Some Frequently Asked Questions about Scouting, and Troop 2 (updated, September 2019):
What is the purpose of Scouting?
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
All levels of the Scouting program share three specific objectives: Character development, Citizenship training, and Personal fitness.
The methods used to achieve these are the patrol method, vigorous outdoor programs, rank advancement, associations with adults, personal growth, leadership development, and the uniform.
How old (or young) can a boy or girl be to join Scouting?
Scouting is for young men (and as of 2019, young women in all programs) 11 to 17 years of age.
Candidates may become Scouts if they have earned the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old.
As of this writing, male and female scouts enroll in separate troops.
Troop 2 is a boys troop. We don’t have a girls troop yet in Hastings – if interested, let us know(!)
(In Cub Scouting, Packs can be co-ed while dens are either boys or girls)
Is the BSA a religious organization?
The Boy Scouts of America does not require membership in a religious organization or association for enrollment in the movement but does strongly encourage membership and participation in the religious programs and activities of a church, synagogue, or other religious association. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered to be responsible for his religious development.
The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion. In other words, the BSA is completely nonsectarian.
How much does it cost to join Troop 2?
Our Troop charges a yearly fee per scout for the initial registration, and for renewals. This covers the fee we pay to the Council, and covers insurance, Boy’s Life magazine, patches, awards, pins, and the like, and subsidizes several of the Troop-wide programs such as the Holiday Party and the Troop Dinner. One “activity” t-shirt is included in the initial registration. The troop goes on camping, hiking, biking, etc trips and we “pay as we go” for these.
Is there a scholarship program?
We believe Scouting should be available to all. If the registration fee would prevent you from enrolling your son in Scouting, speak in confidence to the Troop Committee Chair and we will work to make accommodations in Troop 2.
Do I have to be a member of the First Reformed Church to join?
Definitely not. Any Chartering Organization (often a church, or temple) cannot require scouts in their units to be a member of the religious organization. That’s against BSA regs.
Do I need to buy a uniform?
Yes. The uniform is one of the key methods of Scouting. We encourage families whose sons have outgrown their uniforms to donate it to the next generation of scouting families.
On our Resources page, there is info on what and where to buy.
What else do I need to buy?
The Scout handbook. There is resource material and places to record advancement within.
Basic personal camping gear: We will detail for the scouts as they get started.
How is Scouts BSA different from Cub Scouts?
Cub Scouting, Scouting, and Venturing are programs of the Boy Scouts of America—so in that sense, Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Venturers are all members of the same organization. However, they are entirely different programs: Cub Scouting is a family-oriented program designed specifically to address the needs of younger boys (and as of now, girls). Scouting BSA (f/k/a “Boys Scouts”) is designed to achieve the aims of the larger Scouting program through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of adults including the Scoutmaster. (Venturing is a co-ed program that provides positive experiences through exciting and meaningful youth-run activities that help members pursue their special interests.)
Troop? Patrol? Unit? District? Council? What does this all mean?
Our Troop is organized into “Patrols” of (generally) 6 to 8 scouts. Each patrol will have an elected Patrol Leader, and an Assistant PL.
The youth leader directing the entire troop is the Senior Patrol Leader. There is also an Assistant SPL. The adult leader directing the troop is the Scoutmaster. There are several assistant Scoutmasters. The Troop Committee provides oversight and support for the troop.
Our Troop is one type of “Unit” issued a charter by the BSA. Other types of units are Cub Scout “Packs”, Venturing “Crews” (which may be co-ed), Sea Scout “Ships”, etc.
The local administrative organization which provides support to all of the various units in Westchester and Putnam counties is our Council, named aptly the Westchester-Putnam Council. The Council hosts program events, training for adult leaders, maintains records, manages two Scout Camps, etc.
A District is a subdivision of our Council. Our Mohican District encompasses the Southwest corner of the Council, as far north and east as White Plains.