Troop 15 Handbook and Guidelines

On behalf of the Adult Troop Leadership and the Youth Troop Leadership, we wish to welcome you and your family into what we consider an outstanding program. We are glad that you have chosen Troop 15 among all those available in the Daniel Boone Council to pursue your “Trail to Eagle.” Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to make this experience a rewarding, challenging time in your life. We will be here to guide your journey that will lead to adventure, mastering skills and providing you with a great sense of accomplishment. The following pages will provide you and your family some of the basic information regarding Boy Scouting with our troop. Please keep in mind that this is just a brief overview and that any Adult and Youth Scout Leader in the Troop will always be available to answer any questions that you have.

 

Dear Parents and Scouts,

We are glad you will be joining our troop. Scouting is the largest and one of the oldest organizations around. It is also one that is immediately known and respected by many people throughout the world. You will find that you will get out of scouting and Troop 15 what you put into it. This handbook is to help you lean about scouting and our troop. We hope this booklet will be useful to you, our new parents and scouts. Please read it together, along with the first pages in the Scout Handbook. Please do not hesitate to ask one of our leaders if you ever have a question, now or any time in the future. Both parents and the scout should read this handbook and return the completed signoff sheet at the end of this handbook to a committee member at your next troop meeting.

Troop 15 Meetings
Troop 15 meets from 7:00 pm to 8:30 PM every Monday at the Weaverville United Methodist Church 85 North Main Street
Weaverville, NC, 28787 .

Introduction and Membership

Boy Scouting, one of the traditional membership divisions of the BSA, is available to boys who have earned the Arrow of Light Award or have completed the fifth grade, or who are 11 through 17 years old. The program achieves the BSA's objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities. Any changes to the age requirements by the BSA will be mirrored by Troop 15.

Troop 15 also accepts transfers from other Troops as long as the transferring Scout is leaving in good standing with the previous Troop. Any Scout who has been expelled from or membership in another Troop has been cancelled, will not be considered for membership in Troop 15.

The most exciting for the Scout (and challenging for the Parents) is the initial differences between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Cub Scouting is an adult run program. Boy Scouting is a boy-run program with the oversight and guidance of the adult leaders.

Adult membership in Troop 15 is open to all parents of youth members, members of the sponsoring organization and any other person interested in serving the youth of the Troop.

The Chartered Organization Representative and the Troop Committee Chairman must approve all adult membership.

Aims and Methods of the Scouting Program

The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the "Aims of Scouting." They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

Ideals
The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
Patrols
The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.
Outdoor Programs
Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. In the outdoors the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Boy Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources.
Advancement
Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
Associations With Adults
Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.
Personal Growth
As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims.
Leadership Development
The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

Uniform
The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished. A uniform is required to attend a Troop 15 meeting or function. The Troop 15 uniform consists of an official BSA Scout Shirt, official BSA Scout Pants, Troop 15 neckerchief (provided by the Troop once Scout rank is achieved), and proper closed toe shoes. BSA hat and socks are optional.

BSA Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Boy Scout Law and Oath.

Boy Scout Law

TRUSTWORTHY
A scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is a part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.

LOYAL
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leader, friends, school and nation

HELPFUL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.

FRIENDLY
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.

COURTEOUS
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

KIND
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

OBEDIENT
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.

CHEERFUL
A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

THRIFTY
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

BRAVE
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.

CLEAN
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.

REVERENT
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
And to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Motto

Be Prepared

Scout Slogan

Do a Good Turn Daily

Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to
Be clean in my outdoor manners,
Be careful with fire,
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation-minded

Troop Organization

Troop Organizational Chart

Troop Committee

There are many varied tasks on the committee. Some duties involve few man-hours each month but are year-round, while other duties involve a more focused action over a one or two month span. Additionally, Troop Committee members are needed to serve on the Boards of Reviews. A simple majority of the committee members present is required for a motion to be passed. Committee members must be registered adults, and complete Youth Protection training. The committee meets on the third Monday of the month at 6:00 pm. Some of the committee positions are listed below.

