"We're teaching more than knot tying."
Founded in 1911, Paoli 1 is one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the United States and is the oldest continuously active troop in the nation. Though originally founded out of the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA, the Troop has since moved to Wayne, PA, with the Cabin as its headquarters. Paoli 1 is a "high adventure" troop that focuses on providing a rich and unique scouting experience for each boy in the program. The purpose of the program is to help them grown into young men. Scouts learn camping and outdoors skills but also so much more through positions of leadership as well as roles as subordinates, individual and group competitions, camaraderie, overcoming challenges, and simply experiencing things that an average teenager would not.
The Troop comprises approximately 50 scouts from the ages of 10 to 18 from communities all across the Upper Main Line and beyond. The Troop is sponsored by a group of interested citizens and is overseen by the Troop Committee. For day-to-day activities, the troop is currently led by Senior Patrol Leader Sam Cepielik and Scoutmaster Jim Roadcap for its 102nd year of Scouting.
Scouting is boy run and boy led. At the head of the troop is the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) who commands and oversees the operation of his staff of senior scouts as well as the five other patrols. The patrol is the basic organizational unit within scouting. Paoli 1 has five patrols and those patrols range in size from around six to twelve members with the ideal number being somewhere in the middle between eight and ten. Throughout the year these patrols work to accomplish various jobs from the mundane to the demanding. The younger scouts must be guided by the older more experienced patrol leader and assistant patrol leader in achieving these tasks as a coordinated and cohesive unit. In addition to a scout's position within each patrol's structure, scouting rank is also earned by mastering specified skills as well as knowledge for merit badges which are tested and confirmed by a Board of Review.
Managing a successful troop also requires extensive adult input. The Scoutmaster helps the SPL run the troop from day to day and supervises troop activities. He is assisted by Assistant Scoutmasters, scout parents, and troop alumni known as the Man Scouts. The Troop Committee and Paoli 1 Inc oversee the troop in the long term.
As previously stated, Paoli 1 is a "high adventure" troop. The primary focus is on activity rather than meetings. Therefore, in comparison to many other troops, Paoli 1 has fewer Troop Meetings and more trips and campouts. The troop year is filled with numerous and varying activities which fall into the broad category of annual events that happen once a year or maybe only a handful of times a year and regular events which happen nearly every month of the year.
Anyone interested in joining the Troop or simply looking for more information can head to the Troop's official website http://paoli1.org/. The website has a wealth of resources available as well as more information on the troop. Click the "Join Now" tab and then fill in the form to notify the Scoutmasters of your interest. You should receive a reply shortly.