who give tirelessly of themselves including, but not limited to, SM Jim Fedina, ASM Chris Kendall, ASM Walter Howe, ASM Dave Gonska, ASM Mike Washalski, CC Alan Turken, Treasurer Bernadette Kendall, Advancement Coordinator Kelly Quinn, and Committee Members Marty Howe and Jim Niper.
So what does 2022 hold for Scouting? From BSA: Two new merit badges: Citizenship in Society (Eagle required starting July 1, 2022) and Health Care Professions (replacing Medicine). From Council: The return of the Merit Badge College in March 2022 (fingers crossed!). From nearby: The return of the Extreme Sports Weekend at Camp Turrel in May 2022. From the Troop: Hopefully some Eagle Scouts from Troop 169 (we have quite a few Life Scouts currently!) and safe community service (bring your ideas to our youth leadership team).
And lastly, a few words of wisdom from our beloved ScoutMaster:
To all my Scouts, Leaders, Parents, and Adults,
As another year ends we can appreciate how much better it was in 2021 than it was in 2020. We were allowed to gather more often, we got to attend a new summer camp, and we were able to finally have another lock-in, although I got the cooties less than a week later! Even with that I am glad we were able to be somewhat normal (as normal as Troop 169 can be) for the most part.
I look forward to 2022 with the hope that the pandemic will eventually become manageable and does not cause many issues for future plans. I hope you all stay safe as we lurch into 2022, especially after just hearing that Betty White has passed. Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask even if you are vaccinated in indoor locations. Be smart in your surroundings.
I wish to thank the leaders for helping to teach the Scouts skills that hopefully will come back to them when they are adults. I wish to thank the parents and adults for trusting us in the development of your Scout’s character. Finally, I wish to thank the Scouts for, without them, Troop 169 would not be what we are today. Thank you for allowing us to mold you into fine young citizens and here’s hoping that you have made lifelong friendships.
Happy New Year
SM Troop 169
COVID Update: Due to recent COVID cases within the Troop, meetings are canceled until January 13. We hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year. If your Scout or anyone in your household tests positive for COVID please contact ASM Kendall so that an informed decision about resuming meetings can be made. This information will be kept confidential. We look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year. Check your email for info on upcoming meetings.
Camp Bullowa Klondike and Iditarod: This event will be held on February 5, 2022, at Camp Bullowa (with an optional overnight) and is based on the Klondike Gold Rush. For more information check out the info packet. If this is something that you would like to participate in contact SPL Kristian M. to discuss it being put on the schedule.
Break Time! What’s a Scout to do over winter break? There’s always merit badge work! Remember – SM Fedina needs to sign a blue card (either a physical blue card or in ScoutBook) to start a merit badge. But if you have lingering ones this is a great time to work on them. For our Life Scouts, completing your Eagle-required merit badges is great activity for this break. For Scouts looking to start a merit badge – check out these Bryan on Scouting articles on merit badges you can complete in a weekend or that can help you prepare for a winter storm. And don’t forget knots! Knots are essential to rank advancement and doing well in the Klondike Derby. For a refresher on how to tie knots check out Animated Knots for easy to follow video instructions.
This Week: Even though schools are off on Thursday (11/11), in order to ensure that the Troop stays on track with their meeting plans there WILL be a meeting this week. Scouts will be reviewing map and compass skills and determining their pace in preparation for the Orienteering Course Challenge in Shannen Park (Date TBA).
Citizenship in Society: This MB has officially launched and will be required for Eagle beginning June 2022. To learn more about this merit badge here are a few resources:
Bryan on Scouting blog post: HERE
BSA Announcement: HERE
BSA Fact Sheet: HERE
Merit Badge Requirements: HERE
Scoutmaster Words of Wisdom:
Bring your handbooks.
Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranked Scouts should pick a requirement that has not yet been signed off and find the SPL or Troop Guide to sign off on these requirements. If those Scouts are unavailable, find any of our Life Scouts for sign off.
Life Scouts should start looking for Eagle Scout projects. Also – start looking at those merit badges that take an extended period of time to complete and speak with SM Fedina about finding a MBC and getting started on them. We have MBCs for most of the Eagle Required MBs in the Troop.
Holiday Lock In is in the final planning stages – stay tuned for date and location!
This Week: November 4, 7:00 p.m.: Chess Tournament: Take what you learned last week and try to win the title of Troop 169 Chess Master. Challenge your fellow Scouts as well as Scouters and see who comes out on top. Check out ScoutLife’s CHESS FEST taking place November 1-4. This meeting fulfills a requirement of the Chess Merit Badge. See SM Fedina for a blue card if you are interested in earning this merit badge – ASM Kendall is a Chess MBC.
Upcoming Meetings: The next few meetings will focus on Orienteering. We will start with map and compass skills, move on to orienteering maps and symbols, and finish up with an orienteering course challenge in Shannen Park (date TBA).
Life to Eagle Roundtable: This event has been changed to the December Roundtable (December 8 @ 7:30 pm at St. Mary’s Church, Port Jervis, no Zoom meeting has been announced yet so stay tuned) and all Life Scouts and parents are invited to attend.
Thanksgiving Baskets: Troop 169 is again participating in the Otisville-Mount Hope Presbyterian Church’s Thanksgiving Basket program to provide food to those in need. Many thanks to Committee Chair Alan Turken and ASM Mike Washalski who are making a monetary donation to our baskets. If you are able to participate you may sign up for a food item donation HERE or if you prefer to donate funds that would be greatly appreciated as well. All donations are requested by our meeting on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
Many thanks to SM Fedina, ASM Kendall, ASM Gonska, and ASM Howe who attended the Extreme Sport Weekend at Camp Turrell with our Scouts. A little rainy and a little chilly but a good time was had by all.
Thursday, October 28, 7:30 p.m., St. Paul’s: Match wits with Committee Chair Mr. Turken, ASM Kendall, and Troop Guide Chris K. as you learn the ins-and-outs of the game of chess. Navigate through scholar’s mate, pawn structure, zwischenzug and more! In 2020 the Chess Merit Badge was the 15th most earned Merit Badge with 15,454 Scouts earning this merit badge. If you want this week to be the start of your journey to earn this merit badge, see SM Fedina for a blue card and then talk to MBC Mr. Turken to get started.
Life to Eagle Roundtable: November’s District Roundtable theme is about Eagle Scout applications and project process. All leaders, parents and life scouts are invited. Date: Wednesday, November 10 @ 7:30PM at St. Mary’s Church, Port Jervis. Can’t make it in person? Attend via Zoom.
Thanksgiving Baskets: Troop 169 is again participating in the Mount Hope-Otisville Presbyterian Church Thanksgiving Basket program. If you would like to participate you may either donate funds and Ryan W. will take care of the shopping, or you can donate any of the items listed on the Sign Up Genius. Donations are requested to be in by the Thursday, November 4th meeting.