Chartered Organization Representative

Serves as liaison between troop and Weaverville United Methodist Church. Helps recruits adults. Assists with the annual re-charter. Is responsible for appointing and/or removing the committee chair position

Committee Chairman

Runs the Troop Committee. Secures individuals for Troop Committee positions. Arranges for annual recharter. Performs annual audit of Troop's bank account.

Assistant Committee Chairman

Duties as assigned by the Committee Chairman. Oversees the troop volunteer positions. Recruits parent volunteers

Secretary

Records minutes of committee meetings and distributes to committee members. Oversees publicity, troop newsletter, and troop resource survey. Handles assorted tasks such as copying, maintaining troop inventory list.

Treasurer

Handles all troop funds. Maintains checking account and pays bills on recommendation of the Scoutmaster and authorization of the Troop Committee. Trains & supervises troop scribe. Supervises money earning projects. Leads preparation of annual Troop budget and reports to the troop committee.

Membership

Maintain troop membership records, including applications and medical records. Organize & carryout annual re-charter for troop.

Advancement Coordinator

Maintains all troop advancement records and awards. Arranges for Board of Reviews for rank advancement. Arranges quarterly Court of Honor ceremony. Secures badges and awards. Keeps track of all activities attended.

Outdoor Activities Coordinator

Provides advance planning and support for monthly campouts and activities. Secures all required tour permits for Troop activities. Secure permission to use camping sites. Work with quartermaster on inventory, storage and maintaining troop equipment. Serve as transportation coordinator. Promote National Camping Award. Attain the goal of one outing per month.

Quartermaster

Keep a current inventory of troop equipment. Supervise and help the Troop procure equipment. Work with the youth Quartermaster on inventory, storage and maintenance of equipment. Make periodic safety checks on Troop equipment.

Grub Master

Oversees meal plan for campouts/activities. Maintain balanced meals. Help patrol grub master with quantity of food & shopping suggestions.

Training Coordinator

Coordinates the training for the troop’s adults. Is responsible for BSA Youth Protection training within the Troop. Encourages junior leader training within the Troop and at the council level.

Summer Camp Coordinator

Promotes & coordinates our troop’s summer camp program. Keep parents informed thru updates. Help schedule scouts’ activities at camp. This requires a detailed person.

Chaplain

Provides a spiritual tone for meetings and activities. Gives guidance to the Chaplain Aid. Visits homes of Scouts in sickness or in times of need.

Fund Raising Coordinator

Coordinates any fund raisers that may be instituted.

Fundraising Committee member(s)

Assist chairman in fundraising events

Newsletter

Consolidates troop information, publish & distribute/e-mail newsletter to parents.

Publicity

Promotes troop activities within church, community, Boy Scout district & council.

Court of Honor Reception Committee

Carry out the plans the scouts made for a reception held after each Court of Honor (3 or 4 per year).

Friends of Scouting

Adult coordinator for national campaign to secure funds for local & national scouting.

Committee Elections

Calls for nominations of the Committee Chairperson position shall occur each April. Nominations will close at the beginning of the May Troop Committee meeting.

Any Registered Adult within the Troop may nominate or be nominated to the Committee Chairperson position, including nominating him/herself.
1. The election of the Committee Chairperson will take place during the May Troop Committee meeting. Votes may be submitted in writing to the Troop Secretary before or during the May Committee meeting. The votes submitted prior to the conclusion of the May Troop Committee meeting will be sufficient for a quorum.
2. All Troop Committee members are eligible to vote for Committee Chairperson.
3. Votes will be counted by a Troop Committee member designated by the Committee Chairperson with the assistance of a member of the Scoutmaster Staff.
4. If there are only two people running and there is a tie, the current Committee Chairman will cast the deciding vote.
5. If more than two people are nominated for the Committee Chairperson position, a plurality of votes will be sufficient to win the election. In the event of a tie, the nominees with the most votes will have a run-off election. If there is a tie in the run-off election, the current Committee Chairperson will cast the deciding vote. The run-off election must be completed within two weeks of the conclusion of the May Meeting.
6. Committee Chairperson position will transition as soon as appropriate approvals have been completed with the Chartered Organization and the Daniel Boone Council.

