Q: When and where does the troop meet?
A: Our meeting starts at 7:00 PM every Tuesday evening at the Elk Lodge on Cypress Ave in Carmichael. Scouts should be at the meeting no later than 10 minutes to 7:00. The pre meeting is when dues are paid and the leaders are available for questions. The meeting ends about 8:15 PM. Parents should be at the Elks Lodge ready to pick you up no later than 8:10 PM.
Q: What do I need as a uniform?
A: Troop Meetings (Labor Day to Memorial Day) - Wear full Field Uniform (Class A), which includes the tan shirt, Scout pants or shorts, Scout belt, Scout socks, and our troop hat and neckerchief.
Troop Meetings (Memorial Day to Labor Day) - Wear full Activity Uniforms (Class B), which includes Scout pants, belt, socks, hat, and any Scout tee shirt which includes shirts from summer camp, troop shirt, or any BSA store shirt.
Troop Trips, Summer Camp & Camporee - Full Field and/or Activity Uniforms.
Q: How much does Scouts cost?
A: The Annual Registration fee is $45, which covers the insurance and a Boy's Life subscription. Most of this money is paid to the Council.
If you join during the year, the cost is $10 plus BSA fees (the fees are prorated). If you are transferring from another unit, the cost is only $10.
Monthly Dues - $10 per month paid by the Scout to the Troop Scribe (a Scout; who then gives it to the Troop Treasurer (adult)). This money goes to the Troop.
Most trips are free, except scouts pay for their own food. Camping Trip Food Money is usually $15-$20, which is given in cash to the Patrol Leader (a Scout) for food shopping (the scout shops with the Patrol Leader).
Summer Camp fees are approximately $300, which includes a camp tee shirt.
Special Events - From time to time we go on events with additional costs. Examples include: indoor rock climbing, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, District Camporees, 50 mile backpacking trips, USS Hornet, etc.
Q: What do I need to get before my first camping trip?
A: Not as much as you would think. Many of the items you already have at home. You will need a sleeping bag, a one quart water bottle, appropriate clothes, and a bag of some kind to carry it all in.
A backpack is only needed on the backpacking trips but many of the Scouts use them year round. A list of needed equipment is listed on a Pack List before each trip. A permission form must also be signed and returned to the leadership before all trips. Other items you may already have include: flashlight, some first aid supplies, and a toothbrush.
Q: What should I bring to the regular meeting?
A: Always wear your Scout uniform and please bring your Scout handbook, a pen or pencil, and a good attitude! Come ready to have fun and learn Scouting skills.
Q: How do I advance in rank?
A: Read and study your Scout Handbook. All the information is in this book to achieve the ranks of: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. The information will be taught at regular meetings, camping trips, and at summer camp. Participation in the troop events is part of the requirements. If a Scout is not advancing, the first thing we look at is attendance. After First Class all advancement is earned from achieving merit badges, attending outings, and being elected to a troop leadership position. Summer camp has a key role in advancement at every level. When a Scout has completed all the requirement for a new rank he will have a conference with one of the scoutmasters. After that, he will participate in a board of review made up of parents on the troop committee.
Q: Who are our leaders?
A: Our leaders are parents just like yours. We set some pretty high standards to make sure Troop 386 is run the way BSA expects it to be run. All our leaders have taken Youth Protection. Many have taken Safety Afloat, and the Safe Swim Defense program. In addition, many leaders have used their personal vacation days to take enrichment classes in backpacking, snow camping, paddle sports, Leave No Trace principals, and Woodbadge Advanced Leadership Training. Many of our leaders have, or are qualified to teach many of this council's Scouting classes. Even better, our former Scoutmasters don't just fade away. You can see them at our meetings and on important trips. They stay to share their knowledge and experience with the boys and the newer leaders. As positions open up, parents who show this same commitment to our program may be invited to join the leadership team.
Q: How can my parents help?
A: Parents can be a great resource. Either through work or hobby, most of our parents have expertise in a skill needed by our Scouts. They may have access to locations or materials that would not be available to the general public. Our parents can enrich the Scout program with these skills.
Additionally, we need parents on many of the trips to help drive.
Q: How is Boy Scouts different than Cub Scouts and Webelos?
A: Here is the short answer. In Cub Scouts parents take the lead in planning the program, the activities, and teaching the skills. In Cub Scouts advancement is often achieved by merely trying a new activity. In Boy Scouts the youth leaders select what activities the troop will participate in, what skills will be taught, and in most cases will teach the skills to their fellow Scouts. Advancement is achieved by demonstrating a proficiency in a particular Scout skill. Parents are not normally needed at the Scout meetings. Only enough parents are asked to attend our monthly outings to make sure all the boys have a seat in a car. Parents do not attend summer camp. Look at summer camp as your vacation from your son and your son's vacation from you. Some boys get homesick while at camp but probably not as many as we have parents going through separation anxiety. Scouting is a learning experience for everyone!