Your family is probably asking how their Scout makes the transition to Boy Scouts. This document
is designed to help with that process. The fifth grade year is the time to be visiting Scout
troops, asking questions, thinking about what you are looking for in a Scout troop, and deciding
which one to join.
Choosing the right troop for you is an individual decision. Troops vary somewhat in their focus
and makeup. Members of a single den may end up going to two or three different troops.
Encourage your Scout to join a troop. After four to five years of Cub Scouts, your Scout may feel
that he has experienced all there is in the program. But Boy Scouts is a very different program,
full of new experiences. Encourage him to try it for a year to observe the differences.
Your fifth-grade Webelos Scout is able to join as soon as he has finished the Arrow of Light
requirements. Your Scout will still be able to participate in the Arrow of Light crossover ceremony
at the Blue and Gold in the spring.
National Scout policy requires the boy to visit at least one troop meeting before joining Boy Scouts.
We would encourage you to visit several troops to learn the uniqueness of each. Select a troop that
fits the needs of your family. Below, you will find Troop 42 answers to some very important questions
We encourage you to ask the same questions of other troops. For your convenience, we have put these
questions in a downloadable form. We also would like you to complete the
visitation form to arrange for a visit.
Question: How many registered Scouts?
T42 Response: In 2012, we have 77 Scouts registered. This is a very active time around the troop
and this number is changing weekly because of new Scouts.
Question: How many are active?
T42 Response: On a weekly basis, we will have 40-45 Scouts at a meeting. The younger Scouts attend
almost all meetings. The older Scouts have a lot of other weekly commitments, but attend when they can.
Some of these are high school age Scouts, still working towards their Eagle rank. We also have a large
number of very active Eagle Scouts.
Question: How many registered adults?
T42 Response: In 2012, we have 30+ registered adults with the troop.
Question: How many are active?
T42 Response:All of our adults are extremely active in all of Boy Scouting, not just at the troop
level. We have two that are on the Hawkeye Area Council Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors; others
sit as chairman of the Red Cedar District or chair different council committees, several act as merit badge
counselors for the council Adopt-a-Merit-Badge program, and yet others act as volunteers throughout the year.
Question: What is the age distribution within the troop?
T42 Response: Boy Scouting is for young men between the ages of 11 and 18. Most of our youth are
at the lower end of that scale, but we have some still working towards their Eagle up to 18.
Question: How is the troop funded?
T42 Response: We are funded in several ways. Our primary funding comes from our annual pancake
breakfast that we have in the spring. Other funding comes from very small dues for each Scout for the year, and
we get numerous donations from both companies and individuals.
Question: Is there an opportunity for the boys to earn money toward their expenses?
T42 Response: Yes, this is a very important part of the Scouting program. We offer one main fundraising
opportunity for the youth and others as they become available. Scouts can sell popcorn during the council's
annual popcorn sale. With this fundraiser, the Scout keeps 100% of the profit, which is about 32% of his total
sales. We have had Scouts earn over $1000 per year for their personal Scouting use.
Question:When, where, and how often?
T42 Response: We hold troop meetings every Monday from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M., except the 4th Monday
when we hold a troop committee meeting. Meetings are at St. Pius X church hall, 4949 Council St. NE (just west of
Noelridge Park). Uniforms are “required” at all troop meetings. Troop meetings are not held during the months of
June, July, and August to facilitate long-term camp, High Adventure activities, and to accommodate family vacations
that are often planned for this time.
Question: What is done at the meetings?
T42 Response: Our meetings are designed to have three parts: gathering and sharing of information,
advancement requirements, and full troop activity. We work on merit badges and requirements for advancement at
almost all troop meetings. The leaders feel it is our obligation to help all youth get to the rank of First Class
by the end of their first year with the troop. We also work on this advancement at our monthly campouts. We hold
Scoutmaster conferences and boards of review during our weekly meetings.
Question: What involvement is expected of the parent?
T42 Response: Your son will not have a chance to succeed at anything in his life without the support and
guidance of his parents. Some feel this support is coming to all meetings and not missing an activity. Some feel
this support is just getting him to meetings and campouts. We would like all parents to come to the three Court of
Honor meetings and any Parent meetings each year, as a minimum.
Question: Can I be an adult leader in the troop?
T42 Response: Simple answer is Yes. Troop 42 would not exist if adults did not step up and volunteer.
Additional dedicated and trained adult leaders can only make the program stronger. Any volunteer must agree to take
training and pay their own registration. Registration includes a council level background check.
Question: How does the troop communicate with the families?
T42 Response: Our primary method of communication is via email and our Web site. We also hold parent meetings
each year. If necessary, we will make phone calls.
Question: How do the families communicate with the troop?
T42 Response: We believe highly in communication. We publicize the phone numbers, email addresses, and physical
addresses of all troop committee members and encourage you to communicate any questions or concerns you have. You are
always welcome to attend a weekly meeting or voice your concern at our monthly committee meetings.
Question: Who makes the decisions?
T42 Response: A Boy Scout troop is run by the youth leaders. These youth leaders make up what is called a PLC
(Patrol Leaders Council). The heads of this council are the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders.
These scouts run all the meetings and activities at campouts. They convene with the other members of the PLC once a month
for a planning meeting, where they decide what to do during the meetings, and where to go and what to do at the campouts.
Other members of the PLC include each patrol leader, junior assistant scoutmaster, quartermaster, and scribe. Most of these
members are elected by their fellow Scouts and serve six-month terms.