Troop Leadership Positions

Scoutmaster
The Scoutmaster is the adult in charge of the guidance and oversight of the boy run Troop. The Scoutmaster is responsible for the training and oversight of the Patrol Leaders Council. The Scoutmaster gives his input and guidance to the Patrol Leaders Council and works with the Senior Patrol Leader in ensure a well run program. The Scoutmaster gives his report to the Troop Committee at regular meetings. The Scoutmaster also conducts Scoutmaster Conferences (SMC’s).

Assistant Scoutmaster
The assistant Scoutmasters also play a strategic part, for they support the Scoutmaster and share the challenge. Assistants should be assigned specific program responsibilities. A Scoutmaster may have as many assistant Scoutmasters as desired, depending on the needs of the troop. At Troop 15, there are two ASMs assigned to work with each patrol.

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is assigned by the Scoutmaster. He must meet the minimum requirements of Eagle Scout and have a minimum age of 16 years old. He is given direct oversight of the Troop Guides and the Den Chiefs.

Youth Leadership

A major goal of Scouting is developing leadership in our youth. Boy Scout troops are actually run by its boy leaders. Youth leadership is also a key aspect of rank advancement for Boy Scouts once they achieve the rank of first class. The highest youth leader is the senior patrol leader, or SPL. The assistant senior patrol leader, or ASPL assists the SPL and is the second highest-ranking junior leader in the troop.

Junior leaders make up the patrol leaders council (PLC). The PLC is the organizing body of the troop, planning all of the activities and meetings of the troop. With the advice of the Scoutmaster, the SPL, as the top junior leader, leads this monthly meeting. The adult leaders are present only as advisors and facilitators. The PLC also meets in the summer to develop the program for the upcoming year.

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the elected Scout leader of the Troop. He is responsible to the Scoutmaster for all Troop functions and operations. He conducts monthly Patrol Leaders Council meetings for planning and review of the Troop's activities and meetings.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader is the right hand of the Senior Patrol Leader. He is willing and able to fill in during the absence of the Senior Patrol Leader. He is also responsible for the guidance of the support roles within the Scout structure. (Refer to the organization chart.)

Patrol Leader
The Patrol Leader is the elected Scout for a group of 8 – 10 Scouts. He is responsible to the Senior Patrol Leader for the operation of the Patrol. He helps his Patrol members with training and advancement. He is also responsible for the planning and communication within his Patrol.

Assistant Patrol Leader
The Assistant Patrol Leader is the right hand of the Patrol Leader. He takes his direction from the Patrol Leader. He is willing and able to fill in during the absence of the Patrol Leader.

Troop Guide
The Troop Guide is responsible to the Junior Assistant Scoutmasters or Assistant Scoutmasters if no Junior is present in the Troop. He is responsible for the guidance and training of the Patrol Leaders to ensure a fully functioning Patrol.

Scribe
The Scribe is responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is responsible for the Troop record keeping. This includes taking minutes at the monthly Patrol Leaders Council meetings. He is also responsible for keeping track of attendance at all meetings and activities.

Quartermaster
The Quartermaster is responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is responsible for the Troop's equipment. He will work with the adult Equipment Coordinator in making sure that all equipment needed for activities is provided and returned in good condition.

Librarian
The Librarian is responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is in charge of the Troop's library of Merit Badge books and reference material.

Chaplain Aid
The Chaplain Aid is responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is responsible for the spiritual tone at meetings and functions.

Instructor
The Instructor is responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is responsible for specific training to the Scouts as directed.

O.A. Representative
The O.A. Representative is the liaison between the Order of the Arrow Lodge and the Troop Order of the Arrow members.

Troop Elections and Term Limits

Senior Patrol Leader - Term of 6 months – not to exceed 2 consecutive terms
The Senior Patrol Leader generally must have:
1. Been a registered member of Troop 15 for at least six months
2. Advanced to the rank of Life or above
3. Been nominated for the position by the Scouts within the Troop
4. Must have completed Junior Leadership Training
5. Been elected to the position of Senior Patrol Leader by a majority vote of members present at a regularly scheduled troop election meeting
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader - Term of 6 months
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader generally must have the same requirements as the Senior Patrol Leader.
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader will be elected to his position after running for Senior Patrol Leader and gaining the 2nd highest vote count in the election.

