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3/13 Mr. Hirs  - Troop Meeting Today and Signups - Response PLEASE
Yo Troop!  
No special meeting tonight 3/13, just the 6:30-8 Class "B" troop meeting.  Mr. Hirs has fallen behind in communication, as is typical for the busy spring.  
So, please see below, and act immediately:

A few items requiring urgent attention. 

1) SUMMER CAMP 7/31-8/6  I need your deposit of $25 (or "Use scout account") at this meeting so we don't lose our campsite.      [Check to Troop 153 BSA]
If money is an issue, we have significant funds in the Freddy Eissler campership fund to "GET YOU TO SUMMER CAMP".    Please contact me IMMEDIATELY if that applies to you or family.
The only excuse for not attending summer camp is conflict with family vacation.  It's the FUNNEST most WONDERFUL time of the year to be a scout as our senior patrol indicated at our last meeting.  The total fees will be $275 (which includes this $25 deposit!)   The troop contributes $75 per scout from the campership fund to make it more affordable for you.   The last signup sheet had 18 scouts going.  

2) Flower Sale: 3/25-3/27  - We need you to sign up for at least 1 time slot, and we need your parents too!  it's fun, and earn money for your scout account.    Please click thissignupgenius to signup.  if you refuse to use signupgenius(cough cough Mr. Gavin), please contact Mr. Ryder  to signup.  (Mr Ryder can't make tonight;s meeting!)

3) Cradle of liberty Merit Badge Scouts (8 of you) - 3/19 (next saturday) is the first  day of class. You should have read the merit badge pamphlets, and should have your pre-requisites done. Corner Jack Daly (our librarian) to borrow these from our troops library!  
 The blue cards I've been told about have been filled out and will be available at Sunday's meeting.  

4) Introduction to leadership for scouts (ILST)  course:  This is being held on 4/23 9a-3p at Camp Ware.  All scouts who have not attended should attend. the Troop is picking up the $10 tab, and will organize carpools.   Please register here.   Your BSA ID is on your membership card, which will be distributed Sunday... Or call or TEXT Mr. Hirs who has your #   You must have this training to take NYLT!   Learn about how to make our troop work better  

5) National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) 7/24/2016 - 7/29/2016 - If you are a 1st class scout and are in 7th grade or higher, you should take this training.   The week before summer camp, they offer this at the Henson scout reservation. Nate H is registered, and Michael G will be soon.  Wouldn't you like to give your scout an Unfair advantage in life?   register here   if you complete this, the troop will reimburse you up to $100. ( Scout account & campership applies)    This is right between High adventure and summer camp.  There are other opportunites to take this, but this is the best!  Plus its 5 days at a camp you've not been to!

6) High adventure  7/16-7/23/2016 PAUL R. CHRISTEN high adventure base @ Summit Bechtel  is being led by Mr. Gavin.   Again, Freddy Eissler campership fund  applies here too!  Mr. Gavin will be reaching out to those who have expressed interest.   13 yrs & up by 9/1/2016.  Fee < $900.

7) Order of the arrow Ordeal/Brotherhood: If you were elected to OA, you can complete your ordeal at camp horseshoe 4/29-5/1.  Register here:    (Click ordeal candidates at the top).   

8) The cub scouts need Den chiefs.   if you are 1st class or above and need a leadership position for advancement, this is a good one.  Pack 153 is in dire need of Den chiefs.  let me know, or contact   (Cubmaster) regarding meeting schedules.

9) Earn the Public Health Merit Badge: April 9   Join the Chester County Health Department from 9am till noon to earn the Public Health MB. Scouts will work on the merit badge while parents and leaders attend a seminar hosted by the Department of Emergency Services. Registration here

10) 5 Merit Badges in 3 days?  2016 Boy Scout Day Camp July 6-8, 2016   Climbing Tower & Skate Park Camp to be held in Kennett Square. Last year, boy scouts who attended this camp earned 5 Merit Badges in 3 days!   Click here for more information.

Next trips:  
Day trip appalachian Trail 3/20!   Mr. Redmond is the leader.  Leave after 7:00am mass.   Need adults (as drivers) too.
Washington DC Trip 4/xx   still firming this up.  Need a committed trained leader and another adult.  
WW rafting - Coming again in May, Mr. Gavin organizing.  Dam release weekend every weekend.    
Gettysburg - Yup!  still trying to fit this in too, just not in March!  

As always, if you have any questions, please contact YOUR Patrol leader OR SPL!!!! or any adult leader (including me) and we will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Thank you!

Yours in scouting,

3/4  SPL Sean B.   Sunday Meeting
Hi everyone, This is a notice that we will be having a meeting at 6:30 on Sunday please dress in class A uniform. We also have a PLC at 5 so all new patrol leaders and anyone with a leadership position please try to attend. 
-Sean B

2/28   Troop Reorganization, Flower sale & Summer camp
Hello Troop,

I want to point out that the troop flower sale signup can be done on signupgenius using this link:  or at a troop meeting.    We need ADULTS too.  

There will be a signup at tonight's Class B meeting for SUMMER CAMP.  We need deposits ($25) within the next 15 days  - You can use your scout account if you have sufficient balance.   

Communications Merit badge TONIGHT with Mr. Tooke at 5:30.   

Finally, for those at last weeks meeting you are aware the troop has reorganized into three patrols.  The Spartans, Da Boss and Everest patrols.
This has been done after a 5 month effort within the troop committee and has involved a number of scouts during Boards of review and other times.  The new patrols are  led by an older scout, with a mix of grade levels.   

Primarily, this promotes the Patrol Method within Troop 153.   If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone or at a meeting.

Please see below and attached the new troop patrols:

2/28 Mr. Gavin   Communications Merit Badge
Mr. Tooke will begin the Eagle Scout required Communications merit badge tomorrow evening at 5:30 in TPH.  All are welcome.

2/26 Mr. Hirs   Pack 153 B&G Saturday 
Hi Troop,  
Pack 153 needs a few HELPFUL scouts at the Blue and Gold banquet tomorrow at the St. Agnes Cafeteria, 4-6pm.   

PLEASE email me at T153SCOUTMASTER@GMAIL.COM ASAP if you can help.  

You may be serving, helping, and doing other stuff (including cleanup)..... a couple Older scouts could help direct the younger scouts.  Bonus points if you have done this before.

Please wear your scout uniform, and remember to be a shining example of a scout spirit.

Service hours will be awarded -- bring your scoutbook and have cubmaster Rob Meitz sign off on them.

Thanks. And I apologize for the late notice.

2/19 SPL Sean B - Up coming Events!
Hi everyone hope you are having a great February, here is here are all of the planned up coming events in our troop.

 Saturday5pmthere will be a scout Mass at St. Agnes.  5 of our scouts will receive the Ad Altare Dei award.   Please come in your scout uniforms. 

Sunday 4:45 PMPatrol Leader Council meeting in Thomas Patrick Hall, B08.  (Class A)   
Sunday 5:30 PM,  2016 High Adventure - Parents and Scouts should come to this.  It's awesome.  Don't let the cost stand in your way. Just indicate your desire to attend.
Sunday 6:30-8PM,  1st part is regarding the 2017 Jamboree.  Scouts and Parents should come to find out more!  

PARENTS SHOULD ATTEND 5:30 and beginning of 6:30 meeting.   The Summit High Adventure is an awesome experience, and close, and only a week long.  Phoenix and Older patrols should GO FOR IT

2/7 SPL Sean B    - No meeting tonight
Hi everyone,
This is Sean B.  I have been elected your new Senior Patrol Leader.    Just a reminder that there is no meeting tonight.  The next meeting will be on February 21st at 6:30pm at St. Agnes.  It will be a Class A meeting.  The PLC Meeting will be held at 4:45pm on February 21st.

Thank you.
Sean B

2/6 Mr. Gavin   For scouts who will be 13 by 9/1/16

I will be taking a group of Scouts to the Summit at Bechtel Reserve for a group High Adventure Experience during the week of July 17 to July 23.  This is a replacement for Northern Tier and a precursor to the High Adventure Experiences that will be offered in subsequent years.  The cost of the Camp will range from $769 to $939 depending on the activities chosen, plus travel costs.  The dates of departure and return will be established at a later date.


Information about the Summit High Adventure Experience can be found at  The material provides for Scouts to choose individual experiences.  That is not being offered on this trip.  Unlike summer camp where the Scouts function independently during the day, this trip is being offered as an opportunity for the Scouts to work together to build a stronger group(s) with confidence in one another so that they will be willing to take on the greater challenges offered as part of the other High Adventure Experiences.


Please email me if your Scout(s) is/are interested.  We will meet at 5:30 on February 21 to determine who is going and discuss the options offered at Bechtel. 


After the makeup of the group(s) has been established I will identify for the Scouts the options available to them based on the interests and abilities of the Scouts that will be going so as to increase the likelihood of a fun trip for all.  The Experience(s) (depending on the number of groups we have) will be determined by an anonymous majority vote as tabulated by me.


Any adults that are interested in coming please let me know.  I will need at least 1.

2/3 Mrs. Stanley    Gardening / Scholarship/ Reading Merit Badges meeting

On Saturday, Feb. 6th, I'll be holding a meeting for any scouts who have been working on or are interested in the Gardening, Scholarship, and/or Reading Merit Badges. (Scouts may find it's more conducive  to work on Reading or Scholarship during the school year versus the summer.)
The meeting will take place at St. Agnes School from 9 - 10:15, and we'll enter the school via the cafeteria.
Mrs.Hosking will be meeting with scouts working on the First Aid Merit Badge at this time as well.
If you're interested in working on any of the three badges and will be attending the First Aid session, please just touch base with me once the First Aid session is through. 
Please contact Mr. Hirs about blue cards.
Enjoy the day,
Liz Stanley

2/2 Mr. Hirs   Fwd: Climbing Merit badge opportunity 3/19
Philadelphia Rock Gym is offering scouts a chance to earn the Climbing Merit Badge March 19th 10-3 at their location in Valley Township or East Falls.   It is a 5 hour session, and runs $60.    Note that this is the same day as the Cradle of Libery merit badge college, so make sure you don't sign up for both.

The Climbing Merit badge has become very popular with our troop.   (Luke E, Joe G, and David T earned it at PRG in the fall at PRG Valley about 20 minutes away).

If you and your scout are interested, you can register yourself, and those who wish to go can work out carpooling.   If you let me know that you wish to go, I'll keep a list.

PRG Valley: 255 Mt Airy Rd, Coatesville, PA 19320  
Register by:
- Call 877.822.7673

- Or email Astra Wallace

- Or register online by clicking here

2/1  Mr. Hirs    Good Citizenship Ceremony - February 3rd

Jack D, Tommy T, Nate H, John G and Marek K will receive the good citizenship award Wednesday at 7:30 at the chester county historical courthouse.  Please arrive by 7:10.

The troop, family and friends are welcome to attend in their Class A uniform.

2/1 Mr. Hirs   Cradle of Liberty Merit Bdage college registration closed

Registration was closed after 600 scouts registered.  Some scouts were added to a long wait list.

Chester County council is offering Boy Scout Day camp in Kennett Square in early July as was announced in today's trailblazer email.

2016 Boy Scout Day Camp    July 6-8, 2016     Climbing Tower & Skate Park Camp to be held in Kennett Square. Last year, boy scouts who attended this camp earned 5 Merit Badges in 3 days!   

Click here for more information  ($195 early bird registration).

In our troop, I had not noted it until Kolbe and Will Ansley asked me for blue cards...they went and earned climbing. first aid, fingerprinting and swimming 

Skate boarding & wood working were also offered.

Others should consider their summer camp plan amongst their patrol.  

Please check out Bashore camp & Merit badge info here Deposits will be required in late February/early March.

Mr Hirs or a committee member will be registering you for your programs for summer camp.

