Why do so many boys and girls want to join Troop 566? Our Troop is energetic and schedules a variety of trips which keep the Scouts interested. The Troop size averages between 80 and 100 Scouts, which is large enough that trips are never cancelled for lack of support or attendance. There are many other reasons:
We communicate trip announcements, packing lists, past trip articles, notes on achievements and more. We maintain a public as well as a password-protected website for members. Troop 566 has its own e-mail distribution system and utilizes web based tools to sign up for outings and events.
Our Youth Leadership
Troop 566 is a Scout-run Troop. Youth leaders plan and execute their own program, under the guidance of the Scoutmaster, with parent participation and support. New Scouts begin with small jobs under the guidance of more experienced Scouts. As their skills and knowledge improve, new responsibilities are given to them.
Learning leadership skills is one of the most important benefits of being a Scout. Troop 566 has a Junior Leader Training program for the youth leaders. Each Scout will learn the skills needed to carry out his job in the Troop and will learn how to pass those skills on to other scouts.
Twice a month during the school year, the Patrol Leaders Council conducts planning meetings under the leadership of the Senior Patrol Leader. The scouts plan their upcoming camping trips, troop meetings, and review the patrols’ activities and health.
Our New Scouts
Most new Scouts join us in March as the local Cub Scouts graduate at this time. However, we accept new scouts and transfers during the year. In March, we prepare our new Scouts and their parents with a “Quick Start” training event. Troop 566 youth educate the new scouts while the Troop Committee briefs the parents on all the details. The goal of our QuickStart is to bring Scout and parents up to speed so everyone knows what to expect and how the Troop systems work.
Our Cooking Skills
We eat well in Troop 566! While many troops have hot dogs, cup-a-soup, ramen and pop tarts as regular fare, we pride ourselves on cooking more exciting meals. We have cooked everything from Stuffed Cornish game hens, marinated rotisserie chicken, stews in Dutch ovens, grilled salmon/steak to pineapple upside down cakes, cinnamon rolls, cobblers and even Crème Brûlée. There is very little we have not tried on our trips. We adapt our cooking styles to the type of weekend trip we do. We encourage our scouts to prepare gourmet meals for car camping trips. For backpack trips, we plan quicker, easier meals so we can concentrate on the sights and hiking.
Troop 566 has no shortage of cooking gear. Each patrol is assigned their own powerful 3-burner car camping stove and full kitchen complete with commercial grade skillets, pots, pans and griddle. We have separate, dedicated backpacking kitchens and break into smaller cook groups for backpacking trips. Patrols can check out additional cooking gear like Dutch ovens (we have over 20), propane BBQs and even a campfire rotisserie.
Cooking teaches many lifelong skills including planning, budgeting, shopping, repackaging, leadership/management (the cook teaches his patrol how to prepare the meal as a group), teamwork, and critical path analysis (all delegated tasks must result in a meal hot and ready to serve at one time for everyone in the group).
Our Training and Readiness
All Troop 566 Scouts are required to have current certification cards for both CPR and First Aid. The Troop arranges group training with certifying agencies to keep the costs low. Training every two years keeps their skills fresh. Our Scouts are prepared!
Our Boys Troop Scoutmaster David Okamura is an Eagle Scout, an engineer, and a father of two active teenagers. He is passionate about Scouting with over 40 years of participation as a youth/adult. As a Bay Area native, he appreciates our diverse and inclusive culture and enjoys working with Scouts to achieve personal growth and become responsible and active citizens in our community.
Our Girls Troop Scoutmaster Nancy Mautino, a former Girl Scout, brings over 11 years of experience with BSA, raising two boys in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. She is passionate about girls entering the world of Scouting and experiencing all the adventure, character building, service, and leadership the program has to offer. As a former Cubmaster for Pack 566, she knows that everyone in her Troop will have FUN!
We have been awarded the National BSA Quality Unit Award for the past 20 years – recognition of the strength of our program, the strong advancement of our Scouts, and the commitment shown by our Troop Committee and parents.
Our Scouts In the Press
Our Scouts often volunteer to help people and improve the community. The San Jose Mercury News covered Troop 566 efforts to help prepare the Saratoga Quarry Park for its public opening. Check out the story here.