This document is intended to provide basic information on how the Scouting program functions and to answer many of the questions new Scouts or their parents may have. It may in some cases duplicate or overlap with the 'Summary Troop Information' memorandum which you previously received and should be reviewed together.
The safety of each Scout is very important to the BSA, this Troop, and every Adult Leader. BSA policy requires at least two adults at all events and campouts. Due to the large number of our boys usually participating in campouts and camporees, at least four adults are needed to attend these events. Adults are prohibited from meeting 'one on one' with Scouts. This means that meetings such as Scoutmaster's Conferences should be held within proximity of other people. If meetings take place at someone's home, such as might be the case meeting with a Merit Badge Counselor, then a parent or some other person should be present. Another youth can qualify as the third person.
Should a Scout need to leave a meeting or campout early, please notify the Scoutmaster or in his absence the Adult Leader in charge. This can be done either verbally or by a note. The Scoutmaster is responsible for the Scout's safety and the whereabouts of each Scout must always be known.
Along similar lines, boys (either alone or with others) are not allowed to leave the meeting room(s) or building without prior Adult Leader approval. Cars traveling through the church parking lot sometimes move too fast, and with little regard for pedestrians.
Please be sure that each Scout thoroughly understands the above Safety instructions.
Respect For Property
Each Scout should remember that the Troop are guests of St. Theresa's Church and should treat the facilities as he would treat the property of others when a guest.
Troop meetings are held every Friday from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the St. Theresa's School Gym also known as Skelly Hall. There are no meetings on holidays, during school vacation weeks, or on Fridays preceding a weekend campout. Consult the monthly Troop calendar for the specific schedule. Note that if the calendar for a meeting indicates 'CCD' then the meeting is not in the Gym but rather in the convent basement, known as the CCD Center. This building is to the right of the Church as you face the Church from Main Street and entrance can be made directly into the basement. If school is cancelled due to inclement weather the meeting will be cancelled as well.
The first position a new Scout must complete is that of 'Scout'. The youth protection section at the very front of the Scout Handbook must be reviewed by the Scout with a parent or other adult and signed by the parent or other adult who completed this review on page 4 of 'Joining Requirements'. This is the one time a parent can sign off an activity for a boy. All other approvals / sign-offs for the rank requirements completed by the scout must be made by the scout meeting with one of the troop's youth who have achieved the rank of Star or above where they will demonstrate or explain the completion of that requirement. Sign-offs should not be done by members of the boy's family. It is important that a Scout reviews all the rank requirements and develops a plan of how he is going to fulfill each requirement. For example, some requirements, such as demonstrating knowledge of knots can be completed at a Troop meeting. Others may need to be done on a campout. Swimming proficiency may require scheduling both a counselor and a facility. Work on Star rank tenure and leadership requirements can only take place after achieving First Class rank. Merit badges may be earned at any time.
As an objective, each Scout should work to attain First Class Scout within a year of joining the Troop. Toward that end, activities toward all ranks up to First Class can be signed off at any time. They do not have to be done in sequence. One or more Assistant Scoutmasters plus experienced Scouts called Troop Guides will be assigned to work work with new Scouts. Their job is to focus on the needs of new Scouts.
As stated under requirements for each rank in the Boy Scout Handbook, once all other tasks have been completed, the SCOUT must request a Scoutmaster's Conference. Prior to the conference the Scoutmaster will review the boy's demonstration of Scout Spirit. If not deemed acceptable, the Scoutmaster may delay the conference at that time. In this extremely rare case, he will discuss the reasons for the action, improvements necessary, and a timetable for a review of progress.
After the Scoutmaster's Conference, and with the Scoutmaster's approval, the Scout should contact the Advancement Chairperson, and request a Board of Review. A Board of Review is held as soon as practical. However, it may be necessary to schedule a time in order to coordinate the necessary members of the troop committee. At the Board of Review, members of the Troop Committee will review the Scout's completion of the requirements. Discussion often takes place about plans for future rank advancement, the Scout's own personal growth objectives and any other issues or suggestions to help the Troop operate more effectively. Successful completion of the Board of Review completes rank advancement.
The Troop provides one Patrol badge and Rank badges, as earned. Additional badges that would be required for a second shirt may be obtained at the Scout Shop at Council Headquarters, 60 Wellington Road, Milford. Bring your rank advancement card when purchasing the badge.
Merit badges can be worked on at any time. Since 21 of them are required for Eagle rank, starting on them as early as possible will be advantageous. It is important to review Eagle requirements, as 12 specific badges are required for Eagle plus 9 others in any area of the boy's interest. The Pomperaug District publishes a list of approved Merit Badge counselors. Copies are available from the Scoutmaster. We have people in the Troop approved for all of the Eagle Rank required badges and many of the more popular badges. The procedures to work on a Merit Badge are:
Select a badge you wish to work on. There is a book titled Boy Scout Requirements, which summarizes the requirements for each Merit Badge. This may be helpful in deciding on whether to do a specific elective badge.
Choose a counselor from the list. You may wish to verify that someone is available and has the time to work with you.
