The Doctor Is In (The Spotlight)!

Dr. Sara Grady is the complete package, from land-loving Cub Scouts to shore-loving horseshoe crabs, this amazing volunteer has every living creature’s best interest in mind.

Tiger Den Leader for Pack 47 Plymouth, Sara is a watershed ecologist and — when she is not with her unit — can most often be found in the water, in the woods, on a trail; any place in nature, really. 

Of course, those who take a “hike” with Dr. Sara know she will traverse 100 yards in 10 minutes and share more knowledge about plants and animals than they ever thought possible. All of which makes her a perfect person to lead a Den.

Moreover, as a SuperNOVA mentor, Dr. Grady has been an invaluable Mayflower Council resource the past few years, helping to run stations at Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (meanwhile earning BALOO, mind you), volunteering at the Klondike Derby, Webelos Woods, and the Wilderness Survival Camporee. 

Currently, Sara works on her Wood Badge ticket by improving the “nature trail” at Camp Squanto. 

However, everyone also knows Sara’s hidden talent: a beautiful singing voice often used acapella.

One wonders if both Tigers and and tiger sharks alike would respond equally well to her dulcet tones!

Thank you, Sara, for all your hard work on behalf of your council, district, and unit. Like so many den leaders, you truly shine bright for all of our Scouts.

Fabled Fabion

Adam Fabion paces Pack 56.

A proud Eagle Scout, Adam Fabion of Pack 56 in Holdbrook returned to Scouting when his son joined Cub Scouts as a Tiger. 

Of course, Adam immediately became a den leader and started helping to plan the Pack events. Moreover, like many adults in Scouting, Mr. Fabion loves taking the kids hiking and exploring in the woods. 

Now that his daughter is also a Cub Scout, Adam again became a den leader and continues to work hard to create unforgettable experiences for the Scouts of Pack 56.

However, Adam’s commitment to Scouting hasn’t stopped with the Cubs in his den and pack – he is also the Committee Chair for Troop 56 and an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 13 G. 

Thank you for all your hard work, Adam! Den leaders like you light the way for the next generation of Scouts.

Mary Millette of Den 1 in Pack 3104 in Hudson

Mary the Mentor

Now in her third year in charge of Den 1 (her son Ben’s den; older brother Connor recently crossed over to Scouts BSA, Troop 77 in Hudson), Mary says this year’s highlights include volunteering with “Kylee’s Care Kits” and the “Feed A Neighbor” programs. “I like connecting scouting to our community and providing opportunities for the Scouts to make a difference,” she explained.

Next up was the “Super Science Adventure” and working toward the Up and Away Nova award. “It was great to see the parents and kids work together on science experiments,” added Mary. “This year, we did so much with science between this adventure and the Nova award. I am blown away by what my scouts know and the ideas they bring to the table.”

Finally, attending “Snore and Roar” at the Roger Williams Zoo was very high on Millette’s list. 

“But getting to know my scouts and their families” remains the ultimate highlight for Mary. 

“We have such a great group of kids,” she explained. “They are funny, eager to learn and help, and have such great ideas.”

Congratulations to Mary and her Pack 3104 Den 1 Bears!

Scouts Honor: Everett L., Troop 89 Medfield

“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

That’s what the “Scout Oath” says. And for all BSA Scouts, that serious statement remains omnipresent. But for certain Scouts, the desire to live by the Scout Oath becomes a primary focus.

For that reason (and many others, certainly) Everett L., of Medfield’s Troop 89, will soon receive a Congressional Award gold medal – the U.S. Congress’ highest award for youth civilian service; an achievement that “recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in America’s youth.”

Much like Scouting, participants in the Congressional program set goals across four areas – public service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration.

Those who earn the Congressional Award complete a minimum of 400 hours of community service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and a minimum of a five-day, four-night expedition/exploration (over two years).

In 2021, over 50,000 students across the US enrolled, with only 5,000 being recognized for any award and only 517 receiving the gold. Nearly 2,000 of the applicants came from New England, and last year, just one gold was given out in New Hampshire and eight in Massachusetts for 19 total across the six New England states.

Since the program’s inception in 1979, approximately 6,000 gold medals have been awarded and Scouts BSA has been a partner program of the Congressional Award since 1999.

