August 3, 2021

In this week’s newsletter

Meeting This Week

We hope everyone is having a great return to the classroom this week. With school back in session, we are resuming our regular meeting schedule starting this Tuesday, August 3rd at 7:30 p.m. Along with our regular meeting place and time, everyone is expected to be in uniform.

Masks Required During Troop Meetings at OGUMC

Going forward, masks are required during troop meetings and scouting activities INDOORS AND OUTDOORS on the OGUMC campus for all individuals REGARDLESS OF AGE OR VACCINATION STATUS.   

We can meet indoors when appropriate (i.e., due to weather, Court of Honor, to use AV equipment, etc.), but everyone MUST BE MASKED, including covering both your mouth and nose at all times indoors and outdoors.

As a Troop, we will also continue to encourage and enforce social distancing both indoors and outside. We also continue to encourage all eligible Scouts, Adult Leaders and anyone else eligible that may come in contact with Troop 177 Scouts to get vaccinated and help minimize the risk to the Troop and our Scouts.

Our mask policy will be strictly enforced for Troop 77. We understand the need to be flexible and recognize that Scouts will inadvertently violate the policy, but any repeated or intentional violation of the new indoor mask policy will be grounds for immediate removal from the meeting and potential suspension from future meetings.

August Camping Trip

For our August camping trip, we will camping at Camp Rainey Mountain and whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. If you are going please be sure to fill out the waivers and review the new mask policy for this trip.

  • Waivers – Completion of BOTH outfitters (Wildwater and Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC)) is required so we can be flexible on the rafting day with rafting assignments.
    1. Download and Print Waivers
    2. Thoroughly complete and print NEATLY on both waivers (total of 3 pages)
    3. Turn in at the next Scout meeting
  • IMPORTANT – Rafting Mask and Covid Policy
    • All participants must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (i.e., with the final dose administered no later than July 30th) OR proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid test or PCR test. The test must be conducted no earlier than Tuesday, August 10.
    • A final pre-trip review of participants’ COVID-19 vaccination and testing results is expected to be held the evening of August 12 to ensure compliance. You will not be allowed to go on the trip if the Troop has not received your vaccination record or negative COVID-19 test by 5pm on Thursday, August 12.

Swim Tests

For both our August and September camping trips we will be doing aquatics activities. In order to participate in these activities, Scouts and adults going on the trip will need to have passed the BSA swim test as a swimmer this year. Most Scouts completed this at our meeting in May, prior to our boating activity at Lake Allatoona. If you completed this test outside the troop, we will need documentation that it has been completed. If you have not completed the test and would like to participate in either of these activities, please let Mr. Taylor know as soon as possible so we can get a test scheduled.

Oak Grove UMC BBQ

The OGUMC BBQ is officially ‘on’ this year. Save the date for October 16.  The Scouts have been a huge part of making the annual BBQ happen in the past. This is an excellent way to show the church our gratitude for being a huge supporter of Scouting and to be a visible part of the community. More information on volunteering will be available soon.

High Adventure


As part of his Wood Badge Ticket, Mr. Cole and other Leaders are taking a crew of co-ed Scouts (we will be doing this through the Venture Crew made up of Scouts from Troop 77, Troop 177, and Venture Crew 77) on a Local High Adventure Trip that will simulate the backpacking adventure of attending Philmont (without it taking 14 days, traveling to New Mexico, and costing nearly $2,500 like Philmont does).  The trip will be over the long Columbus Day weekend leaving the evening of Wednesday 10/6/2021 after school and returning Monday 10/11/2021.  I am looking for three sets of volunteers:

(1) approximately 8-10 Scouts (14+ or have completed the 8th grade) both girls and boys to go on the actual hike itself (NOTE: If more Scouts are interested, then we can have more than 1 crew and everyone eligible should be able to go],

(2) approximately 5 Older Scouts, preferably with Philmont experience, to meet us on the trail for one day (likely either Saturday or Sunday) and host a Philmont-like Program Activity (and then those Scouts can hike before and after that day in the same area), and

(3) Adult Leaders to (a) go with me and the High Adventure group (Thanks Ms. Henderson and Ms. Indu for stepping up as Female Adult Leaders) on the hike, and (b) at least two leaders to hike with and assist the Older Scout Program group.

If you are interested in getting involved in this project, then please send me an email at with what part you are interested in doing (hiking crew, program crew, or Adult Leader).

Thanks.  Mr. Cole (Troop 77 Scoutmaster)

*An earlier version of this section include a requirement to write a couple of paragraphs about why you wanted to participate. This requirement has been removed.

Service Opportunities

We have updated the Community Service Page with a number of opportunities coming up this fall. If you need service hours for a rank, a merit badge, or an award (like the 50th Anniversary EPA award) please be sure to contact one of these parks to volunteer.

Conservation Weekend

Registration is open for the 2021 Conservation Weekend at Camp Woodruff November 12-14. This was formerly called Hornaday Weekend, but the BSA has renamed the conservation award. It is now the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, and the weekend has been renamed to match. The event is still pretty much the same though. Scouts will have the opportunity to work on up to three conservation themed merit badges, all of which will help satisfy requirements for the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, and will also participate in a workshop on creating and leading a conservation service project. The cost of the weekend includes camping, meals, merit badge costs, and a t-shirt.
Get all of the details at:

Merit Badge Opportunities

With school out, now is the perfect time to spend some time working on merit badges. There are plenty of in-person and virtual programs available. Please remember, though, that before starting work on any merit badge, you need to have a conversation with your Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

Atlanta Area Council will be holding a Merit Badge Summit on Saturday, August 21, 2021. Nearly two dozen merit badges will be offered, including several Eagle Required ones. Registration is now open and filling up fast.
For more information and to register visit:

Atlanta Area Council offers many merit badge offerings throughout the year. Upcoming in-person merit badge opportunities include Automotive Maintenance (August 7) and Railroading (September 17).
More information about these and other Merit Badge programs at:

Chattahoochee Nature Center offers nature themed merit badge classes on weekends during the summer. Upcoming classes include Environmental Science August 14th and Canoeing August 22nd.
For more information and to register visit:

Dunwoody Nature Center also offers a number of nature related Merit Badges. Upcoming classes include Reptiles & Amphibians on August 28, Insect Study on September 11, and Forestry on October 23.
Learn more and register at:

Northeast Georgia Council has an aquatics adventure weekend coming up September 3-5. This weekends allow Scouts to earn one aquatics Merit Badge and get in some Scout camping. Held at Scoutland on Lake Lanier, the cost is $45/weekend for most merit badges, this includes camping and food.
Register at:

Cape Fear Council has a virtual merit badge college coming up August 14. If you aren’t going to make it to our Whitewater Rafting Trip, but still want to work on Scout advancement, this is a great opportunity to work on two merit badges. The cost is $20/session, with a morning session and an afternoon session.
Register at:

Daniel Boone Council headquartered in Asheville, NC has a rolling slate of virtual merit badge programs, with new merit badges offered every week.
Learn more and register at:

Troop Communication

Please be sure to join our Remind Classes to get notifications on all of the Troop 177 happenings. There is an app, but you can choose to get notifications via text messages or email.

Troop 177 Parents

Troop 177 Scouts