Parent Information

This section of our introduction is dedicated to parents who are considering Boy Scouting in Troop 8 or some other program as an activity for their son.  It will tell you a bit about the scouting program overall, as well as about our Troop 8 program here at St. Thomas.

Scouting is a worldwide movement, and our brother and sister scouts can be found in over 160 countries.  The program has much the same character wherever you go.  Scouting is a youth-led outdoor adventure game that teaches outdoor skills, self-reliance, service, citizenship, and values along the way.   We appeal to boys' sense of adventure and challenge, and through that challenge them to become better individuals.   Scouts enter the program as "tenderfeet", and learn from the older older scouts.  As they develop confidence and skills, they take more responsibility for running activities and teaching younger scouts, until they "graduate" as skilled outdoorsmen and adults.

Here in the U.S., the Boy Scouts of America provides scouting program resources to different community agencies and groups so that they can offer a scouting program as one part of their youth work.    You might think of this as a sort of franchising arrangement - the BSA licenses the program, but the organization owns and operates the troop to its own standards and goals.  Troop 8 is owned and operated by St. Thomas the Apostle (Roman Catholic) Church, and along with our elementary school, CCD, and teen programs is part of our youth ministry to the community.   Like the elementary school, Troop 8 is open to non-Catholic boys on an equal basis, provided their families are comfortable with our mission & values.

We think the most important thing in looking for a troop is to find one that is a "good fit" for your son and your family.   In the next sections we'll talk about the range of different troops, where Troop 8 falls in that range, and what sort of kids have found us to be a happy home over the years.   If it turns out that Troop 8 doesn't seem like it will work for you, we are happy to help you find other troops in the area or other youth programs that might work well.