Boy pg 7 7-5-18


Largemouth Bass
Boy Scout Raihden Albino, from Troop 21 of Putnam, holds up a largemouth bass he just caught during the troop’s annual late June weekend camping and fishing trip. The Scouts were taught how to fish during the weekend. Troop 21 is going off to summer camp in July. Photo by John D. Ryan

STAFFORD — Dedicated fishermen know how great it feels to catch a good one. Now the Scouts from Troop 21 know too, after a weekend camping and fishing trip where they learned how to do it.
“This was the first time fishing for several of the guys,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Casey M. Dundon, of Putnam, an experienced fisherman who’s Troop 21’s head fishing instructor. “It’s fun to get the kids out and show them how to fish when they’re young, so they can do it for life. We had largemouth bass biting all weekend. It was a really good time.”
With permission from the landowner, during the last weekend in June Troop 21 pitched their tents and set up their gear along the pond at Quatrano Farm, on private property in Stafford Springs, so Dundon and other volunteer fishing instructors could teach the boys how to fish. Instructors loaned fishing gear for the event, to go along with several rods and reels the troop had in storage.
“Our boys got more than a dozen good-size largemouth bass, all catch-and-release, so we put them back,” Dundon said. “We’re showing them how to enjoy fishing and protect the bass populations at the same time.”
Dodging occasional raindrops on Saturday, the camping and fishing trip also included a hike into the nearby woods, to learn fire building and how to spot animal tracks and other signs of wildlife.
“These are basic Scout skills,” Dundon said. “We try to get the kids out into the woods every month, get them out exploring and doing fun and interesting things they wouldn’t otherwise get to do.”
This marked a successful ending to the Scouting year for Troop 21, which is chartered to St. Mary Church of the Visitation in Putnam. As with most Scout troops, Troop 21’s program coincides with the school year, so the last weekend of June was the end of the troop’s year. Kicking off their new year, the Scouts will be heading off for a week of summer camp in July.
Holding its meetings at St. Mary’s on Providence Street, Troop 21 is open to any boy aged 11 to 17. They do not have to be Catholic or be members of the church.
“We’re always looking for new boys to join the troop,” said Scoutmaster Peter A. Lombardo, of Putnam.
“After we get home from camp,” Lombardo said, ticking off some of the highlights of the troop’s schedule through next spring, “We’ll be out every month. Among other things our Scouts will be hiking part of the Airline Trail in our area, heading out to a science, computer and robots weekend at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, several camping trips, a shotgun-shooting program, a food drive for local needy people, a Paw Sox game in Pawtucket and another fishing trip, so we’ll be busy.”
Troop 21’s Scoutmaster noted that a Boy Scout troop’s operations are run by the boys, with the adults guiding and teaching them as needed, overseeing transportation and making sure everyone is healthy and safe.
“Our Scouts made up this year’s schedule and are responsible for planning and carrying out what they’ll be doing,” Lombardo said. “They decide what they want to do; they raise their own money to do it. Scouting builds self-reliance, responsibility and character that way. We’re very proud of our guys.”
For information about joining Troop 21, call Lombardo at (860) 963-0171 and leave a message.


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