Boy Scout Troop 186
Birdville PA (Natrona Heights)

Official Troop Website

Calendar of Events

 Be sure to also check our our Facebook Group for the latest updates!



The program calendar’s source:

Each Spring the Patrol Leader Council, a body of Scouts elected by their fellow Scouts, produces a Program Survey that is filled out by all Scouts in attendance at the May Family Picnic Dinner and Court of Honor. Based on the results of those surveys, and the PLC’s own discretion, the full outline program described below and printed in the Troop Program Calendar is planned out by the Patrol Leader Council during the Annual Program Planning Meetings that, this coming year, will occur on June 4th, 11th, 17th, 25th, and July 2nd, 9th, and 16th 2013. In short, this program comes from the Scouts.

Meeting Program:

This is the principal focus of the meeting night. The presenter or presenters may be Scouts, members of the Troop’s adult staff, or outside guests as determined by the Patrol Leader Council at their monthly planning meetings. Usually, the “Meeting Program” is not the responsibility of the “Program Patrol” for the month.

Scoutcraft Theme:

This is a secondary focus of the meeting night, which usually occurs in a 15-minute period between announcements and Patrol Corners. The Patrol Leader Council determines the general subject matter during Annual Program Planning, but specifics are up to the patrol responsible for the presentation, with the approval of the PLC at a monthly planning meeting. This session is the responsibility of the “Program Patrol” for the month.

Program Patrol:

The patrol responsible for the month’s “Scoutcraft Theme” sessions. See above.

Service Patrol:

The patrol responsible for preparing the meeting room as necessary, and for cleaning up after the meeting. This doesn’t mean that all other patrols have license to be slobs when they’re not the Service Patrol. The Service Patrol’s responsibility is to see to it that all Scouts in attendance do their part to keep the meeting room clean.

Meeting times and locations:

Between Labor Day and Memorial Day:

Troop Meetings: Mondays, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, upstairs at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Social Hall building, Tenth Ave. and Carolina Ave., West Natrona (“Ducktown”)

Patrol Leader Council Meetings: First Mondays, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Social Hall building before the regular Troop Meeting, or as otherwise indicated on the Troop Program Calendar.

Committee Meetings: First Tuesdays, 7:30 PM, at the residence of a Committee member to be announced, or as otherwise indicated on the Troop Program Calendar.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day:

Troop Meetings: Tuesdays, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (or sunset), at the Rachel Carson Grove at Harrison Hills Park (at the end of the upper, or right-hand road).

Patrol Leader Council and Committee Meetings: As shown on the Troop Program calendar or additional as needed, with time and location to be announced.

Outing times and locations: Departure and return schedules for outings are announced at Troop Meetings. Keep in contact with your Patrol Leader if you can’t make it to every meeting. All outings except for Summer Camp depart from and return to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Social Hall unless specifically announced otherwise. Summer Camp departs from and returns to the Plaza Parking Lot across from Blessed Sacrament. Some field-trip meetings meet at OLPH, some meet at the field-trip location, and some meet at other rendezvous points, as announced in advance at meetings.

Responsibility for participation: Yours. Don’t expect anyone to call you with an invitation, or with any program information, for that matter. Your copy of the Troop Program Calendar is your personal invitation to participate in every event on that Calendar. If you need information about upcoming meetings or outings, it’s your responsibility to come to a Troop meeting or make a phone call. For your own safety, never tell your Scoutmaster, “But I never knew about it.”

Note on the reliability of this program plan: Those who have been actively involved in Troop 186 for any length of time know of the Scoutmaster’s fanatical devotion to the Patrol Leader Council’s programming decisions. Though the occasional meeting or Court-of-Honor may shift around in very rare situations, outings don’t. These are the dates. They are carved in stone, cast in iron, written in blood in the book of ages. Plan your vacation time with confidence. If a particular outing is impossible on the date reserved, either a new program is developed for that date, or the outing is canceled outright. The dates don’t change. Period.


March 2013

Program Patrol: Squirrel. Service Patrol: Flaming Arrow.

Monday 4 Meeting Program: Compass Course

Tuesday 5 Troop Committee Meeting at the residence of the Levishes.

