2020 – a new year, a new decade, infinite possibilities.
Our January camping trip was held at Teetertown Preserve where the Hunterdon Arrowhead District’s Klondike Derby was held. The weather was rainy and miserable. We decided to go up early on Saturday instead of trying to set everything up in the dark on Friday. This year’s Klondike patrol was named ‘the Zodiac Patrol’ and Owen M. made the flag for us. The patrol was made up of: Andrew, George, Ethan, Cameron, Owen and Nate. We used the downtime to hang out in our large tent that has a wood stove in it. We made some really good soup and it helped to warm us up. The conditions were pretty tough, but we did really well…until later in the day when some of the volunteers decided to pack it in and left. In the end, we took home the third place trophy!
In January we held a Minute-to-Win-It night and invited Webelos and boys who are interested in learning more about the troop. This was one of the last chances we had to share a little bit about who we are and what we do as a troop. We also held Order of the Arrow nominations. For those who don’t know, Order of the Arrow is scouting’s honor society and members are voted in by their peers. This year’s nominees from Troop 200 are: John M., Owen M., Phil L. and Cameron L.
Our mid-year troop elections took place and the results are: Andrew Bozzi (Senior Patrol Leader), Justin Verlin (Assistant SPL), Phil LaBelle (Assistant SPL), Ethan Lutz (Troop Guide), Nick Casalin (Patrol Leader – Council of Ricks), John Strober (Patrol Leader – the Titans). All other PLC positions remain the same.
February is always a busy month for us. We volunteered at the Knights of Columbus’ Pancake Breakfast and the HAD Scouting for Food drive. Our troop volunteered at Clinton WalMart. The food we collected went to two local food pantries. The following day was Scout Sunday at Immaculate Conception Church. A group of us attended the non mass and helped with the collection during the service. Father Jay, an Eagle Scout, talked about his experiences as a scout and afterwards we talked with him and he showed us his official Boy Scout flashlight that he kept all of these years. It was really great to get the time to talk with him and make that connection.
We also held our Winter Court of Honor. Owen M. and Alex S. served as our emcees. Several scouts moved up in rank: Second Class – Ian Bozzi and Russell Gauthier; Star – Cameron Lutz, Phillip LaBelle, John Martoccia and Owen Maslanka; Eagle – Nate Nemeth. Seventeen scouts earned their Totin’ Chip and Aidan Berson (Communications), Owen Maslanka (Motor Boating, Wilderness Survival) and Nate Nemeth (Fly Fishing and Motor Boating) earned merit badges. Nate was recognized for breaking the Troop 200 record for most merit badges. The 2014 record of 100 was held by Alex Pittinger, Nate now holds 101 merit badges and counting!
Later in February, the Council of Ricks patrol took advantage of the mild winter we’re having and went on a hike to Mount Tammany near the Delaware Water Gap. They’re putting in some miles as they train for next year’s Philmont trip! Our troop cabin camping trip to NoBeBosCo was great, too. Most of us had our full backpacks with us and the younger scouts had day packs as we hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail. We used our jet boil stoves to make our lunches. We also made it to the fire tower again this year and met one of the volunteers who works there.
We were guests at Pack 901’s Blue and Gold banquet at the end of the month as we welcomed six Webelos from Pack 901 as they bridged to Troop 200. The event took place at Clinton Township Middle School. Welcome to 200: Deep, Ankit, Sean, Luke, Oliver and Jacob…we are glad you joined us!
Coming in March and April: new patrol formed, Back-to-Basics themed meetings, Iron Chef camping trip at Resica Falls, high-adventure week-long trip to Seabase Florida, Out Island and West Point’s Camporee.