Troop News

Check back frequently for updates on Troop meetings, camping, and other activities!

Siwash 2017

posted Oct 19, 2017, 7:40 AM by Scout Master   [ updated Oct 19, 2017, 9:02 AM ]

One of our most popular camping trips of the year is happening October 28-29 at Camp Campbell

What's Siwash?

Siwash was a originally a trade language used by European settlers and Pacific Northwest Indians in the 19th century, but the term "Siwash" has become a term commonly used to refer to camping without a tent. For our Siwash, Scouts will be camping without tents (building outdoor shelters), preparing their own food (foraged or packed), and enjoying the crisp fall weather!

What exactly will we be doing?

We will be learning how to build shelters & plan on sleeping in them, it would be a good idea to team up & build together.
We will work on starting fires without matches.
Fishing will be an option.

What do we need to bring?

Scouts are responsible for own food, there is water available at Camp Campbell.
Scouts should be prepared, and should dress appropriately for the weather. This means layering could be important for this trip.

Essentials to consider packing:
  • sleeping bag
  • pocket knife
  • rain jacket
  • change of socks
  • flash light
  • small tarp
  • matches
  • water bottle
  • Poly-cord rope (50-100 feet)
  • Mess Kit
  • Fishing stuff
  • dryer lint (for starting fires)
  • hatchet or pack saw if you have your Totin' Chip
Food Suggestions
  • Breakfast bars, or Ramen, trail mix (think small and light)
  • Foil, oil, and spices if want to fish and cook your catch
  • Soup mixes
  • Bagged tuna or chicken

What are the Logistics?

We will meet at the Scout Shed 8AM Saturday the 28th, and departing by 830AM. 
We could stop for breakfast on Sunday if we wanted- if so, scouts would need extra cash.
We will return by lunch on Sunday the 29th. We will be sending out an ETA via the Troop Remind app.
A Scout is Courteous- Scouts should bring 5$ for their driver.

If you have questions about the campout, ask your patrol leader at the upcoming Troop Meeting. If you have logistics questions, please email the Troop Outdoor Chair.


posted Jan 20, 2017, 2:26 PM by Troop Webmaster

Leaving at 5:15 on Friday. Returning around 11 on Sunday.Events are Iron chef, sling shot, camp gadget building, and more.   

Untitled Post

posted Jan 20, 2017, 2:21 PM by Troop Webmaster

Troop 400 trip to Washington, DC
Troop 400 will be going to Washington, DC, Friday, April 21 through Sunday April 23.  Cost for the trip will be about $75, plus some meals. We will be staying in a cabin at a scout camp near the city and taking the Metro into downtown Washington.  If you are interested in going, or have questions, please contact Mike Konvicka

New Life Scout!

posted Jan 17, 2017, 5:28 PM by Web Master

Congrats to Brennen on achieving Life Scout!

Troop meeting cancelled this week (1/10/17)

posted Jan 9, 2017, 3:14 PM by Web Master


posted Jan 8, 2017, 1:55 PM by Web Master


Troop 400 raises the bulk of the money it needs to buy equipment and other budget items by asking adults to usher at Duke Women’s Basketball games. Half of the money we raise goes to the ushers’ individual scout accounts. Ushers report 1.5 hours before each game. The work consists of distributing programs and helping fans find their seats. Most of the time, however, ushers just watch the game. The work is not hard. Please consider helping the troop by signing up.
You can see the schedule here:
Sign up here:
 Dress Code is black pants and white t-shirt under Staff One gray collar shirts.

Court of Honor

posted Jan 8, 2017, 1:54 PM by Web Master

Tuesday January 31st in the Scout Room. If you need to complete communication merit badge please this opportunity & let your SPL konw. More details to follow

2017 Freezeree Camping Trip. Jan 27-29th

posted Jan 8, 2017, 1:53 PM by Web Master

Camp Campbell. Events to include Patrol Iron Chef, Sling Shot, Camp Gadget competition & More. We will meet at the scout shed friday afternoon at 5 PM and depart by 5;30 PM. January is cold weather camping month and we will cover all you need to know and bring for this event to be a success. Please sign up on the white board or using the link in the weekly troop email.

Philmont 2018

posted Jan 8, 2017, 1:51 PM by Web Master

--The trip is scheduled from 6/14/18 to 6/27/18. This includes travel days.

