New Chatham Tradition is Born on New Year’s Day

(above) 130 residents started a new tradition in Chatham with a “First Day Walk” for Open Space, sponsored by BSA Troop 280.

New Chatham Tradition the “First Day Walk”

Submitted by Joe Basralian

On New Year’s Day, 130 residents started a new tradition in Chatham with a “First Day Walk” for Open Space. The walk raised over $1,300 for local youth projects aimed at stewarding our open spaces, such as tree planting and trail work. BSA Troop 280 sponsored the walk and plans to host a second annual walk on January 1, 2021.

“It was a lot of fun for the Scouts and all the people who came,” said Azniv Basralian, Chatham eighth grader and Senior Patrol Leader of the Troop. “It’s great that we can give people in our area the money they need to do helpful work in the community.”

Adults and kids paid $10 to participate and received a handsome pin. Each year of the walk, the pin will feature the New Year and a new design. Many dogs joined their owners in the walk.

Residents from Chatham and Madison met at Loantaka Brook Park on Loantaka Way, where there is a spacious parking lot for entering the path. They then walked 2.6 miles into the park, crossed Woodland Ave, and looped around Giralda Farms Preserve. Scouts rang a chorus of bells at the start and finish of the walk.

Community members wishing to apply for a grant for their open space stewardship project may check for instructions on the Facebook Page titled, “First Day Walk – New Year’s Day.”

The next First Day Walk will be January 1, 2021.

To inquire about joining the thriving BSA Troop 280, girls’ troop ages 11-17, please email

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