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The Goshen Bears is an association of dedicated Scouters, that has served Goshen Scout Reservation by providing continuing and dedicated services for over 25 years.
ABOUT THE BEARS
We go to Goshen Scout Reservation twice yearly on the last full weekend in September and the weekend following Mother's Day in May. But, we don't call them "weekends.” To us, they are known as "workends.” From this word we take our cue about the activities we expect to carry out. Our mission is simple: to do the work that is necessary the proper maintenance of Goshen Scout Reservation. We paint, wire, roof, shingle, cut, store, repair and fix anything and everything. These tasks are carefully thought out and agreed upon by the Council and the BEARS. The tasks are assigned and supervised by BEARS who serve as crew chiefs. You should know, right now, that on a BEAR workend, EVERYBODY works.
We work eight (8) hours on Saturday and for (4) hours on Sunday. We have a short, interfaith church service on Sunday morning before breakfast and we welcome you there. We use the Olmsted dining hall for this service. Attendance is optional but if you're not attending the service make an extra effort to be quiet as you enter the dining hall on Sunday morning so you don't interrupt the service.
We have female BEARS and no one works any harder than they do. These ladies do not work in the kitchen "doing women's work,” but are sent out in the field with everyone else to do what has to be done. We're great for equality in the BEARS and consider ourselves to be equal opportunity exploiters. We do have an age restriction: all workend attendees must be 13 years of age or older, NO EXCEPTIONS! We are doing adults' work and do not have time or people for babysitting. The youngsters who are BEARS work just as hard as the adults and make no complaint (at least in public).
If you are a registered Scouter, we want you to bring your uniform and wear it at the Saturday evening feast. Some wear it on the trip back home on Sunday (it advertises Scouting). If you are Wood Badger, bring your beads, neckerchief and woggle. We often have a ceremony to hang beads on newly-hatched Wood Badgers and want you to help us honor them. We'll add your voice to the singing of "Back to Gilwell.”
You need to bring work clothes – if you are assigned to paint or stain, be prepared to perhaps dedicate a set of clothing to that purpose and wear "expendables.” Bring rain gear, preferably an old poncho. Bring work gloves. Most of us do not labor with our hands too much and blisters come quickly without gloves. Cotton gloves are good for painting, leather ones for construction and repair. You'll need towel and toilet articles. We run a "civilized” ship and there'll be showers and places to clean up. You'll need a sleeping bag or blankets, and a pillow. Your billet will include a cot or bunk with mattress; there will be places to hang things up so you may want a hanger or two to keep your clothing unwrinkled. Bring a flashlight. If you have trouble waking up early, bring an alarm clock. If you like coffee in mid-morning, bring a thermos bottle to carry it (plenty is available in the dining hall after breakfast before the crews leave for work). You may want to bring a small cooler to carry soft drinks, if coffee is not your thing. There may be other items that you'd like for your personal use or comfort.
Bring your own tools if you have them. Some of the hand tools that would be useful for each Bear to bring along to the workend are: a hammer, common and Phillips head screw drivers, tape measure, pliers, nail apron, level, drill, hand saw, miter box, socket set and a tool box or bag to carry them in. Mark them with some of those return address labels that always seem to come our way or Sharpie markers. Many tools look alike and marking them will help avoid confusion about the owner. Bringing your own tools may save you some time and frustration in your next task as a Bear and it will definitely save the Reservation many dollars for buying sets of tools that may only be used twice during the year.
If you have any questions prior to the workend, you can contact "The Head Bear” at the email address above. Don't feel it would be an imposition to contact him – that's why we pay him the big bucks. The only "dumb” question is the one that is not asked.
We hope you will want to become a member of the GOSHEN BEARS family. We'll be delighted to have you join us and look forward to a long association.