What does it mean to be a “boy-led troop?”
For many parents and their sons, moving from from Cub Scouts to Boys Scouts will be like going from Kansas into Oz. In Cub Scouts, the parents ran the Pack Meeting, the Den Meetings and all other acitivities. If the boys learned a skill, it was taught by an adult leader. In stark contrast, Boy Scout meetings are run by the boys elected to leadership, the campouts are planned by the boys and older boys are appointed to teach skills to the younger scouts. The boys learn from the their successes and mistakes to become self-sufficient, problem-solvers. The process from getting from point A to point B may sometimes not seem structured to parents, but the adult leaders are there to encourage reflection at those times. Certainly, the adults are also there to head off any decisions which could be dangerous or counter-productive.
A well-written discourse on this topic can be found at here.
Does my son need to get his own tent for the campouts?
At all scout campouts the boys will use the troop equipment (tents, cookboxes, flys, etc). The only thing they need to be sure to bring are their clothes, rain gear (very important!), sleeping bag, scout book, mess kit with silverware, pillow, flashlight, toiletries & water bottle. All their personal gear can be packed in a duffel, backpack or small/medium Rubbermaid tub. Note: 10-gallon size is plenty for a weekend campout; 50-gallon size is too big. The tubs work very well, especially in bad (wet) weather. Please check what your son has packed and make sure it is appropriate for the season, we don’t want kids showing up with sandals and shorts for a campout in December. For a complete listing of what each boy will need to bring, be sure to watch the Latest News section of this site or communicate with the Campmaster.
Should my son bring/pack his own food on the campouts?
All cooking will be done by patrols. Patrols will set their menu and assign a grubmaster who will buy all the food for the patrol (If you are grubmaster, save your receipt to turn in so you can get reimbursed). Also, please do not send your kids with snacks as they are not allowed in tents. There are critters where we camp and they are not shy about trying to get at snacks that get left in tents. We don’t want anyone snuggling with skunks!
As a parent do I use the troop tents or do I need to buy one?
As far as adults, we operate in much the same fashion as the boys with the only exception being that adults provide their own tent. If you would like to attend a campout and do not have a tent or other piece of gear, please let someone know and we will find you one. Between the troops and several adults’ personal equipment, we are certainly not lacking for gear. So please do not let lack of equipment keep you from getting involved! If you don’t have it, we can guarantee someone in the troop does and is more than happy to let you use it for the weekend.
What is OA (Order of the Arrow)?
OA (aka Order of the Arrow) is an honor camping society intended to recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Not only does OA promote camping, but it develops and maintains camping traditions and spirit. In addition, OA seeks to crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
What is Mic-O-Say?
The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is an honor camping program, based upon the intensification of the principles and ideals of Scouting. Its purpose is to provide recognition for boys who have demonstrated and proven their devotion to Scouting even beyond the extra mile. It is a boys program guided and inspired by adults. Adult leaders are brought into the Tribe so that they may interpret and encourage the use and application of those principles in the lives of boys. Ceremonies of Mic-O-Say are intended for the eyes and ears of members only. At no time should ceremonies, customs, traditions or any phase of Mic-O-Say be discussed with non Tribal Members.
What kind of rain gear would you recommend?
There is no need to spend LOTS on gear. GOOD weather gear CAN be expensive. Decent weather gear can be reasonably priced and purchased locally from many sources (if you need help/direction, let me know). Small ‘emergency’ ponchos are not good rain gear. Rain gear should really include rain pants and jacket (vinyl material items tend to rip easily, and is not durable… PVC is more durable and will last longer), waterproof boots, waterproof gloves (insulated too!), and a good hat/hood (waterproof too!).
You DO generally get what you pay for. High-end gear with Gore-Tex and similar materials can be expensive but will (should) last a long time, and will keep you dry. Cheap rain suits, made of vinyl, are likely to tear easily, and not last. PVC is mid-priced and will work well. Some people have had good success with Dri-Ducks or Frogg Toggs rain gear. The material used in those systems is really interesting stuff, and can/will work well if you take care of it. A walk through a patch of thorns may shred the material though, but then again, it might destroy ANY gear!.
If you don’t have gear, you also might ask around in the Troop… we all have growing boys, and ‘outgrown gear’ may be available from others!!
What is a Court of Honor (aka COH)?
A Court of Honor (or COH) is a public ceremony to recognize Scouts for successful achievement and to describe the importance of the program. The main purpose of the COH is to provide formal recognition for achievements as well as provide an incentive for Scouts to advance.
When Scouts earn the rank of Eagle, they typically hold their own individual “Eagle Court of Honor” which focuses on that particular Scout and their accomplishments up to that date.
What should I know before I go to a Court of Honor?
Because a Court of Honor is a “formal” recognition ceremony, Scouts are to be in their official Class A uniform complete with merit badge sash or OA sash. Pants should be either BSA Scout pants/shorts, blue jeans (in good condition) or kaiki/olive pants or shorts. Each boy’s appearance should demonstrate their commitment and dedication to the BSA and their ideals.
If you will be receiving a rank advancement, you will need to bring a mother or grandmother to the ceremony, as you will be escorting her up to the podium to be presented your rank badge and mother’s pin. You will then be expected to give your mother a kiss on the check along with a heart-felt hug to show your appreciation for your mother’s role in reaching your goal. If a female family member is not available, your father or grandfather would be a suitable stand-in; however, be aware that you may be embarrassed to give your dad a peck on the cheek and you will receive much razzing to do so. If a family member is not present, consider what adult leader from the troop you would like to escort up to the podium.
How should I prepare my son’s medications for camping?
All medications should be in their original packaging and packed in a resealable bag. Please do NOT send the pills in a pill box. In addition, parents should include an index card, with the scout’s name, name of the medication, times for administering and dosage amount.
Do you have a question we haven’t answered? Email our Scoutmaster or ask in the comments section below.