Welcome to the Troop 1 of Saint George!
Registration is open all year round.
The Troop is a father/son(s) Catholic Apostolate, open to boys from 1st to 12th grade.
Since you are considering joining, I must make the assumption that you are already familiar with the philosophy and goals of the Troops of Saint George as envisioned by their founder, Dr. Taylor Marshall. Therefore, I will spare you the speech. If you are unclear about those, feel free to call me.
I will try to get through some housekeeping items briefly, jump into what our schedule typically looks like, and answer a few questions you might have. I will also give you links to some of our resources.
In attempting to make this intro fit all, I also need to apologize if I cover things you already know.
About you (to be entered in the “Register” page):
First, a few things we need form you for our records:
# Who recommended the Troop to you?
# Your Catholic affiliations (Parish, school, etc…)
# Street address
# Primary phone #
# Emergency phone #
# Cadet’s school grade
# A short paragraph about you, your cadet(s) and your family, so I can properly introduce you to the rest of the troop
And, there is the bitter matter of operational costs… The dues run from September to September and are as follows:
# HQ annual dues of $30/person (check to be written to “TSG”) – $20/person after April 1st.
Cap at 4 members
# Troop 1 annual dues of $40/Cadet + $40/dad (check to be written to “TSG1”) – $20/person after April 1st.
Cap at 3 members
# $15 (typical)/person/camp (to “TSG1”), as they come up
Cap at 3 members
All fees to be paid on the “Make Payment” of the website.
Our operating costs should come down some more (we were able to reduce TSG1 membership fee by at least 20% this last year already, more if more than 1 cadet) as the original equipment investment tapers down. We hope to be able to lower TSG1 membership costs in the future. In order to achieve this, we may, from time to time, ask members if someone could voluntarily donate items, or “sponsor” a specific expense. So far, TSG1 has been able to absorb additional costs, when some of the specific camps/activities exceptionally exceeded $15 per person.
TSG1 is a Texas No-Profit Organization. As such, we are able to receive donations. They will not be tax-deductible until we achieve 501c3 status (expensive proposition, hopefully in the next couple of years). TSG though, as the mother organization, is fully 501c3 accredited and donations to the headquarters are tax-deductible.
The Officers of TSG1:
Eric Gruchet, Captain
Taylor Marshall, Honorary Captain
Eddy Koch, 1st Lieutenant, Awesomeness, Seniors lead dad
Scott Pinkerton, Lieutenant, Liturgy, Treasury
Dave Vidimos, Lieutenant, upper Juniors (Eagles, Dragon Slayers) lead dad
Rick Marshall, Lieutenant, lower Juniors (Angels, Lions, Bulls) lead dad
Alex Halisky, Lieutenant, Quarter Master
The general TSG structure starts with its members. Ideas, suggestion, and concerns are brought up by members to their individual Troop Captains. Captains of fully accredited troops will then forward them to the TSG national team. Approval and funding comes from the Board of Directors, as do instructions and guidance.
It is important that you understand that the Troop hard launch was just last January 2014. So, it is a work in progress. Things are coming into place amazingly fast, considering the complexity, and everyone’s busy schedules. This said, a lot of work needs to take place still, and patience and flexibility are a must. Also, this is a father-ran operation. We need all the help we can get! Please volunteer in any function you may be able to.
At the beginning of the new TSG year (starting Sept. 2014), we will start establishing Patrols within our Troop. This is not a TSG mandate. Troops have organizational latitude as long as TSG principals are adhered to. We expect that it will take at least half a year to see Cadets “stand out” as potential Patrol Sergeants. When that time comes, promotions will be offered, and internal Patrol structures defined. When a dad has more than 1 Cadet in the Troop, his boys will be in the same Patrol, so the father/son(s) principle will not be affected.
The TSG Officer’s Manual is available on the website under “Resources”. It contains all our policies and procedures and should answer any question you might have.
Our 1st uniforms order went out on 9/30/14. This was the first bulk order to start production from the manufacturer. We had a 2nd order sent in January 2015. National is working very hard on a direct online ordering option, and it should be available to us by mid-September 2015. Until then, anything close to OD (“ olive drab”, military version of khaki) is acceptable. We require long pants and a clean shirt for Mass. Boots are highly recommended (snake safety, poisonous plants, ankle support, walking considerations).