Wednesday 6 Japeechen District Roundtable Meeting / Japeechen Chapter Order of the Arrow Meeting

Saturday 9 Troop Orienteering/GPS Egg Hunt
We’ll convene at Harrison Hills Park and organize into teams, with each team opening an envelope to find one set of instructions to find one plastic Easter egg. Once found, that egg will be opened to find one more set of instructions to find the next egg, leading the teams through the park toward a common end point. The three courses will be set up with the option of using GPS technology to find the eggs. The first team to reach the secret end point wins. If the Patrol Leader Council chooses, the event can conclude with a cookout dinner and campfire.

Monday 11 Patrol Leader Council April Planning Meeting at OLPH, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Monday 11 Meeting Program: The Pop Lady

Saturday 16 Troop 186 Eagle Banquet, Patterson Hall. Practice 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Banquet 5:00 PM
Birdville Troop 186 led the William D. Boyce District in total Eagle Scouts from 1961 until the merger that formed the Japeechen District in 1999, or the last 38 of the 42 years our old district was in existence. All indications are that we’ve led the Japeechen District from the very beginning. After attending our Eagle Banquet in 1999, future Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca wrote of his “appreciation for the outstanding job of ‘delivering the promise’ the way it was intended to be delivered. The vision of Scouting is certainly alive and well in Troop 186.” Come to our 56th Annual Eagle Banquet and celebrate the remarkable success of our troop; a success we’re all a part of.

Sunday 17 Fun Slides, Irwin
According to the Fun Slides website, fun sliding is like sliding with your socks on wood floors, but on carpet. You’ll wear smooth plastic skates that are strapped to athletic shoes, and have access to level areas for beginners, an “extreme” area for advanced carpet skaters, and everything in between.

Monday 18 Hospital Tour/CPR Certification at the Alle-Kiski Medical Center
Knowing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) techniques is not only a requirement for First Aid Merit Badge, but also for every aquatics merit badge taught at Summer Camp. The card you’ll earn at this meeting will tell your counselors that you’ve completed that requirement already. The time you save will be your own. The life you save may be your Scoutmaster’s, or even someone you care about.

Monday 25 Fire Department Tour Field Trip

April 2013

Program Patrol: Flaming Arrow. Service Patrol: Beaver.

Monday 1 Patrol Leader Council May Planning Meeting at OLPH, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Monday 1 Meeting Program: Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Bookwork and Range Safety Presentation
Learn how to avoid accidentally shooting someone, including yourself. It may be possible to complete the non-shooting requirements for Rifle Shooting Merit Badge during this meeting. The shooting requirements can be completed at the upcoming Field Sports Weekend.

Tuesday 2 Troop Committee Meeting at the residence of the Ericksons.
Wednesday 3 Japeechen District Roundtable Meeting / Japeechen Chapter Order of the Arrow Meeting

5 - 7 Field-sports Weekend, South Buffalo Sportsmen’s Club
Past outings have included instruction and practice with rifle, pistol, flintlock muzzle-loader, bow-and-arrow, and shotgun. We’ve helped to clear brush and stock the pond with trout. Also included have been such additional events as canoeing and unscheduled swimming in the pond. All of these program opportunities will probably be available again this year, but let’s try to cut down on the swimming.

Saturday 6 186 Bridge-Crossing, South Buffalo Sportsmen’s Club, 7:00 PM
The Braves, bearing torches, appear around the bend in the rifle range road and proceed to the ceremonial site, past those assembled there, to the lakefront. The Braves shout a signal over the water. A flaming arrow descends from the roof of the pavilion into the fire-lay, lighting the council fire. Be there to see what happens next. (Better yet, there are plenty of parts for everyone and, if not, we’ll make more up. Please volunteer to join the ceremonial crew and be a part of the big show. If you’d like to make yourself a costume, see Mr. Beresik for source material. We still could use more costumes.)

Monday 8 Scouting for Food bag distribution, week one
As part of the Council-wide effort, we’ll be collecting food to be delivered to the food bank operated by the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, Natrona Heights. Working together with our Cub Scout Pack, we’ll be distributing bags to homes in our community for two weeks, and will then return on the third week to pick them up again. Be sure to dress for the weather.

Monday 15 Scouting for Food bag distribution, week two
As last week, be sure to dress for the weather.

