We strive to be a boy-led troop. At times this can be challenging, but the purpose of scouting is to prepare our young men for the highly competitive world that awaits them as they enter adulthood.
Our adult leaders understand this, and we've all been trained by the BSA in various courses to foster this environment. Our role is to coach scouts into making the right decisions. Sometimes we have to bite our tongue, sit back, and watch a scout fail. Only then when they've had that experience can we step in, ask the proper critical questions, and help the scout to understand why they failed so they can learn from that experience. Safety is always a paramount concern and so we weigh each situation carefully.
For example, on a beautiful, warm spring night, if a scout decides he wants to sleep under the stars instead of setting up his tent, we'll ask a few critical questions. Can you see the stars? If not, why? Do you know what the weather forecast is? When the scouts decide to sleep out anyway and wake up at 2AM during a rain storm, they've learned something. This has happened to my scout while I was snuggled warmly inside my tent not far away. Did his mom immediately appreciate it on hearing the story the next day? Not particularly. But it was a warm night, the troop tarp was setup close by, and several adults checked on the boys once the rain let up a bit. We had a great time kayaking that next day, over eleven miles. If you ask him now nearly six months later what he remembers most about that trip it isn't the kayaking, it was sleeping outside.
We all love a great story; it's in the DNA of what makes us human. That Monday morning I'm sure he told all his friends first about sleeping outside then about kayaking. His friends will remember that he got to sleep outside "under the stars".
Throughout this site you'll find pictures of our adventures. These are brief snapshots of life inside Troop 399, Raleigh NC.
We welcome everyone, so stop by sometime for a meeting. We meet almost every Monday evening (check out the calendar above if you want to be sure) at 7PM at the Soapstone United Methodist Chapel, 9601 Old Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC.