Electronics/GPS/Drone/Skills Weekend – 3/12/2006

Troop 103 will have an outing on Saturday, March 12th (3 pm) at the Church of the Brethren (on Wilson Avenue in Hanover).  It will be a Skills Weekend, where scouts will improve their Knots, Lashings, and First Aid skills.  Scouts will also work on fire building.

If the weather permits scouts can participate in a GPS demonstration involving Smart Phones, handheld GPS’ and how UAS (drones) use GPS technology to assist in navigation.

Service Opportunity: Yard Sale — 3/5/2016

Please join our sponsor organization (St. Joseph Holy Name Society) this coming Saturday (March 5th) at 1:30 pm to help with Yard Sale Cleanup at St. Joseph Church.  The Holy Name Society supports us financially and recently treated us to ice cream.

Troop 103 at Winter Klondike – 2/20/2016

Troop-103-Camp-TuckahoeScouts from Troop 103 of St. Joseph Parish, Hanover, visited the mountainous trails of Camp Tuckahoe in mid-February to put their knowledge of outdoor survival skills to work during the annual Winter Klondike.

This event, designed to replicate the historic Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s in Alaska, provided opportunities for scouts to mimic that journey. They pulled a specially designed sled packed with necessary supplies and gear to rotate through stations designed to challenge their survival and problem solving skills.

These skills included the use of lashings to make a ladder high enough to retrieve a flag at the top of a pavilion, using their knowledge of first aid to save a simulated avalanche victim, and utilizing teamwork and problem solving skills to complete a variety of other tasks throughout the day.

While Troop 103 did not earn the fastest time, they were winners in other ways. They reaped the benefits of working together and encouraging each other to keep going all the way through to the finish line. They earned a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing they worked hard, strengthened their skills, and learned something new while having a lot of fun in the process.

New Background Check Clearances for All Adult Leaders and Parents – 2/15/2016

All registered adult leaders, parents or non-registered volunteers attending meetings or events must comply with these new regulations.   The deadline is July 1, 2016, but I would like our leaders or parents attending any events to comply by April 30, 2016.   New leaders or volunteers must comply immediately.

Click Here for detailed instructions for completing these requirements.

If you have any doubt if you should obtain these clearances, more information about these requirement can be found here:

Scout Sunday – February 7, 2016

Dear Parents, Scouts, and Leaders:

In coordination with Pack 103, the Troop will be celebrating Scout Sunday on Sunday, February 7 at the 9:00 AM mass.  Scouts are encouraged to participate in uniform.

Robert Zinn, Troop 103 Committee Chair

January Activities – Snow Tubing, Skills – 1/31/2016

St. Joseph’s Troop 103 didn’t let the overabundance of snow in January keep them from outdoor adventure or skill advancements.  The Troop was scheduled to go camping over the weekend of the 2016 blizzard, but since the cabin and tents were covered in snow and were inaccessible, the Troop spent a weekend of snow tubing and indoor skill review instead.

The weekend started off with snow tubing at Ski Liberty’s Boulder Mountain.  The leaders and Scouts had fun competing to see who could get down the hill the fastest.  There were races, spins, and belly flops on the inner tubes and then everyone enjoyed warming up by the fire in the lodge.

On Saturday morning Scouts had a day of skill review at the Hanover Church of the Brethren.  They practiced knot tying, rope fusing, and had more races to see who could set tents up the most quickly and accurately.  Some even slept in the tents indoors for fun.  They practiced their first aid skills by role playing different scenarios and enjoyed cooking meals with their patrols.

In February the Troop will be attending Sky Zone in Mechanicsburg and Klondike in Dillsburg to practice some search and rescue techniques.

The Scouts will be coordinating with Schultz’s Deli to hold monthly sub sales from now until June to raise money for summer camp.  If anyone is interested in purchasing subs, please contact and scout in the Troop.

