What is Scouting?

Scouting is youth program, in its’ 90th year it has provided a format for adults to shape boys into men. The program uses a boy’s desire for discovery and adventure to teach decision-making. By presenting boys with an opportunity to make and execute ideas at an early age we empower them to be future leaders. While not all boys are comfortable in this roll, all gain from the values Scouting promotes. Personal character, civic responsibility and duty to God are bedrock's of the program. Boys are taught Scouting skills like knot tying and wilderness survival not because they are expected to need these particular skill sets in life but to give them the tools to succeed in an unknown environment. In learning these skills and relying on them in an outdoor activity builds confidence and self-worth, core needs for any human being.
Why Scouting? There are many youth programs, sports, which help teach teamwork and personal improvement. It is true that these programs are very good but not all boys excel in sports and those who are interested but do not have great aptitude may not get to play, especially in later years. In Scouts everybody plays. And while troops compete with other troops in skill competitions the program’s achievements are individual and boys set their own pace. Some are eager to earn badges others enjoy the experience and advance more slowly, while Scouts are encouraged to advance they are not criticized or grouped by how many badges they have.
The Patrol Method
When a boy joins a Scout Troop he is assigned a patrol. The patrol is a smaller group of 5-9 boys which operate as a unit, they elect their own boy leader and take a name, make their own flag and work together. They compete with Patrols from other Troops at camporees on in Scouting skills proficiency like orientating, pioneering, first aid and teamwork.
A Troop may have many Patrols, all of which report to a Boy Leader Team. These are usually older Scouts, which make up a leadership Patrol called the Leadership Corps. This group consists of the Senior Patrol Leader(SPL), his assistants and past SPLs and ASPLs and the Troop Guide, an older Boy who works with new Scouts for their first year. This group works with the Scoutmasters under the Scouting premises "Boys Leading Boys under the Guidance of Men".
Uniform
Every Scout is required to wear a uniform, which consists of a Scout Shirt, pants, belt, socks which are available at the Scout Shop and some retail stores and a Troop neckerchief and hat which are available from the troop. While a uniform is expensive it does get worn many times over many years and is the defining symbol of our program. Uniforms are worn at all meetings and outings.
 
Meetings
Troop meetings - Troop meetings are held weekly and all Scouts attend. The meetings are from 7:30 to 9:00 and consist of skills instruction, demos, advancement opportunities and group games.
PLC meetings - These are meetings for the PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) elected Boy Leaders who plan and schedule Troop meetings and activities under the guidance of the Scoutmasters. (Meetings called by SPL or SM as required)
Committee Meetings – The committee is a group of active parents who provide support for the program, they track advancement, raise funds, coordinate activities and oversee the program. (Meetings monthly)
Court of Honor – Awards Ceremony for Parents and Scouts. Three held per year.
Fall (awards from summer camp and years program presentation)
Winter (awards from fall and Holiday covered dish dinner)
Spring ( awards from Winter and early spring + Summer camp information)
Parents are to attend these ceremonies to recognize and encourage their Scouts and get important information on upcoming Troop activities. Dates, times and locations for all meetings are in Troop Schedule.
 
Outings
Scouts learn skills at troop meetings but Outings are where the real fun is. Our Troop goes on about 10 outings a year. 6 of which are weekend overnighters, a 1 week Summer camp and the rest are local day trips like hiking, community and conservation projects. These outings are indicated in the Troop schedule. Because our schedule is made in the Summer for the entire year there are sometimes changes. This updated information is given out at Troop meetings before the subject outing. A permission slip is also given to Scouts usually 2-4 weeks in advance of the outing. These slips along with any monies required are due by the date indicated on the slip. Scouts will also get additional information including gear requirements and skills preparation.
 
Camping Equipment
Scouts do need camping gear, backpack, sleeping bag and other accessories. They will learn the types and details at the meetings (there is also a section in the Scout Handbook).
Parents should consult the Scoutmasters on equipment. There are many creative alternatives to purchasing equipment, which are not only more economical but teach Scouts to use their resources. We recommend that you do not rush to buy everything. Start with a good sleeping bag and work from there. Birthdays and Holidays are great times to give additional equipment. New Scouts will not be backpacking right away so a duffel bag will work for the first few months.
 
