About Troop 3

Troop 3 Frequently Asked Questions:  

Last updated  2015.09.09 by John Notte

(Downloadable versions in PDF and MS Word formats are attached below)

Here you can find commonly asked questions and answers.  If you have a new question and need an answer post it as a comment below....

Q1:  What are the time commitments for the participating boy scouts?

 A1:  While school is in session we have scout meetings on most Monday nights at the scout house from 7:00 to 8:30.  There are also some community activities (e.g. soup kitchen, food drive, town report delivery) and fund raising activities (selling Christmas trees, staffing the Manchester beach parking) that are scheduled throughout the year.  These are usually arranged by way of a signup sheet, so there is some flexibility to work around an exam schedule, or a family vacation, or the visit from Aunt Irene.  There are also many other activities such as hikes and camp outs and merit badge activites sprinkeled throughout the calendar year.  All of the Troop3 events are posted on the website, www.manchestert3.org, where you can even download the Troop3 calendar events into your smart phone! 


Q2:  What is the “Scout House” and where is it?

 A2:  The scout house is located at 74 School Street in Manchester, MA (For those of you who like global coordinates:   42° 34.841', -70° 46.257').  This is a property that Troop3 was deeded for the purpose of maintaining our thriving boy scout organization.  This is where we meet for our weekly meetings, this is where we store our equipment and supplies, this is where we plan and depart for our every hiking trip.  This is also where we return from each outing to sort and clean and dry out our gear.  We also use this building to support our many fund raising and community activities. 



Q3:  What happens at the weekly scout meetings?  Is there a routine framework that is followed? 

 A3:  The weekly scout meetings are the foundation of the troop.  They are fully inclusive, with all Troop 3 members participating.  From these meetings, we build basic skills, and plan future events and activities.  The meetings themselves are planned and run by the senior scouts with supervision by the scoutmaster and adult staff.  There is no rigid schedule or framework for the meetings, but they are usually fun with games, sports, or other activities.  We do always start on time with the scout oath and announcements, so please be sure that your scout arrives at the scheduled time.  (See www.manchesterT3.orgfor an updated schedule). 


Q4:  How is Troop3 organized? 

 A4:  The scouts of Troop 3 are organized into smaller groups of boys called “patrols” each with their own nickname such as “Burning Badgers”, “Cobra”, etc.  This organization is purely to help manage the activities during scout meetings and events.  In their first year, the younger scouts are assigned to the same patrol until they are acquainted with the organization and routines.  In later years, they will spread out and be assigned to other patrols which contain a mix of ages.  There are also boy scouts in the roles of Sr. Patrol leaders, and Assistant Sr. Patrol leaders who help to organize the scouts.  There are also numerous special roles and responsibilities that are assigned to scouts as they advance in rank and are ready for roles of leadership.  Such leadership roles include troop photographer, historian, webmaster, den chief, quartermaster, scribe, custodian, guide, community service liason, etc. 

 Aside from the youth leadership, there are also several leadership roles among the adults who run Troop 3.  The scoutmaster plays the most visible role, and leads the majority of the weekly meetings, and coordinates all troop activities.  His cadre of assistant scout masters play supporting roles or spearhead activities or outings.  Other parents or community volunteers support the troop in other ways.

 Troop 3 is part of the “Great Eastern District” which spans some twenty communities in north eastern Massachusetts.  In turn, this district is contained within the "Spirit of Adventure Council” that spans over 6 districts and 76 communities. An organization chart and map is available on the website


Q5.   Can parents drop off scouts at the meetings?   

 A5:  Yes. Parents can drop their scouts off for the regular 7:00 (prompt!) Monday meetings.      This is usually a pretty quick and easy option.  Please be careful when pulling over and having your scout exit the vehicle.  Pickup time is nominally 8:30 for the regular Monday meetings.  There can be some congestion at this time, since the meeting’s may run over by some minutes, and parents are pulled over in front of the scout house waiting for the exodus from the scout house.  Consider ride sharing if you know another scout and family in your neighborhood.   

