NEW TO SCOUTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Scouts have fun and adventure while building self-confidence, character and leadership. Scouting prepares our youth with lifelong survival skills. The programs we have encourage teamwork, teach scouting skills, help scouts value service to others by participating in community service projects.
Q. Is Scouting safe?
A. Yes, Programs are designed to follow a strict set of rules and policies. Every registered adult in scouting is required to complete a youth protection training course and a criminal background check. For more information visit the following website: www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection
Q. What is the required age for joining Scouts?
A. Your son can join if he is at least 11 years old, or has completed fifth grade, but has not reached age 18. Scouts who were Cub scouts can join prior to age 11 and completing fifth grade if they have earned the Arrow of Light.
Q. My son was not a cub scout; therefore, boy scout is new to him, where can I learn more about scouting?
A. You can learn more about scouting by visiting the Boy Scouts of America website at www.scouting.org
Q. How does your program work?
A. The troop activities for the year are planned and organized by the scouts under the guidance and supervision of the adult scoutmasters. The troop elects the senior patrol leader (high school aged student) who will lead, guide and teach the troop while carrying out the troop’s yearly calendar activities with the assistance of the adult scoutmasters. The scouts are generally organized into smaller units called patrols. Each patrol is led by a scout who has achieved scouting skills and experience. The patrol leader will lead his patrol while developing his leadership skills by teaching and managing the scouts in his patrol. The patrol will perform as a unit in various activities and troop competitions.
Q. What are Merit Badges and how does a scout obtain them?
Merit badges or awards are earned by scouts for learning and attaining knowledge and skills in various subject areas. There are over 135 merit badges, some of which are taught in a classroom setting while others involve outdoor physical activities. We assist our scouts to earn their merit badges by teaching classes at our regular Friday meetings. We hold at least 3 merit badges per year. Additionally, the scouts earn at least 5 merit badges at the summer camp with the troop at Ten Mile River in Upstate New York. To earn Eagle rank, scouts need to earn at least 13 of the specified required badges. Visit the website to learn more about merit badges: https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/merit- badges/
Q. How can a scout move through the ranks?
Scouts should participate in meetings, training conferences, camping trips, and importantly, attend the merit badge workshops. Moving up the ranks should be a wonderful experience of fun, learning skills and building friendships. The Scout, with support and guidance from parents and Scout leaders, progresses at his or her own pace.
The scouts advance through six ranks leading up to the Eagle rank. Each rank advancement requires the scout to learn new leadership and scouting skills as well as participate in service projects. Although not mandatory, Troop 12 encourages scouts to pursue the Eagle Rank and guides scouts and parents through the Eagle process. www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/eagle-scout-rank/
Q. How much is the registration fee?
A. We collect dues semi-annually $80 in the Fall and $80 in late February. These dues defray about half the cost of our activities. We hold two fundraisers per year – a wreath sale in late November and a plant sale in late spring. We also maintain a policy of access of Scouting for all. If dues are a financial burden for your family, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Q. Where and how do I apply?
A. A new scout can apply online at beascout.scouting.org. You can easily find Troop 12 by following the prompts beginning with zip code 07043 and selecting Scouts BSA as a program. You will find “Troop 0012 St. James Episcopal Church.” Troop 12’s scoutmaster will be notified when the application is submitted and will complete the process. When complete, scout can begin participating and parent and scout are given copies of “Troop 12 Guide for Parents and Scouts.” An alternative method is to email Troop 12 at T12montclair@gmail.com by submitting a paper application. Application forms can be accessed at www.scouting.org/resources/forms.
Q. Where can I purchase the ‘Scout Handbook?’
A. We will provide all new scouts with a Scout Handbook.
Q. Where can I purchase the scout uniform?
A. You can purchase the scout uniform (Class A) at the Northern New Jersey Scout shop in Oakland, Ramsey Outdoor Store, Zeppelin Hobbies in Wayne, and via the internet at nnjbsa.org, scoutshop.org or bsauniforms.org. We will provide new scouts with the troop neckerchief and vintage neckerchief slide, troop patch, council patch (NNJBSA), green shoulder loops and a Class B T-shirt. Visit ‘Scouts BSA Insignia’ at www.scouting.org/resources/insignia-guide/ for correct placement guidelines of the scout uniform insignias.
Q. What supplies and equipment are needed to participate in scouting?
A. Additional supplies and equipment will be needed for certain activities such as camping trips. Complete details can be found in the parents’ guide you will receive upon joining the troop. You can also visit the following website which provides a list of essentials and must-haves for youths new to scouting: www.scoutshop.org/blog/new-to-scouting-start-here.html
Q. How can parents contribute?
A. The adults who run the troop are all volunteers. As scouts move on, so do some of the parent volunteers; therefore, we always need the support of the parents. We need parents to manage the fundraising, to teach merit badges, to supervise events and activities. All adult volunteers must complete a short course in ‘youth protection training.’ Visit the website for more information: www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection