Boy Scout Troop 650 hosted a Breakfast with Santa on Sunday in Alexander. More than 300 people atteneded.
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Boy Scout Troop 650 hosted a Breakfast with Santa on Sunday in Alexander. More than 300 people atteneded.
Photos by Steve Ognibene
Jerremy E. Sharick of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 64 in East Pembroke was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
Jerremy earned 32 merit badges earning him two Palms, also.
Jerremy's Eagle Project was building a new counter and storage table for the Corfu Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, where he has volunteered for nearly five years. The new counter replaces a folding banquet table that the pantry was using that had no storage. He also donated the leftover funds to the food pantry.
Jerremy's Eagle project consisted of 87.5 volunteer hours.
The Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America based in Buffalo and the Iroquois Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America based in Oakfield announced today that they will be merging as of May 1 to form the new Western New York Scout Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America.
“This is an exciting time for Scouting in WNY as we bring together the best of what both councils have to offer to better serve young people, families, and the community. Our councils have been working together for generations and this solidifies that partnership. Combining ensures that we continue to provide world-class program experiences for our Scouts long into the future,” said Gary Decker, Scout Executive & CEO of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council.
“The combined strengths of our staff, volunteer leaders, and camp properties ensures that we’re uniquely prepared to deliver life-changing educational and character-building programs to young people and families across the entirety of Western New York,” added Jim McMullen, Scout executive and CEO of the Iroquois Trail Council.
The newly combined council will serve youth from all of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties, and most of Livingston County in Western New York and offer many benefits, including:
- Improved program opportunities
- Better support for volunteer leaders
- A larger membership base to support a wider variety of events and activities
- Greater financial sustainability
- Two fully operational camp properties
The WNY Scout Council will continue to operate two Scout service centers in Cheektowaga and Oakfield. The council will also operate two scout camps: Camp Scouthaven, in Freedom, and Camp Sam Wood in Portageville. Gary A. Decker, current Scout executive and CEO of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, will serve as the Scout Executive & CEO of the newly formed Council and James C. McMullen, current Scout Executive & CEO of the Iroquois Trail Council will serve as the deputy Scout executive and COO.
About Greater Niagara Frontier Council, BSA - The Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America serves more than 5,000 Scouts and Adult Volunteers in Erie County and the western third of Niagara County. The Council provides educational programs for boys and girls aged 5 to 20 to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. The Scouting program in WNY has served more than half a million members since its incorporation in 1910. More information about the council is available at www.wnyscouting.org.
About Iroquois Trail Council, BSA - The Iroquois Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America serves more than 1,500 Scouts and Adult Volunteers in Eastern Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, and Livingston counties in Western New York. With offices in Oakfield, the council operates three districts across the five-county service area. More information about the council is available at www.itcbsa.org
Photo: File photo by Howard Owens. From 2022, Luke Geiger, Nicholas Grover, Aidan Clark, take the Eagle Scout oath, administered by Eagle Scout Thomas Ognibene.
Scout Dimick was happy to add a new microlite fishing pole with a 6 to 1 ratio reel and cork grip to his outdoor gear. This is the third pole in his collection. He started his collection after earning his Fishing Merit Badge at an Iroquois Trail Council Camp Dittmer Merit Badge weekend where he caught three fish in one, a fish inside a fish, inside a fish.
This year's Polaris Fishing Derby took place at Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda. The event took advantage of a DEC free fishing weekend. Scouts and guests were welcome, hosted by Greater Niagara Frontier Council's Troop 824 out of Sanborn, NY. The event provided lunch, bait and had BSA Merit Badge Counselors available to answer fishing questions and assist participants.
The Polaris Fishing Derby was scheduled on a DEC free fishing weekend so parents, grandparents and siblings age 16 and older could participate with youth competitors without purchasing a fishing license. The Derby provided seven competitor prizes consisting of fishing poles, reels and a 4th edition copy of Trout Salmon Steelhead Fishing in Western New York. A non-Scout (guest) won the door prize of a brand new bicycle. First place went to a Cub from Pack 193 for a 17" Rudd.
The Trout Salmon Steelhead Fishing in WNY book was donated by a local Cheektowaga chapter of Trout Unlimited. The book is a compilation of almost thirty fishing enthusiasts, detailing several WNY waterways maps, mayfly hatchings, water depth contour maps, twenty fishing flies, and a slew of fishing and conservation information. Trout Unlimited works to maintain the health of our waterways to protect the future of WNY fishing. The organization conducts presentations and classes about fishing to groups, including Scouts.
