JAFFREY, N.H. -- While tent-camping in Monadnock State Park, Boy Scouts of Troop 3 in Groton, Webelos Scouts and adventurous adults ascended Mt. Monadnock on trails once used by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, reaching the 3,165-foot summit and enjoying a gorgeous view.

The hike, planned by the Scouts themselves, satisfied several requirements for the hiking merit badge.

Boy-led adventures like this are a hallmark of the Scouting program in Groton, giving boys the chance to grow intellectually and physically, while also learning valuable skills like teamwork, leadership, planning and even cooking.

Each patrol was responsible for buying, preparing and cooking their own food for the two-night trip, and they all ate well.

Future trips planned for Troop 3 include indoor rock-climbing, cabin-camping at Camp Wanocksett in February, and a Memorial Day bike trip to Nantucket.

Groton is blessed to have great Boy Scout and Cub Scout programs in town, for boys in first grade through high school. It's never too late for boys to join, at any age, and all boys are encouraged to come by and check us out.

Troop 3 meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. during the school year at the United Congregational Church, Main Street, Groton. For information on joining Scouting, contact Tom Fitzpatrick at scoutmaster@troop3groton.org.