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BSA TROOP 37 NEWSLETTER

Volume 10 | Issue 3 | July 2023 - October 2023

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK

SCOUTMASTER’S MINUTE

By Scoutmaster Rob Pfuhler

Troop 37 Scoutmater

How many times have you heard someone say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” One of the reasons this statement is used so frequently is because it is true.

Advancement is one of the methods of scouting and we make sure everyone is progressing towards their next rank . Advancement, however, is not the main focus of scouting and should not be the main focus of any scout. If you spend all of your time being concerned about how close you are to the next rank or how many merit badges you have, you are going to miss some of the wonderful opportunities available to you in scouts.

As we have said many times, one of the best things a scout can get out of scouting is leadership skills. At Junior Leader training last month, we discussed the various skills scouts will need in order to be effective leaders. The first and possibly most important skill we discussed was communication, which is something a scout will need in whatever career he chooses.

Leaders are able to communicate to an audience and move projects forward. But leaders don’t just happen; a leader has to learn from others and not by themselves. If a Scout was to rush and not experience the path toward Eagle, he will not understand how to lead a group of young men his age. Scouting gives you an opportunity to learn leadership skills by actually leading.

 

Scouting also creates lifelong friendships. You learn about your fellow scouts when you go to meetings and camping trips with them. If you are focused mainly on your own scouting career, you are going to miss learning how amazing some of your fellow scouts are, and maybe miss making a lifelong friend.

Do not rush a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There is plenty of time to complete the journey to Eagle. Take the time necessary to learn and comprehend what Scouting is giving you: leadership, friendships, and a path in life.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

PHILMONT

By Quinton Tuthill

Our long-anticipated trip to Philmont began from Laguardia Airport in Jersey at 4:30 a.m. There, we took a flight to Colorado where we went sightseeing at the Red Rock, ate on the road, visited the Air Force base, and checked in at Great Wolf Lodge. In our off time, all of us got to explore the shops and indoor waterpark where we went on every slide more than once. Our second day started with a tour up Pyke’s Peak, was highlighted by our white water rafting trip, and ended with all of us in anticipation ready to go to basecamp. Basecamp wasn’t a good indicator of what was to come, it was easy and laid back in comparison to our trek through the backcountry.

Our first couple of days on the trek were spent learning the ropes, literally, and trying to survive the dreary weather. The high physical demands of life on the trail were obvious in some kids, but through the support of the group we all made it through. By far the most interesting parts of the trek were the porch talks and getting to interact with the staff about the context behind Philmont Scout Ranch. Some of my favorite activities on the trail were blacksmithing, black powder rifle shooting, shotgun shell construction, and firebuilding. Some of the more notable parts of the trek were summiting Baldie Mountain, almost getting struck by lightning and the unusual fauna we saw along the way. Our trip up Baldie was accompanied by a view that I doubt any of us will forget, as well as some much-needed cell service which most of us used to call home. For some, Mr Pfuhler in particular, almost getting struck by lightning might’ve been the highlight of this year’s Philmont. Life on the trail was monotonous and uneventful for the most part so in the few times we heard or saw something out of the ordinary it was also invigorating. On the trail we walked past not one, but two rattlesnakes both of which let us know we got too close with no further incident. Towards the end

of our trek, we were all tired and ready to go home, so I know for most of us our time leading up to landing back at JFK was a blur. However, the takeaway I got from the experience was to appreciate the comforts of living in a developed suburb and never take for granted not having to walk seven miles at 7 a.m.

Troop 37 - Philmont Group Picture
Troop 37 - Philmont Group Picture 2

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

HAWK MOUNTAIN 2023

THE PATHFINDER EXPERIENCE

By Haakon J. Christensen

This past summer was my first time at the Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation in Pennsylvania for summer camp. As a first year Summer Camp Scout I was part of a program called Pathfinders. At Pathfinders there were a lot of cool activities like swimming, shooting, hiking, fire building, and so much more! From Troop 37 we had nine Scouts in the Pathfinders, and these were all my pals who crossed over from the Cub Pack with me. In the group with me was Liam Maquilling, Alex Staiano, Jack Conway, Preston Lane, Lucas Unger, Antoni Jablonski, Robert Burns and Chris Comeau. The Pathfinders had to come up with a new patrol name for the group and someone named our group the goofy goobers. I personally did not like the name goofy goobers but the name I voted for got out voted. I was just happy to be a part of the group. We all had fun!