--We have space for 24 participants (Scouts and Adults). The final number that we submit in January will depend how many sign up.
--A $100 Deposit is due to Philmont by Jan 31, 2017.
--Scouts must be 14 (or 13 and completed 8th grade) by 6/14/18
--Total cost of the trip is expected to be $1600 - $1700 (Primary cost: Registration $940, Plane $400-$500, Bus $100-$200)
--A series of payments will be made starting in the Fall.
--Cost does not include personal equipment purchases. Keep in mind the troop does have some gear that is available.
--There will be a series of prep hikes that will help prepare and educate the participants. Dates are TBD but these hikes are an important and fun part of the experience.
--If you are interested, please contact or sign up on the white board in the scout room, so we can plan accordingly.
--Also pay the deposit to Kellie Rigsbee (Scout funds, check, or cash) by mid-January
--Any questions/comments. Contact Ken Parham by email or
919-280-0055. Ken will also be at the scout meetings. (At least the first half.)

--Web page has more information -

Blue Ridge Summer Camp Update

posted May 16, 2016, 7:21 PM by Web Master   [ updated May 18, 2016, 8:09 AM ]

Only 32 days until we leave for our trip to Blue Ridge Summer Camp!

Please read through the details below for important information. This Chart has information specific to each scout. Also be sure to read through each camp’s leaders guide for packing list suggestions and camp details. As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions -

Payments due – Final payments are due to Blue Ridge at the end of May so please submit your payment to the troop if you haven’t already. If you can’t make the payment on time, just speak to Mr. Ratka about it so we know your status.

Health forms – If you haven’t already completed health forms, please do so ASAP.

Leadership for the Voyageur Trek and Claytor Lake will be by the camp’s provisional leadership and while Troop 400 scouts will be together, they will not be with Troop 400 leaders.

UPDATE: Marshall Wilfong, one of our past Eagle Scouts has volunteered to help Mr. Ratka with camp leadership for our 7 scouts at base camp! Marshall is a great guy and the boys will love working with him.

Transportation – If you saw the email from Gary, you know we’re in need of additional transportation. We were going to utilize the church van, but it is going to be in use by other groups during that time. On the way there, Mr. Ratka can carry 7 scouts, Ruby Johnson has volunteered to take up to 6 scouts, so we need one more vehicle to get the rest of the boys there. On the return trip, we will need transportation for 8 scouts in addition to the 7 Mr. Ratka will be bringing back.

Swimmer’s Tests – Be aware that scouts that are also going to Raven Knob can complete their swim test with Mr. Menchini, but Blue Ridge requires that the tests be completed at camp, so they may need to do it twice. Swim gear should be packed at the top of their day pack to be ready to go when we arrive at camp.

Mosquitoes - We're told that flying bugs are very rare at Blue Ridge and mosquitoes are not a problem.

Care packages – Camp mail can be hit or miss, so if you want to send care packages during the week, prepare them in advance and give them to Mr. Ratka for safe keeping and distribution – just mark the day you want it delivered on the package.

Medications – If your scout is on regular medication or may need medication for allergies, etc., be sure to notify Mr. Ratka

Uniforms – Class A uniform should be worn on the way to and returning from camp and will be worn for dinner each evening. 

Tents – Tents are provided by the camp

Fishing licenses - Scouts that will be 17 or over at the time of camp and who want to fish will require a Virginia fishing license

Activity Consent Forms - All scouts need an activity consent form which can be found here. Bring it to Mr. Ratka at your earliest opportunity.

Packing for the trip - Have your scout prepare a packing list and pack their gear. This is an activity they will need to do throughout their time in scouts, so while you should make sure they have everything, make sure they put forth the effort. Voyageur Trek attendees should use a backpack. All other scouts can use a backpack or footlocker.

Merit Badge signup - Scouts attending Powhatan base camp (non Brownsea Island) and Claytor Lake need to provide a list of merit badges they want to sign up for. The merit badge list and schedule can be found in the Powhatan and Claytor Lake Leader's Guides. If scouts will also be attending Raven Knob, they may want to consider taking any pre-requisites for RK merit badges while at Blue Ridge. 

Claytor lake scouts wishing to do personal watercraft will need to pay an additional $60 fee and turn in a personal watercraft agreement - this is a five day course and other merit badges will not be able to be taken.

New scouts attending Brownsea Island can sign up for the bird study merit badge in the morning before their regular activities start but it is not required. Additional merit badge opportunities may be available during evening programs but may not be announced until camp starts.

Safe Boating Course - Scouts attending Claytor Lake are required to complete a safe boating course before camp. An online Boater Safety Course is available at Print your card and give it to Mr. Ratka at the troop meeting.

Leader's Guides - This Link will take you to all of the camp Leader's Guides. Please take some time to review the the appropriate one with your scout so they know what to expect at camp.

Additional Expenses - Scouts will need to bring gas money for their driver and money for the trading post. Most boys will spend a $2-10 per day on snacks and Slush Puppies.

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