General Information

ELIGIBILITY

To join Troop 27, a boy must:

  1. Be eleven years old or have earned the Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts or have completed the 5th grade
  2. Complete a Boy Scout application form and health history
  3. Pay the annual registration fee ($15, prorated, or $1 transfer fee if a registered Cub Scout)
  4. Pay the first quarter dues of $25.00 (prorated for months remaining in quarter)
  5. Obtain a Boy Scout uniform (See Uniform section. The Troop also has a supply of “experienced” uniforms that older boys have outgrown which may be borrowed.)
  6. Buy the official Boy Scout Handbook; it is recommended that he also get a waterproof cover to protect it (put your name in it and on the edges!).

MEETINGS

Troop 27 meets every Tuesday evening, all year round, usually in Wesley Hall at the Hillsdale United Methodist Church at 36th and Hacienda Avenues in San Mateo from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The only exceptions are the Tuesdays before and after Christmas, and the week of our Summer Camp. See “Troop Traditions” section for information on meeting format.

Whenever there is a Fifth Tuesday in a month, the troop does a special activity off site on that night. Scouts go directly to the Fifth Tuesday site, and do not meet at the Church. They do not need to wear a scout uniform or T-shirt to a Fifth Tuesday event.

TROOP OUTDOOR FOCUS

We are a water-oriented troop, emphasizing swimming and canoeing. We backpack occasionally, typically for shorter distances. We also stress scout skills, leave-no-trace camping, survival skills (including winter-camping) and fun! More information about our program is available on our website: www.t27.org.

The troop plans at least one outdoor outing each month (usually an overnight campout). To leave on an outing the scouts meet at the church at the specified time. On most outings scouts are to bring a bag lunch for the first meal and their water bottle and hip or day pack as well as appropriate clothes and gear. Scouts wear their Scout uniform (Class A) shirt, and bring their T27 or other scout T-shirt. Scout attire must be worn while traveling to and from an outing. After an outing, the scouts return to the Church to help unload. (Refer to the “Outings” section for more information.)

The troop has some one-day outings, including day hikes or community service related activities.

Summer camp is one week long and is usually held in late July or early August. Troop 27 is known for its summer camp experience because, unlike most troops who go to established camps, we go out into the wilderness and create our own camp on a lake somewhere in the Sierras. We make good use of our canoe fleet at summer camp. Campership funds are available for Summer Camp or other outings if needed; we want all boys to have the chance to participate. See “Summer Camp Packing List” section.

Parents are encouraged to help out on at least one overnight per quarter. Parents are always welcome at meetings or on outings. Parents attending summer camp are assigned specific chores. During summer camp (and other outings) we follow the motto “there are no parents at camp”. By this we are reminding parents to give their son “space” at camp, to treat him the same as other scouts and allow him the chance to enjoy the complete scouting experience. This will provide growth opportunities for both scout and parent!

TROOP STRUCTURE

The troop is divided into patrols. Each patrol usually has 6-10 scouts in it, and participates in activities such as campouts as a group. Each patrol has a scout Patrol Leader. Each scout belongs to one of the patrols (Junior patrols or the Senior patrol).

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

As part of its focus on emergency preparedness, the Troop and Crew use amateur (ham) radios. We encourage all scouts and parents to obtain their amateur radio license; many of our members are active in local training and testing opportunities. We use our radios on many outings, including Summer Camp, where a regular report is made to those at home about camp activities, and also provide assistance to local events as requested.

DUES

Troop dues are $100 per year. This may be paid yearly or quarterly. The dues are used to purchase advancement awards, honor awards, troop supplies, equipment, etc.

COMMUNICATION

Parents and/or scouts may be added to an optional Troop E-Mail list, used by authorized adult leaders for time-sensitive communications. Patrol Leaders also call or email their patrol members weekly with reminders of upcoming meetings and activities. There is a monthly parents’ meeting on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the church, and a monthly Assistant Scoutmaster meeting (open to any interested adult) generally on the first Saturday of every month at 8:00am. A calendar of troop activities is maintained on our website. A monthly newsletter is sent to each family by email. Be sure to read it thoroughly and mark the dates mentioned on your calendar. The calendar, newsletter, event photos, outing fliers and other helpful information are also posted on our Troop website (request a password online to access the troop-only section including photos and documents). If you don’t have Internet access please request the Scoutmaster to provide printed material for you.

One of the main differences between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting is responsibility. The boys need to be responsible for tracking their own progress toward rank advancement, merit badges, and service hours. This is an important life lesson and one of the fundamentals of Boy Scouting. Parents should encourage their son to determine what he needs to do to complete a rank advancement or merit badge, and should assist him by reviewing material, etc., but the ultimate responsibility rests with the boy. Materials to help boys advance (study sheets, etc.) are available on the troop’s web site.

OUR SPONSOR

Each Boy Scout troop is sponsored by a chartering organization. Ours is the Hillsdale United Methodist Church, which has sponsored Troop 27 since our organization in 1951. The church provides us our meeting location (Wesley Hall) and storage space, and our Chartered Organization Representative checks the references for those who apply to be leaders. Some of our service opportunities are offered through the church [Home & Hope (also known as IHN), Church Clean-up day, etc.] The church consists of both English-speaking and Tongan congregations. It welcomes anyone to visit its worship services and participate in its activities. The church offers several Sunday worship services: an informal service at 8:30 a.m., a traditional service at 11:00 a.m. and a Tongan-language service at 2:00. The church is welcoming to new members.