Table of Contents
1.0 Welcome to Boy Scout Troop 44
We would like to take the opportunity to welcome you to the Troop 44 Scouting family. The Scouting family consists of a large part of the Scouting movement. Without the Scouts there would be no need for a Scouting program and without the parents there would be no Scouting program.
Well, as you probably guessed by now, the purpose of this handbook is to provide you with general information about our Troop. With this handbook, we hope to provide you with answers to common questions, give guidelines as to what is expected from the Junior Leadership, Adult leadership, and Parents, and to outline how the Troop operates. Please use this as a quick-start to Scouting.
Please complete the enclosed comment sheet and return it with your son to the next Troop Meeting. The comment sheet is very important in helping us produce an improved revised version of this handbook.
The purpose of Troop 44 is very simple, to advance the "aims and methods of the Scouting program" according to the Boy Scouts of America. Our main objective is to provide a solid program where Scouts can learn, develop, and most importantly, have fun while achieving the "aims and methods of the Scouting program." The only way such a program can be achieved is through challenging the Scouts. In addition, the Troop places emphasis on several important goals which include development, leadership, self-reliance, and self-esteem. The goals are attainable through the presence of a solid Scouting program, one which Troop 44 is pleased to offer.
So what is it that Boy Scouts do anyway? Well, the answer to that question is anything. One of the most important concepts to understand about Scouting is that it is a program run by the Scouts. Activities that the Scouts do are all decided by the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC). The PLC is like the executive board of a company, they make all the decisions. They decide what topics should be covered at the meetings, what campouts they want to attend each month, where they want to camp, and what skills or topics they want to cover.
2.0 Aims and Methods of Scouting
The objectives and aims of Troop 44 parallel the "aims and methods of the Scouting program" set forth by the Boy Scouts of America. As with most organizations, the BSA has a purpose or mission statement that outlines who and what they are as an organization. The Boy Scouts mission Statement is as follows:
"The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth. Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop America citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nations role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to the American society."
The aims of the Scouting program are to build character, foster citizenship, and develop fitness. These aims are achieved through a series of Scouting methods that consist of ideals, patrol method, outdoors, advancement, personal growth, adult association, leadership development, and uniform.
The ideals of Scouting are found in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. All Scouts are expected to live by these ideals. The patrol method develops leadership and teamwork abilities in a small group setting before it is applied on a larger Troop setting. The outdoors is the key setting where the aims and methods are achieved. Weekend camping establishes self-reliance as the Scouts learn to work together and survive on their own.
Advancement creates a challenge to all Scouts by providing them with a series of obstacles to overcome. Furthermore, it provides a rewarded sense of accomplishment for the Scouts hard work and determination. Personal growth is developed as Scouts provide service, advance, and develop a plan for the Scouting years. All these activities provide an opportunity for the Scouts to grow as individuals and members of their community and religious organizations.
Adult association provides role models for the Scouts to observe and also creates setting where adults and boys work together to achieve common goals and have fun while doing so. Leadership development is formed as each Scout assumes a Junior Leader position. The development starts with patrol positions on a smaller level, and fully develops as Scouts assume Troop junior leader positions that are essential to the operation of the entire Troop. Remember, your sons as leaders, run the Troop. Finally, the uniform gives Scouts an identity.
3.0 Troop Organization
3.1 Adult Organization
The adult organization of Troop 44 consists of two key segments. The first is the Troop Committee and the second is the Scoutmaster and his Assistants. The committee meets monthly and works on helping the Scoutmaster with delivering the Troop Program. The Troop committee consists of:
The Committee Chairperson oversees the entire Troop committee. The Chartered Organization Representative is responsible for working with both the Troop and the Church as the chartered organization, or sponsor of the Troop. The Secretary is responsible for the minutes of every committee meeting and any correspondence, letters of donations, etc. that are issued. The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the financial details of the Troop and for keeping records and tabs on the Troop budget. The Advancement chairperson is responsible for keeping track of all the advancement records for all Scouts. The Fund-Raising Chairperson is responsible for coordinating the fund-raisers held by the Troop throughout the year. The Outdoors Chairperson works on coordinating all Troop activities and oversees the maintenance of Troop equipment. The Troop Social Chairperson provides refreshments at all Courts of Honor and oversees the planning of Eagle courts of Honor and other recognition dinners.
