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Boy Scout Troop 163
(Succasunna, New Jersey)
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Boy Scouts of America?
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Specifically, Scouting's goals are to:
  • Offer young people responsible fun and adventure;
  • Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character;
  • Train young people in citizenship, service, and leadership;
  • Serve America's communities and families with its quality, values-based program.
How old must I be to join Troop 163?
To become a Boy Scout you must be less than 18 years old AND MEET ONE of the following requirements:
  • Be at least 10 years old and have already completed the 5th grade, OR
  • Be at least 11 years old, OR
  • Be at least 10 years old and have already earned the Arrow of Light Award a Cub Scout.
Must I first be a Cub Scout to join Troop 163?
No - prior Scouting experience is helpful, but all that is necessary is to meet the age requirements in the previous paragraph. New Scouts come to us even in high school, and it doesn't take long for any Scout who is interested in Scouting to advance rapidly in rank and have a good experience with Troop 163.

What if I have to miss a meeting because of sports, band, or another activity?
Troop 163 is very flexible, understanding and accommodating to each individual's schedules.

Can I transfer from another Boy Scout Troop?  
Yes, Scouts do transfer into Troop 163 for a variety of reasons, including: address changes, school or activity conflicts, or to participate in our strong activity and advancement programs.

How do I join Troop 163?  
Just come to a Troop Meeting (see next question). During your visit, ask for a new member application package.

When and where does Troop 163 meet?  
We meet at Jefferson School on Cornhollow Road in Succasunna, NJ every Tuesday (except the first Tuesday of the month) from 7:30-9:00 PM... please contact the scoutmaster for more details. Generally, the scouting year is September through mid-June, but new applicants are welcome any time of the year. Additionally, we do participate in some events, including camping during the summer months.

How is Troop 163 involved with the Prebyterian Church?  
The First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna (FPCS) graciously makes their facilities available to Troop 163 as our Chartered Organization(sponsoring organization). Only a few Scouts in Troop 163 have ever been affiliated with the FPCS. The Boy Scouts of America holds to a non-sectarian Declaration of Religious Principle as a condition of membership in Boy Scouts. Over the years, our membership rolls have included Scouts who are: Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, and from various Protestant denominations, as well as Scouts with no formal religious ties. We do service projects for the FPCS as a way of giving back for the free use of the facilities.

How does the ranking system in scouts work?
           Scouts rise through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout by showing that they can demonstrate knowledge of vital skills, help the community through service hours, and show leadership to progress.

What are some of the skills I will learn in scouting?
           Among life lessons, leadership, first aid, knots, outdoor skills, and many others; scouts learn a wide variety of skills to apply to their everyday life.

What can I learn from camping outdoors?
          Organized camping is a creative, educational experience in cooperative group living in the outdoors. It uses the natural surroundings to contribute significantly to physical, mental, spiritual, and social growth.
  • Camping contributes to good health.
  • Camping helps campers develop self-reliance and resourcefulness.
  • Camping enhances spiritual growth.
  • Camping contributes to social development.
  • Camping is an experience in citizenship training.
  • Camping helps scouts reinforce skills they have learned, and apply them in real-life situations.

How does the merit badge system work?
           You can learn about sports, craft, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 135 merit badges, and any Boy scout may earn any of these at any time.
Pick a subject:
Talk to your unit leader about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badge(s) you think might be of interest to you, and pick one to earn. Your leader will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These individuals have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.
Scout Buddy System:
You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents, or guardian, a brother or a sister, a relative or a friend.
Call the Merit Badge Counselor:
Get a signed Application of Merit Badge, No 34124 or No. 34130 (a.k.a. Blue Card), from your unit leader. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and explain that you want to earn the badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected and to start helping you meet the requirement. You should also discuss work you have already started or possibly completed.
Unless otherwise specified, work on a requirement can be started at any time:
Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. you should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops, schools, and public libraries have them.
Show Your Stuff:
When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. if they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will test you on each requirement to make sure you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.
Get the Badge:
When the counselor is satisfied you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your unit leader so your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.
You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated- no more and no less. You must do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," you are required to do it. Just telling about it isn't enough. the same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."