First 100 Days
Your First 100-Days as a Boy Scout
All new Scouts are keen to get into scouting right away, get their new uniform and own lots of new gear. Before you rush into things, below are a few pointers gathered from past Scouts who wish they had known what you will now know if you read on…
A Few Pointers
1. Summer camp is a must!
- Scouts who go to summer camp have a load of fun!
- It gives the adult leaders and new Scouts a chance to get to know each other very well.
- New Scouts who attend summer camp will come home with most of their requirements to advance to the rank of 1st Class completed.
2. Be sure to get a Scout uniform with some room to grow. You are probably growing very quickly, so try to leave enough room for at least 1 year of growth. Two years would be great but you don’t want to wear a uniform that looks like it belongs to your older brother. Check out the Gear section for information on what to buy in the 1st 100 Days
3. If you are getting a red “glory” jacket (used for displaying patches), buy at least a large. With a jacket, too big is OK. When you get to the end of the 2nd year and you have 50 patches to take off one coat and put on another you’ll wish that you had gotten a larger size.
4. You will need a Boy Scout Handbook – think about buying the new spiral-bound version. It is significantly more expensive than the regular version (($19.95 vs $8.20) but it has a big advantage – you are going to use the same book all throughout your scouting career, and the pages tend to fall out of the older version when you fold the cover back. The spiral-bound version will save you money in the long haul and will always look better.
5. You will soon be looking for camping equipment. Don’t leap into buying gear right away. Some equipment is needed early on and some can be bought later – or put on your birthday or Christmas list! Talk with other Scouts and ask your parents to talk to the other parents in your Patrol. They can give you pointers on what is the best type of gear to buy. Remember, every Scout does not have to have every item. Especially with the younger boys, it makes sense to share the load whenever possible. Check out the Gear section for information on what to buy in the 1st 100 Days – and for more guidance on equipment quality and value-for-money, see the Troop Outings section of the Troop web site
6. Good hiking boots are very important. For adults, who have finished their growing, they will want to get the best boots that you can so they will feel comfortable and last well. As a growing Scout, you will outgrow your boots before you can wear them out. You can therefore get by with less expensive boots or trail walking shoes. Keep in mind that hiking in tennis shoes can be dangerous – they are not designed for traction of a trail.
7. For official BSA items (uniforms and the like), then the Scout store is pretty well your only option – they cost what they cost. The Scout store does not charge sales tax and your purchases are tax deductible. If you are looking for a sleeping bag, camping equipment, hiking boots, etc., then there are many better options. Check out the Gear section of the Troop web site for details of stores and web sites where many of our Scouts have successfully purchased good quality equipment for a reasonable price.
8. Sewing patches on uniforms is by far the best option. Patch glue tends to let go while your son is at summer camp. Boy Scouts should learn to sew – it’s a good skill. An easy way to start is to glue the patch in place and then sew around it so it does not move while you are sewing.