Patrol Leaders – Term of 6 months – not to exceed 2 consecutive terms.
The Patrol Leader generally must have:
1. Been a registered member of Troop 15 for at least six months
2. Advanced to the rank of First Class or above
3. The approval of the Scoutmaster
4. Been elected to the position of Patrol Leader by a majority vote of his patrol members present at a regularly scheduled troop election meeting.

Youth Protection

Child abuse is a major problem affecting our society. Each year more than 2 million cases of suspected child abuse are reported. This means that 1 percent of American children are experiencing physical abuse, 1 percent are experiencing sexual abuse, and 2 to 5 percent are experiencing emotional maltreatment or some form of neglect. Because of the significance of this social problem, The BSA has developed a five-point plan to combat child abuse and to improve the environment in which young people live. The key elements of this strategy include the following points:
• Educating Scouting volunteers, parents and Scouts themselves to aid in the detection and prevention of child abuse.
• Establishing leader-selection procedures to prevent individuals with a history of child abuse from entering the BSA leadership ranks.
• Establishing policies that minimize the opportunities for child abuse to occur in the program of the Boy Scouts of America.
• Encouraging Scouts to report improper behavior in order to identify offenders quickly.
• Swiftly removing and reporting alleged offenders.

BSA is very concerned with child abuse and drug abuse. To become a scout, one of the joining requirements is to discuss with his parents “How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse”. This guide is found in the front section of the Boy Scout Handbook and is the only requirement a parent may sign off.

The Daniel Boone Council provides training for all adult leaders in youth protection. All adults who work directly with the scouts must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and must have Youth Protection training. A youth protection video with age appropriate material is available to the troop, in addition to the on-line Youth Protection training.

ADVANCEMENT

The Boy Scout advancement program provides a ladder of skills that a Scout climbs at his own pace. As he acquires these skills he moves up through a series of ranks, for which he is awarded badges: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. The higher he climbs, the more challenging his tasks-and the more rewarding.

The purpose of the advancement program is to spur a Scout to learn, to achieve, and to mature. That it does this so consistently makes it another important method that reinforces the Scouting aims. Oh yes, advancement also happens to be fun.

If you are advancing from the Cub Scout program, you will find the advancement system in the Boy Scouts a little different. In the Cub Scout program, a den usually advances together through den activities organized by the adult leader. In Boy Scouts, individual initiative is the primary force behind rank advancement. Parents are encouraged to follow their son’s progress in the Scout handbook and to become involved with skill instruction within the troop.

Our expectation is to advance new scouts to first class rank in the first year of joining. To do this, scouts will work in a patrol with an adult leader as an advisor and a troop guide to help you follow the path. Bring your Scout handbook and notebook to every meeting and activity. This is very important so your progress can be promptly recorded. Please encourage your scout to advance through the ranks.

Troop meetings and outings are planned to contain skills instruction that will help both new and experienced scouts earn rank advancement. This is why the troop attendance policy requires a scout to participate in 75% of the troop meeting and 75% of the troop outings in order to advance, unless approved by the scoutmaster. Once a skill is learned and demonstrated, the scout may have his handbook signed off by a scout who is a senior leader, the Scoutmaster, or an assistant Scoutmaster. The requirement “Scout Spirit” must be signed off by the Scoutmaster or an assistant Scoutmaster.

The basic camping and scouting skills are taught in the first three ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. The next three ranks, Star, Life and Eagle, are more individualized, where a scout develops his personal interests and more advanced life skills. He develops these through demonstrating leadership and earning merit badges.

High Level Advancement Process flow:

flow chart

 

Leadership

A very important objective of the scout program is to prepare the scout for the future. Leadership is one of those skills that the program teaches and gives the scout an opportunity to practice. Leadership in scouts is a skill that involves planning as well as directing your fellow scouts to the successful completion of projects. Each advancing rank requires the scout to build his leadership skills. The scout can demonstrate leadership as a patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or Order of the Arrow troop representative. In addition, your Scoutmaster might offer you leadership positions for special projects or events. For a scout at Star rank, he must successfully plan events and make a diligent effort at accomplishing the project through other members of the troop. The trail to Life gets harder. The scout must not only plan, but must be successful most of the time in achieving their project goal. This experience will give the scout confidence necessary to begin the final climb to Eagle. The Scoutmaster will meet with each scout of first class and above to develop leadership goals needed for his next rank.