“Most of my activities for the Eagle Scout rank counted towards the requirements of the Congressional Award,” explained Everett, whose family lives in Meredith, New Hampshire. “I also looked for ways to use technology in service projects; STEM tutoring for local students, 3D printing of objects for the handicapped, and creating educational drone videos.”

Of course, service is a way of life for the Scout, who attends New Hampton School (also in New Hampshire) as a member of the Class of 2024, twice earning the NHS award for “100 Hours of Service.”

“Everett is a very hardworking, independent young man. He accepts new challenges without second guessing and is a perfect model of a community citizen,” said Mr. Ryan Daye, Everett’s advisor at NHS. “I am grateful to have him in my advisory group here at The New Hampton School.”

“Everett comes in and gets the work done,” added Mr. Tony Mure, also of NHS. “Everett is a shining example of hard work, discipline, and focus. His ability to work independently and follow directions is second to none.

“He is a natural-born leader.”

Everett’s Scouting resume says the same.

“Everett is a ‘Scout’s Scout’ who came in as a sixth grader with no background in Cub scouts,” said Scoutmaster Jim Hatch in his commendation for the Eagle Badge [completed in May of 2022].

”His passion for engineering is very clear,” added Hatch. “His integration of his love of technology and the medal’s service requirements is very creative.”

A member of the Tantamous Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, where his ordeal and vigil hours counted towards his Congressional Award service requirements, Everett used Scouting as a scaffold for the Congressional program.

“It really builds off of Scouting,” he said. “And then it gives you the flexibility to create service projects that you design, which is where I was able to look for ways to use technology and engineering to help my community.”

Meanwhile, pursuing the Congressional award is also a family affair, Everett’s mother, Wendy,, was recognized for the Bronze Medal out of Culpeper, Virginia as a high school senior in 1994. Everett’s sister, Lillian, Inter-Lakes class of 2026, is currently pursuing a medal.

“Service is important to our family, the award is a great program, and Troop 89 is a wonderful way for young people to learn about helping others,” said Wendy.

“I’ll get a degree in engineering,” added Everett. “My service projects have really shown me how to use technology and science for the betterment of the community and I will continue that.”

However, for now, the Scouting adventure continues.

Everett is one of the 14 members of Troop 89 who will be hiking through the New Mexico back country at Philmont Scout Ranch in July of 2023 and plans to attend the Troop’s annual week at Camp Squanto near Plymouth, MA.

Congratulations and “Good Scouting!” Everett.

Fred Lybrand contributed to this report.

New Board Member Believes Scouting Is Integral

In 2017 when her son Arnav earned Eagle, Sangeet Srikanth told fellow parents at his Troop 355 Newton Court of Honor: 

“It structures their lives and gives them the most valuable experience that even the best high school education cannot provide.”

“None of the experiences in Scouting can be measured in terms of letter grades, GPA, test scores – but you can witness and experience it everyday in your son’s life,” added Srikanth. “As a parent, I can attest that scouting makes parenting easier.

“But Scouting also does something no other activity can: It helps [children] develop a strong, positive moral character – it is integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, loyalty, being fair and just; caring, trustworthy, and responsible.

“As a high school teacher, I can say that our education system does not teach several life values &  skills in classrooms; you learn them outdoors. 

“It is a latent collection of all these experiences that make them, in the end, self-reliant human beings!”

In his famous essay “Self-Reliance,” transcendalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said of boyhood education:

“The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

Over 180 years later, Emerson’s fellow philosopher Srikanth — who emigrated to the United States to achieve a Master’s Degree at Boston University — told the BSA’s official blog, “As a driven and motivated woman, I have been in pursuit of academic achievement all my school years.

“But after coming to the U.S. and getting exposed to a lot of activities that kids can get involved in, I wanted them to be holistically educated and not focus only on academics.”

Through Scouting, Sangeet, a recent addition to the Mayflower Council board, says her son and now her daughter Anishka have done just that and have tried much more than they would have solely in the classroom.

“Many scouting skills prepare them to face a challenge, learn teamwork, and plan ahead of time. And if things go wrong, they go wrong,” Srikanth recently told “You bounce back and try to try a different way or a different thing.

