Troop 13 News

What the Troop is "Doing" Together...

Kurt's Eagle Project Sun April 8th 10:00 - 3:00 pm

posted Apr 1, 2018, 11:43 AM by Webmaster Troop 13

Hi All, 

My 2nd Eagle Project workday is on Sunday, April 8th.  The project will take place at my house (40 Emerson Rd, Needham, MA) from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  

We will be building a wooden firewood storage crib.  I will need about fifteen people, and each person needs to bring work gloves and any tools they have.  These include hand saws, band saws, and drills.  In addition, if anybody has lumber squares, miter boxes, and saw horses, please email me immediately.  

There will also be a workday on Friday, April 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 for adults only.  Please bring at least one circular saw for this workday.  For all workdays, please RSVP by Wednesday.  I hope to have a productive work day, and I wish you all a good weekend! 

YIS, Kurt

Congratulations to Jim Murphy, Jim Cullison and Andrea Carter

posted Mar 28, 2018, 12:16 PM by Webmaster Troop 13   [ updated Apr 3, 2018, 3:50 AM ]

We have three people to Congratulate for their outstanding service to Needham Scouts.   Jim Murphy, Scoutmaster,  is receiving an Outstanding Boy Scouter Award and his Unit Leader Award of Merit!   Jim Cullison, Assistant Scoutmaster, is receiving an Outstanding Boy Scouter Award and Andrea Carter, Pack 4 Committee Chair, is receiving an Outstanding Cub Scouter Award.  Congratulations to them all.  
The GBH Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will be held on Tuesday, 4/10/2018, at the USS Jacob Jones VFW Post in Dedham with a social gathering at 5:45pm. Please come and celebrate with us this year's award recipients.  Congratulations again to Jim!

Sign Up for Introduction to Backpacking, the AT Trip and Yawgoog

posted Mar 21, 2018, 6:11 AM by Webmaster Troop 13   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 5:22 AM ]

Click here to register
The Troop Registration forms are now up and open for the Introduction to Backpacking Trip (Good for all scouts) and the Appalachian Trail Trip (Open to 1st Class and above).

The Introduction to Backpacking is a one night overnight April 14-15 at Blue Hills.  New Scouts will get a chance to practice skills and remember to log your hike and overnight into Scoutbook.  Click here to register  After you click submit for your registration, please continue down to the PayPal box to pay for the trip.  Please note, you do not need a PayPal account.  You may also pay by check to the Treasurer.

The Appalachian Trail Trip will be in the Great Barrington, MA area.  This trip is only for scouts that have achieved the rank of First Class and above.  This is a 2-night trip.  Click here to register

All Scouts are encouraged to join Troop 13 at Yawgoog Camp July 8 - 15th.  This is a great way for the new scouts to become fully integrated into the troop and earn merit badges that they need.  Most scouts earn their Swimming Badge during this week.  Sign up before April 2 for your scout to get the Yawgoog Baseball hat.  Please ask questions if you have them.  $25 holds your scout's spot.  Click here for Yawgoog pre-registration

Klondike Derby Registration is open - Register before Feb 26th

posted Jan 19, 2018, 1:04 PM by Webmaster Troop 13   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 5:17 AM ]

Come join Troop 13 for the 2018 Great Blue Hill District's Klondike Derby at Camp Sayre.  Last day to register is Feb 26th

The registration link is on the left sidebar under signups or click here.  You may pay by PayPal or check.

The Troop will Depart at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 9th and return on Sunday, March 11th.  We will be staying in a Cabin.  

Read the Great Blue Hill's packet for more information  2018-Klondike-Packet.pdf

Ski Trip Jan 19th - 21st

posted Jan 10, 2018, 8:02 AM by Webmaster Troop 13

What: Troop 13 Winter Trip- Learn to ski, snowshoe 

When: Jan 19-21 

Where: D Acres, & Waterville Valley, NH  

Who: up to 40 people, Scouts and their families (separate accommodations available) 


Lodging: $40 for 2 night accommodation 

Foods: $20 

Trip only $60 

Learn to Ski package ~$77 (equipment rental, lift ticket, and 2hr lesson) 

Total $137 per person to be paid at Waterville.

