Thanks for choosing to register your son with Troop 342!
Here are some of the things you can expect in the first 4 months of Boy Scouting with Troop 342. This assumes that a young man has joined the Troop in February, which is the traditional time for Cub Scouts to cross over into a Boy Scout Troop.
The new scouts are placed in a ‘new scout’ patrol known as “The Blue Dogs”. This patrol is led by one of the older scouts known as a Troop Guide. This gives the Troop Guide a chance to share his skills and knowledge with younger scouts and for the younger scouts to get oriented with the scouting program.
February – Cross Over
Typically this is the time of year when Cub Scouts cross over to the Boy Scout program. It can be an exciting yet intimidating time for the youth. And a confusing, feel-things-out time for parents. These emotions (and others) are completely normal for such a time. Know you’re not alone and plenty parents you see at the meetings have had the same or similar experiences. If in doubt or you want confirmation, just ask around!
March – Ski Weekend
The traditional trip for March is a ski weekend in Leadville with skiing on Saturday at Ski Cooper. This is an excellent trip for new scouts to get acquainted with the members of the troop and how it runs. It is also a great trip for new parents to attend. We stay indoors in a rented space. The kids sleep down stairs (with no chance of escape) while the adults sleep upstairs. Bring a cot or sleeping pad. Also a pair of ear plugs is highly recommended.
April – New Scout Weekend
New Scout weekend is held in the month of April. This is a camp-out in the field behind the church. It is aimed at getting the Blue Dogs familiar with “the way things run”. This includes advancement, troop meetings, troop gear (camp stoves, lanterns, tents, the shed, how to load the trailer, … ), etc. It is attended by several ASM’s, Troop Guides and the Blue Dogs. There is a parent meeting just before dismissal on Sunday where information on how the troop runs will be disseminated.
This is this the first opportunity a youth typically has to take ownership of taking care of himself for a weekend ‘away’. We ask that you let your son do as much of the preparation and packing as possible. It is OKAY if he forgets something. We view these situations as a learning experience and the troop has equipment to cover any forgotten essentials. It helps them get in the mindset of learning to ‘Be Prepared’.
May – New Scout Hike
Again attended by several ASM’s, Troop Guides and the Blue Dogs. This trip allows the Blue Dogs to ‘get out in the field’ and put their knowledge acquired at new scout weekend to use. Actually loading and un-loading the troop trailer, setting up tents, practicing the buddy system and generally experiencing the Patrol method for the first time.
June – Summer Camp
This is a hugely important time in a young scouts scouting career. See the page ‘The Importance of Attending Summer Camp‘. It gives the boys a chance to really get to know each other, operate as a team, practice the patrol method, learn new skills and get a jump start on advancement.