Scout Dimick was able to identify his catch using the free annual NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide booklet that is available at many outdoor equipment sales counters, local municipalities or directly from the DEC at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. Sept. 24th & Nov.11th are the two remaining NYS DEC 2022 free fishing days.
National BSA awards require additional Scout accomplishments beyond earning specific merit badges. Participating in the Polaris Fishing Derby meets Scout Dimick's award requirement for the prestigious BSA Angler Award. The award also requires completing the Fishing, Fly Fishing and Fish & Wildlife Management Merit Badges.
Camp Dittmer will be offering the Fishing Merit Badge this summer at Merit Badge Weekends. Information can be obtained by calling the Iroquois Trail Council at (585) 343-0307. Camp Dittmer offers family camping throughout the year.
Cub Scouts from Pack 6069 and Boy Scout Troop 6069 placed flags in front of the headstones of veterans at the Batavia Historical Cemetery on Thursday, May 26th. The Troop has been working with the cemetery's historical society several years on this project. It is a pleasure for the Scouts to provide this service to their community. Pack 6069 Committee Chairman Brown made sure to take the Cub Scouts to the grave site of Samuel Wood who is buried there. Sam Wood is the name sake of Iroquois Trail Council's Cub Scout Resident Camp located in Pike, NY. Sam Wood was the first Eagle Scout recorded in Genesee County. Boy Scout Troop 6069 is chartered through the 1st Presbyterian Church in Batavia, and Cub Scout Pack 6069 meets at Jackson Primary School.
Three members of Boy Scout Troop 6006 in Batavia became Eagle Scouts today in a ceremony at First United Methodist Church.
Luke Geiger: Eagle Scout project was a one-mile prayer trail behind Northgate Methodist Church Batavia, that included a 12 ft wooden cross, birdhouses, and gardens on the ground with sundial, and benches. The monetary value of the project is $18,000 with 500-man hours invested. He gave his mentor pins to each of his Cub and Boy Scout leaders Tracy and Nick Grover. Also, a mentor pin to Steve Ognibene.
Nicholas Grover: Eagle Scout project was in the Town of Batavia at Galloway Park on Galloway Road. He designed and built a trail through a wooded area that is 8-feet wide, adding one new bench and refurbishing another bench. He also made trail markers to mark the path. He gave his mentor pin to Steve Ognibene.
Aidan Clark: Eagle Scout project was at St. Joseph Cemetery. He refurbished seven pillars made of concrete He also cleaned, repaired, and painted the front-facing raw black iron fence on Harvester Avenue. He gave his mentor pin to adult leader Dan Geiger and Steve Ognibene
Congressman Chris Jacobs presented congressional awards to each of the boys during the ceremony. Assemblyman Steve Hawley was absent due to a state budget session and will present his awards at a later date.
Top photo: Luke Geiger, Nicholas Grover, Aidan Clark, take the Eagle Scout oath, administered by Eagle Scout Thomas Ognibene.
Photos by Howard Owens except bottom photo.
Photo by Steve Ognibene. Jess Markel former scout executive, Ron Bernard Scoutmaster of Troop 6, newly Eagle Scouts Nicholas Grover, Aidan Clark, Luke Geiger, Ron Schmidt troop commissioner and Erik Volk, Eagle board of review panel.
Cory Richenberg places a race car on the track of the annual Boy Scout Pinewood Derby at United Methodist Church in Batavia on Saturday.
Submitted photo and press release:
The Boy Scouts of America, Iroquois Trail Council, is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of its Volunteer Service and Training Center, located at 102 S. Main St. in the Village of Oakfield on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Doors will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. A commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m.
The Council secured the location following an exhaustive search of properties in and around the Batavia area, which is central to its five-county service area.
“This location allows us a stand-alone space that can be customized for our unique needs in a much more cost-effective manner than either a new build would cost or continuing to lease space,” said Scout Executive Jim McMullen.
“Our Council’s Board of Directors felt this was in keeping with the 'Thrifty' point of the Scout Law.
“We are excited to work on creating a dedicated space that can be used for the many programs and volunteer leadership training that our Council offers, and support our many member families, all while lowering annual operating expenses,” McMullen said.
The property also provides ample grounds for an outdoor training area where leaders can learn the basics of outdoor teaching methods.
Although a significant lead gift helped to make the Service Center purchase possible, the Council is seeking contributions to help make the space fully functional.
For information about named gifts and other giving opportunities, please contact McMullen at 585-409-5828.
A search of more than four years is about to come to an end for Iroquois Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The local Boy Scouts organization has been looking for consolidated, easily accessible, visible office space since at least 2015 and now has a pending purchase offer for a commercial building at 102 S. Main St., Oakfield.