Merit Badges

There are over 100 merit badges to choose from. You can work independently on merit badges, take merit badge classes at summer camp, and/or attend merit badge clinics. Before starting a merit badge you must first get a blue card from the advancement chairperson and have the Scoutmaster sign and date it. Troop 15 has a Merit Badge night the first Monday of each month at 6:30 pm to meet with Merit Badge counselors. It is a good idea to call your counselor to ask them to attend. After completing the merit badge, your counselor, then the Scoutmaster will sign the blue card before it is turned in to the Advancement Chairperson.
To achieve the rank of Eagle, you must earn at least 21 merit badges, 12 of which are required. See the Scout handbook for more information on merit badges.

Scoutmaster Conference (SMC)

Each of the six ranks contains the requirement “Participate in a Scoutmaster Conference”. The purpose of the conference is to develop, over a period of time, an increasing level of understanding and trust between the Scoutmaster and each Scout. Then the Scoutmaster can be increasingly effective in helping the boy get the most from Scouting.

Advancement is the scout’s responsibility. The scout should save all written work and projects you do for merit badges and rank. After all the requirements of a rank are completed, the scout must arrange a meeting with the Scoutmaster, called the Scoutmaster Conference.

Board of Review (BOR)

When a scout has completed all the requirements for a rank, including the Scoutmaster Conference, he appears before a board of review. This consists of at least three and not more than six committee members (registered adults). Scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters, and relatives do not participate in the board of review. The review has three purposes:
• To make sure the work has been learned and completed.
• To find out what kind of experience the boy is having in his patrol and troop.
• To encourage the Scout to progress further.

The board of review is not a time to retest the Scout, but to determine the Scout’s attitude and his acceptance of scouting ideals. It is also time to review those Scouts who are not advancing.

It is the responsibility of each scout to:
• Appear before the Board in a complete Class A uniform.
• Have his Scout handbook complete and ready to be reviewed. Star, Life, and Eagle ranks require additional information to be documented and reviewed with the Board.
• BE PREPARED.

Court of Honor (COH)

The accomplishments of our scouts and leaders are recognized at an impressive formal ceremony called the Court of Honor. At this event, all Scouts who have advanced since the last court of honor will be recognized before an audience of families, friends, chartered organization officials, and troop leaders.

Courts of honor are held four times a year. They are scheduled in place of regular troop meetings and are held in the fellowship hall. This is the time when full uniform, including the sash and any medals should be worn. Parents’ attendance is an important and very easy way to demonstrate an interest in your son’s scouting progress.

ACTIVITIES

Troop 15 strives to keep busy with a variety of fun events. Each month our youth leaders meet with guidance from the Scoutmaster and assistance from the troop committee to plan interesting and fun activities. Our program will include an outdoor activity each month. Some of these activities may include:
• Summer Camp
• Troop Campouts
• Hiking
• Community service projects/parish projects
• Council or National activities such as Camporees

See the troop calendar for a schedule of events. Feel free to make suggestions to your patrol leader or Scoutmaster!

Meetings

Regular troop meetings are held at Weaverville United Methodist Church on Mondays at 7:00pm every week, ending at 8:30. All scouts are expected to attend and to be prompt. Our bad weather policy is as follows:

• If Buncombe County Schools are closed due to inclement weather, Scouts should assume that our meeting is cancelled. If there is a change, Scouts will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. Example: Buncombe County calls schools because of icy roads and during the day the temperature clears the roads, we may elect to have a meeting.

• If school is closed due to a teacher workday or a holiday, Scouts will be informed prior to the "holiday" as to whether or not we will meet.

