Troop 8 Overview

What is Scouting all about? You might have heard things about uniforms, or crafts; you might remember being a Tiger Cub... Well, it's not about funny-looking uniforms or arts & crafts, and it's NOTHING like cub scouts. At St. Thomas Troop 8 and a lot of other troops around the country, it's a great, wild bunch of guys who share challenging times in the outdoors, exciting hobbies, and opportunities to lend a hand to others.


We're an outing club...

Every year, guys in Scouts at Troop 8 spend more time in the woods than many adults have spent in their lifetime. We go camping & traveling to all kinds of cool places, in all kinds of weather, to do all kinds of things. We have been:

and lots more...

Are you the kind of guy who likes trying new things? Who loves adventures? Who can "handle it" when the going gets tough? Then Scouting will be a blast!


We're a wilderness school...

Troop 8 and Boy Scouting don't do "field trips." The adults aren't in charge: they don't make the plans, and they don't do everything for us. Scouting teaches you how to be a strong outdoorsman. We camp in rain, sleet, snow, and hurricane. You'll learn things like how to make a snow camp, run whitewater in a kayak, or rig a whole climbing rope system yourself. It's tough sometimes, but it's "for real" and totally awesome. Our guys learn things like:




Do you like to do things for yourself? Do you like to really learn how to do cool things rather than just watch them? Would you like to become a great outdoorsman? Then Scouting is where you should be.



We're a hobby organization...

Although Troop 8 spends a lot of time in the woods, we do some amazing stuff in-town too. Our guys and scoutmasters share some of the best hobbies. Things like...



And because it's scouting, you can learn how to do these things yourself. Do you like to play with lasers? Ever want to shoot great sports photos? Think about writing your own songs? Then Scouting is the place to make it happen.



We're a Service Organization...

Guys like you who are tough enough to do anything in the woods, smart enough to put together a TV series or publish a newsletter, and have great friends like the other guys in Scouts have a lot to share. At Troop 8 and in Scouting across the country, you get a chance to put your skills to work helping out the community. Things like...



and, when the chips are down, rendering aid in an emergency. Scouts in Troop 8 have been involved in several rescues & emergency responses over the past few years, all of them successful.

Do you care about the community and the environment? Want to do things to help, not just talk? Would you like to even have the chance to save someone's life? Then you should join the Scouts.



And an added bonus...

The best part of the whole deal? If you stay in scouting and make it to "Eagle", not only do you know that you have the skills and leadership to handle almost anything, other people know it too!

Many of our scouts become leaders in Troop 8 and in other troops and youth programs across the country.

The world looks for men who are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, brave; guys who are physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Scouts. Guys like you.


Troop 8, Boy Scouts. We're an outing club... a wilderness school...
a hobby group... a community service... a bunch of friends...

We're the best. Join our team. Be a Scout!



Troop 8 Documentary Video

Interested in who we are and what we do in Troop 8?    Here's a video put together by some of our guys which describes a lot of our character and activities.  The footage was compiled from actual trips, and the interviews from one of our regular meetings.  Wouldn't you like to do some of this wild stuff (including making videos?). 


Troop 8 Facts and Figures

Troop 8 is owned and operated by St. Thomas the Apostle parish, and forms an important part of the parish’s youth ministry program.  It licenses the scouting program from the Boy Scouts of America, applying it in accord with the national and diocesan Catholic Committees on Scouting and St. Thomas’ mission and character.   Scouting at St. Thomas is the third largest youth ministry program, after the CCD program and elementary school.


Did you know that:
• During the average academic/scouting year, Troop 8 runs:
    over 100 different events (meetings, outings, service projects)
    40-50  different outings
    over 100 total days of outings
    3-4 weeks of high adventure treks for older boys
    1-2 Extended trip for all scouts
All tolled, that makes for more days of scouting than days of school, and puts us at the top of boy scouting activity in the county.

• Troop 8 has received the Boy Scout “quality unit award” every year since its inception.
• Troop 8 has qualified for the National Camping Award for each of the past 18 years.
• Almost 50 Troop 8 alumni earned the rank of Eagle Scout - scouting’s highest award.
• Troop 8 was the first troop in the local council to practice & teach environmentally conscious “Leave No Trace” camping, and the first troop in the council to implement BSA’s high adventure program for older boys.