(summer camp is 7/31-8/6...all scouts are STRONGLY encouraged to attend)

1/31 Mr. Hirs   No Troop Mtg until 2/21 (First aid mtg tonite)

1/31 5:30. First Aid merit badge.

2/1  9am Monday- Online Registration for Cradle of liberty Merit Badge College.

2/3  7:30  Wednesday.  Good Citizenship presentation @ Chester County Historical Court House.   All invited. Class A.

2/6  1:30 Pack 153 Pinewood Derby - Need a few older scouts to assist.  Please let me know if you are availabile.

2/7   Superbowl.  No meeting.       - Possible day trip 2/6 -Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking. Need a leader.

2/14  Valentines day.No meeting.   - Possible day trip 2/13 -Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking. Need a leader.

2/20 Scout Mass 5:15 - Class A.  Ad Altare Dei Award.  All scouts are expected to attend.

2/21 Troop Meeting (A ) - Snow date for Jamboree presentation.   PLC meeting. 

2/27 (Sat) Delmarva Merit Badge College Day 2 of 2. Class A

(2/27 Pack 153 Blue & Gold Dinner - NOT FIRM.  Need 5-8 older scouts to assist)

1/23 Mr. Hirs Troop Mtgs Cancelled & Info
Due to the blizzard and heavy snow Senior Patrol Leader Dolan and I have decided to cancel the troop meetings Sunday.
From your SPL "Everyone should be shoveling for their parents and just review the requirements they need to do in the back of their books. "

From the Scoutmaster, "shovel for your neighbors too, especially the elderly and those unable to...  also, Stealth bombers & Ninjas must have a timed plan for completion (remember Personal Management?) of their eagle required merit badges. "

The First Aid Merit badge has been rescheduled to next weekend Sunday 1/31 at 5:30PM@TPH.  Led by Mrs. Hosking.  We could use additional help from those who have obtained the badge (+1 Adult).   Bring your first aid kit and worksheets (from   Pamphlet can be reviewed here  You should know the First Aid requirements for first aid, but don't let that keep you from attending.

Jamboree Meeting:  Tentatively scheduled for 2/21.  Mr. Tooke will confirm with Mr. Gregg. Checkout in the meantime.  lots of videos

SPL Candidate Speeches:  Sean & Marek: during Pizza at the Scranton Days Inn ~8:30pm this coming Friday 1/29
Main Election (18 Scouts): during Sunday Breakfast before Mass .  Absentee SPL Ballots(17): TBD.

COL Merit Badge college: I have much paper to distribute (advancement records and Cradle of Liberty Merit badge college info).  
Will attempt to do so in the next week via alternate means.  

SUMMER CAMP:  Not too early to start thinking on activities at Bashore.  Please check out camp & Merit badge info here Deposits will be required in late February/early March.

Next Troop Meeting: 2/21 (CLASS A) Next PLC: 2/21 5:30

Advancement: If you (scout) need a scoutmaster conference, we can schedule scoutmaster conferences ahead of time.  
I will be on the ski trip next weekend, and we can do so during 1/30 Saturday afternoon in the lodge.  
For those that need a board of review for advancement, we can try to organize a limited number on 2/9 if scoutmaster conference has been completed.   
Don't assume I know you (or your scout) needs one.  

Q&A If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to email our SPL: or contact me (610-299-2130 or   

Upcoming schedule:
1/29-1/31 Ski Trip. Elk Mountain - 18 scouts+ 14 siblings, leaders and parents.  Main SPL Election,Tentative Patrol Leader election 

2/1  9am Monday- Online Registration for Cradle of liberty Merit Badge College.
2/3  7:30  Wednesday.  Good Citizenship presentation @ Chester County Historical Court House.   All invited. Class A.
2/6  1:30 Pack 153 Pinewood Derby - Need a few older scouts to assist.  Please let me know if you are availabile.
2/7   Superbowl.  No meeting.       - Possible day trip 2/6 - Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking. Need a leader.
2/9 Potential date for Board of Reviews.
2/14  Valentines day.No meeting.   - Possible day trip 2/13 - Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking. Need a leader.
2/20 Scout Mass 5:15 - Class A.  Ad Altare Dei Award.  All scouts are expected to attend.
2/21 Troop Meeting (A ) - Snow date for Jamboree presentation.   PLC meeting.  First Aid MB. 
2/27 (Sat) Delmarva Merit Badge College Day 2 of 2. Class A
(2/27 Pack 153 Blue & Gold Dinner - NOT FIRM.  Need 5-8 older scouts to assist)
2/28 Troop Meeting (B)
Longer Range: 
3/25-3/27 Easter Flower Sale
4/8 Rangers Challege (Tentative)
NYLT:  5/6-5/8 & 5/13-5/15  (First class scouts & 7th grade & Higher)
OA Ordeal: 4/29-5/1   (last chance for Scouts elected last May)

1/21 Mr. Hirs Troop Sunday Mtgs - Parents @6:30
1/24 Pre-Meeting#1 5:30-6:30 First Aid Merit Badge - Led by  Mrs. Hosking with Mr. Gavin - bring your first aid kit,  worksheets if you have them.  Scouts who've earned First Aid MB can help.  [Others can come with snow shovels.]

1/24 Pre-Meeting#2 6:00-6:30 Mrs. Stanley will meet with those scouts who are working on Reading or Scholarship merit badges.

1/24 TROOP Meeting  6:30-8:00  Class B 
    - Jay Gregg from Chester County Council will give a 20 minute presentation on the 2017 Scout Jamboree .  ALL Parents should also attend this.  
    - SPL Campaign speeches.  (Marek and Sean!  )
    - Absentee Ballots for Patrol Leader and SPL elections.
    - Scout Trivia - John T

Jamboree 2017 is open to all 12yrs old and up, First Class and above by Jamboree date.

We are hoping for clear roads (and lot) by Sunday evening.  Please consider your safety and road conditions in your area.
If the meetings are to be cancelled, we will send out an email before 3:30PM Sunday, and call the patrol leaders and adult leaders and guest.

1/20 Mr. Ryder Ski Trip Details
Greetings all,


This e-mail will be to provide the Ski Trip details for the 1/29-1/31 trip to Elk Mountain.



Arrive at St Agnes by 4:45 PM on Friday, 1/29 – we will depart at 5:00 PM sharp (2.5 hour ride to the hotel outside of Scranton).

We are attending 10:00 AM Mass at St Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton and will return to St Agnes at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday.

Scouts needing to be picked up will call home when we are 15 minutes away, please come promptly for pick up.


What To Bring

Scouts need to come in Class A (Field) uniform

Swim suit

Sleeping bags (Scouts)

$15 if you want to bowl on Saturday night

Snow pants, ski jacket, hat, gloves, warm socks are all essential

Everyone will be wearing a helmet, you can also bring a thin hat or skull cap of some sort to wear underneath

Extra $ for snacks if you want them (meals are provided)


Water bottle

Dress in layers



I have the following adults slated to drive: Ansley, Kazmierczyk, Daly, Hirs, Ryder, Tooke, Gavin, and Higgins-Benz.

Car assignments will be communicated by the SPL prior to departure.

I’ll have printed directions for each driver, the addresses of where we are going will be at the bottom of this e-mail.



Adults and Adults with non-scout siblings attending will be room sharing.

Scouts are 4 to a room.

The SPL will communicate room assignments when we arrive at the Days Inn.



Pizza for Friday night.

Breakfast both days at the hotel.

Lunch ticket for Elk Mountain for Saturday.

Dinner at TGI Fridays on Saturday night.



We will bowl on Saturday night at a place next door to the hotel for those interested (bring $15 if you want to participate).

There will be a Troop meeting for elections at some point during the weekend, at the discretion of the Scoutmaster.


Who Is Attending (with package listed)



Days Inn Scranton

1946 Scranton Carbondale Hwy

Scranton, PA 18519

(570) 383-9979


Elk Mountain Ski Resort

344 Elk Mountain Road

Union Dale, PA 18470

(570) 679-4400


TGI Fridays

620 Scranton Carbondale Hwy

Scranton, PA 18508

(570) 558-5500

1/17 Mr. Hirs
1/17 No meeting due to MLK Holiday.  Delmarva Merit Badge people should work on their badges.
1/24 Meeting  Class B - We are working on getting a presenter on 2017 Jamboree from council.  Parents should also attend this.  Another email will be sent confirming.
    - SPL Campaign speeches.
    - Absentee Ballots for Patrol Leader and SPL elections.
1/29-1/31 Ski Trip. Elk Mountain - 19 scouts+ 13 siblings, leaders and parents.  SPL Elections, Patrol Leader election.

2/1  9am Monday- Online Registration for Cradle of liberty Merit Badge College.
2/7   Superbowl.  No meeting.       - Possible day trip 2/6 - Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking
2/14  Valentines day.No meeting.   - Possible day trip 2/13 - Philly Rock Gym($99), or Hawk Mountain Hiking
2/20 Scout Mass 5:15 - Class A.  Ad Altare Dei Award
2/21 Troop Meeting (A )
2/27 (Sat) Delmarva Merit Badge College Day 2 of 2. Class A
2/28 Troop Meeting

1/5 Mr. Hirs
Scouts and Parents,
as promised, below is additional information regarding the upcoming Cradle-Of-Liberty Council's Merit Badge college which will be held 3/19 and 4/2 at Valley Forge Military Academy.  
[This announcement is not related to the Delmarva merit badge college that 15 scouts attended on 1/9 and will attend on 2/27.]

Online Registration opens on 2/1 at 9am, and will likely be filled by 6pm The cost is $24 and includes lunch.  
As with other Merit Badge colleges, parents/scouts can be reimbursed from scout accounts by directing the receipt to Mr. Grey (

You must register at at 2/1 9am. 

This is a great opportunity for scouts to explore new fields as many merit badges are being offered that are not commonly available.
I would urge you to stay away from most of the Eagle required badges(Citizenships, Personal Mgmt, Sustainability, Communication) that we have counselors for in troop, but older scouts may consider Emergency Preparedness. 

For High school students, consider Nuclear Science or Energy.
For 7th and up, consider Mining in Society and American Labor

For all, Game DesignFire Safety (Cough,cough....Phoenix patrol ), Graphic Arts, Geneaology, Journalism & Radio!
There's also the "Nova WHOOSH" STEM award... see more about that here and is design as an intro to engineering :    [Mom, I have to watch TV for this award!]

It's a drop and go event, so come 3/19, you drive your scout (or carpool) up to VFMA at 8am, and they spend the day in their class A uniform with 600 other scouts.  You pick 'em up at 4pm or when they are done.

It has a different format from Delmarva, in that the day is composed of 10 - 40 minute periods, and each class is either a double or triple period. You are required to schedule a lunch and NO MORE than 4 merit badges.  You don't have to fill the day, and scouts only need to be there for the classes scheduled.

How to Choose:  look at some of the pamphlets or requirements online.  Have your scout contact one of our more experienced Life or Eagle scouts and ask for their input on specific badges.  If you need contact #s, check with me, and I'll pass along one of our scouts phone#s if they've taken something your interested in.
Find a Buddy, and choose merit badges you'd both like to do.  
We have only 1 Troop meeting between now and Monday February 1 if you wish to discuss in person.    (another resource is Mr D's Review)
Make sure you have 2nd and 3rd choices for each merit badge, as classes will fill quickly.(each is limited to 15 scouts)
if you let me know your potential choices, I'll get them in a google sheet, and have the webmasters throw it up on the website.

Merit Badge Pamphlets: Get 'em from our librarian (Jack Daly)  (or buy them for $6/each at a Scout trading post), read 'em, and bring 'em to the college.  
Merit badge Workbooks: print out the worksheets from 
Blue Cards: Forward your receipt or list of merit badges to and I will have them ready for your scout at the early March meetings.
Prerequisites: As usual, many of the merit badges have prerequisites. Some are easy, some are more involved. See attachments. 
There's a map of VFMA on the registration site.

