Monthly Archives: July 2021

Denville Troop 17 Honors 12 Eagle Scouts

Scouts BSA Troop 17 in Denville recently held an Eagle Court of Honor for 12 new Eagle Scouts.

The event was held in Dragonetti Auditorium on the Randolph campus of County College of Morris.

The ceremony featured a slideshow of the 12 Eagle Scouts as they trekked their trail to Eagle, as well as a bagpiper and closing Scout Vespers.

Watchung Reservation Reopens for Overnight Group Camping

The Union County Department of Parks & Recreation has announced that it has reopened the Scout Camping Area in the Watchung Reservation for overnight group camping, and applications are now being accepted.

The Scout Camping Area can be utilized by any Scout group (and, in fact, by any nationally recognized youth-serving organization). The permit fee structure provides a lower rate for user groups that are based in Union County. The designation is based on the address of the person submitting the permit application.

The Scout Camping Area includes four open lawn campsites, a large activity field, two centrally located covered pavilions, two shelters located between the campsites, a freeze-proof water hydrant, and a 75-seat Council Ring.

Each campsite has a raised group-sized charcoal grill, and from one to four rings, each with a picnic table.  The Scout Camping Area is centrally located in the 2,111-acre Watchung Reservation, near the Trailside Nature & Science Center, and is connected by 60 miles of hiking and bridle trails to Lake Surprise, Seeley’s Pond, the Watchung Stable, and the Deserted Village of Feltville.

Scout units looking for a site for an outdoor awards ceremony can use the Council Ring in the Scout Camping Area, or they can reserve the 150-seat amphitheater that is located near the former Trailside Museum building.

Scout leaders are responsible for maintaining a COVID-safe environment for all camping participants. Face masks must be worn by all unvaccinated persons while in enclosed spaces, including in tents except while sleeping. Unless tent mates are family members, unvaccinated campers should be assigned to a tent by themselves, or tent mates should arrange their sleeping positions to keep at least a 6-foot distance between heads while sleeping.

Since January 2021, the County of Union has been allowing use of the Scout Camping Area by Scout units for outdoor meetings, without a permit or fee, as an accommodation to the pandemic. That offer ended on July 9. Now, any Scout unit utilizing any portion of the Scout Camping Area, for any length of time, must apply for and be granted a permit and pay the appropriate fee.

To get a map of trails in the Watchung Reservation, or to obtain a Scout Camping Area Permit Application, go to the Union County website at  A Certificate of Insurance that covers units of the Patriots’ Path Council, BSA, is already on file with the county.

Only the fillable pdf Scout Camping Area Permit Application found here and on the county website and last updated on Nov. 2, 2020, will be accepted. Please delete any older versions of the application form to avoid a delay in the processing of your request.


Featured Scouts: Andrew and Alex Noviello

Andrew and Alex Noviello are twin brothers who recently became Eagle Scouts and earned the BSA William T. Hornaday Silver Medal. The brothers are pictured at left with Patriots’ Path Council Scout Executive Marc Andreo.

Through completing numerous conservation-service projects around New Jersey for the Hornaday Award, Alex and Andrew realized the difficulty of fundraising for community conservation initiatives. Thus, they decided to found GrassRoots Conservation to provide monetary grants to other motivated and environmentally-passionate youth across the state to disseminate the conservation movement.

Now, GrassRoots Conservation has worked with numerous beneficiaries across New Jersey to complete 3,171 service hours with 287 volunteers. Alex and Andrew are excited to help more youth, namely Scouts, make a difference in their communities!

To learn more about their organization, visit

PPC Sends Record Number of Crews to Philmont

It has been an amazing summer so far as three of our seven contingents have either returned home or are preparing to leave Philmont in the days ahead. Our first contingent to travel to Philmont just returned.

Between delayed crews and those planned for 2021, Patriots’ Path Council will be sending 28 crews and 326 Scouts and adult leaders to Philmont this year – a PPC record!

The picture at left is at Garden of the Gods in Colorado, which is known for its breathtaking views of red rock formations. The formation in the picture is the iconic “Siamese Twins.”

Thank you to the Watchu staff, which provided training for at least 18 months, and for crews postponed last year, a whopping 30 months!

Scouts Learn Leadership Skills at NYLT

During the week of June 27 through July 3, a total of 62 Scouts from PPC and several other councils attended the National Youth Leadership Training program at Winnebago Scout Reservation. The Scouts were split into two troops and learned leadership skills, which they will use back at their troops and in all their future endeavors.

Prior to the NYLT June program, Executive Board Member and Course Director Jay DeBoey, Scoutmasters Chris Sachs and Bill Stroh from our Presidents Council, and a terrific cadre of adults and Scouts participated in monthly staff development activities to prepare for the program. (In essence, a leadership program within the leadership program!)

Currently we have only seven spots left for the August session, and there are 13 Scouts already registered for our November course!

Scouts must be 13 years old (or completed seventh grade) and First Class to attend.

For more information, click here.

Chris Sachs and Don Fowler

Scouts Enjoy Raritan Valley Rocket Launch

On June 27 at North Branch Park in Bridgewater, Raritan Valley District held its annual rocket launch.

Both parents and Scouts had a great time, and with over 42 rockets successfully built and launched, this year’s rocket launch was a resounding success.