It's possible, though not likely, that we will encounter a bear. If we do, we don't want to surprise the bear. If they know you are here they will generally stay away, but of they are surprised by someone too close, they may not have a way to escape and will run at you.
So, we want to make sure the bear knows we're here. That won't be a problem for a big group of noisy scouts like you, but for people hiking alone or in small groups, it is advised that they wear little bells or carry whistles so that any bears hear them. Also, some people carry pepper spray. If a bear charges they can spray it to irritate the bear's nose and eyes to make it go away.
In this part of the country you will only see black bear, but if you are ever out in the western part of the US you may be in grizzly country. The best way to tell what kind of bears are around before you actually see them is to know the difference between their scat (poop).
The scat differs between grizzly and black bears because of their size and diet. Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings are larger, contain little bells and whistles and smell of pepper spray.