Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts – Troop 1800

Camping trips for Beth El’s Boy Scouts have included backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and camping at the Marsden Tract off MacArthur Boulevard and at Treetops in West Virginia. The troop meets on the first and third Monday evening of every month in the Beth El multipurpose room (downstairs) from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

We’d love to include your boy, grades 6-12, in this Jewish troop! It’s a great way to expand your son’s enjoyment of Jewish life. For further information, see contacts below

About Troop 1800

Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Md., has sponsored Boy Scout Troop 1800 since 1983. The troop was founded to provide an opportunity to combine scouting with Jewish observance, but it has grown into much more.

This active program includes monthly campouts and a variety of community and synagogue service projects. Because of its long history at Beth El, 1800 maintains close ties with its former scouts, a number of whom continue to participate actively as adult leaders. Troop 1800 is part of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Jewish Council on Scouting.

Camping trips for Beth El’s Boy Scouts have included backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and camping at the Marsden Tract off MacArthur Boulevard and at Treetops in West Virginia.

Who Can Join?

Boys ages 10½ and older can join and are eligible to continue earning Scouting awards until age 18. Boys ages 6-10 are welcome to join Cub Scout Pack 1800. Members of Troop 1800 need not be affiliated with Congregation Beth El, or Jewish. We proudly wear the Inclusive Scouting knot, and do not discriminate.

We’d love to include your boy, grades 6-12, in this Jewish troop! It’s a great way to expand your son’s enjoyment of Jewish life.

Troop Activities

About once a month, the troop goes camping. On most campouts, we meet at Beth El and leave around 4:30 on Friday and return to Beth El around noon on Sunday; we buy and could our own food and the scouts plan the trip.

Other activities:

  • Services for the community and for the synagogue (for example, we build the Beth El Sukkah, run Haman’s House of Horrors at the annual Purim Carnival, and are recruited for our skills at Mitzvah Day).
  • Courts of Honor twice a year to present awards and badges earned during that time. 3 Scouts became Eagle Scouts last year. 3 other scouts received the Jewish Scouting Ner Tamid awards during the past 2 years.
  • Social activities, such as Movie Nights and day trips.
  • Every year, we attend a week of Scout Camp in June – we learn new skills and badges, and have a great time together.
  • Some summers, older Scouts attend High Adventure camps such as the Florida Seabase. Most years there is also a Memorial Day weekend Jewish camporee – in 2014 the troop ran the Havdalah and Saturday night skit program.

A Typical Meeting

The troop meets Monday nights in the Beth El multipurpose room 7:15-8:30 pm. The meeting begins with a flag ceremony, which includes recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath and Law. Then there are announcements from the parent Coordinating Council.

Next, we organize our camping or other trips. If there is a trip soon, we will plan the menus and the activities for the trip. If there is an upcoming Court of Honor, we will collect records for awards and plan the ceremony. The rest of the meeting is reserved for preparation for other planned by the scoutmaster and senior patrol leader. And then on to game playing and merit badges.

Jewish Emphasis

When we go on camping trips, we usually leave at 4:30 pm on Friday and return on Sunday to avoid travel on Shabbat. However, we will occasionally have optional activities during the day on Saturday that require driving from the campsite.

The food provided by the troop on our trips is kosher. A scout who serves as our chaplain’s aide conducts religious services on our trips. We encourage all of our Jewish scouts age 15 or younger to earn the Ner Tamid award, and those 15 or older the Etz Chaim award. And last but not least, we are a registered troop of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. We recently celebrated our 30th anniversary and led the Friday night service.

For further information contact: