Community Service: Scouts Perform ‘Good Turn’ Service Project at Graymoor Monastery

Brother Ted Shares 9-11 Memorial History

Recently nearly 20 scouts and parents from Troop 353 volunteered their time to help beautify the grounds of the Graymoor Monastery. After spending the day clearing weeds, brush and undergrowth, there was time (and energy!) for a variety of fun sporting activities. As well, the older scouts were able to give a successful demonstration on how to prepare a dutch oven treat! (Note from the Webmaster: it was truly delicious!) The camp site on the Graymoor Monastery grounds was fantastic, where also the Applachian Trail cuts through the property nearby.

The scouts worked very hard during a beautiful weekend to clear a substantial amount of weeds, brush and small trees and their roots on a steep slope near the main entrance. The ultimate goal of planting hundreds of wild flowers on a cleared-out slope was achieved through substantial physical labor. (Note from Webmaster: we were beat, especially the “old goats patrol.”) Brother Ted, our liason with the Monastery, was surprised (and quite pleased!) at how much work was accomplished that Saturday. Despite the strenuous work, our scouts remained “cheerful” and appeared quite gratified in their accomplishments!

Brother Ted also gave us a very personal tour of his 9-11 Memorial Garden, which was constructed after the tragic WTC disaster. Materials found from the WTC site were used to construct a large Cross. Needless to say, many people from all faiths from all over the world frequent this holy garden for quiet moments of prayer and reflection. Troop 353 is proud to have helped beautify the area nearby. A scout is helpful & reverent! For more photos of the weekend at Graymoor Monastery, click here.

Fun Bonfire Event Draws Crowd!


If there is on thing that boys of all ages love, it is a bonfire! Recently, Troop 353 Eastchester in conjunction with Cub Scout Pack 7 in Tuckahoe, sponsored their first ever recruitment bonfire on a brisk Friday night in late April. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts alike performed several funny skits. Our SPL and ASPL, Daniel A. and Connor M., led the crowd in singing a few songs, as did Troop 353 committee member Mike W. Pack 7 Cubmaster Michael P. and Troop 353 Scoutmaster Tom M. gave overviews of Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting to eager parents and interested youngsters.

The best part however, was the scouting presentation by two of Westchester Putnam Council’s premier Indian Lore experts, John G. and Denise G., aka Lady Hawk. Their full native American costumes were fabulous and their message to the children highly effective! Even our district executive for the Four Rivers district, Carlos R. paid a visit and gave parents a brief synapsis of the fun scouting activities often pursued.

Even the older scouts from Troop 353’s venture crew assisted in the evening’s festivities. These experienced scouts showed the younger scouts how to build a fire in a “Leave No Trace” manner. Six inches of top soil was put on top of a tarp and the bonfire was built atop the dirt-covered tarp. Cleanup was easy, though the ground was still damp the next morning from extinguishing the fire.

A special thanks to the Village of Tuckahoe for delivering considerable free firewood to this event. Additionally, John D. of Pack 7 led a considerable parental effort to provide substantial food and treats for everyone to enjoy! All in all, it was a wonderful and fun event that should help boost Cub Scout recruitment efforts considerably this September. For more fun photos of the event, including many happy children, click here!