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Boy Scout Troop 581
(Gainesville, Virginia)
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Who We Are . . .

Troop 581 is a Boy Scout Troop chartered by the Gainesville United Methodist Church (GUMC).  We meet on Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at GUMC  in the gym.  Interested?  Stop by anytime and check us out!  Parent of a prospective Boy Scout?  Check out our home page for lots of great resources.

Our troop is committed to delivering the Promise of Scouting (that is, adventure) to all of its all-boy membership.  We work hard to ensure that there are a constant stream of quality program offerings (but especially outdoor adventure!) for boys of every age in our fine troop.  Troop 581, like all good Boy Scout troops, is boy-led and offers unparalleled opportunities for leadership development and growth in mind, body and spirit.

Currently the troop has a membership of over 100 boys and two dozen Assistant Scoutmasters reliving their youth.  The boys meet in patrols of about 12 boys each with an Assistant Scoutmaster or two charged with mentoring each patrol in meeting their goals.  We are not an Eagle factory.  Parents looking to push their youth quickly to the rank of Eagle should look elsewhere.  However, Troop 581 has many Boy Scouts earning the rank of Eagle at their own pace -- dozens, actually.  Advancement is a natural outcome of participation in the Scouting program.  Like anything else, Boy Scouts get out of it what they put into it.

The outdoor program is an important part of Scouting and Troop 581 delivers.  And we're crazy about summer camp.  And high adventure?  Oh man!  Check out the Outdoor Program page for just a sample of our recent activities.

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Join Us!

To join Boy Scout Troop 581, boys must come to a meeting with a parent to register.  Prospective Boy Scouts must meet the age requirements:  Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.  Check out the joining requirements below -- visit us and we will set your new Scout up with everything he needs to know to Be a Boy Scout!

Troop 581 recognizes that we all have busy schedules, especially in the northern Virginia area (been on I-66 lately?).  Boy Scouts is different from Cub Scouts in that it is a self-paced program.  While advancement requires a level of activty within the troop during the year, Troop 581 meets year round so the there is no end of opportunity to be active.  We encourage Boy Scouts to be involved in church groups, sports, band, chess club and other activities.  We'll leave the light on for you.

Boy Scout joining requirements:
1.  Meet the age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.
2.  Find a Scout troop near your home.
3.  Commit to the Declaration of Religious Principles.
4.  Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian. 

Some Cool Troop 581 Traditions

Troop 581 has been around since 2002 and we've got some pretty cool traditions and customs.  And we're always making new ones.  Here are a few of them:

Mulch:  For Troop 581 Scouts, mulch isn't just a tradition, it's almost a way of life!  We've been selling mulch every winter since 2007.  It's our version of black gold.  It's the life blood that keeps our summer camp and high adventure going and growing.

Robert Service:  This great poet gave us such masterpieces as The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Spell of the Yukon.  At every single Troop 581 summer camp, without exception, the Robert Service poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee" has been recited.

Fishing:  Trout, bass, bluegill, Northern pike:  we've caught them all.  Besides our occasional weekend fishing adventure, we try to get out fishing to Lake Brittle in place of a meeting at least once each year.  And then there is the legendary Trout-O-Ree!

Eagle Scouts:  Every Scout who earns the Eagle Scout Award while a member of Troop 581 gets a sweet engraved sheath knife and their name on the History & Lore page of our web site.

Scouts' Own Services:  "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst them." (Mt. 18:20).  And boy have we gathered in some amazing places:  the tops of mountains, on trout streams, in rain storms, in the middle of the Sea of Abaco -- yep, we've worshipped there.  At our Christmas Court of Honor, one Scout is selected to read the nativity passage from the Gospel of St. Luke using the Douay-Rheims version -- the first English translation of the Bible.

Capture the Flag:  Troop 581's version of Capture the Flag is to other troops' version of Capture the Flag as chess is to checkers.  And our Scouts play for the love of the game, so they are awesome competitors.  Superman once challenged Troop 581 to a game of Capture the Flag and the loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.

Kings of Breakfast Meat:  One morning every year, we set aside the food pyramid.  On the first day of summer camp, we prepare a breakfast like no other.  Blueberry pancakes, real maple syrup, and an unhealthy amount of breakfast meat.  Bacon, sausage, SPAM, the works.  A nutritionist's nightmare.  Epic.