NEWINGTON - Boy Scouts are winding down the spring season by recognizing the yearâ€™s accomplishments and recruiting new members.
Troop 355 is hosting its Court of Honor and Recruitment Night on Friday, June 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Churchill Parkâ€™s lower pavilion.
The troop has about 25 members right now, who embark on monthly camping trips, biennial adventures across the Americas and work to make improvements to the community. In between all of these activities, they meet on Friday evenings in Newingtonâ€™s Congregational Church.
Scout leaders are hoping to find other families interested in joining their scouting experience.
â€śWe feel weâ€™re providing a good environment for Scouts to take on leadership responsibilities, have some fun and learn all at the same time,â€ť Scoutmaster Tom Bohlke said this week. â€śIf there is anyone out there that wants to talk to us about what we provide to area youth they can come and meet our troop at our cookout. Itâ€™s a chance to have a bite to eat, talk to leaders and meet some of the Scouts themselves.â€ť
In the past few years the group has taken High Adventures to Alaska; Yosemite National Park; Banff, Canada; San Francisco, and Grand Teton National Park. Recently they visited Block Island and New York City, where they went on a historical hike through downtown Manhattan. Scouts tested their skills in fire building, orienteering, cooking, first aid and ice rescue during the Klondike Derby, held in Ashford in February.
â€śItâ€™s a great opportunity for boys to unplug, get out there and do activities with Scouts in a group that is Scout-led,â€ť Bohlke said of the troopâ€™s adventures and trips. â€śTo have your son involved in Scouting has a great benefit long term.â€ť
Parents are encouraged to take an active role, helping with committees, boards of review, Scout advancement and leadership. Troop 355 is also involved with the local community, collecting donations for veterans, supporting the Memorial Day Parade and other military ceremonies.
Boys are expected to receive merit badges and rank advancements during the upcoming Court of Honor ceremony.
Six-year member Michael Stamm is graduating from Northwest Catholic High School in June. He recently received his Eagle Scout badge, after refurbishing rundown shuffleboard courts in Niantic, the shoreline town his family visits.
â€śThey hadnâ€™t been used in almost 30 years and I thought it would be meaningful to make them usable by the community again,â€ť Stamm said.
After raising the money to buy paint and materials, he and fellow troop members brought the courts back to life. They went on to add scoreboards and benches to the area.
Stamm plans to finish out his Scouting career by taking a leadership role in the troop, helping younger members with their own pursuits. At least three will be working on Eagle Scout projects this summer.
â€śThe biggest way Scouting has benefited my life is from the High Adventure trips we do every other year, spending time in the back country,â€ť he pointed out. â€śThe whole planning process and getting out there, being on your own is a really unique experience I donâ€™t think any other organization could give someone. Itâ€™s taught me a lot about responsibility and leadership.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
WHAT: Boy Scout Troop 355 Recruitment Night and Court of Honor
WHEN: Friday, June 1 from 5 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Churchill Park lower pavilion