Whenever possible a Scout should attend all meetings and attend them in full uniform. If a Scout cannot be present at the weekly meeting or other scouting event, the Scout should call their Patrol Leader or Assistant Patrol Leader and tell them he cannot be present. Late arrivals and leaving early is disruptive to the meeting and need to be kept to a minimum. If you must leave early, please make sure an Assistant Scoutmaster is aware that you are leaving early. “Scout Spirit”, which must be demonstrated by the Scout for rank advancement is based in large part on the Scout’s attendance and participation in weekly meetings and other Troop events. This requirement is especially important for the higher ranks, including Eagle Scout.

Equipment

The following equipment is required: Official Boy Scout uniform (Class A and Class B). See uniform policy

Eventually, your son will need a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow (if desired), mess kit with utensils, and hiking boots. The suggested equipment for camping is listed on page 224-5 of the Scout handbook. Talk with older scouts to learn other sources of equipment and what works best.

All equipment and clothing should be marked with the scout’s name. Engravers work very well on metal such as cooking gear. Colored nail polish works on identifying utensils. Laundry markers should be used on clothing, sleeping bags or other cloth items.

Permission Slips

A permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian is required before a scout can participate in any outside activity. Permission slips will be available for the boys to take home prior to a scheduled activity. Please take the time to read it and completely fill in all the required information and return it prior to the due date. Note: Any out of state trips require NOTARIZED permission slips.

Medical

Upon deciding to join Troop 15, you will need to get a new scout application and Annual Health and Medical Record from a designated committee member. The Boy Scout Application needs to be completed as soon as possible and given to the Troop Committee. A scout cannot obtain the rank of “Scout,” or go on an outing without a parent or guardian until this is turned into the Council Office and the scout is officially registered.

Parts A and C of the Annual Health and Medical Record must be completed by the parent or guardian annually. Part B is required to be completed by a physician for any scout attending an outing over 72 hours (such as scout camp) or when the nature of the activity is strenuous and demanding, such as service projects, work weekends, or high-adventure treks. Because our troop participates in many demanding service projects, we require parts A, B & C to be completely annually. Any changes to the Annual Health and Medical Record forms throughout the year (such as address change, insurance change, or change in medicines or health) need to be updated with the appropriate committee member.

All adult leaders must have an annual form completed as well.

COMMUNICATION

While scouts usually hear the details of our events at meetings, this important information is not always passed along to parents. Ask your scout after each meeting to share this information with you. Scouts should be taking notes in their scout notebook. Our troop website is another key way to stay informed and become involved in our activities.

This troop uses email as its main form of communication – if you (Adult and Youth alike) do not have an email address, please get one. They are free and it will keep you in the loop with the troop. Also please check your email frequently. If you cannot get internet access, we can assign someone to be your liaison for emails and all Troop communications.
Troop 15 Web Page: http://www.troop15bsa.net

FINANCES

Annual registration fees are $ and due by . Fees automatically include a subscription to Boy’s Life Magazine and BSA registration fees. Adult leaders pay annual fees of $xxx which includes a subscription to Scouting magazine.

Each scout’s account is maintained by the troop. Funds accrued by the scout can be used to pay for troop activities including helping to defray the cost of summer camp. Funds from a scout account belong to the troop and will not be given to any scout if they leave the troop.

Fees are established for each outing to pay for food, camping fees and other expenses as required.

Dues Policy

Each Scout who has not yet attained the rank of Eagle is responsible to pay dues in the amount of $4 per month collected weekly ($1.00 per week). The purpose of dues is intended to help the Troop meet operating expenses which includes program materials, fees, camp and trail patches, transportation and troop equipment.

Dues must be current as of the last day of the prior month in order for a Scout to remain in good standing with the Troop. If a Scout has a balance in his personal Scout Account, unpaid dues will be deducted from his account at the end of the month. Failure to pay dues will prevent the Scout from participating in the monthly Troop outings and advancing in rank. In addition, as part of the recharter process, if dues are not current, the amount past due will be added to the recharter in order to remain active in the troop. Hardship allowances or scholarship requests can be made in confidence to the Troop Committee Chair.

