Troop 109 – Westfield, MA
What’s the schedule?
Troop 109 meets Monday evenings from 6:50-8:30 PM at St. Mary’s Elementary School on Bartlett Street in Westfield. Generally, we follow the school schedule. If schools are closed due to holidays or weather, we do not meet. We do meet in the summer, but on a lighter schedule, and many times at locations outside of the school. We generally have one weekend event per month.
What should I expect?
Boy Scouts is a boy-run program. Every scout plays an important role in their patrol or troop. Expect to have a lot of fun, but also expect to have to participate on a regular basis and do what it takes to fulfill the obligations of your job and prepare for meetings or activities. Your fellow scouts are counting on you!
- Complete Youth Application
- Complete Troop Contact Form
- Complete Health Form
- Pay Registration Fees
- Purchase Scout Uniform
- Purchase Scout Handbook
- Review the Child Abuse pamphlet with your parent or guardian
- Start working on the “Joining Requirements” in Handbook
- Ask parents to help out
- Get ready to have fun!
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is:
Trustworthy; Loyal; Helpful;
Friendly; Courteous; Kind;
Obedient; Cheerful; Thrifty;
Brave; Clean; and, Reverent
The Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to –
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.
Our troop operates by the patrol method. Each patrol contains four to ten scouts and is led by a Patrol Leader elected by the patrol. Additionally, the whole troop elects one boy to be Senior Patrol Leader. These boy leaders make up the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) and are responsible for planning and carrying out troop meetings and activities. Scouts are given responsibilities and are expected to carry them out. For example, each patrol will plan its own menu and purchase the food for camping trips. As part of troop meetings, the patrols will meet to plan and prepare for activities. One goal of scouting is to teach responsibility and leadership.
In each patrol, individual assignments for functions / jobs will be made by the Patrol Leader. Workloads will be fairly distributed, with all scouts having assigned duties. The patrol will function as a unit or team; they camp, cook, and cleanup as a unit.
Advancement is a key part of the scouting, but not the only part, and not any more or less important than the other Methods of Scouting. Each boy will be encouraged and helped to advance as fast and as far as he desires. The ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.
The earlier ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class are all skill and knowledge based. By the time a scout earns First Class he should have the basic scouting skills required to participate in camping trips and should have developed sufficient personal responsibility to properly prepare himself for meetings, camping trips, and events.
Being prepared means: preparing materials or programs in advance of the meeting or event, showing up in uniform (or proper clothing) and with proper materials (books, notepad, something to write with, camping gear), practicing skills that are needed for the meeting or event, and communicating with others as needed in order to adequately prepare.
Our annual program is designed following BSA guidelines, and if scouts regularly participate in meetings, outings, and summer camp, they should earn First Class in about 12-16 months.
The higher ranks of Star, Life and Eagle are earned by earning merit badges, completing service projects, showing scout spirit and fulfilling leadership roles where they demonstrate progressive levels of responsibility and leadership skills. While the opportunity and encouragement to advance will be provided, a much higher level of self-motivation and maturity is required. Because of the requirements of these ranks, most scouts will advance every 6-18 months.
The Troop Committee, the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters are responsible for the troop and its activities. Responsibilities include: support and oversight of the troops operations; assuring conformance to BSA Policies; training the Senior Patrol Leader and assuring the training of other Junior Leaders; leading by example; and, assuring the boys’ safety.
Outings will be camping, backpacking, hiking, and day trips. Scouts hike over rough terrain, cut firewood with axes and saws, and cook over open fires. All activities are supervised and every effort is made to prevent any injury. However, Scouting is a rigorous outdoor program and an occasional cut, poison ivy exposure, bee sting, or sprained ankle will occur. We carry a good first-aid kit and have accident insurance for emergency medical treatment. While the possibility of injury does exist, statistics show that a boy is more likely to be hurt in his own yard than in Scouting activities. At least ten (10) activities are planned per year.
Boy Scouts is a youth-run program. However, it requires lots of help from adult volunteers.
Troop 109 requests that at least one adult family member register as an adult leader in order to help the troop deliver a great program for the scouts.
Adults do not have to commit to being a scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, or to regularly attending meeting or events. However, those that want to make that kind of commitment are certainly welcome. You’ll have a great time with your son and his friends!
The troop needs adults to help with:
- Direct contact leadership with the scouts (SM & ASM);
- Driving to and from events;
- Participating in camping and outing activities;
- Troop committee (help with all the behind-the-scenes work);
- Merit Badge Councilors;
- Teaching a particular skill;
- Fundraising; and/or,
- Special events.
All adults that come in contact with the boys should be trained in BSA Youth Protection. Adults in leadership and support roles should be trained for their appropriate position.
No tobacco, drugs, or alcohol will be permitted nor profanity tolerated at any troop activity or function. This goes for adults as well. BSA Guidelines specifically restrict drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use by adults in the presence of children.
Scouts and their parents will be held financially responsible for willful damage to or destruction of equipment.
We expect boys to be well-behaved and respectful of others. No hazing will be tolerated. Parents of Scouts that are disobedient and non-responsive to troop leadership to the point of being disruptive will be called to come and get their son
Two-Deep Leadership, Privacy, and Scout Safety
Our troop follows the BSA Youth Protection and Guide to Safe Scouting standards.
Our troop has a strict buddy system. Scouts will not wonder off alone, nor with a single adult, at any meeting or event. Stick with your buddies!