Category Archives: Cub Scouts

Winter is Coming!

It may not feel like it, but soon the temperature will drop, the snow will fall and the water will freeze.  There is not much one can do about it, we are in New England after all.  Now is not the time to start to think about the ice damns on your house or the amount of snow that you shoveled last winter.  It is time to think about what you are going to do to get those kids that will be stuck indoors outside! WinterCamping

Winter is not the time to plan for only indoor activities for your family or Scout group.  It is the best time to get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.  Soon February vacation will be here and nothing is worse than being stuck inside with kids that are ready to be outside.  The Spirit of Adventure Council has opportunities for all ages of Scouts and for families to enjoy.

February Vacation Camp

With two different camps, both running out of New England Base Camp in Milton, your opportunities are almost limitless.

SnowProgramThe “traditional” winter camp is anything but traditional.  Cub Scouts will go on hikes through the Blue Hills using snow shoes,  go ice skating on our ice rink, learn how to cook in the snow and so much more.  Boy Scouts will have the opportunity to earn Wilderness Survival Merit Badge with their overnight be done in a quincy or the Eagle required Cooking Merit Badge with the meal done on a hike be done while hiking with snow shoes.  Everyone will be able to enjoy sledding, snurfing, our indoor nerf shooting range and the swimming pool. Sign up HERE

Need a little more adventure for your vacation camp?  Join us on our Mountaineering/Ice Climbing expedition week.  Scouts will spend the first two days at New England Base Camp learning how to Ice Climbing.  On Wednesday morning they will head up to New Hampshire to climbing on some of the best ice in New England.  You will return Thursday night and spend the last day at Base Camp showing the participants what you have learned and taking advantage of the water adventure course. Sign up HERE


Weekend Program

Every weekend starting January 9th through the last weekend in February, New England Base Camp runs our Saturday winter program.  Come for the day and learn how to build a quincy, go ice skating, spend the afternoon at the pool and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate around a camp fire as the sun is setting.  If you are looking for more adventure, check out the ice climbing (as featured in this month’s Boy’s Life).  Call 617.615.0004 today, as limited space is available.

So let’s PLAY outside!  Grab those kids and join us at Base Camp to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Camping is the cornerstone of all Scout Programs, and one of the primary reasons councils exist. Spirit of Adventure has listened to our unit leaders and re-tooled our camp properties to best suit the needs of our Troops, Packs and Crews.

Packs – The Annual Pack Outdoor Calendar
A typical pack has 2 -3 overnight experiences each year. Often one or two of those experiences are held at family attractions like the USS Salem, Museum of Science, Lowell Spinners or the Pawtucket Red Sox. Those are always fun and typically attract great participation from the Pack and all the family members.
Often the second or third trip is a family campout. These are also very fun and exciting but often attract less participation from the Pack families due to the logistical concerns. Packs often site family members concerned about showers, cooking for dozens and dozens of people and of course – once we are out there “what do we do?”
In addition to the over nights, Packs typically have a few one day activities – a hike, a parade, a service project etc.
Based on the Cub Scout Adventures we anticipate more and more need for Packs to camp or provide quality outdoor program. Additionally, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have the highest number of participants at all Scout programs (especially camping) as each happy camper = happy Scout and happy family!

Two Year Round Camps – Two Ways to Camp
Spirit of Adventure has two local campgrounds with two distinct advantages

Lone Tree is located in Kingston NH. It is available every weekend and has cabins and campsites. It’s a beautiful space with a great pond and a sports field. The program delivery at Lone Tree is dependent upon the parents in the pack. Like all weekend Boy Scout properties, it is a “do it yourself camp.” Therefore, it’s up to the parents in the pack bring the fishing poles and the fishing skill, so the boys can bait the hooks and go fishing (A Bear Goes Fishing). Or it’s up to the parents to bring the maps, compasses and GPS to teach land navigation (A Wolf finding his way).

Camp Sayre in Milton MA has the New England Base Camp attached to it and through New England base Camp is a Full Service Camp. This location provides lifeguards, archery instructor’s, BB range instructors, Native American activities, Scout Craft, Science programs, outdoor cooking a full complement of equipment, as well as short-burst-intense-training for parents every weekend, as well as modern bathroom facilities. The easiest (year round!) place a wolf to take his Spirit of the Water Adventure!

