RV path jpg 2015Raritan Valley District

Welcome to the Raritan Valley District Website, serving the communities of: Bound Brook, Bradley Gardens, Branchburg, Bridgewater, Dunellen, Edison, Finderne, Flagtown, Franklin, Franklin Park, Green Brook, Griggstown, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Lamington, Manville, Martinsville, Metuchen, Middlesex, New Brunswick, Neshanic, Neshanic Station, North Branch, Piscataway, Plainfield, Pluckemin, Princeton, Raritan, Somerset, Somerville, South Bound Brook, South Branch, and South Plainfield.

Raritan Valley Event Registrations and News:

Roundtable Schedule

(Location:  Somerville Middle School unless otherwise announced)

Please note some dates have changed due to holidays

September 12

October 17 (Council Key-3 Visit)

November 14

December 19

January 16

February 20

March 20

April 17

May 15


Yo Ho Ho and a Bucket of Fun

Pirates of the Carabiner was the theme for the recently held Raritan Valley District Cub Family Camporee. The event was held June 8-10th at Camp Akelaland (Minsi Trails BSA Council) in Pennsylvania. Over 470 scouts, siblings and parents from 15 packs gathered for a weekend of fun. Scouts and their families participated in BB shooting, archery, sling shots, ropes and knot tying, swashbuckling pirate skills, a fishing derby, canoeing, gaga ball and pirate crafts. 23 Boy Scouts from 7 troops across the RV District served as staff support, helping make this a truly memorable weekend.

The weekend included a campfire show put on by “Captain Jack Sparrow” and his first mate. During the show the cub scouts learned how to talk like a pirate and a scout from each pack was taught pirate swordsmanship. In the end, all the scouts were made honorary pirates.

Thanks to all the volunteers who planned, supported and led stations for the weekend: Jake Hardin, Brent Cheshire, George Bicking, Carmine DeSan, Chris Lakatos, Kristen Lakatos, Brandon Griswold, Gene Schafer, Harry Buttito, Ryan Maziel, Frank Zatika, Victor Haddad, and Larry Prezioso.   Thanks to our EMT team, led by Mike Richards for the support and advice in helping make this a safer event.  An extra special thanks to Dave Dey and Troop 41 for coordinating and feeding the staff.

Journey To Excellence Information

Raritan Valley District Calendar 2018 – Click Link to Access



June 2018

Giant Hogweed

Do Not Touch This Plant!

A man standing next to a giant hogweed which towers over him
Giant hogweed can grow to 14 feet or more
Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a Federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves.

What to do if you come in contact with giant hogweed:

Immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours. This plant poses a serious health threat; see your physician if you think you have been burned by giant hogweed. If you think you have giant hogweed on your property, do NOT touch it. Please refer to our Health Hazards & Safety Instructions for Giant Hogweed for more information.

How do you identify giant hogweed?

Giant hogweed is a biennial or perennial herb in the carrot family (Apiaceae) which can grow to 14 feet or more. Its hollow, ridged stems grow 2-4 inches in diameter and have dark reddish-purple blotches. Its large compound leaves can grow up to 5 feet wide. Its white flower heads can grow up to 2 1/2 feet in diameter. Please refer to the Giant Hogweed Identification page for further help. Some other plants look very similar.
With the upcoming changes in Youth Protection, Unit Leadership and Training a good place to start with would be reviewing the Guide To Safe Scouting, please see below.
Guide to Safe Scouting
All participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting, applicable program literature or manuals, and be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America practices, policies, and guidelines. The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities.
In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.
Perhaps this quote by Sir Robert Baden-Powell from his 1914 book Quick Training for War is appropriate to include here:  “… The books lay down definite principles and examples which serve to guide the leaders when applying their common sense to the situation before them. No two situations are ever precisely the same, and it is therefore impossible to lay down exact rules that should guide in every case, but a man who carries precedents and principles in his head has no difficulty in applying their teaching in supreme moments of sudden emergency …”
 This is the full PDF version that contains updates as of May 2018.  Please refer to the online version for the most updated information.

Viewing the online Guide

The online version of Guide to Safe Scouting is available here.
The cold water temperatures can quickly cause hypothermia to anyone immersed in the water. When the water temperature is below
60 degrees, the average submerged person could loose dexterity within minutes and be unable to accomplish simple tasks. Anyone
on small boats, canoes or kayaks should plan accordingly and use extreme caution to avoid this threat. Paddle smart from the start and always wear your life jacket!


BSA Guide to Safe Scouting (a must read for all adult leaders to learn what activities are permitted or not permitted, as well as to learn safe operating procedures for a number of activities) at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS

In the continuing effort to protect participants in Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee has developed 16 points that embody good judgment and common sense for all activities. Go to http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources/sweet16.aspx to learn more about the Sweet 16 of Scout Safety.

