Resources and General Information

This page contains resources and general information about Troop 497 for Scouts, Adult Leaders, and Parents.
Last Update: 4 June 2021 Click your browser's refresh button to ensure you are looking at the most recent update to this page.
Click underlined text to follow the link to additional information.

The Troop 497 Covid-19 Activity Questionnaire will now be done ON-LINE!!

Please use the link below before all in-person Troop 497 Scout Activities. The information is the same as you have been providing in paper form, but now you can enter it from any computer or smart phone. All links to the paper forms will be replaced with the electronic version. Starting 4/23/2021, if you come to an activity with a paper form, we will ask that you go online and fill out the electronic version as well so that all of the information will be in one central repository. Please go to the online Troop 497 Covid-19 Activity Questionnaire prior to all in-person activities and follow the directions. Thanks for your cooperation.

This is a printable version of the Troop 497 Covid-19 Activity Questionnaire (revised 8 April 2021). It should only be used as a backup for events where cell service may not be available.

Information About Thursday Path to First Class (formerly First Thursday to First Class)

A quick explanation of Troop 497 Thursday Path to First Class (Temporarily changed from First Thursday to First Class).  These classes are available to scouts that are working on the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class and will be offered multiple Thursdays during the month via Zoom Conferencing.  You must sign up for these sessions as space is limited.  The requirements covered will be listed each week on SignUpGenius at this address  This address will be the same each week but will be updated the weekend before the classes are to be given.   The SignUpGenius will normally be locked on the day of the session to allow for Zoom Conference configuration.

What you need to do to participate:

  1. Check the SignUpGenius for the Ranks and requirements that will be taught this week.
  2. Signup for the session (1 session only) that best fits the requirements you need.  (You may sign up for a session that is above the rank you are currently working on)
  3. Make sure you have a Zoom account, and use the associated email address to register for sessions in SignUpGenius, and join all Troop 497 Zoom Meetings. (See instructions on the Troop website to create a Zoom Account and to send your information to the Webmaster).
  4. Gather materials you will need for the session you signed up for.  They will vary depending on the requirements taught that week and will be listed on the SignUpGenius.
  5. The Zoom meeting room will be linked on the Troop Website sometime before the training session.    Important:  Always link to the session from the Troop Website and refresh your browser as that link may change.
  6. Enter the Zoom Conference Session on time as your slot may be forfeited if not in the session when breakout sessions begin.

Everyone joining the Zoom meeting will first enter the main session. There may be a few announcements and then those Scouts who are in the meeting, and have pre-registered for a particular session, will be moved into their breakout room with their instructors for advancement.

What if the session you want is closed or you want help on another requirement??  You can still show up at the Zoom conference and Adults / Seniors will try to accommodate your need with unfilled slots and individual help.  Adults, Varsity Scouts, and Seniors that are familiar with Rank requirements are encouraged to attend as well to assist Scouts that did not find a session that met their needs.

For more information about the Thursday Path to First Class program, call Mr. Jerry McClellan (410-236-4258); for questions or issues with the Sign-Up for Thursday Path to First Class, email Jess Grim at

Merit Badges

Creating and Managing Zoom Meetings for Troop 497

This presentation has information on creating and managing Troop 497 Zoom meetings for increased security and efficiency. It is, in part, a response to hackers bombing Zoom meetings. Please follow these recommendations for all Zoom meetings associated with Troop 497 including Troop Committee, PLC, Thursday to First Class, and Merit Badge meetings.

Scouts, Parents, and Adult Leaders

Help us keep contact information up to date

If you change your e-mail address, phone numbers, or information on the roster – NOTIFY us of the change – just send an email to with the updated information.

Sign Up to Receive Tweets

  1. Open your Twitter account and Click on the Find On Twitter button.
  2. Enter ScoutTroop497 (exactly as shown – one word) into the area. Who are you looking for?
  3. Click on Search.
  4. A link to our Twitter page should come up.  Please click on ScoutTroop497.
  5. Please click on Send request.
  6. We will confirm your request and you will then receive all updates to your twitter account or to your cell phone if you enable text messages.

Sign Up to Receive Troop Committee Updates

If you would like to receive Troop Committee email updates, please notify Ken Krach.

BSA Medical Form for Scouts and Adult Leaders  

Updated 4 June 2021

An annual physical is required for Scouts and Adult Leaders participating in events lasting 72 continuous hours and resident campers.

