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Last Update: 28 February 2024. Click your browser's refresh button to ensure you are looking at the most recent update to this page. It is updated several times most weeks. Click underlined text to follow the link to additional information.

Changes to Merit Badges

Posted: 28 February 2024

Every year requirements for rank advancement and merit badges are examined and sometimes modified.  If you have started a rank or merit badge under the existing requirements you may continue to use them for that rank or merit badge.  There is no time limit on how long you take to complete the requirements. Or, you may choose to complete the rank or merit badge under the new requirements.

Changes to CyberChip, Swimming MB, First Aid, Sustainability, Camping, Cooking (all Eagle required Merit Badges) and numerous other merit badges are on this years list of revisions so it is important to use up-to-date information if you are considering these advancements.

You can find a list of the 2024 changes at the following link:

Troop Meeting, Thursday, 29 February, 7:30 - 9:00 PM, Multipurpose Room

Join us on every Thursday evening for our Troop Meetings. Check these announcements for any updates.

We will meet in person in the Multipurpose Room this week.

Troop 497 Summer Camp Information Session for Parents of all Scouts, 29 February during Troop Meeting

Join us for an informative session about our upcoming summer camp adventure at Camp J.N. Webster in Connecticut! This is a great opportunity to learn about the exciting activities planned for our travels and the week at camp.

Information addressed:

We encourage all parents, especially those of first year scouts, to attend this session to ensure your scout is fully prepared for an unforgettable summer experience.

Patrol Gear Cleanup / PLC - Sunday, 3 March, 2 to 4 PM - meet at the shed

We will be meeting at the shed from 2-4pm on Sunday, 3 March, to clean up Patrol boxes in preparation for the upcoming camping trip. Each patrol shall have 2 members in attendance, the patrol leader and patrol quartermaster.

The PLC will also occur during this timeframe with the Senior Patrol.

Committee Meeting, Monday, 4 March, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

Please update your Zoom App to the latest version before joining the meeting.
Zoom Meeting ID:
883 1455 5884

First Thursday Path to First Class, 7 March, 6-7 PM, St Joseph School Art Room

The First Thursday meeting will be held from 6-7 PM in St Joseph School Art Room. Meet in the School Lobby near the MPR. The First Thursday meeting will be followed by a pizza dinner at 7 PM for active meeting participants.

These classes are available to scouts that are working on the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class and will be offered on the first Thursdays of the month.  Scouts do not need to sign up in advance. For more information about the First Thursday Path to First Class program, call Mr. Raj Mahanti (443-528-1437).

We will need lots of help from the seniors, patrol leaders, older scouts and adults

Patrol Leaders Council (PLC), Sunday, 10 March, 7:00 PM

PLCs will generally be scheduled for the second Sunday of each month. Check the announcements for any changes. All patrols should be represented by their Patrol Leader or a designated substitute. All Seniors are expected to participate. Adult Leaders are welcome to join the meetings.

The PLC will once again be in person. Please arrive at Mr. Boutilier's home shortly before 7 PM so the meeting can start on time. Check a troop roster, which have been emailed periodically to all parents, for the address. Parents should return at 8:00 PM to pick up their sons.

Camping at Walkersville Watershed, Walkersville, MD, 15-17 March, Signup Online by 7 March

Updated 11 February 2024

This is a tent camping trip with Patrol cooking.This is an excellent trip for attempting your PASS meal requirement.

The main program theme is Shelter Building. Check out the shelters that were created during our October 2019 camping trip.

Actions required by participants before the trip: General Information 




Earn the BSA Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Emblem on April 8

There’s a solar eclipse coming in three months, and it’s going to be special. So special, in fact, that the BSA is offering a glow-in-the-dark Total Eclipse 2024 Emblem to youth members who complete five simple requirements. Some of you will remember that we did this six years ago, and it was awesome.

The 2024 eclipse — on April 8 — will be even better, and the BSA wants you to be ready. A solar eclipse occurs somewhere in the world around once every 18 months. Often, though, they are only visible from the middle of the ocean or some similar sparsely populated area. The 2024 eclipse will pass right over North America over a period of about four hours starting at right around noon Central time.

Follow this link to learn more about the Solar Eclipse and how to earn your emblem.

2024 Summer Camp -  June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation, Ashford, Connecticut

New Summer Camp information will be presented here for several weeks. The main repository, and your place to go for all the available Summer Camp information, is the Major Events page under the Information menu. It will be updated as new information becomes available.

Troop 497 is excited to be going to June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation, Ashford, Connecticut for 2024 Summer Camp.

Scouts and Leaders will depart by tour bus early morning on Friday July 19, 2024 and return Sunday July 28, 2024. Trip to Camp may include a tour of West Point, a deep-sea fishing trip and other fun activities. Camp Webster is located near Ashford, Connecticut in the heart of the Last Green Valley (National Park Service Heritage Corridor). Camp offers activities including shooting sports, water sports, basic Scout skills and a variety of other interesting merit badges. After Camp, our trip home will also include touring stops and a water activity.

Cost for Summer Camp 2024 is $975 per Scout/ $675 per Leader including transportation (subject to change based upon bus costs and final activity itinerary).

It is important that you confirm your trip participation commitment by making an initial $100 deposit and remaining current on our payment schedule. Deposits need to be received to register Scouts for their preferred merit badge programs.

Please make trip deposits to our Troop Treasurer for all Scouts and Leaders according to the following schedule:

Payment Amount
Initial Deposit January 2024 $100 $100
February 2024 $175 $275
March 2024 $200 $475
April 2024 $200 $675
May 2024 (Scout Only) $200 $875
June 2924 (Scout Only) $100 $975
Total (Estimated)


2023 Summer Camp Photographs

Please send your best Summer Camp photographs to Mr. Mark Fanto. He is collecting and organizing them for distribution to the troop. Help him out by sending him only your best 100 photographs. Select photographs that have a good mix of participants, eliminate duplicates, send more photos from activities where you were one of only a few people taking photos. We saw a lot of spectacular sights so only send spectacular scenery shots.

The best way to send the photos to Mark is to load them to an online server, e.g., Google Drive, and send him a link so he can download them all at once.

High Adventure Trips 2024 – Payment Schedule

Those Scouts and adults who have expressed interest in Sea Base or Northern Tier in 2024 must make a deposit and remain current with the payment schedule to remain on the attendee list.

We anticipate that the demand will exceed the capacity. Note that all participants who make a deposit must also obtain approval to participate from the High Adventure Committee, which includes the Scoutmaster and Mr. Strueber.

2024 High Adventure Payment Schedules

Sea Base 2024
Philmont 2024
April 2023 $400 $400
September 2023 $300 $400
January 2024 $300 $400
February 2024 $300 $400
March 2024 $300 $400
April 2024 $300 $400
May 2024 $300 $300
Total (Estimated)

Additional Resources for Scouts, Parents, and Adults

Please visit the Resources page under the Information menu above for additional information about Troop 497 programs and activities.