Scout Sunday: Pass the Coffee and Sign ‘Em Up!

Scout Sunday

Manning two tables filled with coffee, juice and dougnuts – as well as hand-outs on Scouting – a hardy band of Scouts, Webelos and adult leaders braved a blustery morning at Immaculate Conception Church on Scout Sunday, March 25th. The goal was simple: to let church-goers know about all the great activities of Cub Scout Pack 7 and Troop 353 and to recruit new members. There was plenty of enthusiasm as boys, parents, and grandparents stopped by the tables to talk about Scouting and get more information. Several Scouts got up to read a short presentation after each Mass and received enthusiastic applause. Oh, and the doughnuts went fast too.


Swim Night at Durland Aquatics Center


If there is one thing a scout likes to do just about any time of year it is swimming!  During the winter months of February and March, Troop 353 took scouts to the Durland Swim Center in Rye, NY.  The boys had a very fun time playing their version of Water Polo.  Scouts passed their 2nd Class and 1st Class (BSA Swim Test) swimming requirements.  Some even retook the BSA Swim Test just for the challenge!  Clearly, the Water Polo game was the center of attention and considerable fun!  Take a good look at the official Durland Swim Center sign–it may soon be a collector’s island, as our Council is in the midst of trying to sell the property.  For more fun photos from swim night at Durland, click here!

Wilderness First Response Exercise

First Aid Drill

Scouts of Troop 353 and visiting webelos from Pack 353 recently got a full scale appreciation of real life potential accidents that call for basic first aid skills. All scouts were split into 5 patrols and each patrol sent one of its members to one of five different mini-classes (splints, burns & hypothermia, snake/insect bites & scratches, ankle/arm / head wraps & CPR). As the boys were brought together, each patrol was assigned to go find a “missing” scout and administer first aid. The mini-class instructors observed the scouts administering first aid to the “injured scout campers.”

For example, one scenario outlined how a scout started running toward his tent from the campfire area, tripped on a rock, hit his head on another rock and endured a 2nd degree burn when his hand theoretically went into the fire. Yet another scenario highlighted a scout theoretically slipping on a rock in a nearly dried up creek bed while backpacking, twisting his ankle and cutting his hand on the fall. A combination of camping gear props, theatrical makeup and a very realistic scenario behind each “injured scout camper” created a lasting impression for the scouts that should reinforce the importance of administering first aid with a “cool head” for a variety of common injuries.

Of course, the boys also found time to play one of their favorite team games, “steal the bacon.”

Many more pictures from that troop meeting can be found here.

The Fish Were Biting at Ten Mile River

Ice fishing

A grand total of three tough pickerel were hauled through the ice during Troop 353’d winter encampment at the beautiful Ten Mile River reservation along the Delaware River in the Catskills. The Scouts learned all about ice-fishing from an expert guide, and set their tip-ups baited with minnows. They also took the camp’s sleds to nearby slopes, engaged in several spirited snowball battles, hauled several cords of wood, and worked on camp skills. They also did most of the cooking, helping adult leaders prepare a full-course turkey dinner with all the trimmings in their cabin kitchen on Saturday night. Several poker games, the design of a new patrol flag for the “Green Monkeys” patrol, and a late-night round of scary stories in front of the fire rounded out the activities. On Sunday, after hot pancakes and sweet rolls, the Troops cleaned out the cabin, packed their gear, and headed home – tired but loaded with winter camping stories. Enjoy more pictures here!


Olympiad Games!

Feb 25 Olympiad Games

On February 25th, Troop 353 enjoyed an evening of pure fun and enjoyment by reestablishing a former annual event dubbed the Olympiad Games! The evening’s festivities was also special in that several sr. Webelos from Pack 7 Tuckahoe and their parents were visiting. After a brief Patrol Meeting to inspect personal gear for the upcoming Ten Mile River campout, the Webelos were split up among the patrols & the scouts began their games! The scouts were challenged in basketball, foosball, table tennis and, a scout favorite, steal the bacon. After lots of grins, the Green Bar Patrol declared Kelsey W’s patrol of first year scouts the winner! Though each boy in that patrol received their award joyfully (nerf footballs) ALL boys basked in the warm glow of realization that Scouting really can be a lot of fun! For more fun photos, click here.

Annual CPR Training

Annual CPR Training

Troop 353 was fortunate to have Westchester Putnam Council’s ace CPR instructor, John Clear, visit us recently for our annual CPR training. The instruction was highly effective, included hands-on skills building and written Red Cross exams. Mr. Clear enlightened the troop about recent changes to CPR standards, i.e., do not use more than 10 seconds to try and find a pulse during the early ABC stage–it wastes valuable time and most are unsuccessful at finding the pulse. Twenty individuals in Troop 353 are now Red Cross certfied to provide CPR. Of all the things a boy learns during his scouting experience, perhaps none is more important than CPR. For more photos, click here!

Rock Climb – Pt 3 Rappelling. Watch that first step!

Tim rocks

Several scouts and adult leaders recently completed the final class 0f a 3-part instruction on rock climbing at The Rock Club in New Rochelle. The main focus of the third class was safety and rappelling. Nearly every scout felt uncomfortable taking that first step backwards off the ledge 30 feet up in the air! A scout is Brave! For more photos, click here.