Troop 353 Scouts Participates in Council’s Largest Klondike Derby Ever


On the weekend of January 26th, 14 (of 18 total scouts) scouts began their initial adventure through the multiple challenges of The Klondike Derby at Camp Smith in Cortlandt Manor, NY. With over 1,200 scouts participating from throughout the Westchester Putnam Council, it was believed to be the Council’s single largest Boy Scouting event ever. The general theme was a search and rescue mission from a helicopter crash that was also discovered to be carrying hazardous materials. Accordingly, scouts were challenged to: 1) set up a temporary relief camp for emergency personel; 2) use orienteering skills to locate the imaginary downed chopper; 3) administer first aid to victims of the imaginary helicopter crash; and 4) transport hazardous materials to a safe location. Of course, there was the timed Derby Sled race, which the boys enjoyed perhaps more than any other single event!

During the day Scouts were educated to how soldiers currently utilize MOP suits for chemical warfare as well as witnessed live training provided by the New York National Guard. Additionally, there were various weapons displays available. Saturday evening entertainment provided included a slide show highlighting events of the day, a movie and music.

Special thanks to the following groups that volunteered their time and expertise: New York Search & Rescue, New York Guard, New York Army National Guard, New York Veterans Corps of Artillery.

For more fun photos from the Klondike, click here!



Scouts Enjoy Second Rock Climb

Many scouts from Troop 353 continued to purse the Climbing Merit Badge at The Rock Club in New Rochelle on 1/23/07. A few dads, and siblings, also joined in the fun and met the challenge of scaling the 40 foot walls. Ten boys are now nearly finished with this merit badge, with only one more climb left. Scouts whom have not completed the related first aid requirements and/or need to make up a climbing session should contact either the Scoutmaster (Tom McCandless) or the Advancement Chair (Steve Quigley) ASAP.

For more fun pictures, click here!

Troop 353 Welcomes Visiting Webelos from Pack 353

On January 21st, Troop 353 welcomed senior Webelos from Pack 353. Though it was a very busy troop meeting, entailing final prep for the January 28th Klondike, gear check, etc., the visiting Webelos Nick & Joseph had no problem fitting right in to the flow of the evening! After some knot tying and lashing instruction, all of the boys engaged in a competitive inter-patrol event that entailed putting this instruction to the test, resulting in a very fun evening, capped off with refreshments afterwards. From all of your fellow scouts at Troop 353, Nick & Joseph thanks for visiting! You and your fathers are always welcomed and we hope to see you both join our troop in the near future! (For more great photos from that night, click here).

In the News: Senior Scouts Serve Others at Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

Senior Scouts from Troop 353 helped to serve breakfast at the annual Martin Luther King Breakfast sponsored by the Eastchester Community Action Program at The Reformed Church of Bronxville. ‘A Scout is helpful!’ [Here’s a story on the event in the Journal News].

Camp Read Weather

Morning lineup

Originally uploaded by Troop 353.

With January temps in the 60s and 70s and overnight lows in the 50s, what else comes to mind but the good times at Camp Read in the summer? Here’s a picture from last year to remind everyone in Troop 353 that it’s not too early to start planning for summer camp – a great week for advancement, friendship and fun! Scoutmaster Tom McCandless is hoping to increase the troop’s participation this July. If you need more information, speak with Tom or any of the Scouts who went last year.

Keeping Up-to-Date

Note to Troop 353 Scouts and parents: we have added a permanent “tab” to the top of each page’s navigation – you can always click on the Troop Calendar link to get the most up-to-date schedule for the troop. We are also experimenting with use the web service 30 Boxes to create a more interactive calendar – please let us know what you think! Here’s the link. Finally, we’re going to try and centralize troop photos on a Flickr account, which will also display photos here and help us to manage what we hope will be hundreds of great pics. Here’s the link (only Camp Read pics so far) or you can click on the sidebar links.