Question: How often and where?
T42 Response: If you take Scouting and drop the "Sc", you have outing. Camping is a major part and one of
the most popular parts of Boy Scouts. Troop 42 has campouts every month during the school year at camping facilities all
around eastern Iowa and surrounding states. Again, these decisions are made by the youth and are subject to change. We also
attend a week at Boy Scout Summer Camp at the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation just south of Central City, Iowa. Also review
our high-adventure section below for some of the best experiences in your life.
Question: Is this done through individual troop planning and/or as participation at a district event?
T42 Response: The short answer is all of the above. Remember that everything is planned by the current PLC. We may
give the PLC some guidance and encourage them to attend certain council and district events along the way. We also suggest some
camping facilities around of which they may not be aware
Question: How are the Scouts transported?
T42 Response: This is one of the biggest differences between us and other Boy Scout troops. Our troop owns its own
bus and custom equipment trailer. This allows everyone to attend activities as one. Everyone has a chance to share with the
rest of the troop to and from each activity. This also saves wear and tear on personal vehicles and saves the troop from finding
vehicles to get to each activity.
Question: What equipment is provided?
T42 Response: The troop has a huge inventory of camping equipment that is used each month. We provide all tents, stoves
and cooking items, axes and saws, ropes, lanterns, and anything else needed by the general troop. The youth only need to bring
their sleeping bag, clothes, and personal grooming supplies.
Question: What parent participation is expected?
T42 Response: We usually have several parents attend our campouts. We encourage all to do so at some point, but this is
not required. The biggest thing is to make sure your boy comes to the campouts, because this is where we work on advancement.
Question: Does the troop attend National High Adventure camps?
T42 Response: Absolutely! This again is one of the biggest differences between us and the others. We have a four-year
high-adventure rotation that allows families to plan well in advance. We attend Philmont, the pinnacle of all Scouting high
adventures, located in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico; Sea Base, located in the beautiful Florida Keys where we explore
the world underneath; National Jamboree, where we join 40,000 other scouts at The Summit in West Virginia with a side trip to
Washington D.C.; our final high adventure trip is to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota for a week of
canoeing. We rotate between these and will attend the following on the year noted and the rotation continues going forward: Sea
Base in 2012, National Jamboree in 2013, BWCA in 2013, and Philmont in 2014.
Question: How is participation funded?
T42 Response: Some pay for this entirely with the funds they have earned through popcorn sales and others have most paid
by their parents. We have several places that we can steer families for scholarships. This usually will not cover everything, but
we have had Scouts earn $1000 in one year to both cover the trip and necessary gear.
Question: Is there a plan to help the Scout earn the requirements for the lower ranks?
T42 Response: As mentioned, we consider it our obligation to help all youth earn the rank of First Class by the end of their
first year with the troop. All adult advisors of the troop take this very seriously and help in many ways. If a Scout shows up to
meetings and campouts, our history shows we will get him there.
Question: Is this done at meetings, extra meetings, campouts etc.?
T42 Response: We work on advancement up to First Class at our weekly meetings and monthly campouts. Please note, many
requirements need to be done on a campout. If a Scout doesn’t attend campouts regularly, he will fall behind our advancement goal.
We also holdd Scoutmaster conferences and boards of review during our weekly meetings.
Question: Is there a plan to help the Scout obtain merit badges for the upper ranks?
T42 Response: We work on merit badges at almost all troop meetings. We also attend three merit badge workshops throughout
the year, where they can usually earn a merit badge in one day. Troop 42 has a merit badge coordinator who will help arrange for any
merit badge in which a Scout has interest. Many adults in the troop are registered merit badge counselors. We have had over 122
Scouts reach the rank of Eagle. We cannot guarantee the rank of Eagle to any Scout, but history shows those that attend our campouts
and meetings and have the desire will reach the top rank in Troop 42. This is a tribute to our strong leadership in this area.
Question: Does the troop do service for the community?
T42 Response:Service is one of the requirements for every rank in Scouting, from Second Class to Eagle. We perform service
projects for churches, schools, camps, and nature areas, just to mention a few. We also have 8-10 Eagle projects every year, where
our troop alone gives over 1000 hours to the community.
Question:What opportunities does the Scout have for leadership?
T42 Response:As we mentioned above, a Boy Scout troop is run by the youth. These youth leaders make up what is called a PLC
(Patrol Leaders Council). The heads of this council are the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders. They run all
the meetings and activities at campouts. They convene with the other members of the PLC once a month for a planning meeting, where
they decide what to do during the meetings, and where to go and what to do at the campouts. Other members of the PLC include each
patrol leader, junior assistant scoutmaster (appointed by SM), quartermaster, and scribe. All of these members are elected by their
fellow Scouts and serve six-month terms. Other leadership opportunities are chaplain’s aide, historian, bugler, librarian, troop
guide, den chief, OA troop representative, and assistant patrol leader.
Question: Within the troop? Outside the troop?
T42 Response: The above-mentioned leadership opportunities are within the troop, but there are numerous opportunities outside
as well. Den Chief is a popular leadership position that doesn’t require election, and there are a number of opportunities within
the Order of the Arrow, which is a Boy Scout honor society.
Welcome to the world of Boy Scouts - where outdoor adventure, service projects, and opportunities for leadership will give you
experiences and responsibilities that will help you mature. The knowledge and attitudes you develop as a Scout will spill over into
the rest of your life. And this is all accomplished through fun and friendship.