Monday 22 Scouting for Food bag collection
Bag collection usually takes less time than distribution, so come ready for game time after we’ve filled up the cars. Drivers will be needed to help transport the food we collect, which last year totaled over two-thirds of a ton, so invite your parents to come along. Once again, be sure to dress for the weather.

26 - 28 Senior Scouts 50-Miler Canoe Trip, Pine Creek, the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania”
All Scouts who will be 14 years old or who have participated in at least two troop canoe trips and one troop whitewater rafting trip are eligible to participate in this trip. Depending on water levels, this trip might be moved to one of our other 50-Miler streams, like the West Branch Susquehanna River, the Clarion, or Redbank Creek. Lots of adult help is needed, so all dads are encouraged to participate in this breath-taking and memorable event.

Monday 29 Laser-Tag and Go-Cart Racing Field Trip Meeting
This event, at Wildwood Highlands, near North Park, can include laser-tag, go-cart racing, miniature golf, arcade games, and lots of greasy food. Families are welcome.

May 2013

Program Patrol: Beaver. Service Patrol: Cherokee.

Wednesday 1 Japeechen District Roundtable Meeting / Japeechen Chapter Order of the Arrow Meeting

Monday 6 Frisbee Golf at Deer Lakes Park
Bring your Frisbee, a backup Frisbee, long pants, a machete, and a writing instrument (if you actually want to keep score). This is an official, competition course, not one of the crazy cross-country belly crawls that the Scoutmaster sets up on his own, though we’ll probably only have time to finish nine holes. Come and see how the game is really supposed to be played.

Tuesday 7 Troop Committee Meeting at the residence of the Youngs.

Monday 13 Patrol Leader Council June to August Planning Meeting at OLPH, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Monday 13 Ultimate Frisbee or Flag Football and Personal Fitness Merit Badge testing at Highlands Golden Rams Field
We’ll meet at OLPH for opening and announcements, and then walk over to the football field for our game.

17 - 19 Troop Campout at the Big Butler Fairgrounds
We’ll spend the weekend camping at the Big Butler Fairgrounds and spend Saturday fishing, cycling, and playing games at the Fairgrounds, and hiking around at nearby McConnells Mill State Park.

Monday 20 Bike Hike Field Trip Meeting on the Butler to Freeport Community Trail

Tuesday 21 Family Picnic Dinner and Court-of-Honor, Harrison Hills Park, 5:30 PM
In addition to being recognized for awards earned since the February Court of Honor and receiving updates on Summer Camp and the rest of the upcoming program, Scouts in attendance will have the opportunity to fill out Program Planning Surveys to assist their Patrol Leader Council in planning next year’s calendar. Be there to have your say.

Monday 27 Memorial Day – No Meeting
Please note that the Natrona Heights VFW will probably ask us to help with planting flags on the graves of veterans in preparation for this holiday. Days, times, and locations will be announced when the VFW lets us know of their plans.

Tuesday 28 Miniature Golf / Driving Range Field Trip, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
We’ll head out to Stony Creek Golf Center in Plum for an evening of miniature golf and related fun.

June 2013

Tuesday 4 Scoutmaster’s Eighth Wedding Anniversary
The Scoutmaster will be unavailable today. Leave a message if necessary.

Tuesday 4 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
All holders of elected or appointed youth offices are invited and encouraged to gather at our summer meeting place an hour before regular meeting time to plan next year’s troop program calendar. The meetings will continue until planning is complete. The success or failure of our troop – that is, whether or not we have fun – depends on what happens at these meetings, so don’t leave it to someone else; take ownership of YOUR troop.

Tuesday 4 Begin Softball Tuesdays, 7:00 PM - sunset
These meetings take place rain or shine. At the option of the Scouts in attendance, they can also feature ultimate Frisbee, kickball, croquet, bocce, or the like. But remember, just because we’re playing games doesn’t mean that these summer meetings aren’t important. Crucial announcements are made every Tuesday night during the summer, and lots of preparation for outings goes on before and during the games. There are also lots of opportunities for advancement, with older Scouts available to assist those working toward First Class, counselors on hand to work on merit badges, the Scoutmaster ready to provide Scoutmaster Conferences, and members of the Committee available for Boards of Review for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. And, incidentally, it’s a lot of fun.