“For example, when they’re doing an Eagle project, many things go differently than planned. The deadlines, the project proposal, and many aspects help them understand it’s not always as you plan; you must just be ready for things to change.” 

“And you should be willing to change and make newer plans because the old one doesn’t work anymore,” she said.

Of course, Scouting recently changed, too, just in time for Sangeet’s daughter Anishka to join Newton Troop 209G.

“Fortunately, the BSA started enrolling girls in 2019, and the next thing she did was enroll in Scouting,” said the elder Srikanth, who marveled at the maturity and confidence her daughter garnered through Scouts BSA. “She became accommodating but at the same time stood up for justice and started speaking for herself. 

“Her ability to differentiate and make correct choices helped her mature much faster than some of her peers.”

Through the eyes of her children and with her own Scouter’s eyes (Sangeet is also the Scoutmaster of Troop 209G), Srikanth recently enlarged her Scouting family – several hundred times over.

You see, Sangeet joined the Mayflower Council Board with a focus on Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI), and alongside peers across the BSA landscape, will look to ensure Scouting truly is for everyone.

Srikanth believes the national organization is moving closer to the truth of the Scout law through its inclusion initiatives.

“Now that we have started taking girls, it’s more diverse… including kids from different socioeconomic backgrounds, people of color,” she explained. 

“My son, I think, was the only South Asian child. But now I see many Indian families putting their kids into Scouting, whether a boy or a girl,” continued Mayflower’s Diversity Chair. “And I know quite a few families that I can proudly say got inspired by my talking to them in the last three years about how Scouting has shaped my son. 

“And I can definitely tell you that if my son were not in Scouts, with those seven years of Scouting and what it did for him, he would’ve been a completely different person in terms of his personality, taking up responsibilities, and being able to face failure,” she said. “In high school and college, he faced many failures, but he accepted failure and dealt with it much better than I did when I was his age.”

To that point, Sangeet believes Scouts give kids a safe space to try, fail, and try again.

“Failing in front of a boss, a team, or an office, or even in college, is scary,” explained Srikanth, whose son Arnav will soon graduate from the University of Illinois. “But if things have gone wrong [at times in] 5th, 6th, and 7th grade and in front of 20 other Scouts, they learn how to deal with it pretty fast.”

Today, and with those valuable experiences in mind, the new board member is ready to spread the message about the merits of Scouting to an ever-expanding group. Being independent, speaking up to themselves, and being able to go in front of an audience and present themselves are all skills developed through Scouting, explained the Scoutmaster. 

Meanwhile, the fun — especially fun found outdoors — remains a program highlight.

Seeing her children have experiences she did not makes Sangeet Srikanth want to give others the same opportunities.

“The camping and outdoor trips, outdoor experiences with the hiking and the swimming and all the activities that we do, [Arnav and Anishka] both have enjoyed and loved the outdoors,” she said. “I come from a background where I never had any of these [experiences]. I grew up in India and was raised in a very conservative time; there were not many things girls were allowed to do… There were so many restrictions. 

“So I had always wanted to do something adventurous but couldn’t,” she added. “When Scouting came my way, it was like living my life again through my kids.”

And Sangeet’s adventure continues! Look for more from Srikanth and Mayflower Council’s DEI work in the coming months.

Scouts Honor: Dante D Earns Legion Eagle Award

Earlier this summer, the Venturing Crew 29 and BSA Troop 64 Scout earned the accolade during the American Legion Camporee at Gardner’s Camp Collier.

Recently, the Mayflower Council was thrilled to learn that Dante D. received the American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year Award at the America Legion Camporee, held June 17-19, 2022, at Camp Collier in Gardner, Mass.

“My Eagle Scout Project was to re-side the tool shed at my middle school, Mullein Hill Christian Academy, and to clean up the surrounding area,” explained Dante in the write-up of his project, which garnered the attention of the American Legion. 

“Before I could start any work on the shed, I had to take measurements to see how much siding I would need to cover the shed,” added the Scout. “Then I had to research and see which siding would be the best based on durability, longevity, appearance, and cost.”

No Eagle Scout Project is easy. But Dante’s was especially detailed. Author’s note: Dante’s dedication while completing the task is evidenced by the no less than six Scouters who wrote in this summer to mention it and his American Legion award.

