Sing-along on the Lawn
by Lynne Ober
On a warm, breezy Thursday evening Litchfield parents and children ate trail mix, listened to stories, and sang songs on the Aaron Cutler Library Lawn.
Children’s Librarian, Carrie-Anne Pace, organized a well-attended and fun evening.
Girl Scouts from Troop 849 under the direction of Linda Lantagne helped young participants make their own trail mix to enjoy while listening to the stories.
With a campfire on the lawn, blankets were spread and families enjoyed participating in the stories and singing some of their favorite songs. What a great way to spend a summer’s evening.
Breakfast Exchange Club of Nashua Nominates Two Hudson Volunteers for the “Book of Golden Deeds”
by Doug Robinson
Lucille Boucher and Irene Tremblay were recently nominated, by the Breakfast Exchange Club of Nashua to receive the coveted “Book of Golden Deeds Award”.
“This exclusive Exchange Club program honors the quiet, good deeds of America’s unsung heroes. The person who regularly donates their time to care for disadvantaged children, the one who voluntarily instructs disabled persons in some skill or craft, these are the kinds of exceptional individuals that the Book of Golden Deeds Award aims to recognize. It is used to recognize and bestow deserved tribute upon heroes and heroines of everyday life who sacrifice, toil, and achievements too often pass unrecognized and unsung”, states the National Exchange Club rules.
In the Nashua area, Book of Golden Deed nominations were recently made at an annual breakfast meeting sponsored by the Breakfast Club of Nashua. It was at this breakfast that Sister Denise Charest, RSVP Coordinator, (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) nominated both Lucille Boucher and Irene Tremblay for this prestigious award.
“The community is very fortunate to have these women giving their time and talents to the community”, states Charest. These two volunteers have donated over “1980 hours” in volunteer service to their community during 2004. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, has relationships in excess of 72 agencies throughout the Nashua area whereby a RSVP volunteer may choose they type of volunteer work they enjoy best.
“I wanted to meet people and create friends” states Lucille Boucher. “For 20 years I was the ‘girl Friday’ in a vending companying that I worked for: Serv-O-Mation”. “After twenty years, I wanted a change, and then went to work for the Hudson School system, in the cafeteria. I loved to bake…I worked in all the schools. When my husband retired in 1989, I joined the Hudson Seniors. It was at this time I volunteered to work with RSVP.”
Boucher’s passion for volunteerism steered her towards the senior community. The relationships RSVP offered with various senior organizations allowed her the opportunity to build relationships with the senior community as well as become an advocate and spokes person for the senior community. Over the years, Boucher’s involvement with the Hudson has become synonymous with education, information, seniors rights, and senior happenings.
Chairperson for the building committee for 14 years, coordinator of the annual fall fair at the Lions Hall, Seniors Club President for three years, coordinator for the 50 seniors who work the ticket booths at Old Home days, board member to RSVP, and organizer for the trips to Foxwoods or a lobster lunch in Maine, Lucille never stops working for the seniors of Hudson.
Lucille is presently heavily involved with the creation of the new Senior Center for the Hudson Senior Club of Hudson. While 25 - 40 seniors meet weekly to participate in health programs, aerobics, line dancing, playing cars or attending informational seminars, the new building needs to support programs by Home Health and Hospice as well as the annual flu clinic program, which has helped up to 400 Hudson senior in one year!
Why does Lucille do all this: “People in the community needed something” says Boucher. “I went to school here, and I like my town. While it nice to be recognized, there are lots of excellent volunteers. You got to have fun!”
Irene Tremblay became involved with volunteering with RSVP over thirteen years ago. “When my husband died I joined a widows group, and with their help, I became involved with volunteering. My first volunteering assignment with RSVP was babysitting at the YMCA.”
“Volunteering is something to keep you busy as you age…it keeps you active, involved and engaged with the community. It gives you purpose”, Tremblay admits. When Irene is not writing news stories for the Hudson-Litchfield News she continues to work one day a week at RSVP. In her capacity at RSVP, she now places senior volunteers, just as she was placed for that first assignment, 13 years ago.
Irene Tremblay is also actively involved with many other activities and organizations throughout Nashua and Hudson. Her resume includes: Secretary to the Hudson seniors, a member to the Rivera Prayer Group, a member and helper at the widows group at the YMCA in Nashua, and participates on the board of directors for the Seniors Building Fund. Scratching deeper into Irene’s volunteer work we learn that she also participates on the Advisory counsel for the new Hudson Senior Center Counsel on Aging and she is on the advisory counsel for RSVP, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Nashua.
Irene and her husband spent many vacations together traveling throughout all 50 United States. While California is Irene’s favorite state, and the flowers of Hawaii are spectacular and gorgeous, her passion combined with her commitment towards volunteers keeps her solidly grounded with her community.
In recognition of being nominated for the Book of Golden Deeds Award, the Breakfast Exchange Club presented to each nominee a plaque giving them recognition and praise for the good deeds they do for their community. The plaque states:”The Breakfast Exchange Club of Nashua Hereby awards to (their name) for your services to seniors in your community, your spirit of giving and your commitment to helping others”.