1/9 Mr. Hirs
couts and PARENTS, please join us on Sunday in TPH at 6:30 for the Outlaw Derby, very few rules.  (No rocket engines - since we're inside, and cannot damage track)

Parents: if you are interested in the ski trip(1/30-2/1) and haven't signed up, Mr Ryder will talk about it and answer questions.  Please bring your check book as we'll need payment that day if you haven't decided.  Also, the Outlaw derby should be cool.      [A few parents have already (been) volunteered to set up the track]. Parents who have questions on the program may also have their questions heard.

Scouts: if you want to go on the ski trip, and have not handed in the form with payment, it must be handed in Sunday to MR. RYDER.
PLEASE BRING YOUR OUTLAW DERBY CAR.    Prizes will be awarded.

Anyone taking the communications merit badgeshould also attend the PLC for reqmt#8 (Plan a program/present to PLC) 

The Patrol Leader council (PLC), below, will meet at 5:00.    [Anyone considering for SPL should also attend]
You will plan the next meetings (1/24, [2/7 is Superbowl], 2/21 amd 2/28) , and decide on the next few trips
including these upcoming Council Activities:  Klondike Derby - 1/22-1/24 , First Aid Meet - 2/6 if interested.  
Troop Merit Badge instruction (Choices)

PLC exists to help the Senior Patrol Leader lead the troop:
Will (SPL), ASPLs; Zack H
Patrol leaders: John T, Andrew R, Shane R, Connor G, Mike R, Gabe G
Troop Guides: Sean & Jake C
OA Rep: Dan R
Scribe: Marek K
Librarian: Jack D
Quartermasters: Michael G, Jack A
Chaplain Aide: Joe G
Historian: Jack S
Instructor: Zach R
Bugler: Teddy T
Webmasters:  Nate H, Will S
Leave No Trace Rep:  Luke E

For the PLC, Mr Hirs will have some sort of thrifty food (sale at Giant) - Spaghetti & Meatballs maybe?  

1/5/2016 Mr. Hirs
My master list has the following scouts going to Merit Badge College in Elkton MD this Saturday morning... departing West Chester for the 50 minute drive (before 7am) for arrival by 7:30....for check-in and schedule creation. We will leave by Elkton by 4pm.

If I have missed any scouts, please inform me either by phone/text 610-299-2130, or email to
Further information will be sent to the smaller list of attendees on Wednesday.

With 12 scouts, we will need at least 1 more leader or driver.

12 scouts:
Raptors George B, Nate W, Gabe G
Firebirds Shane C
Phoenix Michael G, Will S, Connor G, Nate H
Ninjas David T, Marek K
Stealth Bombers Sean B
Dancing Bananas Zack H

Mr. Hirs - Driving.   (Zack & Nate H + 4 or more)
Mrs. Blake - Driving.  George + Nate W (+maybe 2)
Mr. Redmond - Leaving early for setup - Merit Badge Counselor for Cit. World
Mr. Schmit  - Leaving Early for setup - merit badge counselor for Emer. Preparedness.

7:00 am                 School is open / Counselors and Staff can begin setup
7:15 – 7:45 am      Registration begins   [T153 arrival by 7:30]
7:45 – 8:15 am      Opening Ceremony (Auditorium)
8:30 – 11:30 am    Periods 1 and 2 (1.5 hrs each)
11:30-12:30 pm     Lunch
12:30-3:30 pm       Periods 3 and 4 (1.5 hrs each)
3:30 – 4:30             Clean-up and depart School


12/20/2015 Mr. Hirs
Your scout has the opportunity to earn the  Crime Prevention, Public Speaking American Business, or Sustainability (Eagle Reqd)  Merit Badge on Monday 12/28.
See below. 

Note that there is a fee for these ($15+) but it is a great opportunity to earn some merit badges in a short period, plus Sustainability is Eagle Required!  (And who couldnt use public speaking!)  Get those scouts out of the house!

Please respond to Bob Knecht ( and cc me ( so I can get you the blue card and maybe coordinate carpooling.

Cackleberry farm is 35 minutes west of West Chester.... and might be a good opportunity for you to drop off your scout, and exercise your thrift post-holiday shopping 10 minutes away at Rockvale Outlets.

12/10/2015 Mr Hirs:  
Troop, & Parents (please print & share with your scouts)

Wreaths Across America is Saturday (12/11) from 10-~1. This will be led by Mr. Grey who is meeting scouts in the St. Agnes Parking lot at 10:00.   If you can donate three hours to this service project to lay 250 wreaths on veterans graves in Downingtown, please reply to (if you have not already).  Scouts and Adults welcome.  

Sunday's (12/13) meeting (6pm - early attendees or 6:30 main meeting) will include 
- a scout-made cookie exchange, and prizes.   Bring at least a dozen cookies.  
- Experienced scouts will discuss the primary goal of the Wilderness survival trip: to build shelters that you will sleep in, along with cold weather training.   If you go on this trip, you will begin earning the Wilderness Survival merit badge.  (Mr. Tooke is a counselor).  
Troop librarian will pass out Merit badge pamphlets for you to study for Wilderness Survival, and to those scouts going to merit badge college.
Grubmaster, menu, and Trip leader will be confirmed (Senior. Scout),    The scout trip leader will make the duty roster, and trip agenda.
- Two new requirements for 2016 Scout & Star ranks are the Sheet Bend knot & Cyber Chip.  See attachments.
- Scouts who wish to show up at 6pm can have their scoutmaster conference for the SCOUT RANK if they have not earned it.  (Scout Oath & Law).   
- If you did not come to the 12/6 meeting, I have 1 car remaining for our Outlaw Pinewood derby on 1/10.  Others will need to purchase their car at the council office 504 S Concord Rd (or use any car from your cub scout days) if you wish to participate.

Our Wilderness survival trip to Bashore Scout Reservation is next week, 12-18-12-20.  The following scouts have signed up for this trip. 
Will A, 
Connor G, Nate H, Jack A, Will S,Teddy T
Jack S,David T,
Dan R
- Adult leaders for this trip include Mr. Redmond, Mr Ryder & Mr Sluk (&daughter Eryn) along with Mr. Tobias.   Other scouts and adults must signup by Sunday through email and
- Bashore is located at 160 Moonshine Rd, Jonestown, PA 17038.   
- Scouts will camp in the Memorial Pavilion (bunks) on Friday, and will build shelters to sleep in Saturday night.   Trip cost is $20.  
- Depart 6pm Friday 12/18 - Return Sunday by Noon.
- Agenda will include ranking campsites for summer camp.  Don't let the leaders pick it, or theyll find the place closest to the leader lodge.
- The quartermasters (Jack A & Michael G), with help from other scouts as needed.  They should review that the equipment needed for this trip is clean, in good working order and ready to go prior to Thursday in the next week.

Those attending Merit Badge college should review & complete the prerequisites.   If anyone still has not signed up, please call or email, and I will sign you up.  Note that Emergency Preparedness is full, as are a number of other popular badges.  Deadline for signup is 12/31, but anyone signing up after 12/15 incurs a late fee.
I know of the following going (since they've sent me their registrations)
George B, Nate W, Gabe G
Michael G, Will S, Connor G, Nate H
David T
Sean B
Zack H

Please bring your Ski Trip forms (if going). Many of our scouts didn't know how to ski before going on this trip, but have learned to ski and/or snowboard there.  You can also begin earning the Snow Sports Merit Badge. 

Next year, our first 2016 meeting will be the 1/10 Outlaw Pinewood derby.  There will be a PLC meeting prior. Bring ideas for day trips for MLK weekend.

Scouts interested in running for Senior Patrol Leader should contact Mr. Hirs (either on Sunday or by phone) to ensure you understand the duties and the requirements of the position.  Scouts should be at least 15 years old and First class or above.  

  Good Morning Troop! 

Winter does not mean that you can't camp!

Join us for the last campout of 2015 at Bashore Scout reservation NEXT FRIDAY
12/18.    Depart St Agnes by 6, and return Sunday by noon. 

We'll have a cozy cabin with bunks Friday, and the adventurous will sleep Saturday night in shelters they construct. 

This is not only a fun trip for outdoor winter sleeping, but you can get a preview of Summer Camp 2016.  
It's the same location we will attend then. 
So far it's:

 Jack A
 Nate H
 Will S
 Connor G
 David T
 Will A
 Dan R
 Jack S
 Teddy T

and a few maybes.    We'll need a grubmaster, and will discuss the trip further 
this Sunday at the Scout Cookie Exchange 'B' Class meeting 12/13 in TPH. 

Leading are Mr Ryder, Mr Redmond, Mr S, Mr T


Dear Troop 153:
On Saturday, December 12, members of Troop 153 will have the opportunity to assist in a Wreathes Across America Ceremony (a ceremony honoring veterans graves) as we have done in past years. This year we will be assisting at the Hopewell site in Downingtown. The role of Troop 153 will be to assist in laying wreathes on graves (about 250) who do not have relatives present. We will be meeting at St. Agnes at 10 am on Saturday (Dec 12, 2015) and then drive to Downingtown, returning to St. Agnes after the event. The ceremonies at Hopewell should end by about noon and therefore we should be back at St. Agnes at about 12:45, if things get started on time. Scouts and Leaders should dress in Class A uniforms and are expected to display the utmost reverence and respect. Please contact Roger Grey via email by Friday noon, if you plan to attend so we can plan transportation.
This is a good opportunity for the Troop to conduct a community service project.
Roger Grey

Date: Nov 14, 2015 4:18 PM
Subject: [Troop 153] Scouting for Food Results
Hello Scouts!

Today between 11am and noon was the food drop off at the Day Room. Troop 153 donated a whopping 604 lbs of food!  Well done.  Special thanks to Scouts Scott L, David T, Nate H, Jack D and John G all of whom earned a service hour for helping shelve the donated items.  (Thanks also to Scout Emeritus Frank Hosking Jr.).

If anyone out there still has food items to contribute, you can give them to me at tomorrow nights meeting or drop them off at the Day Room during the week.

--Mr. Daly

Date: Nov 11, 2015 11:10 PM
Subject: [Troop 153] PLC & Troop Meeting Sunday

Troop, please note we have Class B meeting Sunday at 6:30-8 in TPH. 
At some point during the meeting, we will discuss Merit Badge college. Please bring any questions,(and parents are always welcome).
Please see the MB College 2016 (DMV) page on our website ( for more info.

      Those going on the  Pine Grove Furnace State Park trip this weekend, should bring their Packed backpack or school bag (with sleeping bag & two water bottles) for weigh-in and review.   Those who have an extra pack we can borrow, please bring to this meeting and it will be returned to you after the trip. [snip]  It's not too late to sign up.  Adults can sign up too.  See Mr. Redmond's email.  A generic weekend camping gear list can be found on the troop website in the "file cabinet".   Note that inclusions/exclusions to it were discussed in our meeting on 11/1.  (see the scribe notes)   No Class A shirt required for this trip (only).

Patrol Leader Council:  Please note we are meeting at 5:30 in TPH to discuss the next 3-4 meetings including the 12/8 Webelos / cub recruiting meeting.  Come with your ideas for trips and meetings to help your Senior Patrol Leader make it fun.   Pizza to be served.  bring your own beverage.
You may contact the SPL directly using the email address. if you cannot attend, notify the SPL and get an alternate.
Also, come with your creations (and legos) for the communications activity tonight as discussed 10/18.

Upcoming Schedule: (subject to change)

Saturday before 11: Please collect your scouting for food bags from your neighbors.
Saturday 11-12   bring your filled scouting for food bags to the St. Agnes (Large) Parking lot as close to 11am as you can.  Your bags will be weighed & you will be asked to help sort and stock them.

