Questions to ask before joining a troop

What makes a Boy Scout Troop the right Boy Scout troop for you (or your son)?

The first step to finding a good troop is to find troops in your area. A good start is to call the Baden-Powell Council office (607-648-7888). They can give you the locations of several troops in your area. Remember, the closest troop is not always the best troop for you. We suggest that you attend several meetings of each troop in your area. Here are some things to look for:

  • Make sure the troop does the kind of activities you like. Take a look at their calendar. Do they go camping every month? Do they go to summer camp? 
  • Take a look at several troops. Attend their meetings. Do they seem organized? 
  • Do the adults, older Scouts, and younger Scouts all treat each other with respect? 
  • Do they seem to be accomplishing something? Are they having FUN? 
  • Is the troop run by boy leaders, or are adults doing everything? 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • How much Scouting experience has the Scoutmaster had?
  • Are there any Assistant Scoutmasters to help the Scoutmaster?
  • How many of their Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank?
  • How large is their Troop Committee?
  • How is transportation for troop events handled?
  • How does the troop get the money it needs?
  • How does the troop handle parents who want to get involved?

If it is possible, talk to some of the parents of the Scouts present. Are they happy with the troop? Do the boys seem happy?

Please remember that this is a big decision for you. Hopefully the troop you choose will be a big part of your life for the next several years. It is worth a little effort up front to make sure that this troop is right for you. Some troops do a great deal of canoeing, some go backpacking, and other troops do other things.

Remember, whether you join Troop 30 or not, scouting can be a great experience.