“Their voice is loud and clear” says Denise Charest, RSVP Coordinator. “These two volunteers are true advocates for the senior citizen community”.
Litchfield Skate Park to be Repaired
by Lynne Ober
Litchfield resident Andy Prolman, who had a son who skateboards, joined the Litchfield Park and Recreation Committee to work on issues surrounding Litchfield’s aging skate park.
Selectmen agree that improvements have been made, but they also expressed on-going concerns at their recent meeting when Prolman met to discuss repairs to the skate park.
Selectmen had asked that the insurance company, Primex, assess the skate park and issue a report and the Recreation Committee complied.
In a written report Primex recommended that the park be closed until repairs can be completed. Prolman told Selectmen that the gate was locked and would remain locked until repairs are made. When Selectman Ray Peeples pointed out that kids were still using the park, Prolman said, “I don’t have any money to repair the fence so I’ve done what I can.” Primex had noted that to completely close the park, the fence enclosing the park had to be repaired.
Primex also suggested that regular patrols by Litchfield Police and/or Park and Recreation staff to ensure that the park is not in use and the fence and locks are intact.
BASR, based in Derry with a Windham P.O. Box, quoted an extensive set of repairs that needed to be made. BASR is the firm that installed both the Windham and Pelham skate parks. Their entire business deals with BMX and skateboard ramps and parks.
The quote included materials, labor and removal of old and new material waste. They recommended:
The total cost for the repairs, expected to last two to three years, is $6,500 and Prolman requested that Selectmen release that money from the Sawmill Recreational Fund, which has a balance of more than $22,000.
Selectmen continue to question the lack of supervision at the park and noted that the park is isolated. Peeples said, “The lack of supervision is a problem.”
Prolman told Selectmen that he and his son had toured five skate parks in neighboring towns and that none of the parks had supervision.
Selectman Pat Jewett volunteered to provide supervision for five hours a week and urged other community members and parents to also volunteer at the park.
Primex also recommended new signage be posted and suggested the following rules:
Primex also suggested that the signage carry the following warning, “The Community of Litchfield is not responsible for any injury or accident incurred during the use of this skateboard rollerblade facility. Skateboard and/or rollerblade at your own risk.”
Selectmen questioned whether BMX bikes should be banned or not. Prolman pointed out that many of the neighboring parks allow bikes and that BASR told him that Litchfield’s equipment was sturdy enough to handle bikes.
Another issue was the mandate of the use of helmets. Prolman suggested that Selectmen send the rules to Town Counsel for their input and approval before posting.
Although no firm hours were set, Prolman said that most parks were open dawn to dusk.
Selectmen unanimously voted to authorize the release of funds for repairs and emphasized that the park must remain closed until repairs are complete and the new signage is in place.
Hudson Explorers Develop “Live-In” Program
by Doug Robinson
In speaking to his son Patrick, “Find something you like doing, and do it as a career,” advises Hudson’s Fire Captain, Clint Weaver. And with those words, both Patrick Weaver of Hudson and Bruce Hollowell of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts are following their dreams to become full time firefighters for the town of Hudson.
Both Patrick and Buddy (Bruce) come from fire fighting families. Patrick’s dad is a Captain on the Hudson Fire Department and Buddy’s dad is a firefighter on the Tyngsboro Fire Department. While they both know they want to become firefighters, they both understand the years of dedication and training it takes to become a firefighter.
They also understand that to become a firefighter, they must begin their education early in their lives.
Through the Explorer Program, the young adult division of the Boy Scouts of America, both of these high school seniors realized they could obtain their Firefighting education with the help of the Hudson Fire Department. The Fire Explorer program helps young adults to participate in different career fields. While this program is not intended to be a direct recruiter for future firefighters, it does offer the Explorer an inside look into the exciting profession of firefighting.
According to Lieutenant Dave Morin, Hudson Fire Department and volunteer advisor to the Explorer program, “the Fire Explorer program began in 1978. Questions such as are you interested in becoming a Firefighter? Do you know what Firefighters do? What education, training and experience are necessary to become a Firefighter?” are questions that the Explorers ask themselves just as they did in 1978. While some Explorers do not join fire departments, other Explorers do in fact, go on and become firefighters. In Hudson, seven members of the present Hudson Fire Department began their careers as Explorers.”
“The Explorers do all the stuff that firefighters do, except, we do not enter a burning building”, states “Buddy” Hollowell, Captain of the Explorers. “We act as an extra pair of hands when needed. We help out on brush fires by hooking up hoses, stretching lines, and double checking the gauges and valves of the pumper truck.” ”They also participate in boot drives, fire prevention day, and any fire prevention activity, and are required to attend weekly training classes” according to Lieutenant Morin.
But as Patrick Weaver, Explorer Lieutenant states, “we are only allowed to assist when we have successfully completed our mandatory probation manual. We are required to learn the placement of tools on the trucks, the usage of the different tools, how to find our way out of a fire, lengths of the trucks, operation of the pumping mechanisms on each truck, and water capacity. Furthermore, we need to learn patient care, how to work as a team and the basics of fire suppression. When we have successfully completed both our written and oral assignments, only then are we allowed to ride-along with the Firefighters and assist them with their duties.” When the Explorer has become certified, each Explorer will be issued their official uniform: green shirt and red helmet, clearly identifying them as Explorer Firefighters. Old outer gear has been donated to the program and recently Wal-Mart gave the Explorer’s a $1,000 donation.