The purchase agreement is contingent, among other things, on the council receiving approval on a site plan to convert the retail space into office space.
The location was most recently the site of a secondhand store, All About Yous.
"The advantage is mainly to our customer base, which is access," said Director Jim McMullen. "And it gives us an opportunity to house each of our staff in a workable space. We're pretty crowded right now."
Currently, the council has a small space in Downtown Batavia and an office in Lockport.
The new location will combine those, giving staff more room, and giving the scouts space for leaders and parents to pick up materials. It will also provide the council with a place to hold meetings.
A couple of years ago the council thought it had found a new office on West Main Street Road in Batavia but that deal didn't come together.
"It's been tough to find, space that is appropriate to our needs and is also on an easily accessible route," McMullen said following a meeting of the Genesee County Planning Board, which recommended approval of the site plan.
Don Ames said the scouts have owned their own office space for decades.
The purchase is also contingent on the building passing an engineering inspection and the property getting confirmation for tax-exempt status for nonprofit ownership.
The property is a little more than a half acre. The building on the property was built in 1998 and is 2,400 square feet. It's assessed value is $117,000.
Also on Thursday, the planning board recommended approval of a special use permit for a five-megawatt solar farm at 5103 Ellicott Street Road, which is currently farmland owned by Donald Partridge. The location is 20 acres and the facility will be built and run by Trousdale Solar LLC and will provide sufficient solar power for 750 to 1,000 homes.
Under the Community Distributed Generation Program, the solar energy would be distributed to customers through National Grid and the customers would receive solar credits against National Grid bills and pay Cypress Creek (the company administering the program) separately for the solar power. The overall cost to customers who sign up for the program will be lower than what they're currently paying, according to documentation from Trousdale Solar.
Here's the text of the speech that Thomas Ognibene, of Batavia, gave after being designated an Eagle Scout on Sunday:
"Wow, this is great. It is amazing how much support (I get) from family and friends that are here today. I’d like to go over some highlights of my Boy Scout journey.
First of all, I’d like to give thanks to the First United Methodist Church for supporting our troop and two years ago when we had our 100 year celebration. That was a milestone that not many troops accomplish.
Starting six years ago, back in March of 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Bartz introduced me to Scouting at a Cub Scout meeting by the invite of Shane Moak and Pack 69. And with the help of Mr. Crowley, those leaders gave me a base foundation, to get me quickly to cross over to become a Boy Scout within one month while I was in fifth grade.
When I came into Troop 69, I met Evan Bartz who became my friend and today this friendship continued through Scouts and school. We went to Brown Sea, which is a great experience, which every incoming Scout should attend right away their first summer camp. Along my journey I had to make a transition from Troop 69 to Troop 6. I felt like I needed to get a new direction in Scouting and when I did it was the help of the leaders that are here today.
When I came to Troop 6006, Dylan Scroger was the Senior Patrol Leader, under his leadership along with the new boys who welcomed me in, I began my next phase of Scouting. With there teaching and direction, I earned Second Class.
The biggest challenge I had to overcome in Scouting was one of the requirements for my next upcoming rank, First Class, and that was to successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. I had many challenges leading up to this and with the help of Mr. Mountain, Mr Geiger, and Mr. Jess Markel who came to my assistance, after many months of training going back and forth in the pool, practicing the breaststroke and resting backstroke, I was able to complete the BSA swimmer test and since then I have been a great swimmer ever since and achieved First Class Scout.
As a Star Scout, one of my memorable moments was when Mr. Gaus had this great steak that he cooked and little did I know later on, when eating a third serving, that it was deer meat. Another moment was when my dad got real excited when Mr. Grover offered him a Paula’s Donut, and when he opened the box there was nothing in there! There are many humorous moments in Scouting that I will always cherish. Along these campouts, Mr. Gaus helped me with different merit badge requirements that later on helped me achieve Star Scout.
Over the years, I was heavily involved in the popcorn sales that benefited the counsel and helped raise money toward summer camps, going to the National Jamboree, and other activities. I’d like to thank my customers who supported me over the years and my dad, 'the popcorn kernel,' who took me door-to-door to sell popcorn.
As a Life Scout, three other boys from this troop and I attended the 2017 National Scout Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
In Scouting, as in life, adventure takes on many meanings: high adventure, learning, camaraderie, and simply being part of something bigger. 'Live Scouting’s Adventure' was the theme for the jamboree that year. The four of us met people from all over the country, activities we did consisted of patch trading, zip lining, mountain biking, shooting sports, scuba diving, and so much more.