While the Troop committee represents the behind the scenes operations of the Troop, the Scoutmaster and his Assistants are responsible for overseeing the operations of the Troop. According to the Boy Scouts of America, the Scoutmaster is responsible for training and guiding Scout leaders to run their Troop, work with and through the Assistant Scoutmasters to bring the Scouting program to the Troop, help the Scouts to develop by challenging them and encouraging them to learn new things, guide the Scouts in planning the Troop program, help the Troop committee to recruit new Assistant Scoutmasters, and to conduct Scoutmaster Conferences. The Scoutmaster has several Assistants to help him develop the Scouting program.
3.2 Scout Organization
The Troop is organized into a series of patrols consisting of anywhere from five to eight boys. Each Patrol has a Patrol Leader and an appointed Patrol Staff that helps the Patrol operate as a unit. Each patrol elects a patrol leader that acts as the head of the patrol. The Patrol Leader is responsible for appointing an assistant patrol leader, patrol scribe,and quartermaster. Each patrol represents a portion of the entire Troop.
In addition to the patrols, there are additional positions that aid in the functioning of the Troop. Every December, the Troop elects a Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The SPL is responsible for the overall success of the Troop. He appoints an Assistant Senior Patrol who trains the Troop Staff and is responsible for taking over in the SPL's absence.
In addition, the SPL appoints a Troop Guide who is responsible for guiding the New Scout Patrol through their first Scouting year and to help new scouts earn First Class by the end of their first year.
The Troop Junior Leaders, as with the Patrol Leaders, have a Troop Staff. The Staff consists of members in the patrols that also assume a Troop Junior Leader position. The Troop Staff consists of a Troop Scribe, Quartermaster, Historian, Librarian, Chaplains Aide,Den Chiefs, and Instructors. As with the Patrol Staff, the Troop Staff has their own position to help with the functioning and operation of the Troop. The following are descriptions of Troop Junior Leader Positions:
- Senior Patrol Leader: Runs all Troop meetings, events, activities, annual program planning conference, and Patrol Leaders' Council meetings. He also appoints Troop Junior Leaders and assists in their training and assignment of duties.
- Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Helps the Senior Patrol Leader run all Troop activities. In the absence of the SPL, the Assistant takes over. He helps train and supervises the Troop Scribe, Quartermaster, Historian, Librarian, and Chaplain Aide.
- Troop Guide: Trains, guides, and monitors new scouts progress through their first Scouting year. He supervises and assists the new Scout Patrol Leader in making Patrol decisions. Helps new Scouts earn First Class in their first year.
- Patrol Leader: Guides and represents the Patrol on the Patrol Leaders' Council and on all Patrol activities. Appoints an Assistant Patrol Leader and other Patrol positions. Knows the advancement needs and outing interests of all Scouts and works to satisfy those needs and interests.
- Scribe: Attends and keeps logs on the Patrol Leader's Council meetings, records attendance and advancement records, and collects permission slips and money.
- Quartermaster: Maintains records on Troop and Patrol equipment. Oversees the maintenance of the Troop Equipment Room. Issues all equipment needed for weekend outings.
- Historian: Gathers pictures and facts about past Troop activities and keeps them in a historical scrapbook.
- Librarian: Sets up and maintains the Troop library. Oversees the loan out process of Troop literature and makes suggestions on material to be purchased.
- Chaplain Aide: Plans and leads non-denominational services at Troop outings. Encourages all Scouts to take part in the religious emblems program.
The Troop staff is responsible for carrying out the Troop program plan. But who plans the Troop activities? The Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) is in essence the executive board of the Troop. They make the decisions!
At these meetings the PLC plans the monthly meetings and the activities on the Scout weekend. Planning the monthly meetings entails coming up with a pre-opening, opening ceremony, skill session, game, patrol meeting topic, inter-patrol activity, and closing session. The PLC will usually plan the meetings for the month based on a monthly program feature that was decided upon in August at our Planning Conference.