Troop 497 Handbook  PDF Document

Must reading for every Scout and Adult. This handbook explains the workings of Troop 497. You will learn about Troop meetings, camping trips, advancement and many more activities relating to our Troop.

Sign up to drive Scouts to camping trips

Each Scout Family is required to drive Scouts on one long camping trip or two short trips each year. Sign up to drive Scouts using the link in the events page or the announcement for each trip. 

Parents Meeting  PDF Document

This is the presentation from the Parents Meeting of 11 October 2020.  Please contact any adult leader if you have questions about anything in the presentation or would like to volunteer to help out Troop 497. The presentation includes the 2020-2021 program and objectives, summer camps, parents' commitment, high adventure programs, leadership, Covid-19 considerations, and more.

Amazon online purchases yield revenue for Troop 497

We hope you'll take advantage of a shopping tool that will keep you out of crowded malls while paying a dividend to Troop 497.  Best of all, it costs you nothing!

The program is called "Amazon Smile," and it works like this:

It's that simple -- plus this program is a year 'round feature. Now, if you still have any question about the program, you'll likely find your answer at

The Parents Club thanks you for considering this easy way to help Troop 497.  Why not get started by making that initial visit to the sign up page for our Troop right now and shop at

Monthly boards of review for Star and Life

Monthly boards of review for Star and Life are held during the first Troop meeting of each month. A scout who would like to plan a review must contact Dr. John Milto, our Troop Advancement Chairman, to schedule the Board of Review at least one week ahead of time. You will need to be in full uniform, have your Scout Handbook, dues paid in full, and merit badges confirmed.

Religious Emblems Programs

Troop 497 supports programs for Scouts to earn religious emblems for several different faiths. Click on this document to read information on earning the religious emblems for your faith and for the contact information for Troop 497's Religious Emblems Counselor.

United Way Contributions

The Parents Club of Troop 497 directed donation number for the United Way is #7537. Use this number is you want your donation to go the Parents Club of Troop 497.

Interactive Maps for Maryland State Parks and Other Locations

The Maryland department of Natural Resources (DNR) publishes maps of the state parks in Geo-Spatial-PDF format. You can download, print or use these maps with other 3rd party mobile applications, e.g., the free Avenza app, at no additional cost. The Avenza Maps app is available free for both Android and IOS. Avenza allows you to save maps to your phone that are geo referenced - they have lat/lon information that can be read by the apps and show your location on the map. You can also have it make a track of your progress which can be saved and loaded to other applications like Google Earth for later viewing and analysis. You can also access Maryland's Trail Atlas to explore areas all over Maryland.

Adult Leaders

Troop 497 Adult Leaders Handbook  PDF Document

Must reading for every adult working with the Scouts or who wants to work with Scouts. This handbook explains the dos and don'ts for adults. It covers most of the items you will need to know to join us on an outdoor activity from camping to a day trip.

Updated Youth Protection Training - MUST BE COMPLETED BY ALL ADULT LEADERS and recommended for any adult camping with the scouts

An updated Scouts BSA youth protection training is available for staff, leaders and parents (Youth Protection Y01). The training includes a three-module course and a Certification Test that all leaders are required to complete this training annually.  View the instructions for taking the new course and login to your BSA account at to take the course. The course and test will take about 90 minutes to complete but can be completed a module at a time. Email a copy of your completed certificate to Adam Spence.

Adult leaders are also required to have current Youth Protection Training provided by the Archdiocese. Click Virtus Online for the link to this training. Log in to the site with your account and password or click the "First-Time Registrant" button to set up a new account and take the training. Contact Adam Spence with any questions and email him a copy of your completed certificate.

All Merit Badge Counselors Must Register/Re-register with National BSA

All adults who are, or want to be, Merit Badge Counselors must register/re-register with National BSA and be entered into the BSA database of Merit Badge Counselors. This is important because failing to register could invalidate a Scout's Merit Badge and prevent a Scout from having the badge accepted on an Eagle application. This is a new requirement as of June 2019. Here is the information to guide you through this process.

National BSA Criminal Background Checks - Responses Required by All Adult Leaders

The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs. Registered adult leaders should have received an email with this information in October 2019 but in case you have not received this information and plan on registering this year you need to complete this request. Once you have printed and signed the form please give it to Adam Spence.