~ Submitted by Scoutmaster John Mitchell
on behalf of Boy Scout Troop 194
After six years of service as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 194, Peter Ricci concluded his tenure on Father’s Day, June 19, following the Troop’s impressive second-place finish in the annual American Legion Scout Camporee, held at Camp Collier in Gardner, Mass.
Mr. Ricci began working with Bedford’s Boy Scouting program in 2010, serving as Den Leader and Cubmaster in Pack 194, and then moving to Troop 194 as his son, Quinn, graduated into the senior program. He became Scoutmaster in 2016.
The Scoutmaster is the adult responsible for working directly with youth Scout leaders and adult Assistant Scoutmasters to develop and execute the Scouting program. They provide direction, mentoring, and support to young adults, and ensure that the troop runs well. Many, but not all Scoutmasters are themselves former Scouts and see the role as a way to give back to a program that had special meaning to them.
Mr. Ricci, an Eagle Scout, often mentions his own Scouting experience when leading Troop 194. A constant refrain in his “Scoutmaster’s Minute”—a BSA tradition at every troop meeting—was the value of acquiring life skills through Scouting. He regularly told Scouts that earning ranks in Scouting, while important, was not as important as learning leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and practical knowledge. “Mr. Ricci really pushed the idea of letting Scouts make their own mistakes so he could teach us how to improve ourselves all while having fun and a good time!” said Henry Su, the troop’s Senior Patrol Leader for the 2021-22 Scouting year.
Scoutmaster is a challenging job at any time, but Mr. Ricci faced additional difficulties after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The troop had just welcomed seven new members from Pack 194 before in-person meetings were canceled. Staying true to his informal motto of “adapt and overcome,” Mr. Ricci and other adult and youth leaders worked to keep the program going through virtual meetings and at-home Scouting activities, until the Troop was able to meet face-to-face again and embark on limited outdoor activities in the fall of 2020.
Remarking on Mr. Ricci’s leadership, Troop 194 Committee Chair Allan Coady said, “Peter’s tenure is the second-longest of any Troop 194 Scoutmaster, and he had a huge impact on a significant number of young men from Bedford and Hanscom Air Force Base. During his tenure, Troop 194 produced thirteen Eagle Scouts, including his own son, Quinn.” (Quinn will be recognized along with peers Vishal Borra and Henry Su during an Eagle Court of Honor on July 24 ).
Mr. Ricci has a long record of service to Bedford’s young people. In addition to his work with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, he has been an adult leader in the Girl Scouts of America, a coach in Bedford Babe Ruth, a member of the Bedford Youth and Family Services Committee, and president of BEST/PTO. As a lieutenant in the Lexington Fire Department, he leads youth fire safety and prevention programs in area schools.
Mr. Ricci is succeeded as Scoutmaster by John Mitchell, another longtime volunteer in Pack 194 and Troop 194. Said Mr. Mitchell, “Peter is a passionate and tireless advocate for the ideals and values of Scouting and has been a mentor to me and many other adult leaders in the program, not only in Bedford but around our region. He leaves big boots to fill.”
Troop 194 is chartered by American Legion Anthony-Hunt-Hamilton Post 221. For more information about the Troop’s activities, email [email protected].
Peter, thank you for your years of service to Bedford’s youth. I’ve appreciated your insight into youth programming during our tenure together. Best wishes!