Welcome back to the school year and I hope you are prepared and ready to take those challenges on. We had a good scouting summer. Summer camp went well, progress on Eagle projects, a biking high adventure trip, a couple of Eagle courts of honor, and summer games at Emerson. I hope you had a great summer and are looking forward to our new Troop 132 year.
While you are busy getting adjusted to school and sports, just a reminder, we strive to keep scouting easy and fun. I hope you think, like we do, of scouting as a “no stress” all welcome zone where you can go camping and learn scout skills and have fun with your scout friends. Some of these skills you will have for the rest of your life. The main requirement is to live by the Scout Law in all we do and how we behave with each other and outside of scouting.
This Tuesday we start back at the Scout House at 7:30 pm in our Class A’s. During the first couple of meetings, we will form or update the patrol membership, hear some stories about the bike trip, and also review those trailblazer skills learned at camp. We will refresh, review and if you are ready, sign off on skills and ranks.
Our first camping/sailing trip is planned for September 13-15 in Newport. This has been a fun trip and I look forward to seeing many attend. Scouting is an activity takes place outdoors with all the events we have put onto the calendar. Our meetings at the Scout House, organized by your fellow scouts, are centered around planning, preparation, and sometimes debriefing. At each meeting will learn or review a scout skill and you will need these skills on our trips and that is where you will put the skills into practice. Our meetings, by themselves, are supporting our outdoor activities so if they are sometimes long and chaotic, it is about the boy-led work needed to plan, prepare and organize for the trips. The scouts are actively learning and doing things for themselves. We have good weather now but during the year we will need to prepare meals and camping in a variety of conditions. Sometimes I get asked when can we schedule a scoutmaster conference? Anytime we are camping and on a trip will work best. On outings, there is usually plenty of time. Or you can schedule time with me before or after a meeting, but not during a meeting. Meeting time is the time that the whole Troop is working tegether and that is not the time for individual scout meetings. You can schedule time with me by approaching me at a meeting or by sending me an email (with your parent copied on the email).
Blue cards: These are cards that are used to start and measure progress against a merit badge. I usually have a stash of them and the scouts need my signature prior to starting a merit badge. If you are interested in a merit badge, come get a blue card (before or after meetings) from me, I’ll sign it and then ask Mr. Cancio for a merit badge counselor (someone who is registered, qualified, and available to our Troop). Counselors are just that, they counsel and mentor the scout. When the scout completes the work, the counselor will review and sign the blue card, I will review and sign, and then you see Mr. O’Neil as our Advancement Chair to officially record and give you credit for your work. Unlike advancement where you are recognized when you earn the rank, merit badges will be recognized at our next court of honor.
I’m hoping and encouraging any of our older scouts if they are around and available (those who might have aged out) to come back and help at any time. I know you are all busy but the Troop can always benefit from your experience, so please share it.
We have an exciting year ahead and I look forward to serving again as your Scoutmaster. I’m very pleased to say it has been a pleasure working with all of you. You all have really special gifts and you work together as a patrol and Troop really well which is especially rewarding.
This blog is a weekly message from the Scoutmaster.