Hudson-Litchfield 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.

Hudson Youth Baseball Opens Season with a Parade

Saturday, April 16 dawned bright and sunny, the perfect weather to start the Hudson Youth Baseball Season.  All the teams gathered at the Rec Center on Oakwood Street and formed a parade line to march over the Lions Field for the official opening of the season.  Over 700 ball players and their families were in attendance.  The coaches handed out new hats and the excitement built until the parade kick-off just after 10:00 a.m. 

The Hudson Police led the way and the Hudson~Litchfield News Parade Truck took up the rear loaded with players and their mascot “Scoop.”  Many Hudson businesses sponsor these teams of boys beginning with T-Ball all the way up to the Majors. 

For more information about Hudson Youth Baseball visit  Let’s Play Ball!

Senior Spring Fling:  A Smooth Success

by Brandon P. Mansur

They came together, arm and arm and laughing all the way.  Couples from around the Greater Nashua and Northern Massachusetts area arrived at Alvirne High School on Saturday, April 16, for an evening of fun.  The Alvirne High School Key Club teamed up with the National Honor Society to put on an event known as the “Senior Spring Fling.”  This was the second year in a row that this event.

Richie Covino, Brian Kearley, Shirley Pelletier, Kyle Harris.

This year’s event went off without any interruption at all.  Whether it was dancing to the Charleston or the Macarena, the student volunteers and seniors were dancing together all night.  ”The people are so adorable dancing together, and they keep commenting on how nice the evening has been,” remarked an amazed Britney Puleo. “  It was great to see the kids dancing with all the seniors,” observed Mr. Lars Christiansen, a State Representative from Hudson who attended the event with his wife.  He said that it is important, as a civic leader, to recognize that wonderful things can be done at high schools around the state.  He wishes that more people could have seen the crowd interaction, because it was truly remarkable.  “The evening was a ‘treat for my eyes’” commented Mr. David Nesbitt, who is the Key Club Faculty Advisor, and a History Teacher at Alvirne High School.  Everyone had a lot to say about the evening.  Miss Crystal Landry and Mr. Ryan Hanlon, both members of the National Honor Society, said “the evening was a success, and that the Senior Citizens had a ball.”  Jeff Barnard, an officer for National Honor Society, also said that because of the great time he was having, “he felt like he had and gone to Heaven.” 

Jane Ruiter, Brandon P. Mansur.

The enthusiasm flowed even more as the night progressed, and made wonderful memories for all.  There was a Door-Prize raffle, in which a lucky winner took home a decorative bag, and a Commemorative Red Sox World Series Trophy Plate.  The attendees also enjoyed food and drinks donated by area vendors, which included Hannaford Market.  Mr. Gerry Bastien, who donated his time as the D.J. for the event, supplied the evening’s entertainment and Alvirne’s own singing talents, the B-Naturals, supplied the renditions of some favorite songs from the past. 

Roland Bedard, Lauren M. Mansur.

The biggest thing that this dance did was “it bridged a great divide between the older generations and the younger ones,” as Mrs. Susan Hanley, an Assistant Dean of Students at Alvirne noticed.  There were some four major generations represented at this event, and as Mrs. Rita Clark, who came with her husband pointed out, “the kids of the Alvirne Key Club and National Honor Society, as well as the teachers and faculty should be commended for the job well done.  People say this sort of interaction can’t be done.  So many negatives are written about teenagers these days, and you all proved the critics wrong.  [This event] makes the seniors feel wanted.”  Mrs. Claire Pare and Mr. Gerry Michaud seconded this notion, by saying “that it was an excellent time for all who attended.”  Mr. Michaud also added, that “if more people keep coming, the Alvirne Gymnasium might have to be used for next year’s event.  There will be another event next year, as Mrs. Glaude, the Faculty Advisor for the National Honor Society, says,” the anticipation builds for another great evening next year.”  So, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you missed this year’s event, don’t be ashamed, because next year, there will be another “Senior Spring Fling.”  Mr. Bill Eaton, an active Key Clubber and President of the National Honor Society who is graduating in a couple of months, summed up the level of excitement, by saying “that I am definitely coming back next year, and leaving college for a weekend just to be here for it.” 

Decide in Haste and then Repent in Leisure

by Lynne Ober

Hudson Board of Selectmen Chairman Ken Massey has a number of catchy sayings, among them the caution not to decide in haste because you will certainly repent in leisure and that’s exactly what Selectmen have been doing since hastily adopting a new policy.

On February 22 a motion was made and passed to establish a policy that said, “To not allow the use of any town owned equipment, trucks, recordings, photos or town facilities in any ads or videos or fundraising activities by any group in the town without the express written consent of the Board of Selectmen.”  The phrase “by any group in the town” has caused angst since the passage of that policy.

After Selectmen Kathleen MacLean requested that the Board revisit this policy and Selectman Terry Stewart strongly disagreed, then Board Chairman Bill Cole asked the two of them to meet and work out a suitable compromise position.

MacLean reported at a recent meeting that “Selectman Stewart wants the policy to stay as it is, but I disagree.  I firmly believe that individuals or groups that have no official relationship or connection with the town government have every right to stand where they choose and speak freely to promote their cause or belief.”

MacLean felt that any policy that constrained all citizens was just not workable.  As written, if the Memorial Day Parade sponsored by the American Legion, for example, is televised, no town equipment could be included unless written permission had been received from Selectmen prior to taping the parade.

As a result of that clause, MacLean explained the policy appeared to be unenforceable and she wondered if it was even constitutional.  She pointed out that the Personnel Policy already had a paragraph regarding the use of town equipment and she felt that it should remain unchanged.

In February Selectmen were dealing with a number of separate instances where unions for town employees were using town equipment in advertising and videos in an attempt to seek voter support for union contracts at the polls.  Because of these instances the policy cited above was adopted after a discussion of the video and advertising was brought up during a Public Forum.

After the meeting MacLean checked existing policy and found a section that covered the use of town equipment.  That section states, “No town employee may use town time or property in any manner to promote any political issue or candidate, or to solicit funds for any political purse or to influence the outcome of any election.  With the approval of the Board of Selectmen, an exception shall be allowed when the subject of an election has received the endorsement and support of the Board of Selectmen (e.g. bond issue).”

Although MacLean proposed an amendment to the recently adopted policy, Selectman Richard Maddox pointed out that the best action might be to rescind the February 22 action and to use language already existing in the Personnel Policy.  “The vote [on February 22] was done with the best of intentions,” Maddox said.  “I just think it should go.”

Selectman Bill Cole pointed out that the right of first amendment “doesn’t obligate anyone to give them a stage.”

Selectmen unanimously voted to rescind the February 22 policy.  The Personnel Policy remains in effect.

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