Troop 30 News

Celebrating our new Eagle Scout

In an outdoor ceremony, Troop 30 celebrated our newest Eagle Scout, Michael McNamara.

Michael as been part of scouting most of his life, moving from Cub Scouts Pack 30 to Troop 30. As a Boy Scout, Michael served as Quartermaster — a big job making sure the troop has all the gear it needs for whatever activity the scouts need.

Then, Michael was elected senior Patrol Leader. As the senior leader of the Troop, he developed patrols that would later come in second in the Spirit of Adventure Klondike Derby (2018) and would win the entire Northern Lights Klondike Derby (2019).

To become an Eagle Scout, Michael needed to complete a service project for our community. He chose the Watertown Food Pantry, which shares space with the Troop at Watertown-Belmont UMC. He oversaw a project building a locked storage area so pantry workers could easily use and secure federally-funded foods.

Michael was celebrated in a ceremony witnessed by Troop 30 and Pack 30 scouts, and emceed by Scoutmaster Chris DeRocher, who Michael thanked with a mentor pin.

Everyone in Troop 30 wishes our new Eagle Scout the best as he now joins the U.S. Marines at boot camp.

Scouting for Food needs your help

Pack 30 and Troop 30 are supporting the Watertown Food Pantry again this year, but as with everything in 2020, Scouting for Food will be different.

Scouting for Food is a nationwide service challenge taken on by Boy Scouts of America, targeting food insecurity. In Watertown, the two BSA organizations have come together every November to get grocery lists in the hands of shoppers so they can help fill the shelves of the town-run food pantry.

This year, with COVID-19 precautions in place, Scouting for Food will look a little different. Scouts will be flyering their neighborhoods, seeking donations they can pick up on doorsteps Nov. 21. They’ll then bring it to the Food Pantry location, 80 Mt. Auburn Street, and the Cub Scout who collects the heaviest donations wins a prize.

This year, more families than ever are relying on support from the food pantry for basic needs during the pandemic, with businesses shut down and some families losing income as kids attend school from home.

You can help. Cub Scouts can collect contact-free donations from your doorstep on Nov. 21, or you can deliver shelf-stable food items to scouts Nov. 21, noon-3 p.m., at 80 Mt. Auburn Street — the oval driveway at Watertown-Belmont UMC. Masked scouts will happily accept and sort any donation you can give to support Watertown families.

The most in-demand items are those used every day in households:
✔ Cereal (This has been a great need with kids home from school)
✔ National brands of canned soup, corn, beans, chickpeas
✔ Pasta and Rice
✔ Old Fashioned Oatmeal
✔ Cooking Oil
✔ Tuna Fish
✔ Tomato Sauce, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Paste
✔ Macaroni & Cheese
✔ Grape Jelly and Strawberry Preserves
✔ Peanut Butter

For more information, contact watertowntroop30@gmail.com.

Troop 30 meeting outside and masked

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts meet outside in Watertown.

With the Coronavirus crisis still forcing school changes and mask mandates in Massachusetts, Troop 30 is meeting outdoors every week.

Outdoor meetings on Thursdays in October and November? Absolutely — Be Prepared is our motto, after all. Scouts wear masks, always, and when the weather is cool, they have jackets. Now that everyone is trained in setting up a lantern, we’re able to work on advancement, we’ve had an election of new leaders and we’ve even met with Cub Scouts who will move up to Troop 30 in early 2021.

Boys and girls age 10-17 can join Troop 30

So far this year, Troop 30 has had a campout — also with Webelos, the oldest of the Cub Scouts — where we’ve mastered orienteering, outdoor cooking and and the eating of chocolate cake made in a Dutch oven on the fire.

This year has been a very unusual year in the history of scouting in Watertown, no doubt, but we are continuing to serve the community. Since the pandemic hit, one scout took his family to clean up a section of the Charles River, filling an entire car with trash to haul away. One planted a tree at a state campsite on behalf of the family of a longtime camper who died of Covid earlier this year.

And, we have our Eagles. Michael McNamara received his Eagle rank this summer after building secure storage for the Watertown Food Pantry. Another Eagle project is currently under way.

Scouts take care of each other and our
community

Troop 30 has always had a strong outdoor program, but now that the safest place to be is outside, we’re doubling-down on those efforts. Any youth who has completed fifth grade is welcome to join us.

Scouts learn citizenship and leadership, but there’s so much more they do. Scouts learn to camp, to cook and how to build a campfire. They also have plenty of opportunity to make friends as they sit around a campfire — just in masks, this year.

Troop 30 is for boys and girls in Watertown, Allston and Brighton. Contact us at watertowntroop30@gmail.com to learn more.

Michael’s Eagle Scout Service Project

Michael, left, is a Life Scout enclosing a secure cabinet space for the Watertown Food Pantry. Fellow scouts Patricio and Deion, and Michael’s mom, are preparing the space by first cleaning and painting the cabinets.

