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Boy Scout Troop 4077
(Alexandria, Virginia)
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Troop 4077 Frequently Asked Questions




Q: Where and when does 4077 Meet?

            St. Marks Espicopal Church
            6744 S Kings Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306

            Time: Every Monday 7 PM - 8 PM
            Google map

Q: Where is the Northern Virginia Scout Shop?

            5234 Port Royal Road         Hours:  Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm
, VA 22151                     Sat 10 am - 5 pm
(703) 321-4836
                          Google Map

Q: What does my son need when joining Troop 4077?

           Each Scout needs a full scout uniform.  These may be purchased at the Scout Store.  You may also check with the troop to see if we have any "hand me down" uniforms which are available.  The full uniform consists of the scout shirt, scout pants, scout socks, and scout belt.  The scout hat in an optional item.  The troop also uses black T-shirts on "class-b" uniform nights.  These shirts should be logo free if at all possible.  Often they can be found at K-Mart.  Other scout shirts, such as BSA summer camp shirts, can be worn in lieu of the black shirt.

            Other items which should be purchased are the standard patches on the uniform.  The scout shop can help you determine which patches to purchase.  However, the troop will provide your unit number (4077) patch.  Also a neckerchief slide should be purchased.  Recently one of our own designed an awesome scout neckerchief, which will be provided to new scouts upon joining.  A scout handbook should also be purchased.  Please have your Scout write his name on all sides of the book.  These have been lost all to often, and writing their name on the book (as well as their personal belongings helps identify and return them).  A small notebook is also suggested for the weekly meetings.

Q: How often does Troop 4077 go camping?

            We have a very active troop.  Our senior boys and patrol leaders develop a yearly plan each summer, including campouts every month.  Information on camping gear can be found in the camping area of this FAQ.  Links for many camping gear suppliers can be found in our Links page. 

     The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the "Aims of Scouting." They are:

    • Character Development
    • Citizenship Training
    •  Personal Fitness.

     The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

    The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.

    The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.

    Outdoor Programs
    Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God's handiwork and humankind's place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources.

    Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

    Association with Adults
    Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

    Personal Growth
    As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims.

    Leadership Development
    The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

    The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.

Q: What is a Patrol?

      The patrol is a group of Scouts who belong to a troop and who are probably similar in age, development, and interests. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success. A patrol takes pride in its identity, and the members strive to make their patrol the best it can be. Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements. At other times they will compete against those same patrols in Scout skills and athletic competitions.

The members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age. To give more youths the opportunity to lead, most troops elect patrol leaders twice a year. Some may have elections more often.

Patrol size depends upon a troop's enrollment and the needs of its members, though an ideal patrol size is eight Scouts. Patrols with fewer than eight Scouts should try to recruit new members to get their patrol size up to the ideal number.




Q: What type of camping does Troop 4077 do?
        Much of our camping is light weight, hiking in style camping.  We do some "plop and drop" camping with heavier gear during the year as well.  One or two campouts may be designated as "family campouts" in which the whole family may be welcomed to join.  Examples of these have been ski trips, white water rafting, etc. 

        An example of our recent camp trips are:  Winter Survival campout (camping with the bare necessities),  Hike/bike campout,  West Point Camporee, US Naval Academy Camporee, Ski Trip Campout to whitetail, Cave Spelunking Campout, and a yearly Summer Camp.

        For those boys, 14 years and older, we attempt to provide a yearly high adventure camp.  Our troop has been to Florida Sea Base, Double H, and is currently headed to Philmont in Summer 2014.  Some of these campouts require additional "shake down" backpacking treks each month in the local area to help prepare the boys for the strenuous activities these high adventure opportunities present.  Our High Adventure Link contains more information on the current trek and our links page provides information for each of the major high adventure opportunities BSA has to offer.

Q: Do we have a general packing list for campouts?

        Yes.  We have developed a general packing list with required items and those items recommended/optional. You can download the PDF here.

Q: Who Purchases the food for Campouts?

        Each Patrol has a designated "grub master".   The patrol will determine what they want to cook during an upcoming campout, and this scout will purchase the food for the campout.  The cost of the food is divided between the scouts that plan to attend.  Each scout that has signed up to attend the campout is required to pay for the food if they are unable to attend after the food has been purchased.  Close communication between scouts in the patrol is essential.

Q: What backpacks are recommended?

            Backpacks come in two styles:  External Frame and Internal Frame packs. 

    Internal Frame Packs:
        An internal frame backpack is popular because it uses a hidden metal (usually aluminum) or composite frame that supports the packbag from the inside. The frame is used to help place the weight on your hips, which is where your body can most effectively carry it.  An internal frame backpack will also hold the load closer to your natural center of gravity, which is important for keeping your balance. The load is kept stable by compression straps which are used to cinch down the load and to keep individual articles bunched together.  Many internal frame packs can also be slightly adjusted to fit the body size as your child grows.

