Pelham-Windham News

Back to the Future at Hills House

 by Lynne Ober

What do you get if you put a bunch of energetic, creative boys and adults together on a warm April day?  You get the Boy Scout Spring Camporee hosted by Hudson’s Troop 252. 

“We put this together in ten weeks, which is pretty amazing,” said Jeff Emanuelson.  “The hard part is keeping the competition fresh and creative.”


This year 333 Boy Scouts and 98 leaders camped on the grounds of Alvirne’s Hills House.  “We’ll be joined at tonight’s camp out and campfire by 80 Webelo Cub Scouts and leaders,” said Jeff.

The theme for this year’s camporee was Back to the Future.  First Class Scout Nate Spalding had designed the patch and t-shirt for the camporee, using a Deloren, the futuristic car designed and built by John Deloren.  “He did that before John Deloren died,” said Sue Buxton.


New Pelham Troop 25 Boy Scouts. Front row from left: Kevin Clampa, Ryan Rheauit. Back row: Mike Croatti, Adam Lafferty, Ross Goss and Gregory Spicer.

While the Cub Scouts enjoy their Western day with Chuck Wagon races, the Boy Scouts competed in a variety of skill competitions.  “Although we are testing basic skills, each one has a futuristic theme,” laughed Jeff.  “They are scored at each competition and work through the entire set of skills as the day progresses.”

The Shelter Building competition began with, “your time travel vehicle has incurred minor damage upon re-entry to the past….”  Each troop had to build a shelter in the woods where they would spend the night.


New Pelham Weeblos camping in Hudson at the Hills House. Front from left: Chris Cress, Tyler Harper, Ben Owen, Jacob Wormaid, and William Shea. Back row: Orian Dalton, Blake Whitehead, Matthew Blanchard, Brendan Ozella and Jacob Albuja.

At another station, there was a First Aid Obstacle Course.  Not only did the Scouts have to demonstrate their knowledge of First Aid, but they had to convey their chosen “victim” on a handmade stretcher through a variety of obstacles, including circumnavigating a tilting bridge, under a low obstacle that required crawling and pushing the victim and stretcher and a race back to their time travel vehicle.

Hudson Fire Department put on a demonstration of fire safety next to the obstacle course before each patrol participated in the No Match Fire Lighting contest.


Pelham Pack / Troup 25, Doing KP, from left: Ryan Goss, William Shea, and Tyler Harper.

At one point a crew member got blinded on the way to the time travel vehicle and the rest of the crew had to assist him in navigating through a blind obstacle course without touching.  Using only verbal clues, they were timed on how fast they could talk their blind crew member through the course.

A slingshot event was created and built by the members of Troop 252.  “They dreamed this one up by themselves and it’s a lot of fun,” proudly stated Jeff.  Crew members shot baseballs at targets several yards away.


Two Scouts carry their “injured” team member through the First Aid Obstacle Course.

Throughout the afternoon laughter filled the woods and surrounding land as the Scouts did their best to overcome all of their futuristic challenges, knowing that awards would be given out at the evening’s campfire.

Even when the camporee was almost over on Sunday, Scouts could be seen practicing one of their best skills – that of leaving no trace behind, and once again, when the last Scout departed from Hills House, there was no physical trace of the laughter or people who had joined together for the spring camporee.


Clean Up Day at Muldoon Park

by Lynne Ober

The Town of Pelham is blessed with residents who have a “can-do” spirit and who dig right in and make the town a better place for everyone.


Five year old Victor and five year old Elena Masterson help their mother Maryanne Masterson collect leaves.  Victor and Elena will play T-Ball this year.

On Saturday, a hardy group of forty people met at Muldoon Park to clean up the ball fields, repair the ball fields, and ensure that the Concession Stand renovations were completed and everything was in readiness for baseball season.