Please read our sign up sheet in the left column under sign-ups, for more details.  We are taking payment for the lodging only.  Skiing and other activities will be paid up at Waterville.

2018 School Vacation Scout Camps and Additional Summer Camp Weeks

posted Dec 29, 2017, 10:16 AM by Webmaster Troop 13   [ updated Dec 29, 2017, 11:03 AM ]

There is lots to do over school vacation weeks.  You can learn and practice scouting skills while having fun and earning merit badges.  Check out the 2018 Vacation camp information.  After you attend Yawgoog, you can continue the fun with our Council in Milton at NEBC (New England Base Camp (Camp Sayre)).

Click on the link for week to week offerings for grades 6-12.  Camps, Vacation and Summer 2018

Harvard Merit Badge University Registration opens November 25th

posted Oct 20, 2017, 5:40 AM by Webmaster Troop 13

Merit Badge University

The Harvard College Friends of Scouting in conjunction with Spirit of Adventure Council presents Merit Badge University (MBU) 2018.  Merit Badges are an important part of the Boy Scout Program.  At MBU, Boy Scouts (not Webelos) may earn up to three MBs that are not typically available in a camp or troop setting.

When: Saturday, March 3 (8 AM - 2:30 PM) & Saturday, April 7 (9 AM - 1 PM) - Both sessions are required. Some badges have a field trip on an intervening Saturday or Sunday to be determined by specific Merit Badge Counselors. Registering for session one automatically registers you for the same merit badges in session two.

What: An opportunity to earn three (non-Eagle required) merit badges while attending classes at Harvard University. For some badges, some requirements must be done prior to the first Saturday session. (Counselors will correspond with Scouts by the end of February with this information.) To complete some merit badges, other work will need to be done between the first and second session and emailed to the counselor.

REGISTRATION BEGINS - 11/25/2017 9:00 AM

MBU Registration Link


American Cultures





American Heritage







Game Design


Public Health





Pulp & Paper








Insect Study












Scouting Heritage





Search & Rescue

Crime Prevention




Space Exploration

Digital Technology




Traffic Safety

Disability Awareness




Truck Transportation







Period 1  9:00am- 10:30am

Period 2  10:45am- 12:15pm

Period 3   1:00pm- 2:30pm


Each Merit Badge will be offered in all three periods with the exception of Robotics & Game Design (ALL DAY) and Collections (Period 1 & 2 only). 


$60.00 per Participant

Helpful Scouting Phone Apps from Bryan on Scouting

posted Oct 7, 2017, 4:52 AM by Webmaster Troop 13

The Best Scouting Apps of 2016

It’s 2016. The smartphone doesn’t detract from the Scouting experience; it enhances it.

Where in the past there was a debate over whether smartphone use is appropriate in Scouting, these days most Scouters see the devices like pocketknives. They are multitools that — with guidance to prevent misuse — are an important part of the Scouting experience.

With the right apps, your smartphone becomes a navigation device, sous chef, first-aid adviser, weather radio, camera and reference library. All inside a pocketable rectangle of glass, plastic and metal.

But which are the “right apps”? A fair question, given that the Google Play and Apple App Store each house more than 2 million of them.

For this list, I tapped Scouting magazine’s Facebook audience and consulted with Doug Goldring, an assistant Scoutmaster in the National Capital Area Council who compiled a list of Scouting apps for a Wood Badge ticket item.

Here’s the list with links to download them. 

boys-life-app-logoBoys’ Life magazine

DeveloperBoys’ Life magazine, Boy Scouts of America

Devices: Android, iOS, Kindle

Cost: The app itself costs nothing, and anyone can browse a preview of any issue for free. Print subscribers get free access to the digital versions of their issues. Others can subscribe in the app or with this special print-and-digital bundle.

Description: If it’s in a boy’s life, it’s in Boys’ Life. And if it’s in Boys’ Life magazine, it’s in the magazine’s app, with content enhanced for the digital experience. You’ll get up-to-the-second news and feeds from BL social-media channels — plus, of course, all the great magazine stories about Scouting adventures, sports, cars, gaming, science, technology and more.

