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BSA TROOP 37 NEWSLETTER

Volume 11 | Issue 1 | October 2023 - January 2024

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK

SCOUTMASTER’S MINUTE

By Scoutmaster Rob Pfuhler

Troop 37 Scoutmater

In thinking about Scout Sunday this year, the phrase, “do the right thing” kept popping into my head.

Sometimes one of the hardest things in life is doing the right thing, particularly when it goes against what is considered popular. Take Boy Scouts. Whenever scouting comes up in a movie or television show, it is generally in a negative way- “oh, that guy is Boy Scout.” It’s never portrayed
as something admirable, but rather as some type of character defect.

I believe it is because of this perception that many of our scouts do not like to be seen in uniform when we are out in public. I also know that there are many scouts who do not tell their non-scout friends that they
are Boy Scouts. They are afraid how others perception of them will change if they find out that their friend is a Boy Scout.

As I was a teenage boy once, I understand their feelings. However, what I wish our scouts would realize (as I am sure they will one day) is that they are the ones who are doing the right thing. By learning the life skills that scouts teach and becoming trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc., they are doing the right thing.

In a society that often values conformity and popularity over individual ethics, it can be difficult to go against the grain. History has shown us time and time again, however, that those who have the courage to stand up for their beliefs, even when they are unpopular, are the ones who bring about real change and progress.

Doing what is right when the world thinks you’re not is a challenging and sometimes lonely path to walk, but as members of BSA Troop 37, this is a path we have all chosen to walk. Walk it proudly. You’re doing the right thing.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 11 | Issue 1 | 2023 - 2024

LACKAWANNA MINE CAMPING

By Liam Ferguson

When we arrived at the campsite it was pitch black, which is usually not a problem even when we are setting up our tents for the night.  However, on this camping trip we had the additional challenge of setting up with muddy group conditions in the dark. We were finally able to set up our tents and enjoyed dinner together before going to sleep.

When we woke up in the morning, it was drizzling a little bit. Our Senior Patrol members did warn us last night to wear rain gear because there was an 80% chance of rain. We prepared a delicious breakfast with
some of our favorite staples of a camping trip, which included chocolate chip pancakes, chicken sausage, turkey bacon and Arizona iced tea. Soon after that, we set out to visit to the Lackawanna Mine site. I was excited to pack my mining helmet that I purchased from the Lackawanna Mine gift shop years ago.  Unfortunately, I had to wear the same basic white helmet as everyone else for the mine tour. At the mine site, the rain got a bit worse, but we didn’t mind as we were going on an adventure hundreds of feet underground.

As we boarded the train car to access the mine, we went on a journey to understand the working life of miners in the early 1900s. The working conditions for miners were very poor, and we learned that most of the mining equipment had to be purchased from the mining companies using their own money. The young children working in the mines guided mules down the tracks before labor laws were in place to protect children. People who became trapped in the mines had to wait under piles of rubble until they could be rescued at the end of the day. This was because mining companies did not pay miners if they took time out of their daily tasks to rescue someone in danger. It was an interesting tour of a decommissioned mine site.

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On the way out of the mine shaft, the trip was much faster! I was glad to change into my red souvenir helmet that I had brought with me. BSA Troop 37 Scouts enjoyed shopping in the gift shop, purchasing souvenir squashed pennies with branding of the mine on top, Lackawanna Mine cups, helmets, and some kids bought
T-shirts. When we got back to the campsite, we enjoyed having lunch, but had to cancel our planned hike due to the rain. Luckily, one of the tent platforms at the campsite had a post for a tarp, so we hung a tarp so that we could sit undercover with our camping chairs. The remainder of the trip was relaxing, as we just decided to ignore the mud and heavy rain. For dinner, my patrol made chicken sandwiches with ground chicken mixed in with spices, which looked like the best meal that they had there. When we woke up on the next day at about 6:30AM and packed all our camping gear into the trucks and quickly cleaned the campsite. We did our usual Thorns, Buds and Roses group activity before heading back home. This was overall a great and memorable camping trip, but the thorn for most of us was dealing with all the rain and mud over the weekend.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 11 | Issue 1 | 2023 - 2024

                                                                                              

A new feature in our newsletter is the Back-to-Back Perspective wherein two Scouts provide their individual experiences at Pouch Camp in November 2023.

                                                                                              

BACK-TO-BACK PERSPECTIVE 1

BACKPACKING AT POUCH

By Kevin Thorsen

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Early in the morning on Saturday, November 18th, the Troop grabbed their packs and started the walk to Pouch camp for a onenight trip.


The walk to camp went off without a hitch, and before we knew it, we were at the campsite. We claimed our lean-tos, set up, and started eating lunch. For lunch, each scout was given a Philmont-style bagged meal, which included chicken and various snacks. Some scouts did not get their chicken, but that problem was sorted out soon enough.