Bob Blinn, Andy Vanti, and George Saurman began preparation work on Friday.  “I had four loads of infield mix delivered and dumped.  Brox Industries in Hudson donated the material.  We only had to pay for transportation,” grinned Bob Blinn, President of Pelham Little League.  “We always borrow George’s back hoe for the work on the infields.”


Bob Blinn hangs the new helmet racks on the side of the dugout.

Saturday morning all signs of fall were quickly disappearing as leaves were raked, bagged, and trucked away.  People were carefully putting the finishing touches onto the infields.  New racks that will hold batting helmets and baseballs were being installed at every dugout.

At the Concession Stand, the final touches were being applied.  The Concession Stand has been remodeled and repainted.  “This building is 18 years old,” stated Blinn.  “It needed work.”

Andy Vanti proudly showed off the new addition to the Concession Stand.  If you didn’t know what the building looked like before, you’d never know that the Razorbacks added a $22,000 two-story addition that houses football equipment and provides some shared storage space for Concession Stand equipment.  The addition got a $5,000 start from the voters in Pelham, but the rest of the funds were raised by a variety of Razorback fund-raisers, including last year’s Octoberfest.  “If you missed last year’s Octoberfest, mark your calendar for October 7.  We’re going to do it again,” smiled Vanti.


Andy Vanti stands in front of the football uniform rack in the new addition on the Concession Stand.

“We just made another payment on the field lights,” said Blinn.  “I think we only owe $11,000 more.”

Selectmen recently approved the agreement between the Little League and the Town.  Practice will begin Monday and it won’t be long until calls of “Play Ball” will be heard ringing across the park.


Windham Woman’s Club Holds Teacher Recognition Day

    “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  Franklin Roosevelt.

The GFWC Windham Woman’s Club annual Teacher Recognition Day was held in early April.  In the picture, Chairpersons Sue Violi and Barbara Norton (absent from picture is Alberta Corvi) hold one of three trays, a variety of fresh fruit, assorted cookies, candies, crackers, and other delectable treats.  The three trays are delivered personally by the chairpersons before school starts to the Golden Brook, Windham Middle, and Windham Center schools.


From left:  Sue Violi and Barbara Norton


New Chief for Windham Police Department

by Lynn McNamara

On April 8, Windham’s Board of Selectmen announced that Commander Gerald S. Lewis of South Windsor, Connecticut, has been selected as the new Chief of Police.  He will assume responsibilities on May 2, replacing former Police Chief Bruce Moeckel who retired on April 1.

Commander Lewis was chosen from an initial field of sixty seven candidates.  The selection process, described by the Board as "rigorous and lengthy," included written, role-playing and management exercises, attendance at a two-day Assessment Center and comprehensive oral interviews.

Commander Lewis has served in the South Windsor Police Department since February, 1980, when he was appointed as Patrolman.  He was promoted to Sergeant in 1985 and to the rank of Commander in 1995.  As Operations Commander in 1999, he took on the responsibilities of the department’s patrol operations.

Commander Lewis hales from East Hartford, Connecticut and is the son of a former Police Lieutenant.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree, with a concentration on Police Management and Administration, from Charter Oak State College in Connecticut and is a graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  He has a wife, Ellen, and two college-aged children.

In the interim, Captain Yatsevich will continue to be in charge at Windham’s Police Department, as he has since Chief Moeckel’s retirement.


Pelham Paramedics Assist in Delivery of Baby Girl

On April 15 at approximately 12:15 a.m., the Pelham Fire Department was dispatched to the home of Todd and Cynthia Cunliffe to assist with a woman in labor.  Upon arrival, paramedics met the expecting parents in the garage of their home.  After assessing the mother, it was determined that delivery was imminent.  The Fire Department paramedics assisted the mother in delivering a baby girl.  Both mother and baby were then transported to Lowell General Hospital.  The hospital reported that mother and baby are doing well.  The Pelham Fire Department extends congratulations to both parents and welcomes a new resident to the community!

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