Camp. You should try to camp with the troop at least one night each year. Spending a night with us is one of the best ways for you to become familiar with the troop’s adult leaders and other parents. Troop 451 and national BSA policy require that at least two registered adults accompany the Scouts on any camping trip. However, the troop functions best when it is accompanied by a large number of adults. All parents are more than welcome on any trip and you will most likely find it as much fun as the Scouts do. Many adults already involved with the troop have extra gear you can borrow. Come on along, it’s a good way to spend time with your son. We will take good care of you.
Drive. The outdoor program is one of the cornerstones of the Scouting program. It is fun and, at the same time, teaches self-reliance, cooperation and responsibility. It is the one thing that all youth like best about Scouts. Our troop tries to go camping monthly and we attempt to provide one of the highest quality outdoor programs available in this area. However, most campgrounds are at least an hour’s drive away. We currently use a combination of the Scoutmaster’s 15-passenger bus and a “patrol driving system” in which the parents of the Scouts within each patrol are responsible for the transportation of patrol members. Parents in the patrol sometimes get together and rotate driving duties, since the dates of camping trips and their locations are usually known well in advance.
Encourage. In order to help your son move forward in Scouting, it is necessary that he receive positive encouragement from you. Please take the time to become familiar with your son’s Scout Handbook and Troop 451’s advancement procedures, troop organization, etc., which, if fully understood now by both you and your son, will save considerable misunderstanding and wasted time later. We also find that many new SCouts cannot “get it together” for that first Tenderfoot Rank, and parental involvement in getting your son “over the hump” of Tenderfoot is invaluable. If you have unanswered questions, do not hesitate to call the troop leaders.
Teach. Troop 451 is involved in an ongoing effort to interest the Scouts in earning more and different merit badges. The Scout program boasts more than 120 different merit badges in fields from American Business to Woodwork. Except for merit badges offered at summer camp, merit badges earned within the Troop 451 program can only be earned by a Scout working closely with an adult counselor. Most of our merit badges are taught by an interested Scout parent in a group class format. Merit badge counselors are recruited by the Merit Badge Coordinators. Look over the merit badges listed in the Troop Resource Survey or in your son’s handbook, and let one of the Merit Badge Coordinators know which subject you would be willing to teach. We particularly need counselors for required merit badges such as First Aid, Personal Fitness and the three Citizenship badges. You do NOT have to be an expert to be a counselor for a merit badge, only have interest in the subject and a willingness to share this interest with the youth. Please return the resource sheet to the Troop Merit Badge Coordinator. You should also carefully read the Troop 451 Policy Statement on merit badges.
Lead. Troop 451 generally has over 75 Scouts enrolled in the program at any one time. In order to maintain our program, and take on additional Scouts, we are always in need of more parental involvement. Being a leader does take some time, but not that much, and it is a fun way to put in some quality volunteer time. Come join us for the fun! We usually need to recruit some new leaders to be uniformed Assistant Scoutmasters to the training patrols.
Manage. The Scoutmaster usually spends the first 20-30 minutes of the monthly Troop Committee meetings discussing upcoming troop events. This is a great time to ask questions. The meetings take place on the first Tuesday night of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Scout Hut. All troop parents are strongly encouraged to attend the meetings. The Troop Committee’s job is to help set troop policy, and particularly to free up as much of the Scoutmaster’s time as possible. Committee members are involved in the troop budget and finances, fund raising, the merit badge program, issues related to growth of the troop, liaison with Cub Packs and Webelos dens, etc. As Scouts grow older and leave the troop, sometimes their parents go with them; we constantly need members and can use your help. This is a great way for parents of brand-new Scouts to get a handle on what is happening in the Troop.