Community Service — Annual Good Turn Outing: Good Tidings & Good Times at Graymoor Monastery 

For the past few years, the troop has made a pilgrimage up to the Graymoor Monastery in Garrison, NY for the annual Good Turn Outing.   A few years ago, Brother Ted Novak started our work in the 9-11 prayer garden, also known as St. Jude’s Pond & Prayer Garden.  Every year it seems like this area, frequented by thousands of reverent folks from all over the world, is in need of a major “spring cleaning” and so this is what our scouts have learned to do.   Historically, we have tied the need to accumulate troop-related service hours to attend some of our more fun events, ie white water rafting, and the Graymoor outing represents the singlest biggest opportunity (typically) to earn such community service hours.   For some scouts, it is there only opportunity to do a little yard work and these boys embrace the day enthusiastically.  At the other extreme are others that are not quite as productive.  Amazingly, the boys and the dads all work fairly steadily for the full 6 hours (excluding a lunch break) and the gardens look like new again! 

To add a little spice to the weekend, we have also had a Iron Chef breakfast cookoff competition with a required ingredient for the Sunday morning cookoff.  The required ingredient of lemon this past year made for some delightful presentations, and the Mustang Patrol was the hands-down winner!  The night before, the Scoutmaster prepared a lemon cake in 2 dutch ovens, which was quickly consumed by all as we all nestled around the bonfire to enjoy a varieyty of skits.  Brother Ted is always gracious (brave?) enough to be the tasting judge on Sunday morning, and then lead our group in a beautiful interfaith prayer service.   As always, we end the outing with the traditional “Rose, Bud, Thorn” discussion & sharing by all.  For more great pictures of this productive but fun weekend, click here click here !

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