February, March and April 2021 – Camp Ellis

With COVID restrictions in place on several venues, the Scouts decided to stay local and hold their campouts at Camp Ellis for February, March and April campouts.  During the three campouts, Scouts worked on outdoor skills including building camp gadgets; knife, saw and ax safety; safe hiking; shelter building and skills related to rank advancement.  The patrols also returned to the patrol method for cooking.

January 2021 – Camp Tuscarora

Scouts travelled to Camp Tuscarora for a day hike and used the snow shoes.  Camp Tuscarora, located in Windsor, NY is one of two camps supported by the Baden-Powell Council.  With fresh snow on the ground, Scouts had the opportunity to experience using snow shoes to travel though the woods and up and down hills.  Camp Tuscarora offers some great views of the surrounding area from the tops of several hills.


January 2021 – Court of Honor

On Wednesday, January 13th, the Troop held is first every hybrid Court of Honor.  With restrictions on the number able to attend in person, the Troop invited families to attend via Zoom.  Senior Patrol Leader Elie and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Nathan hosted the ceremony while Carson , Nick, Joe, Tristan, Michael Juriga, Peterson, Riley, and Ryan served as MC’s as part of their work for Communication Merit Badge.  Viggo, Simal, Kohle and Peterson served as the color guard.  In total, over 70 merit badges and 29 ranks were awarded.  Work on the merit badges and ranks was completed over the last 12 months in a combination of in-person and virtual sessions.
For a complete list of what the Scouts earned, please click here!


December 2020 – Camp Barton Service Project

Each December, Troop 221 completes a service project at Camp Barton.  Scouts and adults help with clearing down trees as well as cut, split, and stack firewood for the camp to use throughout the year. COVID-19 forced the Troop to approach this weekend differently, but the Scouts and leaders managed to put in over 40 hours of service to the camp.

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November 2020 – Camp Ellis

The Troop returned to Camp Ellis for the November campout to continue to work on advancement and Scout skills.  For this month, the focus was on hiking skills.  The Scouts took a five mile hike through the camp and worked on map and compass skills as well as reviewed the ten essential items for a safe hike. 

October 2020 – Camp Ellis

The Troop stayed local for October and camped at Camp Ellis in Vestal.  Scouts worked on several advancement requirements for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class.  Activities included:
  • Making a bench for the building a camp gadget requirement;
  • Learning the proper use and safety standards for knives, axes, and saws to complete the Totin’ Chip
  • Campfire safety and building methods for Firem’s Chit
  • Cooking methods including how to turn a copy paper box into an oven to make a cake.
Arrow of Light candidates from Cub Scout Packs 244 and 221 also stayed with the Troop and worked with Scouts on their own advancement requirements.
For more information on Camp Ellis, please visit the History section of our website:
Click here to see some pictures!

September 2020 – Herkimer Diamond Mines

After six months of no campouts due to COVID-19, the Troop travelled to Herkimer Diamond Mines in Herkimer, NY.  Scouts had the opportunity to visit the above ground surface mines and search for the Herkimer Diamond Quartz Crystals.  Using hammers, Scouts broke open rocks to search for the crystals.  At the end of the day, Scouts had the opportunity to ring the school bell at the Miner’s Village Rockhound Academy.   

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Summer 2020 - Service within the Community

Over the summer, Scouts from Troop 221 participated in several service projects.  Scouts from the Troop went to the Discovery Center to help clean up the story garden.  In partnership with the African Road Elementary School PTA, Scouts worked on the preparing a courtyard for the new school year.  Finally, Scouts volunteered at a potato harvest to support the Broome County Food Bank hosted by the Southern Tier Tractor Club.  With the help of our Scouts and other volunteers, over 20,000 pounds of potatoes were harvested.

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Summer 2020 - Social Distance Scouting

 As with everything in life, COVID-19 impacted everything our Scouts did.  During the lockdown, Scouts participated in virtual Troop meetings to continue rank advancement and Scout skills.  Virtual merit badge classes were held for merit badges like American Business, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World to name a few. Several Scouts also participated in the BSA National Camp-In were Scouts camped and cooked in their backyard and the opportunity to see special guest via a national broadcast.  Even with all the restrictions in place, Scouts from Troop 221 continued to participate in the Scout program and learn new skills.

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Arrow of Light Crossover with Packs 221 and 244

During February and March, Cub Scout Packs 221 and 244 held their Annual Blue and Gold Dinners to celebrate Scouting and the achievements of the Scouts in the Pack.  This is also a time when Arrow of Light Scouts crossover and join a Troop.  This year, five Scouts crossed over and joined Troop 221.  During the crossover ceremony, Scouts from our Troop welcomed the new Scouts with a Troop 221 neckerchief, a tradition that we continue each year.  The neckerchief becomes an official part of the new Scouts uniform once he goes on a campout with the Troop.  Congratulations to Ben, Chris, David, Eli, and Jackson for earning their Arrow of Light award and crossing over into Boy Scouts.

Check out some pictures here!

February 2020 – Greek Peak

The Troop went to Greek Peak Mountain Resort for the weekend.  Part of the Troop participated in a Learn To Ski program with all-day lift tickets while the rest of the Troop took advantage of the Adventure Center and utilized the tubing hill.  Arrow of Light Candidates from Park 221 and 244 attended the weekend with the Troop.

