FAQs for new Scouts and parents

When does your Troop meet?

We meet during the school year Thursdays from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM.

Where does your Troop meet?

We meet at the Palisades Community Church, 5200 Cathedral Ave NW, Washington DC.

What do boys do as “Boy Scouts”?

Boy scouts meet weekly to learn new outdoor skills, have fun, plan campouts, do community service and more. We also go on monthly campouts, generally departing at 8am on Saturday and returning at 1pm on Sunday. See the “What do we do in Troop 61” link for more information.

How old does my son have to be in order to join the Boy Scouts?

He must be 11 years of age or have completed 5th grade or have earned the Arrow of Light from his Webelos Den.

What’s an “official” uniform?

The official BSA uniform is comprised of:

  • a troop neckerchief and slide
  • BSA tan shirt (with patches placed in the proper spots)
  • BSA olive pants or shorts
  • BSA belt
  • BSA socks
  • Merit Badge Sash (worn at ceremonial events only)

This is THE official uniform, and it is commonly referred to as "Class A". We wear this uniform at all meetings, on field trips and for travel to and from camping trips. The “Class B” uniform includes the pants/shorts, socks and belt, with the red Troop T-Shirt.

Note that in Troop 61 we don't wear the official Scout hat.

Where to buy the uniform and other supplies?

At the Scout Shop, at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Cedar Lane in Bethesda.

Where to put all those patches on the uniform?

Ask at the Scout Shop, look in the Boy Scout Handbook, or click on "Boy Scout Insignia" at this link:

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide/06.aspx

Do parents have to attend Troop meetings?

No. We have many well trained adult leaders that will work with your son. However, you are more than welcome to stay and watch.

Can parents come on camping trips?

In Troop 61, we encourage parents to stay home (except for the parent-son camping trip). Boy Scouts helps your sons' transition from boys to men, and learning to be away from their parents is a part of this process.

What should I bring on camping trips?

It depends on what type (regular, hiking, winter). See our "gear checklists" under the "Camping" link on our website.

What is a patrol?
A patrol is a group of scouts in the same troop that do campouts and activities together. There is one patrol leader and usually one assistant patrol leader for each patrol. Patrols work together as a team and learn scout skills together.

How fast can my son advance?

Scouts can advance as fast as they push themselves: while we won't stop scouts from advancing, we won't give scouts ranks until they earn them.

Why do I keep hearing about scouts involving religion?

The last point of the Scout Law is to be 'reverent'. BSA expects all scouts to be faithful to his religion and to respect other religions at the same time. Troop 61 feels that a boy's religion can be personal and private and not necessarily part of an "organized" religion.  Troop 61 is completely non-denominational.

Can my son bring his cell phone and i-Pod to meetings or on trips?

NO! It is a Troop 61 policy that all cell phone, i-pods or any handheld electronic device be left at home. If your Scout needs to call home, he may ask one of the adult leaders for help.

Are there any Summer Camp scholarship programs for Scouts?

Yes. Both the National Capitol Area Council and Troop 61 provide financial assistance to any Scout who qualifies. All scholarship requests are treated as strictly confidential. Please talk to the Troop Committee Chair.