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
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.
How many are active?
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.
How many registered adults?
2012, we have 30+
registered adults with the troop.
How many are active?
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.
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.
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.
Is there an opportunity for the boys to earn money toward their
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.
When, where, and how often?
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.
What is done at the meetings?
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.
Can I be an
adult leader in the troop?
What involvement is expected of the parent?
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.
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.
How does the troop communicate with the families?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
How are the Scouts
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.
What equipment is
participation is expected?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is this done at
meetings, extra meetings, campouts etc.?
Is there a plan
to help the Scout obtain merit badges for the upper ranks?
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 hold
Scoutmaster conferences and boards of review during our weekly meetings.
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
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.
Does the troop do service for the community?
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.
What opportunities does the Scout have for leadership?
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.
Within the troop? Outside the troop?
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
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.