Boy Scout Troop 94  
 Yorktown, VA

OurTroop 101: A Primer for New Parents

  1. Is Troop 94 for my scout?  We think all the troops in our area are great, but each one has its own personality and you and your scout should spend time with prospective troops to see if they are a match for your family. Things to know about Troop 94: 
    • We meet every Monday from 7:00-8:30pm. Dues are $8/month and expenses for campouts are typically $15 for regular events, and increase for more elaborate activities. Scholarships are available if needed.
    • We are an active troop with a focus on service and camping (at least one of these activities every month).
    • We fundraise twice per year with the national Popcorn sale and a Troop BBQ sale in the spring; a portion of the proceeds from both goes into individual scout accounts that can be used to pay for dues, campouts (including summer camp) or equipment.
    • We have a 1:1 scout-to-adult ratio with leadership shared among everyone, coordinated at monthly Committee meetings. We have fun serving scouts together, and welcome newcomers! We recommend joining for your first year as a Committee member or just organizing events, and increase your participation from there.
    • We organize our new scouts into their own patrol mentored by a Troop Guide (an older scout) and dedicated Assistant Scout Master (ASM).
    • We recognize and encourage scout involvement in other activities and do not view scout advancement as a race.
    • We have a robust Eagle Scout Honor Roll with over 30 years of experience in guiding youth to the pinnacle of scouting.
  2. How will my scout advance? Scouts is an opportunity for our youth to demonstrate initiative and responsibility, and we do not push or spoon feed advancement requirements. The scouts learn by observing the older boys advancing and asking questions, and their Troop Guide and ASM monitors progress to make sure each scout is engaging at their own pace. The main thing to know is that all the rank requirements are in your Scout's Handbook, and they need to know what they need to do (and be able to talk about it when they have completed a requirement) and initiate a 
  3. discussion with any scout above the rank of 1st Class to get requirements signed off. Whenever they have questions, they should talk to their Troop Guide whose job it is to coach new scouts. New scouts can work on the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, and 2nd Class at the same time - so it would be good for new scouts to familiarize themselves with all of these ranks.
  4. What kind of activities does the Troop do?  The main thing to know about our activities is that the scouts plan everything they do at an annual planning meeting held in late summer. Scouts who are1st Class and above vote (younger scouts observe) on events and organize an annual calendar. While the dates sometimes shift by a weekend throughout the year (dates on the web calendar is kept up to date, but not the annual plan), we stick to the annual plan established by the boys as the priorities for our events. Adults volunteer to organize the events, working with a Scout POC (note: lots of events means we need lots of adult help!). Some campouts are favorites and happen every year; other events shift depending on the interests of the group and their desire to try something new. In addition, we have numerous Eagle Scout project service opportunities in addition to our Adopt-A-Spot road clean up and other scout service opportunities (like helping our sister Cub Scout Pack at Christ the King, Scouting for Food, etc.). 
  5. Does my scout have to do everything? The short answer is NO. Our troop offers many activities, but recognizes that most youth have other sports or clubs they also participate in. There is no penalty for missing meetings or events. That said, the more the scout participates, the more they will get out of the program and the faster they will advance. Certain campouts and meetings are designed to help scouts meet requirements, so paying attention to what your scout needs and what is planned will be helpful. 
  6. What about summer camp?  We actively organize participation in summer camp every year, but we vary the location to have a variety of options/activities.  It is important to know that summer camp is entirely optional, but highly encouraged for your scout's growth and confidence.  Also, for scouts who have other sports and clubs during the school year that require them to miss some campouts or meetings, summer camp can be a great 1-week intensive opportunity to earn merit badges and rank advancement requirements. Every three years or so, we try to organize a high adventure opportunity for older scouts, and have had a group attend Philmont multiple times over our history. Since this can be expensive, we alternate these years with camps that are closer and cheaper to help families manage. It is also worth noting that scouts can actively fundraise with a portion of the proceeds going to their scout accounts to cover expenses.

More new parent questions? Just ask!