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Boy Scout Troop 11
(Bismarck, North Dakota)
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Troop 11 Frequently Asked Questions


How long has your troop been established?

Troop 11 was established in 1979 and our chartering organization is the Bismarck Elks Lodge #1199

Do you limit the number of Scouts in the troop?

Never, Scouting is for every Scouts that meets the criteria set forth by the Boy Scouts of America.

Where and when do you meet?

We meet at Dorothy Moses School every Monday evening from 6:30PM till 8:00 PM. Occasionally we meet at alternative locations.  Parent/Committee meetings are the last Monday of each month. 

 To observe a meeting, may we just drop in or should we give advance warning?

Normally, the PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) likes to have some advanced notice that the Cub Scouts are going to be visiting so they can make sure they have enough resources and age appropriate activities planned around your visit. However, if it is just one or two Scouts we encourage you to just drop in anytime.

How many guests can you accommodate at a meeting?

The Troop has accommodated as many as an additional twenty Cub Scouts and their parents, during regular meetings.

How is the troop organized?

The Troop is organized in accordance with the BSA handbook. SPL, ASPL, and Guides form the Leadership Corps Patrol under the guidance and direction of the Scoutmaster. Individual Boy led Patrols under the guidance and direction of Assistant Scoutmasters assigned, have Patrol Leaders, Assistant Patrol Leaders and Patrol Quartermasters. The Patrols make up the Troop which is the shell, in which the Patrol Method functions. Other leadership positions such as Librarian, Scribe, Historian, etc… are all members of various regular Patrols.

How many Scouts are typically in each patrol?

Four to eight Scouts make up a patrol, in which they pick their Patrol Members, Patrol Names, Patrol Flags, and Patrol Cheers.

Do you have a patrol specifically for the new Scouts?

Yes, we have a New Scout Patrol(s) in which a Guide and an Assistant Scoutmaster is specifically assigned to each Patrol to assist and guide each member.

How is the first patrol leader selected?

The New Scout Patrol Leader (PL), Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) and Quartermaster are elected by the Patrol members; however, since the New Scout Patrols don’t need leadership positions for rank advancement until they are First Class, the New Scouts are encouraged and have an opportunity to rotate positions approximately every six weeks during their first year in the Troop.

This gives each of the New Scout Patrol members the opportunity to act in each of the leadership positions and attend a PLC, so they can see what it takes to lead and follow alike. Once the first year is completed the New Scout Patrol elects a Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Quartermaster for the period of 6 months during the regular cycle of Troop Elections. This usually takes place during the June election of the following year.

What is your troop’s philosophy with respect to the boys involvement in troop activities/events/planning, i.e., would you consider it a “scout - led” troop or more of a “leader/ parent-led” troop?

Troop 11 is a Scout Run/Led Troop, with Scoutmaster Oversight and Guidance. The Scoutmaster Staff is always employing the EDGE principles (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable). The Scouts and Patrols of Troop 11 plan in their Patrols and through the PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) and execute their plan, again with the help and guidance of the Scoutmaster Staff and Committee. With respect to involvement, many would like to associate a percentage of time or attending a number of meetings to be considered active. We would suggest that it depends on the Scout. Many Scouts and families are extremely busy with sports, band, school activities, and other events that make it hard to compete with Scouting. Troop 11’s philosophy is not the end all be all, and if we chose to set some artificial standard, the Scouting program could almost always loose. Or experience has shown that if the Troop meetings and outings are fun and rewarding, the Scouts will want to attend, or they will make more of an effort to make the events.

We think that the involvement of our older aged Scouts, even after they are awarded the Rank of Eagle Scout, speaks volumes about our program. We have had many Eagle Scouts attain their rank at 14, 15, or 16 and stay active until they age out at the age of 18.

Do you have any merit badge counselors or programs within the troop?

Troop 11 has many registered merit badge counselors.

How pro-active is the troop in helping the boys achieve First Class?

