Frequently Asked Questions
By Mike McCormick, Scoutmaster
Q: What does Troop 48 do?
A : We are one of the most active Troops in Garden State Council, with a special
emphasis on our outdoor camping program. Each month from September to July our boys
get a chance to have some fun and adventure by going on at least one weekend trip, such as
canoeing on the Wading River, hiking in Wharton State Forest, backpacking on the Appalachian
Trail, Whitewater Rafting the Lehigh River, biking the C&O Canal, sleeping on the beaches at
Assateague Island, among many other adventures. We also have a week-long, high adventure
trip each summer with adventures for everyone from the brand new Scout to our 17 year olds.
In addition to our camping, we have many day events, such as our annual ski trip, Swim Day/Troop BBQ, Rock Climbing Night, shotgun and rifle days, and more!
The Scouts plan the meeting activities for each month that focus around a theme, a merit
badge, or preparation for an upcoming event. Some popular themes over the years have
been First Aid (capped by first aid scenarios where Scouts put their skills to the test), survival and shelter building, knots, cycling, and advancement night.
Scouting is about fun, but Scouting is also about helping others. In 2012, we completed
over 1,800 service hours including three Eagle Projects. We have annual commitments to the
Battleship New Jersey, running a rest stop on the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) 150 City-to-Shore
Charity Bike Ride, collecting food for the church food drive, and thanking our soldiers at the
annual Thanksgiving Feed the Troops Rally, along with participating in various other service
opportunities each year.
Q: Do you have programs for the older boys?
A: Troop 48 has plenty for older boys, both in the way of leadership and advanced outdoors
programs. Six older boys recently went on a six day backpacking trip in the Rocky
Mountains of Wyoming in the Summer of 2012 as part of an 13 day adventure to Grand Teton
and Yellowstone National Parks. Other highlights include a 57 mile backpacking trip in 2013, two
50 mile backpacking trips in 2011 (Batona Trail in NJ and the Laurel Highlands Trail in Pennsylvania),
a 10 day trip to Philmont National Scout Ranch in New Mexico in 2005, and a long line of 50 mile
backpacking trips going back to the troop's first in 1991. Our next big adventure is a backpacking
trip on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia in August. We are also starting planning for our next
ultra-high adventure trip for the summer of 2015, with a possibility of two concurrent trips to Lake Clark National Park in Alaska and the BSA's SeaBase in the Florida Keys.
Q: When and where does Troop 48 meet?
A : We meet each Wednesday night, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm, year round, at the shed behind the
Holy Communion Lutheran Church (442 South Route 73 in Berlin, NJ, directly across from the
Wawa gas station).
Q: Who is in charge of the Troop?
A: Troop 48 has a firm commitment to being of the boys, by the boys, and for the boys. The
Scouts elect their own leaders, pick and plan our camping trips, plan each of our weekly
meetings, and take care of their own food and meal planning. This fosters personal growth
in all Scouts, such as responsibility for others, budgeting, planning ahead, and a spirit of
Q: Does Troop 48 have a summer program?
A : Troop 48 differs from many other Boy Scout Troops in our summer program. Going back to
our very first summer as an organization in 1966, the troop decided to skip the usual week at a
Boy Scout camp. Instead, Scoutmaster Joe Derr took the boys to Lake George for a week to go
camping and water skiing.
We've continued that tradition to this day, as Troop 48 has headed out each summer on a weeklong high-adventure excursion, which Scouts of all skill levels and ages attend and participate in. Past adventures have included the Catskills of New York (2012), Ohiopyle in the Alleghany Mountains of Pennsylvania (2011, 2005, + 2001), Acadia National Park in Maine (2010), Lake Champlain in Vermont (2009, 2003, + 2002) and New York (1969), the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia (2008 + 1993), New River Valley of West Virginia (2007 + 1999), and many more. This has been considered by generation after generation of Troop 48 Scouts to be the highlight of the year. Get any two former Scouts together, and the thousands of "Remember the summer we…" will start up very quickly.
2013 we will be headed back to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia!
We also have weekly meetings in the summer where boys can work our merit badges with our
wide array of over 40 merit badge counselors (we currently cover more than 2/3 of all merit
badges). Boys should either sign up for these badges when leaders make announcements, or
contact counselors directly with the information posted on this website and in "the shed".
Q: What is your advancement program like?
A: Troop 48's advancement program mirrors our dedication to a boy-led troop. Scouts working
on Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class requirements work on requirements solely with Scouts 1st
Class and above, who test the lower ranked Scouts on their skills and sign off their books (other
than requirements that specify that an adult must be worked with). For our merit badges, we
have over 40 merit badge counselors offering nearly 80 merit badges. These are offered either
for groups of Scouts or on a one-on-one basis when a Scout requests to work on a merit badge.
We also occasionally attend community-run merit badge programs, such as ones run at the
Academy of Natural Sciences and other places.
Q: What is the religious affiliation of Troop 48?
A: Troop 48 has been proudly chartered by Holy Communion Lutheran Church of Berlin, NJ
since 1965. However, the troop itself has no specific religious affiliation (and indeed, has very few Lutheran members), and welcomes boys of all faiths. Our members are from a wide variety of religious backgrounds,including Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, and other faiths.
Q: Do I have to be from Berlin to join this troop?
A: Definitely not! Troop 48 pulls from the greater Berlin area, including Berlin Borough, Berlin
Township, Voorhees, Pine Hill, Atco, and Lindewold with Scouts coming from as far away as Mullica Hill and Mays Landing, NJ and Newark, DE (seriously).
Q: Can moms go camping with us/become leaders?
A: Absolutely. We have a number of moms who camp with us each year, including moms who
camp, moms who hike, and moms who whitewater raft. In the past, we've even had moms that
would backpack for 50 miles and moms who would bike even further.
We welcome all adults who are willing to take a leadership role in the troop, we can always use
the help! We have a large number of female leaders on our Troop Committee, and all who
are interested in working more directly with the boys are welcome to talk to the Scoutmaster
become Assistant Scoutmasters.
Q: What is the purpose of Troop 48?
A : Troop 48, Berlin, NJ, Boy Scouts of America exists to provide each Scout that comes through
our organization with a quality scouting experience. This Troop provides opportunities for
adventure that a young man might not find elsewhere through our extensive monthly outdoor
program that includes: camping, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and
similar activities. Through this outdoor program; regular service projects that benefit the larger
community; andweekly meetings; Troop 48 teaches young men skills in the areas of camping,
first aid, and environmental awareness. In addition, this organization strives to impart our
Scouts with certain worthwhile qualities: leadership, teamwork, self-reliance, responsibility,
and good citizenship. Each part of the program of Troop 48 is necessary for a quality scouting
experience and to move young men toward the organization's ultimate goal: to forge better
men for our future while giving them memories for a lifetime.
Have a question not answered here? E-mail Scoutmaster Mike McCormick at