Welcome to Troop 97, We are glad you decided to join us!
There is a lot of information that new Scouts and their parents need to know and we have gathered it all in this one placed.
Forms you need to have filled out
Every scout and adult who is registering with the Troop needs to fill out these forms. If you download them, print them and fill them out and bring them with you to your first meeting, it will speed up the process.
- Boy Scout Youth Application – Required to join the Troop
- Boy Scout Adult Application — For adults who wish to join the Troop
- BSA Medical Form – Parts A&B are required for ALL Troop activities. Part C is required for trips longer than 72 hrs
Scouts are required to wear a Full Class A uniform to meetings and anytime we travel. The Class A uniform consists of the khaki shirt with green scout pants, socks and belt (if not integrated into the pants.) Most Webelos scouts will have already purchased this uniform. The only difference being the shoulder tabs, which are provided by the troop at cross-over.
There are two types of pants available from the scout shop:
- Polyester Switchbacks with zip off legs.
- New cotton pants with zip off legs.
The Class B uniform is the official “casual” uniform shirt (any official BSA branded shirt or the Troop 97 t-shirt available for purchase through the Troop.)
For Courts of Honor, your scout will also need a Merit Badge Sash on which to display the Merit Badges he has earned.
You can find diagrams for the Uniform Patch Placement on the inside front and back covers of the Scout Handbook. You can also download this Uniform Inspection Sheet with more information. There is also a great interactive website at BSAUniforms.com.
Uniforms may be purchased locally at the:
Birmingham Scout Shop
516 Liberty Parkway
Vestavia Hills, AL 35242
You can also order online at scoutshop.org.
What Personal Equipment Is Needed?
Your son will need a sleeping bag, duffel bag for clothes, and plastic eating utensils for his first campout. There will be more information on this leading up to the Camping 101 campout.
You don’t need to go out and buy any new equipment as you are joining. The troop supplies the majority of camping equipment such as tents and cooking utensils.
The scouts will use their handbook a lot. A sturdy book cover for the is strongly suggested and they are available through at the Scout Shop or through Scoutstuff.org.
The Troop does have a few items for purchase through the Troop
- Nalgene Water Bottles – $12.00
- Troop 97 Hoodie – $20.00
- Troop 97 Class B shirt – $12.00
- Troop 97 Class B shirt and Nalgene Water Bottle Combo – $20.00
Availability is subject to change.
Both Alabama Outdoors and Mountain High Outfitters offer a 10% discount to scouts but feel free to purchase your equipment anywhere you wish.
How Do The Scouts Advance In Rank?
Take a moment to read through the rank requirements list at the back of your son’s handbook to get an idea of what your son will be doing. The New Scout Mentors and Troop Guides will help the new scouts as they get started. Your Scout should bring his handbook to meetings and campouts. As requirements are completed, he should have them signed-off in the book by an ASM. He should then see the Advancement Coordinator so that proper credit can be recorded in his records. Download the Troop Advancement Policy for more information.
How to earn Merit Badges
Merit Badges classes are held throughout the year, usually before Troop Meetings. In addition, districts around the state sponsor Merit Badge days offering scouts the opportunity to earn up to 2 Merit Badges in one day.
Of course, Campouts & Summer Camp provides the best chance to earn several merit badges, as well as rank advancements. New classes and Merit Badge days are announced, well in advance, via email, and at the meetings.
If there is a specific merit badge that a scout wishes to earn, he can check with the Advancement Chair to find out if there are any Merit Badge Counselors in the troop who can teach it. If not, we can check throughout the district to find one.
All earned merit badges and formal rank advancements are presented at the Courts of Honor which are held three times per year.
What Patrol Will My Son Be In?
For the first few months after joining the Troop, New Scouts are in a New Scout Patrol led by Troop Guides and Mentor Assistant Scoutmasters. In August, at the Annual Family Picnic, the patrol assignments are announced to much excitement and fanfare.
When can my son become Eagle?
That is a long path and is really up to your son and his dedication. There are many tools in place and adults who are ready to support scouts who want to become Eagle. Nationwide, Eagles only make up about 5% of the scouting population. At Troop 97 it is much, much higher. That is why we are called the Eagles Nest.
If you have any more questions regarding Advancement and new Scout activities, contact:
- Larry Boackle – Troop Advancement Chairman
How can I get involved?
There are many ways you can be involved in Troop 97. We need Assistant Scoutmasters, Troop Committee members and volunteers for many events. Ask the Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Chair where they need help and how much you would like to get involved. You can find their contact information on the About/Contact Us page.