Sunday: 12-2  Mandatory AAD Meeting (All scouts in the AAD program)
             5:30 Patrol Leader Council meeting
             6:30  Troop meeting - Class B.
11/20-22  Pine Grove Furnace state Park trip
11/29  NO MEETING 

12/6  Webelos invite meeting / Open House  [please extend this invite to any 4th or 5th graders and their parents that you can]  Class A.
12/12  Wreaths across america - Volunteer to place wreaths at veterans graves in at a local cemetery in this national event.  Class A
12/13 Meeting: Raindate for Open House. Class B
12/15 last day to signup for merit badge college.
12/18-12/20  Wilderness survival trip at Bashore Scout reservation.  Come to check it out before summer camp.
12/27 & 1/3  No meeting planned.

1/9 (Sat) Delmarva Merit Badge college (if you registered)  day 1 of 2. Class A
1/10 Troop Meeting - Class A.
1/17 NO meeting - MLK weekend...but maybe a trip!
1/24 Meeting
1/29-1/31 Ski Trip. Elk Mountain

2/7   Superbowl.  No meeting
2/14  No meeting. Valentines day
2/21 Troop Meeting (A )
2/27 (Sat) Delmarva Merit Badge College Day 2 of 2. Class A
2/28 Troop Meeting
[The scout mass is in February, but I forget the date!]

Date: Oct 28, 2015, at 8:26 PM,

The Climbing Merit badge has been a popular merit badge at summer camp. 

Philadelphia Rock Gym is offering scouts a chance to earn the Climbing Merit Badge next Saturday 10-3 at their location in Valley Township or East Falls. It is a 5 hour session, and runs $60.

If you and your scout are interested, you can register yourself, and those who wish to go can work out carpooling. If you let me know that you wish to go, I'll keep a list.
Others who have partials in climbing may consider contacting them seperately and seeing if they can finish the badge there.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Gavin
Date: Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 1:12 PM
Subject: Architecture Merit Badge

Mr. Radford has agreed to help the boys earn the Architecture Merit Badge this Friday, 9/25, at 2 pm.  You will drop your son off at and pick him up from the St. Agnes parking lot.  In addition to attending this session, which will take roughly 3 hours (after Mr. Radford presents the merit badge the boys will take a short walk around town to identify the types of buildings that we discuss), the boys have to:

1.      Make a sketch of the building you most admire in the space provided on page 1 of the attached workbook; and

2.      Measure a room such as one where you live or where your troop meets. Make an accurately scaled drawing of the room's floor plan showing walls, doors, closets, windows, and any built-in furniture or cabinets. Neatly label your drawing with the following: your name, the date, what room you drew, and the scale of the drawing. (Drawing scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot) on page 1 of the attached workbook.

The scouts can do the sketches before or after the session with Mr. Radford.


Any adults that would like to attend are welcome to do so.  The presentation is very interesting and it should be great weather for a walk.


Please respond to me at is your son is interested so that I know who to expect.


Mike Gavin

Date: 18 Sep 2015 20:04:29 -0400 
Subject: [Troop 153] Mid-September Announcements
From: Gordon Hirs <>

Northern Tier Canoeing expedition
We must finalize the crews for this High Adventure trip (7/16-7/25/2016) by this month.  Scouts 14yr old by July 2016 are eligible but we have asked for an age limit waiver to allow the interested 13yr old scouts from the Phoenix patrol to also participate.  We need commitment  (forms and money - $360) very quickly.    

Parents, you may have heard of "Scoutbook" which is an online tool to allow you to view your scout's advancement.
We are trialing this product this year and will determine by June if we want to retain it.  (for those familiar with "Troopmaster", it's similar but not as full-featured and it is completely in "the cloud", but economical).  
You will be receiving an email invitiation shortly and then you can you invite your scout to join (if they have an email address.)

Meeting Notes
For those scouts who did not attend the meeting last Sunday:
[Link to meeting notes]    Webmasters will eventually post this link to the website under troop meeting activities.    [
There is NO meeting @ St. Agnes next Sunday 9/20.
Instead, the Scout Picnic at Hoopes Park (off Ashbridge St) Sunday in West Chester, 1pm - 5pm.   (See email from Mr. Ryder : 7:37am 9/14)  
(Also, the restaurant festival is also going on that day in West Chester.)
Scouts and Families are invited. You should not bring your scout uniform unless you'd like to try to sneak in a board of review.  Wear clothes that you would play softball or volleyball in.

There were 6 responses to my previous email regarding interest in coming Activities.  
Thus the only activity currently scheduled is the 10/2-10/4 Ockanickon Catholic scout retreat, although may be cancelled due to lack of participation.  
There has also been some discussion amongst troop leaders regarding an Ocean City trip Columbus Day weekend.  
Also, for those who like long range planning, the annual ski trip next year, will be the week before superbowl weekend.  

Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 10:04:29 -0400 
Subject: [Troop 153] Welcome Back - And here we go... 
From: Gordon Hirs <>

Popcorn: Who has SOLD POPCORN ALREADY?   Only 47 days to go to earn money for your scout account!
  • Show-n-sell weekend is 9/12-9/13.  Scouts and Adults should signup using the SignUp Genius link:   
  • Customers should make Checks payable to Troop 153 BSA.  
  • Sales Incentive of the Week: Each Scout who signs up to sell online by September 30 will be entered to win a $10 gift card from Trails End. The company will award 500 of these cards nationwide!   
  • Spreadhseet:  By parent request, attached iis a spreadhseet which can be used to track/calculate orders.    (See filecabinet) 
  • Online Flyer: The Popcorn flyer is also available online at   (look for 2015 Popcorn).
  • Salesmanship Merit Badge: 11 Scouts indicated they wanted to earn this badge, and Mr. Leitner will counsel you in it.   Others interested should and I;ll have blue cards at the 9/13 meeting.  You can start working on it now using the attached workbook and review thesalemanship merit badge pamphlet.(<-Link).
  • We're still looking for someone to step up to shadow Michelle Blake this year as popcorn Colonel, and to take over for next year.
8/30 meeting: Our last meeting minutes are available here   We welcomed JP H. & Nate W. to the Firebird Patrol.   Marek is our new troop scribe, Will S is now co-webmaster, and Jack A is now co-quartermaster.  

Next Meeting: is 9/13 6:30-8 (capping Show-n-sell weekend). It is a Field Uniform (class A meeting).  Please wear your uniform and your merit badge sash.  

Troop Picnic  is 9/20.  To date, only 4 families have responded to the signup Genius.  If you "cant do signup genius", then email regarding # attending and what you'll bring...otherwise, signup here:  Merit Badges earned over the summer will be awarded during the picnic. All families are welcome 

NYLT - The upcoming National Youth Leadership Training event on the first two weekends  in October (Friday 5pm-Sunday 3pm)  is now open for registration for 1st class scouts (and above) that are age 13 or have completed 7th grade.   "Give your scout an unfair advantage in life".   Prior attendees include Former Sr Patrol Leaders Zachary H, Adam K, Michael S as well as Tyler O & Patrick F.   Registration ($235 ) is here:   

Order of the arrowFor those scouts elected in June and called out at summer camp, the next weekend to complete your ordeal is September 18th - 20th, 2015
​  (Click date to register)​ 
​The Early Bird fee for the weekend is $95 
(paid by 9/5) and includes a year of membership.​.   Last year, most scouts chose to do the April Ordeal weekend.   More info at    For those who already took their ordeal,  It's also a service weekend for those existing Ordeal Members to upgrade to Brotherhood members.   

Northern Tier:  We are still looking to fill out our Northern Tier High Adventure crews for next summer.  Please contact me if you or your scout can be enticed to participate.  (at least 14 years old as of July 2016)

Volunteer Policy Revised: The revised volunteer policy requires all 18yr old & adult leaders to comply with PA Act 153 background checks as does the St. Agnes policy. Copies of the background checks should be on file with the rectory & council​.  Safe environment training will be held @ St. Agnes Wednesday 9/16 7-9pm.  Register by calling the rectory 610.692.2990 if you are an ADULT  and haven't attended previously, ATTEND THIS ONE EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A LEADER!  

Upcoming trips: 
Day Trip (tentative) - Wednesday 9/23 Either Shotgun at the Ommelanden Range (Mr. Gavin's suggestion), or a day hike .   If interested, please with preference & scout names & Adults.   Patrol leaders are also encouraged to come up with their own Patrol activity since West Chester schools are off that day.

Next Tentative Trip:  Possible 9/25-9/27 - If interested & available, please email with scouts & Adults.   Location & Leaders tbd.

Next Trip:  October 2-4 - Ockanickon Catholic Scout Retreat - please email interest to with preference of day trip (Saturday) or camping (tents). 

Any questions,.please let me know.​  

Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:58 PM, 

From;: Michelle Blake <> 

Hello, parents of Troop 153!

1) As co-"kernel" of the popcorn fundraiser for Troop 153 for the past several years, and as the mother of a recent Eagle Scout, I have been SO impressed by how much our Scout program helps shape our boys into fine young men. The work that the leaders do is indispensable to this effort, so THANK YOU, LEADERS!

Would YOU like to be part of this effort? We are looking for a couple of parents who are interested in helping out with the popcorn fundraiser. 

Interested moms/dads/grandparents would shadow Hanna and me this year as we go through the process, to see how they might be helpful in the future. Especially if we get a couple of parents to work together, the burden is not onerous--the program is all set up and very well organized by Chester County Council, so it's EASY to implement!

If you're interested or if you have any questions, please contact me directly (do not reply to this email) at

2) On a related note, our first troop meeting is this Sunday 8/30 from 6:30-8:00 pm. It is also the popcorn kickoff (hooray!!)! 

We request that one parent attend from 7:15 to 8:00 pm. We know it's the night before school starts for many, so I promise we'll keep it short and pertinent!

Thanks so much for taking the time to help your boy succeed in scouting!

Michelle Blake

Thursday, August 20, 2015 3:54 PM, 

From : 'PJ Redmond' via CCC BSA Troop 153 

It has toted Cubs who are now Eagle Scouts. It has towed boats and flowers and Troop trailers. It has bourne bikes. It has hauled clippings,
logs and leaves, firewood, decking, sewage field material, pavers, sand, crushed stone; it spent 4 round trips on a Holy Thursday and Good Friday
once hauling a disassembled, treadle operated, hundred year old printing press from a 19th century storefront in Fishtown; it hiked 120 bags of concrete mix, 23 at a time. It was once lifted by a forklift as a gag. It never gave up the sweaty landscaper smell it had when we got it. It has
transported rolls and rolls of snow fence to sprout dunes which are even now holding off the Atlantic Ocean; it has mushed through rain and snow. It
has recovered countless tons of type, from Brewerytown to Poughkeepsie. It has been to Horseshoe, French Creek, Rodney, Bayshore, Ressica, and the Iron Horse Farm; once it went to Tennessee and back in 34 hours; it has even towed sailplanes.

The little pick-up now awaits it's next stage. Parting-out and crushing-up. Friends my call until the flat-bed arrives to Pardo's Automotive, 530 E Gay St.

Contributions in lieu of flowers should be made payable to the *Habert-Redmond Sinking Fund Foundation*, Secaucus, NJ.

Le Bleu es morte; long live le Bleu.

From: Gordon Hirs <>
To: cccbsatroop153 <>
Sent: Mon, Aug 10, 2015 12:19 pm
Subject: [Troop 153] Ziplining and Treetop adventures 8/22 and camping 8/21-8/23.

As the patrol leaders have asked for months, we're planning a group to go ziplining & tiptoeing through the tree tops on 8/22 at GoApe adventures in Lums Pond State Park in Delaware.   Come for the day or stay the weekend.