Advancement
When a boy joins Boy Scouting he begins a trail of fun and learning. This trail is marked with milestones called ranks. Starting with "Scout", "Second Class", "First Class", the boy learns basic scouting skills including camping, cooking, first aid, swimming, and conservation. After completing these ranks he moves to "Star" and "Life" where he learns citizenship, environmental science as well as many electives he chooses for himself. He also must complete service projects for the community or environment. The highest rank is "Eagle" which is achieved by only 2% of the boys who join. Many famous people are Eagle Scouts. ( John Glenn, Steven Speilberg, Gerald Ford). Being able to put "Eagle Scout" on college and job applications is recognized as an indication that this young person has already accepted responsibility and achieves his goals. The requirements for Eagle as well as all the other ranks are in the Boy Scout Handbook.
 
Leadership Opportunities
When a Scout earns the "First Class" rank he can take on some leadership responsibilities. He may be elected as a leader of his Patrol, or ask to considered for an appointed position as troop scribe, quartermaster, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, or other positions. The highest Boy Leader position is Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). This Scout along with his assistants and the Patrol Leaders runs the troop. He is elected by the boys out a group approved by the Scoutmaster for a one-year term.
 
Discipline
The Scouting program is fun for both boys and the adults who volunteer their time. Disruptive and difficult boys will be dismissed from the Troop. Parents are required to pick up their boy at a meeting or outing if the Scoutmaster feels he is not following the Scout law. This insures the quality of the program for the majority of the Scouts.
 
The Boy Scout Handbook
This book is the guide of the Scouting program. All the requirements for ranks as well as many of the skills are in this book. It is also a record book, which gets signed off as each task is completed. There is a section in the beginning about child safety, which is for parents to review with their sons. Scouting is a proactive organization in this area and our troop’s leaders are "Youth Protection" trained and have completed numerous other training programs to provide a high quality and safe program for Bayport’s youth. The book should be taken care of, as it needs to last many years.
 
The Scouting Family
While much of the program is centered around the boy. Our program intends to include the entire family whenever possible. Parents, siblings and relatives are always welcome at Court of Honors. There are also family outings which are planned and the Council has family camping from time to time at Baiting Hollow Scout camp.
 
What Makes Our Troop Different
The program our Troop is using is the combination of two experienced Scout leaders. The program has many great features.
The overall program outline was developed over 15 years by our Scoutmaster, who is an Eagle Scout.. This programs highlights American history and includes outings to Colonial Williamsburg, Boston, Philadelphia/Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Washington DC as well as many LI locations in a 5 year period. It also includes environmental awareness, which takes the boys on many local outings, parts of the Appalachian Trail, and trips to some of the most beautiful natural places in the Northeast like Arcadia National Park, Harriman State Park/Bear Mountain and other locations.
Our Assistant Scoutmasters run the instruction and skills development program. They have earned district acclaim for methods of involving boys in the learning/teaching process. This method is based upon themes, which change monthly. These themes create interest and stimulate understanding for what we see on the outings. Scouts get to practice what they have learned on "Skills Campouts" run by the Troop.
 
Making Boys Responsible
By the age 11 a young person has the mental capacity of an adult. It is our feeling that this intelligence along with the physical energy a young person has is a tremendous personal resource which is untapped by many of today’s youth. By exposing youth to our environment in the most interactive format (camping), we give them an intimate view on why they need to protect what’s left. By taking Scouts chronologically through our Nations history, standing on the soil of Gettysberg or the decks of the USS Constitution they get a powerful perspective. Some don’t realize it at first, but in time this experience becomes an understanding that they need to do more than vote to insure the future of the of this country.
Progressive communication and new technology are also parts of our program, Scouts are encouraged to contribute to the Troop’s Web Site and e-mail Newsletter. Scouts are also encouraged to do research on subjects on the Internet and use computer generated presentation materials.
Communication Skills are the key to becoming a good leader, even young Scouts make presentations to other Scouts and learn to speak in front of a group. Scouts also need to speak to adults to obtain merit badges and other awards. The Scoutmasters treat junior leaders like equals. Through this they learn that adults are not the enemy but a resource for future opportunities.
 
Parental Responsibility
Nothing worthwhile is without effort, and the development of young boys into tomorrow’s leaders is a very tall task. Parents are expected to help with transportation, attend Court of Honors and Scout Family outings and to support the Scouting program by showing interest in your sons progress and Scouting experiences.
 
Contacting Our Leader
Dana Munno
631-472-6465 (H)
 
Dana Munno's Email