Troop 8 is owned and operated by the Roman Catholic parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, as part of its service to youth in the parish. The parish provides meeting places and other resources to the troop, and the pastor's representative oversees troop operations, including the appointment of troop adult leaders. Like other St. Thomas youth programs and the elementary school, it is open to youth from the greater community who want to participate in our program. As a Catholic organization, Troop 8 reflects the mission and character of the parish, and supports the moral teachings of the Catholic Church in its program, along with the character and skill-building aspects of the worldwide scouting movement.
The Church through the parish and our national body, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, poses three requirements for us in particular.
The program is supported by a troop committee, a group of dedicated parish and community volunteers who believe in the mission of scouting and the benefits it provides to young men. They provide strategic oversight, logistical support and fundraising help, approve policies, and select adult leaders to recommend to the pastor. They serve as an advisory board, similar to a board of directors or a school board. Like a school board, you'll never see them in daily operations; their job is to mind the store for the future. We are also blessed by a nation-wide group of dedicated and loyal Troop 8 alumni.
The scout program itself is run by a group of adult scouters, consisting of parish/community volunteers and parents who enjoy the outdoors with kids. One of these is appointed to serve as scoutmaster, usually on a rotating basis and for a maximum term of two years. Functionally, the scoutmaster is the "CEO" of the organization. No company can succeed if the CEO and a couple of executives are expected to do all the work; similarly, Troop 8 will not provide the kind of experience we want for our children if we expect the volunteer scouters to do it all for us. For this reason, the regular participation and volunteer efforts of parents are required in Troop 8 scouting.
Parent participation is required in three areas: