About Troop 206

What is Boy scouting?

Boy Scouting in America is a program that aims to develop good citizens and a balanced life.  Scouting trains for citizenship by building character, health, teamwork, personal skills, and a dedication to serve others.  Scouting emphasizes fun and fellowship as the means to develop these traits.

Scouting offers a boy the opportunity to hike and camp with friends and learn about nature and conservation first hand.  He learns how to use a map and compass, swim, canoe, river-raft, ski, rock-climb, use an axe and knife, and save a life in an emergency.  With the guidance of trained adults and older Scouts, boys become strong and self-reliant.  They learn to work together in teams, to follow another boy’s lead, and to assume leadership themselves as they progress.

Boy Scouting is open to all boys who have completed fifth grade, or are 11 years old, or who have graduated from Cub Scouts.  Any boy 11 or over and under 18 is eligible for Scouting, regardless of prior Scouting experience. 

What is Boy scout troop 206?

Troop 206 is a thriving Boy Scout Troop in the mid-Peninsula, and is one of the most successful Scouting organizations in California.  It offers a strong tradition of boy leadership and a varied program of fun, adventure, learning and comradeship to boys.  Troop 206 has served the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Woodside, and Portola Valley for over 60 years.  Scouts typically live in south San Mateo County, from Menlo Park to Belmont and attend a large number of schools.  Many of the Scouts have been Cub Scouts in Packs 222, 206, 60, 565, and 991.  It is chartered by and meets weekly at Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park.  The Troop is nondenominational, enjoying a diverse group of backgrounds.  Troop 206 has a proud history of community service and of helping boys develop into responsible citizens and leaders in their chosen fields.

What is a troop and how is it organized?

Scouting is based on learning by doing:  doing things that are fun.  Boys lead and teach other boys, helping each other to grow.  Boys hold all the Troop leadership positions.  The basic unit in Scouting is the Patrol, which is 5 to 10 boys working together with an elected Patrol Leader and his appointed Assistant Patrol Leader.  Each Patrol has an Assistant Scoutmaster assigned as an advisor.  Patrols meet once or twice a month, in addition to the regular Troop Meetings, to learn individual and group skills and play games.

All Patrols meet together regularly at Troop Meetings and Weekend Outings for games, competition, skills demonstrations, and fun.  The Senior Patrol Leader is the boy leader of the Troop.  Elected by the troop, he will usually be a Life or Eagle Scout.  The SPL is assisted by two or more Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders.  Other boy leadership positions include Quartermaster, Scribe, and Librarian.

The senior adult leader for the Troop is the Scoutmaster (SM).  Troop 206's current Scoutmaster is Richard Collyer.  Richard is assisted by Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs) who represent a large body of enthusiastic Scouting experience, including a number of Eagle Scouts and those who have earned the adult leader Wood Badge.  Each ASM has assigned duties such as Patrol Advisor, Advancement, Outdoor Activities, and Recruiting.  The SM and ASMs work closely with the Scout leaders to plan and execute the activities of the Troop.  They provide adult guidance, mentoring, encouragement and organization to the unit.  They become trusted advisors and valuable role models to many Scouts as they become teenagers and young adults.

Adult leaders are carefully selected by the Scoutmaster and Committee Chairman.  These leaders are volunteers, yet devote many hours to Scouting each month.  Typically, but not always, they have sons in the Troop.  Many remain active when their sons graduate from Scouting.  Adult leaders review the Scouts’ progress on a regular basis as part of a Scoutmaster’s Conference.  The Troop supports training for leaders to ensure that high standards are maintained.

Meetings and Activities

The Troop normally meets three Monday evenings a month, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM in at Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park.  A Patrol Leaders’ Council Meeting and is also held monthly. Boards of Review are held by request.  The Patrols meet once or twice a month, as arranged by the Patrol Leader.  Courts of Honor are Troop gatherings to recognize advancement, and honor Eagle Scouts for their great achievement.  Typically Troop 206 honors 3 to 8 Eagles every year.  Troop 206 holds three Courts of Honor each year.  Courts of Honor are very important events for motivating and recognizing the Scouts for achievement.  Advancement skills are covered at Patrol and Troop Meetings and on regular campouts.  Scouts earn Merit Badges with local merit badge counselors, at Summer Camp, and at Merit Badge Midway.  Webelos Scouts who have crossed over into the Troop in Spring are formed into a New Scout Patrol if there are a number of them, and all new Scouts are incorporated into new patrols during summer camp or during the year as they join.