Recently, I had the opportunity to do this in South Carolina at another GoApe location.  Fun, Lots of it.   You ascend a rope ladder, traverse a couple of treetop rope/wood courses, and then zipline down.   (can you say "Yeeha!" ?)  All while connected to heavy gauge steel cable to prevent any premature descents.  Each of the 5 sections is higher than the previous (the first being about 5 feet off the ground). You can yell uncle and give up after any section...although then you will miss the final 650ft zipline.

This is a family friendly event, ages 10&up ( 55" and taller, 285# or less).
You can come for the day, or camp Friday & Saturday at the park with the troop, however, we must book ahead of time.
16yrs old and older go by themselves but those under 16 must have an 18+yr old for each two youth.

The cost for tent camping is $20, and $40-50 for each GoApe participant.   The GoApe'ing begins no earlier than 8:30 Saturday and runs about 2-3 hours.  

Please let me know ( ASAP the numbers and ages of the interested folks in your family, so we can proceed with booking our adventures, and if you are also interested in camping Friday-Sunday.   We need adults for this too!!!

Camping Friday/Saturday:  Yes/no #   names
GoApe: Saturday:  Yes/no.  Ages.  names

Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 1:16 PM, 
Gordon Hirs <> wrote:

Hello Troop, 
I know you've all missed these emails from me...but those going to summer camp have had a number of emails from me this summer.  
To catch everyone up: 

Summer Camp: Summer camp is next week, where our 23 scouts will be part of the 530 that are at Camp Rodney...but we're already gearing up our next trip and getting ready for the school year.

Northern Tier:  We are still looking to fill out our Northern Tier High Adventure crews for next summer.  Please contact me if you or your scout can be enticed to participate.  (at least 14 years old as of July 2016)

Medical forms: Those that did not attend summer camp should update their medical records (scout form) before the next camping trip.  These are filled out by a parent and include immuniizations and health history.  (Parts A&B)

Volunteer Policy Revised: The revised volunteer policy requires all 18yr old & adult leaders to comply with PA Act 153 background checks as does the St. Agnes policy. Copies of the background checks should be on file with the rectory & council

Mail List: Those new to the troop may not be aware that replies to emails that come with the subject [Troop 153] potentially go to the entire troop.  These are usually reviewed & approved by me before distribution. Those that appear to be private emails wil be rejected.  I will send you and the intended recipient an email with the content before rejecting.

Troop Calendar: You can subscribe to the troop calendar on your electronic device: the "ICAL" url is here 

Friends of Scouting: ​Thank you for support of Friends of Scouting earlier this year.  We were once again deemed an Honor Unit, and get our Rank advancement badges ​

Advancement records:  Advancement records were distributed at the last meeting in June.  Please use these to reconcile the badges recorded vs badges earned vs received.  Please let me know of discrepancies so I can followup.  A written note is helpful when letting me know at a meeting.

Upcoming scouting opportunities: 
​National Aviation Day at Chester County Airport, Wednesday,August 19, 7:30am-4pm  earn the Aviation Merit Badge. Click here for more information and to register. let me know, so I can get you the blue card.

Go Ape - We would like to plan a Day trip/camping weekend August 21-23 depending on interest level.  Expected fees for camping only: $20. Expected fee for Aerial Adventure $50 (scouts*adults).  (Similar to WW Rafting).  Please respond to t153scoutmaster@gmail.comregarding interest in a day trip and/or camping weekend.  We do need at least 1 adult for every two scouts to do the aerial/zipline course.   Lums pond is about 1hr away.

Catholic Scout Retreat  10/2-10/4 in Ockanickon.  We have not yet made plans to attend.  Please review this, and let me know your interest. 

Eagle Projects -  Please make an effort to participate in the Eagle Scout service projects.  We have at least three coming up (Matt, Josh & Will H).  Participation was light at the three in June/July.  Participation also counts toward service hours for rank advancement.

8/23 1pm - Annual Planning meeting led by the senior patrol leader/senior patrol.
8/30 - 6:30 1st Troop Meeting of fall.  Popcorn Kickoff.  A Parent should also attend.
8/31 - School starts in West Chester 
9/12-9/13  Popcorn Sale After all Masses & at Wawa
9/13 6:30  Class A Troop meeting
9/18-9/20  OA Ordeal/Service Weekend.
9/20 1pm -5:30pm   Troop Picnic - Hoopes Park
9/22-29 World meeting of families
9/27 6:30 Tentative Troop meeting (B)
10/2  NYLT Weekends  (10/2-10/4, 10/9-10/11)
10/2-10/4  Ockanickon Catholic Retreat.
10/4  Troop Meeting (A)
10/18 Popcorn orders due.

The calendar has more dates.

Thank you to all the leaders, Merit badge counselors and parents that volunteer their time with the troop.  We appreciate your service.  If you would like to get involved, please contact any leader to get started, or come to a troop meeting.

2013-2015 Announcements

From, 1:11Pm on Tuesday, April 22, 2015

Troop, another longwinded message from the scoutmaster... please give it a read.  Parents: share with your scouts please. 

Urgent attention to first 3 items.   


Flat Sale -  The end date is Sunday 4/26 4pm, when monies and master order forms (pg 1&2) should be given to Mr. Grey in the St. Agnes Parking lot 4pm. If you cannot get there at 4pm, please make other arrangements with Mr. Grey.  Customers should retain the 1" receipt at the bottom of the detailed order forms.  You have 3 detailed 2-page order forms in your packet (1page for flats, 1page for flowers/vegetables).  Additional order forms can be copied, or downloaded and printed from the link below if you have more than three customers (or if you've lost your packet).  25% of these sales become available to your scout account in early May.


Caledonia State Park trip is this weekendGet on the bathroom scale at home and check out your weight.  We’ll use that weight to determine if your backpack is too heavy for you  Trip details were sent to attendees Tuesday.
Scouts: Marek, Nate , Jack A , Mike R, Will D , Dan R, Joseph, Jack D, Michael G, Gabe, Zack,Jack S,Teddy, Connor , Pat F
Adults signed up for the whole trip:  Mr Gavin, Mr Redmond, Mr Daly, Mr Sluk, Mr Tobias
Car Movers: Adam & Mrs Kazimierczyk, Mrs Redmond. Mr Dolan may join.

Summer Camp list – The attached list indicates the merit badges that you signed up for.  14yr+ scouts are encouraged to sign up for the Advanced Camper Experience (session 1&2). Initial registration will be done by Mr. Hirs on Saturday 4/25.  Schedule is also attached.  

Payments: For the $25 Discount, scouts must be paid in full by 4/26 (See Mr. Grey).   ($274 if you've paid the deposit, $324 if you haven't). .   If the financial impact prevents your scout from attending, please discuss the possibility of a campership this week with any troop committee member. Camperships can assist with up to 50% of the cost of summer camp.

Health forms – Part C, which is required for summer camp, must be done at Dr physicals. Dr. Signature MUST be on part C.  Camp Rodney will not allow any additional forms, beyond the 4 pages of the BSA Health Form.  The Troop (or scoutmaster) will have to transcribe information from the Dr’s Immunization forms onto the BSA Forms if you don’t.   KEEP A COPY WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR FORMS to Mr Hirs.

See more about summer camp here:

We do have a number of Merit Badge counselors "in Troop".  Look for that list coming soon.  These can be done before summer camp or at other times. 


Rank Advancement – is a good accompaniment to the printed BSA Handbook.   It contains videos, check lists, and other information which is presented in a youtube-type fashion that scouts may find more interesting.    Scouts that are first class and above need to hold a leadership position to advance.    Scouts should not hold more than one leadership position at a time. 


For those interested, Mr. Gavin will be offering his acclaimed Accelerated advancement program, w/ Adam leading the Gecko instructors, outside of troop meetings.   

This includes First aid, swimming and start of camping & cooking merit badges as well as many of the requirements thru first class. (maybe Fishing too)  While it did start Sunday, there will be multiple other sessions, with most in June or later.   

Attendance Policy -   All scouts are expected to attend troop meetings and/or trips.  Not every trip or meeting must be attended, but your scouting experienced is enhanced when you do.  If you cannot attend at least one activity per month, or if there is some obligation (ie sports or work) that prevents you from attending a few meetings, please inform your Patrol leader, SPL & Scoutmaster, rather than just not showing up.    Those holding leadership positions should attend all meetings and should be 10 minutes early to assist with the meeting preparation.  When scouts do not attend. It affects the patrol and the troop.  A requirement for advancement for Star rank and up is to be active in your troop for a number of months for each rank.   

Only Patrol Leaders and those holding Leadership positions (other than Den Chief) should attend the PLC Meetings (May 3rd).  If you cannot attend these, find someone to attend for you.  

Troop calendar – You can subscribe to the troop calendar or add it to your electronic device by going to the site, clicking on the calendar.   At the bottom right of the calendar, click the Inline image 1


Whitewater rafting trip:  This was rescheduled to May 16 - Dam release weekend.  We're also looking into the possibility of combining this as an overnight camping trip at Hickory Run state park.  Let the scoutmaster know your interest (Adults and scouts).   The currently signed up scouts are on the near-term-trips page on the  Currently, they include only Scott L Jack  & Luke E.  This is the same weekend as the Philmont shakedown.


Current schedule till End of school year:

April 24-26  Caledonia State Park Trip.

May 3 5:30 PLC Meeting w/ current Communications MB participants (Most of Phoenix Patrol+others).  

6:30 Troop Meeting  CLASS A

May 10 NO Meeting. Mother’s day

May 15-17 possible trip to Hickory Run Park ($20), with 5/16 WW Rafting ($40).    

+ Philmont Shakedown

May 24 No Meeting – Memorial Day

May 31 Meeting or Trip (TBD)

June 1 – Pack 153/webelos 1 crossover

June 7 Meeting or Trip (TBD)  (Last Meeting?)

June 14 Losito/Zengel/Kirby/Blake Court of Honor (following 5:15 mass) – Class A.   All scout families are expected to RSVP to invite which will be sent out prior to COH.  Scouts will be participating.

Contact Info:
Senior Patrol Leader: Will D

Gecko Patrol Leader Jeff S
Dancing Banana Patrol Leader: John T
Stealth Bomber Patrol Leader: John G
Ninja Patrol Leader: Jake C
Phoenix Patrol Leader: Michael G
New Scouts (5th Gr) Guide: Jake C
New Scouts (4th Gr) Guide: Sean B

Scoutmaster:  Gordon Hirs 
Treasurer: Mr. Grey 
Committee Chair/Complaint Dept:  Steve Ryder

Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 1:33 PM, Gordon Hirs <> wrote:

​Troop, a lot here, please give it a read and respond as necessary to
I have gotten behind on the spring activities so for that I apologize.

Summer Camp - Fees: thanks to those that sent in their $50 deposit to Mr. Grey.  For ALL attending summer camp, the balance of the early bird payment is due by 4/26 to Mr. Grey ($274 if you've paid the deposit, $324 if you haven't).  After 4/26, the summer camp fee increases $25.   If the financial impact prevents your scout from attending, please discuss the possibility of a campership this week with any troop committee member.   You may also contact me at 610-299-2130. Camperships can assist with up to 50% of the cost of summer camp.

Rodney Merit Badges: On 4/18 the troop leaders will be attending the Camp Rodney summer camp leader meeting.   Scouts planning to attend summer camp should consider (and communicate) which merit badges they'd like to complete at camp by 4/19.  (4 or more with alternates).  Please see the summer camp page on the website for more information.  We will be distributing advancement records at the 4/12 meeting. 

