Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 194 is a vibrant, fun, and extremely active troop based in Bedford, MA (though we also have many scouts and adult leaders from Hanscom Air Force Base and other neighboring towns). Our purpose is to develop the character, citizenship, leadership, and life-skills for young men 11 through 17 years old in an encouraging manner.
We are a troop in the Flintlock District of the Spirit of Adventure Council (www.scoutspirit.org), and our chartering organization (and typical meeting location) is the Bedford American Legion (www.bedfordlegion.org).
Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Scout Oath: “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
Safety: Ensuring each of our Scouts’ physical, emotional, and personal safety is our highest concern. Our adult leaders are required to take Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Training, including following two-deep leadership at all outings, no one-on-one adult-child meetings, and hazing and bullying prevention. Troop 194 adult and youth leaders work especially hard to create an inclusive troop culture where teamwork, learning, positive mentorship, and fun is the norm. See more at: http://www.scouting.org/Training/youthprotection.aspx
Weekly Troop Meetings: During the school year, we have a “troop meeting” most Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. We usually meet at the Bedford American Legion (357 Great Road, Bedford, MA 01730, across from the Shell gas station and diagonal to the McDonald’s restaurant).
On a typical evening troop meeting , we will have 15-20 scouts in attendance. Once a month, we do not hold a troop meeting, but hold a “committee meeting” instead, which means the adult leaders, interested parents, and senior scouts in leadership positions get together and plan future events and work on leadership concerns together. Scouts not in senior leadership positions do not attend the “committee meetings”.
Any prospective scout or parent is welcome to join us at any meeting at any time. If a prospective scout is interested but doesn’t have transportation to/from meetings: please let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
Monthly Campouts: Approximately once a month, corresponding roughly with the period covered by the school year, Troop 194 hosts a weekend campout in regional parks (such as the Massachusetts Blue Hills, White Mountains in New Hampshire, and local areas). These campouts usually depart at 6:00pm on Friday, and return back to Bedford around noon on Sunday. Every camp out is optional. But they sure are fun!!
Summers in Troop 194: Boy Scout Troop 194 does not meet regularly during the summer, though many scouts have a great time attending the July week long Scout summer camp at Camp T. L. Storer, MA (with about 10 other troops from the local area). Troop 194 also hosts an special week long August Trip (wilderness, canoe, or etc.), for scouts that have been highly active in troop activities during the previous year.
Once every four years, we send members of our troop to the one-week National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The next National Jamboree is scheduled for the summer of 2017.
Organization: Troop 194 is organized into three “patrols” of approximately 12 scouts each- named the Border Patrol, the Lemmings, and the Narwhals. We intentionally put senior, mid, and junior scouts in each patrol.
Merit Badges: A scout can earn more than 130 merit badges, which are skill and experience certifications that encourage a scout to learn and grow. Examples include swimming, game design, personal fitness, etc. Our troop has adult “merit badge counselors” that mentor scouts on achieving particular merit badges. Some merit badges are mandatory for advancement to certain levels (such as citizenship to the nation, personal fitness, etc), but most are considered optional (but encouraged!). During weekly troop meetings and campouts, scouts can work on their merit badges and advancements. Though some of merit badge instruction is structured, most merit badges are earned by the initiative on the part of the individual scouts seeking out the merit badge counselors and asking them to mentor them on achieving a particular merit badge. See http://usscouts.org/meritbadges.asp for more information about merit badges.
Advancements: A scout is encouraged to seek “advancement,” which is described in detail in the Scout Handbook. By learning, accomplishing, and experiencing new things, a scout can be “advanced” along the following “ranks”: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-Class, First-Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Though there is no requirement to advance, nor a set-timeline for advancing, most scouts enjoy the challenge of pursuing advancements as a way to structure their learning and development while in scouts, and give them goals to shoot for along the way. See http://usscouts.org/advancementTOC.asp#rank for more information about advancements.