 After lunch, free time started and some people, including me, chose to go to the Scout Shop. Along the way to the scout shop, there is a great view of Ohrbach Lake, where two other boys and I decided to sit down and skip rocks. After returning from the Scout Shop, we practiced making fires. I was not too good at it, but I can definitely say I am better at it than I was before.

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Later in the day, the patrols began making dinner. For dinner, each patrol either ate Beef Stroganoff or Mac and Cheese. Both were MRE-type meals, which you cook in a pot of boiling water. My patrol, the Pink Panthers, made Mac and Cheese, which was surprisingly good.

After dinner, we cleaned our dishes by the spigot and then most scouts started playing Manhunt. I did not join Manhunt, but that might have been a mistake judging from how highly the scouts who did play it talked about it.

After Manhunt was over, most scouts went to bed. It was a cold night, but nothing too bad. I enjoyed a conversation with the other boys in my lean-to, then went to sleep.


When morning came, the scouts woke up, packed their bags, and ate breakfast. Breakfast consisted of Pop Tarts and granola bars. After eating, we scanned the campsite for trash, picked up what we found, and left the site to once again hike, this time going back to the church. After returning, things were put back in the shed and scouts left for home.


Overall, I had a lot of fun on this trip, and hope we do it again at some point.

BSA Troop 37 | Volume 11 | Issue 1 | 2023 - 2024

BACK-TO-BACK PERSPECTIVE 2

BACKPACKING AT POUCH

By Matthew Moroz

On the evening 17th of November, the Troop met up in the Lower Church Hall to pack up troop gear for the trip. We set up mealbuddies and distributed food and gave out our tools for the trip. We made sure everyone had everything they needed, made a pack line, and headed home for the night.

At 8AM the next morning, we came back to the LCH and got our gear. It was fairly warm that day, and we stretched in a circle outside. After a few minutes of stretching, we saddled up our packs and started hiking. We hiked four miles that day and made it to Pouch Camp at around 11AM. We made a pack line and set up our sleeping situations in the lean-tos. We then met up with our meal buddies and had a well deserved Philmont-style lunch. Throughout the day, some chose to work on advancements with their patrol leaders while others opted for hanging out with their friends and going to the Scout Shop. Eventually when we finished advancements at around 2PM and just hung out until about 4PM. We started deciding whether or not to make dinner, and since everyone was hungry, we decided to make dinner at around 5PM. In the meantime, we did our own things. Soon enough 5PM rolled around and the patrols started dinner. Dinner
was a selection of MRE Beef Stroganoff with Noodles or Mac and Cheese and a pre-made cake. My patrol opted for the Beef Stroganoff and overall, I gave it an 8.3 out of 10 on the taste scale. Other patrols who had the Mac and Cheese reported it being quite liquidy and said it was crunchy. Now that was a cooking issue, but it was probably the same ordeal with the liquidity and how there was probably too much water in the bag. After dinner finished, we started to clean up. Although it took quite a while, it went well. In order to

 

make things run faster, we used Manhunt as an incentive. The last time I had played Manhunt was when I was a newbie and now I’m a patrol leader. So not only was this a reward for me and the older scouts, but it was an amazing experience for the newbies. This was the highlight of my trip. After a tied game of Manhunt, we headed to bed. That night was brisk and windy, but the fact that my lean-to had decided to put up a tarp helped a ton. In spite of this, I was still freezing throughout the night and woke up about 13 times. The next morning, we woke up and packed up our stuff. After we finished, we met up and had a quick breakfast with ourmeal-buddies and had some frozen granola bars and Pop-Tarts. After breakfast, we did a quick police line of the site and made sure to pack out everything, including someone’s old underwear.

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BSA Troop 37 | Volume 11 | Issue 1 | 2023 - 2024

BSA TROOP 37 CHRISTMAS PARTY

By Thomas Costello

The BSA Troop 37 Christmas Party is always
a great way to get into the Christmas spirit
and celebrate the holiday with your friends
and family from the Troop. To start the
night, a passage about the history of the
flag on Christmas was read followed by the
Pledge of Allegiance. After that, the patrols
all performed their skits and in between,
Christmas-themed jokes were told by our very
own Randy Changoo and Stephen Avena.
Following the great skits and jokes, the Senior
Patrol sang a rendition of Jingle Bell Rock and
then the pizza was served, which was delicious.
Following the pizza, dessert was served and
coffee as well for the adults, which was also
great. The party was a very fun night, and an
amazing year to end 2023 scouting-wise.

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BSA Troop 37 | Volume 11 | Issue 1 | 2023 - 2024

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