About This Blog

This blog was started in the Fall of 2010 as a way to chronicle the adventures of Boy Scout Troop 113.  This unit is now defunct and had originally been sponsored by First Baptist Church of Hackensack (FBC) from November 2010 thru the end of 2013.

We chose troop 113’s unit number specifically.  It comes from Psalm 1:1-3 and it was our hope to see our scouts grow to become described as the man discussed in those verses.

We considered ourselves a “faith-based troop” which simply means that we placed special emphasis on encouraging the boys to understand, and strive to fulfill, their duty to God in their daily lives.  We believed this was in keeping with BSA practices and customs — nothing out of the “ordinary” as we welcomed any boy to the unit openly, but also encouraged them to explore faith as part of their ongoing character development.

This had been accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • scoutmaster minutes exploring scouting ideals and how they compare to faith ideals expressed by the boys;
  • discussions about how to live a lifestyle that is distinctive from the world and marked by adhering to higher principles including respecting the right of others to hold conflicting beliefs (reverence includes respecting the beliefs of others even if we don’t agree with those ideals or hold to them ourselves);
  • incorporating basic, but important, steps of reverence into our activities (i.e. saying grace before meals, etc.)

The point of scouting isn’t to indoctrinate a specific faith practice (that’s a right reserved for parents and the boy’s church), but to excite scouts to want to participate actively in their own faith practices — to make the connections between those ideals and living joyful and active lives while learning valuable skills, practicing leadership through assigned responsibilities and developing self-reliance (i.e. learning to take responsibility for one’s self).

Scouting is a “Father and Son” or “Family and Son” educational ministry that focuses on getting outdoors and learning practical skills that are quickly becoming “lost” in today’s electronic society.

We no longer meet as a troop since the individual families decided not to recharter with BSA over a growing divergence of attitudes and compromises being put in place by BSA. A few have elected to become “Lone Scouts” and others are joining alternative programs that provide a better fit for their family’s needs.  There are quite a large variety of alternatives to scouting that range from secular, fully inclusive to religious and segmented.

We have been fortunate to have had a great three years with BSA.  We appreciate BSA’s curriculum and facilities, but many good things (like our troop) do come to an end.

9 Responses to About This Blog

  1. Joe Accordino says:

    We are members of the New Jersey Arms Collectors Club and we do a WW2 USMC living history display. If your troop is interested maybe we can come do a presentation. If you send me an email address I can send you some photos and information of what we do. Call me on my cell anytime (201)403-7932

  2. This is from Niels W. Pemberton in Reston VA. I am an Eagle Scout alumnus of Troop 1970 in Reston VA. We are sponsored by the United Church of Christ in Reston VA. Reston VA is close to Washington Dulles International Airport–the airport that’s 2nd only to JFK (Idlewild) Airport in NYC.
    Reston is also located close to Washington DC.

    I want to say I’ve never read a more brilliant essay on character than yours. Are you personally an Eagle Scout. I’m open to connecting with all Eagles.

    • Troop113 says:

      Thanks for the compliment on the site. Our troop has three Eagles in Adult leadership presently, including our Scoutmaster who authors many of these blog articles. Unfortunately, our troop will be surrendering it’s charter shortly since most families are not willing to continue with the BSA. It is unclear (presently) whether the blog will continue or not.

  3. Troop113 says:

    Thanks for the vote of encouragement, Joe. We’ll likely leave the blog up, but the post volume may decrease as we pursue other (non-BSA) interests in outdoor adventuring and youth leadership development where we are not forced to choose between honoring our God’s directives (about unequal yoking/contracting) and BSA policy.

    BSA chose this path, not our troop families — who’d love to stay with BSA except for this change that pierces our collective conscience.

    To that end, we’ve launched an entirely new blog site and have been actively publishing articles exploring our new interests (http://traillife113.wordpress.com)

  4. Joe Bollig says:

    Your blog has been a great comfort and help. When the membership vote came, I resigned as cubmaster in my pack. I’ve been waiting out the clock in my Troop, where I’ve served as assistant scoutmaster for a decade, where my Boy became an Eagle. I’ve been quite alone in my negative assessment of BSA’s new direction in my troop, and a distinct minority in my district.

    • Troop113 says:

      Joe, I hear what you’re saying. The great news is that we need never be alone or feel alone (Ps 4:8; Ps 18:1-2; Ps 27:1; Ps 34:18; Ps 46:1-3; John 10:27-28; John 14:1-3; John 14:15-18; John 16:33; Romans 8:38-39; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 5:7; James 1:2-4; James 4:7-8). We all loved being a part of BSA because it has a great mission, strong methods and many people who are genuinely devoted to the mission and methods. More of those people are itching to do something greater than BSA and many who stay today may leave tomorrow.

      When BSA tugged on the thread, the sweater started unraveling. It’s not going back to the way it was in 1972 (at peak membership #’s and the introduction of the “improved scouting program”) and years from now, we’ll look back as 2014 as the year it all started unraveling in to a pile of threads. I don’t say this with any glee, but merely acknowledge that based on Psalm 73, they can have a season of fun, but in the end, it will crash down around them.

      There are so many wonderful alternatives to BSA that we never knew about since we were brainwashed to believe that BSA was alone, in a vacuum, and the ONLY youth program out there. You’ll still get a virtually violent reaction from most BSA’ers when you start talking about options and alternatives because: 1) they really have never investigated the alternatives and dismiss them out of hand and out of ignorance; 2) they’re afraid to investigate because they’ll be ostracized by their fellow scouts for being disloyal (to cult-like extremes in some cases); 3) they’re not equipped emotionally to cope with the shock that the alternatives are, indeed, as strong and attractive as they actually are….

      So if you feel alone in your old BSA circles, leave those who would shun you in a non-scout-like manner (scouts should be courteous, friendly, cheerful and kind in ALL circumstances) and meet some really wonderful volunteers who are not nearly as “full of themselves”. I’ve gotten to know regional directors and unit leaders from Christian Service Brigade, Cadet groups, and (of course) a bizillion folks at Trail Life.

  5. Darryl Alder says:

    So sad that your troop folded. Your writting is stellar and we would welcome its use in our blog,utahscouts.org. Though our area is 99.7% LDS sponsors, we need the balance your writing offers. May we republish? May we list an author with a picture and email address.

    • Troop113 says:

      Darryl, appreciate the compliment. Your blog team may feel free to republish – please simply attribute as “Originally posted by Troop 113 on (original posting date), reposted with permission” and a link to the source article — anyone who wishes to leave a remark may do so at either your site or this site. As our troop is defunct, the maintenance of this blog is a very low priority and most of our team have moved on to other programs and curriculums (we wouldn’t have time to dialog by email with commenters and we’re too bashful to post a picture, etc.)

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