We meet every Monday from 7:30 – 9:00 at the Scout Hut at 6100 Sardis Road. Sardis Presbyterian Church furnishes us with the facilities but BSA and Troop 33 are non-denominational organizations. Weekly meetings involve announcements, an organized program covering the details of an upcoming trip, a merit badge topic, or a demonstration from a community representative, and patrol corners for the patrols to plan for the upcoming trip or organize their troop gear.
We believe in a healthy balance of skills based activities and fun mixed with service and discipline. We expect a commitment and responsibility from the boys and in return the Troop will provide the boys the opportunities to learn and practice skills and develop the intangible qualities they can carry with them throughout life: “Leadership”, “Accountability”, “Self Confidence”, and “Responsibility”. The 12 points of the Scout Law and the Scout Oath serve as our guiding principles and mission.
Scout-Led Structure / Organization
The Troop consists of approximately 30 active Scouts (boys aged 11-17). Each Scout is in one of 3 Patrols led by a Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leaders and Warrant Officers (Scribe, Historian, Quartermaster, Chaplain, and Librarian) report to the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and his Assistant (ASPL) and these Scouts make up the Patrol Leadership Committee (PLC). The PLC meets monthly with the Scoutmasters and together they form the decision making body of the Troop including weekly programs, monthly trips and other special events / activities. All leadership positions serve for 6 month rotations. The Patrol Leaders are responsible for communicating with their patrol members about upcoming troop activities, details and planning for the monthly trips, and the overall preparedness of their patrol while in this role.
First Year Scouts
A unique program that Troop 33 provides is our “Shark” program for 1st year Scouts. The new Scouts (the “Shark Patrol”) are in their own Patrol for their first 9 months in the troop and are closely tutored by two adult Scoutmasters and 2 Senior Scouts (Troop Guides) who prepare the boys for their Scouting adventures and ensure they cover the necessary requirements to achieve their Second Class Rank. The Shark Patrol focuses on building a solid foundation for the new Scouts prior to their rotation into one of the 3 primary patrols. The Shark Patrol goes on the troop’s monthly trips, but their activities are specifically tailored to their skill and ages. For example, if the troop activity is a hiking trip the Shark Patrol will do a much shorter hike but will still camp with the troop or if it is a canoe trip each new Scout is paired with an adult or an older Life Scout for safety. By the end of their term in the Shark Patrol, the new Scouts should have or be close to achieving their Second Class Rank.
Each Patrol has 2 BSA Trained Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) as mentors and guides. All of the ASM’s report to the Scoutmaster, Kendal McAteer, who has responsibility for the overall functionality of the Troop. The Troop Committee consists of other parent volunteers, led by Peter Wasmer (Committee Chairman), who deal with the organizational and administrative necessities of running Troop 33, such as rank advancements, quartermaster, treasurer, bus / trailer oversight, BBQ planning, trip planning, etc.
The Troop is eager to have new parent / adult volunteers step up to be Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee members, lead a program, etc. Some of these positions (Asst. Scoutmasters, Quartermaster, etc.) require significant training and time commitments. If these are constraints, then the logistics of running a troop stretch well beyond these roles. Parents can also volunteer to help by:
Serving as merit badge counselors
Sitting in on advancement boards of review
Assisting the quartermaster to organize, repair, and inventory the patrol gear
Coordinating the Troop’s Courts of Honor and the Annual Banquet
Leading a program for a troop meeting
Getting a CDL license in order to drive the troop bus
Participating on the trip planning committee and attending our monthly trips
Attending the District Roundtable
... and the list goes on.
All parents/guardians are encouraged to get involved. Experience has proven if a parent is involved in the troop activities the likelihood of the Scout achieving his Eagle award goes up significantly.
Troop 33 is a “High Adventure” Troop. We are active and will go on our monthly trips as scheduled, rain or shine, unless safety dictates otherwise. The boys learn a wide variety of outdoor skills which will help them develop a surprising degree of independence and self-confidence. Our monthly trip schedule blends a mix of water trips, hiking, biking, skiing, camporees with other troops and Service Projects for a variety of worthy causes.
In June, we attend Summer Camp for 1 week. Summer Camp is strongly recommended for all newer Scouts and is an opportunity to earn many of their Eagle required merit badges.
In July, the older Scouts (age 13+ and 1st Class Rank) have the opportunity to participate in a “High Adventure” trip. Our annual High Adventure trip typically alternates between a water trip and backpacking trip. Here is a list of of our High Adventure trips:
Costs / Funding
Our annual BBQ fundraiser (Super Bowl weekend) is our only fundraiser for the year. Proceeds from this annual event help subsidize the cost of the troop trips, purchasing gear, fuel for the bus, fees, and adult food for the trips. Annual rechartering fees for Mecklenburg Council are collected in March for each registered scout and adult. The troop provides all the tents, cooking gear, tarps, stoves, fuel, and lanterns for patrol use throughout the year. Each scout is responsible for providing their own sleeping bag and backpack, although used equipment is always available through the quartermaster or scoutmasters. Typically, the only cost a family will see for a weekend trip is for the patrol food which averages $15 per patrol member. Some trips, such as the Whitewater Center or snow skiing, may incur an additional cost (approx $25 - $30 per scout) with the troop providing the balance of the funds. In no instance will a scout be turned away if he is unable to afford a trip.