The Scout Law — “a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent” — serves as the 12 principles for Cub and Scouts BSA. Here at St. John, we have Cub Scouts for boys and girls in kindergarten to fifth grade and Scouts BSA for boys in sixth to 12th grade.
Rob Fries is the scoutmaster for Troop 5 of Scouts BSA, which is chartered by St. John. He’s been involved with the organization since 2015 and has served as scoutmaster for about two years. However, it’s a bit misleading to call Rob the scoutmaster because the boys lead all of the activities — he’s just there to supervise along with other adult volunteers. Rob was also in scouts for part of his childhood. His son, Matt, is a current scout, and David has moved on to college. David earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Scouts BSA meets three Mondays a month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They usually participate in one monthly campout and get involved with community service. Periodically, they attend outings to work toward a merit badge.
“These boys are really active as a troop,” Rob says. “They want to camp, and they want to go do other things.”
Merit badges help the scouts learn more about a particular hobby or career path — from personal fitness and swimming to home repairs. The topics cover all types of things.
Rob most enjoys the campouts and spending time outdoors with the youth. He appreciates that Troop 5 is chartered by St. John’s.
“I personally think that scouting teaches leadership, patriotism, and duty to God,” he says. “All faiths are welcome. As scouts, we recognize our duty to God. We all need faith in some way.”
In addition, Rob loves seeing the youth grow from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. He has enjoyed the honor of mentoring troop members as they earn their Eagle Scout rank.
“When they start the program, they can’t hold a bow themselves,” Rob says. “Years later, they are teaching the younger ones.”
The troop at St. John’s was established more than 100 years ago. With the addition of girls, the Cub Scouts program continues to grow. Rob guesses it will be a few years before Troop 5 expands to include girls.
Rob appreciates that Troop 5 is a tight-knit group. Overall, Scouts BSA is a relatively inexpensive group for families and a great way to get involved.
Consider getting your child involved in Scouts BSA or Cub Scouts. For more information, contact Rob Fries at 918-440-9129.