When making your Pack’s annual plan, think about a couple of outdoor adventure trips. Most commonly packs have an overnight trip in the fall and another trip in the spring. With the new requirements we anticipate packs camping more often.

We recommend a carefully planned annual program with several camping and outdoor activities. Most commonly a pack with a robust camping program benefits from a ratio of 2:1 Lone Tree (DIY) to Sayre (Full Service) visits.

The New England Base Camp at Camp Sayre (Full Service)
The full service trip to Sayre, using Base Camp is great for brand-new families, never been in the outdoors before, or experienced Cub leaders learning new skills and setting the bar higher. In addition to great program it provides wonderful parent engagement opportunities. Those parents sitting on the sideline will more easily fall in love with Scouting, so the pack can engage those parents and families in future activities.

Lone Tree – Do it Yourself (separate page coming soon)
Do it yourself at Lone Tree is where the pack really shines. More parents, more engagement and more comfort in the outdoors. Now your pack is ready! To deliver the program your scouts and siblings look forward to on your own! “My dad taught me how to use a compass, whittle, and light a fire!”

Your Pack’s Annual Outdoor Adventure’s Plan
Cub Packs, of course, come in all shapes and sizes with different ability levels. Sometimes they find one trip to New England Base Camp for every three trips to Lone Tree (or other DIY outdoor programs) others Packs are completely reversed.

We would be happy to meet with your pack leadership to help develop your annual plan. Our Scouting representatives are well versed in the Cub Scout Adventures and the properties and programs across New England. They often know about special Scout deals for programs at attractions like Museum of Science or the Ecotarioum as well as all the programs offered through Spirit of Adventure Council. Contact us HERE to set up an annual planning conference.

Directions and Traffic
We recognize the traffic headaches for folks living north of Boston on their way to the New England Base Camp, and those living south when travelling to Lone Tree. Most commonly packs show up Saturday morning – no traffic. The Camp check-in begins as early as 7 AM and at New England Base Camp program opens at 10AM. Sometimes packs stay overnight, other times the program is best as a day activity and scouts go home Saturday night.

Please follow us on Facebook for updates and announcements

Camp Sayre can be used as a “do it yourself” camp. But we don’t recommend it for that purpose if you live north of Boston.

Community and Council: Local becomes Legendary

Like any new entity, The Spirit of Adventure Council experiences new milestones each day as it matures and adapts. CSP-Family (1)The release of the council shoulder patch (CSP) is the most recent of these! Way back in the summer, we asked Scouts to draw and submit patch ideas, the marketing committee reviewed the designs and ultimately choose the patch that is now available in stores.

Much of the dialogue throughout the patch design process focused on our identity. In contrast the name of that was chosen does NOT showcase any type of geographical or historical significance, but instead seeks to embody the aspirational intent of Scouting itself. (please read the blog about the decision about the significance of the name) The patch however is FULL of geographical and historical references. While we couldn’t fit every single reference to our heritage in one small patch – the committee certainly has many unique references without making the patch too busy.

One critical sentiment the group wanted to reflect in the patch is our focus on community. The focus of the new council is “helping Scouting thrive in your community” unique council patch can reflect that mission (it’s also a pretty cool throw back to the old school town and state patches)

The best reason to buy these limited time patches: A Scout is friendly, and Scouting teaches citizenship. It’s a great opportunity for Scouts to recognize that Scouting has no boundaries; a Scout at camp can meet new friends and learn instantly about their community.

LimitedCSPFor a limited time only, this CSP will be available to order with your unit’s local town name placed at the bottom of the patch. Coordinate your order with your Unit leader and/or other units in your city/town.

Click here for the order form – the order forms will also be available at December Roundtables

The Spirit of Adventure Needs YOU!

Remember that Boston Globe article about ice climbing at New England Base Camp?

We want your comments about this article and New England Base Camp in general! Head over to Facebook by clicking here, or on the image below.

Please help us to “engage youth and parents in physical fitness and the outdoors, as well as helping youth from all walks of life increase self-esteem, confidence, and strengthen character” by telling us how we can do that!

SoAC FB HeaderSoAC FB Header

Why Wait until Christmas to Practice the Spirit of Giving?

