Fire Has Troop 32 Starting from Scratch

On Saturday, March 18, Boys Scouts Troop 32 Scoutmaster Paul St. Don will help take Troop 32 and Pack 32 (Cub Scouts) over to Camp Hadley to do some cleanup of the March 8 brush fire that destroyed buildings and belongings at the scouts’ Marion headquarters.

            “And talk about what happened,” he said.

            A neighbor is still hospitalized after trying in vain to put out the wind-driven fire emanating from his burning of pinecones that crossed approximately 60 feet to the Camp Hadley Trust property line and another 60 feet to the first building that went ablaze.

            “He had no cell phone with him, so he ran up County Road to his daughter’s house to make the call,” explained St. Don, acknowledging that by the time a call could be made the fire was out of control. “He’s very distraught about it, and I want to make sure his family knows that we’re more worried about him than Camp Hadley. He gave it his all to try to put it out.”

            The Marion Fire Department reported having received a 911 call at 12:16 pm for “a brushfire that got away from the property owner.” Upon arrival, Engine 1 personnel saw that the fire had spread to both of Camp Hadley’s buildings. Mutual aid came for assistance from Wareham, Mattapoisett and Rochester Fire departments, and Onset Fire supported Marion station coverage.

            Marion responding units included: C-1, C-2, A-1-2, E-1, Tk-1 and S-1-2, along with Marion Police. Other units responding were Wareham C-1-C-3 and Mattapoisett C-1.

            Troop 32 followed with a press release stating that while the cause of the fire remains under investigation, “initial indications are that a neighbor’s brush burn got out of control and spread to the Camp Hadley property.”

            Scouting gear, including canoes, life jackets, oars, a sled and even the soap-box-derby cars that the children annually race on Holmes Street were lost in the fire that destroyed the camp’s main cabin, bunkroom, kitchen and storage shed.

            As of Tuesday morning, $2,305 of a $25,000 target had been received via donations, according to Kristen Guevara’s GoFundMe page for the Camp Hadley Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving as charter organization and headquarters for Marion Boy Scout Troop 32 and Cub Scouts Pack 32.

            The challenge in bringing back Troop 32’s scouting experience is substantial, and the Reverend Eric Fialho of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Marion has offered the church’s parish hall as an alternate meeting place, but no plans were yet confirmed as of Tuesday.

            “Everything’s still in the infancy stages,” said St. Don, noting a potential car wash this spring and the formation of an Amazon wish list.

            Troop 32 publicly thanked Marion Fire Department for a fast and professional response and the mutual aid that came from fire departments in Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham. Troop leaders also publicly thanked the Boy Scouts of America Narragansett Council for reaching out in support.

            “It’s a hiccup as far as scouts goes,” said St. Don. “We’ll get through this, just use it as a learning tool.”

            For more information or to donate there, visit Those wishing to support the local scouts can also mail a check to Troop 32 Marion, PO Box 504, Marion, MA 02738.

By Mick Colageo

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