Q. Why do you meet Sunday evenings?
A. The meeting night is what works for our boys. When looking at a troop in fifth grade, it is sometimes hard to see how a high school schedule fills up. We encourage our scouts to have diverse interests. Most high school practices and activities occur on weeknights. We rarely have a conflict on Sunday. Sunday meetings also leave plenty of time to get homework done.
Q. Do you go to the same camp every year?
A. We belong to the Potawatomi area council and Long Lake is our home camp. However we are strong believers that repetition leads to boredom. We have been giving other camps in the state a try and a few years ago, we organized our own trip around Lake Michigan. We try to get back to Long Lake every 3 years.
Q. How do you fund the troop?
A. We have an account based system. Each boy has an account for scout expenses. He can fill it by fundraising or writing a check. We do not force fundraising on those who do not want to. Any funds raised go 100% into the scout’s account. An annual flat fee is charged to each scout for troop expenses (around $100). Each event that has a cost is deducted from a boy’s account if he participates.
Q. How much does scouting cost?
A. Summer camp, the biggest expense, runs close to $300. A weekend camp, around $30-$45. A year of scouting runs around $500 based on average participation. With our fundraisers, many scouts are able to cover this cost completely.
Q. I wasn't a Scout. Can I be a Scout Leader?
All are welcome to contribute as much as they would like as a uniformed leader, Committee Member, or a Merit Badge Counselor (MBC).
As a uniformed leader, you should be willing to attend regular outings and assist the Scoutmaster and Scouts at Troop Meetings.
As a Committee Member, you should be willing to attend regular Committee Meetings and get involved in helping to organize Scout activities and special events.
As a Merit Badge Counselor, you can provide counseling to any number of the 130+ Merit Badges that you would like. YOU DO NOT need to be an expert to be a counselor - like most areas of Scouting, there is a bounty of information and training. The Merit Badge Handbooks will cover ALL that you need to know to learn/teach any particular badge. Merit Badges can be earned outside of the weekly meeting, so Scouts meet with you on YOUR SCHEDULE of availability.
Q. How often does the troop camp?
A. We plan six or so overnight activities a year. We have an outing or major activity every month.
Q. Do you meet during the summer?
A. Boy scout activities peak in the summer, culminating in Summer camp. We always attend camp during the third full week in July.
Q. Do you have to be Catholic or a member of St. Boniface to join?
A. No. We several scouts who are not Catholic. However, "A Scout is Reverent" and should practice their faith.
Q: Did I have to be a Cub Scout to be a Boy Scout?
A: No. While this is the most common path to Boy Scouts, any boy between the ages of 11 and 17 can join. Also, if you are a cub scout, there is no “earning” or “qualifying” into boy scouts. The slate is clean. There are many benefits to joining Boy Scouts, regardless of the boy's age.
Q: Can I play sports and still be in Boy Scouts?
A: Yes, many of the scouts in Troop 115 participate in other activities such as sports and band. However, a scout is expected to participate in as many of the troop activities as possible. Advancement is self paced which gives the scout flexibility to participate. While achieving Eagle Scout should be the goal of every scout, not every scout achieves that rank.
Q. What is a typical meeting like?
A. The structure is review past event, discuss future events and plan, advancement or other meeting activity, and fun activity to close. Fun activity time is dependent on the troop’s ability to finish the task of the meeting in a timely manner.
Q. Do I need to buy a lot of equipment?
A. The troop owns tents, cooking, and general camping equipment. You are responsible for personal equipment required for a successful outing. Examples would be a good sleeping bag, hiking boots, or rain gear.
Q. What is a Merit Badge?
A merit badge is an award for completing the requirements in one of 120 career and hobby fields. Each merit badge is designed to provide a scout with an introduction to that specific field of interest. The subject matter of these merit badges vary wildly. Each merit badge has a specific list of requirements that must be completed by the scout, then reviewed by a qualified merit badge instructor and finally signed off by the Scoutmaster. Merit badges are worn on the scout’s sash as part of his class A uniform.
Q. What is a Blue Card?
A blue card is the document that the scouts and merit badge councilors complete once the merit badge requirements are met. The card has three parts. The first part is retained by the merit badge councilor. The second part is retained by the Council who records the scout’s completion of the badge. The third part is returned to the scout with the merit badge. The third portion of the blue card should be kept in a safe place as it becomes the scout’s proof of completion in the event that the merit badge of sash are lost.
What is the PLC?
The PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) consists of the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders, Assistant Patrol Leaders, and elected troop positions. The PLC meets monthly (generally the 1st thursday of the month) and is guided by the Scoutmasters.