Thank you for your interest in the Troops of Saint George!
The Troops of Saint George apostolate provides a context for men and young men to grow in their love for Christ and His Catholic Church while experiencing a life of virtue and adventure.
It’s easy to get started with 5 simple steps:
- Find a Captain – an adult male leader of the troop. Choose a man who is a natural leader and ready to answer His call. He does not have to be an outdoors expert, but it helps.
- Recruit some men and young men.
- Have your sponsoring priest complete the simple online endorsement letter that will be immediately emailed to the priest’s email address provided in the initial Captain signup page.
- Review and become familiar with the TSG Officer’s and Field Manuals to garner an understanding of how to operate a troop. The Captain will then complete the online TSG “Charter Agreement” that will associate the local troop with the headquarters of TSG. Without this Charter Agreement, we do not recognize the local troop and you are NOT insured. As the online agreement and online priest recommendation are complete, you will then pay your annual charter fee and national dues through the link provided through email. In working with the national team, you can always add members after chartering as the troop starts to grow.
- Schedule your first troop event (campout, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, etc.)
Have a troop within traveling distance? Reach out and join an event to get some operational insight.
Common Questions Regarding Starting a Troop
This is the number one question for busy priests! Don’t worry. Priests and deacons are not obliged to run the troop. The priest must write one letter affirming that your adult male leader (the “Captain”) is a Catholic in good standing at your parish. The Captain is accountable to the priest and serves as the point man between the priest and the troop.
The priest does not have any camping obligations to the Troops of Saint George. A priest could go on every single campout, say Mass, hear confessions in the woods, and teach rock climbing to the boys...or do none of that. The level of commitment is defined by the priest. The more common situation is that Father will occasionally stop by a meeting to say hello. Also, it’s great if the priest or pastor comes out to a campout to say Mass or hear confessions once or twice a year. Or he could opt out of 100% of all campouts, pilgrimages, or adventures. It’s up to him.
No, we are not an alternative scouting organization. TSG is chiefly a Catholic catechetical apostolate. Our primary goal is to help men and young men grow in the theological and cardinal virtues and strengthen their love for Christ in the Catholic Church. Camping isn’t the goal—it’s the context.
TSG is a 501c3 non-profit apostolate. Each troop is “chartered” with the TSG headquarters, but has its own autonomy.
Due to our current commitment to fostering vocations to the priesthood and married life, we are a 100% male organization. At this time we do not have a parallel structure for young ladies.
Yes. We require every Captain (the adult leader of a troop) to submit a certificate of completion for the local diocesan safe-environment credentials or complete the training and background check through the TSG national organization at the discretion of the local diocese. The Captain is responsible for making sure that all other adult males are in conformity with the local diocesan standards. Moreover, a person under 18 is never allowed to be alone in private with any adult during TSG activities (unless he is the son of that adult).
We are a 100% Catholic organization, because our activities include things like Mass, Rosary, prayers to Mary and the Saints, confession, and other practices that would make non-Catholics boys feel uncomfortable or excluded. Non-Catholic fathers, uncles, or grandfathers are able to participate if they conform the safe-environment standards of the diocese, but nonCatholic men are not allowed to hold leadership positions. We do this to protect our priests and to galvanize our Catholic identity and direction.
Beyond a nominal troop charter fee, current dues are $40 per registered member (Adults and Cadets). Ten registered members would equal $400 per year plus the $250 charter fee. The fees and dues cover resources, structure, national website access, access to uniforms, insurance (some limitations apply), patches, etc.
Troops handle this differently. For some troops, the local parish covers the dues as part of their young adult ministry. For other troops, especially independent troops, each family pays their share of the dues.
Absolutely. We expect our men (the officers) and young men (the cadets) to perform service projects for the local parish—landscaping, ushering, painting, etc. Every young man or cadet is required to eventually do a service project for your parish.
Not necessarily. TSG only requires a “Catholic priest in good standing" to approve the local troop. Sometimes the Pastor approves a troop but then chooses another priest or even a deacon to be his liaison with the troop. All TSG requires is that there be a Catholic priest who approves of the local troop.
TSG does not require the authorization of a bishop to charter a local troop. However, we encourage consulting with your local bishop, even if through your local pastor, about starting a local TSG troop. There may even be a troop already in your diocese!
TSG troops come in two flavors: parochial troops and independent troops. Parochial troops are ideal and they officially associate with a local parish. The relationship is akin to that of the Knights of Columbus. The troop has a place to meet and they offer services and assistance to the local parish. Independent troops are allowed when the members of a troop are scattered over a large region or they do not have access to a centralized parish. Alternatively, a troop might seek to be stationed at a local school, university, meeting hall, or some other location. An independent troop still needs a priest sponsor, but they would not meet or be associated with a particular parish. Most of our troops are parochial. Independent troops are not ideal and we discourage them. However, we recognize that there is a need for this arrangement
General Liability insurance is provided for Individual chartered troops in the United States including coverage for campouts and meetings. In most countries (see National Organization for exclusions), TSG also insures each officially chartered troop and its clergy, Officers and members with an Accident Insurance policy. After the individual leverages their personal health insurance policy, this supplemental coverage adds an additional $25,000 USD, per occurrence, in protection. The policy covers TSG clergy, Officers and members from the time they depart for a TSG sanctioned event until the time they return home.