Hello New Scouter,
As Scoutmaster I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you to Troop 351. You are now a young man that can take a lot of responsibility in becoming a Scout with just a little help from your parents. Joining the Troop is a process that takes several steps, to make things easier I have outlined them below. Please read the entire letter and complete the signature page before exploring all the links, this process should take about 15 minutes.
- As Scoutmaster I would invite you to attend up to two meetings without the need of signing up. After the second meeting you will need to decide if our Troop is a good fit for you. We meet at St Ignatius Dillon Hall on Tuesdays 7:00-8:30.
- Once you have decided on Troop 351, make contact with the Membership Coordinator at the next Troop meeting to get a Youth Application. It is also important to go over “How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse, A Parent’s Guide” with your parents. This can be found at the beginning of any new Scout handbook.
- Remind your parents about reading the New Parents Letter, similar to this one. There they will find a link to a physical form that you will have to have before attending any campouts.
- Your parents / guardians will receive an invitation to scoutbook.com Once they have accepted they will automatically be added to our Troop-351 email list. This is the most efficient way to receive notices from the Troop. **IMPORTANT**
- You do not need to have a uniform right away but I would expect you to have that squared away by about the fifth Scout event or so. You will need a uniform to attend Camporee or Summer Camp regardless. When you join, the Troop will present you with a scarf and a patch set to get you started. A guide to where those patches go can be found here. A Scout Handbook will be a good thing to get at the same time.
- Now that you are ready for the meetings, camping gear is going to be the next important thing. What to get can vary widely on what you have and what you have to spend. Totally equipping someone from scratch can easily run into the hundreds and I DO NOT recommend doing it all at once. A complete pack list for campouts can be a useful tool to know what you need to acquire.
- You are now on your way to new adventures that Scouting has to offer. As part of this experience you can learn a lot of new skills while earning ranks and merit badges. The early ranks: Boy Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class will give you instruction on mastering the scouting basics. All of these basics can be read about in your new handbook. The Troop works on these skills at meetings and campouts, and a great on-line resource can help you practice these skills at home. Once you have mastered a skill, demonstrate what you know to a Scoutmaster and have them sign off in your Scout Handbook. As you continue to advance you will earn merit badges which will give you the opportunity to learn about things in greater detail. With merit badges and leadership will come advancement in the higher ranks of: Star, Life and, everyone’s goal: Eagle.
- Troop 351 exercises the “Patrol Method.” This is simply the way the Troop is organized and led. When you join you will be assigned to a Patrol. That Patrol is led by a Patrol Leader and his Assistant. The Patrol Leader answers to an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) and a Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The SPL is the Youth Leader who runs the show. There are other leadership opportunities we call Indirect Leaders, such as: Quartermaster, Scribe, Historian, Librarian, Troop Guide, Bugler, Chaplain Aide, Instructor, Leave No Trace Trainer, Webmaster and Den Chief (who helps lead Cub Scouts.) As you begin to flex your leadership muscle, opportunities to fill these roles will be made available to you. If you would like to know more about the responsibilities of these youth positions, take the time to read the leadership descriptions.
- Lastly, you and your parent will have to review the Troop 351 Code of Conduct Agreement. This will let you know what the Troop expects of you and about certain consequences. This is important that we are all on the same page so we can all enjoy our time together. At the end of the agreement click on the signature page, fill in the form, print, and…Welcome to Troop 351.
There you go. This gives you a basic understanding of how to get started and how things work. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Scoutmaster, Troop 351