Your Scout will enjoy and learn much during their first six months with the Troop. New scouts will be grouped into patrols of 5 to 8 scouts of similar age. The boys often become close friends.
A "troop guide" will be assigned to the new patrol. The troop guide is a senior scout who has volunteered to assist with a patrol of new scouts. The troop guide teaches the new scouts about things such as patrol structure, campout menu planning and how to set up a tent.
New scouts are a part of the fast track program, where they meet as a group and are coached on new scout skills, advancement and earning the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.
The "first year" scouts participate in troop activities including community service projects and monthly campouts. New scouts are encouraged to attend the weekly troop meetings. They also can immediately attend weekend campout adventures 11 months out of the year.
Summer camp for "first year" Scouts is a busy and fun time. Voyager Bay Camp is three hours north of the Twin Cities. First year scouts are assigned a campsite near the adult camp site , so casual observation of the new scouts is simple. Since many activities occur at the mess hall down the road at the beach, adults and camp staff pass by the first year scout's camp site frequently.
The summer camp program has four class periods each day. During morning class periods, first year scouts work together on their Fast Track advancement. In the afternoon, first years work on Swimming merit badge and First Aid merit badge. Swimming and First Aid are two life skills and are Eagle required merit badges that will help with their future rank advancement.
In addition to merit badge work, the first year scouts enjoy participating in activities such as swimming, canoeing, rifle shooting, climbing, and archery. We have found that if we keep them busy there is less opportunity for the boys to get home sick.
During this six month "Fast Track" period, your son will complete most of the requirements for First Class, and may earn two Eagle required merit badges. More importantly, he has started the process of growing and maturing from a boy into a responsible young adult.
We look forward to helping your son on this fun adventure.