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January 2020 – Binghamton University

In place of one of our normal Wednesday meetings, the Troop toured the Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC) at Binghamton University.  Scouts were treated to tours of the labs and experiments.  Please see the following link for information on this world class lab right in our community.  https://www.binghamton.edu/ssie/research/labs/index.html

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January 2020 - SUNY Delhi Merit Badge Maddness

Scouts headed to SUNY Delhi to work on badges at the Merit Badge Madness Weekend. Over 25 different badges were offered for the Scouts.

December 2019 - Camp Barton Wood Cutting

Once again this December, the Troop headed to Camp Barton for our annual service project.  We cut, split, stacked firewood for the camp to use throughout the season.  Scouts earn conservation service hours for the work they complete on Saturday. They troop leaders also prepared a delicious meal of deep fried turkeys with all the fixins for the Scouts.

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See all the pictures here!

November 2019 - West Point Football

The Troop again traveled to West Point to take a tour of the United States Military Academy and attend an Army Black Nights football game.  This year we saw them face off against the UMass Minutemen, Army won the game 63 to 7.

Troop 221 Recognizes Richard and Sylvia Place

On Friday, November 1, Richard and Sylvia Place, of Vestal, were recognized for their longtime service to Vestal Boy Scout Troop 221. Three dozen attended a dinner arranged by the troop’s committee at the Silo Restaurant in Coventry.

Friends, family and alumni contributed pictures on display, fond memories and well wishes were shared, including several from people who could not be there.

Hal Ehrhardt, a two-time Scoutmaster, presented the two with freestanding awards engraved as follows:

Presented on November 1, 2019 to Richard Place, a Vestal scout and scouter who earned his Eagle rank in 1956, in appreciation of his continuous dedication to Vestal Boy Scout Troop 221.

Presented on November 1, 2019 to Sylvia Place in appreciation of her many years of service to Vestal Boy Scout Troop 221, and the positive impact she has had on lives of hundreds of scouts.


October 2019 - New York City

Scouts travelled to New York City this month to see the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We camped in New Jersey at Camp Alpine in the beautiful woodlands of the palisades just minutes from the city.


October 2019 – Fall Court of Honor

During our Fall Court of Honor, the Troop celebrated the work the Scouts put in over the previous few months including their trip to Camp Barton over the summer.  In total, thirteen Scouts were recognized for their rank advancement and sixty eight merit badges were awarded.  In addition, Scouts were recognized for special awards including Barton B from Camp Barton, Totin’ Chip, Firem’n Chit, BSA Work Conservation Award, and National Outdoor Award for Camping.

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September 2019 - Camp Ellis

Scouts camped at our local Camp Ellis this month and worked on Scout skills and advancement. Work was done to help clear the trails and mark them so they can be easily identified. Scouts also split and stacked firewood for use at the camp.

July 2019 – Summer Camp at Camp Barton

The Troop went to Camp Barton in Trumansburg, NY for a week of Summer Camp.  The Scouts worked on a series of merit badges, finished requirements for rank advancement, and participated in several camp wide activities.  The Scouts had a great week and look forward to going back to Barton next summer. Several of the pictures on the blog for this post were taken by Peterson Kressly and Ryan Scarangella as they completed the Photography Merit badge.

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Click here to see pictures form the week

June 2019 – Poconos Whitewater Rafting

This year the Troop camped at Hickory Run State Park and went on a whitewater rafting trip in Jim Thorpe, PA. 

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May 2019 – Buck Farm Shooting Sports Weekend

Each May, the Troop holds a Shooting Sports Weekend were Scouts are trained on archery, rifle and shotgun with a focus on proper technique and safety. 

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April 2019 – Aviation Merit Badge:

The Scouts had the opportunity to travel to the Ithaca area and earn the Aviation Merit Badge.  Requirements included understanding to look for on a pre-flight checklist, different types of aviation, careers in the aviation industry, and how to read navigation carts.

March 2019 - Spring Court of Honor

At our Spring Court of Honor, Scouts were recognized for their achievements over the past couple of months including ranks, merit badges and special awards. 

Chrystian, Kohle, Viggo, Oliver, Daniel, Mason, Emerson, Jacob, and Earth
Second Class: Michael. Peterson, Ryan
Star: Riley
Life: Joey

Merit Badges:
Nathan: Citizenship In Nation & Citizenship In World
Carson: Electricity & Fingerprinting MB
Nick: Citizenship In Nation & Citizenship In World
Joey: Citizenship In Nation & Citizenship In World
Elie: Citizenship In Nation & Citizenship In World
Michael: Disabilities Awareness
Riley: Citizenship In Nation, Citizenship In World & Cooking
Simon: Chess & Disabilities Awareness
Taylor: Citizenship In World & Emergency Preparedness
Domenic: First Aid

World Conversation Award: Nathan & Elie

National Outdoor Award – Camping: Nathan, Joey, Taylor & Domenic

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March 2019 - Washington D.C.

For this year’s trip to Washington, the Troop started the trip by visiting the Library of Congress to see exhibits including Baseball Americana and the Gutenberg Bible.  The Supreme Court was next.  Scouts had the opportunity to see the Courtroom and participate in a Courtroom Lecture.  On Saturday, the Scouts visited Arlington National Cemetery to see President John F. Kennedy’s grave, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the memorials for the two Space Shuttle accidents.  Finally, the Troop visited the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center by Dulles International Airport.  Exhibits included the Space Shuttle Discovery, a Lockheed SR71 Blackbird and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay. 

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