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Update on Troop Operations

August 23, 2020

Hello Troop Members and Families,

I am writing to provide an update on Troop Operations.  As everyone has seen, the numbers have been rising but are beginning to flatten.  Even though the numbers are beginning to flatten, they are still quite high.

After talking with the Scoutmaster and other leaders, the Troop is going to remain on hold having in-person meetings.  We will take the next two Mondays off and then is Labor Day, which we normally take off.  This approach will give another three weeks to see what happens.  It also allows schools to get fully started and determine what the impact will be on the numbers. 

The next update date will be Monday, September 14.  Until then, continue working on advancements as many are doing.  Reach out if you need anything, the leaders are ready to help.

We will be offering a unique activity this fall during the meeting break.  The Troop has a couple leaders who have their ham radio license and they have agreed to run a distant learning study course for anyone wishing to get their license.  This activity will be available to any troop member or family member interested.  I will be studying along with you.  So, watch for the announcements on the classes.

Keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and gather only in your own local social pods.  These actions do make a difference.  Together we will get through this challenge and be better on the backside.

If you need anything please ask.  Take care of yourselves and take care of each other.

Jeff Sipes

Troop Committee Chairman

Updated Virtual Merit Badge Offerings

We are happy to announce ADDITIONAL merit badges (for Scouts ages 11-17) that are being offered online by volunteers and staff of the Great Smoky Mountain Council. You can take these merit badges right from home with registered and trained merit badge counselors! 

We have a minimum of two adults online for each merit badge, as well as a moderator for the chat room. Each session will have a password to help prevent any Zoombombing.

Week 4 – (April 27 – May 8) classes are open for registration.
Weeks 5 & 6 courses are coming soon.  

Week 3 (April 20 – 24) – CLICK HERE to see what classes we have to offer and if the class is full or still has space.  The week will include Art, Fishing, Personal Management, Collecting, Family Life and Soil and Water Conservation.

Week 4 (April 27- May 1) – CLICK HERE to see what classes we have to offer and if the class is full or still has space.  The week will include Salesmanship, Collections, American Business, Home Repair and Wilderness Survival.

Week 5 (May 4-May 8) – Classes coming soon.

Week 4 (May 11-May 15) – Classes coming soon.

All classes are held in the Eastern Time Zone.

REGISTER HERE You will need to create an individual Tentaroo account to sign up. Your troop does not need to register but you do need to have your Scoutmaster, Advisor or Skipper’s permission to start a merit badge. Once the class is over, we will post the requirements that were completed, and you will be able to come back and print a merit badge blue card.

Check often for updates.

Playing for stress management amongst the COVID pandemic

Mr. Lew’s summary of escapades during the COVID pandemic in search of stress relief.. Enjoy.

Trip Reports for Mar 17-25

2020-03-17– Solo mission. Drove to the Smokies for whitewater kayaking since the water was probably up after looking at rain data. Tremont was too low. Drove to the Sinks on the Little River. Walked ¼ mile up from Sinks and kayaked the Meanies rapids through the Sinks. Took 2 laps. Walked shuttle. Received a text message that the West Prong was at a runnable level.  I’ve wanted the West Prong for 15 years. Very famous as in roughly 6 miles it drops 2000’ vertical feet with no mandatory portages. I’ve never run it. Decided to run the lower half (putting on at the Chimney Picnic Area). Level on the bridge pylon was 1.4’. Perfect first time level. Absolutely incredible run!! Photo below is from a friend running one of the rapids last year at a similar flow. I did not take any photos this day. Dropped boat in the woods to head the 3.5 mile back up the road to the truck.


Important Troop Response to the COVID-19 Virus

Hello Troop 224 Scouters,

At the request of and in support of our sponsor, Grace Lutheran Church, our Troop will do our part in reducing the potential spread of the COVID 19 virus. Effective today, the troop will suspend meetings, outings, and other Troop gatherings.   The suspension of Troop activities is in collaboration with Grace Lutheran Leadership’s request to suspend all church sponsored activities.  In conjunction with the Church’s suspension request, as directed by the Great Smoky Mountain Council, Troop activities will remain suspended as long as the local school systems remain closed.  I will be working with the Church Leadership to remain connected with their efforts and will provide updates to our members.

 Scouts can and should continue to work on their advancements.  There are several online resources to get the advancement requirements as well as the old fashion method – the Scout Handbook.  I am working with Mr. McNeely to establish a process facilitate adult leadership support where needed.  It is interesting that Mr. McNeely and I have been discussing for about six weeks or so the desire to better utilize digital applications to improve Troop operations.  Well as they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

 If anyone has questions, please fell free to reach out to me by Phone or email.  Mr. McNeely is also available via the scoutmaster email.

 Thanks much. Jeff Sipes
Troop Committee Chairman

Brett McNeely

2020 Scout and Adult Leader Registration Now in Progress

2020 BSA Troop 224 Scout Registration

Due by December 9, 2019

The yearly BSA Troop recharter event is upon us.  Fees for 2020 are $120 per scout.

The fees cover BSA registration, BSA-GSMC insurance & Boy’s Life. They also include funds for Troop operations, gear replacement, camp ground fees, etc.  We must complete the BSA recharter by December 14, 2019.

***Without this yearly registration Scouts will not be able to participate in outings starting in January***

If helpful, special arrangements may be made with the Scoutmaster Brett McNealy, Committee Chair Jeff Sipes or Treasurer Cam Hubbard.

Please fill in form completely & bring to meeting or mail with a check payable to BSA TROOP 224

Scouts form can be downloaded here.


2020 BSA Troop 224 Adult Leader Registration

Please fill in and return by December 9, 2019

Yearly BSA registration and fees for all Adult Leaders are required by end of December. Troop 224 will cover cost for all the Leaders who return the filled in form indicating your intent to be an active leader in 2020.  CRITICAL – You MUST have (a) an active Youth Protection Training (YPT) and (b) sign and submit the Background Authorization Check form.

Like prior years, the adult leader registration fees come from Troop operating funds.  Please consider making a $50 donation to Troop 224.  Your donation is very helpful in keeping the costs of registration of Scouts as low as possible and for purchases of special equipment.

Please fill in your Name & YPT completion date, complete the Background Check Authorization form and turn these in. If  there are changes to contact information since Dec. 2018 please add them.

Mail or hand your completed form and any donation to Treasurer Cam.

Leader forms can be downloaded here.

Leader background check authorization forms can be downloaded here.


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