Welcome to Scouting in
This booklet is a brief introduction to Boy Scouting and to Troop 8. It provides a short history of the Scouting movement and some particulars about Troop 8. It is designed to answer some common questions that new Scouts and Parents generally have. However, if you have any questions after reading this booklet, please don't hesitate to ask our Troop Registrar, Troop Committee Chairman or Scoutmaster. You'll find their names and phone numbers on our Troop Organizing Board, a copy of which you will find in this New Scout and Parent Pack. Thanks for being here.
Scouting is fun. Scouting is hiking, biking, canoeing, climbing, and learning and testing outdoor skills in the great outdoors.
A boy who spends one year in a Scout troop will learn lifetime skills. He will learn basic outdoor skills, first aid, citizenship training, leadership skills, self-reliance, and how to get along with others. Scouting will prepare him to live a more productive and fulfilling life. And the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which a Scout promises to live by, will enrich a boy's life and help him grow into an honorable man.
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:
"It struck me toward the end the World War II that I never would have gotten through the war alive had it not been for the training I had had in scouting. Of all the various information which became important to me, such as photography, wood lore, signaling and many other subjects, the basis of it was laid in scouting. I am very indebted to a great many, very fine men who gave their time and attention to a restless, boisterous and extremely active boy and teenager."
L. Ron Hubbard, Founder, Church of Scientology
Scouting's founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was a general in the British army who became famous for his leadership during the Boer War in South Africa. After the war, Baden-Powell wanted to use his fame to help boys become better men and have fun while doing it.
In 1907, Baden-Powell launched the Boy Scout movement with the opening of the world's first Boy Scout camp on Brownsea Island off the coast of England. Its success led him to write a book called Scouting for Boys. The book was read by thousands of boys who wanted to join the new organization and Scouting soon spread throughout England and, before long, around the world.
Boy Scouts of America
On February 8, 1910, following Baden-Powell's example, the Boy Scouts of America was founded. It quickly spread across the country and is, today, active in every state of the Union.
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America is located in Irving, Texas. Our local council is the Los Angeles Area Council (LAAC). The council is further divided into districts and our district, covering Los Angeles, Hollywood, Eagle Rock, East Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Atwater, is the North Star District.
The Boy Scouts of America awards charters to organizations wishing to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop. The chartered organization must meet certain criteria and their charter is good for one year, after which it can be renewed on a yearly basis.
Troop 8's chartered organization is the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre? International. The church is located at 5930 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028. Our Chartered Organization Representative is Pamela Lancaster-Johnson. She also serves as PR Chairman for the Northstar District. She can be reached at 323-960-3100.
Troop 8 is a group of boys and their parents who like spending time together. The boys of Troop 8 are boys who are looking for adventure and excitement. The parents of Troop 8 are a group of volunteers who want to create something special for their boys and themselves. Scouting is a family game. Adults who participate have just as much fun as the boys do.
Troop 8 was founded by Naomi Poole in 1994 and has the distinction of being the first Church of Scientology chartered Boy Scout Troop. The first Scoutmaster was Gerry McNally. Both Naomi and Gerry have since moved on to other activities but their leadership and contribution to Troop 8 are warmly remembered and appreciated.
Troop 8 is well respected in the North Star District and in the Los Angeles Area Council as an active Troop with dedicated boys and parents.
Troop 8 runs a standard Boy Scout Program which means that it is a boy-led Troop. The boys, with help from the adults, plan their own yearly calendar, plan and run their weekly meetings, and plan their monthly outings. They learn leadership and teamwork by planning and running their own fun.
So what do the Scoutmaster and Parents do? They advise the boys during their planning, provide adult supervision during their outings, and, at all times, do their best to keep up with them.
A Boy Scout Troop is divided into smaller units of 6 to 8 boys called Patrols. These patrols are the key element in Scouting's methods. Each patrol has an elected Patrol Leader and a number of appointed leaders. Usually every boy in a patrol will have some job and be a leader in some capacity at one time or another. And as a patrol of 6 to 8 boys is much easier to confront and manage than is a Troop of 20 or 30 it is easier for the boys to have wins being a leader.
To run the Troop, the boys elect a boy leader known as the Senior Patrol Leader. This boy is usually an older, more experienced Scout. He, along with the patrol leaders of the various patrols in the Troop, form the Patrol Leaders Council. This boy-run council plans and runs the activities of the Troop under the supervision of the Scoutmaster.
The Troop holds its weekly meetings on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at:
4490 Cornishon Ave.
La Canada, CA
The key purposes of these meetings are to learn outdoor skills and to prepare for the next outdoor adventure.
Troop 8 plans at least one outing a month throughout the year. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. During the summer the Troop usually plans one week-long or longer outing such as a long-term backpack trip and also attends a week-long summer camp. These outings are selected by the boys and, as much as possible, planned and run by the boys. The adult Leaders step in to help with transportation, permits, and other "adult world" requirements.