The Troop has at least one monthly camping and/or outdoor event, most of which are within a two hour drive from Menlo Park.  Troop 206 has a strong hiking and backpacking tradition, and these outings are a highlight of the 206 program.  They offer the Scouts the chance to use and develop their outdoor skills, self-reliance, work together to accomplish Patrol and Troop goals, and to see interesting and beautiful country.

Recent trips have included Point Reyes, Pinnacles, Skyline-to-the-Sea, Sacramento, Black Mountain, Henry Coe, and Angel Island.  To add variety, challenge, and instruction, the Troop also goes on adventure outings such as river-rafting, canoeing, caving, downhill and cross-country skiing, snow camping, and elementary rock-climbing and rappelling.

Two highlights of the Scout year are Summer camp and the Troop Trek.  Boy Scout Summer Camp is specially designed for the boys to develop their skills, build friendships, and to learn how to work as a Patrol - the basic unit in Boy Scouts.  Much of the outdoor learning and advancement (rank, Merit Badges, and leadership) is accomplished at camp.  Recent camps that the Troop has attended are Camp Baker in Oregon, Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, and Camp Oljato in the Sierras.

The Troop Trek is a five to nine-day high adventure backpacking trip, under the leadership of trained adults.  This Troop 206 tradition is one of the highlights of the summer.  Scouts backpack into some of California’s remotest and most beautiful areas.  The Troop Trek is designed to be a high adventure experience for Scouts who have already done a fair amount of backpacking.  Destinations range from the far northwestern California coast to the High Sierra, and have included Mt. Whitney and sections of the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails.

The Troop sometimes plans other activities, such as  trips to the Philmont Reservaton in New Mexico and whitewater canoeing clinics (for selected older scouts only).  Although we want maximum participation in these events, they are optional because of the additional costs.

How are parents involved?

Troop 206 is boy-led, but adult leaders and parents help put those plans in motion.  Membership in Troop 206 carries with it an obligation for the family of each Scout to contribute a few hours each month to the operation of the Troop, either as a member of the Committee, a uniformed leader, or a volunteer on a special activity such as driving the Scouts while they collect canned food for the canned food drive, serving on a committee task force, or welcoming other new parents to the Troop.

As a Troop 206 parent, you have indicated your willingness to help drive on trips and to help serve at the Pancake Breakfast.

Troop operations are handled by the Troop Committee, presently chaired by Sherri Horan.  The Committee meets monthly to review troop activities, oversee the budget, and make decisions about future commitments and funding needs.  Committee members also participate in the Boards of Review which determine whether a Scout has met the requirements to advance to the next rank. There are many positions which present opportunities for service:  coordinating transportation, publicity, recruiting, helping with mailings and Courts of Honor, and keeping up the Troop scrapbook and website.  We are pleased that over half of the parents take an active role in either the Committee and/or adult leadership.

A yearly dues payment of $260 ($250 if paid before the October Court of Honor) covers normal Troop operations, monthly campouts, and the Troop Trek in the summer.  The cost of Summer Camp varies, but ranges from about $450 to $800 in addition to dues, depending on the camp we attend (including transportation).  The full cost of camp must be paid in advance (usually by mid-May).  An initial registration fee of $65 covers registration with the National Council, one year of Boy’s Life magazine, Troop insignia and patches, two Troop camp T-shirts, and the Troop neckerchief.

    Richard Collyer

    Gail O'Connor
 Committee Chair:
    Sherri Horan
 Chartering Organization Representative:
    Tim Heaton
 Holy Trinity Episcopal Church http://trinitymenlopark.org
Troop 206,
Feb 2, 2011, 9:45 PM