On 4/25, Rodney opens their online registration for merit badges, so Mr. Hirs will register scouts as soon as possible.  The smaller capacity badges usually fill first.   See more about summer camp here:

Next trip: 4/24-4/26 Caledonia State Park. 
This is coming up fast, less than 3 weeks away. We will have signups at the troop meeting, or to sign up.  Even if you are not going on this trip, if you have a hiking backpack we can borrow for this trip, we'd appreciate it.  Please let Mr. Hirs know.   Attendees will be listed on the neartermtrips page.    Trip leaders: Mr Redmond & Mr Gavin

Flower Sale - Thank you to all the parents, leaders and scouts who helped out with the troop flower sale this year.  We had only 5 plants leftover when we closed Sunday.   We were able to staff two locations Friday and Saturday, but could not open our third location due to participation levels.  
Distributions to scout accounts for those who "worked" will not be determined until late May or June when the committee determines the troop budget. Pictures can been seen here:    Thank you to Mr. Grey for all of his ongoing efforts for this sale.

Flat Sale - now that the flower sale is over, please ask your neighbors and relatives.   The end date is 4/26, when monies and master order form should be given to Mr. Grey.   Customers should retain the 1" receipt at the bottom of the detailed order forms.  You have 3 detailed 2-page order forms in your packet (1page for flats, 1page for flowers/vegetables).  Additional order forms can be copied, or downloaded and printed from here if you have more than three customers (or if you've lost your packet).  25% of these sales become available to your scout account in early May.

Order of the Arrow:  if you have camped 15 nights with the boy scouts in the last 2 years (no more than 1 long-term camp), you may be eligible for the upcoming OA Election.  Please see or email Mr Hirs if you think you have completed this (list the trips) and to be included in the Ballot.  If elected by the troop and you complete your OA Ordeal, you will join our 11 current ordeal members and 3 affiliated adult members in scouting's honor society.   There is no age requirement. 

NYLT - The upcoming National Youth Leadership Training event on the first two weekends  in May (Friday 5pm-Sunday 3pm)  is now open for registration for 1st class scouts (and above) that are age 13 or are completing 7th grade.   "Give your scout an unfair advantage in life".   Prior attendees include Former Sr Patrol Leaders Adam Kazimierczyk and Zachary Hirs, as well as Michael Schmit, Tyler Ollis, Patrick Falini. Last day to Register is 4/17.
if your scout is available to attend both weekends, the troop may be able to assist with the $235 cost after graduation.

Whitewater rafting trip:  This was rescheduled from 4/2 (due to flatwater) and is now May 16 - Dam release weekend.  We're also looking into the possibility of combining this as an overnight camping trip at Hickory Run state park.  Let the scoutmaster know your interest (Adults and scouts).   

4/11 Jeff Spada Eagle Project   (9-2)
4/11 Public Health merit Badge (9-12)
4/12 Jeff Spada Eagle Project Part II  (9-2)
4/12 Troop Meeting (6:30) Field (A) Uniform.
4/18 Pre-Summer Camp Adult Leader meeting@Rodney summer camp (10-12) (Treasurer, interested Assistant Scoutmasters?)
4/19 Troop Meeting (6:30) activity (B) uniform.  Merit Badge selection. 
4/24-4/26  Caledonia State Park Trip.

Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 3:34 PM, <> wrote

Parents and Troop leaders,

The annual Flower Sale will be Easter weekend, April 3-5th. The Easter weekend sale is then followed by a pre-sale or Flat sale in which the Scouts take orders over a couple of weeks that lead up to the product delivery on a Saturday in May (more information to come on the flat sale).

The Easter weekend Flower Sale is very important to the Troop and is the primary of the two fundraising events we do during the year. Our operating budget and ability to offset costs of trips and activities is driven by the success of our fundraising. We need your help as well as Scout support to staff the Flower Sale. Last year, at times - we did not have enough adults participating to open up a second site to sell flowers. The more sites we have open the more flowers we will sell.

The Ask - please sign up yourself as well as your son to help sell throughout the weekend. We need help throughout the weekend, late in the day on Saturday and any time on Easter Sunday are usually lower staffed times if you could especially consider those times. 

I will be sending out a Sign Up Genius shortly. The overall Troop benefits from this event, but the Scouts themselves are also compensated for the hours they work. This money is deposited directly into their scout account and can be used for scouting related expenses like personal equipment, camping, and High Adventure trips.

Thanks in advance, we look forward to you and your son's participation in this year's Flower Sale!

Steve Ryder
Troop 153 Committee Chairman

Date: Dec 8, 2014 8:50 PM

Subject: [Troop 153] Northern Tier High Adventure - Respond by 1/5

Northern Tier Summer 2016


As incredible as it may seem planning for an expedition to Northern Tier, Ely, Minnesota during the summer of 2016 needs to begin now.


We would like to determine the number of Scouts and adults interested in participating in a Northern Tier Boundary Water Canoeing Adventure.


Northern Tier Boundary Water adventures will challenge both Scouts and adults.  As with all high adventure expeditions it is our objective to provide an opportunity for all crew members to learn and enjoy a unique experience, but most importantly all will have the opportunity to lead, follow, fail occasionally and succeed as part of a team with shared objectives.  All of our prior high adventure expeditions have been far more than a “been there, done that” experience.  Both Scouts & adults have taken home the growth and pride that comes with the accomplishment of a difficult task.  To learn more about the Northern Tier High Adventure base please see


I plan to request (2) crews (6 Scouts/2 adults per crew) for a (8) day adventure.  Northern Tier offers expeditions through a lottery that is open January 6, 2015 through January 9, 2015.


I estimate the total cost to be no more than $1,500 per crew member.  These cost/s consist of the Northern Tier (8) day trip cost of approximately $620 per person (Northern Tier and US & Canadian Park Service permits/fees), air & ground transportation (estimate $700) and Kevlar canoe rental/s (estimate $100).


The crew size can range from 6-8 members including adult leaders (minimum 2/maximum 3 per crew).  With enough interest we can try to register more than (2) crew/s.  Northern Tier participants must be 14 or have completed the 8th grade prior to arrival.  

I would like to have a firm head count including a $100 deposit (check payable to Troop 153 BSA) for each participant no later than January 5, 2015.  As a planning guide please use the following payment schedule:

            1-5-2015           $100 (deposit)

            9-15-2015         $260

            3-15-2016         $260

            4-1-2016           $TBD (purchase airfare)

            5-1-2016           $TBD (ground transportation)

            6-1-2016           $TBD (finalize incidental/s & Kevlar canoe rentals)

2013-2014 Announcements

Please see additional troopwide announcements on the google groups page:!categories/cccbsatroop153

From: SM Hirs 
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM
Subject: T153 new scouts
To: T153 New Scouts (CC: Troop Guide & Sr Patrol Leader)

I have had a few questions:.

When scout need his boy scout uniform?   Scouts should have their 'class a' uniform by 3/28 if they are going on the broad creek trip and by the first April meeting otherwise.

What should I bring Friday to blue and gold?  Boy scout application, medical form (a&b), copy of insurance card,  dues(Troop 153 BSA).   Wear your Cub scout uniform.

What should I bring to our first boy scout meeting on sunday at 6:30?  Bring your boy scout handbook, a pen and any of the things you did not bring Friday.

What should I wear to the sunday meeting?  Sundays meeting is 'class b' uniform.. Which, for you, means 'come as you  are' .   Sneakers or other casual activty shoes.

what is going on at the Sunday meeting?   We will be talking about camping, and our SPL will also have other things planned.    Parents should expect to attend the last 30 minutes (7:30) where we can talk about the transition to scouts, especially for those that could not come in December.   

What about the trip in 3/28?   We need to know if you are coming by this Sunday.  

For toise who 'do not do signupgenius', the courtesy of an RSVP to me would suffice. We need the advance notice to ensure we have enough scouts to go on the trip; to plan menus; ensure sufficient adult leadership and that adults planning to go are trained; BSA Tour permit is completed/submitted to council,  determine trip camping costs;  plan menus and purchase food and supplies.

You should report 'properly dressed' for trip on 3/28 (class a uniform) at the scout shed near the st Agnes cafeteria.  Expect to bring the camping fee and grub fee at that time.  (Current estimate $15 and $8) - both could change based on attendees & food costs.  Bring your scout book.   Pocket knives cannot be used (and should be kept out of sight) until you earn the boy scout tot n chip card which should be done  that weekend. 

If you do not have a sleeping bag, let us know and we will find one you can borrow.  You do not need a tent, as the troop has tents anyway, and you will be staying in a cabin.   For other suggested gear ... Check your boy scout handbook... And the attached list. File Cabinet

On Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 8:59 AM, SM Hirs wrote:

Hello Troop (and Incoming Webelos II parents)


Please share with your scouts. Plenty of volunteer opportunities for adults as well


3/9 (Troop Meeting) Order of the Arrow Elections:   The Order of the Arrow is scouting’s honor society.  In order to be eligible for election by your peers,you must be a first class scout (or above), have camped 15 nights in the last two years (1 summer camp+5 trips) and demonstrate scout spirit by living the scout law.  All scouts are strongly encouraged to attend Sunday’s meeting to cast a vote FOR other eligible scouts.  Withholding a vote is a vote against the eligible scouts.    


3/14 Friday Webelos Crossover @ Blue & Gold. 5-8.   We need six-eight scouts in Class A uniform to help with room setup, food serving, cross-over ceremony and cleanup.   Please let Matt R  know if you are attending.  Service hours will be awarded for those assisting.

3/16 & 3/23 Troop Meetings. 6:30-8

3/22 Chess Merit Badge – 10-2 - TPH.

3/23 TROOP ANNUAL FLAT SALE BEGINS.  Order forms will be distributed 3/23 by Mr. Grey, scouts will have 4 weeks to sell Flats of Annuals which will be picked up on 5/3 for delivery to your customers.  Scouts earn 25% of what they sell, and these funds are available to their scout accounts shortly after 5/3.  Last year, $800 was added to scout accounts for this sale (despite a little confusion over the sale dates),


3/28-3/30 Broadcreek Scout Reservation:  This will be the first trip for the new scouts, and the first camping trip for our troop since November.   It is an excellent opportunity for our older scouts to show off what they know and demonstrate Scout Spirit, providing role models for our new scouts.   This is cabin camping.  The Broadcreek website indicates year-round shower facilities are available.    Please utilize the Signup Genius link to let us know you are going.  Dominic Z , Charlie B  and Josh R will be our grubmasters and cooks as they work to complete the cooking merit badge (Mr. Sollecito/Counselor).   Mr. Schmit will be running the camping merit badge for those who do not have it, and a few older scouts will be asked to run the Tot’n Chip and Firem’n chip courses for those scouts who do not have it.      Signup genius link here:


3/31 Seabase 2014 Classroom Training begins: those attending Seabase, please contact your crew leaders for details.

4/11-4/13  Greenbelt Park/Washington DC: Two weeks after the broadcreek trip we have reserved 4 campsites at Greenbelt National Park outside of Washington DC.   This is tent camping, with a Saturday expedition to the National Mall.  Please Signup now:


4/18-4/20 Flower Sale (~8a-6p Good Friday thru Easter).   Scouts (and adults) will be expected to participate in this fundraiser.  Scouts have the opportunity to earn money for their scout accounts, and Parents, we need your participation as well.   Scouts earn money for their scout accounts based on hours worked.   Earnings from this sale are not available until after the troop committee approves the next year budget (generally July) as the proceeds from this sale cover troop operating expenses and are then distributed to the scout accounts.  Last year, $2000 was credited to scout accounts.  Details regarding signup will be sent in the coming month.   Please ask friends, neighbors and relatives to support us during this sale.   Our primary location is Susquehanna bank at Five Points rd and Paoli pike.


4/27.  FLAT SALE Order Deadline – Orders must be received by Mr. Grey.


Summer Camp:  We now have 12 scouts planning to attend summer camp (7/27-8/2).  Please see the summer camp page on website.  Ninjas currently have 100% patrol attendance.   All attending, see Mr. Hirs for the online-signup for Merit badges.    The next (final) payment is due in May, and can be paid via credit card or check.   Also we need your medical forms as soon as you can get them to us.