The Boy Scout advancement program is structured around six ranks from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout. The requirement checklists, and the badges to which they lead, allow Scouts to see clearly how much they have achieved and what challenges lie ahead. Boys can set goals for themselves and, step by step, achieve what they set out to do.
The requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class provide a Scout with the basic outdoor skills that will prepare him to fully participate in and enjoy Scouting adventures such as camping, hiking and backpacking.
When a boy has completed these first three ranks, and become a First Class Scout, he has reached a milestone in his Scouting career. He knows first aid, how to build a fire, pitch a tent, cook a hearty meal outdoors and many other useful skills. He is now ready to turn his attention to the last three ranks, Star, Life and Eagle. These ranks require a Scout to use the skills he has learned to help others. At this stage, a Scout is taking a stronger leadership role in his troop, teaching his Scouting skills to younger scouts and being helpful in his community.
This is a special event, occurring two times a year, where the boys are publicly recognized for their rank advancement and merit badge completion during the preceding 6 months. All family and friends are encouraged to come out and clap for their Scout and his friends.
Since 1909, when a young Scout led an American businessman to his destination through a dense London Fog and refused to accept the offered tip stating that he was a Scout and would not accept money for doing a Good Turn, "service to others" has been a key principle of the Scouting movement. In fact, so impressed was this businessman by the young English Scout's conduct that he brought Boy Scouting to America. That businessman was William Boyce, who incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. The Scout, whose Good Turn has been felt around the world, is still unknown yet statues of the "Unknown Scout" stand in front of council offices around the country to commemorate his far-reaching good deed.
Throughout its history Scouts have been known for their "Good Turns". In Troop 8 we like to carry on this tradition by taking part in Service activities that benefit our church, and our community. These include beach and park litter clean-ups, graffiti paint-outs, blood drives, US Forest Service Trail work, and more.
A group of boys playing ball on a sandlot is just a group of boys. Put them in a uniform and they become a team. Likewise, when a boy wears his Boy Scout uniform he has a sense of belonging to his patrol and his troop and he begins to be a teammate. In Troop 8, we stress proper uniforms for both boys and adult leaders.
A full uniform consists of:
Hat (optional in Troop 8)
Official shirt (short-sleeve is recommended)
Red shoulder epaulets
Neckerchief (Troop 8 colors are dark green with embroidered yellow border)
Neckerchief slide (official BSA slide or a boy may make his own)
Official pants or shorts (Scout socks must be worn with the Scout shorts)
Required uniform patches (patches must be sewn on):
World Fellowship of Scouting patch (purple, round)
Los Angeles Area Council patch
Troop number "8"
Patrol Identification patch (obtained once your son is assigned to a patrol)
A full uniform, with patches, costs about $75. If you purchase a larger size and treat it with care it can give you a couple of years of wear. You can often find used uniforms at thrift stores or rummage/yard sales. Troop 8 also has an "outgrown uniform trade-in" program. So, check with us.
Once he has joined, a boy should get his uniform as soon as possible.
NOTE: In Troop 8, Neckerchiefs are reserved for formal occasions. For Troop meetings boys wear a white t-shirt under their uniform shirt with the collar open.
This book is packed with outdoor skill, first aid, backpacking and camping instruction. It is also a boy's record of his advancement through Scouting. Your son needs to get one. Read it. And keep it.
Parents should read the handbook also, not only to acquaint themselves with the Scouting program but so they can be prepared to help their son advance through his ranks. Remember, Scouting is a family activity.
Uniforms and Handbooks can be purchased at any of the following locations. The prices are the same at all locations.
Los Angeles Area Council Scout Shop Tel: 213-413-0575
2333 Scout Way, LA
Sports Chalet Tel: 818-769-9800
920 Foothill Blvd. in La Caņada
San Gabriel Valley Council Scout Shop Tel: 626-351-8815
3450 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena
Verdugo Hills Council Scout Shop Tel: 818-243-6282
1325 Grandview Ave., Glendale
Troop 8 heads into the wilderness every month and hiking and backpacking are a major part of our outdoor program. These activities require special gear and clothing. A complete Backpacking Gear Checklist is handed out before each outing. Below is a simple list of the basic items your son will need to join in the fun. Some of this gear can be rented fairly inexpensively for the first outing or two. And, as with old uniforms, Troop 8 has a small supply of old or outgrown gear. Contact the Scoutmaster, if you have any questions about obtaining the right gear.
These prices are approximate. Bargain hunting can turn-up cheaper prices:
Backpack with hip belt and frame (internal or external) $70 - $120
Day pack $20 - $40
Sleeping bag (+20? rating at least) $50 - $100
Foam sleeping pad (for comfort and insulation) $15 - $20
Hiking boots $35 - $80
Hiking socks $10 - $20
Troop 8, like any organization, needs income to operate. Troop expenses include badges, camping equipment, flags, reference books and training for leaders, and administration expenses.