Jon Timmons’ Eagle Project Highlighted in Newsletter


Give the Gift of Yourself this Christmas!
Here is Our 2016 Wish List for Volunteers

We have so very much for which to be thankful. Here at the Council we have been greatly blessed with donations of time, talent and goods. This year alone we have had makeovers of our dining room (Eagle Project of Mac Anderson), our second floor hallway between the Clothing Bank and the Clinic area (Eagle Project of Jon Timmons) and of the Changing Lives Shelter Family Rooms, Play Room, Hallway and Bathroom (a Social Ministries Project of St. Matthews Lutheran Church.)

These were major projects and it caused us to wonder if there might be other groups who would be interested in working on similar projects. We invite you to Adopt-a-Project—For instance a Sunday School Class, Men’s Group, or Service Club could paint the following: the hallways of the Shelter, the Shelter bedrooms (6 on each floor), the offices of both the Shelter and our main building, or the PAL kitchen.

Troop 103 Achieves Gold – Journey to Excellence Award for 2015

Troop 103 has achieved Gold Level status for the 2015 Journey to Excellence Award.  ”Scouting’s Journey to Excellence” is the BSA’s council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.

The Troop has qualified for the Journey to Excellence Award each year since its inception and for many consecutive years prior with the Quality Unit Award that was replaced by the Journey to Excellence Award.

Troop 103 is proud of providing and offering an excellent Scouting Program that provides opportunities to our youth to experience the outdoors and grow both morally and physically into strong leaders of the future.   This scout led program is a partnership of both youth and adults.

In 2015, the Troop excelled in the following award objectives:

  1. Planning and Budgeting.  The scouts plan activities for the entire year at a planning outing each year.  Our planning calendar is published on our website. 
  2. Membership Growth Plan
  3. Retention of scouts in the troop
  4. Webelos-to-Scout transition
  5. Short-Term Outings (Nine outings)
  6. Long-Term Camping Participation (64% participation rate)
  7. Service Projects:  The Troop Participated in over 7 Service projects that benefited the community without any financial benefit to the Troop or scouts.
  8. Following the Patrol Method.  The troop has patrols, and each has a patrol leader.  Our Troop’s youth leadership includes a Senior Patrol Leader and his assistant, We have patrols that are led by a Patrol Leader.  The Troop also elects many other officers including the Scribe, Quartermaster, Librarian, etc..  The youth leadership (Patrol Leaders Council) meets each month.  
  9.   Leadership and Family Engagement.  Troop 103′s leadership is made up of 20 adult leaders with well over 400 years of combined experience.  It includes a Scoutmaster and his 4 Assistant Scoutmasters.   The Troop is fully supported by 15 additional committee members.  
  10. Trained Adult Leaders: All adult leaders including all committee members are fully trained in their positions.  Two members of our leadership have also taken a week-long Wood-badge training.   Multiple members of the committee support the district in planning and executing district activities. 

Summer Activities, Adventure and Exploration – 10/1/2015

Troop 103 had a summer filled with opportunities for adventure, excitement, and exploration. The Scouts were exposed to whitewater rafting, earned multiple
merit badges at summer camp, refined their fishing and canoeing skills in Canada, and learned about coal mining.In June, Troop 103 traveled to River Riders in West Virginia to experience the thrills and spills among the rapids on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
Because we had experienced so much rain the week prior to the trip, the rapids were even more thrilling than expected. After the morning of riding the
rapids, the Troop went to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to see Under Fire: The Battle of Bolivar Heights and heard an explanation of the battle
along with a demonstration of cannon fire. It was interesting to hear how accurate the cannons could be and deafening to hear the actual explosion.

Nine Scouts attend summer camp in July at Camp Rodney in North East, MD. Those nine Scouts earned a total of 29 merit badges during the week and worked
hard to earn the coveted honor troop award as well exceeding the number of points that they needed. They also completed a service project for the camp and
cleared a drainage area for water to flow more efficiently.