Troop 11’s goal is to get every boy to the rank of First Class Scout - many within the first year. It is those requirements that make up a rounded Boy Scout. The Star, Life and Eagle Scout ranks are there to develop the leadership for any Scout that wishes to achieve those goals. We have generally found that we would like them to achieve the First Class Scout rank in about one calendar year (+/-) after joining the Troop. We have found this time frame pretty suited to maintaining their interest in Scouting. However, their pace is completely up to them and we don’t apply any pressure to make advancement ranks on any time lines.

Do you have any troop guides?

Troop 11 usually has Troop Guides appointed as a part of the Leadership Corps at anyone given time.

How many of the boys have made Eagle Scout in the past 4 years?

Troop 11 has awarded the highest honor in Boy Scouting to twelve young men in the past four years. Currently, we have Scouts that are Life Scouts and are working on their Eagle Projects.

How pro-active is the troop in helping the boys achieve Eagle Scout?

Troop 11 is extremely pro-active in helping any Scout achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  However, we do not push them, yet strongly encourage them to achieve the rank.

What things have you found helpful in keeping the boys  involved/interested on the trail to completing Eagle Scout?

This is a challenge for any Troop. Is has been proven statistically, that Scouts that don’t achieve the Eagle Rank before age 16 usually don’t achieve it until just prior to their 18th birthday.   Parents are the most influential motivation a Scout can have for them to achieve the Eagle Rank. However, the relationships the Scouts form with some of the Scoutmaster Staff also plays a significant role in shaping the desires of Eagle candidates. Again, if the Scouting Program the Scout’s plan, lead, and run are fun and rewarding, the Scouts remain involved and interested, and the fall out from that is natural and positive.

What trips have you taken in the last year?

Philmont Scout Ranch, Summer Camp at Camp Wilderness, MN, Merit Badge Week-end at Camp Grafton, ND, Spring Camporee at Heart Butte, New Scout Weekend Camping, Week-end camping at Badlands and flag raising ceremony at Medora, ND (six days).

How often do you go camping?

Troop 11 offers a 12 month camping program, where each month, except for the month of Summer Camp, we do an outdoor / camping experience.

Where do you usually go?

This depends on the imagination of the Scouts and the PLC. If the Scouts of Troop 11 can dream it, it can become a reality.

Where do you go for summer camp?

Generally we go to Camp Wilderness near Park Rapids Minnesota.  We have gone other places.  

Does your troop do any high adventure camping trips?

Yes,Troop 11 has gone to Florida Sea Base, Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico, Camp Buffalo Bill in Wyoming, and the Charles L Sommers Canoe base in the boundary waters of Minnesota.


How do you fund raise?

Troop 11 participates in various fundraisers that the PLC decides to hold throughout the year.  This fundraising effort may also be prompted by the Troop Treasurer, informing the Scouts of how much money each has in his Scout account.   Fundraisers include fruit sales, candybar and popcorn sales, and our booth at the fall street fair.

Is there special things about your troop we should consider that might help influence us to join your troop versus other troops?

Our Scoutmaster staff has a credo that is: If the Scouts aren’t having fun, they have a problem.   Troop 11 is a very dynamic and active Troop, one that is considered by many long time Scouters, one of the finest examples of Boy Scouting in our District. We have a very active youth cadre of Scouts and Scouters at many levels throughout the Northern Lights District and our Order of the Arrow Chapter. All of our Scouts have been through ILST(Introduction to Leadership Skills), or NYLT (National Youth Leader Training), or other Advanced Leadership Workshops/Seminars. 

In our opinion, the key to finding a quality Troop is to find one that is compatible for you and your son, one that he feels welcome in, and one that he feels will benefit his desires in and out of Scouting. There are many fine Troops in the Bismarck area.   Visit all of them, then narrow it down by re-visiting them with just you and your son unannounced you may find a huge difference between the group visit and the individual visit. Feel free to contact us if any additional questions arise.

Scoutmaster: Mike Kobs


Assistant Scoutmaster:  Gordy Herman
(e mail)

Committee Chair:  Paul Zent

(h) 224-1303