“I contacted a local contractor to ask him if he could donate any materials for the project,” explained Dante in his documentation. “He helped me come up with a list of needed materials, such as corner pieces, flashing, and other smaller items that would be required to finish the project. 

“Once I had a list of the needed supplies and a budget, I contacted local businesses to get donations not just for materials for the project but also for other items such as food and water for the volunteers.”

Working in a short amount of time, Dante made the most of his materials and volunteers.

“The work happened over two days,” continued the Scout. “On the first day, we removed any protruding objects and replaced any of the rotting wood found at the base of the shed.

“On the second day, we finished siding the shed,” he wrote. “Then we had to wrap the shed in Tyvek wrap to prevent future water damage to the shed or siding. We then began to side the shed, having two groups of people, one cutting the siding and the other placing it onto the building. 

“We also placed down a rock bed around the perimeter of the shed and pulling weeds. Once this was all done, we put up some signage and did some touch-up painting around the roof and door of the shed,” wrote Dante.

The results speak for themselves. The work performed by Dante and Co. will have a significant impact.

With the shed re-sided and no longer exposed to the elements, the school’s equipment — the bulk of it being landscaping equipment and machinery — would not be damaged. The new siding also extended the shed’s longevity, helping the school save money on buying and repairing damaged gear.

As a result of Dante’s hard work, the Massachusetts American Legion later recognized him as their Eagle Scout of the Year.

Click here to learn more about Eagle Scout Projects (and the Mayflower Council).

Scouts Honor: Eric H., Troop 28BT Cohasset

Eric H. of Troop 28 Cohasset Earns Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award

Eagle Scout created “first responder sensory kits” to help first responders 

Wrentham, Mass. — The National Eagle Scout Association established the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award to recognize valuable service of an exceptional nature by a Scout to a religious institution, a school, community, or other entity. 

The award recognizes a Scout for their Eagle Scout leadership service project, which is part of the requirements for earning the Eagle Scout Award. Each year, local councils select a council-level winner, and each region selects a region-level winner from that pool. A national winner is then chosen from the four regional finalists.

On June 13, 2022, The Mayflower Council, BSA proudly presented the 2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Award of the Year to:

Eric H.
Troop 28 Cohasset
Sensory Kits for First Responders

Eric’s project raised awareness of autism while providing first responders with the resources and tools they need when they assist people with special needs. His project included: providing 80 sensory kits to multiple towns in the surrounding South Shore towns of Cohasset, Hanover,

Hingham, Hull, Norwell, Scituate.

Eric saw this need for sensory kits after experiences with his older brother, who has autism, where first responders were not equipped to respond to his brother’s needs. To address this need, Eric spoke with a family friend who was a former EMT and Eric’s brother’s teacher at the Amego School in Franklin, Mass., to form his idea of creating a “first responder sensory kit” go bag. 

The kits contain items to help first responders communicate with the person in need as well as bring them comfort.

Following the presentation of the Adams Award, Eric also received a citation and a medallion from Brigadier General (Ret.) Emery Maddocks of the Military Order of the World Wars.

“We have a really outstanding project to recognize,” said Gen. Maddocks of Eric’s Sensory Kits. “For dedication to the principles of the Boy Scouts of America as evidenced by not only by his achievement of the highest achievement in Scouting – the Boy Scout Eagle Award –but further by [earning] the 2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award.”

Capture Scout Memories Via Smartphone

“The best camera is the camera you have on you…”

As mentioned before, the BSA’s “Bryan on Scouting” is a terrific resource for Scouters. Moreover, some of the best stories on the blog give readers a solid kick in the pants.

“Get out there and try it,” is a cause celeb for Bryan and co. Reasonable, given the traditions of the BSA.

However, this time around, the blog reminds Scouters – via the advice of BSA pro photog Michael Roytek – “The best camera is the camera you have on you.”

In other words, your smartphone might be the best camera any of us might ever acquire.

Writer Aaron Derr explained why so  in a piece entitled, “How to take and share the best photos of your Scouts this summer … and beyond”:

Some folks might prefer to carry around heavy pieces of photography equipment with long, powerful lenses, and that’s great. For the rest of us, we have the modern smartphone, which has the capability to produce photos good enough to save as memories — and to share online with friends, fellow Scouting families, and maybe even members of your community.