In addition, the PLC plans the monthly outing which reflects the skills that were taught during the meetings. The outing provides the Scouts with an Outdoor experience in which they can have hands on practice with the skills they learned during the month. The PLC is ultimately responsible for the functioning of the entire Troop. Without there hard work, there would be no meetings or outings.
Finally, one point worth mentioning again is the notion in Scouting of "The Patrol Method." The Scoutmaster Handbook seems to best present this idea when it talks about patrols. "Every Boy Scout Troop, we said earlier, is made up of patrols, groupings of six or eight boys who together form a team. Each patrol elects its own leader. The patrol leaders, with an elected senior patrol leader as their head, form the patrol leaders' council. It is the council's job to plan and run the Troop program. Each Patrol Leader represents his Patrol on the council, and interprets to his patrol the plans and decisions the council makes. Patrols also have their own meetings, elect their own officers, and plan and carry out their patrol activities."
In the Scoutmaster Handbook they term this last paragraph "The 99 Words" because it best summarizes the Scouting movement. The Patrol method has been proven to be very successful in fostering four important points amongst the members of the patrols.
First, they promote friendship by grouping friends together. Second, the small sizes allow each Scout to get involved because he is needed in helping the Patrol function. Third, the Patrol Method develops responsibility as each member of the Patrol takes on a leadership position within the patrol. Fourth, the Patrol Method introduces a democratic process to decision making.
4.0 Troop Rules and Policies
4.1 Rules of Conduct
All Scouts are expected to live by the Scout Oath and Law. Those ideals should dictate all Scouts behavior. Any behavior that goes against the Scout Oath and Law brings dishonor to the Scout, his parents, the adult leaders, and the Troop.
Please, have fun, but behave appropriately.
4.2 Troop Discipline Policy
While we anticipate no problems with inappropriate behavior, it is still necessary to have a discipline policy, and more importantly, let all the Scouts and their parents know about such a policy. Behavior problems are first to be dealt with by the Patrol Leader (PL).
In the event that the PL is having a problem with a patrol member and it can not be resolved, he should report it to the Senior Patrol Leader. If a behavior problem becomes uncontrollable, the Scoutmaster or an Assistant will step in to determine the appropriate discipline in conjunction with the Senior Patrol Leader. Such actions might include, suspension from a Troop game, additional Troop chores, and so on.
Any major behavioral problems that occur will result in any of the following actions:
1) Parental contact and pick-up from the meeting or outing;
2) suspension of participation in Troop meetings or outings;
3) Delaying rank advancement because a Scouts inappropriate behavior does not demonstrate the last requirement of living by the Scout Oath and Law.
We hope that we will never have to use such discipline actions, however, it is important for all Scouts and parents to know what courses of action will be taken.
4.3 Advancement Policy
Advancement is an important part of every Scout's career. The Troop has adopted an advancement policy that will insure that all Scouts are knowledgeable in the given requirements needed for advancement. The process consists of skill instruction, demonstration and practice, and a testing period.
All skills that are taught to Scouts should be practiced immediately by those Scouts, however, requirements are not to be signed off immediately. At least one day must elapse between when a Scout is taught a skill and when they are tested and signed off for knowledge of that skill.
As means to help keep accurate advancement records, we encourage the Scouts to have the skill "signed-off" within a two week period after successful demonstration. We also encourage Scouts to set a goal of having at least one skill requirement completed per week on average. This also helps the Scout plan his progress toward reaching First Class by the end of his first year in Scouting.
In Troop 44, any Patrol Leaders' Council member First Class and above(except the Patrol Leader of the New Scout Patrol) can sign off anotherScout's handbook. If any questions arise regarding certain requirements, an adult should be seen before the requirement is signed-off. The purpose of advancement is knowledge. Signing off requirements that are not completed only defeats the purpose.