Health Forms/medicals are always due.   We required updated medical forms whenever you visit the doctor for a physical.  If you take them with you, and get them filled out, then provide me a copy, it will save me the hassle of hunting you down over the summer.   Please take  a few minutes and fill out sections A & B (parent signature only) before the next camping trip.   Section C should be filled out by your doctor at your next visit. 


2014 Popcorn Sale: Mrs. Blake has volunteered once again to be our popcorn colonel this year for the fall 2014 popcorn sale.  The popcorn colonel coordinates and manages all aspects of the popcorn sale.   We are looking for a new popcorn colonel for Fall 2015.  If you would help out in this regard, please see Mr. Hirs or Mrs. Blake to discuss, and allow Mrs Blake to “show you the ropes” this year.


Merit Badges: A special thank you to Mr. Redmond for completing the Troop-wide Citizenship of the World merit badge sessions last month.  Those who have not completed should follow up with Mr. Redmond.

Parents: have opportunities to assist the troop in a number of regards.  Simplest of these is to tell others about our fundraising.   For others, just a 20 minute online youth protection course, which needs to be updated every two years (see    You could give a few hours of your time at one of our fundraising events, volunteer to drive or attend a camping trip, or become more involved in other ways.     You could become a merit badge counselor, and share your knowledge or expertise to scouts in a number of fields (  

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns via my contact info or options below, 

Gordon Hirs

Scoutmaster, Troop 153, St. Agnes, West Chester PA

03.02.2014 From SM Hirs.

Troop leadership has reviewed the expected weather coming tonight, and the current forecast for our zip code is for above freezing temperatures, with rain this afternoon, thru meeting times.  The meetings ARE ON AS SCHEDULED.  

5:30 PLC Meeting – All scout currently holding a position.
6:30 Troop Meeting
8:00 Seabase attendee / Seabase parent meeting

02.27.2014 7:23pm  
From SPL Matt R.

In this week's meeting we will be wearing class A uniform so be sure you have that ready to go for Sunday. There will also be a PLC meeting at 5:30, all patrol leaders and those holding a troop leadership position please be aware of that. Also at this weeks meeting we will be getting a lot of requirements signed off for the younger guys, sign off on Merit badge partials (If Merit Badge counselors are available.), plan for the Broad Creek trip, and if we have time we will head up to the gym to play either Dodge ball or handball. One big reminder for everyone is to Bring Your Scout Handbooks. Other than that I hope everyone has a great weekend.


From: Scoutmaster Hirs

Good evening troop & parents:

Elections: Elections for senior patrol leader and patrol leaders took place this Sunday.   Adam K, Charlie B, Tyler O and Matt R entered themselves as candidates.  (Star & Life scouts).   Matt H was our election official and ran the election for us, and noted Matt R as the new elected SPL in a close race.    

Our new patrol Leaders are Tyler O, Zachary H, Will D, Joseph G & Jake C.   

 We will have a Patrol Leaders council meeting prior to the 2/9 meeting, where the current leaders can transition to the new leaders. 

Adam K is our new troop guide. 

Ski Trip: we have 21 people attending, including five adults.   The plan is to leave West Chester this Friday 1/31 at 4:45pm returning around noon on Superbowl Sunday 2/2.   Mr Ryder has done a fantastic job of organizing this and any questions should be directed to him ( .    He will be sending a more directed announcement to those registered.   Anyone who is going, and does not have the Snow Sports merit badge, please consider it.  Mr. Schmit is the Snow Sports MB counselor.

Scout Mass:  The 5:15 mass on Saturday 2/8 will be a scout mass.  Scouts who earned the Ad Altare Dei medal this fall will receive their medal, and the mass will include many scouts as speakers, readers, ushers,  and eucharistic ministers.   Thank you to Mrs Hosking for organizing this.  We will have a reserved area for scouts at the mass.  Please attend in your Class A Uniforms.     

Cub scouts Help:   The cub pinewood derby will be 2/8 8am-12 in the cafeteria.  We will need a few scouts to help.  The more they see us, the more likely they are join us.

Our cub scouts will be having their annual Blue & Gold dinner on 3/1.  They will need our troop to help them with the dinner and to help with the crossover of the webelos.  

Merit Badges:  Both of our neighboring councils offered 2-days of merit badge “colleges”.   We sent a contingent of ten scouts to the Delmarva council college in January.  The second session is on February 22 for those that attended on 1/4.   Over 700 scouts attended overall. 

 I checked with the Cradle-of-liberty council to our east, which is holding their first similar event in Glen Mills in February and March.  The deadline for registering for that was 1/2, and actually closed early because they were over their maximum registration of 280.  I did contact the organizer, and they cannot take additional registrants.  Next (school year) we will push this sooner.

 With that in mind, scouts are now required to complete 13 specific merit badges (including cooking) to obtain the eagle scout rank.     We’ve recently completed a review of those across all of our scouts, and found that few have actually obtained the family life badge.   Please review the requirements, ask for a blue card, and get started on this.  Most of this is done with your family, but the counselor must approve of your “project”.  Mrs. Hosking is a family life Merit Badge counselor (in addition to many other badges).    

 Mr Ryder guided us through the Personal Management merit badge over the last 4 months, and we started our second eagle required Merit Badge (Citizenship of the world) with Mr Redmond tonight.  

Incidentally, if any parent is interested in becoming a merit badge counselor, please contact me or any of the other leaders.   We could use counselors for Sustainability, Emergency preparedness, Lifesaving, & environmental science, as well as many of the other 140 badges.   

Education:  Our own Chester County Council, is offering something similar to the Merit Badge College, but is broader based- University of Scouting, 2/1.    This includes courses for scouts, parents, and leaders:  I’d love to attend the First Aid & CPR, but I’ll be at Elk Mountain.   There’s also Introduction- _leadership_skills_ for_troops, and how to run effective meetings for scouts who may be interested.  (Also, merit badge counselor training,)

Summer Camp: Summer camp is 7/27 - 8/2 at Hawk Mountain. We will need your commitment by Early-Mid February.  

Meetings & other events:   (Subject to change.  See

Upcoming Meetings/Events:  I haven’t put all of these on the calendar yet, but as I stated earlier in the year, expect meetings are every Sunday @ 6:30, except when we have a trip, or when there is a holiday.   I will update the calendar ( after our next PLC meeting on 2/9.


We are planning a camping trip in March, to include our new 5th grade scouts, but the details are in progress.


Patrol Leaders should arrive at 6:20 and expect to depart at 8:05 for all troop meetings.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

From: [] On Behalf Of Gordon Hirs
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2013 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: [Troop 153] T153 Sunday Meeting 11/3 Class A

All, During the 2012-2013 school year, we generally held meetings on the 1st and 3rd weekend unless there was a trip. 
Prior to that, we had been holding meetings on the current schedule.   [EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT, EXCEPT HOLIDAY OR TRIP WEEKENDS]

Based on discussions at this year’s August planning meeting of the patrol leaders council, we went back to that to increase attainment of advanced ranks.    

All of us enjoy a Sunday family dinner, including my own family.  The 6:30 start time should allow for family dinner, as well as for the scout to attend meetings.   

Attendance at the meetings is not mandatory, but is strongly suggested that scouts attend at least a meeting per month.  Meeting topics should be announced ahead of time to allow the scout to decide if they want or need to attend.

 As you should be aware, our troop leadership (both Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster) changed in August.   We hold Patrol Leader council meetings monthly to plan the meetings, and the Patrol leaders are expected to communicate with their patrols what occurs there.  If not, the members of the patrol should contact the patrol leaders, or the Senior patrol leader.

 Troop elections are held twice per year, once at summer camp and once in late January.   The only thing that will likely not change, is the meeting night.  As a troop, we have considered changing this, but no other night was preferable.

 I appreciate your feedback, and welcome your suggestions.

Thank you,

From: Gordon Hirs
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:34 PM


This is the LAST WEEK for popcorn.  Please encourage your scout to sell at least 10 units.  Their efforts make the troop viable and proceeds can be used toward summer camp.
Popcorn orders are due 10/20 at the latest.   If you are not coming to the meeting 10/20, please get your order forms to Mrs Blake ( beforehand.

Be sure to add the total online sales at the bottom left of the form, and total the form sales and wagon sales.  (Mrs. Kazimierczyk will email wagon sale totals)
Choose an appropriate prize (1) by writing the # of your choice next to your rewards total.

Upcoming Events

Troop 153 will be participating in Scouting for food 11/10-11/16 where we will collect food for the St. Agnes Day room.  Bags will be passed out at the 11/10 meeting for neighborhood distribution, and collected by the scouts on the morning of 11/16.  They will bring  the food to the day room and stock the shelves.  

Troop Canoeing/Kayaking 10/19? - There are 8 kayaks and a canoe available within the troop.  If anyone is interested in taking a trip on a Saturday, please email me.  

The Ockanickon Wilderness Survival trip is coming up on 11/22.  Please sign up from links on   We currently have six scouts registered to go.  If your scout is working on First class, signup for Grubmaster to complete requirement 1st class 4b. 

Life to Eagle Seminar 12/3 :  If your scout is a Star or Life Scout (rank), you are STRONGLY encouraged to attend the Life-to-Eagle seminar on 12/3 7:30pm @ Stetson MS.

Merit Badges & Advancement

Mr Ryder and 21 scouts started the Personal management merit badge tonight, and this will go 3 more meetings over 12 weeks.   Scouts should be keeping track of income and expenses, and bring completed worksheets to the meetings (11/10, 12/8 & 1/12).  Thank you Mr. Ryder!

Mr Radford recently became a Merit Badge Counselor and will be conducting the Architecture Merit Badge shortly.    Thank you Mr. Radford!

If you have a particular interest or vocation, and could become a merit badge counselor, we would be grateful for your efforts.  Please see the Merit Badge lists on or

Scouts should attend Merit Badge College (link) on 1/4 and 2/22. (both requred).  Scouts can earn up to 4 of 53 merit badges offered during these sessions, and we will be encouraging their attendance.  A signup genius will be sent out to assist with travel, but don't delay, sign up with the group name Troop 153 Chester County and choose your merit badge sessions before they are filled.   

Advancement records were distributed to those who asked for them on Sunday.  One discrepancy was reported, and is being reviewed.  Last month's reported discrepancies have been corrected.  You should check yours..  If you are interested, email me, and I will provide them to you.


The four BSA High Adventure camps offer unique opportunities to scouts (and some parents) to participate in an "exhilarating variety of high adventure"  Through these experiences, the Boy Scouts of America leaves lasting memories with youth and fosters development in character and leadership.  Talk to any scout who has been on one, and you will be amazed.

We are currently trying to gauge interest in the following, and we normally cycle through them, a different one each year.

  1. Philmont (AZ): Hiking, White water rafting, other activities at each stop, 13 days.   Must be 13.  All current scouts eligible in 2015.   The "Pinnacle" of Scouting.  Next trip in 2015 or 2016.
  2. Northern Tier (MN): Canoeing  7 days.   Must be 13 and completed 8th Grade.   Next trip tbd on interest
  3. Seabase (FL): Scuba 7 days.  Must be 13 and completed 8th Grade.  Next trip is 2014. 
  4. Summit(WV):  Hiking, Climbing, Rafting, Shooting:   Must be 13 by the following 9/1.  Next trip tbd on interest
  5. Jamboree (WV): 10 days.  this takes place at Summit WV High adventure camp, and is in place of a high adventure in the year it occurs.  Next one is 2017.  

Please email me at answering the following:

A) My scout would like to attend all of these.
B) My scout wants to attend _________ and ______ and _____ 
C) My scout will not attend any High Adventure because _______

I hesitate to mention cost, because it should be the least factor in a high adventure trip.   The total cost is approximately $2000, but Summit is currently about $800 while Jamboree was ~$1400.