• Troop 8 boys run this site, which is recognized as one of the best and most sophisticated scouting internet sites

• 10 or more Troop 8 scouts have their own Amateur Radio operator licenses

• Each boy from Troop 8 typically gives between 30 and 200 hours in community service each year. 
Troop 8 does not “double count” service, so this amount is over and above what the boys do for their schools and churches.  It is also over and above the work they do for the scouting program.

• A number of Troop 8 boys have professional guide-level skills in specialty areas like whitewater paddling, rock climbing, and skiing as they work on “Ranger” award.
• All of our youth leadership boys have Wilderness First Aid or higher level training, and several have professional responder certification.
• In the past 18 years, boys from Troop 8 have been involved as medical first responders in over 20 injury-accidents, and have assisted boaters in distress on dozens of occasions.  Four of our scouts won a national Medal of Merit for rescuing a family from a whitewater river.
• In the same period of time, boys from Troop 8 have been involved in well over 100 roadside assistance efforts, part of “doing a good turn”.

• To the extent we have tracked it, more than a third of Troop 8 alumni have pursued careers that they were introduced to or developed through their scouting experience, including (among other things) aviation, medicine, teaching, military service, engineering, and religious life.

• Without exception, on outings across the country over the past 10 years, Troop 8 has been described in glowing terms… “exceptional young men” – youth Director, Spirit of Christ church, Arvada, CO… “simply the best youth group we have every year”  - Grady Vigneau, owner, Round Hearth lodge …  “great boaters – not just in technical skill, but in their attention to detail and especially their care for others” – Northern Waters Adventures.

Troop 8 Banff Introduction

Created by senior scouts Mark Schulte and Ray Batra, this video is created with the energetic style similar to the introduction to the Banff Mountain Film Festival. This video is not complete yet, but this is the current version of it. All videos are of troop outings (except for the kayaking, which the troop has done, but we didn't collect footage for. Instead, a alumni scout and his friend filmed that section.)

Troop 8 in the News

When you hang out with the crazies in Troop 8 long enough, eventually something grabs the attention of the news media.   A number of articles by the former Ann Arbor News and other organizations have featured stories about Troop 8 and its members.

Scouts help save capsized family

Four Boy Scouts from Ann Arbor helped saved a family from possible drowning in a whitewater river after a sudden thunderstorm capsized the family's boat.  The Scouts from St. Thomas the Apostle School received a "Good Save'' from their troop. The award honors boys who have acted in timely defense of life or property. They have also been nominated for a national award for heroism from the Boy Scouts of America

Scouting program takes life again in Iraq

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – On Saturday afternoons, a fenced-in patch of land outside Camp Victory becomes a ground for children to play and participate in their community. Young girl scouts sit around a table to decorate arts and crafts. Some of their eyes barely make it over the tabletop as service members show them how to paint with a brush. The boy scouts hurl dodge balls at one another, while others learn how to build a fire using just twigs

Scouts sail through expedition

Few high school students have such intriguing answers to the inevitable question: What did you do over summer vacation?  Among navigating a ship out of inclement weather, climbing a 3,000-foot active volcano and meeting the Governor General of Grenada, the Troop 8 Boy Scouts from St. Thomas Catholic Church in Ann Arbor struggle to answer that question without forgetting at least a few details.  The group of five high schoolers took a 23-day sailing expedition to the Caribbean as part of the troop's semi-annual venture trip

Scouts pedal and paddle in Denmark

Forget about pen-pal ties; today it all starts with email exchanges.  An unusual Danish-American cultural exchange began more than a year ago when Boy Scout Troop 8, of Ann Arbor's St. Thomas the Apostle parish, received a hit on its web site from the Erik Menved Troop in Denmark.  After exchanging several e-mails about differences in American and Danish culture and Scouting, Troop 8 was invited by the Menved troop to participate in a Danish scout Jamboree.  With that, the germ of an idea took hold.  Why not take the Danes up on their invitation, and turn the trip into a three-week cycling adventure in Denmark

Scouts tidy up trail on Mount Kilimanjaro

It's one thing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  It's quite another to come down laden with other people's trash.  Boy Scout Troop 8, run by St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Ann Arbor, returned July 9 after three weeks in Tanzania.  The high point of the trip was conducting a cleanup of Kilimanjaro, at 19,340 feet the highest point on the African continent.  Kilimanjaro, like Mt. Everest, has suffered from the effects of accumulated trash left by climbers on its popular routes.  Eight scouts and three adults each filled about five 30-gallon trash bags and carried them down the mountain.