Basic Camping Equipment:
You and your cadet(s) will be responsible for your personal equipment. TSG1 will provide drinking water, all cooking equipment, and sanitary supplies (toilet paper, hand soap, etc…).
Here is a list of items (not all-inclusive) you would be responsible for:
- Class C uniform (the “every day” uniform), which consists solely of a knife, a Rosary, and a pen
- Sleeping bags
- Mess kit
- Compass (base-plate type recomended)
- Sun block
- Bug repellent
- Hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, etc…)
- Hat, if you do not have the TSG1 uniform hat yet (from Porter’s Army Navy in Irving)
- Some discretion is allowed for the following uniform items, but guidelines are described under “Resources” – “Uniforms” on the website:
- Base layer
The schedule is posted on tsg1.org for the rest of the year. The next few upcoming events are posted on the main page, and the rest can be found under “Calendar”. This calendar is subject to changes. When all the plans and details have been finalized, the next event will have a link: “See details and register here”. When that happens, registered members will receive an email and a text message to notify them, typically a week ahead, sometimes more, depending on the event requirements. Please register in a timely fashion after you receive such notification. Early and accurate head count help tremendously in the planning of events, and are sometimes required by the facilities or facilitators.
The typical schedule consists of:
- A camp every month, typically on the last week-end of the month, except for July, August and December, during which camps will be substituted for day activities, due to Texas weather and busy Holydays season.
Camps should be within 1hr drive of Irving, and run from Fri. 1800 to Sun. 1000. Gate should be opened by 1600, arrive when you can. Mass will be celebrated at every camp. It is typically a Saturday Vigil Mass, which legally fulfills Sun. mass requirement. Due to his busy schedule, our Chaplain, Father Longua, is unable to offer Sunday Mass, but tries his best to visit and offer confessions on Sat. before Mass. We close camp early enough on Sun. to allow families who want to attend Sun. Mass as well to do so. The Rosary and Angelus are parts of our daily routine.
Fri. dinner is not provided. Come fed, or with your sandwich.
On Sat. evening, we have one of the best moments of the camps: the campfire evening. It is open to skits, readings, poems, performances of all sorts. We strongly encourage fathers to prepare their cadets with some quality stuff. Skits will have to be approved by a Captain (to keep the silliness to a minimum…).
- An activity day on the “off” months: typically 2nd and 4th Saturday. of the month. This can be anything: archery, CPR education, wood workshop, field dressing, volunteering, glider rides, water sports, etc… Suggestions are welcome! There may or may not be a cost, but we try to limit the financial pressure on families as much as possible.
- Every 2nd Sat. of the month, we have a officers’ planning meeting, which happens online. This might change in the future.
It is common that fathers are not able to attend some of the camps. Although this is definitely a father/son group, we understand that schedules can conflict. If you still want your cadet to make it, you will have the option to choose a “chaperone” for that event (under “Legal docs”), although paperwork will be involved and is subject to restrictions.
Here are a few places to start:
- The TSG official website:
Will cover the basics, especially what your cadet is expected to know at his level. Keep in mind that there is no time limit on these requirements. They are simply goals, and things the leaders would expect cadets to know.
- Extensive material under “Resources” on our local website: tsg1.org
- Equipment discount:
Steve Porter, the owner of Porter Army Navy Supplies (600 E Irving Blvd, Irving, TX), offers a 10% discount for mentioning our membership to Troops of Saint George.
You may still have many questions. You can call me anytime. I will do my best to answer them.
Please understand that this is a commitment from both fathers and sons. It is not designed as a “Club Med” where boys can be entertained when there is nothing better to do that week-end. We understand that schedule conflicts arise, and no activity is mandatory. Nonetheless, you will be getting out of the Troop what you will be putting in. Please make every effort to attend the events and prepare your cadet(s) for them. It is truly a lot of fun, and a wonderful opportunity for fathers and sons to grow even closer in faith and camaraderie through the outdoors medium.
Once we receive your registration, your email address will be to our contacts lists, and you will start receiving updates.
Of course, you might want to “try us out” before making a commitment. We would be more than happy to have you join us for a camp or an event as a guest. The only fees you would be responsible for are the specific event/camp fees.
We hope to see you soon! God bless.