In coming days Michael will lead a team of scouts who’s job it is to transform the space so Food Pantry volunteers can quickly and safely work in the space.

Troop 30 staying safe

Ian Mask InstructionsWith school out of session due to the Coronavirus crisis, Troop 30 has changed its meetings to online. Scouts are still advancing in rank, merit badges are being earned and public service is still a priority, it’s just being done with COVID-19 precautions.

Looking to make your own mask? Assistant Scoutmaster Ian Clark developed his own mask with a stiff nose bridge to keep you safe. Instructions are at the link.

Ian’s Mask Making Instructions

Scouts collect $10K in canned goods for Watertown Food Pantry

Scouts sorting foodIn what may be the largest-ever one-day event to benefit the Watertown Food Pantry, scouts on Saturday collected $10,000 worth of food at the Watertown Street Stop & Shop.

That’s twice what was collected last year in the annual event called Scouting for Food.

Lift“I’m overwhelmed by the effort of all the boys and girls in the scouts,” said Kathleen Cunningham, Watertown Food Pantry Coordinator. “It’s amazing that all those parents and leaders make this work possible.”

Pack 30, with scouts age 5-10, and Troop 30, with scouts age 10-17, come together every year to collect donations for the Watertown Food Pantry. Last year, 200 bags of groceries were collected from Stop & Shop customers at 171 Watertown Street.

The this year, the response from Stop & Shop customers was so great, scouts needed to change how they collect goods. Twice they filled up a Boy Scout Troop 30’s trailer, collecting 400 cubic feet of food six hours.

CollectionsScouts provided a shopping list for store customers to donate items needed most by clients of the food pantry — peanut butter, rice, beans, jams and pastas – to fill the pantry’s shelves. Customers handed items over to other scouts in charge of thanking customers. Then Webelos and Bear Scouts ran full shopping carts of canned goods to the sidewalk outdoors, where cans of cranberries, peas, beans and tomato sauce were sorted and packed in the Troop 30 trailer. The trailer was filled twice with a total of 400 cubic feet of food in the six hours scouts collected food.

Tiger Scout Jeremiah Rios said of all the jobs the scouts did, it was most fun sorting the food that was donated by Stop & Shop customers. He reported that while peanut butter was the most popular item, the grape jelly looked the most delicious.

Bears and shampooWhen customers opted to give cash, those donations were turned into personal hygiene items like shampoo, soap and deodorant. When customers wanted to fuel scouts and their good work, they gave them chocolate and bags of Doritos.

Scouting for Food is just one of the community service projects scouts take on. Cub Scouts, age 5-10, clean trails, write letters to veterans and serve as an honor guard for local events. Boy Scouts, age 10-17, complete larger projects in service to veterans and the community.

BSA trains boys and girls in citizenship, conservation, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. Both the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts share a home with the Food Pantry in the Watertown-Belmont UMC at 80 Mt. Auburn Street.

with truck

Troop 30 2019-2020 season starts now

Troop 30, serving youth age 11-17 through Watertown, Allston and Brighton, is starting its season Thursday, Sept. 5 — and you’re welcome to join us.

Scouts (boys and girls) meet at 7:30 p.m. at 80 Mt. Auburn Street any Thursday that there’s school. Youth are welcome to join as long as they’re seeking adventure — no matter their gender, orientation, nationality, religion or creed, or whether they prefer climbing or camping over canoeing.

Troop 30 scouts enjoy outdoor activities year-round, but it’s not just about camping and hanging out at a campfire. Scouts pick up skills that will help them later in life — how to cook, how use first aid, how to tie a knot — while learning conservation principles, citizenship and leadership. Troop 30 scouts also have the opportunity to learn how to paddle a canoe, how to defeat all opponents at water polo and how to rock climb, but participation in those activities is optional.

Scouts perform service projects supporting our community, and they earn badges — there are more than 135 badges demonstrating a knowledge of everything from archery to veterinary medicine. There are also a group of scouts — not many, but Troop 30 had one last year — who gain the highest rank in scouting, Eagle Scout. Earning badges and rank isn’t required by any scout, but they will be exposed to the opportunity.

The fee for this entire academic year is $100. Scouts are expected to fundraise to support their activities, and community support for these efforts is welcome — in the past, Troop 30 has raised funds with car washes, celebration dinners and wreath sales.

Anyone can join in scouts. Youth interested in learning about scouts are welcome to show up at any Thursday meeting to meet scouts and ask questions. (Youth attending may be asked to join in a game of steal the bacon.) Adults are welcome at meetings to learn about what we do, and offer their knowledge to youth. All adults who participate in scouting activities must allow a records check and be trained in youth protection before joining in official activities. We know scouts learn by doing so if you have a skill you can impart — how to build an engine, how to code, how to frost a cake — we’d love to hear from you.

Have questions before you can get to a Thursday meeting? Email watertowntroop30@gmail.com and an adult leader will respond.

