One of Troop 353’s more important Community Service projects throughout the year is the annual pilgrimage up to the Graymoor Monastery in Garrison, NY to help beautify the grounds. This year’s effort was the grandest of all with the completion of a substantial improvement and beautification of the St. Jude’s Pond and Prayer Garden area. Brother Ted Novack was extremely grateful and highly complimentary of our historic efforts and reminded the boys of the importance of their contribution again during our Sunday morning Interfaith Prayer Service. The troop’s herculean efforts drew the attention of the local Garrison Garden Club, which arrived en masse (6 carloads!) & unannounced to inspect our handiwork about 30 minutes after our completion late Saturday afternoon. Everyone was in awe of our troop’s handiwork!
This past week, the Graymoor Monastery communication department asked for our permission to use our photographs in the following Graymoor Publications: a monthly newsletter, a quarterly bulletin and additions to their website. In all, it is estimated that the troop was able to devote over an estimated 165 man hours to improving the prayer garden, a holy place and one of great solitude, frequented by thousands of people of all faiths every year. This is particularly true around Sept. 11th of every year when literally hundreds of people arrive to pay their respects. Here is a link to the monthly newsletter http://www.atonementfriars.org/enews/enews_april_09_web.html
On Sunday morning at the Graymoor outing, all 3 patrols participated in the Iron Chef Cookoff with Brother Ted performing the role of chief guinea pig and tasting judge! The Eagle Patrol, led by the careful guidance of Troop Guide Tim DeMichiel, easily won first place with a warm and tasty special raisin & lime pancake, garnished with apples that included all of the required special ingredients! A special award was presented to the Eagle Patrol that Sunday night. The Tiny Insects and Mustang Patrols came in 2nd & 3rd, respectively, owing to their less than ambitious offer of lukewarm oatmeal. The previous night, the Scoutmaster attempted his hand at preparing a special apple & raisin dumpling dessert in 2 large dutch ovens, topped with whip cream–though the bottom crust was overcooked, scouts were asking for a second helping! For some great photos from the trip, click here.