4.4 Merit Badge Policy
Merit Badges offer additional skill advancement that allows a Scout to specialize in a particular skill area such as Camping, Cooking, Backpacking, Orienteering, etc. Summer Camp offers an ideal time for a Scout to work on Merit Badges. Typically, a Scout can earned, with a reasonable amount of work and effort, 3 to 5 badges by the end of his week long camping experience. It should be noted that pre-work is required for several Merit Badges that are offered during summer camp.
Other opportunities do exist throughout the year when a Scout can take of advantage of this advancement. Boy Scouts offer over 100 of these merit badges that Scouts can earn.
From past experience, the Troop recommends that Scouts work on a maximum of 5 Merit Badges at any given time. This recommendation helps keep the Scout focused on completing the requirements for the Merit Badges that he is currently working on, before taking on additional work assignments. The following is the process a Scout should follow to work on Merit Badges:
- A Scout should decide which merit badge he wishes to take. Scouts should pair with at least another Scout when working on Merit Badges. Basic requirements for each Merit Badge are found in the Boy Scout Requirements Book. In addition, each Merit Badge has a pamphlet that addresses the requirements specifically for that badge.
- Scouts should approach their Scoutmaster with the Merit Badge that they wish to complete and request a blue card. The Scoutmaster will then advise on the list of counselors for that badge and provide a blue card for the Scout. No work on a merit badge may be completed prior to obtaining approval and a blue card form the Scoutmaster.
- Scouts at this point should consider obtaining the Merit Badge pamphlet for the particular badge. Check to see if the Troop has a copy available or in the Library. If no copies are available, Scouts can purchase pamphlets at the Council store.
- Scouts should then contact the Merit Badge Counselor approved by the Scoutmaster and make arrangements to meet and go over the requirements. Remember that all requirements must be completed to the counselors satisfaction. If a requirements states "show" or "demonstrate" that is what the Scout must do. As with all advancement requirements, parents cannot approve their sons fulfillment of a requirement.
- Once the requirements have been completed, returned the signed blue card to the Scoutmaster. Upon review, the "Applicants Record" section will be given to the Scout for his records and the Troops record will be forwarded to the Advancement Chairman. The badge will be awarded at a subsequent Troop meeting and recognition given at the Court of Honor.
4.5 Troop Elections
The only two positions within the Troop that require an election process are the Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leaders. Elections will be held on the first Monday of December for Senior Patrol Leader. The entire Troop votes in this election.
The Senior Patrol Leader then appoints his Staff, with the approval of the Scoutmaster, consisting of an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Scribe, Quartermaster,Instructor, Historian, Librarian, and Chaplain Aide.
Patrol Leader elections will be held on the First Monday in May. Only those members within a particular Patrol will vote for their Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader then appoints his Staff, with Scoutmaster approval, consisting of Assistant Patrol Leader, Scribe, & Quartermaster.
All votes in Troop elections are cast by silent ballot with the winner being that individual with the majority of votes. In the event of a tie, a run-off will be held that same evening to determine the winner. All Troop Junior Leader positions, both those that are elected and those that are appointed, run for a 6 month or one year term starting January 1st or May 1st as determined by the needs of the troop and scoutmaster.
4.6 Junior Leader Training
Troop 44 offers an annual Junior Leader Training Session for all members of the Patrol Leaders Council. The training session is designed to give the Scouts the tools to be effective leaders. Troop 44 writes their own Training session catered to the needs of the current Troop Junior Leaders.
4.7 Travel Policy
When traveling to and from outings, all Scouts are to be in seat belts at all times. Not only is it smart, it is the law. All Scouts are instructed to leave all vehicles cleaner than they found them. Any disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. If any Scout behaves in such a way that is disruptive to the driver, he will be asked to be picked up by a parent when we arrive at the campsite.
The Scout uniform represents an important part of who we are and should be worn with pride by all Scouts at all Scouting functions. In Boy Scouts, two different uniforms exist.
Class A uniforms consist of a Scout shirt with proper insignia, Scout pants or shorts, a Scout belt, Scout socks, hiking boots or casual shoes, Scout Handbook, and a pad and pen.
