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Typical First Year

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Our troop holds a series of skills training classes that start around February specifically for the new scouts entering our troop. The classes are held during our regular Monday night meetings. We have four Skills Advisors comprised of former Scoutmasters and current Assistant Scoutmasters. The goal of the Skills Training is to help the new scouts move from the Scout rank to the First Class rank within the first year of their scouting experience. Studies have shown that scouts tend to achieve higher ranks if they reach First Class in the first year or two of scouting.


Skills Weekend

All new scouts that start in February, go through a series of skills sessions for several weeks from the time they arrive. They move rapidly through Scout and Tenderfoot (which they typically achieve by mid year).  Outdoor opportunities such as Skills, Pinnacles, Kayak Camp and Camp Oljato give the boys a great chance to have fun and to learn new skills.  Some parts of Tenderfoot can only be achieved during camping trips. Skills Weekend is typically in March. We have held them in various campsite locations in the area such as Uvas Canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Mount Madonna in Gilroy. This is our first campout of the year and it's a highly recommended event for all new scouts.  We expect to advance most scouts during the weekend to Scout level and to achieve many steps towards "Tenderfoot".  We hope to get 100% attendance from the new scouts. We normally meet at 8am on Saturday morning at the Los Altos Youth Center (LAYC), and leave shortly after.  Then we carpool to the campsite, etc etc, set up camp, and teach skills intermixed with fun activities. There will be a campfire and tent camping that night. On Sunday morning we will do a hike and break camp around noon to be back in town around 2-3pm.  We discourage new parents from attending. Usually we have a few parents volunteer to help (1 or 2). This allows the scouts to feel independent on their first overnight.  We expect to have, the scoutmaster, 3 assistant scout-masters and about 10 older scouts signed up to help teach the skills and make this a safe and fun event.  For parent drivers and scouts going to Skills Weekend we will provide more details during a troop meeting in late February and we will have an organizational meeting and Pack Check at LAYC the week before the event. This is a "one off" event - there is no other "Skills Weekend".  The next camping opportunity will be Pinnacles in April.  If your New Scout is not available for the Skills Weekend than he'll be able to catch up on camping trips later in the year.

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