Traditions & Activities
Weekly Scout Meetings
Troop meetings are held weekly on Monday nights from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Tay House Cabin. At these meetings the scouts meet in a larger group to benefit from special programs and in patrols to discuss progress in advancement. Youth leaders (patrol leaders, junior leaders, and senior leaders) also attend a special meeting, held after the regular meeting form 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. so that they can communicate information about planned activities. For a schedule of planned activities, please see our calendar.
Our campouts (about seven per year) are an integral part of the Scouting and Tay House experience. Some of these trips are bound to occur in bad weather, but all of these trips (and perhaps the foul-weather trips more than the rest) provide an opertunity to advance, build confidence, develop responsibility, improve leadership skills, and make friends and memories, all while having a lot of fun.
Each year one campout is designated as a parent-scout campout, where fathers (or any parent or guardian if facilities allow) participate in activities with their scout. This campout is a great opertuity for parents to get to know other parents, scouts, and the troop staff. Past parent-scout campouts have included white water rafting in Pennsylvania, canoeing in the Adirondacks, and touring the United State Military Acadamy at West Point.
Tay House scouts are encouraged to take advantage of troop-sponsored long-weekend trips to nearby places of historical interest. In the past few years the troop has visited Gettysburg, Boston, Washington D.C. Scouts have hiked the battlefields, explored the Freedom Trail, and visited the National Mall and Smithsonian museums. Transportation is provided by car pools or prearranged bus charters. Transportation and housing is usually inexpensive (usually around $100 per scout, determined on a trip-by-trip basis)--we often stay at scout camps or military bases and eat in mess halls or local college cafeterias.
Each summer, Tay House scouts can spend up to two weeks at Otetiana Council's Masswepie Scout Camps in the Adirondack Mountains. We are fortunate to have access to one of the largest scout reservations in the United States. Scouts can try out new activities that they may not be able to do in the city, including mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing, and sailing while gaining confidence in fmiliar activities like swimming, first aid, and hiking. Massaweie also provides exceptional opertunities for advancement with over 30 differnt merit badge classes offered each week.
High Adventure Camp
Older scouts (generally age 14 or older) can take advantage of other exciting activities including canoe trips through Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park and backpacking excursions at Philmont Scout Rance in New Mexico. Tay House scouts have also attended National- and Wold Scout Jamborees. There are often prerequisite levels of advancement for these activities and all scouts must receive scoutmaster approval to attend.
Each year Tay House sponsors two fundraising activities. The money raised through these efforts help pay for the troops costs (cabin rent, postage, camping gear repairs and upgrades, program supplies, etc.). It also subsidizes the costs of campouts, special trips, and summer camp. Besides raising money these efforts provide scouts with experience in salesmanship, money handling, and dealing with the public in a professional manner.
For more than 50 years Tay House has run a Christmas tree sale in the southeast section of the city. For many years this has been the troop's only fundraiser. Scouts and parents are obligated to work a certain number of shifts (determined each year by the sizze of the troop and number of days in the sale (see the Responsibilities of Scouts and Parents sections for more information).
In 2006 the troop lost the site we had been using for our tree sale. Since it was too late to find a new location, we instead quickly organized a Christmas Wreath sale. This sale was so successful that we decided to continue it even though the tree sale has since been restored. Scouts are asked to sell high quality Christmas wreaths to their families, friends, neighbors, etc. For their effort a portion of the profit from each sale is paced in an account for the scout that can be used to cover some or all of the cost of scouting related activities, such as summer camp.
Mother's Day Roses
Each year, on the morning of Mother's Day all scouts meet at the cabin for the annual troop photograph. Following the photo, the scouts are sent out to deliver roses to the mothers of current scouts and the living mothers of all Tay House Eagle Scouts. Each mother receives a rose with a card signed by her son.
Community servicce is an important part of scouting and scouts have to participate in community service activities as part of their advancement. Toward this, Tay House scouts participate in a number of community service activities each year. Troop-wide activities include Scouting for Food and Clothing in which scouts collect food and clothing for distribution to the needy from families across the region and the Scout Sweep in which we collect litter in an area park or along the Erie canal. Eagle Scout candidates are required to plan large-scale service projects and often recruit other scouts for assistance. Scouts may also count community services hours logged with other organizations toward their advancement requirements in most cases.