Aplenty of skills learned in Boy Scouts

By Jeff Smith

Charlie Turner, left, and Gavin Gardner, right, hold up their Patrol flag at the Troop #10 weekly meeting at the Scouts Hall in Hill City.

A small group of Boy Scouts have started meeting in Hill City on Tuesday nights. The first meeting was held on March 6.

There are four boys involved in the troop now.

A similar group formed in the area about three years ago. It started out with 3-5 boys and and more interest came. But then people stopped showing up and it ended.

Carl Doaty has brought life back into the Boy Scouts program for Hill City.

The current scoutmaster for Troop #10 is Doaty. He would like to see the troop sitting at around 15-20 scouts in the future.

It’s his first year as the scoutmaster. But he has been a committee member for a troop organization, been a Cub Scout den leader and a Cubmaster.

He is currently the Pack Trainer for the Cub Scout pack in Hill City. This entails making sure leaders are adequately trained to serve and that the youth safety requirements are being met.

It was important to Doaty to bring back the Boy Scouts program.

“I also want a place for Cub Scouts to go to continue their scouting adventure,” Doaty said.

He feels that the Boy Scouts are a very good program for the youth.

“The main thing is that it gets them away from electronics,” Doaty said.

Doaty said they learn leadership skills, personal management skills and outdoor adventure skills.

Not only is that there are a lot of skills learned but it sets people up to be successful in the real world.

Gavin Gardner said he was interested in joining the Boy Scouts because he likes doing outdoor activities and doing things with his troop to accomplish things. Things he said,  most people don’t know how to do.

In Boy Scouts, he said he has learned to be kind and loyal to his troop.

“We trust each other, rely on each other and be a friend,” Gardner said.

Most everyone is new to the Scouts. Garder is the only one with experience. Three of the boys go to Hill City schools.

Gardner said he is looking forward to hikes, fishing and camping while he is in the Boy Scouts. He is also looking forward to learning about trains.

Right now they are working on hiking, railroading and woodworking merit badges. In addition, they are working on receiving a Tenderfoot rank.

There are 137 merit badges a Boy Scout can receive. Doaty is a merit badge counselor for 45 topics.

“So some of them can be done in-house,” Doaty said.

They can also receive Certification that allows the Boy Scouts to carry fire-lighting devices. This is called Firem’n Chit.

“They learn how to burn, how to extinguish campfires and about the rules of campfires in the Black Hills,” Doaty said.

The troop is also known as Badger Patrol. The flag they have helps bring identity to the troop and provides additional information to the scoutmaster and advisor.Patrols help the Boy Scouts learn about communications rank structure.

At the end of May, Cub Scouts will be crossing over into the Boy Scouts and there will be a big graduation celebration.In the future,  the Boy Scouts that are involved now would like to teach those crossing over about the way of the Scout.

Every meeting begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. At the end of the meeting they will practice the scout oath and scout law. They would eventually like to memorize the oath and law.

After that they are able to talk about the different topics that they are interested in and work on merit badges.

Someone can join the Boy Scouts if they completed the fifth-grade, are 10-years-old or have earned the Arrow of Light. The Arrow of Light is the highest award that can be earned as a Cub Scout. This is the only Cub Scout award allowed on a Boy Scout uniform. This award also stays with them as an adult that is involved in the Boy Scouts of America.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts need to receive 21 merit badges in order to qualify to be an Eagle Scout.

Those who want to be in the Boy Scouts can join any time. Doaty said the advancement in Boy Scouts is very individualized.

“They can go at their own pace and proceed up the ranks,” Doaty said.

There are going to be trips and different types of activities planned. They will also be hiking to Black Elk Peak on April 28.

A big benefit of joining is that the troop is flexible and can be accommodating to families schedules. Students are also usually involved in more than one activity so they can try to move meetings to a different day or time if it is needed.

Doaty said with a smaller group they are able to get a lot more in-depth and do a lot more stuff in a meeting.

Doaty said the local businesses have been receptive to the Boy Scouts and wanting them to get involved in different things. Doaty said businesses are happy to provide them with community service projects and enjoy seeing them be active in the community.

Cub Scouts have been meeting for awhile in the community but weren’t as visible.

Anyone interested in hearing more about the Boy Scouts can give Carl Doaty a call at 574-1115 or send him an email at [email protected]