After being home from camp for one night, the Scouts left for another trip to Puzzle Lake in Canada. It was a long drive, but well worth the trip to be so
far away from everything. The lake was beautiful, fish plentiful, stars abundant, and the loons gave off a peaceful, but melancholy sound each evening. The
Scouts worked on their fishing and canoeing merit badges while there and enjoyed hiking, spelunking, and star gazing when the clouds cooperated. On the way
home we visited Niagara Falls and rode on the Maid of the Mist and then visited the Corning Museum in New York. While at the museum the Scouts participated
in several workshops where they tried their own hand a glassblowing. The final products were amazing. We have some talented Scouts!

2015-Puzzle Lake

In August the Troop went camping at Knoebles Amusement Park and visited the Pioneer Coal Mine in Ashland PA. The Scouts enjoyed the rides and Knoebles, but
were especially impressed with the vastness of the tunnel systems at the coal mine. They also visited Centralia where the coal mine fires have been burning
since 1962. It is hard to imagine that the mines were once so active and that a fire could burn for that duration.

The Scouts of Troop 103 are thankful for the many opportunities that were afforded to them over the summer months and look forward to many more adventures
in the future.

St. Joseph Boy Scout Troop 103 is proud to served the greater Hanover Area since 1918. We provide outdoor fun, adventure, leadership, advancement and achievement for area youth. The Troop meets every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM at St. Joseph Middle School on Grandview Road, Hanover. For more information about the adventures of Troop 103, please visit our website at http://www.bsatroop103.org . Boys interested in joining our Troop or Cub Pack can contact our Scoutmaster Jeff Rosenzweig at 717-630-8451 or by email at sm@bsatroop103.org .

Scoutmaster – Jeff Rosenzweig Receives District Award of Merit Award

District Award of Merit Recipients Announced

The Battlefield District congratulates the two recipients of this years .  Congratulations to Jeff Rosenzweig Scoutmaster of Troop 103 in Hanover, the newest recipient of the District Award of Merit.  Jeff has gone above and beyond in both scouting and in their community.

Both Jeff and John received their awards at the Battlefield District volunteer recognition dinner on May 28, 2015.

Jeff is a role model for both scouts and adults as he possesses unquestionable character and lives the ideals of scouting.

Jeff has earned the respect of both youth and leaders alike.   He never stops trying to improving himself.  From the very first year he joined the troop, he has been fully trained and encourages other adults in the troop to be fully trained.  He often attends district Roundtable meetings to improve himself.   Jeff has never sought self-recognition.   Although he has never applied for the Scouter’s Training Award or Scouter’s Key, he has qualified for them many years ago.

Jeff is entering his 10th year as Scoutmaster of our Troop and is the longest serving Scoutmaster in the Troop’s 97 year history.   For every year he has been scoutmaster, he has led his troop in qualifying for the Quality Unit or Journey of Excellence Award and achieving “gold” level over the past year.   His service to scouting did not start there.  He was involved with Pack 103 and served as a Webelo Den leader.

His selfless service extends beyond the period that his two sons were scouts and demonstrates his continued commitment to ideals of scouting.   Although longevity of service demonstrates a level of commitment, it is not the reason he was nominated and received the District Award of Merit Award.  He was nominated based on his impact on the youth and leaders.

He has been at the helm during a period where 21 scouts have achieved their Eagle award.  Although each scout has rightly earned their own awards, his oversight confirms the opportunities that have been provided to scouts over the years.   We expect this number of scouts achieving the rank of Eagle to grow as two more scouts are finishing up their requirements for Eagle.   Jeff constantly promotes and encourages scouts to stay active, participate in the planning and attendance of all activities, and maintain the spirit of scouting.  He has helped scouts developed leadership skills by giving them responsibilities and holding them to their commitments.

Jeff’s leadership resulted in the Troop attending the Sea Base High Adventure program a few years ago and plans are in the works to attend another high adventure program next year.