Class B uniform is considered more of an activity uniform and consists of a Troop T-shirt or other BSA shirt, Scout pants or shorts, Scout Belt, sneakers, Scout Handbook, and a pad and pen.
Scouts should attend the first Troop meeting of every month in Class A uniform. Periodic uniform inspections will be held. Uniform requirements for Troop Outings will be decided on a weekend by weekend basis and will be announced on the permission slips.
4.9 Equipment Policy
Troop 44 owns a substantial amount of camping equipment that over the years has all been purchased with Troop funds. As a result, we have a very strict policy regarding all camping equipment. Any equipment in a Patrol Box is the responsibility of the Patrol.
4.10 Permission Slips
Permission slips and money for all Troop activities are due back on the designated date. No exceptions will be made on permission slip deadlines unless a parent or Scout has notified the Scoutmaster in advance of the deadline. If for any reason a Scout is unable to attend an activity after payment has been made and food purchased,the fees shall be nontransferable and non refundable.
Troop meetings follow a monthly theme. During the Patrol Leaders'Council meetings, plans for the meetings and outings are established.
The Troop meeting starts with a pre-opening. At this time, the Service Patrol is responsible for setting up the meeting room. In addition pre-opening material is available for those Scouts that arrive early. Such material could include skill reinforcement demonstrations and practice, short knowledge quizzes, permission slip and money collection, and the like. All Scouts are encouraged to show up early to take part in the pre-opening.
Opening Ceremony: The opening varies monthly as each patrol rotates on a monthly schedule. After the opening is a 20 to 25 minute skill session or program based on the monthly feature. The skill sessions are broken down into two different groups based on level of experience. The Experienced Scouts work on more advanced and challenging skills, while the new Scouts concentrate on the basic skills needed to work on advancement toward First Class.
After a break is the Closing Ceremony where the Scoutmaster addresses the Scouts and any other information is relayed to the Scouts. After the flag ceremony, the set-up(service) Patrol remains to clean up the room while the Patrol Leaders Council meets in the back room to briefly review the meeting and prepare for the next weeks meeting.
6.0 Troop Outings and Activities
Troop 44 is fortunate to be very active in the outdoors. The Troop holds on average 10 to 12 weekend outings per year. In addition, we have Troop day hikes or other activities throughout the year. On average, the Troop participates in two competition Camporees throughout the year. Camporees provide the opportunity for Troops from around the District and Council to get together and demonstrate their proficiency in learned Scouting skills.
All outings and activities require a permission slip to be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Permission slips and money are due one to two weeks prior to the camping trip. No exceptions will be made on permission slip deadlines. If for any reason you are unable to attend a camping trip after payment is made, the Troop may refund whatever portion of the cost that has not been committed to site fees, food, or registration fees.
All Scouts are asked to bring a bagged dinner or $5.00 on Friday evening for the evening travel meal before we arrive at the campsite. The Patrols will plan Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on Saturday, and Breakfast on Sunday.
In order to reduce our impact on the environment, the Troop asks that all Scouts bring their own cup, plate, fork, knife, and spoon. In the past, some Scouts have brought along travel coffee mugs that can serve as a cup or bowl if necessary. The best plates tend to be plastic ones made by Tupperware or Rubbermaid. As for eating utensils, either a heavy duty plastic set, or an old kitchen set will do. Most sporting stores now carry the non-breakable, lightweight plastic eating utensils.
7.0 Troop Campout Routine
Preparations for all campouts begin two weeks in advance when permission slips and money are due. Around the same time, Patrols will plan their Patrol Menu and Grocery List during the Troop meeting or Patrol meeting. After the menu is planned and approved, the Patrol may go shopping. Most patrols usually go the week before the camping trip, however, all shopping must be done by the Thursday before we go camping. Patrols know to plan a menu based on $15 per Scout.
When Scouts go shopping, purchase butter, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise in squeeze bottles. Also, make sure your Patrol has dish soap, brillo pads, garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. Any item in the Troop cook boxes is available to the Patrols, however, the Scouts must pull it aside on the Monday before we go camping in order to insure that it does not disappear by Friday. All money spent on shopping will be reimbursed with a receipt up to the allowable level based on the number of scouts/adults in that individual patrol. In the event that a parent would prefer money before they go shopping, please see one of the adult leaders to arrange for a check or cash.
