FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q) What makes Troop 73 different?
Troop 73 is a fun Scout-led troop dedicated to diverse and interesting activities and achievements (hiking, street and mountain biking, camping, canoeing & rappelling, to name a few). We also are involved in many local service projects to benefit the environment and community. We are family-oriented and interested in seeing every Scout get the most from our program. We are proud to say Troop 73 welcomes all genders as we officially have a boy and girl Linked Troop.
Q) Is Troop 73 inclusive?
YES. Our focus is to provide an opportunity for youth to learn and grow. Troop 73 has a long-standing tradition of welcoming all family members on its outings. We are encouraged by the BSA's recent moves to open scouting to be fully inclusive. Troop 73 supports these changes.
Q) What does Scout-led mean in Troop 73?
“Scout-led” has two key meanings in Troop 73. First, the Scouts select their own activities for the year at our annual planning meeting in August (with leader & parent oversight). When a scout picks their activities, attendance and fun increase. Second, Troop meetings and outings are actively led by the elected Patrol Leaders and coordinated by the Senior Patrol Leaders. The younger Scouts learn from and model behaviors of older Scouts and adult leaders guide the scout leaders. This is not always the most efficient process, but it produces highly-capable and responsible young adults.
Q) When and where does Troop 73 meet?
Troop 73 meets on Wednesdays from 7:15-8:30pm (approximately) at First Baptist Church, our sponsoring charter organization. First Baptist generously provides their hall for the troop’s free use, helping us to keep costs low. Meetings are held throughout the year (including summer) with the exception of year-end and spring school breaks.
Q) What is the number of active Scouts in the Troop?
We currently have 25 active boys in our Troop, ranging in age from 11-17 and ranging in rank from Scout to Eagle. We have three Scout patrols, but we can add one or more patrols as we welcome Webelos into the Troop. *Note that at this time we do not have an active girl troop but we are open and prepared to add one if there is interest.
Q) How many Eagle Scouts have you had?
Since 2001, Troop 73 is proud to have 29 Scouts that have attained their Eagle Rank. We currently have several Scouts that are on-track to make Eagle within the next year.
Q) Describe the Troop 73 adult leadership.
We are proud to have a large group of capable registered and trained BSA leaders. Our leadership team includes two Scoutmasters and nine Assistant Scoutmasters. We have three former Cub Masters in our Leadership.
Q) What is a typical Troop meeting like?
We begin with an opening flag ceremony that includes the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath. Following comments by the leadership, the SPL leads the scouts in some physical activity. Thereafter, there is usually a group activity (planning/preparation for a trip, post-trip activities, election, merit badge classes, etc.). We end the meeting with a closing flag ceremony and final thoughts from the adult leaders. The best way to learn what a typical Troop meeting is like is to stop by and see for yourself!
Q) How do Scouts earn ranks and advancements?
Scouts have ample opportunities to earn seven ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life & Eagle) and some of the 130 merit badges available. Scouts are encouraged to bring their handbook to work on rank requirements at Troop meetings or outings. Many merit badges are earned at the week-long summer camp. Troop 73 runs a Trail to Tenderfoot program to get new Scouts off on the right foot towards their first rank.
Q) Do you do big multi-day overnight trips?
This year we are traveling to Yosemite, Carson Pass, Big Basin, Uvas Canyon and the Sierra Mountains
Q) Where do you go for summer camp?
Summer camp choice reflects the Scouts’ preferences and changes yearly. In 2019 we attended Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island. In past years, the Troop has been to accredited BSA camps including Camp Chawanake, Camp Royaneh and Camp Makualla. In 2021 we will be attending Camp Wente.
Q) What if my child doesn’t want to go snow camping?
No problem. Snow camping, like all our outings, is an opportunity for Scouts to encounter new situations, solve problems, and learn new skills including leadership. Snow camping can be challenging, but is done under safe and secure conditions, and is on the calendar because the Scouts selected it. If your Scout doesn’t wish to participate on this outing, there are many other outings to consider.
Q) What if my child is also involved in Little League or [insert another activity]?
No problem. Over the years, we’ve had kids involved in a wide variety of non-Scouting activities including sports, music, drama and, of course, academics. We encourage Scouts to attend Troop meetings and activities whenever they’re able.
Q) Can I attend meetings and/or outings with my scout?
Of course, parents are always welcome to participate in our adventures! Ideally, we’d like to see every parent attend at least one overnight trip per year (if your schedule permits). As much as possible, we welcome siblings too
Q) What are the costs to participate?
Troop 73 charges annual dues of $220 per Scout to cover operating expenses and to fund periodic gear replacement. Troop 73 also charges modest outing fees, reflecting actual food & travel costs. Overnight outings are typically $30.
Q) What is the gear needed to participate in the Troop?
The Troop provides general gear for camping such as tents and stoves. Each scout needs to be accountable for their own needs such as sleeping bag, first aid kit, etc. A full ‘camping checklist’ is available on our website.
Q) Where do you house all the Troop equipment?
Troop 73 has our very own storage unit that we call the 'Beige Box' where we keep all the camping equipment, tools and supplies. A portion of dues is set aside for gear replacement.
Q) What is expected of parents?
We have monthly Parent Committee meetings on the last Wednesday of the month. We ask every family to make a volunteer commitment based on their interests and availability. We welcome parents who have completed the online Youth Protection Training full participation on outings and overnights.
Q) What if I want additional information or ask a question not listed?
If you have additional questions, you can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or just come to any meeting on Wednesday nights at First Baptist Church of Alameda, 1515 Santa Clara Avenue, on the corner of Stanton and Santa Clara.