Metropolis Boy Scout Troop 101 is a unit within the Four Rivers District of the Lincoln Heritage Council; which is one of the oldest local councils serving both urban and rural areas.

Troop 101 is currently made up of 22 Scouts ranging from age 11 to 17 with ranks from Scout (the very first rank) to Life (the last step before Eagle).

Our younger Scouting groups of Pack 101 — Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Arrow of Light dens — were unable to meet during 2020 due to COVID-19. Pack 101 is in the process of drafting a plan to resume activities in 2021.

Troop 101 is proud to be in service to the community. We participate in the Weekend Blessings program; which provides food to 150 to 180 students in Massac County to take home over weekends during the school year. We also hold a paper drive on the third Saturday of every odd month; gathering paper from the community to be sent off and recycled into insulation. Some other services Troop 101 provides to our community are picking up the flags placed at the local cemeteries for Memorial Day; flag retirement and preforming flag ceremonies at community events.

The youth run the troop under the guidance of adult Scouters teaching them leadership; organization and planning among other life skills. The scouting program has three specific objectives; commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development; citizenship training and personal fitness. These are skills that these young men will use not only in the scouting program but also into adulthood.

2020 was a rough year for so many people and organizations; and Troop 101 was no different. Although it was a struggle to navigate scouting, Scouts of Troop 101 were able accomplish goals; and we were still able to see a lot of advancement from our Scouts; although these numbers are less than half of a normal year. We had one Scout attain the rank of Eagle. The other Scouts of Troop 101 advanced in rank a total of 14 times — some Scouts ranking up multiple times in the year and others just once. They also earned a roughly combined 75 merit badges.

Each advancement in rank requires the Scout to complete a list of requirements over time, demonstrating skills they have learned along their trail to Eagle. Some rank advancement requires a Scout earn a specific number of merit badges as part of the advancement process. Eagle-required merit badges consist of first aid; Citizenship in the Community; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the World; communication; cooking; personal fitness; emergency preparedness or lifesaving; environmental science or sustainability; personal management; swimming or hiking or cycling; camping; and family life. These all have one thing in common — they are all life skills. Other merit badges include welding; automotive maintenance; wood carving; wood working; law; and many more. These “elective” merit badges not only teach the Scouts about the topic, but can also spark an interest in a hobby or towards a career path.

We are grateful to our community for supporting our troop throughout the years in our various projects such as, our concession stands at Encampment, dunking booth at the Superman Celebration and the newspaper recycling program that we participate in. We would also like to thank the members of Metropolis First United Methodist Church for their continued support by serving as the Troop 101 chartering organization since 1945. It is because of your support that we are able to offer such a well-rounded program to the boys of this community.

Scouting is a wonderful program, and I would like to invite and encourage any youth interested to come visit a meeting and see what scouting and Troop 101 has to offer. Troop 101 meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Metropolis First United Methodist Church.

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