Submitted by Jim Garrett, Northern Light District Executive

The core tenets of Scouting not only include self-improvement, but service to others. In your local community there are families and senior citizens without access to food or the regular comforts which can so often be taken for granted.

As a Cub Scout, I remember showing up at a collection site where the Boy Scout Troop associated with my Pack had set up their drop-off point. My dad and I came to help sort the donations that were coming in throughout the day. Watching the older Scouts work, and helping them take individual donation bags and combine them into boxes was more fun than I could have ever imagined as a nine year-old. When we filled the entire bed of a pickup truck, I was amazed at how all this food had been collected, and there was still more streaming in – just from my neighborhood and the ones on either side of it.

I had no real idea yet what a District or Council was, but I knew there were more than just my Cub Scout Pack and this Boy Scout Troop collecting…and I couldn’t fathom how much food was being collected! To this day, Scouting for Food is my favorite of our service projects, because it highlights the impact a small group of people can have on a community, and a community’s impact can have on a larger population.

The Scouting for Food initiative is your opportunity to provide relief for those who need it most! On the first Saturday in November (11/7/15), Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the many local volunteers will deliver Scouting for Food door hangers throughout their local neighborhoods. A week later (11/14/15), Scouts will return to collect the donated non-perishable food items left outside, and bring them to a centralized drop-off location within their community.


Non-perishable food and hygiene items are in greatest need. Some examples include

  • Canned protein (tuna, chicken, peanut butter)
  • Soups
  • Grains (pasta, rice)
  • Canned vegetables and fruits
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Hygiene products (diapers, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste)

Please avoid accepting glass items.

Door Hangers will be available for pick-up at your local Scout office or soonest District Roundtable. Click here to let us know how many hangers you expect to need, and where you intend to bring food to.

When distributing door hangers, be sure that your Scouts use the buddy system and have adequate Adult supervision. Determining and assigning distribution territory beforehand is highly recommended, and, naturally, make sure everyone is in their uniform!

Remember, distribute to residences only, skipping businesses or apartment buildings with controlled entrances or rules against solicitation. And, most importantly of all, DO NOT ENTER ANY HOME FOR ANY REASON.

For questions, please contact your District Scouting for Food Chairperson, your local Scout Office, or Staff Advisor Jim Garrett.

Make sure to register your unit and request your desired quantity of hangers from the following link:

Your local food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens pantries do amazing work, but they can’t do it alone, so please grab ahold of this amazing opportunity to make a very real difference in someone’s life.

Scouts, What Did You Do on Your Vacation?

As the New England Base Camp starts to come into its own, as the first ever public outdoor adventure experience “Powered by Scouting.” We have developed a series of free activities and displays throughout the Egan Center.  The displays inspire and encourage and include

  1. Famous Massachusetts Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  2. Brain puzzles and riddles
  3. Bouldering
  4. Mammals in the Blue Hills
  5. What to pack for the outdoors
  6. Scouting heritage in Massachusetts
  7. Animal tracks
  8. 3-D printer
  9. Science and STEM
  10. Your New England Adventure!

Number 10 is where you can help!

We are creating a display of Scouts all around New England. Send us your group photo in front of a recognizable New England landmark or while participating in a uniquely New England activity.

The collage above is meant to provide some ideas and shows: a hundred Scouts visiting Battleship Cove, a Girl Scout troop at Fenway, Boy Scouts cycling on the Cape, a troop with their flag atop Mount Washington, a couple troops along the Freedom Trail, a Brownie Troop at Plymouth Plantation, and a Venture Crew whitewater rafting in Maine.

To submit your New England Adventure send a high resolution photo along with a brief description of your adventure. Selected photos will be printed and framed along with a description of your trip. Some items will be displayed on line through social media.

Winning photos will receive a $200 voucher to Base Camp valid throughout 2016. So take a moment, submit your recent New England Scout Adventure here, and start planning your next one!


Show your Spirit!

The Patch has been finalized and will be available later this fall. For those of you unfamiliar with the thought process behind the name of the council please read this email from the spring. We’ve heard all the feedback about the name 😃 (here are the responses to our name).