On the evening we go camping, food should be brought in boxes and personal coolers to be placed in the Troop trailer along with equipment. Also, on the evening of the meeting preceding the campout, the Patrol Quartermaster is responsible for gathering all the equipment needed by the Patrol for the weekend and signing out that equipment with the Troop Quartermaster. While the Quartermasteris in the Troop storage, the rest of the Patrol should work on completing the PatrolDuty Roster which outlines each Patrol members responsibilities on the weekend and posting it in the patrol area.
On Friday, the Troop should arrive as instructed. The Quartermaster will take over and insure that all equipment is properly loaded into the vehicles. The Patrol Grubmaster should pack the Patrol coolers with their Patrol's food. Any meats or other items that could bleed or get water logged should be packed in zip-lock storage bags. Ice in coolers should be kept as clean as possible so that it can be used for drinks also. We will be departing for the campsite. When we arrive at the campsite, the Senior Patrol Leader and an adult will check into the site. At this time, all Patrol and Troop equipment gets moved into the site before personal gear. Patrol leaders are then responsible for picking out a patrol site and setting up camp for the weekend.
On Sunday morning, all personal gear should be packed before the Patrol eats breakfast. Tents should be aired out, cleaned, and dried before being packed away. All Troop tents must be inspected by the Troop Quartermaster before they get packed. All Patrol equipment should be properly packed and loaded onto the vehicles under the Quartermasters direction.
When we arrive back at the Troop Storage, no Scout leaves until all equipment is properly stored, unless previous arrangements have been made with an adult leader. Again, the Quartermaster is in charge of seeing that all Patrol and Troop equipment is signed back in and properly stored. Any equipment that is dirty may be taken home by a patrol member provided that it is marked down on the Equipment Checkout sheet. That equipment must be returned the following Thursday regardless of whether the Scout taking home the equipment is present at the meeting. No Exceptions! After all the equipment is signed in and properly stored, the Senior Patrol Leader will dismiss the Scouts.
8.0 Adult Leadership Responsibilities
Troop 44 is very fortunate to have a solid group of adult leadership working to provide the Scouting program to all members of the Troop. Adult leaders with Troop 44, are primarily responsible for achieving two major goals: 1) Training and guidance of the Scouts consistent with the Aims and Objectives of the BSA; 2) Providing a safe outdoor program to all Scouts. Assuming these two key responsibilities are satisfied, the adult leaders provide the Scouts with the tools to actually deliver the Scouting program to themselves and their fellow Scouts.
The Troop is always seeking new adult leaders. Any parents interested in getting involved as an adult leaders should speak with the Scoutmaster or the Committee Chairperson for an application.
9.0 Parental Responsibilities
As we work on providing a Scouting program for your son, there is a lot of hard work and time that goes into planning such a program. As a result, we request that parents accept certain responsibilities.
The first responsibility of all parents is attendance at all Courts of Honor.
The Court of Honor is a very important moment in your sons' Scouting career as he is awarded and recognized for his hard work and determination. In addition, important information about the Troop is relayed at these special ceremonies. Please make every effort to attend; your son needs your support.
Secondly, we ask that all parents participate in Troop fund-raisers. More often than not, we publish a schedule that gets distributed that outlines time frames that Scouts and a parent are responsible for working. If you are unable to attend a given time schedule, you can switch with other parents. Everyone's involvement is required so that a select few are not always running fund-raisers.
Third is meeting deadlines and scheduled times. When we set a deadline on permission slips, money, or any other item it is usually done for the purpose of planning logistics of trips or activities. Please do your best to encourage your son to meet such deadlines.
If a financial reason arises, please see one of the adults and we can work something out within the Troop. Under no circumstances should a family be priced out of Scouting.