Summer Camp 2014

Summer camp 2014 will be at the Hawk Mountain Council's Camp Meade 7/27- 8/2/2014.   Please see the website under summer camp for more information.

We will need to know who will NOT be attending by February.


Administration & Health forms

Thank you to those who supplied the requested Auto and Insurance info.  It makes it much easier when I do not have to chase people down for it the day of a trip.  Likewise with the Youth Protection training which can be found at http://MyScouting,org (20 minutes, seriously).

If you are taking your son to an annual physical, please ask the doctor to fill out the BSA medical form section C please.  Physicals are good for a year.

Forms are here:   We take these on most trips and if there is a scout needing medical attention, they are very helpful. 


 Any questions or concerns, please call or write. 

Encourage your scout to ask questions of his patrol leader, or the senior patrol leader, Adam.

Yours in Scouting,

Scoutmaster Hirs

10.07.2013 09:09am  Popcorn Sale - TWO MORE WEEKS!!!
From: Popcorn Colonels Mrs Blake & Mrs Kazimierczyk

Hi Troop 153 families!

Two more weeks left to sell that popcorn!

The wagon sale was a nice addition--thanks so much to those Scouts who participated in that! If any of you have any feedback about how that went--if it was easier/harder to sell with the product on-hand, if you'd like more/less/your choice of product, any other reactions or thoughts--please let us know. We will try to determine if we should expand on that aspect of the sale or not next year.

The online sale is continuing, as is the take order sale. We need, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS, the take-order forms by the meeting on October 20. This product will be ready for delivery on November 10. Now is a great time to get your Scouts out there if they haven't yet been, or send out another email reminder to potential online customers that there is still time left to order!

Thanks for all your support--it really means a lot to the boys and the troop. My son needed some significant urging/kicking-his-butt-out-the-door, but he has now been able to pay his entire way to the High Adventure camp in Sea Base FL this summer, and though he's reluctant to admit it, he's proud of himself that he did it.

Oh, one last thing: when the boys prepare their paperwork from the take-order for submission on Oct. 20, please ensure that they fill out the entire thing. There is a spot at the bottom for them to write in their online sales totals. We cannot access your online accounts, so please be sure they add that in, so that they get credit for those sales.  They also need to pick a prize, if they are eligible, so have them do that and indicate it. If they would do all the math on that sheet, it would help us out a lot, too. Thanks!

Take care!

--Mrs Blake and Mrs Kazimierczyk

09.18.2013 12:15pm  9/18 Update
From: Scoutmaster Hirs

I'm trying to keep my troop emails to one a week.   So, there's lots in here.  Print it out, and share with your scout or spouse.
[This takes the place of the scout-dreaded "Adult announcement" portion of our meetings.]

Troop Picnic
Thank you to all who came to the troop picnic on Sunday.  I, for one, had a great time.  Thank you to the troop committee for organizing the event.

Upcoming Events

French Creek trip is this weekend.  No Meeting on Sunday. Special thanks to those adults who are coming.

Ocean city and Wilderness survival are coming up.  Please sign up from links on Deadline for Ocean city is Monday.

Life to Eagle Seminar 12/3 :  If your scout is a Star or Life Scout (rank), you are STRONGLY encouraged to attend the Life-to-Eagle seminar on 12/3 7:30pm @ Stetson MS.


This weekend will mark the half-way point for popcorn sales.  Please encourage your scout to sell at least 10 units.  Their efforts make the troop viable and proceeds can be used toward summer camp.

Parent Training
Please take the the Youth Protection training online at the website.  You watch an online video, and answer a few questions.  It takes 20 minutes or less.   
Not only does it provide you the required training to attend troop events, it also helps you understand the guidelines in place to protect your son.  Wouldn't you like to know what they are?   Retraining is required every two years.

Physicals, etc.
Anyone who went to summer camp this year may have heard of the major headaches that the troop leadership had to deal with on a very hectic Sunday and Monday with regard to the boy's medical forms.

Scouts and Adults going on any trip (< 3 full days) are required to have the Part A&B of the boy scout medical form filled out and provided to the troop.  (No doctor Signature).

Anyone going over 3 days (ie..Summer camp) needs to have parts A&B&C fillled out.  Pay attention to where the doctor must sign.  "See attached" is not acceptable.

If you are taking your son to an annual physical, please ask the doctor to fill out the BSA medical form section C please.  Physicals are good for a year.

Make a copy before submitting to Roger Grey or myself when you have filled them out.

Middle School Parent Symposium
The West Chester Communities that Care (WCCTC)  is holding a middle school parent symposium.  Our Chester County council works with the WCCTC to encourage activities in the West Chester Area that promote positive behaviors among youth.  

Strategies for navigating the Social Jungle of Adolescence: An interactive discussion on how parents, schools and the community can work together to promote healthy teen behaviors.  Tuesday October 1st, 7-9pm @ the Spellman Building, 829 Paoli Pike.   Refreshments will be served.  For more info,  contact Pam Warfield at 610-359-5817 or


We appreciate your help and involvement in our troop activities. Council requires that we collect the following information for those that drive our scouts to/from activities/camps 

Please take a moment and let me know your updated information.  Send to   It will not be shared, but will be used for the Tour Permits we obtain for each trip from Council.

Drivers License State/#:
Vehicle:  Make/Model/Year:
Vehicle Owner:
Insurance Liability coverage amount:  Each Person/Accident/Property:

Merit Badges & Advancement

Please review the merit badge procedures found here:

Our Senior patrol leader will be evaluating possibilities for troop-wide merit badges in the coming weeks.   

Advancement records were distributed to those who asked for them on Sunday.  Two discrepancies were reported, and are being reviewed.  You should check yours..

Any questions or concerns, please call or write. 

Encourage your scout to ask questions of his patrol leader, or the senior patrol leader, Adam.

Yours in Scouting,

Scoutmaster Hirs

09.08.2013  Troop Events!
From Scoutmaster Hirs

Hello Troop and Parents, Lots of information here please review.


Please sign up for the various events using the signup genius links included.  Also found on our website


Picnic: Next week, please RSVP :


Upcoming Trips: 

Scouts AND adults are needed on all trips. Trips will be cancelled if we cannot get 4 adults. (only 1 adult needs to be a registered leader).

Our troop policy is to register for trips 2 weeks in advance, SO REGISTER NOW PLEASE.


·        9/20-9/22 French Creek Camping Trip:   Scouts and Adults needed.  We’re in tents near the woods.


·        10/4-10/6 Ocean City trip – We “camp” in a hotel which is closed for the season.


·        11/22-11/24 Wilderness survival – We build survival shelters and sleep in them overnight.


(Other trips and activities are also being planned)


For those that volunteered to help with our show-and-sell, THANK YOU.  We were just short of last year’s sales.  For those of you who could not help, please sell lots of popcorn.  (You too Parents!)

We strongly suggest at least 10 units per scout.   The Popcorn season is ¼ over, so you should have sold at least 3 units so far.

If you sell $600 of popcorn, you can hit me in the face with a pie!

If a customer is not interested in popcorn/pretzels, you could ask for a donation to support the troop in lieu of a purchase.    We had over $200 in donations at the show-n-sell.


Wagon Sale boxes can be picked up from Mrs. Blake at the troop picnic NEXT SUNDAY 9/15.  Please email her ( to have popcorn on-hand to sell when you go door-to-door. 



 Make sure to bring your books to every meeting. 

Take pictures (or ask parents to copy or photo) your rank advancement (in the back) in case your book is lost.  (as has happened to too many of our scouts).

A summary of meetings can be found on the “Meeting activities” page on the website.

The first meeting of October will be Class A.  Please wear your merit badge sash.


Merit Badge Procedures:

1.      Review the requirements for a merit badge you are interested.  See

2.      Find a buddy who is also interested. 

3.      Request a Merit Badge application (blue card) from Mr. Hirs

4.      Contact the Merit Badge Counselor

5.      Begin work on the merit badge.

6.      Check in or meet with the Merit Badge Counselor as Counselor directs.

7.      Return completed Blue card to Mr. Hirs.

8.      Mr. Hirs takes blue card to advancement coordinator (Mr. Leitner)

9.      Mr. Leitner registers the merit badge completion with council and obtains merit badge when available.

10.   Merit badges are awarded at a later meeting by SPL.



Scouts: Please ask your school mates, team mates, and friends to join troop 153.  We are looking for new members, especially 6th grade (Purple Platypus patrol)

Pictures of our activities can be found on, and more via the album links under the pictures.



Thanks for your support,

Scoutmaster Hirs

08.27.2013 ***P-O-P-C-O-R-N***
From: Mrs Blake

1) set a goal, 2) make a plan to reach that goal, and 3) follow their plan. A written calendar is a great visual tool to help accomplish this. Parents can help them to do this, as this skill does not come naturally. 

You can use the resources at to help. See, for example, Resources > Training Videos. Lots of other good stuff there, too! 

If your son missed the meeting, he can get his popcorn packet at the St. Agnes Welcome Back Fair (8/28 6-7:30) or can get them at the meeting on 9/8. If you want it sooner, let Mrs Blake know.   

Structure of the Popcorn Sale

1) Show N Sell: 9/7 and 9/8 after all the Masses. If at all possible, ALL SCOUTS MUST SIGN UP for at least one selling session (SignUp Genius link to be emailed soon). We need parent volunteers as well. Please don't sign up during a time when you plan to go to Mass, and boys should be in Class A uniforms for their shifts.

 2) Online Sale: from now until 10/20. Follow the prompts at to send emails to friends and family. WE RECOMMEND SENDING AT LEAST 10 EMAILS. 

3) Take-Order: from now until 10/20Sell door-to-door, and bring to parent's office, family gatherings, soccer games, or wherever! Popcorn order form is due OCTOBER 20, and popcorn will be ready for delivery by NOVEMBER 10--in time for Thanksgiving! 

4) Wagon Sale: 9/9 to 9/30New this year and optional. If a Scout wants to take some of the leftover product from the Show N Sell, he may do so, and sell it door to door. He will essentially buy the product up front and sell it, but 25% of sales will go to his individual Scout account.

Sales Guidelines:
Minimum sales per Scout: 10 pieces or $100
Suggested goal: 20 pieces or $400
(Selling $600 gets you a chance to throw a pie in a leader's face!)
Maximum sales: as high as you can!



Dear Parents and Scouts,

This is Adam, your new Senior Patrol Leader, and this Sunday on the 25th we will be having a meeting in Class B. This meeting is mandatory because it will deal with the popcorn sale. Mrs. Blake and my mother Mrs. Kazimierczyk will be at the meeting running games for the scouts. If you have any questions regarding the popcorn sale, they will be able to answer your questions if you are able to show up at 7:30. I also ask for the scouts to bring their scout books just in case we will have time to do scout related activities pertaining to the scout book requirements. Thank you and take care.

Meeting is at 6:30 for Scouts and 7:30 for Parents.


From: Schmit, Karl
Subject: Scoutmaster Torch

Hi Everyone, 
Order of business...I have passed the Scoutmaster position onto Gordon Hirs. 

In the long-standing tradition of our Troop, I will continue to linger around to assist in all matters, including thumping all the Scouts in Chess, staying up to be the last one at the fire pit, and challenging all takers on for a race down the ski hill. 

I’ve enjoyed my time as Scoutmaster, and hope that you will all join me in supporting Gordon in his new role. Good Luck Gordon!

See you at the next meeting... 

Yours in Scouting,
Karl Schmit 
Assistant Scout Master

Check out the new link for website:
Congratulations to our new Senior Patrol Leader: Adam K.
and new Patrol Leaders: Jeff S., Matt R., Andrew R., Marek K. & Ambros R. 
Please check the calendar for latest updates.  

Check the Photo Page for activity pictures found in Mr. Hirs' Inbox including Valley Forge and  whitewater rafting.
The Rodney facebook page also has a week 6 slideshow: