Know OUR CHARACTER
Our character defines us. At Troop 221, we have extremely high expectations for the way that young men should act and treat one another. Our boys are accountable to each other, focusing on the Scout Oath and Law, as the basis for building strong character. Read more about what it means to be a part of Troop 221.
Troop 221 Facts
Our size, structure, and programs are designed to build character and integrity.
What is the size of the troop? How many active Scouts do you have?
Troop 221 is a medium-sized Troop with approximately 50 Scouts. We typically have 20-30 boys in attendance for Troop meetings and 20 or more boys on a campout. Attendance for many boys is usually dependent on time of year. We compete for their time with band, football, basketball, and baseball season. As they get older (typically around 16), the boys become more involved in school and other activities and are often sought out for leadership roles in those activities, which we encourage and consider to be a mark of success for our program.
How many adult leaders do you have? What is expected of the parents?
Building character in our scouts requires involvement from parents. We have 10 Assistant Scout Masters (ASMs) and approximately 50 in the Parent Committee. We encourage all parents to attend the monthly campouts and Parent Committee meetings. If parents make Scouting a priority, then the boys will follow suit. We normally have Parent Committee meetings on the Monday before the monthly campout. During the meeting we discuss details of the upcoming campout, troop financials, fund raising and service project opportunities, as well asother relevant topics.
How are patrols organized? How many scouts are in each?
We have four patrols plus Trail to First Class (TFC), the first-year Scouts. Patrols are grouped by age throughout their Scout career. The size of patrols depends on ‘class’ size, but typically ranges between 6 and 10 boys each. We believe keeping the boys in the same patrol allows them to build stronger relationships. Younger patrols are assisted by our Troop Guides – older scouts who provide guidance and leadership during campouts and meetings.
What is Trail to First Class?
All first year scouts participate in our Trail to First Class (TFC) program to accelerate their advancement from Scout to Tenderfoot to Second Class to First Class. Scouts who reach First Class early in their Scouting career are far more likely to obtain Eagle Scout. The TFC patrol starts the meeting with the rest of the Troop, and then meets separately to work on their rank requirements. Occasionally, TFCs meet outside of our weekly meetings or during our monthly campouts for specific rank requirements or merit badges (i.e., water-based requirements, First Aid merit badge, etc.).
What equipment does the troop provide, and what do the Scouts need?
The Troop has a trailer and provides tents, as well as camping and cooking equipment. Each Patrol has their own chuck box, stove, pots and pans, dishes, and utensils. We also have several Dutch ovens for the scouts to use. For most campouts, Scouts require only the following: weather-appropriate clothing and rain gear, headlamp or flashlight, water bottle, sleeping bag and pad, and a duffel bag to transport gear and clothes. Many of our Scouts (and parents) often bring their own hammocks.
What opportunities does the Troop provide for community service hours?
Nothing builds character like providing community service. As such, Troop 221 participates in many service activities, including Scouting for Food, serving dinners at the church, and performing conservation projects throughout the year. We also have ties to local organizations such as Minnie’s Food Pantry and Bed Start, which provide opportunities to serve year-round.
What does the Troop do for fundraising?
sIn the past, the Troop has earned money in a variety of ways, including Christmas tree sales, church soft drink machines, selling trash bags, holding car washes and garage sales, and distributing American flags to Plano residents. Presently, 100% of all popcorn and camp card sales are credited to the individual Scout for Scouting expenses, such as dues and camp fees. Troop 221 has also historically supported BSA’s Friends of Scouting fundraising effort.
What are the dues/fees?
There is an annual fee to cover BSA recharter fees and monthly dues. Our monthly dues contribute to troop gear maintenance and replacement, campout expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses. The boys pay to cover their food (grub) on a campout, which is typically $10. Each patrol pools the money and a chosen “grub master” from each patrol buys the groceries after planning the meals with their patrol. Please contact us for more details on dues and fees.
Principles of Scouting
At Troop 221, character starts with the core principles of the Scouting program.
Do a Good Turn Daily!
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
A Scout is:
TRUSTWORTHY. Tell the truth and keep promises. People can depend on you.
LOYAL. Show that you care about your family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and country.
HELPFUL. Volunteer to help others without expecting a reward.
FRIENDLY. Be a friend to everyone, even people who are very different from you.
COURTEOUS. Be polite to everyone and always use good manners.
KIND. Treat others as you want to be treated. Never harm or kill any living thing without good reason.
OBEDIENT. Follow the rules of your family, school, and pack. Obey the laws of your community and country.
CHEERFUL. Look for the bright side of life. Cheerfully do tasks that come your way. Try to help others be happy.
THRIFTY. Work to pay your own way. Try not to be wasteful. Use time, food, supplies, and natural resources wisely.
BRAVE. Face difficult situations even when you feel afraid. Do what you think is right despite what others might be doing or saying.
CLEAN. Keep your body and mind fit. Help keep your home and community clean.
REVERENT. Be reverent toward God. Be faithful in your religious duties. Respect the beliefs of others.
As an American, I will do my best to:
Be clean in my outdoor manners, be careful with fire,
be considerate in the outdoors, and be conservation minded.
Troop 221 History
Since 1973, Troop 221 has worked to build a reputation of honor and strong character.
Awards and Accomplishments:
In the 1980’s, Troop 221 earned the Historic Trails Award by researching the site of the last Indian battle in Collin County, camping on the site and raising the money to pay for the Texas Historical Marker. This marker has now been moved to the Spring Creek Campus of Collin College and can be seen outside the west entry.
The adult leaders in Troop 221 have trained and been trainers in areas including Wood Badge and many basic and advanced Scouting courses. Our leaders have served as District and Unit Commissioners and on various district committees. They have earned awards for their dedication and involvement in Scouting, including the Silver Beaver, the District Award of Merit and the Al Lee Scouting Service Award.
Troop 221 was first chartered in 1973 to Hughston Elementary School in Plano. The troop moved to Bowman Middle School for approximately 2 years, then to West Plano Presbyterian Church in February 1982. In August 1995, the Troop moved to St. Paul Lutheran Church and then to Pitman Creek Church of Christ in September 1996. In July of 2014, the church was sold, so the Troop moved to Custer Road United Methodist Church. In 2020, the Troop was re-charted by the Plano Early Lions Club and continues to meet a Custer Road.