We hope your Scout and you will enjoy many years as a part of our Troop 144 family!
Boy Scout Troop 144 was chartered in 1989 by the United Methodist Men of Blair Road United Methodist Church in Mint Hill, North Carolina, and we have a proud tradition of delivering the scouting program to the youth in our area. Our troop has produced well in excess of 95 Eagle Scouts, many trained Scouters, and hundreds of fine young men. Our troop has the equipment and local facilities to deliver a first-rate quality program.
If you're considering Scouting for your son, we invite you to visit a Troop meeting on Tuesday night. Our Scoutmaster, Tom Howard, will be glad to schedule a time for you to visit, and meet with you to answer any questions you have.
Membership in Troop 144 is renewed yearly every March. Currently, our dues are $135 per year.
Troop 144 is a youth-led Troop…which can be very frustrating for the adult leaders and parents, but ultimately very rewarding for the young men. It means that mistakes will be made, and chaos will sometimes ensue – but that’s how they learn. Scouting should be a “safe place to fail.”
Adults (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee Members) hold support positions and provide the framework (and safety) in which the youth can plan, lead and execute the activities they choose for themselves while providing opportunities for them to seek adult leader review, signoff, and boards of review for advancement.
The Troop uses the patrol method in everything they do. The first-years will form their own patrol, and they will work together as a unit during meetings, activities, and camping trips. As soon as possible they will elect a patrol leader, and then the patrol leader will choose an assistant patrol leader. They will keep those leadership positions through August. The first years will have two senior Scouts, known as "Troop Guides," who will help them through their first year in the Troop.
Within the patrol method, there is a hierarchy or “organizational structure” the youth and adults follow:
When there is a concern or question, the Scout will let his patrol leader know. If the patrol leader cannot answer the question or solve the problem, he will reach out to an assistant senior patrol leader, or the senior patrol leader. If the youth leaders of the Troop cannot answer the question or solve the problem, the youth leaders will reach out to an adult (Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, or Troop Committee member).
Generally, keep this guideline in mind:
If your Scout asks you about some aspect of his Scouting
life/requirements/advancement/activities/schedule, your response should be, “Ask your patrol leader.”
If he feels like his patrol leader has not helped him, answered the question, or resolved the issue, your response should be, “Ask your senior patrol leader.”
Troop elections are held twice a year, in February and August, to elect the Senior Patrol Leader (elected by the whole Troop) and the Patrol Leaders (elected by each Patrol).
Once elected, the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) works with the Scoutmaster to select the other Troop leadership positions. Scouts may communicate their interest to the SPL for any of these non-elected positions:
• Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)
• Troop Guide(s)
• Chaplain Aide
• Order of the Arrow Representative
• Den Chief(s)
Once the Patrol Leader is elected, he will appoint an Assistant Patrol Leader. Other positions within the patrol may rotate on a monthly basis: Grubmaster, Scribe.
Patrol Leaders Council
The first Tuesday of every month is the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meeting. The Troop does not meet on this night, only Scouts holding the following leadership positions are part of the PLC:
• Senior Patrol Leader
• Assistant Senior Patrol Leader(s)
• Patrol Leaders (if a Patrol Leader cannot be present, he is responsible for arranging for his Assistant Patrol Leader to attend)
• Troop Guide(s)
• Troop Scribe (not a voting member; only present to guide first years)
Other leadership positions are welcome to attend but are not voting members:
• Quartermaster(s), Instructor(s), Chaplain Aid, Den Chief(s)
During the PLC, the council plans the meetings and finalizes details for the activity for the current month. Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders are responsible for informing and preparing the Instructors for the content they’ll be delivering during the month’s meetings and campout.
There are seven progressively challenging ranks in the Boy Scout program:
• Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.
Advancement at the Boy Scout level is individual to each Scout, and according to his personal goals. Youth and adult leaders do not facilitate “group advancement” as in the Cub Scout program, and each Scout will advance at his own pace. All rank requirements are listed in the back of the handbook, and each requirement includes a page number to the reference material found in the handbook.
Advancement steps and process are outlined in full on the Advancement page.
There are 135 merit badges available for Scouts to explore interests, hobbies, and future careers. At the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks there are requirements for earning the 14 “Eagle-required” and 7 other (Scout’s choice) merit badges.
Merit Badge steps and process are outlined in full on the Advancement page.
Courts of Honor
The Court of Honor is the opportunity for the Troop to come together, three times per year, to recognize and celebrate the achievements of their fellow Scouts. The Court of Honor is led by the Senior Patrol Leader and other youth leaders he invites to participate. Rank advancements and merit badges are officially awarded, along with any other types of achievement. Troop 144 holds its Courts of Honor in the church sanctuary, typically in late January, late May, and late September.
Troop Meeting and Activity Schedule
Troop 144 meets every Tuesday from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM throughout the year, at Blair Road United Methodist Church, 9135 Blair Road in Mint Hill, NC 28227.
We have a monthly activity (camping, skiing, rock climbing, tubing, or other adventure), usually the third weekend of every month.
So, a typical month looks like this: