Volunteer Information

St. Thomas runs three levels of outdoor program, described below.  Volunteers are welcome at all levels of the program.  Willingness to work with young people in a fun, high-energy, and challenging environment is a must, as is a commitment to Leave No Trace wilderness ethics.  Prior basic camping or more advanced experience is a bonus, but we can provide training in any areas you haven’t experienced before.  Lots of our volunteers learned to climb, paddle, tele, or bike with us!   There’s nothing like a promise to a bunch of kids to stop you from making excuses and get outdoors!

Are you a UM or Eastern Student?  Former Scout?   We are especially encouraging of young adults in their 20's and 30's to join our program as volunteers.   You bring something special - a vision for our guys of what it's like to be a really cool college student and young adult! 

Male and female leaders are welcome. Pack 8, Venture 8 and Troop 8 are youth programs of St. Thomas Church. They are open to youth and adults of any faith who are respectful of our beliefs and mission. Venture 8 and Troop 8 use resources licensed from the Boy Scouts of America.

Interested?  Call or Email the St. Thomas Scouting Coordinator Bob Geier at 904-2984 or bobgeier@troop8.org

Pack 8 Program

The Pack 8 program provides a program of family fun and learning for boys in grades 1-5.   In the early grades, the program focuses on fun activities like Pinewood Derbies and short, family-oriented outings.   In grades 4-5, the program begins to introduce more self-directed activities and car-camping outings with adventurous day trips. 

The Pack 8 program is strongly tied to the parish elementary school, and primarily serves those families.

Troop 8 Program

The Troop 8 program provides an introduction to outdoor adventure sports, hobbies, and leadership skills at a level appropriate for rapidly growing middle school youth.   The program offers short 1-2 month sequences which introduce a wide variety of human-powered outdoor activities while building up a solid set of basic wilderness skills. Activities culminate each month in weekend or week-long trips where participants get a chance to use newly found skills in a real-life adventure.

Troop 8 is a hands-on outdoor leadership school, not a guided tour like many camp experiences.  High-school aged youth leaders select activities, make contacts, plan for gear and routes, and help manage safety under the direction of our volunteer adult coaches.  Participants travel in small groups called “patrols” to develop teamwork, strong group dynamic, and leadership, and to practice sound Leave No Trace ethics. Older youth serve as instructors and mentors to newer members. The program also emphasizes citizenship and service, putting newly learned skills to use to benefit the community.  Troop 8 gives over 1,000 hours of service each year.

Recent Activities

Downhill skiing, Backpacking (on foot & ski), Lake & River Canoeing, Whitewater Rafting

Road Cycling, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Climbing

Shooting Sports, Light Plane Aviation, Model Rocketry, Amateur Radio

Venture 8 Program

Venture 8 is an outdoor skills and leadership program for high-school aged youth who have developed basic skills through Troop 8 or other programs and are ready to move up.  Venture 8 operates on the Wilderness Education Association model, and works to develop the skills and judgment typical of a beginning professional guide. Youth leaders plan and execute two major multi-week expeditions each year, with an active sequence of increasingly complex and fun outings in preparation.   “Core” skills like medical first response are developed to a high level in each expedition, while activity-specific skills receive intense hands-on training.  Safety, hazard evaluation, and rescue are important components of the program.  Skills are cemented through independent small-group excursions and opportunities to lead and teach in the Troop 8 program.   Venture 8 members are solid Class III+ kayakers, rescue-trained lead climbers, avalanche-prepared telemark skiers, WI4 mountaineers, EMTs and FR’s.

Recent expeditions

Backcountry Skiing Colorado            Mountaineering Kilimanjaro and Wyoming        Sailing St. Vincent & Grenada
Cycling & Sea Kayaking Denmark        “Trad” Climbing, Red Rocks, NV             Ice Climbing, Michigan and Ontario       
Whitewater kayaking, PA and WV      Dogsledding Onterio