Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who can join Scouting?
A: Any boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old can join Boy Scouts.
Q: Can my child still join Boy Scouts even if he did not participate in Cub Scouts or the first year of Boy Scouts?
A: YES! Boy Scouts is a skills and knowledge based organization, so rank is determined by skill and knowledge acquisition rather than age like in Cub Scouts. If a boy first joins scouting in 7th grade, he will start at scout rank and will work towards rank advancement at a pace that is comfortable for the scout. So feel free to join anytime.
Q: What are the Troop dues and what do they cover?
A: Annual registration dues are $325, which covers BSA national dues, Boys Life subscription and the following troop expenses: adult registrations, meeting expenses, badges and advancement insignia, and training, equipment, volunteer recognition, and emergency reserves. Please note that optional events (Camping and backpacking trips, etc.) have additional costs based on number of family attendees.
If you are joining for the first time, there is a one time $75 fee, which covers the Boy Scout Book and the initial insignia on the scout uniform and a Class B uniform T-shirt for camping.
In addition, families are encouraged to make a voluntary donation of $185 to the Pacific Skyline Council’s Fair Share program. The latter funds the region’s scouting camps and organization that allows scouting to thrive in the Bay Area. Fair Share contributions are fully tax deductible.
Q: Who are the leaders of the Troop?
A: The Scout Master, Assistance Scout Leaders, and a Committee of volunteer parents (JUST LIKE YOU!) run the Troop. The Troop leaders meet on a regular basis to help plan the calendar of events, manage the Troop records and finances, schedule Rank Advancement sessions, and train new leaders. All parents are encouraged to participate in the leadership of the Troop.
Q: I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to be a troop leader. What would I do? Where would I start?
A: The existing leadership is here to help YOU step into a leadership role. It's not really that hard, and with all the cooperation of the other parents, stress-free! WITHOUT YOUR HELP IN LEADERSHIP, THE TROOP AND PATROLS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO FUNCTION!!! Just find one of the adult leaders and say, "Hey...How can I Help?"
Q: When and where does the Troop meet?
A: Troop meetings are usually at 7:30p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month from September through June, but please check the Troop website for specific dates and times. We meet in the Library at Hillview Middle School, located at 1100 Elder Ave, in Menlo Park.
Q: Do parents need to attend meetings?
A: No. Although parents/guardians are welcome at any time to observe a troop meeting, there is not a requirement to attend. There is usually a parent meeting however held during the troop meeting and a parent/guardian is highly encouraged to attend. If you do drop off your scout, please be prompt for pick up. Two leaders must stay with all scouts until they are picked up.
Q: Where can I purchase the scout uniform and handbook?
A: You can purchase all these items at either of the scout stores. visit Scout Shop web site for location and hours. View our uniform shopping list.
Q: What is the difference between the Troop and a Patrol?
A: The Troop is the fundamental unit, which a Scout joins and via which he participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and canoeing. A key component of the Scout method is that troops are run by the Scouts under the advice and guidance of adult leaders.
Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members.
Q: Who can I contact for more information or if I have additional questions?
A: If you'd like to learn more about Scouting with Troop 109, please submit your questions through our contact page.