Troop 81 is sponsored by River Glen Presbyterian Church. We are located at 1140 Raymond Road in Naperville. In 2009, our Troop celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding. Established in 1934, the troop is the oldest continuous running Scout Troop in the Indian Prairie District. The First Congregational Church was our Troop’s first sponsor. From 1940's to 2002, the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 1290 sponsored Troop 81. Since then, River Glen has provided us with its facilities and support.
Currently there are around 100 boys who actively participate. We are a "Scout Led" troop where the meetings and outings are planned and carried out by the scouts with the help of the adults. There are troop elections twice a year to select the boy leaders. The Scouts are divided up into 6 patrols that participate in activities as a team. New Scouts are placed in special transition patrols led by experienced scouts to help them get started without feeling overwhelmed.
The Troop meets weekly at the River Glen Presbyterian Church from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, except during the summer, when we meet every other week. The Troop schedules a campout at least once a month, year round. Parents are encouraged to camp with us. At troop meetings we work on planning for outings and advancements. Besides rank advancements, we usually work with a counselor on a merit badge each month.
We attend a weeklong summer camp, usually in July, in Michigan. This is a good opportunity for boys to earn outdoor merit badges and really become comfortable with camping out. A High-adventure program, lasting 7 to 15 days is scheduled every year in late July or early August. These are very physical and only for 'seasoned scouts.' Scouts must be at least 13 year old (or 14 if required), First Class or above and approved by the adult leadership attending the program that year. Various merit badges may be required and will vary depending on the program. Physicals are required for each of these activities. In recent years we have done sailing in Key West, whitewater rafting in West Virginia, canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Canada, and backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico in 2006, 2009, 2011. We are currently planning a return trip to Philmont in 2012. This past summer we had several Scouts and the Scoutmaster from our Troop attend the World Jamboree in Sweden. Plans are being made now to offer a high adventure trip to the BSA's newest high adventure base, "The Summit" for the 2013 National Jamboree. Current WEBELOS Scouts are eligible to sign up now to attend. They must be 12 years old and be a 1st Class Scout before the Jamboree begins.
The Troop has only one fund-raiser for the year: a pancake breakfast in early November. Boys sell tickets and help serve/cleanup at the breakfast. A portion of each boy's sales is placed in his scout account that is usually applied toward summer camp or high adventure expenses. Re-registration is also covered for those boys who participate in enough selling sessions.
Three regular Courts of Honor are scheduled each year, usually in January, May and August. Scouts are presented awards, certificates, merit badges, rank advancements, ribbons, special honors and installed in their job positions.
The joining fee is $125, which covers registration, a hat, an embroidered scarf, the 81 numerals and any rank badges for the first year. If you have any questions, or concerns, feel free to call us. Better yet, come to a troop meeting and we'll discuss it.
Mark Baker, Committee Chair Greg Pronger, Scoutmaster