Obtain a blue Merit Badge card from the Scoutmaster. Fill out the portions for your name and the Merit Badge being taken on the front of the part titled 'Application For Merit Badge'. Obtain the Scoutmaster's signed approval.
Obtain the booklet for the selected Merit Badge. Booklets can either be purchased from the Scout Service Center or may be borrowed from the Troop Librarian. (Highly helpful but not mandatory)
Contact the counselor to schedule a meeting to review your plan for working on the Merit Badge. At that meeting discuss with the counselor the specific things you plan to do fulfill the requirements. Do not meet alone with any adult.
Upon completion of Merit Badge requirements the Scout should:
Be sure all requirement items are signed off.
Check that the counselor has signed and dated the Merit Badge Card in two places.
Be sure that the counselor keeps his portion of the Merit Badge Card.
Obtain the Scoutmaster's signature on the Applicant's Record Section and then give the card to the Troop Advancement Chairperson.
The merit badge will usually be presented to the Scout at the next Court Of Honor.
Note: Retain the Scout's portion of the blue Merit Badge card where it can be found several years later. This also applies to the card received on rank advancement. There have been cases where Council records have been in error and data needed to approve Eagle applications was missing. These cards may be the only way of proving that the Scout achieved rank advancement or Merit Badges.
Parents: what skill or hobby do you have that you could qualify for as a counselor? The process to apply is quite simple. Obtain an application form from the Scoutmaster.
Order Of The Arrow
This honor society of campers is open to all Scouts who have been elected by the members of the troop. To be eligible, the scout must have reached the rank of First Class and must have fifteen nights of overnight camping experience; five of which must be consecutive. (The easiest way to fulfill this requirement is to go to summer camp with the Troop.)
Elections are held once a year in the spring. All of the eligible Scouts can be elected if they receive over half the votes of the Scouts present.
Our Troop takes great pride in its reputation for camping 12 months a year. Each boy will need his own sleeping bag. The Scoutmaster can furnish information regarding selection of sleeping bags and other personal equipment. Each Scout must have rain protection. One-piece plastic ponchos or a garbage bag with holes for the head and arms are not satisfactory. An inexpensive two-piece plastic suit can be purchased at local discount stores for about $10. While these are not highly durable, it should suffice until it is outgrown.
Frame backpacks are not required. A daypack that can be taken on same day hikes however is recommended. External frame packs (those with an external metal frame) are PROHIBITED from inside Troop tents as they can damage the tent floor. Since leaving the pack outside the tent is not highly practical, bringing them on campouts is discouraged.
Scouts should always bring at least one additional set of clothing, socks, underwear, and, most importantly, SHOES OR BOOTS. If a boy gets wet, which has been known to happen, he needs dry clothing and shoes to change into. If necessary, the Leaders may ask you to come and bring clothing or bring him home early. In cold weather, this situation can be extremely serious.
The Scout uniform should be brought to all troop activities and campouts.
Items NOT allowed at campouts: Walkmans, boom boxes, portable televisions, Gameboy-type video games or any other electronic equipment. Please do not bring valuable watches or jewelry.
A Scout may carry a knife only after receiving the Toten' Chip card during which he learns and must demonstrate safe use of knives, saws and other cutting instruments. Only folding blade knives with a blade of 4 inches or less are allowed. Fixed blade knives are prohibited. Scouts are prohibited from operating any motorized cutting equipment such as a chain saw, wood chipper, or log splitter.
The Troop provides tents, pots, pans and cooking utensils for our campouts. Gear is issued for each use and should any damage or loss occur the cost of the gear will be charged to those who are responsible.
Troop gear is issued at 6:30 PM on the Wednesday prior to a campout. Gear should be returned on the following Wednesday at 6:30 PM. Gear must be clean and dry when it is returned. In order to make our Friday evening meetings as productive as possible we prefer not to receive gear during our meetings. There is a penalty for returning gear late in violation of our troop's policy of receiving gear at gear return.
Camping Permission And Agreement Form
All Scouts and parents are required to file a completed Troop Campout Permission Agreement Form with the Scoutmaster prior to attending any campout. This form applies to all scheduled campouts. Other special events such as ski trips may require additional permission forms. The form is attached.
Each registered Scout and Adult Leader is covered by Boy Scouts of America accident insurance covering injuries incurred during a Troop activity or while traveling to or from the activity.
Emergency Authorization And Medical Form
These forms must be completed and signed by a parent and returned to the Scoutmaster. A scout will not be permitted to campout with the Troop until this form is completed and submitted to the Scoutmaster. The form will be kept confidential but are always available should an emergency arise at any Troop activity.
Awards And Courts Of Honor
Rank advancement is awarded to the Scout at the next Troop meeting after completion. We also have three Courts of Honor where these achievements are recognized and other awards are given. These normally are conducted in September, December, and June. Exact dates are on the Troop calendar. When a new Scout attains his first rank advancement at a Court of Honor, each mother is given a red ribbon to wear. At ceremonies where the Scout advances, she will get a pin, which the Scout will place on her ribbon as part of the ceremony. As Scout leaders and parents, we realize the parental sacrifices, so please come honor your child and be appreciated in the process as well.