“This troop is operated by the scouts. The scouts are assisted by adult troop leaders and supported, but not pushed by their parents. Boy Scouts is for the boys. It is up to the individual scout to decide how far in scouting he wants to go. Parents should be available for support to their scout and to the troop.”
As stated in the first line of this quote, Troop 658 is boy-run. This not only gives the younger scouts someone to look up to, but also gives the older scouts a chance to learn & practice leadership skills. We know the balance between fun (LaserTag Overnights) and learning (Field Day). Guerilla War (an orienteering-based water fight spread across Palos Verdes) and rock climbing at Joshua Tree are perfect examples of fun with a purpose. The members of the troop get along well, making close friends through the troop they keep in touch with outside of Scouts.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining, contact the Scoutmaster. For a brief history on how Scouting got started in the United States, click HERE
Responsibility of a New Scout?
As a new scout you only have a few responsibilities. Your job is primarily to follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law, advance up the ranks, and attend meetings. And, of course, don't forget to have fun. As you advance and gain leadership positions, your number of responsibilities will increase.
Patrol Structure, Patrol Leaders & Guides, Patrol Meetings.
The scout Troop is divided into Patrols consisting of 7-9 scouts of similar ages or ranks. Each patrol is led by an experienced scout, called the Patrol Leader or Guide (for those new-scout patrols who’s members have been in the troop less than one year). The patrol meets once a month for specific training where members bond and work on skills and advancement.
Parent Etiquette 101 – What we expect of our Scout families.
- All leaders in the troop are volunteers (some don’t even have sons in the troop anymore), and most do not have formal education in child development or psychology. They are not paid and generously give tremendous amounts of time to support the troop (including training thru BSA), and do their best in a variety of situations. If you have a concern or problem, by all means speak to a uniformed adult leader, but also be considerate of the time and effort they are donating to the troop.
- Help your son, but don’t push him (see “10 Essentials for Parents”)
- If your son does not pass his test board, talk to him first before seeking out a leader. Did he feel the board was fair and provided an accurate assessment of his knowledge of scout skills? Does he feel he needs to study or practice more? Listen to his responses. Ask your son to show you his Advancement Worksheet. The information on the sheet may answer some or all of your questions. Approach adult leaders with concerns only after you have a candid discussion with your son. Please do not approach youth leaders that participated on the test board.
- Avoid directly asking questions to youth in the troop. Instead, have your son ask questions first of his patrol leader, then the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and finally the Senior Patrol Leader if needed. If he does not get a satisfactory response from the PL, ASPL, or SPL, then parents should speak with an Assistant Scoutmaster or the Scoutmaster.
- If a parent absolutely feels they want to observe a readiness review given by a senior scout prior to a test board, they should ask permission of the senior scout to quietly observe the review and commit to not interfere in any way. Granting permission is the decision of the senior scout.
- Trip deadlines are expected to be followed. Volunteer leaders must do a lot of work organizing transportation, rosters, medical forms, etc. after the deadline has passed. Watch the calendar and troop website for current information.
- Parents must sign up for trips, before the deadline, just like scouts, by clearly indicating their participation on their son’s permission slip and paying the appropriate fee. Please don’t show up the morning of the trip or at the destination without registering or paying in advance. Driving arrangements should always be cleared in advance with the Transportation Coordinator.
- Allow your son to eat and sleep with his patrol without interference. If you have concerns, address those to the adult trip leader.
- After the first year in the troop, parents are expected to volunteer at a level appropriate to the number of scouts in the troop (i.e. a parent with 3 scouts in the troop should be volunteering 3x more than one with 1 scout in the troop). See Parent Participation Guidelines document.
- If you do not stay at a troop meeting, then please come back at 8:10 p.m. Come inside the room and listen to the announcements. Take notes if you need to. If you cannot hear, move closer so you can. Avoid side conversations, which distract other parents and scouts. Valuable information is given in the announcements each week. Most, if not all, of the information is available elsewhere (website), so if you miss announcements it is not the end of the world. If you do not listen to announcements and do not regularly check the website, you can expect surprises. Please don’t complain when those surprises occur.