Download links: AndroidiOS.

knots-3d-app-logoKnots 3D

Developer: Nynix

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $1.99

Description: This easy-to-use app is popular among Scouters and Scouts because it’s fun and allows you to digitally tie, untie and rotate more than 100 knots with just your finger. “It can be slowed down and replayed for any level needed,” Scouter Dana says. “I tell other Scouters about it all the time!”

Download links: AndroidiOS.

grog-app-logoAnimated Knots by Grog

Developer: Grog LLC

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $4.99

Description: “If you’re going to pay for knot-tying app,” Scouter Mike says, “then Animated Knots by Grog is the best thing out there.”

Download links: AndroidiOS.


Developer: Groundspeak Inc.

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: The app is free, though you can get more features with a premium subscription for $30 a year.

Description: Think of it as the original Pokémon Go. Geocaching is the most popular app for enjoying the fun outdoor activity that spawned a Boy Scout merit badge. The official app of helps you find one (or a dozen) of the millions of geocaching containers hidden across the globe. “My Scouts always love it when I start up the Geocaching app when at camp,” Scouter Richard says. “They love getting a group together and grabbing a cache wherever we go.”

Download: AndroidiOS.

scouting-magazine-app-logoScouting magazine

DeveloperScouting magazine, Boy Scouts of America

Devices: Android, iOS, Kindle

Cost: The app is free. Once inside the app, enjoy a free, two-minute preview of any issue. Or buy any single issue for $3.99. The best deal, though, is the all-access subscription: unlimited access to every issue for $4.99 a year. You can subscribe in the app.

Description: By swiping through Scouting magazine’s digital archives, you’re literally scrolling back in time. Where you stop to explore deeper is up to you. I find even the advertisements — for fundraising products like fruitcakes, animal-shaped candles and Florida oranges — to be interesting. Discover Scouting history, and American history through the eyes of Scouting, in the Scouting magazine app.

Download: AndroidiOS.

star-walk-2-app-logoStar Walk 2

Developer: Vito Technology Inc.

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $2.99 for iOS, $0.99 or free for Android.

Description: The sequel to the 2014 bestseller. There’s something magical about the night sky, especially on a camping trip. This app helps you understand just what you’re seeing. I love the augmented reality feature that labels all the stars, constellations and satellites you point your phone at. Just point your phone or iPad at the night sky and learn.

Download: Android ($0.99)Android (free)iOS.

american-red-cross-app-logoFirst Aid by American Red Cross

Developer: American Red Cross

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: The only app here that may some day save a life. The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Includes videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice.

Download: AndroidiOS.

audubon-app-logoAudubon Bird Guide: North America

Developer: National Audubon Society

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: This popular app, now free, helps your Scouts or Venturers identify birds they see or hear. The app includes 808 species, 3,200 images and eight hours of bird sounds. A featured called eBird helps you locate birds seen recently around you, using the continuously updated database from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Download: AndroidiOS.

bird-id-app-logoMerlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Developer: Cornell University

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Speaking of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the wizards there have created Merlin Bird ID, which asks you five simple questions to help identify which bird you and your Scouts have spotted. It contains the 400 most common bird species in the United States.

Download: AndroidiOS.

dutch-oven-helper-lite-app-logoDutch Oven Helper Lite

Developer: Kyle Kendall

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: A simple app with a clear purpose: telling you exactly how many charcoal briquettes you’ll need for a Dutch oven meal. Choose a temperature, Dutch oven size and cooking method, and the app does the rest — well, except for preparing the meal. And eating it. And cleaning up.

Download: iOS.

dutch-oven-calculator-app-logoDutch Oven Calculator

Developer: More With Less Software

Devices: Android

Cost: Free

Description: An Android cousin of the Dutch Oven Helper Lite above. It’s a simple app to figure out how many charcoal briquettes you’ll need for Dutch oven cooking.

Download: Android.

camp-scout-app-logoCamp Scout!

DeveloperBoys’ Life magazine, American Park Network

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Use this official Boys’ Life tool to plan your next outing with ease. Type in a city and state or ZIP code, and let the app find BSA council camps near that location. You can filter by activity — ATV, fishing, horseback riding and more — to make sure that camp features activities your Scouts crave.

