May 1, 2011
Dear New Parent,
Welcome to Troop 849! The objective of the BSA program is to develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities. Troop 849's program is built around weekend backpacking hikes and an annual week-long hike into the Sierras. We also have many other year-round activities from building and flying model rockets to various community service projects.
We strive to let the boys run their own program as much as possible. Leadership is one of the more important skills that the Scouting program teaches. The boys conduct the meetings and take an active role in leading the weekend activities.
We parents are expected to provide guidance for the boys and to do that which they cannot do (such as driving, trip planning, providing adult supervision, etc.). BSA regulations require a minimum of two adults on most activities. For safely reasons, we require at least three adults on each backpacking activity.
The troop is sponsored by Manhattan Parents for Scouting. This is a group of South Bay parents, just like yourselves, who support Scouting. You are invited to join this group of parents by coming to the Troop Committee meetings. There is no cost.
The Troop Committee meets the last Monday of the month at 7:30 pm at American Martyrs Church. All parents are encouraged to come, find out what is going on, and get involved. You can join the Troop Committee by simply indicating your desire to be a member. It is parent participation that makes Troop 849 go. Find something that you can do and do it!
The Troop Leadership
Fill out a membership application. Obtain, fill out and sign a yellow Medical Authorization form. This form is to be carried by your son on all outings. It will be needed in the event of medical emergency. We require a signed form to be in your son's possession on every outing unless you come along too.
Annual dues are $65, payable in December. They are pro-rated if you join at any other time. There are no weekly dues. The total with dues, a neckerchief, patches, etc. the runs about $73-78. A year's subscription to Boy's Life can be purchased for an additional $10 when you pay your dues. (This doesn't include uniform or equipment.)
Consider joining the BSA yourself. It costs only $15 per year to register as an Adult Leader.
After registering, you will need to get your son a uniform if he doesn't already have one. Uniforms are available locally at Gardena Dept. Store and the Cabrillo Scout Shop. See the Uniforms page for what you will need to buy and the locations of these stores. Some recycled uniforms are also available from the Scout locker for a very nominal fee.
Most Scouts buy a troop t-shirt (activity shirt) from the Scout locker. Sizes from S to XL are available for $10 each. The t-shirts are a light blue and have the troop logo on the back. troop t-shirts can be worn to all Scouting events where a uniform is not required (including backpacking hikes).
Work with your son to understand the joining requirements (see page 4 of the Boy Scout Handbook ). When he is ready, he should contact the Scoutmaster and demonstrate his mastery of these requirements. He will then be presented with the rank of Scout.
Troop meetings are on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the Manhattan Beach Scout House. The Scout House is located just north of Joslyn Community Center which is at 1601 Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA. (Get a map and directions.)
Your son should come dressed in his Scout shirt (see the Uniforms page) and bring his Scout Handbook to get various requirements signed off as he completes them. (You should not sign off requirements in his book.) To prevent confusion, be sure your son's name is in his book.
Your Scout will initially become a member of the Dolphin patrol. This is a new patrol that will serve to transition the new Scouts (and their parents) into the troop. The Dolphin patrol will attend meetings as designated by the Dolphin Patrol Coordinator. He will be assigned to a patrol within a short period of time.
You are encouraged to come and participate in the meetings too. Help out when you can, learn a skill with your son, or just kick back and observe. Consider sharing your knowledge with the troop. Some of the more memorable meetings have involved a parent teaching a skill or giving a talk.
Check the calendar for meetings marked "Hike Preparation". These are the nights that only the Scouts going on the next hike should attend. There is no general meeting that night. Only hike related activities such as food planning will occur.
Courts of Honor
Plan on attending the next Court of Honor. Check the calendar for the exact date.
Courts are planned as a social event for the entire family to honor the Scout for the work he has accomplished. Scouts should be in full uniform.
A sign-up list will be circulated during regular troop meetings preceding the hike. Only people on the sign-up list can go on the hike.
Weekend hikes start at the Scout House.
If it is a Friday night departure, either eat dinner before going to the Scout House or bring a sack dinner to eat on the way.
If it is a Saturday morning departure, eat breakfast before going to the Scout House. Bring a sack lunch to eat on the trail.
Upon return to town, your son will be dropped off at home.
We aim the keep each activity self-supporting.
We do not do any door-to-door fund raisers. Our main fund raiser is a food booth at the Old Hometown Fair. In the past we have sold pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and soda. All Scouts and their parents are expected to work shifts at the booth.
In addition, once each year at registration time, we ask for voluntary contributions to "Friends of Troop 849".
All money is used to buy the patches and awards that the boys earn as well as equipment for the troop.
If your son progresses in his backpacking skills, he will need a good sleeping bag, backpack (which can be borrowed from the troop), hiking boots, etc. The troop supplies the tents. We recommend good quality equipment that will last a lifetime. It is advisable to wait until the troop's Backpacking Equipment Orientation is held before purchasing backpacking equipment. (New parents must attend this orientation to ensure that their son acquires the correct gear for his safety and the troop's safety on backpack hikes.) If you have to purchase everything, the cost should be between $300 and $500. Borrowing equipment and shopping sales can bring the cost down substantially.
Each member in Troop 849 gets one free copy of the "Equipment Guide for Weekend Hikes," which is published exclusively by the troop. Please consult this guide before buying any equipment. It can save you money and will guide you in selecting the right equipment to make backpacking a pleasurable experience.
Camperships are available for those needing them. We don't want any boy to miss out on Scouting due to a financial hardship. Please consult with the Scoutmaster or the Troop Committee chairman for details. All camperships are strictly confidential.
The latest calendar, roster, and nearly all other printed information is available in the Scout locker. The Scout locker is on the left before you enter the Scout House. The information can be found on the inside of the last door at the back of the locker. Please help yourself.
The troop has gone to a web based calendar which can be found at our website. The printed calendar in the locker is, by its very nature, usually out of date.
Both Moms and Dads are welcome to participate. Your time and energy is needed to keep the program alive and fresh.
Boy Scouts is NOT a baby sitting organization
For starters, all adults need to attend Youth Protection Training. It takes only one hour and is available every month. We can also schedule a special session just for our troop.
Other training is available and is highly encouraged. Ongoing classes include:
Lists of jobs, from very small to very large, are available. Pick up a list and see what you can do to help. Note that the list is just a starting point - find something you can do to make the program better!
Contents of this page provided by Tom Thorpe.
©2018 Boy Scout Troop 849, Manhattan Beach, CA. http://troop849.org/