All that being said – the name is only a small part of our corporate identity. Our BRAND IDENTITY is really the focus and our brand is related to the mission – what we do for kids and families.

Our Council Strip Patch attempts to represent the essence of our unique, collective Scouting experience.  Over the next few weeks, the details about how to earn the patch or purchase the patch, how to get the inaugural patch with your town name and other details will emerge.


By Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive and CEO

SCOUTINGHANDSBecause of my Scouting background and my wife’s personal make up, we were eager volunteers when our two daughters where in elementary school. We immediately raised our hands to be Girl Scout leaders, run the PTO family fun nights, run the family church outings or the youth group. So no one had to coax us in, or cultivate our involvement. We were “those parents.”

However, many parents need a little support and a welcoming environment to help them step forward. They WANT what is best for their kids, and they WANT to be involved, but may not be able to see a role for themselves. If the parents are not technical – it’s difficult for them to see themselves serving as the robotics team coach. Or if the parents are not athletic they don’t can’t visualize themselves teaching soccer drills.

Years ago, my younger sister was learning to play softball in a community league. As an older teen, my schedule didn’t permit me to coach but I wanted to help out. A father who was involved in the organization had a conversation with me about my love for the Red Sox, and my years in organized sports. Through that conversation he got a fairly good read on my understanding of the game. He told me a few differences between little league softball rules and baseball rules. Next thing you know he gave me an umpire’s vest and voila – I was a “stand-by ump” ready to be put into the game whenever I was around.

Just like that, I was part of girl’s softball. No training was required – no forms to be filled out, and no criminal background check was performed. That was just the way the world worked back then. It was a simpler time and the path for involvement was shorter. However the basic technique to getting people involved is still valid today. Our most successful packs and troops are really good at doing exactly what that dad did for me by empowering me to help. Our best Troops, Crews and Packs are great at securing that first level of volunteer participation. They begin by talking to the parent and discovering their interests. They find a way to translate to interests into contributions to the program. They start out by finding a small task that the person can do that will ad value to the effort. This is the process of “parent engagement.” It’s a technique that creates enthusiasm in the parent as much as the child. (See the Oreo cookie blog for some great tips on the first steps of volunteering.)

Once the parent is engaged they begin to appreciate and understand the game of Scouting. They are often ready and eager to contribute more.

The challenge with Scouting compared to being a little League umpire is that Scouting is not as widely understood as softball. When I was 17, I knew the baseball rules so it was easy for me to step right in as a “stand by ump.” However, knowing the ins and outs of camping, or the nuances of the BSA advancement program, or having the logistical experience to coordinate a 50 person camping trip requires more in depth knowledge. Although they may be willing to assist, the average mom or dad doesn’t feel comfortable raising their hand and serving as a Den Leader. That’s a bit daunting for even the most willing parent. The BSA’s answer to this problem is adult training. Yet the navigation through the many BSA training programs can be just as daunting- even though in the end it makes volunteering easier.

For a new BSA volunteer they may not understand why they need training. “What training course should I take? When is it offered? Where is it offered? How long is the course? What is a roundtable? How will all this help me control 10 rambunctious 8 year old boys? “

The BSA has done a great job of putting a ton of training on line. However for some things there is no substitute for human interaction. A deeper and more successful training experience allows individuals the ability to raise their hands and as questions. There are significant benefits from interacting with others and practicing the skills hands on. These human to human experiences greatly help build the confidence to feel comfortable at the next den meeting, or the first camping trip.

The Spirit of Adventure Council is committed to supporting the development of adult volunteers. Here are just two examples:

The training search engine – to help people navigate BSA training and find the most appropriate training for their needs we have created a link. This will allow individuals a source to find answers to most of the questions above. Check it out and find the right course for your needs. Click here to try out the training search engine!

New England Base Camp Leadership and Training Center – Almost every Saturday we run 2 or 3 hour long courses, many of these courses are free of charge . These courses include lots of classic Scout training events, as well as recognized trainings from other partner agencies such as CPR, or Lifeguard training. Bring your kids! While your in the training the youth can enjoy the programs at New England Base Camp. Click here to see the list of upcoming trainings.

The Spirit Of Adventure council is committed to providing training to help parents and leaders improve the Scouting experience for children and young adults. You can use the training search engine to find a class near you, or you can stop by the New England Base Camp to sharpen your skills.

