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 Welcome to Troop 87

 

Troop 87 is an active organization focused on providing a variety of opportunities and experiences to our boys. We are focused on building young leaders that are of good character, have a strong work ethic and a desire to help others.  We accomplish this through productive weekly meetings, exciting outdoor trips, participation in BSA events and meaningful community service projects. With the start of 2015, the troop is fortunate to have approximately 55 active scouts of all ranks and a large trained cadre of active adults that support operations behind the scenes.

Why is Scouting important in the life of a young person?
As we look across the range of worthwhile programs in which a boy can choose to participate, scouting stands out in two important regards.  The first is that Scouting is values-based and the second is that it is boy-led.  On the issue of values, Scouting is a program where who you are matters as much as what you do.  As a troop we instill our scouts with the fundamental values of duty to god, duty to county and duty to self.  While many organizations can help your boy learn skills, teamwork, and confidence, Scouting helps mature him in the basic principles that will serve as a strong foundation for every decision which he makes for the rest of his life.

The second distinguishing characteristic of Scouting is that it is ‘boy-led.’  We feel that scouting is much more than learning to camp, use axes, and make fires.  While those are important skills, the more valuable lesson is learning how to plan, prepare, and lead.  To that end, the Troop is organized and run by the boys through something called the “patrol method,” with trained adult supervision, of course.  The boys are not simply ‘included’ in the program activities; rather, they plan, prepare, and lead every activity.  Using the “boy lead boy” method is not easy and requires supportive parents and adults.  As an adult, it is often hard to watch the boys wait until the last minute to prepare.  We adults have already experienced many of the things our boys face in Scouting and it is very hard to fight the urge to ease their struggle as they face a new task.  However, it is through the process of doing it themselves that the enduring lessons of leadership are learned.

What is the Scoutmaster’s job?
Philosophically, my job is to keep alive the flame of Scouting and to see that the Troop does its best to deliver the promise of Scouting to the boys, their parents as well as to the Troop Committee and the Charter Organization.  This flame ultimately should instill the boys with the foundation to make ethical and moral choices by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  Practically, my job is to guide the boys along their journey of Scouting, mentor the boys in their leadership positions, and work with the Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs) and Troop Committee to make sure that the Troop provides the boys with the best opportunities to learn scouting’s lessons.

What is the parents’ job?
While I am honored to wear the Scoutmaster moniker, there are a few things that you’ll have to do as well.  First, since the running of a Troop is a shared task between parents, interested adults, and myself, I need to know what you expect--your opinions, and desires for your Scout -- in order for us to provide the best possible program.  So, you need to communicate with me, the Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs), or Troop Committee.  We hold committee meetings once a month to discuss the program and do the “adult” planning necessary to make the “boy” program successful, to which all parents are invited.

Secondly, as an adult in the troop, also recognize that letting the boys run the Troop comes with the price of not having everything run the way we adults would run it. We try to maintain a balance between letting the boys lead and making sure all the boys have a fun, productive, learning experience.

Thirdly, help out if you can and when you can. I realize we all have busy lives and it is hard to balance your time to so many activities. We are fortunate to have a large number of adults that help run the troop. If you have the time, come out and join us. If you don’t, consider becoming a Merit Badge counselor or attending a Committee meeting or simply help with the logistics of a specific trip.  To be a successful troop, we need some participation from all parents.

On behalf of Troop 87, we would like to thank you for taking the time to learn about us and for those of you with boys in our Troop, thanks for trusting us with this precious resource.


Yours in Scouting,

Eric Buchholz
Troop 87 Scout Master