2011-02-18 / Opinions & Editorial

Troop 12 Leominster celebrates scouting

BY DAVID SWIFT

Boy Scouts of Troop 12 gathered at Our Lady of the Lake Parish to celebrate scouting at their annual Red and White Banquet and Court of Honor held on Scout Sunday ~ Feb. 6th.

Scout Sunday is celebrated the first Sunday of February and is the Scouting Anniversary of February 8, 1910. The day begins as scouts gather at their charter organization, usually a church, and participate at the service as a group.

Troop 12 began the day gathering at Our Lady of the Lake Parish for the 9:45 a.m. Mass.

One of the 12 points of the Scout Law is that a scout is reverent and the Scout Oath says “Do your Duty to God.” They ended their day with a celebration of awards and food with fellow scouts and families.

For Boy Scouts, the Red and White Banquet and Court of Honor is where families gather to enjoy food and witness the accomplishments of their scouts and troop. It is a swearing in of the newly elected troop leaders and a time to award rank advancements, merit badges earned, and other personal and troop accomplishments.

There are six ranks that can be earned in Boy Scouts along with the Scout badge. The ranks are Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Depending on the intensity of the scout and his participation in Scout activities, community service, merit badges, and other requirements needed the number of ranks he attains and time to do so may vary. (Visit nashuavalleybsa.org and scouting.org)

As important as the badges, requirements, and community service for these ranks are, so is activity within your troop, and participation in scouting events. Requirements for all ranks range from outdoor safety and camping essentials, to first aid and responsibility in educating the younger scouts. You must also participate in a Scout Master Conference and a Board of Review. To acquire the highest rank of Eagle Scout, much work, including planning, organizing, leading, and managing a service project for a religious organization, school, or community is required.

Merit Badges are another important part of scouting. There are 126 in all this year and includes badges for all interests. Many teach important skills in public service such as first aid and lifesaving, life skills such as personal management, personal fitness, citizenship in the community, world, and nation, and others of general interest such as coin collecting, stamp collecting and radio. These can be earned during the year in the troop, at summer camp, and at Merit Badge College. Whatever your choice, they instill a sense of accomplishment and pride in the work that is done. (Visit meritbadge.org)

Scouts are active in weekly troop meetings, and also hold monthly meetings with the elected leaders to decide what some of their next activities will be. Outside of weekly meetings, they also participate in monthly camping trips, along with events such as the Klondike Derby, a snow skills event throughout the council, and help with the Cub Scouts Polar Derby. They attend a fall and spring camp council campout, and a yearly freeze out in January where they sleep out in tents. Each patrol within the troop is encouraged to come up with ideas for their patrol to take part in such as high adventure canoeing, white water rafting, or zip lining. There is a yearly Boy Scout summer camp where they can learn more skills, partake in merit badges, do hikes, a mile swim, and other great ways to have fun.

Boy Scouts are a huge part of community events such as Memorial Day where they take part in the Brick dedication, White Cross ceremony, setting flags at local cemeteries for the veteran’s, and the parade itself. Along with other service type events, they help to wrap gifts for the soldiers and other community events within the city such as distributing food to the elderly at Christmas. Even though they are very involved in their activities and earning of ranks and badges, Boy Scouts is much more than that. They do service to their community with food drives, church cleanups, outside cleanups of parks and areas, and many other community related services. It teaches responsibility and skills that can be used in everyday life at home, school, and in the future.

Boy Scouts is a great organization to be a part of as it is a scout run troop, with guidance from the scoutmasters and parents.

For more information on scouting, please contact Troop 12 Scout Master, Rod Bergeron, at rebb52@aol.com; Troop 12 Committee Chairman, Keith Boudreau, at keith.boudreau@verizon.net, or visit troop12leominster.webs.com.

Return to top