Download: iOS.

weather-underground-app-logoWeather Underground

Developer: Weather Underground, LLC

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: There are hundreds (thousands?) of weather apps out there, and everybody seems to have a favorite. Mine is Weather Underground, the free app that uses traditional data from the National Weather Service and a network of 200,000 personal weather stations. You can even add “smart forecasts” for things like hiking or stargazing where you can string together multiple conditions (temperature, wind speed, humidity, etc.) to find the best times for your favorite Scouting activities. 

Download: AndroidiOS.

storm-shield-app-logoStorm Shield

Developer: E.W. Scripps Company

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $2.99

Description: Turns your iPhone or Android device into an emergency weather radio. You’ll get severe weather alerts for your exact location — or up to five other locations you specify (a favorite camp, perhaps?). Alerts include natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, winter storms and other life-threatening events.

Download: AndroidiOS.

peakfinder-earth-app-logoPeakFinder Earth

Developer: Fabio Soldati

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $3.99

Description: Point your phone toward any mountain, and PeakFinder tells you its name and elevation. Works offline worldwide and includes more than 250,000 peaks — “from Mount Everest to the little hill around the corner.” 

Download: AndroidiOS.


Developer: Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Point your phone toward any leaf, and LeafSnap uses visual recognition software to help you identify the tree from which it came. Fair warning: The app, like most things in nature, still has a few bugs.

Download: iPhoneiPad.

gaia-app-logoGaia GPS: Topo Maps and Trails for Offline Hiking

Developer: TrailBehind

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $19.99

Description: It’s not remotely cheap, but Gaia GPS is your best friend in remote locations. Many call it the best hiking GPS app you can find. It offers the functionality of a standalone backcountry GPS unit and lets you download worldwide topo, road and aerial maps for those times when you don’t have a cell signal.

Download: AndroidiOS.


Developer: Bientus Inc.

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Track your Scouting adventures, and then share your story and photos with the world. That’s the promise of Ramblr and its “geo-located stories.” It tracks your basic hikes, but Scouter Doug says “its real attraction is the ability to take and share videos or photos along the way, as well as write mini-blog entries. These can all be uploaded into the Ramblr database and viewed by other hikers following the same route in the future.” Did somebody say “recruiting”?

Download: AndroidiOS.

campfire-songs-app-logoCampfire Songs


Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: More than 200 campfire songs at your fingertips — perfect for campouts, pack meetings and troop meetings. The app’s design is a little simplistic, but you can’t beat the price or song selection.

Download: iOS.

adobe-acrobat-app-logoAdobe Acrobat Reader

Developer: Adobe

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Save a tree! The BSA is making more and more of its forms and guides (like the Guide to Safe Scouting and Guide to Advancement) available online as PDFs. A PDF reader allows you to easily view these, download them, search them and share them. There are other PDF apps with more features, but this one’s free. I like free.

Download: AndroidiOS.

square-app-logoSquare Register

Developer: Square Inc.

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Cash is so last century. Accept credit cards for pack and troop dues, popcorn sales, and anything else using a free reader from Square. Simplicity comes at a price, though. Square takes 2.75 percent from every swipe, so be sure to factor that into your budgeting.

Download: AndroidiOS.

white-noise-free-app-logoWhite Noise Free

Developer: TMSOFT

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Falling asleep to wind rustling through trees or rain pattering on your tent? Incredible. Tossing and turning all night because the Scouter in the next tent over is a snorer? Less incredible. Use technology to help you sleep better.

Download: AndroidiOS. — the web app for advancement

Developer: Boy Scouts of America

Devices: Any

Cost: Varies based on unit size

Description: There are dozens of unofficial apps to help you track advancement, and many are well-liked by their users. But an ever-increasing number of Scouters count on because it’s robust, easy to use and constantly updated. “One thing I love about this app is the ability of Scouts and Scouters to interact through it,” Scouter Doug says. “No longer does a Scout need to worry about a lost blue card or torn book. Instead, the Scout can mark his progress in the app.”