Troop 37 - Hawk Mountain - Pathfinder Program

At our campsite with the rest of the troop all the Pathfinders had their tents together and we called it “Noob City.” We shared snacks, told stories, played games, and had a bunch of fun! We all got along. When someone shared chocolate donuts that came in a bag of six, we had a good time and the donuts were good, but I think some of them enjoyed the donuts even more than I did. At our “Noob City” we also whittled a lot because a great skill that we learned was how to use a knife by completing the Totin’ Chip requirements.

In one of our Pathfinder sessions, we had first aid training, and I liked the part on how to help a person who is choking. In another session we got to shoot a gun which for me was a difficult gun to aim because it was heavy and bulky. During the week we completed the Indian Lore merit badge, Nature merit badge and Leatherwork merit badge. We also sang songs and chants when we hiked from place to place throughout the camp. I learned so much. It was the best experience I have had as a Boy Scout!

As far as the food, I ate at every meal, but I’ll be honest the food was not like home. The best food we had at camp was the bread and chicken which were the best food items. Thank goodness for the trading post which was cool and had good peppermint sticks and other snacks.

The Pathfinder experience was far better than anything I could have imagined. I speak for my pals and other Pathfinders when I say thank you to Mr. Jim Duffy and Mr. Keith Christensen who were with us each day supporting and guiding us on our journey. After this experience at summer camp, it is easy for me to say that we all started out on the right path in Scouting.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

MY LAST HAWK MOUNTAIN

By John Carp

This was my fifth and last time on Hawk Mountain, and I have to say it was a great time being there. First, as always, we have mass at St. Teresa Church, where we always have a mass before we go on the road to Pennsylvania where we go to the firehouse to get breakfast.

On the first day, we tried to complete the swimming test and another group photo in our class A uniforms in front of the mess hall, but due to the heavy rain we had to do it another day and the worst part was when we had to set up at our campsites. It was raining which made it challenging to set up our campsite. The rain lasted all day so after we finished setting up the campsite we just stayed in our tents or at the pavilion so there was not much to do. Sleeping at camp is nice calm and relaxing for me due to my tent-mate unfortunately not being at Hawk, so I had the tent to myself. The one negative to it was that I couldn’t spend my last Hawk with one of my friends; he was sick.

Merit badges are what you do for most of your day you still have a good amount of
time to relax and hang out with your friends at the campsite. At the camp, we played a lot of board games such as card games, pong, and most importantly risk which everyone including myself wanted to play all the time. Even though there were just board games I still had a fun time hanging out with everyone. After all the merit badges were done for the day there were extra activities that you could sign up for such as ziplining over the lake.

On Friday night, we had a closing fire when every troop could do a skit, but we never really did one, so the troops just watched. During the closing campfire, the staff would talk about how the week went along with a huge fire going on as well. At the ceremony, they give out the awards and we’re hoping that we win them all. The main two that we want to win are the from the pool and adult Dutch oven cook-off unfortunately, we didn’t win any of the pool awards last year but we did a couple of times in past years. As for the cookout competition, Mr. Di Trani won that as expected and we were cheering him on as he got the award. After the awards, the staff sing Scout Vespers as we leave back to our campsite and go home in the morning. We went back to our campsite where we started to pack up, so we didn’t have to do that much in the morning.

Troop 37 - Hawk Mountain Group Picture

On Saturday morning after we finished packing up, we did two things a patrol sweep and rose buds and thorns. Scouts would make one line and walk forward to see if there was any trash on the ground. After that we do rose, thorns, and buds which is when we get into a circle and tell what we liked, didn’t like, and what we will be hoping for in the future. For this being my last camping trip, I enjoyed the zip line radio merit badge. I didn’t like the downpour on the first day and I am looking forward to college. Once all the adults finish up what they must do we all go home with our families. Even though this is my last time being at Hawk I still hope that everyone in the future still has a great time being there and the troop still goes to Hawk every year.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

JUNIOR LEADER TRAINING

By Matthew Garcia

This year’s Junior Leader Training (JLT) was very successful. This overnight camping trip at Pouch Camp from September 15-17 was attended by Scouts who are First Class or above.

