Join Troop 149

This purpose of this page is to provide information on how to join Troop 149, as well as answer any questions new families may have.

If you have any questions not answered here, feel free to email Scoutmaster Chris Vargas at troop149.arlva-at-gmail.com   

Steps to Join

New Scouts:

  1. Download and fill out a BSA Youth Application. The Scoutmaster must sign the application prior to being submitted.
  2. Download and complete BSA Medical form Parts A and B (and don't forget to attach a copy of both sides of your insurance card to the designated part of the form)
  3. Pay Troop Dues: $150 due each September, or $75 for Webelos joining in March.  Use PayPal links provided here.
  4. Download and read the Troop 149 Code of Conduct with a parent.  Scout and parent should sign.
  5. Parents: Register your vehicles and driver information as it is needed for you to be able to drive Scouts to and from events.  This is done online only and the information is kept private
  6. Troop 149 requires that parents take BSA Youth Protection Training. Visit  MyScouting.Org to create an account and take the training. Print out the certificate at the end. Requires renewal every 2 years.
  7. Turn in all of the above items to Membership Chairperson (see below)
Returning Scouts:
  1. Download and complete BSA Medical form Parts A and B (include insurance card) if you did not do so for summer camp or high adventure.
  2. Pay Troop Dues: $150 due each September. Use PayPal links provided here.
  3. Parents: Update your vehicles and driver information if needed.  
  4. Confirm that your BSA Youth Protection Training is up to date. Visit MyScouting.Org to create an account and take the training. Print out the certificate at the end. Requires renewal every 2 years.
  5. Turn in all of the above items to Membership Chairperson (see below)
Adult Leaders or Committee Members:
  1. Download and complete a BSA Adult Application.  You must provide your SSN and references
  2. Troop 149 pays for the application fees for our adult leaders
  3. Take BSA Youth Protection Training  ( MyScouting.Org ) and print the certificate at the end
  4. Turn in the above items to Membership Chairperson (see below

Questions and Forms get delivered to: Membership Chairperson Heather Malatesta

Information for Families

Please view and/or download the Troop Overview for New Scouts for detailed information.

Troop meetings are every Monday from 7:00–8:30 except the Mondays after campouts (which is Patrol Leader Council) or Mondays where school is not in session. Consult Troop Calendar to confirm.

Remember to wear Class A uniforms to Troop Meetings. (Class A uniform is only scout uniform shirt and scout pants (olive green) or khakis.) All Events are listed on the troop calendar.

Q&A

Q: How is Cub Scouts different from Scouts BSA?
A: Monthly camping in Scouts BSA, separate from parents. Advancement is done with older Scouts at meetings or campouts, not with your parents or adult leaders. In Scouts BSA you advance at your own pace. You will need a signature in your book from an older Scout to have officially completed the requirement. Some requirements you can do on your own time at meetings and some requirements you will do with the Troop Guide.

Q: Do you have to do Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements in order?
A: No. Requirements can be done in any order, but you must get Tenderfoot rank before Second Class, and Second Class before First Class.

Q: What is the Troop 149 First Class Practical?
A: See this link:  First Class Practical

Q: How important is the Boy Scout Handbook?
A: VERY important. It is your personal record of your advancement. If you lose it you may have to repeat requirements. Be sure to put your name in your book, and if you bring it camping, put it in a ziploc bag to keep it dry.

Remember to read your book. It has all the information you need to get through your Scouting requirements. Remember to complete the How To Protect Your Children From Child Abuse pamphlet (in the front of your book) with your parents. It is required for Scout rank.

Q: How do I get merit badges?
A: You can get merit badges from summer camp or by contacting a merit badge counselor to do a merit badge with you. The Troop usually has a volunteer merit badge coordinator who can help you find a counselor. You can also go to a special Scout merit badge day to get a merit badge. Sometimes adults in the troop will set up merit badge classes that scouts may participate in. Note that younger Scouts should focus on requirements to get to First Class before focusing on merit badges. Also note that some merit badges should be done by older Scouts.

Q: I've completed a merit badge. What do I do with the blue merit badge card "receipt" I receive back with my badge?
A: Blue cards are your only official record of completing a merit badge. Always save your blue cards because you can use them to demonstrate you have finished a merit badge if there is a problem with the Scoutbook record.

Q: What is the grubmaster and what does he do?
A: Before going on a campout, each patrol chooses a grubmaster. The grubmaster's job is to buy the food for the campout that the patrol has decided on. The grubmaster will receive money from the other Scouts to pay for the food. Same is true for adults attending a campout.

Q: What is a patrol?
A: A patrol is a group of Scouts in the same Troop that do campouts and activities together. There is one patrol leader and one assistant patrol leader for each patrol. Patrols work together as a team and learn Scout skills together.

Q: What is a new Scout patrol?
A: A new Scout patrol is made up of 11-year-old Scouts who have recently bridged from Cub Scouts and are together for the first year in the troop. An older, experienced Scout often is assigned as a Troop Guide to help them through the challenges of Troop membership. An Assistant Scoutmaster should also assist the new Scout patrol to ensure that each Scout has every opportunity to succeed right from the start. The patrol leader should attend the Troop PLC meeting.

Q: Who is the current Troop Guide?
A: All current troop leaders and patrol information can be found at this link: Troop Leaders and Patrols

Q: What is a Scoutmaster Conference?
A: The Scoutmaster conference is an informal conversation between Scout and Scoutmaster either toward a certain goal or as a requirement for advancement. It is neither an interrogation nor a retesting of a Scout's competence. In either case, open-ended questions are used to prompt the Scout's comments. The Scout is encouraged to come to conclusions on his own; not to simply tell him what you think. A Scoutmaster conference is a chance for the Scoutmaster to talk to a Scout about how he is doing, how he feels about the troop and his role in it, how he is advancing, and how he is striving to live up to Scouting's ideals. Consequently, a Scoutmaster conference can take place anytime and for any reason.

Q: What is a Board of Review?
A: See page 61 of your scout handbook and this link: Boards of Review