Does all this sound awesome but your child is 5-10 years old? Check out our little brothers and sisters in Pack 30, the area’s Cub Scout program. They meet in the same space, just an hour earlier.

Troop 30 not slowing down this summer

Just because the troop doesn’t meet every week in the summer, don’t think there aren’t scouting things going on. Just a few activities in July:

  • Summer camp at T.L Storer has seen lots of swimming, zip lines, shooting and lots and lots of work on badges.
  • Cleanup at our sponsoring organization, the Watertown-Belmont United Methodist Church.
  • Beach cleanups as scouts get in some service hours while on vacation.
  • Lots more work on badges. Citizenship in the Nation and Communication are two Eagle-required badges with a lot of book work scouts are finishing up over the summer.

Looking for more up-to-date info? We update our facebook page regularly, and we’ll be having our first meeting of the academic year Sept. 5, 2019 at 80 Mt. Auburn Street. If you’ve completed 5th grade, you’re not yet 18, and you are looking for adventure in Watertown, Allston or Brighton, we’d love to hear from you.

Luke Black earns Eagle Scout rank

Luke Black, a Boy Scout from Allston, MA, is now the first Eagle Scout from BSA Troop 30 in a number of years.

Luke achieved the Eagle Scout rank in February, after a board of review held by the BSA Sons of Liberty District.

“I’m very proud and happy for Luke, reaching this highest rank scouting.” said Scoutmaster Chris Derocher. “I’m happy to have been a part of it.”

To become an Eagle Scout, scouts must achieve a number of ranks, earning skills and taking on leadership roles inside and outside the troop. Eagles take their own paths within the scouting framework – all learning how to take care of their selves and others, but many choosing how they demonstrate those abilities, be it by being a bugler or as a troop librarian.

Luke has earned 29 merit badges, including Art, American Heritage and Astronomy, which is eight beyond the number he was required to earn for his rank. His public-service projects often involved conservation, participating in river cleanups and building bat houses.

For his final public service project, Luke saw the kids living in a new affordable housing unit in Allston had no basements where they could store their bikes – and leaving bikes on the lawn meant their bikes were being stolen. Luke raised hundreds of dollars for a bike rack by soliciting donations from customers at the Brighton Mills Star Market. He was then responsible for gathering scouts and a few professionals to help him pour a cement pad and securing the bike rack to the ground. The kids at Charlesview now have a safe place to keep their bikes, and Luke’s project was formally accepted during his board of review.

Son of Lee and Mary-Helen Black of Allston, Luke joined scouting as a member of Pack 30, the Cub Scout Pack meeting in Watertown. In 2013 he earned his Scout rank as a Boy Scout, and from there Luke has taken on leadership roles within the boy-led troop, serving as a Patrol Leader to the Badgers Patrol, and as Troop Historian.

Luke currently attends The Winchendon School. A formal ceremony awarding Luke the rank of Eagle will be held in June.

“Luke has been an outstanding example of how to persevere and not just meet but surpass the requirements the BSA set out for its leaders,” said Kat Powers, Troop 30 Committee Chairman. “Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts nationwide earn the rank of Eagle, it’s that hard. It’s an honor to have worked with a scout like Luke.”

BSA Troop 30 currently serves the youth of Watertown, Allston and Brighton. Based in the United Methodist Church on Mt. Auburn Street, Troop 30 is open to boys and girls age 11-18 who seek adventure. The troop participates in camping trips, service and conservation projects, and offers outdoor skills training – recently winning second overall in the Spirit of Adventure Klondike Derby winter skills competition. For more information, see Troop30BSA.com.

Troop 30 comes in second place in Klondike Derby

Troop 30’s Baconator Patrol earned second place among all patrols competing in the Sons of Liberty and Flintlock Districts Klondike Derby, billed as the Polar Bear Challenge, held at New England Base Camp in Milton, Massachusetts.

Troop 30, joined by Webelos scouts from Pack 30, competed as the Baconators Patrol, winning outright the log-sawing/wood splitting competition, and the A-frame competition.

Scouts competed in orienteering, tomahawk throwing, tent set-up and fire building, among other skills.

During the A-frame building competition, patrols were instructed to tie three branches together to form an A-frame, and then use it to carry a scout for a number of yards. Where some patrols took five, six or seven minutes to build the frame and carry a scout with it, Baconators did it in under two minutes, choosing to carry a Webelos scout across the line.

Scouts camped overnight in the Blue Hills and then competed in the Klondike race — where one Webelos Scout rode in the cart, and other scouts pushed-pulled-ran the course through Base Camp.

Given their overall performance, scores for being prepared at trail-in inspection, Troop 30’s Baconators won second place overall, beating out a number of much larger troops from all over the Greater Boston area.

Troop 30 camps once a month during the school year, and travels once during the summer for a week-long camping trip at a certified BSA camp. Boys and girls who have completed fifth grade are welcome to join us. Contact us at watertowntroop30@gmail.com for details.