This income comes from dues paid by the boys and from fundraisers conducted by the Troop. Each boy is expected to pay his annual dues of $45. Your son should be encouraged to do tasks and odd-jobs around the house to earn his dues.
Additional income is derived from Troop fundraising activities. All Scouts and parents are expected to help on Troop fundraisers.
Each boy is responsible for his annual dues, his summer camp fees, his monthly outing fees and his long-term summer activity fees.
This is an estimated cost summary for a typical Troop 8 year. Costs vary slightly from year to year depending on the outings planned.
Scout Registration per year $7.00 Monthly Outings (incl. food) $25.00
Boy's Life subscription $9.00 Summer Camp $400.00 Scout Troop Dues per year $45.00 Long Term Summer Outing $300.00
Adult Registration per year $7.00 Friends of Scouting Donation $75.00
(per parent) (requested but not mandatory)
As you can see, Scouting is not free but nor does it have to be prohibitively expensive. A portion of every fundraiser is applied to a boy's "scouting account" proportionate to the amount of work he put in on the fundraiser. Additionally, the boys should be doing chores and odd jobs to earn their Scouting money. And lastly, the Troop doesn't ask for the money all at once. The need is spread out over the year.
Troop 8 adheres to a "One Scout. One Parent" policy. That is, when a boy joins the Troop at least one parent must join with him and sign up as a registered adult leader and take an active part in the Troop. We cannot accept a boy without one or both of his parents signed up as well. The reason for this is simple: Scouting is a family activity and one of its goals is to strengthen the family unit as a group. A parent who just wants to drop his or her son off at Scout "day-care" has the wrong idea about Scouting and is missing one of its primary functions: to provide an opportunity for a parent and son to strengthen their relationship.
If you think of a scout troop as a body and the boys as the creative mind and active arms and legs, then parents are the pumping heart that keeps them all going. Parents are vital to the survival and prosperity of a Boy Scout troop. Without them, no matter how enthusiastic the boys or how superhuman the Scoutmaster, troops wither and die.
Every parent is needed and every parent has something to offer. Parents are needed to drive, lead outings, help organize activities, teach skills, act as merit badge counselors, serve on committees, plan fundraisers and anything else they want to do. Your and your son's input and creativity are always welcome.
Troop 8 holds a parent meeting every month. The meetings run concurrent with the boys' troop meeting. Some parents, who hold key positions on the Troop Committee (this is the adult leadership body that keeps the troop there for the boys), are required to attend each meeting as part of their post. However, all parents are encouraged to attend these monthly meetings. This is where they have an opportunity to keep up with what's going on in the troop, discuss and vote on troop policies, plan outings (from the adult perspective) and, generally, take part in the operation of their son's troop.
There are two parent meetings each year that are mandatory for all parents. The first is the October parent meeting where the boys' yearly calendar is presented, discussed and approved. This is also the time when parents sign-up to lead particular outings of their choice. The second mandatory meeting is in early summer, prior to the big summer activities.
The local Boy Scout Council offers excellent training for its registered volunteer leaders. Scoutmaster Fundamentals is the basic training required for any Adult Leader. In Troop 8, we ask that all registered adult leaders take this training.
The more you know about your son's Boy Scout program the better equipped and informed you are to participate in it. Oh, and just as a side note - during the training you get to play Scout for a weekend. It's a lot of fun!
Raise your hand at a parent meeting when the Committee Chairman asks, "who will handle this?" Aside from that, listed below are some specific "job opportunities".
The current Scoutmaster will not be Scoutmaster forever. Once you've done your Scoutmaster training - which all parents should do - and been with the Troop for awhile the idea may grow on you. A Scoutmaster is an advisor and a mentor for the boys. You don't have to know all the knots in the book to do that. You simply have to be willing to help.
This is a good game for anyone who wants to be in with the boys where the action is. You can start helping immediately but to be official (and well prepared) you need to take the Scoutmaster Fundamentals training offered by our district. Then you can wear your uniform and "Assistant Scoutmaster" patch.
If bugs, wild animals and sleeping on the ground aren't your thing (or even if they are but being an Assistant Scoutmaster isn't) there are still plenty of vital ways for you to utilize your skills and talent to help your Troop. You can take a post on the Troop Committee.
This committee has a Chairman, a Treasurer, a Secretary, an Advancement Chairman, an Equipment Chairman, and so on. These people run the show on a regular basis but that doesn't mean all of the work of running and improving the Troop is done. There are always special projects that need creative leadership such as fundraisers, Courts of Honor, recruitment activities and anything else that comes up. These projects are handled by volunteer "patrols" of parents who work toward a finite goal such as a Winter Fundraiser and when it's done their work is done, at least for the time being. So, just as Baden-Powell's patrol method creates a job for every boy - we have a job for every parent.
If you and your son are ready to join the fun, here's what you need to do. Simply complete the Joining Scout and Parent Routing Form. The Troop Registrar, Committee Chairman, or Scoutmaster can get you started.