 Parents of course are invited to stay, but they are not obligated to participate at these meetings.  On occasions, there are meetings with a significant information content (say in preparation for a hike), and the parents are specifically invited.  If you check out the meeting announcement on the website (www.ManchesterT3.org) you can quickly find the planned content of the meeting.  


Q6.  Are there summer meetings?

 A6.  No.  At least there are no regular meetings once school is out.  The boys (and the adults) enjoy a less rigid schedule of the summer.  We know that many families have vacations, travel, or other commitments, and we want these to proceed.  But there are usually some pretty fun optional scout events during this time that you might want to participate in.  These include scout camp, jamborees, and other outings.  Also during the summer scouts are asked to participate in one of our major fund raising events of the year, the Manchester beach parking.


Q7.  What does he need for a uniform and where do I purchase it? At what events should he wear his uniform?

 A7:   The dress code is different for different meetings and outings.  The standard BSA “Class A” uniform is for formal events such as courts of honor, reviews, or meetings with esteemed guests, etc.  The “Class B” uniform is more casual and is worn for general meetings and activities.  The class B uniform only requires a BSA T-shirt, or a Troop 3 T-shirt.  The “Class A” uniform is described fully at bsauniforms.org.  However for Troop 3, our “Class A” does not require the hat, or the socks, or the belt.  The “Class A” uniform can be purchased at the scout shop, located at 1600 Osgood St, Andover, MA (978 685 0684).  The uniform can also be purchased online at scoutstuff.org.  If you want to know if a particular meeting or event requires Class A or Class B or other, just check on the meetings agenda at www.manchestert3.org


Q8.  What are the general expenses for scouts?

 A8.  There is an annual registration fee of $75 some which goes to Troop3, and some goes to the larger BSA.  Other fees are assessed for each Troop3 event, and most of these costs are defrayed by the general Troop 3 funds.  A backpack trip to New Hampshire might have a fee of $45 to $85 (2013), participating in the Massachusetts Jamboree might have a fee of $85 (2013).    There is not cost for merit badges, although some activities have incidental costs (e.g. use of the rock climbing facility for $20).   Waivers can sometimes be provided when there is a financial hardship – inquire to the scoutmaster via email.


Q9.  What are the ranks?  How does advancement work?  (Is advancement done at scout meetings or at home?) 

 A9:  A new scout who has just enrolled begins as a “Scout”.    The next ranks is “Tenderfoot”, then “Second Class”, then “First Class”, then “Star”, then “Life”, then “Eagle Scout”.  There is a terrific web page that outlines the ranks, and the requirements for each rank.  You can get to this resources from the link located in the upper left corner of the www.manchestert3.org web page.  The scout handbook is also a terrific resource for ranks and advancement.        


Q10.  How do scouts earn merit badges?  (What are the blue cards?)  Are certain merit badges required for advancement? 

 A10:   Certain merit badges are indeed required for advancement.  A link to a comprehensive list of merit badges, along with the requirements for advancement can be found in the upper right hand corner of the troop 3 home page.  Some merit badges can be earned at boy scout summer camp.  Some merit badges are earned during the course of the scout meetings throughout the scout year.  (Still need more detailed answer of how scouts earn merit badges)


Q11.  What kind of community service is expected of the scouts?  And what is the purpose?  Is this for advancement, for merit badges, or just the scouts

 A11:  Community service is an integral part of Troop3.  This, in part, is how we give back to the community.  There are numerous activities throughout the year.  These include preparing and serving food at the food pantry.  There is also an annual food drive and the distribution of the town reports. 


Q12.  Do scouts need prior experience or Intro into Winter Camping for the NH winter hiking trips or other camping trips?