The experiences we had will stick with us forever and we were able to share this with our troop at the end of the summer that year, and told the boys that It is worthwhile to attend if they wish to do so when the next jamboree is taking place.
About a year after the jamboree, I continued to work on requirements and merit badges for the rank of Eagle Scout, I had to plan, develop, and give leadership, to a service project. That’s when I first met with Mr. Jacobs, the buildings and grounds manager at John Kennedy School here in Batavia.
I came to him with a plan to expand the present memorial garden, which is behind the school where the bus loop is, that had two trees and a shrub already planted there. The garden was originally created in memory of Mike Houseknecht and the Raines teachers. In this current project, I expanded and enhanced the garden which included adding dirt, mulch, flowers, another shrub, a stone wall, a brickwork of pavers on the outside borders of the garden, and a small square paver area in front of the stone wall, which has a plaque in the middle of that area.
The garden is a symbol of remembrance to the people who have played an important role and dedicated their time to help the students at John Kennedy School. I’d like to thank my fellow scouts, adult leaders, and members of the community who came to donate their time, on that day of the project.
Before I conclude my speech, I would like to talk about someone who had a major impact on me through the scouting journey. During my time as Senior Patrol Leader, Webmaster, and other leadership positions that I held, this adult leader has given me the instruction, guidance, and advice throughout my time in the Boy Scouts.
What I have learned from him, has shaped me into becoming a better individual, scout, friend, and family member and will continue to throughout the rest of my life. This adult leader is most deserving of the mentor pin. I would now like to give the mentor pin to my Scoutmaster, Mr. Ron Bernard.
Once again, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for coming out today, and I hope your all enjoy the rest of today's ceremony."
From left, Scoutmaster Ron Bernard, Thomas Ognibene and Steve Ognibene.
Boy Scouts of America Troop 6006.
When John Igoe Jr. needed a project for his Eagle Scout Badge, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
John Jr. had struggled in the classroom during his early years, his mom Debbie Igoe said. And he wanted to do something for his school.
John Jr. and his family had visited relatives in Poughkeepsie, where they saw an outdoor classroom. John Jr. thought it would be great to build one at Oakfield-Alabama Central School, which might benefit other kids who had trouble focusing in a regular classroom environment.
John Jr. discussed it with school Superintendent Mark Alexander, who also thought it was a great idea, and then the Scout presented it to the school board, which gave its approval.
John Jr. comes from a long line of Scouts. His dad is an Eagle Scout, as are two of his uncles, Andrew Igoe, of Poughkeepsie and Matt Igoe, of Lake Katrine. His grandfather James Igoe Jr., of Poughkeepsie, was a Scoutmaster for 35 years.
John Jr. is a member of Troop 6066 at Indian Falls United Methodist Church. His Scoutmaster is Laverne Lamkin and Assistant Scoutmaster is Scott Allen. John Jr. started his Eagle Scout project almost two years ago. He got support from the entire community, as well as help from family and a lot of friends, he said.
Ray Smith, of Oakfield, provided equipment to clear land near the school’s nature trail; Aron Kehlenbeck, who owns a portable sawmill, sawed the trees; Seaman’s Hardware donated hardware; Shuknecht’s donated metal brackets, and posts were donated by Home Depot and Genesee Lumber.
John Jr. said he wanted to join Scouts because it was his family’s heritage, but he also wanted to do it for himself.
“A lot of people helped me and kept me in,” he said. “I was in a very active troop, which had an outing almost every month. They became like family to me.”
John Jr.’s mother presented her son’s Eagle Award, after which Andrew gave the Eagle Charge and Matt gave the Eagle Pledge.
The Scout then gave his parents a gift to honor them for helping him get where he is today. He also recognized Scott Allen for being his mentor.
Special speakers included Assemblyman Steve Hawley, John Hilchey and Jason Armbrewster.
John Jr. plans to attend New York's Clarkson University after graduation to study Mechanical Engineering.
Top photo: John Igoe Jr., of Oakfield, poses with his family prior to receiving his Eagle Scout Badge Saturday at Oakfield-Alabama Central School for constructing an outdoor classroom. From left are his uncle James Igoe, of Beacon, dad John Igoe, of Oakfield, John Jr., uncles Andrew Igoe, of Poughkeepsie, and Matt Igoe, of Lake Katrine, (both Eagle Scouts); and grandfather James Igoe Jr., of Poughkeepsie.
Above, John Igoe Jr., left, his father John Igoe, and Assistant Scoutmaster Scott Allen prepare for John Jr.’s Eagle Scout ceremony Saturday in the outdoor classroom he built on Oakfield-Alabama Central School’s nature trail.
