BSA Troop 6

Newport News, VA


Introduction to Boy Scouts

    You may not be familiar with the Scouting program.  Here is some basic information:

The Ranks

    In Scouting, there are ranks the Scout moves through.  The ranks and their badges are pictured to the right, in order. To achieve each rank, Scouts must complete a series requirements.  These requirements are progressively more difficult with each rank.  The images to the right are links to a requirements list for the rank pictured, if you would like to see the requirements in advance.  The overall goal of the Scout is to reach the rank of Eagle.  The first rank is Scout.  This rank is an introduction to the basic principles of Scouting.  This includes reciting the Scout Oath, Scout Law, motto, and slogan, as well as understanding and explaining other Scouting ideals.  The next three ranks, Tenderfoot, Second-Class, and First-Class, focus on Scouting skills such as First-aid, camping, animal and tree identification, and basic knots.  The final three ranks, Star, Life, and Eagle, focus mainly on leadership, community service, and other citizenship and life skills.

Merit Badges

    Merit Badges are what makes Scouting fun!  They allow Scouts to learn specific skills that they are interested in.  Currently, there are 135 merit badges offered.  While most merit badges are elective, there are 13 "Eagle Required Merit Badges".  These can easily be identified because there is a silver ring around the patch, while the ring on other Merit Badges are green.  A scout is required to earn a total of 21 Merit Badges to be an Eagle Scout.

Image result for first aid merit badge Image result for wilderness survival merit badge

Troop Jobs/Leadership

     The Troop is broken down into smaller groups of 5-10 Scouts called Patrols.  These Patrols are led by Patrol Leaders, fellow boys whom the Patrol elects.  The Patrols are led by the Senior Patrol Leader, a fellow boy whom the entire troop elects.  The Troop and Senior Patrol Leader are supervised by the adult Scoutmaster.  There are other jobs in the troop, as well.  Each Troop job has a term of 6 months.  Serving a term in a troop job is required for every rank after First-Class.  These jobs include:  The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), who leads the Troop; the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), who acts as a Vice for the SP; Patrol Leader (PL), who leads the Patrol; the Assistant Patrol Leader (APL), who acts as a Vice for the PL; a Troop Quartermaster, who oversees the maintenance of the Troop equipment; Patrol Quartermaster, who oversees the maintenance of the Patrol equipment; Chaplain's Aid, who helps the adult Chaplain give interfaith Chapel services at campouts and ensure Scouts are active in their religion (whatever it may be); Webmaster, who designs, updates, and manages the Troop website; Scribe, who records and archives information about our Troop and Troop activities; and Historian, who records information and takes pictures of our Troop activities to share.

BSA on Religion

     The twelfth item in the Scout Law states, "A Scout is reverent."  There is no religious requirement for Boyscouts, only that Scouts are engaged and active in whatever religion they may be a part of.

Meals on Campouts

    Before each campout, each patrol decides a "Menu", or plan of what each meal will be and what its ingredients are.  A "Grubmaster" is then chosen to purchase the food, the first $40 of which will be repaid by the troop.  At the camp, Scouts may volunteer to cook certain meals, and the Patrol Leader picks who does which one.

The Order of the Arrow

    The "Order of the Arrow", or OA, is an honor society within Boy Scouts, devoted to helping others and being good citizens, and also studying Native American lore.  To join the OA, one must be elected into it.  To qualify to be elected, one must be a registered member of Boy Scouts and under 21, have been camping a total of at least 15 nights in the two years immediately prior to the election of which five must be consecutive, and be of the First-Class rank or higher.

BSA and Troop History

BSA History

     Boy Scouting began in England in 1910 when an officer in the British army named Lord Bayden Powell was stationed in India and was working with new recruits.  He found that many of them did not know simple outdoor skills such as fishing and cooking their catch over an open fire, setting up a tent, navigation, first-aid, and other things.  When he returned to England, he wrote a book about these things with the intended audience of young men and boys and called it "The Handbook for Boys".  The book was very popular, and eventually, he realized that the skills taught in the book would be taught better by demonstrating them, not just explaining them in a book.
    He began recruiting boys to an organization based around his book that was organized like the military but was intended to be fun.  The boys came to learn the skills, but he used the opportunity to teach them about leadership and citizenship as well.  The organization spread, and multiple "Troops" began in different parts of England under different Scoutmasters.

     According to legend, Boy Scouts was brought to America when a business man from Washington D.C. came to London for his business.  On his way back to his hotel one night, there came a thick fog, and not knowing the area well, he became lost.  Presently, a Boy Scout came by, saw that he was lost, and, because he knew the area well, he was able to lead the man to safety.  The man was so impressed by the kind actions of this boy, when he returned to the United States, he began to research the Boy Scouts and started a similar organization, which he called the "Boy Scouts of America".
Scout Rank