WHY JOIN TROOP 109

Scouting promises the great outdoors, friendship, opportunities to work toward Eagle Scout rank, and experiences that will help boys mature into strong, self-reliant adults (The Boy Scout Handbook, 12th edition).

Troop 109 allows young men to balance scouting with their already busy lives. Compared to other troops, T109 is different because...

  • We have only ONE troop meeting a month (lasting one hour)...

  • We have just as many weekend activities like hiking, camping, service, and high adventure programs...

  • We promote diversity, tolerance, independence, and inclusiveness...

  • We are secular...

  • We provide excellent opportunities for leadership and successful advancement... AND

  • We have lower annual dues....

BOY SCOUTS: A Metaphor for Life!

[Written by T109 Assistant Scoutmaster, June 2010]

I previously would have said the goals of Boy Scouting are: rank advancement, merit badges, leadership, and on to Eagle Scout. However, I have new insights after seeing the growth of each scout over time. These young men are acquiring skills, self-esteem, and leadership to a degree I wouldn't have thought possible, and I now more fully appreciate what Boy Scouts has to offer our sons.

In a "safe environment," Boy Scouts helps transform boys into young men through:

  • One-on-One Time with Adults

  • Team Building and the Value of Working Together

  • Perseverance and Discipline in Achieving Goals

  • Learning to Be a Leader (With Guidance and Support)

Boy Scouts has something for each boy developing into a young man. Troop 109 affords the opportunity for personalized attention to individual scouts, while allowing balance among all the other priorities and responsibilities of middle and high school students. We are fortunate to have such generous parents who dedicate their time for the benefit of our sons.

Intensive Time with Adult Leaders (other than a parent)

Within the guidelines of BSA Youth Protection (that a scout can never be alone with an adult without others being present), scouts are able to interact for hours at a time with an adult who is not their parent.  After witnessing my son having one-on-one sessions for scoutmaster meetings, merit badges, and activity planning, I’ve come to realize that adults look forward to these as valuable opportunities to impart knowledge, foster dialogue, and stimulate thinking.  Even though the topic happens to be about Boy Scouts, I am aware of no other venue where a boy can spend such concentrated time with an adult having an in-depth conversation. These help prepare scouts for their Boards of Review, which involve a scout being interviewed by three adults at the time of rank advancement.  (It is fascinating to see how a youth appears to be more receptive in receiving information from an adult other than a parent!)

Interacting in a Social Environment with Team Building

When asked, many new scouts respond that they joined scouting to meet new friends and have fun.  While true, scouting is so much more.  Boys learn to engage each other in many different situations, some of which are quite physically-demanding and mentally-challenging.  Imagine how one interacts with others before, during, and after a 20-mile hike, when it is 12 degrees F outside at snow-camping, or when you think you might be lost after hiking all day with a heavy pack on your back. Scouts soon realize that they accomplish more when working together as a team, and dividing up into “patrols” allows them to learn leadership, delegation, division of labor, and responsibility for others in a small group setting. Interesting, scouts often become better followers after they’ve tried their hand at leadership.

 

Perseverance, Discipline, and Achieving Goals

Everyone knows what an Eagle Scout is, but why is this coveted rank so sought after and difficult to achieve?  Is it just the 21+ merit badges that a scout needs to earn? Is it the advancement in rank through Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life Scout over several years?  Is it the successful completion of one’s service and leadership project that is required of Eagle Scouts?  Or is it the comfort of an Eagle Scout in leading others and being outdoors under a variety of circumstances?  The answer is it is the culmination of all of this, but so much more.


Being an Eagle Scout represents who that boy has become in developing into a young man.  It is the knowledge and skills that have been acquired in doing merit badges like Citizenship in Nation, Personal Management, Communications, First Aid, Environmental Science, etc. (Some merit badges are even “career-oriented” and expose scouts to possible career options, while allowing scouts to spend focused time with someone in that profession.)  It is acquired through years of perseverance, determination, and hard work.  As a result, an Eagle Scout is respected for his accomplishments and the potential for what he can do.  Clearly, that respect is well-earned. Not every scout needs to work towards Eagle. However scouting affords opportunities for youth to learn, challenge, achieve, and gain self esteem.  Each aspect of scouting, when embraced with enthusiasm, contributes to personal growth and development leading to adulthood.

 

Learning to Be a Leader in a "Safe" Environment

One is not born into leadership; rather, leadership is learned. Boy Scouts represents a low risk environment where scouts are able to practice new things. In being "scout-led," Troop 109 supports scouts to try things they otherwise wouldn't do. Sometimes, more is learned from failure than success. At the same time, we want to give our sons the guidance and tools to be successful. Through this risk-taking, young men can develop confidence, self-esteem, and learn how to cope with life in an environment that is safer than "real-life." They are testing outside their comfort zones and learning important lessons before life really begins in adulthood.

Boy Scouts and Troop 109 has so much to offer. Please contact us for more information and to see how you can become part of it!

BSA Troop 109 - Menlo Park, CA 
Redwood District
Pacific Skyline Council