Fund Raising

The troop plans several fundraisers during the year. These funds are needed to pay for advancement badges, maintaining troop equipment and other needs. It is necessary for all scouts to participate in these efforts. In some cases, the troop profits from fundraisers are shared with the participating scout directly, via a scout account. All Scout households are expected to participate in these activities.

Scout Accounts

Individual Scout's Accounts are Troop moneys designated for use by individual Scouts for summer camp, other long term campout fees and monthly dues payments. These accounts are not intended to be personal savings accounts. Money cannot be withdrawn for personal purchases. Money earned by any Scout and not used by the time that Scout leaves the Troop shall be returned to the Troop Fund.

TROOP 15 POLICIES

Attendance Policy
Scouts are expected to attend all troop meetings on the schedule and participate in the other troop activities. The senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, and patrol leaders are expected to attend the monthly patrol leaders’ council meeting in addition to the regular troop meetings. A 75% attendance in both troop meetings and outings is necessary to meet leadership requirements, especially for those scouts first class and above. The patrol scribe or patrol leader will take attendance at all troop functions and report to the troop scribe. The troop scribe will record the attendance for the SPL and ASPL. For the purpose of this policy, attendance is defined as being on time, in uniform, and participating with good scout spirit.

Uniform Policy
The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Wearing the uniform is also an action that shows each scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of scouting. All uniforms should be neat, clean, tucked in and fit properly. Troop 15 has chosen to make BSA socks and BSA hat optional. This is referred to as a Class A uniform. Wear full uniform including the merit badge sash and any medals for the Court of Honor and other ceremonies. For safety, we require closed toed shoes for all meetings and activities. Flip Flops are not acceptable footwear.

For outdoor activities such as road cleanups, and at other specified times, Scouts may wear the Class B uniform.

General Rules
This section deals with troop policies and consists mostly of items forbidden in our troop. (You know we had to have this list somewhere.)

  • Smoking and Drinking - It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances is not permitted at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America. It is prohibited at any activity involving participation of youth members. For the parents that must smoke, you are requested to do this away from the scout camp or activity.
  • Knives - No sheath knives, switch blades, or knives with blades over 4 inches in length are permitted on any troop activity by any scout, scoutmaster or guest (Parent).
  • No Firearms - No firearms are permitted on any troop activity by any scout or guest. If any firearms are required on any troop activity, they will be under the strict control of the Scoutmaster Staff.
  • No Hazing - Physical and mental hazing are prohibited by the Boy Scouts of America and will not be tolerated.
  • No Profanity - This applies to both youth and adults.
  • No saws or axes are to be used outside an ax yard. Axes are to be used with the "Contact Method" only.
  • Scouts cannot build any fires until they earn "Firem'n Chit”.
  • Scouts will not be permitted to use any knife, ax or saw until they earn "Totin' Chip". One corner of a scout's "Totin' Chip" will be removed for each safety infraction involving a knife, saw or ax. If he loses all corners, he will lose his "Totin' Chip" and will no longer be able to use any knife, saw or ax until his "Totin' Chip" is re-earned.
  • Scouts will not be allowed to swim at any troop activity unless there are at least two persons assigned as lifeguards, and other restrictions as directed in “Safe Swim Defense”. All swimmers will use the "buddy system".
  • Speed limits and all other traffic regulations are to be scrupulously upheld.
  • Scouts are not permitted to ride in the rear of pickup trucks.
    Discipline Policy
    All Scouts are expected to act in a manner to reflect the standards of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. If the scouts do not participate in meetings or are disruptive, action will be taken to correct the situation. Under normal situations, the patrol leader or other scout leader will issue a warning to misbehaving scouts. If the activities continue, the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, or other scout leader will speak to the scout. Should the misbehavior continue, the Scoutmaster, or other adult leader will review the situation with the scout. This may result in the scout being prevented from participating in the next troop activity or to call the scout’s parents to take him home.

Behavior of an extreme nature (i.e. behavior resulting in criminal charges or could result in criminal charges, whether or not actually filed) or continuous behavior unbecoming a Scout (i.e. behavior not in accordance with the Scout Law, Scout Oath, or Outdoor Code) will be handled by a disciplinary committee consisting of, but not limited to the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster(s), Committee Chair, Committee Members, Senior Patrol Leader, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader within 30 days of the incident in question. The scout may or may not be required to attend this meeting.