He has always promoted the involvement of all parents and other adult leaders at both Troop meetings and outings.      He is and has always been inclusive of anyone who wants to help.

His actions are an inspiration to other leaders.   I have taken the liberty to ask other leaders and parents of the troop to briefly describe Jeff Rosenzweig as a leader.   Here are a few of their responses:

  • Incredible organization skills
  • Phenomenal with the kids, People person
  • Holds the scouts accountable
  • Teacher, Mentor
  • Meticulous, Committed
  • Stays true to the noble ideals of scouting
  • Perseverance, Never drops the ball

Jeff is the 2008 recipient of the District Service Award and a member of the Order of the Arrow

Troop 103 is proud of Jeff’s contribution to scouting over the years and his receiving of this well deserved award.

Winter Court of Honor — 1/24/2015

Dear Parents, Scouts, and Leaders:

The Winter Court of Honor is this Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Baltimore Street School.  All scouts are encouraged to attend and support those who are receiving rank advancements, merit badges and the Scout of the Year award. A detail schedule and locations for the day is provided below.

  • Setup              3:00PM  St. Joseph Elementary School at 236 Baltimore Street.  
  • Mass               5:00PM – 6:00PM at the Church
  • Court of Honor 6:30PM St. Joseph Elementary School at 236 Baltimore Street.  

At the Court of Honor there will be a Friends of Scouting Campaign presentation conducted by Ken Zinn.   This is the annual giving campaign to support our local Scout council.  As members of the New Birth of Freedom Council, our voluntary financial support is important.  The Friends of Scouting campaign helps fund items such as maintenance of our camping facilities, professional support services, program administration, and volunteer training.


Each family is encouraged to support the Friends of Scouting Campaign, so please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the campaign that is meaningful to you.  We are striving to have 100% participation.

If you have any questions before the presentation, please feel free to contact me at cc@bsatroop103.org

Thank you for your consideration,

Robert Zinn, Troop 103 Committee Chair


20-Mile Hike on the York Heritage Rail Trail — 11/2/2014

Hello all,

Attached are the map and permission form for the upcoming hike at Heritage Rail Trail County Park Hike this coming Sunday, 11/2/14. We will meet at the Troop trailer at 6am. Time will be a factor on this 20 mile hike. It is important we get an early start Sunday so we can finish before dark. This merit badge is a real accomplishment for the scouts and you should be proud. We will start in York City (Colonial Courthouse on the attached map) and finish at New Freedom. http://yorkcountypa.gov/parks-recreation/the-parks/heritage-rail-trail-park.html


When we start out the temp will be in the mid 30s.
The high will be 50 with some brisk wind throughout the day.
Dress in layers for the cold in the morning with the option and taking a few layers off as the temp rises.

Check the weather Saturday for any changes.


  • Make sure to bring 2 meals with you as we will be out in the field for 10 to 11 hours.
  • Bring plenty of water. We plan to have a vehicle at the half way point (Hanover Junction) so you can refill your water supply.
  • Personal 1st Aid Kit
  • Extra socks
  • Mole skin for feet
  • Rain gear just in case
  • Flash light – we will start at dawn and end at dusk
  • Weather appropriate clothing


I would like to have a short meeting with the adult drivers sometime Saturday to arrange vehicle logistics. Scouts are welcome also. We want to get the scouts to the starting point in York asap Sunday morning so we can get the hike started without them being involved in the vehicle placement.

Please respond to this email or call me if you plan on attending and what time the adults can meet Saturday.

See you then!


Appalachian Trail Hike — 10/19/2014

10 Mile Hike on the Appalachian Trail in the Michaux State Forest.  Hike from Big Flat near Shippensburg Road to Caledonia State Park.  Meet at St. Joseph Church at 7 a.m..  Please contact Tour Leader Paul Race for more information (717-630-9930; 717-817-4553; 410-356-3108)