Boy Scout Troop 316, chartered by St. Denis Church, is a new troop in Douglas, MA that is already having an impact on the local community as well as its members. The troop, led by Scoutmaster Bill Peck along with Assistant Scoutmasters, Doug Mowry, Vicky Peck, Joey Boudreau, Travis Loether and Peter Boll have been working to train and guide their boys. The goal of the troop leadership is to assist their scouts in the pursuit of learning, help them grow and evolve as leaders, assist them in the development of their communication abilities, and foster an environment that strengthens their scouts’ ethical decision making and teamwork skills.
The troop, which consists of twenty scouts, has held several troop meetings, fundraising events and Patrol Leader Conferences (PLC) since it was chartered in July. During their initial troop meetings, the scouts worked to determine their patrols. The patrol method is the system in which scouts organize and carry out their activities. They are all part of the troop, but work in a smaller group or team and share the responsibility of making their patrol a success. Troop 316 currently has three patrols and each has elected one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop’s newly elected patrol leaders are Ben Wheeler, Joshua Gannon, and Sean Mowry. The boys also elected Ryan Stickney to Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Noah Boudreau to Senior Patrol Leader. To give more boys the opportunity to lead, Troop 316 will elect patrol leaders twice a year. As Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement said, “An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.”
A large portion of the troop’s meetings have focused on advancements. Everything done to advance – to earn ranks and other awards and recognition – is designed to educate or to expand the horizons of Boy Scouts. One important component of scouting is service projects. Service projects are a key element in the basic lessons of scouting, especially regarding citizenship, and Troop 316 has been busy giving back to their community.
On Saturday, September 20th, the scouts helped the Blackstone Valley Veterans Association retire old American flags. When the United States flag becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to “retire” the flag with dignity and respect. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran Bill Audette, Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Cpl Stu Thompson and Army Vietnam Veteran, Spec 5 Carl Boudreau conducted the ceremony at the Northbridge Veterans Hall. In addition, in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, the scouts remembered the thirty-eight POW/MIA military men from the Blackstone Valley. Many items were also displayed, including crosses that represented each one of the POW/MIA members, a bamboo cage, showing how the prisoners were kept and a list of all the members that are still missing and those that have been recovered.
On Saturday, September 27th, the boys participated in National Public Lands Day and helped the Army Corps of Engineers at Buffumville Lake. The scouts spent the morning collecting trash and cleaned over three miles of trails.
Troop 316 celebrated its accomplishments with its first Court of Honor at St. Denis Church on September 23rd. The twelve scouts that attended summer camp at Camp Wanocksett, in Dublin NH were recognized: Aidan Capistran, Ben Wheeler, Bradford Torpey, Erick Lisak, Gregory Peck, James Peck, Jason Michalski, Josh Gannon, Massimo Fontaine, Noah Claflin, Sean Mowry, and Zachary Nolen. They earned a total of thirty-seven merit badges, including six Eagle Scout required badges. Also receiving recognition were Ryan Stickney and Noah Boudreau, who participated in a special summer program with Troop 110 from Millbury, MA. Ryan and Noah visited Bush Gardens, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, VA with Troop 110, before attending summer camp at Bayport Scout Reservation located on the Chesapeake Bay where they earned a total of eight merit badges.
In addition, the troop recognized Ben Wheeler, Noah Boudreau, Noah Claflin, and Jason Michalski for recently attending Scout Day at The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The scouts participated in various workshops and activities designed to fulfill the Veterinary Medicine Merit Badge.
The highlight of the Court of Honor was Assistant Scout Master and Eagle Scout Peter Boll presenting James Peck with his Pachachaug Lodge 525 patch. The patch signifies James’ membership in the Order of the Arrow (OA). The OA recognizes scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. James was selected at camp last year and was officially inducted into the Lodge after completing his Ordeal, which is a time to give service, reflect on your scouting journey, and build stronger bonds in the scouting community.
The evening concluded with an ice cream social and fellowship.
The scouts have also been busy planning and participating in outdoor activities such as hikes and camping trips. And, because “a scout works to pay his way and to help others,” the scouts have been organizing fund raising initiatives to pay for their activities. Their recent Bottle & Can Drive was a huge success and the scouts would like to thank the residents of Douglas for their support.
Boy Scout Troop 316 meets each Tuesday night. And, although St. Denis Church holds their charter and provides a safe place for the troop to meet, all faiths are welcome. Any boy between the ages of eleven and eighteen who is interested in learning more about scouting or would like to return to scouting is encouraged to visit with the troop. They can also find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.