[infobox title=’EXPERIENCED LEADERS WANTED! ‘]We are always looking for great people to help. If you have a great skill you’d like to share or you’d like to join the training team, please leave your contact info here.[/infobox]

Outdoor skills not required for this outdoor experience – I’m a Scout Parent!

Submitted by Diane Trubiano, Cub Scout Leader, Pumpkin Fest Chair, and (most importantly) Scout Parent.

It was 10 years ago Paul (my son) and I began our Scouting Adventure. We were off and running, attended everything, had a blast and we were hooked. As we joined in Cub Scout activities over that first summer I noticed something great was happening, not only was I getting to spend quality time with Paul, but I also got to meet a group of dedicated, loving, talented, caring parents.


It was shortly thereafter I soon realized that there was no going back and Paul’s future of fun was destined to be outdoors, in the woods, at Scout camps, around ponds, hiking trails, and beyond and I wanted to go too.

In the fall I became involved as a Den Leader for his Bear Den. I had no idea what I was doing. No REALLY… I had no experience. You have to know a little bit about me to understand, my definition of outdoors growing up was a paved street, tent in the back yard, and a playground. Not the woods or anything the Scouting outdoor experience offers. I was clueless and needed help!

As I began the adventure as a Den Leader, parents of the Cub Scouts I was trying to teach soon took on the role of teacher to me. They taught me the skills I needed to have as a Den Leader to bring their Cub Scouts outdoors. They taught me to be a better mom by providing opportunities for shared experiences for Paul and me in the outdoors, the real outdoors, not our back yard.

From parents and leaders in the Den and Pack I learned to camp. I learned to build a proper campfire and cook on it. They taught me to explore the woods in the dark without a flash light. I learned to hike trails and what to bring with me. Set up a tent and how to get it back in the bag. I learned to camp in the snow. I learned about trees and trails, scat and tracks, knots – let’s not forget knots! (well I keep forgetting most of them but I tried) – all the while spending time with Paul guided by those parents with their expertise.


A year passed and I soon found myself leading a Pack of young boys as their Cubmaster. I now had all those Cub Scouts expecting me to know what I was doing.  I learned skills online from parents I have never met most of the time just hours before I would need to teach a Tiger or a Webelos Scout or I learned right alongside my Cub Scouts from their own parents. I attended trainings and learned new skills from Scout Leaders who have been teaching for decades. I am so blessed everyone was willing to share their talents.

Paul and I spent weekends in the woods and, shared firsts with those parents and leaders, first night in a tent, first campfire, first fish caught, and the list goes on. Those parents and I shared lasts and cried tears of joy together as our boys grew up and into Boy Scouts when they crossed that bridge. Laughed at the first moment we could leave our sons with the Scoutmaster and not have to stay and waited anxiously together in the parking lot for their first return home after leaving us behind. How each parent handled these moments and milestones in their son’s life was always a lesson for me.

Beyond the outdoors, these parents taught me to laugh more (you can never take yourself too seriously as a Cubmaster), listen more, and yell less. Sometimes it was the simple joy another parent would put into preparing fruit for breakfast at an overnight that would teach me something about what we have the opportunity to do each day.

People who I respect trusted me to be a role model for their children and have no idea they are my role models. These parents rise to each challenge and continue show me how a community works together to make the difference in the life of a child. They pay the dues for Scout Families in need, they hold hands of children not their own,  camp out even when their own child is not there just so the other Scouts could be there, share generously of their talents, and so much more.

If you can do the math then you will know Paul is a college freshman this year. As years past, hikes on hills soon became mountains. He is just 3 mountains away from reaching his personal goal set just a few years ago to hike all 48, 4000 footers in the White Mountain Range.  Like so many Scout adventures over the past 10 years, I plan to be there for #48, taking all those Scout skills and lessons learned with us in this milestone moment of his life. All these years later these wonderful, caring, dedicated parents are still with Paul and me with every mile we hike in the woods.


So I invite you to join us in meeting parents and families (some will even be those very parents that taught me – because they just love to volunteer too) at Camp Sayre in Milton on October 17, 2015 as we explore the woods of Camp Sayre together at Pumpkin Fest!