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Boy Scout Troop 541
(Jacksonville, Florida)
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Troop 541 Parent Information

 The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America 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.  The primary methods of Scouting are outdoor activities, advancement, and boy Leadership.  While most of the advancement activities can only be accomplished on a campouts.  To advance and get the most out of scouting your son needs to participate in both the weekly Troop meetings and the campouts and other planned activities.  No, he does not have to go to all of them.  The average boy takes one to two years to make First Class.  Much of this will depend on how active he is; for example one of the First Class requirements is participating in 10 activities (outside of the troop meetings) with a least 3 being campouts.

So what does your son need to participate in the Scouting program?

First, I suggest visiting a Troop meeting or two.  Next is fill out the application and pay the membership fee ($45 per year, however it is prorated monthly).  Once your son has joined the most important item is the Scout Hand Book. This is where he will record his advancement, it also provides him with the information needed for advancement and it tells him most of what he needs to know about Scouting and the outdoor activities.  He will use if for his entire time as a Boy Scout.

The Uniform: Like most other organizations your son might be involved with we have a uniform.  This provides a sense of belonging and identification.  The full uniform is the Tan Boy Scout shirt, with green shoulder loops, neckerchief {dark red with gold embroidery), green BSA pants (I recommend the shorts or zip-offs), a scouting belt.  The shirt also needs the World Crest emblem, Troop number "541" and his patrol patch (check with  the Scoutmaster to make sure you get the correct one). Your son should wear his uniform to all weekly Troop meetings, during travel to and from activities, and any formal programs.  In the future, once he starts earning merit badges (and after First Class) he will need a merit badge sash.

Camping equipment:  The basic equipment should be: a mess kit; at a minimum a plate, fork, spoon, knife, and cup.  The individual mess kits sold at the Scout shop, sporting good stores or Wal-Mart work well (stainless steel is a little more expensive but well worth the price). He will need a sleeping bag or bed roll; sleeping bags are easier, however he can use sheets and blankets from home.  He should have a pad to sleep on.  

The costs:  We collect $1 a week dues these of to pay for awards, supplies, etc. Additionally, each campout costs between $15 and $25, this covers food, campground fees and extra costs like canoe rentals or special feeds needed for specific activities.  Summer camp now cost about $300 for the week, this can be paid for in installments, also there are scholarship available,; From the Boy Scout Council along with fund raisers.

Fund raisers:  Council fund raisers like popcorn and camp car sales.  The troop get 30% of the popcorn sales (40% for online sales) this is split 90% of what the troop gets will will be held in an account for the boy (to be used for dues, activity fees, membership renewal, etc.)  10% to the troop to cover equipment purchase; Camp cards 40% goes to the boy's account and 10% to the Troop for equipment (50% goes to Council).