Register for Chariots of Fire

posted Sep 21, 2017, 5:00 PM by Webmaster Troop 13   [ updated Sep 26, 2017, 2:07 AM ]

You can continue to register for Chariots of Fire. We have held a spot for us, so please continue to sign up

WhereHale Reservation off of Dove Street which is off Route 109 West. Follow signs towards town public works department and Camp Hale. 

WhenOctober 13-15, 2017 

Travel back to the days of ancient Rome and Greece where men were men and earning Totin' Chit involved some serious swordplay! Bring your chariots to Hale Reservation and compete as patrols in a number of games that you can play as if you were living centuries ago. Be part of a massive tug of war and the ultimate: the Camporee Chariot Race.

After the competition and an interfaith service, we'll be eating together as each troop contributes to a potluck dinner for the gladiators to share. Then it's down to the Coliseum for the evening campfire program where you are the main attraction. 

These Chariots Must have wheels on them (please think about using your Klondike sled and just add wheels). They need to be able to carry your troop equipment to your site and will be used for the race. When making these Chariots think how the Romans and Greeks did them. We cannot use horses so the pulling of the Chariot should be designed so your fellow scouts have enough room to have to pull it along. If any scout would like to dress the part, it is more than welcome and will give your team extra points. On your Chariot, you should have water, rope, scout book, pen paper, and anything else that you think will be needed for your adventure.  

Description of events: Using your Chariot to move from 1 event to another to get used to it. These are all timed so we can get every event done. All of the events will be held in the field. 

• Ring Toss: Each patrol member (up to 8 scouts) will have 4 rings made out of rope and must toss these rings onto wooden dowels. 3 chances per troop and each toss will be added up to achieve the total tosses. 

• Dice Throwing: Made from wood and thrown towards a target like a skeet bowling to achieve a score. Each patrol member (up to 8 scouts) will have 4 dice and then we count up your score. 

• Caterpillar Walk: The patrol will be walking sideways on wooden planks for a set distance. Scouts will be timed for this event. 

• Prisoner’s Base and/or Jousting: by capturing other troops members or knocking them off their Chariot and placed in your troops holding station. With a stick that both ends have balls to use as your protection. 

• Roman Ball: you have 2 circles a big outer circle and a smaller inner circle. The object is to get 21 points before the other team by catches the ball or if the ball is not caught. 

• Tug of War 

• The Main Event: THE CHARIOT RACE: Each troop will have to race their Chariot to the poles tied with 5 rings on them and untie these rings. 1 troop member at a time to then race when you have all the rings and place in order by size on a dowel that is placed at a certain distance for points. Speed and accuracy will help. 

All of these events will be on a point system. 

The Schedule for the weekend is as follows: 


• 6:00 pm - 9pm: Check In 

• 9:30 pm: Scoutmaster, SPL and ASPL cracker barrel at Pavilion 


• 7:00 am: Reveille and breakfast in site 

• 8:30 am: Opening Ceremony/ Beginning of Events 

• Lunch will happen while the events are running. Plan accordingly so every scout can eat and participate 

• 3:00 End of Activities- Prepare for Chariot Race 

• 3:00 pm: Chariot Race- Plan to have someone preparing dinner during the race. 

• 4:00 pm Scout Inter-faith service 

• 6:00 pm: Potluck dinner with the other troops in the field 

• 8:00 pm Evening Show 

• 9:00 pm Scouts cracker barrel 


• Wake up. Eat. Pack. 

• 8:30am: Closing Ceremony 

• Everyone must be off of the property by 10:30am at the latest 

Click here for registration page for Chariots of Fire

Camporee Sign up sheets are up

posted Sep 6, 2017, 3:04 PM by Webmaster Troop 13

Please look for the Camporee Sign up Sheets located on our left sidebar under Sign Ups and PayPal.  
The are 2 type of sign ups sheets, Cub Scouts, and Boys Scout.  

PayPal is available to pay for Camporee.  You do not need a PayPal account to use it, just click on the link and use your credit card.  You may also pay by check made payable to Troop 13 Needham.

We look forward to seeing you at the Camporee.

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