The fourth responsibility is providing transportation to and from camping trips. If for any reason you prefer not to drive, there will be an extra charge per camping trip in order to reimburse those that consistently drive. Please remember, adult leaders do not normaly get reimbursed for gas, mileage, or wear and tear, therefore it becomes everyone's responsibilities to make sure everyone does their share.
Finally, the last responsibility that we ask for is your support of your son as he advances in Scouting. Your support is extremely important, let him know your interest and support in his involvement in Scouting.
We encourage that all parents do get involved. Remember, Scouting is a family oriented organization. You can serve on the Troop committee, attend camping trips, become a merit badge counselor,or serve the Troop in some other capacity. Periodically, we announce special needs, if you are available and able, please contact us.
If you have any questions about serving the Troop in some position, please talk to one of the adults at any time . We look forward to working with you in the near future.
10.0 Equipment Information
10.1 Troop Assets
Troop 44 is currently fully equipped with four operational Patrols. In addition the Troop has another fully equipped Patrol Box for use by the adult leaders. All equipment is stored in the Church Troop Storage area in individual Patrol boxes. Each Patrol is outfitted with the necessary equipment for a weekend camping trip. All Troop equipment is purchased with funds generated during fund-raisers and through donated items.
Each Patrol Box contains approximately $750 in camping equipment which is one reason why the Troop is extremely strict with their equipment use and abuse policy. All Scouts are expected to treat Troop equipment as if it were their own personal equipment. Each Patrol is equipped with the following equipment:
- Backpacking Tents( if necessary may be borrowed, Limited Number)
- Dining Fly
- Patrol Table
- Double Burner Propane Stove( when necessary)
- Backpacking Stove (when available)
- Propane Lanterns
- Cook Kits
- Griddles (Small and Large)
- Dutch Ovens
- Chef Utensil Kits
- Wash Basins and Net Drying Bags
- Patrol Water Jug and Cooler
- Camp Shovel and Hand Broom
In addition to individual Patrol equipment, the Troop also has other equipment that is available to the Patrols if requested. The following is a list of other Troop equipment:
- Propane Canisters
- Rope in 15 ft, 20 ft, and 25 ft lengths. Rope is not to be cut.
- Ax Yard Equipment: Bow Saws, Hatchets, 3/4 Ax, Sharpening Tools, Gloves, and Goggles.
- Troop First Aid Kit
- Knot Tying Boards
The Troop also has a library that consists of Merit Badge books and other important Scouting resources. All books can be signed out by Scouts through the Troop Librarian. Fees will be issued on books that are not returned. In addition, the Troop has a buy back policy where we will buy back select Merit Badge books for $1.00 after the Scout has earned the badge. This serves two purposes: 1)reducing costs to parents, and 2) constantly updating the Troop Library with newer versions of pamphlets.
10.2 Personal Equipment
Scouts are responsible for their own personal equipment. In order to help those that are just purchasing equipment, the Troop has the following recommendations on specific equipment. While we do not recommend going out and purchasing all the equipment at one time, the list is intended to provide parents with specific types of equipment that we have found to be more usable or appropriate for camping trips.
- All Scouts are strongly encouraged to have a Junior size external frame backpack. Most camping done by the Troop will use backpacks. Backpacks can range in price from $75 to $125 for Junior packs, but offer a great way to consolidate and store all personal gear.
- Sleeping Bags are necessary for all camping trips. The Troop recommends a three season mummy bag rated for 15°F weather. Sleeping bags can get a little expensive. The warmer the rating on the bag, the more expensive. Most mummy bags will run anywhere between $100 and $350 depending on your budget. (You will never need a $350 sleeping bag, we can assure you of that) If you have an adequate sleeping bag currently, do not purchase a new one, consider purchasing a better quality at a later date if your son really enjoys Scouting.
- Hiking boots are a must on all outdoor Scouting activities. Again, inexpensive hiking boots are more than sufficient for the average growing Scout. As your son stops growing, you may wish to purchase better quality, more expensive boots. In the meantime, Hi-tech boots are a durable, inexpensive pair of boots that are available at most sporting goods stores.
