Information for New Scouts and Parents
Welcome to Troop 16, we are happy you are chose our Troop and trust us with your son. We look forward to his progress through our ranks and are eager to see how the Boy Scout values can help mold him into a strong young man. But before he can get to that point, there are a lot of little things you’ll need to know to get started — and you’ll find them all here. (Well, hopefully. This is a work in progress. So if there’s a question you have that you can’t find the answer to, just let us know and we’ll get it fixed right away.)
One of the most important things you need to know about the Boy Scouts and Troop 16, especially, is that this is a boy-led organization. Scouting provides an endless amount of opportunities for boys to learn, lead, and grow. Boys make the decisions and, sometimes, mistakes. But adults are there to ensure a safe and healthy environment while the boys get things done.
Like most Troops, we use the Patrol method for breaking the group into smaller units. Patrols will routinely be reassigned, usually twice a year. Patrols are run by Patrol Leaders, a leadership position for older Scouts. It is a good idea for you and your son to know how to contact his Patrol Leader, in case plans change and you have to miss a meeting or campout.
There is still plenty of need for adults to be involved. In fact, without adults attending meetings and campouts, counseling merit badges, and many other responsibilities, the Troop will wither and die. We need your help. It can’t be emphasized enough. Scouting is not a drop-and-go activity, adults are needed. Please volunteer. In order to be involved, you will need to do three things, all of which are (mostly) quick and painless.
- Get registered with the Boy Scouts. Fill out this form and return it to a Monday meeting. If you’re unsure about a field, leave it blank.
- Take the online Youth Protection Course and the Committee Challenge. (You must create an account at My Scouting first. From there, click E-Learning under Training. Both courses are available under the Boy Scout tab. (See image, below.))
- That’s it, you’re done!
Your son will also need support at home. No boy makes Eagle all by himself and encouragement at home goes a long way. You also may be asked to help with transportation to and from campouts or other events. There is a lot of work to do and it’s much easier when everyone pitches in to help.
Now, on to the basics:
Meetings: Troop 16 meets almost every Monday from 7:00 to 8:00 PM at HJs, across the street from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 64th & Wornall. The Monday after a campout, we hold a “Green Bar” meeting for the boy leadership, a non-mandatory meeting for boys who don’t hold leadership positions yet.
Advancement: Participation at Monday meetings and campouts is paramount because great strides are made toward advancement during these events. There are seven ranks in Boy Scouts, each involving improvement in skills, dedication to Scout values, and service toward the Troop and community. Boys complete the requirements for a rank, then must undergo a Scoutmaster Conference and a Board of Review, where they will meet with adult leaders to review progress. Advancement is recognized at semiannual Courts of Honor, where entire families are welcome to attend and applaud the boys’ success. Additionally, merit badges will occasionally be taught after Monday evening meetings. We also participate in merit badge academies where boys can earn a number of merit badges in a single day.
Campouts: We camp once a month, year-round, and regardless of weather. Campouts can be found on the Troop calendar and typically take place from a Saturday morning to Sunday morning. On campouts, we work on advancement and get to do lots of really fun, outdoor boy stuff. We also attend a ten-day summer camp at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation each June. Boys are not allowed to bring phones or other electronic devices on any campout.
Honor Camping: Troop 16 participates in two honor camping programs, also known as leadership development programs, which recognize older Scouts for exemplifying Scouting ideals, values, and participation. Order of the Arrow is a national organization that is based primarily at Camp Naish. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is a regional organization based primarily at Bartle Scout Reservation. Both organizations give strongly back to their communities and do an excellent job of building a sense of responsibility and pride in boys. Adults can also be members of these groups.
Dues and Fees: Running a Troop, going on campouts, and summer camp is not cheap. Fortunately, for the experience, it’s not terrible expensive, either. Annual dues for the Troop are $100 per boy, $40 per adult leader. There is a $10 upcharge for OA dues if a boy (or adult) is a member of the Order of the Arrow. Summer camp is $290 and can be paid in installments. Scholarships are available to boys and their families unable to make this commitment. Boys will also need a small stipend to pay for monthly campout food, typically $5 per campout.
Fundraising: Each year, Troop 16 sells pumpkins on weekends and some evenings in October. It is our only fundraiser and boys and parents are expected to each work several shifts to cover the hours that the pumpkin lot is open. A signup sheet can be found on the Web site beginning in September.
What You Need: We’ll give your son a Scout handbook, a neckerchief, and a Class B t-shirt. Other items are up to you. Keep in your mind, your boy will grow a lot during his time in Scouting. There’s no need to buy $400 boots when a $50 pair from Target will work just as well.
Class A uniforms are to be work to all official Scout functions such as meetings, Courts of Honor, to and from campouts, selling pumpkins, and to other events like Scout Sunday (in February). Class B uniforms (Scout t-shirt provided by Troop and jeans or shorts, depending on weather and task) are to be worn for less formal events and, especially, when boys will be working and getting dirty. Boys will be instructed when to wear Class B uniforms. Assume Class A in most situations.
You will also need:
- Scouting Essentials (can be found at the Council Scout shop): Class A uniform shirt, preferably short sleeve. Green pants and shorts, olive color preferable. The Scout shop has a convertible pant (legs zip off to become shorts), but families have leeway to wear some other short or pant as long as they are olive to dark green in color. (No gym shorts, pants, or jeans.) Neckerchief slide – the Scout shop has some or boys will often carve their own during their first year at summer camp. Patches: Heart of America Council patch (top of left shirt sleeve), Troop identification, numbers 1 and 6 (also left sleeve), Arrow of Light patch if boy came bridged over from Cub Scouts (below left pocket), World Scout Crest (above left pocket, near collar). Rank advancement will be added to the left pocket as ranks are earned. For a detailed description of where patches are placed, see this page.
- Camping with Troop 16: Please see our list of equipment here. Scouts should add or subtract gear as weather dictates. Prior to campouts with cold weather, further instruction will be given at weekly meetings.
- Summer Camp: The list of summer camp equipment is here and the most important item to seek out soon is the camp box. While any foot locker is acceptable, the wooden box from Mickey’s Surplus is popular. Painting or staining the box prior to camp will help protect the box and preserve the contents. Remember: your son will have to carry this box over a potentially long, rocky terrain, plus the box will need to fit in a small space in his tent. Please avoid overly large boxes.
These are the basics. If you have a question or we missed something, please let us know – either at a meeting or via an email.