When such a behavior occurs at a Scout activity, parents will be called to pick up the Scout and the scoutmaster will be notified. Any adult leader present during serious inappropriate behavior by a Scout (including the time a Scout is sent home) will provide a written report to the disciplinary committee.

Results of this disciplinary committee may include any of the following:
• Removal of the scout’s current leadership position
• Additional 30 days living according to the Scout Oath and Law prior to next advancement
• Additional service hours to restore damage done
• Temporary suspension of the Scout's participation in Troop activities
• Probationary Period of up to 1 year, not limiting participation, but requiring the presence of a parent or other adult who accepts responsibility for the Scout during the activity
• Expulsion from the Troop

Event Payment Policy
The troop may have to charge fees for outdoor events to cover the cost of transportation, food, supplies, and fees. Information will be provided in advance and payment is requested by a deadline. In some cases, deposits will be requested by a specific date. Such deposits will be your notification of intent to participate and will be forfeited if you later elect not to participate. Only those scouts and adults who notify by the specified date will be guaranteed to participate. Please make all checks out to “Troop 15”.

In most cases, parents or guardians are welcome and encouraged to attend outdoor events with the troop. Events will be cancelled if we cannot arrange adequate parent or guardian participation for supervision or transportation. In the event of cancellation, you can be refunded less any non-refundable deposits etc. that the troop had to make for the event. Alternatively, you can have the money carried forward as a credit for your boy’s next trip.

Food and Nutrition Policy
Proper preparation for scout outings includes preparing appropriate menus, a duty roster for meals, and planning time for cooking and cleanup. Some general rules apply:
• Prepare and make BALANCED MEALS. Cook what you bring, eat what you cook.
• Bring proper equipment and take care of this equipment.
• Limited candy. Snacks should be healthy.
• NO soft drinks. Drink milk, juice, or water.

When Patrols are asked to buy their own food for a trip, the Grub master of the patrol will be required to make the purchases within the stated daily meal allowance budgeted for the trip.

Electronic Equipment
The exposure to, and use of, electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, smart phones, and tablets have all but become embedded in our culture and are routinely used not only by adults, but also by our Scouts. While admitting that the use of such devices on campouts, during meetings, or on hikes is often distracting or worse, it must also be admitted that we rely on these devices in order to maintain contact with parents, provide additional safety while away from home, and obtain information about weather, location, etc.
In order to maintain order and allow leaders and Scouts to get the most out of our program, the following guidelines are provided as they relate to the possession and use of electronic devices:

During meetings, Courts of Honor, Patrol Leaderís Councils, etc., all electronic devices MUST be turned off and preferably kept in a coat or jacket pocket (as opposed to on the Scoutís person) in order to prevent use or minimize the temptation to its use. In these cases, the best policy is to not bring the electronic device to the meeting at all unless it is absolutely necessary (for example, to call a parent to come pick up the Scout at the end of the meeting).

During trips of any kind, all electronic devices may be brought along for use on the trip to or from the destination. Once at the destination, the electronic devices must be left in the van or personal vehicle and not be used. The Scout, and not the Troop, is responsible for the safety of such devices once left behind. Exceptions to this policy may include weather radios, GPS devices for use on trails or hikes, or smartphones for specific uses such as using an app for astronomy purposes. Exceptions must be cleared with the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters and used solely for the purpose intended.

Penalties for using an electronic device during a meeting or outing include confiscation for the first offense, with the device being returned to the Scout at the end of the meeting/outing. Multiple offenses will result in confiscation of the device, with the device being returned to a parent at the end of the meeting/outing with an explanation as to why it was confiscated. Multiple offenses may also result in the device(s) being either temporarily or permanently banned for that particular Scout from meetings or outings.

Swimming Policy
BSA policy requires scouts to meet minimum requirement in order to swim or be in the water as part of a scout function. The swim certificate test indicates the scout’s swimming ability. The certificate is valid only for the calendar year the test was taken in. The troop will coordinate testing for the certificate along with the event that requires it. The test is also available at summer camp.