This event was fun and had lots of unique activities and lessons to take away from the camping trip. On the night of arriving at our cabins, we unpacked and ate dinner, and finished the evening by starting our lesson about becoming a leader. The next day, the adult leaders prepared breakfast for us to get ready for the day. After we ate, Mr. Pfhuler, the Troop Scoutmaster, presented a slideshow about the qualities of a good leader. Throughout the day, we went through different classes, such as Troop Organization, Tools of the Trade, Leadership and Teamwork, as well as Troop Problems and Issues. Mr. Pfhuler also had different games and activities, some being led by older scouts, and some being led by him, to help us understand the point of each class and activity. We were able to take a short break to ake a hike around the wilderness. It’s always
a great addition to every camping trip as we enjoy the outdoors with our fellow scouts. Afterwards, we were able to get our leadership position patches and help draft the patrol lists for the troop. It was quite a nerve-wracking moment for everyone waiting for their position to be announced, and what patrol they will be in. After we drafted patrols and finished up the leadership presentation from Mr. Pfhuler, we played games and were able to hang out and eat snacks until lights out.

The next morning, we packed our bags and got ready to leave. But we had one final activity, which was the Trust Fall. Newer scouts fell into the older scouts’ arms from
an elevated area to show trust among one another. This activity takes a lot of courage and trust in our fellow Scouts to complete. It taught us that we can depend on one another as a Troop. As the trip wrapped up, we cleaned our site, did Thorns, Buds and Roses, and went on our ways.

Troop 37 - Junior Leader Training

Overall, I think this trip was unlike any other camping trip that I have been to. This trip was not only a fun one, but it taught lots of important lessons to use not just in Scouting, but in our daily lives. Through the activities, classes and games, I learned the value of leadership, responsibility, and unity. This trip is helpful and very important for a scout who strives to become an Eagle Scout in the future.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

CLAY PIT PONDS FENCE RESTORATION

By Christopher Pfuhler

On Saturday June 24, we conducted an Eagle Project at Clay Pit Ponds Park. The Eagle Project involved replacing three different sections of fence that were old and decrepit. The old fencing sections were all about 150 feet in length. We then extended one section of fencing by about 50 feet. The purpose of my project was to protect wildlife from potential dangers and to increase the overall appearance of the area.

We arrived at Clay Pit Ponds at around 8:00 and began to set up. The weather was rainy which caused us to cancel the wood chipping we had originally planned. We began by going into different groups in order to complete the project more efficiently. Each group would start by removing the existing fence in their section and scattering the old fencing in the woods. Once that was completed the groups would take the new fencing and put it in the existing posts. Some pieces of fencing did not fit in the posts; therefore, the adults had to use a saw in order to make them fit.

Chris Pfuhler Eagle Scout

The last part of the project involved extending the fence by about 50 feet. The older kid group/adults would dig holes into the ground using various tools in order for the new posts to fit. After this was done the posts were inserted into the holes. Finally, the new fencing was inserted into the posts and the project was  completed. The project took around 3 hours to complete and there were around 30 people in attendance. The end result was making the area in Clay Pit Ponds Park safer for the wildlife as well as more physically appealing.

SANDUN’S EAGLE PROJECT

By Sandun Perera

On Saturday, June 17, we all went to Greenbelt Park to work on my Eagle Project. It had rained the night before but luckily the path was not all that muddy to where it was a hindrance to while we were working. The time to meet was at 8am and we finished around 10:30-11am. The older scouts worked on building the wooden planks, or puncheons, while the younger scouts went along the path trimming the overgrown greenery.

The project went rather smoothly and there were no problems while
it went on. The adult leaders were a great help, giving their assistance and greater knowledge on woodwork as we were building the planks. Overall, the project was a great success, and

I would like to thank everyone that came out to help me on that day.

Sandun Perera Eagle Scout

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 10 | Issue 3 | 2023

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