The national BSA Scouting Safety website can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety

BSA Safety Thoughts @ http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/SafetyThoughts

BSA On-line training modules (Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Climbing Safely, Hazardous Weather, Trek Safely, etc.) can be completed online at http://www.myscouting.org

On-line health, safety and risk management on scouting official site at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/healthandsafety/resources

Scouting Safety Begins with Leadership BSA video (an informative video highlighting the hazards of driving, swimming and boating, hiking, and climbing) at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Video.

BSA Health and Safety Training Course Syllabus can be found at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/19-100A.pdf

“Managing Risk” from Chapter 6 of the Boy Scout Fieldbook can be found available online at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources


Millions of children and adults in the United States have been diagnosed with specific food allergies that can be life-threatening. Initial food allergy reactions can occur at any time, even in previously undiagnosed individuals. The Health and Safety team has become aware of these risks and has developed food allergy prevention guidelines that can be useful in helping people with food allergies be prepared at all types of Scouting events.

The guidelines include information for Scouts and their families, adult leaders, and camps to plan ahead for many types of events and trips. Although the document is not intended to be all-inclusive, it does identify many common experiences and is meant to begin a dialogue regarding food allergy prevention.

The guidelines for managing food allergies can be found at:


The document also links to several reputable websites that will educate and inform you about food allergy prevention.


Never text and drive and do everything you can to convince your driving-age Scouts to do the same.Take the pledge at http://www.itcanwait.com not to text and drive and put that promise into action by:

  • Store your phone in the glove box or trunk.
  • Use “X” or #X as a signal that you’re driving. By ending a text conversation with the letter ―X‖ or tweeting with #X, you’ve just told your friends and family that it’s time to stop messaging and start driving. Train them to know that signal.
  • Give your phone to someone else. If you’re driving with others, let them keep you focused on the road.
  • Put your phone on Do Not Disturb and face down in the passenger seat so you won’t see the screen.
  • Draw X’s on your thumbs as a visual reminder to stop typing and start driving.
  • Let technology help keep you honest. Use an app that blocks texting while driving and let others know you’re on the road.

Hello Everyone,

 I hope you are enjoying your summer.   I wanted to let you know of a wonderful opportunity for Community Service working with Operation Shoebox located in Hillsborough.  Operation Shoebox is in desperate need  of both Child and Adult Volunteers.  If you’re not familiar with Operation Shoebox here is a little background information:

 Founded in February, 2005, Operation Shoebox NJ is an all-volunteer grass roots organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies and shipping care packages to U.S. troops based in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Middle East countries. We are committed to sending packages overseas as long as there is a need. Several times each year, volunteers gather to sort donated supplies and pack them in boxes that are shipped overseas. We rely on your compassion and patriotism to maintain our supply line, and applaud your continuing support and generosity; we thank those individuals, families, civic groups, small businesses and corporations that continue to ensure the success of our packing events. This web site helps you to support our mission by providing up to date information on items needed and events where your help is needed as well as our calendar showing all Shoebox activities. It also provides links to our supporter’s sites, as well as information on how to contact us or register for an event.

Operation Shoebox NJ has shipped more than 73,000 total packages to U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and other posts in the Middle East.

Operation Shoebox NJ is 501C3 non-profit organization registered with the IRS and the New Jersey Department of State. We are not affiliated with any other organization using that name or any variation.

There are several ways that our Packs & Troops can help.

 – At the District Roundtables,  I will have a Donation jar and I will be collecting items.  If your Pack or Troop collects items or monetary donations at your meetings you can bring them to the Roundtable and I will deliver them to Operation Shoebox.   See the items needed below.

 -Operation Shoebox has packing events and shopping sprees that you can attend.

Please see attached below with upcoming dates.

 -If you know of any active Military Personal you can send me the information so that Operation Shoebox will add them to the list of package recipients.   

 -Cards and Notes can also be made to be included in the packages sent to the Troops

 Please remember that all of these volunteer hours will count towards our SERV Awards.  For more info on SERV, please go to :


For more information on Operation Shoebox:


Please share this information with your Pack or Troop.   Let me know if you are interested in volunteering for Operation Shoebox at either their July packing event or an upcoming Shopping Spree.  If you have any questions please let me know.   I’m hoping that our District can really help Operation Shoebox and its founder, Rod Hirsch an Eagle Scout ( 1969).