A12:  Troop 3 is involved in many outdoor activites, and have a wide range difficulty levels.  There are introductory trips for both seasonal and winter hikes.  For example, there is an introduction to winter camping every year that usually includes a sleepover in the nearby Manchester-Essex woods.  It is not overly challenging, and gives a taste of winter camping with no experience needed.  More generally, there are introduction opportunites that help to build skills and confidence towards some of the more challenging events.


Q13.  Does my scout need any special equipment?

A13.  Some outings will require special equipment.  For introductory activities, these are fairly basic and can serve multiple purposes (such as a Nalgene water bottle, hiking boots, sleeping bag, etc).  For a scout who has enjoyed the introductory level activity and wants to keep going, we would encourage them to continue with their own equipment that they can continue to use within scouting and beyond (e.g. a frame backpack, winter camping gear, etc)  .  If there is ever a issue about being able to afford equipment, speak up, there maybe equipment that can be borrowed.  We don’t want any scout to be restricted by access to equipment.  


Q14.  What exactly is the Court of Honor?

 A14.   The “Court of Honor” is the boy scouts ceremony of advancement and awards.  Here scouts are in their “Class A” uniform, and parents are in attendance.    There is typically one "CoH" in the fall and one in the spring. 


Q15:  Where can I find Photographs from Troop 3 events?

 A15:  All photos for events prior to 2013 are stored on the regular Troop3 website.  Here on the left and menu, you will see “photos” and there you will see a collection of over 4000 photos dating back to 2008.  The photos are nicely organized by folders and many photos have captions or descriptions of the event.  It is lots of fun to navigate through the annual events and see individual scouts maturing through the ranks.   

 All photos from 2013 and later are stored at another location, manchesterT3.shutterfly.com.    This website has unlimited storage and keeps the photos at high resolution.   This site does require a password which is peridocially changed, but it is posted on the Troop3 website (look for “Photo Albums” on the left menu).  So if you have access to the Troop3 website (www.manchesterT3.org), then you can find the password and a link to manchesterT3.shutterfly.com.  If you have trouble logging into the Troop3 website, then click on “Contact Us” on the left menu.


Q16:  I have photographs from a recent scout event, how are photos uploaded ?

 A16:  Photos are welcomed – especially good ones!  As of Nov 2013, all new photos are to be uploaded to our new photo archive which is hosted by Shutterfly.  This is a secure, access-controlled site.  They offer unlimited storage and storage at full resolution.  If you log into the Troop3 website,www.manchesterT3.org, and click on “Photos Albums” you will see a “Notice…”  which gives a link to a website, and the latest password.  By itself, this will allow you to view all the latest Troop3 photos from 2013 onwards.  The photos are organized by groups of “photo albums”.  If you want to upload your own photos please send an email requiest to webmaster@manchestert3.org.


Q17:  Where can official and up-to-date information about Troop3 be found?

 A17:  All official information about Troop3 is found on the Troop3 website.  There you will find postings of upcoming events and notices .  Every Thursday these events are transmitted by “e-blast” to all members via email, but the website is available every hour of every day.  Also on the website, you can find the complete list of merit badges, permission forms for upcoming activities, phone and email and names of each scout and their parents, a updated list of metric badge councilors, photo archives.  There is really an abundance of information available at the Troop3 website (www.manchesterT3.org).   


Q18:  How can I get help accessing the troop3 website? 

 A18:   The Troop 3 website is www.manchestert3.org.   If you can type this into your browser, you’ll see the website.   Most of the content is hidden until you login by entering your username and password. Once you are logged in you can see the wealth of information that is stored there.   Your username and password were probably issues when the scout first joined troop3.  If the password is lost don’t worry! From the login dialog, you can also make a request for a new password.  If you have lost your username and password, don’t worry!  You can just send a request (without even logging in) by clicking on “contact us” on the left menu.  If your email address has changed, or your scout now has his own email different from yours, don’t worry!  Just use the “contact us” link on the left menu to send a message to the  troop 3 webmaster.