Boy Scout Troop 381 of Westminster will show the community its many talents at the fifth annual Scouting Showcase and Hobby Show from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, 1229 Washington Road.
About two-thirds of the 77-member troop of boys aged 12 to 18 will display their personal hobbies as well as Scout projects, said Scoutmaster John Rush Sr.
"This is a planned activity done as a community service project to give the boys a chance to showcase their hobbies," Mr. Rush said.
"Boys in the fifth grade who are moving up from Webelos to Scouts are required to see what other troops are doing and decide which troop they want to join."
Boys who are moving up don't necessarily have to stay with the same group, he said. For example, Webelos 381 boys can join another area Scout troop if they desire, rather than Troop 381.
"I've found a lot of boys go where their friends are," he said. "The hobby show gives visitors a chance to come and see what the troop is doing, but it's also a catalyst for other boys to see their friends and maybe form a connection with the troop."
This year's most popular hobby seems to be baseball card collecting, but art, electronics, backpacking and other collections are included in the show, Mr. Rush said.
The displays will be judged and prizes will be awarded in several categories.
Another feature will be David Robbins' presentation of his "Why Knot" program, a fun and informative demonstration of rope knotting.
For the parents interested in learning more about Scouting and Troop 381 in particular, Mr. Rush offers a meeting to discuss troop procedures, traditional aspects of Scouting and long- and short-range goals of the program.
One aspect of Scouting is active parental participation.
"We have a lot of parents who work with the troop in various capacities," Mr. Rush said. "We use their talents to the best degree we can according to what they're best suited for."
The troop is divided into two groups: the Venture Group, for middle school students; and the Scout Troop, for high school-age youths.
Jason Scott, 13, has been in Troop 381 for three years and is currently a patrol leader. After a hiking trip last year with the troop, he and his father, George, got into some serious backpacking.
"We go backpacking along the Appalachian Trail on weekends and finished the Maryland section this year," the East Middle School eighth-grader said.
Jason hopes to set up a tent and cook over a camp stove, as well as display his other backpacking equipment at tomorrow's show.
One of the more unusual projects that will be on display is a homemade robot one of the patrols made. Eagle Scout Mike Gibbons, 17, a Francis Scott Key senior, is keeper of the robot.
"It's 2 1/2 trash cans overturned with pipe arms and wheels and a motor to operate it, and I added flashing eyes," he said. "It works from a remote wired to the back. It's a nice little fun thing."
He tells the story of the robot accidentally getting switched on once and chasing one of his friends around the room while others --ed to get hold of the control unit.
The hobby show is free. Mr. Rush encourages boys and their parents interested in Scouting and Webelos to attend.
Troop 381 meets at 7:30 p.m. every Monday at First United Presbyterian Church, 65 Washington Road.