- Weather gear is a must on all camping trips. One thing we have learned is that $0.99 rain ponchos are worth exactly what you pay for them. Consider purchasing a Backpacking Poncho. They cost approximately $30, but will last for years to come.
- Pocketknives are used by all Scouts when they earn their TotinChip card, which shows they have been trained in the use of knives and other ax yard equipment. Please do not spend $65 on a Swiss Army Knife - it will only get lost. Most Scouting pocketknives run under $20 and are more than adequate for your sons use.
- Flashlights should be carried by all Scouts and are required for after dark movement for safety. The best buy on flashlights are the mini-maglites that come with a carrying holster. They cost $10 at Home Depot, are lightweight, and give off a lot of light. Their is no need for a 6 cell, 4ft flashlight on camping trips.
- Compasses are important on all camping trips and something every Scout should eventually have. As with the pocketknives, their is no need for elaborate compasses. Silva makes an excellent compass that costs around $12.
- Foam Pads are extremely important for a good nights sleep. Closed cell pads are inexpensive and more than adequate. The 48 inch pads cost about $15. The Troop does have a limited amount of foam pads that we can loan out on a first come, first serve basis.
- Water bottles are necessary on all backpacking trips and most camping trips where water is limited. The Troop recommends that each Scout has two 1 quart water bottles. Please do not buy any water bottles that are odd shaped or have straps. The straps become a safety hazard.
- A Scout is clean. All Scouts should have a small toiletry kit containing travel size toothpaste, deodorant, soap, toothbrush, and towel. All toiletries can be kept in a small zip-lock bag.
- Every Scout should carry a small first aid kit with them. Requirement 6b for Second Class requires that all Scouts make a personal First Aid kit. Again, use a zip-lock bag or old Band-Aid container for storing supplies. Page 289 in the Scout Handbook suggests items that should be placed in the First Aid kit.
- As mentioned before, all Scouts should have a personal mess kit consisting of a cup, plate, and eating utensils.
The above list represents specific, suggested equipment for camping trips. While every Scout should eventually have the equipment, please do not go out and purchase all the equipment at one time. Ask around, you would be surprised at how many people might have some of the equipment you could borrow.
The above items represent suggested items that you might want to consider purchasing for your sons future Scouting years. Many of the items will last a lifetime and are a good investment if your son enjoys camping and the outdoors. The following list is a personal equipment checklist of all items that should be brought on a camping trip. In addition, the Scout Handbook also has clothing and equipment checklists that should be reviewed for all camping trips.
- Sleeping Bag or 2 or 3 Blankets
- Foam Sleeping Pad
- Scout Handbook
- Scout Outdoor Essentials:
- Pocketknife (TotinChip Required)
- First Aid Kit
- Change of Clothes
- Rain Gear
- Water Bottle
- Trail Food (Granola Bars, Trail Mix)
- Notebook and Pencil
- Matches and Fire Starters (Saw Dust, Lint, Candles) in zip-lock bags
- Warm-Weather Clothing
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Hiking shorts
- Long pants
- Sweater or warm jacket
- Socks and underwear
- Hiking Boots
- Cap or Hat
- Cold-Weather Clothing
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Wool shirt
- Long pants
- Wool sweater
- Polypropylene long underwear
- Wool socks and sock liners
- Insulated Coat
- Wool Cap
- Mess Kit
- Toiletry Kit
- Insect Repellent
- Sun Protection
11.0 Finance and Fund-Raisers
Troop 44 is a completely self-sufficient Troop that supports itself through fund-raisers, annual registration fee and Troop dues.
In January, an annual registration fee with the Boy Scouts of America of $40 is collected for Council registration fees, subscriptions to Boy's Life, insurance, awards, and advancement earned by the Scouts. Dues for Scouts joining mid-year will be prorated as follows: January thru April will pay the full $40, subsequent months will be pro-rated at $3.50 per month.
Checks should be made payable to Troop 44 and when possible, separate checks should be used if funds for several "events" are due on the same night. This helps us tremendously in keeping our records correct. Fees associated with returned checks due to insufficient funds will be charged to the individual for reimbursement.
And finally, we thank you in advance for all your help and support.
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