Troop 130 welcomes all boys between 11 and 17 inclusive, regardless of nationality, language, or religion, or of which school they attend. While English is the most actively spoken language of the Troop, a good understanding of the language is sufficient. The Troop typically has between 30 and 40 boys registered at any time, with varying backgrounds, ages and nationalities. We have been based for the last 31 years at “La Chât”, the La Châtaigneraie Campus of the International School of Geneva, in Founex, Switzerland.
Troop 130 was founded in 1975 by George and Sylvia Thullen, who, along with other parents who had been active in Troop 77, responded to popular demand and founded Troop 130 on this side of Lac Léman. George and Sylvia are still active with the troop.
Troop 130 aims to provide boys with camaraderie, fun, excitement as well as opportunities to develop new skills, through a wide Scouting experience that includes adventurous outdoor activities, leadership training, discovery and guidance. Scouts are encouraged to advance to their full potential through the Scouting principles and advancement programs.
Troop 130 is affiliated to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) which provides the legal and practical frameworks within which the Troop operates.
“TAC” Transatlantic Council
Troop 130 is part of the Charlemagne District of BSA’s Transatlantic Council, the European headquarters for the Boy Scouts of America which is based in Mannheim, Germany. We pay an annual fixed sum per Scout to the council. In return, they organize special events such as Camp Alpine in Kandersteg, the Klondike Derby and the Normandy Jamboree and authorize outings and events. They are also our support system for everything ranging from training new Scoutmasters and committee members, to registering the awards and merit badges, advising us on registration and regulations, and ensuring that we have and do everything that we need to run a good Scouting program. More information can be found by consulting their website.
The Roundtable is a local forum composed of various parties involved in the Geneva region of the Boy Scouts of America: the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts, their group leaders, the Unit Comissioner, the District Commissioner, and a TAC representative. The Roundtable meets periodically to discuss Scouting in Geneva and to organize joint events.
Outdoor Events and Activities
Camping and Hiking
For safety and security reasons, camping takes place normally with the presence of three adults, including the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters, all of whom have their Youth Protection training. The number of adults needed is dependent on the number of Scouts taking part. As camping is the best part of scouting for most scouts, adult help is needed for all camp-outs. Normally camps involve one night night away.
High Adventure Activities
Troop 130 tries to schedule at least one High Adventure activity each year. Whether it is white-water rafting, hiking the crest of the Jura, or a Wilderness Survival weekend, we try to ensure that the boys have an optional adventurous activity at least once per year.
The Scouts will have been given instruction on lightweight camping and hiking equipment and high protein/low weight food planning. Parental help is needed when equipment is bought by ensuring that they keep within the guidelines. Backpacks should not exceed 25% of a Scout’s body weight. After a campout it is possible that your Scout will return home with Troop equipment, particularly after a wet campout when wet tents and tarps will need to be cleaned and dried before they are returned to storage.
Held at the end of January each year, this is a TransAtlantic Council event held in the beautiful International Scout Center in Kandersteg, Switzerland. This is a two night event and the boys are required to pull a loaded Klondike Sled around a course, while demonstrating different Scout skills and knowledge at each stopping point along the way. This is always a highlight of the Scouting year.
Scout Ski Day
Troop 130 usually organizes a Scout Ski Day each winter and the Winter Sports Merit Badge is often one of the first MBs earned by the Scouts through this activity.
This TransAtlantic Council event is held every three years at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France and the goal is to teach the Scouts about the D-Day landings, the great sacrifices made during WWII, and through learning and remembering, to ultimately become messengers of peace. Through visits to museums, battle sites and the American Cemetery Visitor’s Center, the boys can earn their Historic Trail patch. You and the Scouts will create a lifelong memory at this event.
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
Our troop usually sends those boys who are interested and meet the NYLT age and leadership guidelines to Oberdachstetten, Germany in August for their 5 day NYLT training. Those boys who have already participated in the NYLT course may opt to become NYLT youth staff in following years, helping to train new participants. They must go 4 days in advance for their own NYLT staff training. See the NYLT Website.
Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is the Scout Honor Society to which the boys must be elected by the troop. The elected Scouts must be willing to attend the OA weekend which is usually held in Germany in May or August. Our OA Lodge is the Black Eagle Lodge. See the Order of the Arrow website.
La Chât Kermesse
Traditionally the Scouts run the “Burger Stand” at the annual school Kermesse as a “thank you”, to La Chât for letting the Scouts meet at the school premises. This allows the troop to keep fees as low as possible. But working the burger stand does require parental involvement as the stall is organized and managed by a parent with the Scouts and parents working together on a rota throughout the event. Scouts also earn service hours here.
Throughout the year there opportunities for the Scouts to earn service hours working at a Soup Kitchen, helping with Eagle Scout Projects, cleaning out the Arnex Canal, helping with Pack 130’s Blue & Gold charity banquet, and working at the La Chât kermesse. Scouts are not limited to these events and are encouraged to participate in the service projects of their choice, whether through school, church, community or a charity organization.
Troop 130 traditionally rotates between further afield/high adventure camps, with trips to places like Wales and Croatia with a more structured, TAC run camp either at Switzerland or Germany. The activities vary, from an introduction to scuba diving, sea-kayaking and canoeing, supervised survival activities (choose 7 items to take, wrap in a garbage bag, then swim to Rat Island and spend 24 hours there learning how to survive–under professional supervision, of course), Alpine hiking, mountain biking and zip-lining. Summer camp is a place to focus on earning Merit Badges as well with opportunities available there that might not exist locally. Summer camp is always a blast!