Both the Tyngsboro and Hudson school systems have created internships with the Hudson Fire Department, in their support of the Explorer Fire Fighter program. While each student is required to maintain a “C” average or better, each student is also required to follow a syllabus and itinerary for their fire education. Each member of the Explorer program must also meet with the Chief of the Fire Department at year’s end to discuss their experiences, education, and a review of his expectations.
Weaver’s and Hollowell’s dedication and passion to become successful firefighters has let them take their education with the Hudson Fire Department to the next level. “I have passion”, states Hollowell, and “Hudson provides the opportunities”, states Weaver. Both expects to continue their education at New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord, New Hampshire, where their studies will lead them to a degree in fire science, fire engineering, and fire protection.
To further their education, these high school seniors have consulted with many fire departments throughout New Hampshire to learn about those fire departments who have initiated a student “Live In” program. Communities such as Allenstown, Laconia, Gilford, and Alton are only a few of the communities who have initiated such educational programs, at no cost to the towns, in efforts to teach our youth about a career as a firefighter. Both Weaver and Hollowell, recognizing their need for more experience, have written a proposal suggesting that the Town of Hudson support a “Live In” program as have many other communities. They currently have the support of the Fire Chief and their next step is to present their program to the Selectmen.
Presently, the path to become a firefighter is: Explorer, call firefighter, firefighter. Both Weaver and Hollowell recognized the fact that the step between call firefighter and firefighter lacked the experience of “living in” the firehouse. In efforts to further experience their education of their desires to become firefighters, “To answer the tone, and respond to a call is very different in the firehouse, vs. listening from home” says Lieutenant Morin. “While Living-in, the Explorers become part of the firehouse team and work directly with the crew at the fire station.”
The objectives of the “Live In” program would be “to provide each individual with the basic structure, guidelines, and duties of a professional firefighter within the community of Hudson. Students participating in the program will learn how to work as a member of a team as well as an individual in maintaining their living quarters. All students will be required to follow rules as described in the student contract.”
“Students will be required to participate in all training as outlined in the monthly Hudson Fire Department Training Schedule. Students may also be required to participate in training over and above the monthly training” as the proposed outline of the program describes.
The program further states that the “students will assist on-duty crew, call department, or prevention in public relation events such as school visits, station tours, and community events. Students will be allowed to participate in this program as long as they are enrolled in a college program for either a degree in Fire Science or Para-medicine.”
Patrick Weaver and Buddy Hollowell, are spending approximately twenty hours per week each, learning, apprenticing, and developing their passion to become firefighters for the town of Hudson. The Explorer Program and the Hudson Fire Department have provided these two individuals with the opportunity to excel and to develop specific skill sets for a very difficult, demanding and specific job. We all should be thankful to the Hudson Fire Department, especially Lieutenant Dave Morin, who volunteers his time, attention, and teaching to develop these two high school seniors.
Hills Memorial Library News
The staff of the Hills Memorial Library wishes to thank the Hudson Police and Hudson Fire Departments for their participation in our annual "Big Truck Day." It was our most successful "BTD" ever and kids of all ages enjoyed the big truck "up close and personal."
Summer Programming Activities:
Children's Department: Announcing the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, July 16! Now is a great time to come in and “check out” the other books in the series. Come into the library on the 16th and do some Harry Potter activities. Your children can win a small prize for participating and they can enter to win their very own copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Don’t miss us at Greeley Park in Nashua on the 16th of July for the Fairy Tale Festival. Check in the library for more details or call us at 886-6030, ext. 24.
A family of twigs living in an oak tree? Puppeteer, Deborah Costine will be introducing her twig family in their oak tree as well as sharing shadow puppet stories and Cinderella, a Woodland Fairy Princess, Wednesday, July 20. The program will be held at 49 Ferry Street, 10:00 a.m. Registration is required.
Warm up your singing voices and break out your marshmallow stick for a Camp song sing along with Steve Blunt Wednesday, July 27, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 49 Ferry Street. Parents, accompany your children as they enjoy songs, snacks and a presentation by the Hudson Fire Department. Story telling included!
Have you got the summer blahs? You can still enjoy reading, games and crafts even if you didn't sign up for Camp Wannaread. Stop by the Children's Room for more information or call us at 886-6030, ext. 24.
Young Adult (Teen) Department: July 21 is Comic Night. Rich Woodall, creator of Johnny Raygun, will present a hands-on workshop on the art of creating comics. Woodall will present an overview of the world of comics and how one can get into the "comics business." Teens and "tweens" are invited to pre register for the workshop which will be held at 49 Ferry Street from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
The Book Discussion Group will meet on July 18, to discuss The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. The library has extra copies of this award winning novel about a near future where society has taken a wrong turn, people are enslaved by evil drug lords and cloning is used for selfish purposes. Refreshments will be served and all participants will receive raffle tickets.