Yours In Scouting,

 Linda Cummings, Raritan Valley Community Service Chair

 [email protected]

908-963-6310 cell phone/908-904-4498 home phone

Operation Shoebox  Dates:

Somerset Patriots Packing

July 28

TD Bank Ball Park, E Main St & Cole Dr., Bridgewater, NJ 08807 United States 


  • 4th Sat. Stop & Shop of Flemington, 334 State Route 31 Flemington, NJ 08822
    5th Sun. Stop & Shop of Flemington, 334 State Route 31 Flemington, NJ 08822
    11th Sat. Shop Rite of North Brunswick, 400 Renaissance Blvd. North Brunswick, NJ 08902
  • 12th Sun. Shop Rite of North Brunswick, 400 Renaissance Blvd. North Brunswick, NJ 08902


  • 8th Sat. Shop Rite of Hillsborough, Route 206 & Amwell Rd. Hillsborough, NJ 08844
  • 9th Sun. Shop Rite of Hillsborough, Route 206 & Amwell Rd. Hillsborough, NJ 08844
  • 15th Sat. Stop & Shop of Somerset, 940 Easton Ave. Somerset, NJ 08873


  • 6th Sat. Stop & Shop of Flemington, 334 State Route 31 Flemington, NJ 08822
  • 7th Sun. Stop & Shop of Flemington, 334 State Route 31 Flemington, NJ 08822
  • 13th Sat. Shop Rite of Bernardsville, 93 Morristown Rd. Bernardsville, NJ 07924
  • 27th Sat. Acme of Warren, 177 Washington Valley Rd. Warren, NJ 07059
  • 28th Sun. Acme of Warren, 177 Washington Valley Rd. Warren, NJ 07059


10th Sat. Shop Rite of Somerset, 435 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873


  • 22nd Sat. Shop Rite of Branchburg , 3166 Route 22 Branchburg, NJ 08876
  • 29th Sat. Shop Rite of Branchburg, 3166 Route 22 Branchburg, NJ 08876


  • 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
  • 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

 Items to Donate:

Lip balm
Sun block
Moist wipes
Bug spray – non-aerosol
Bars of soap
Small bottles of shampoo
Deodorant – non-aerosol
Powdered drink mixes
Cereal/Snack/Granola bars
Instant oatmeal – individual packets
Boxes of hot chocolate (individual packets)
Small cans of tuna with pop-tops
Small cans of fruit with pop-tops
Athletic socks
Batteries – all sizes
Small boxes of cereal
Small bags of trail mix, peanuts, pretzels

Microwave popcorn – individual bags








For trainings see the Council Calendar








The following is a listing of requested Eagle Projects



Geoffrey D. Soriano, Interim Secretary-Director, Somerset County Park Commission

P.O. Box 5327, North Branch, New Jersey 08876

Phone:   908-722-1200 ext. 5237  E-Mail:  [email protected]    Website:  www.somersetcountyparks.org

Environmental Education Center  (Bernards Township)

The EEC currently has 5 Scout projects in progress with two projects that were recently completed.  Possible additional project at the EEC include the following:

-Build and install a Kiosk at Fisherman’s Parking to post information

-Create an outdoor classroom near Lily Pad Pond

-Rebuild the Lily Pad Pond dock

-Build and install a dock for Esox Pond

Lord Sterling Stable (Bernards Township)

We started to build a sensory trail for the therapeutic riders at the Stable, but what was completed and under construction was totally destroyed by Super Storm Sandy.  We haven’t done anything with the project since.

We have identified a new location to build a trail – but funding is our first major hurdle.  If multiple Scouts were to each take a phase, I think it would be a great, financially feasible project.  However, the second hurdle is that the new trail will be located just to the north of one of our pastures, and this pasture is on the list to hopefully get new fencing.

Once the fencing is done then this will become an active project for us and hopefully one that multiple Scouts would like to undertake.


Colonial Park (Franklin Township)

At Colonial Park, we have 18 majestic Northern Red Oak trees (NJ State tree) growing along the north west section of Colonial Drive behind the tennis center.  The trees would greatly benefit from the installation of mulch rings to protect the tree trunk and root flare from mechanical damage from mowers. A tree tender task force with one staff member from Horticulture Department, one staff member from Colonial Park Maintenance Department could coordinate


Please contact our RV WebMaster to remove listing as needed

RV District Community Service

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I wanted to let you know of a wonderful opportunity for Community Service working with Operation Shoebox located in Hillsborough. Operation Shoebox is in desperate need of both Child and Adult Volunteers.  Please our...

read more

Contact Us


Hamilton Slye, District Chair


Hugh Gordon, District Commissioner

The Professional Team

Art Lobdell, Field Director

(973) 765-9322 x228

Javier Juarez, Membership Executive

Charlean Mahon, Unit Service Executive

Will Adams, Program Executive

Ryan Page, Development Executive

Raritan Valley District Calendar 2018

District Roundtable


Cub Scout and Boy Scout Roundtables are held at 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Somerville Middle School: 51 West Cliff Street, Somerville, NJ 08876.  Alternate locations will be added when needed.

Boy Scout Roundtable Link

September 12

October 17 (Council Key-3 Visit)

November 14

December 19

January 16

February 20

March 20

April 17

May 15




Many Thanks to All Our Scouts & Volunteers!