In the article, even the most trepidatious photographers will learn about:

  • The rule of thirds
  • Action Shots
  • Sharing photos

My favorite advice in the piece reads, “Nothing tells the story of Scouting more than great photos of Scouts having a blast in their natural environment, whether that’s at summer camp or any fun Scouting activity.

“If you can get those photos in front of the eyes of some non-Scouting families … who knows? Your unit just might recruit for itself, thanks to all the fun you’re having.”

Check out the accompanying video:

How to Take Better Scouting Pictures!

And be sure to read the article – then get out there and take some photos!

Scouts Honor: Carlie B., Troop 209GT Newton

Just before Memorial Day, one Mayflower Council Scout collects clothes for veterans…

Beyond trips to the beach, hot dogs, and lawn mowing, Memorial Day retains one true purpose: Remember.

And while some Scouts will carefully place flags beside the graves of those who served, and many others will proudly march in parades, one Eagle candidate sought to remember and honor those veterans who still walk among us.

Carlie B. of Newton’s Troop 209G explained her project on its GoFundMe page.

“My name is Carlie,” she posted. “I’m a 13 yr old Life Scout in troop 209 located in Newton, MA. I’ve partnered with the… New England Center and Home for Veterans as part of my Eagle Scout Project.”

That partnership – noticed by WHDH – garnered Carlie and the project some well-deserved attention at this important time of the year.

“I think that joining scouting teaches you plenty of great lessons in life,” said Carlie. “it really helps you out.”

And in turn, Carlie – who raised almost $17,00 – helped out many veterans; 250 or so were gifted clothing, toiletries, and shoes.

Speaking of the good turn, Carlie implied she simply followed the example of another Scout.

“My dad, he’s an Eagle Scout,” she told WHDH’s camera. ”And so, when I receive Eagle in the next few months, I will become an Eagle Scout just like him.”

 Here at the Mayflower Council, we think her fellow Scouts should follow Carlie’s example, too.

Newton’s Srikanth Family Is An Inspiration

Troop 209G Scoutmaster and her Scouts garnered national attention from Bryan on Scouting…

Scoutmaster Sangeet Srikanth is a trained educator. But she insists that some of the most important lessons are taught outside the classroom.

“None of the experiences in Scouting can be measured in terms of letter grades, GPA, test scores,” she told Bryan on Scouting. “But you can witness and experience it every day in your son and daughter’s life.”

It was a chance exposure to Scouting that changed the lives of Sangeet, her son Arnav, and her daughter Anishka.

Bryan Wendell of explained that Srikanth “first learned about the BSA in 2010 on a family trip to Boston when they happened upon an event celebrating the BSA’s 100th birthday. Her son, Arnav, wanted to sign up right away. Her daughter did, too, but this was before the BSA had opened all its programs to young women.”

Enter Troop 355 of Newton. Or, make that, Arnav entered the venerable unit. Then, fast forward to 2017, and an Eagle Scout court of honor.

“Every rank advancement was a clear sign of leadership building,” explained Sangeet. “Every merit badge was a new life skill.”

Two years later, it was Anishka’s turn to join Scouts BSA.

“Every day, my admiration for her increases as she excels in her maturity and ability to deal with the challenges of life,” Srikanth said.

However, it’s not like Arnav or Anishka were alone on their journey. Their mother was there – unofficially – every step of the way. 

Later, after a two-year stint as an assistant Scoutmaster, Sangeet was named Scoutmaster of Troop of 209G.

It’s a commitment, but Srikanth indicated it’s more than worth it.

“It’s about five to six years from start to finish — weekly meetings, camping trips, outdoor trips, and finally the long-awaited Eagle project,” she says. “Some families find it hard to commit with their own busy careers.”

That said, the end rewards, particularly for Eagle-earners, are worth it. 

Meanwhile, Sangeet hopes that other families, particularly those in the Indian community, see Scouting as a viable adjunct to traditional education.

“Scouting structures their lives and gives them the most valuable experience that even the best classroom education may not fully provide,” she said.