Wednesday 5 Japeechen District Roundtable Meeting / Japeechen Chapter Order of the Arrow Meeting

8 - 9 Troop Summer Canoe Trip, Buckaloons to Tionesta on the Allegheny River
All Scouts who have passed the Tenderfoot “Buddy System” requirement (9), the Second Class “Safe Swim Defense” requirement (7a in the 11th edition Handbook, or 8a in the 12th edition), and the First Class “Safety Afloat” and “Swimmer’s Test” requirements (9a and 9b) by the trip date are eligible to participate. We return to this section of river after a seven-year absence. As with all our Summer Canoe Trips, this outing will cover about 30 miles of easy river during a two-day period, and involve one night of camping along the stream; in this case on a large island.

Tuesday 11 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday 11 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Tuesday 18 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday 18 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Tuesday 25 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday 25 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

28 - 30 Troop 186 Camp Out at Cook Forest State Park
We return to Cook Forest after a two-year absence. A favorite outing of years past, this camping trip has included horseback riding, pioneering projects, go-cart racing, bumper boats, water-sliding, miniature golf, hiking, geocaching, canoeing, and advancement work. The more adults who participate, the more programs can be going on at once, so invite dad.
Sunday 30 School Bus Demolition Derby at the Big Butler Fair

July 2013

Tuesday 2 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday 2 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Tuesday 9 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, if necessary

Tuesday 9 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

10 - 13 OLMBS Summerfest
We get free use of our meeting room at OLPH, as well as Patterson Hall for all of our indoor Courts-of-Honor. By selling lemonade for four days a year, we have an opportunity to pay our rent. Be there to do your part.

Saturday 13 Go-Cart Racing at E-Racers

Sunday 14 Rope Swing Day at Nicholson Run
This is the same rope swing we canoe to from our Do Nothing For Free campsite.

Tuesday 16 PLC Annual Program Planning Meeting, Harrison Hills Park, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, if necessary

Tuesday 16 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Thursday 18 Swim Tests at the Camp Guyasuta Pool
It is highly recommended (and convenient) that all Summer Camp participants get their swimming test on this evening, so that our whole first day in camp isn’t swallowed up at the waterfront.

21 - 27 Summer Camp, Heritage Reservation, Old Allegheny Troopsite
This is the big one. Just be there.

Tuesday 23 Summer Raft Trip, Youghiogheny River
All Scouts who will be 12 years old, and have passed the Tenderfoot “Buddy System” requirement (9), the Second Class “Safe Swim Defense” requirement (7a in the 11th edition Handbook, or 8a in the 12th edition), and the First Class “Safety Afloat” and “Swimmer’s Test” requirements (9a and 9b) by the trip date are eligible to participate. The trip features up to class III rapids, which are run, at normal summer water levels, in 4-person rafts (which should be avoided at all costs), 2-person duckies, and 1-person duckies.

Tuesday 30 Softball, 7:00 PM – sunset

August 2013

Tuesday 6 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

9 - 11 Troop “Do-nothing-for-free” Camp-out on the Allegheny River
The high-intensity “DNFF” program usually includes eating, napping, eating, sleeping, and eating. Canoe trips through the locks, fishing, swimming, rope-swing breaks, and outpost camping are also usually available. We will return to Nicholson Island, near the Clinton Dam, where we stayed for the first time in 2011. Because this outing requires canoeing to and from our island campsite, all participants must have passed their BSA “Swimmers” test.

Tuesday 13 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Tuesday 20 Softball, 7:00 PM - sunset

Friday 23 Lernerville Speedway
The Scoutmaster will be bringing his earplugs.

Saturday 24 Family Picnic and Court-of-Honor, Harrison Hills Park
The 2013-2014 Troop 186 Program Calendar will be distributed, and we begin the new program year. Show up to participate in the afternoon program, which could include a pizza lunch, geocaching, a nature and ice cream hike, a softball game, a Frisbee-golf tournament, or anything else the Patrol Leader Council might dream up. The whole family is welcome for all or any part of the festivities.

Sunday 25 Kennywood
This is our troop’s fourth trip to Kennywood. Bring your whole family. If you lose track of the Scoutmaster, check the Potato Patch first.

Tuesday 27 Last Softball Game, 6:30 PM - sunset

Page last updated 03/18/2013