Above,John Igoe Jr., center, poses with his parents John and Debbie Igoe, of Oakfield, prior to a ceremony Saturday in which he received his Eagle Scout Badge. John’s father and two uncles are also Eagle Scouts.
Rev. Ruth Rosa Warner along with Boy Scouts from Troop 6006 are holding a Pasta Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 14th, at the First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Dinner includes pasta, meatballs, salad, bread, dessert, beverages.
Pre-sale tickets are two for $10 or $5 each if purchased by April 6th. Ticket locations are at Marchese Computer Products, 220 Ellicott St., Batavia, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; and Licata Chiropractic and Wellness Center during regular business hours.
Tickets can be purchased at the door: Adults $7 and children under 10, $5. A free delivery service will be offered to senior living homes in Batavia if ordered by April 6th.
Any questions please call Steve Ognibene 585-409-8358 or email [email protected]
Tyler Wood was promoted to the rank of Eagle Scout at the Old Courthouse last night.
His Eagle Project was the renovation of the restrooms at the Akron Free Methodist Church. He is a member of Troop 64 in East Pembroke. Pictured with him are his Scoutmaster Bryan Schiefer and his parents, Charles and Heather Wood.
Photo and info submitted by Heather Wood.
In a ceremony at John Kennedy School yesterday, a new memorial garden was dedicated as the culmination of an Eagle Scout project by Thomas Ognibene, Troop 6006.
"I wanted to do something to give back to the community and recognize all the people who have dedicated their time to give to the school," Thomas said.
When Thomas started his project in May, there were two trees planted behind the school to honor Mike Houseknecht and George and Maria Raines, both former gym teachers at the school.
Thomas added more plants, mulch and a stone border with an elevated area in the center of the memorial.
From planning through construction, Thomas put in more than 120 hours of time into the project. He was assisted in the construction by 19 scouts and parents.
Supporting the project were Batavia City School District, Scalia’s Landscape, Home Depot, Hansen Aggregates, Joe’s Awards and Trophies, Steve Ognibene Photography, Batavia’s Original, and Pudgie's Lawn and Garden.
Members of the Houseknecht and Raines families attended the ceremony.
"We’re so grateful and overwhelmed," said Maureen Pelletier, daughter of George and Maria, and who traveled to Batavia for the ceremony. "It’s just so much more than we ever expected."
Batavia Boy Scout Troop 6006 Joe Marchese is posing with one of 18 fire hydrants he plans to refurbish the outside of them this Saturday, Aug. 26th. He is looking for people willing to donate their time to help with his Eagle project.
It will benefit the Town of Batavia on Edgewood Drive, Woodland Drive, Valle Drive and Fairway Drive. Supplies suggested to bring, if possible if you have on hand, are wire brushes and paint brushes but this is not mandatory.
Please meet at 29 Edgewood Drive, Batavia, at 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. this Saturday.
For more information please contact Joe at 585-343-3784. Refreshments will be provided during the day and food afterward.
The Girl Scouts held their second Powder Puff Pinewood Derby at St. Joe's this afternoon. Local Boy Scouts and scout leaders assisted with setup and running the races.
Some scouts and Committee Chair Paul Marchese, from Troop 6006 from the First United Methodist Church in Batavia, are pictured above preparing for their fundraising drive this Sunday.
The troop will be going door-to-door locally in Batavia this Sunday, Dec. 4th, in the afternoon between 1-4 p.m. collecting bottles and pop cans to help support their troop efforts to purchase new gear for future camping trips.
If you would like to make a donation of returnables, you can directly make a donation at Eastown Beverage during normal business hours under the Troop 6006 account or contact Steve Ognibene at 585-409-8358 to arrange a pickup in the city anytime.
The Boy Scouts of Troop 6017 in Elba hosted a dinner Sunday honoring veterans and first responders.
This was the third year the scouts served up spaghetti at the Fire Hall.
Submitted by Aidan McClurg.
This is the official Bergen Boy School Troop 31 neckerchief, which C.M. Barons shared with us in response to a post the other day about the eastern massasauga rattlesnake being listed a threatened species.
Barons said his mother, Virginia, designed the neckerchief while C.M.'s father was troop leader in the late 1960s.
The design features the snake, the white ladyslipper orchid (also a rare species in the Byron-Bergen Swamp).
Boy Scouts often trade patches and neckerchiefs at jamborees and other events and Barons said the Troop 31 neckerchief is highly sought-after.
Doug Danizewski wears a zebra mask today while trying to drum up business on East Main Street for a car wash at Batavia's Original to benefit Boy Scout Troop 6069.
It was indeed hot in that mask, Danizewski said.