    External Frame Packs:
        An external frame backpack is designed to connect a packbag to a rigid aluminum tube frame.  These types of backpacks are mainly used for carrying heavy loads along trails as they are quite rigid and strong.  These packs are generally heavier than internals, however lightweight models are available. External backpacks usually come with a lot of pockets for easy gear distribution and organization.  One benefit with an external model is the fact there is more open space between the frame and you back for better ventilation. You can also expand the load more easily on an external frame by attaching extra bags to the frame.

        The most important aspect of choosing a backpack is to ensure you get one that is properly fitted.  Going to local retailers, such as REI, will allow your scout to put a pack on with sandbags inside, and get a feel for the backpack.  Even if you choose to purchase elsewhere, you'll get a feel for the pack and distribution of weight on the body.

Q: What is a good method to pack the backpack?

        A good PDF showing methods to pack your backpack can be read here.

Q: How do I plan a campout? has provided a great site which provides some very good information on packing lists etc.  They state: To build your camping checklist, packing list, click an icon below to get one designed just for your outdoor activity, season and climate. Each packing list includes a detailed camping check list of all the things you'll need to achieve success. Let us do the work and to determine all the camping equipment that you’ll need. Your camping checklist will include gear, clothes, camping supplies and personal items you might need."   You can review this awesome information here:
Q: What Sleeping bag should I purchase?

        Many things should be considered when purchasing a sleeping bag.  Of those, a few of the most important are:

    Weather location:  Sleeping bags are at warmth degree:  Many ratings are 0, 20, 25, 30, 35, etc.  Many recommend you choose a bag that is 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you believe your climate may need.  This way your son can use a silk sleeping bag liner on those very cold nights, but not be too hot on the warmer nights.  In our area a 25 or 30 degree bag is usually sufficient.

    Materials:  Sleeping bags are made of synthetic and down filled bags.  Synthetic withstands wet trips much better than down filled bags.  Down filled bags are typically warmer than synthetic bags.  Also weight and bulk matter when packing light, down filled bags are typically much lighter in weight and pack in a much smaller space.

    Shape:  Shape is another factor that should be considered when choosing a bag.  Bags come in a rectangular shape and in a mummy shape.  Those people that like to move around frequently at night may prefer a rectangular shaped bag.  The cons of these bags is they require more space to be warmed up and due to the extra materials are normally heavier than mummy shaped bags.  Mummy shaped bags do not allow much "wiggle" room, but can help your scout remain warmer during the evening.

    A highly recommended practice, with a high quality sleeping bag, is to ensure it is not stored for extended times in compression sacks; which help keep the bag packed in a confined space when hiking.  When in storage, they should be placed into a larger storage sack.  The tightness when storing in a compression sack  often breaks, damages or weakens the lofting abilities of the feathers or fill.




Q: What are the training requirements for new leaders?
        Please click on the leadership link on the left, then adult leadership in the main window.


Q: When and where are adult training classes?

        The NCAC Training website is located here.  Classes change too frequent to post specific dates..


Scout Related Questions

Q: What are the Different Leadership Positions and their requirements?
        Please click on our Leadership Link on the left.  Each position is fully discussed in this area.


Q: Are there additional requirements for leadership positions?  When do Scout Leaders meet?

        Yes.  After each election boys are required to attend a scout leadership training class.  The goal is to provide the scout with the tools necessary to perform his duties.  Normally on the first monday of each month we hold a PLC 30 minutes prior to the actual meeting.  The Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader will inform the other leaders of any changes to this date/time frame.

Q: What is a PLC?

        The Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC), not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the troop's activities. The Scoutmaster (and assistant Scoutmasters) provide direction, coaching, and training that empowers the boy with the skills he will need to lead his troop. The Troop Committee provides resources to help the PLC.

        The patrol leaders' council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, who presides over the meetings; the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, all Patrol Leaders, Troop Guides, and others as determined by your PLC. The patrol leaders' council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. The PLC then meets monthly to develop plans for upcoming meetings and activities.

        PLC meetings used to be called "Green Bar" meetings because of the green bars on some of the youth position patches.

The PLC is composed of the following voting members:

  • Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - Elected by boys in the troop, SPL runs the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) meetings.

  • Patrol Leader - Elected by his patrol, the PL represents his patrol PLC meetings and the annual planning conference. Reports PLC decisions to his patrol.

  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader - Serves as a member of the patrol leaders' council and fills in for the SPL as needed.

  • Troop Guide - Attends patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.

  • Scribe - Attends and keeps a log of patrol leaders’ council meetings. The scribe is a non-voting member of the PLC; however in the practices of some troops, scribes have been granted voting privileges.

    At its monthly meetings, the PLC organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings. The troop committee interacts with the patrol leaders' council through the Scoutmaster.

Some troops' PLC includes others who may be assigned tasks and may be voting or non-voting members such as:

Q: What is the OA (Order of the Arrow)?

    The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is:

  1. To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
  2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
  3. To promote Scout camping
  4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others

     "To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold First Class rank. The youth must have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the two years before his election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow Troop or Varsity team members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach."


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