NEW SCOUTS AND PARENTS GUIDE – 2017
A program for boys 11 through 17 designed to develop character, citizenship, and fitness. Through the advancement program and peer group leadership, Scouting helps a boy develop into a well-rounded young man. The Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in Scouting, is recognized around the world as a mark of excellence.
Boy Scouts look forward to Boy Scout Camping opportunities and many other District Activities. In Boy Scouts, youth take responsibility for the activities of the troop. By planning and organizing activities, they develop teamwork and learn to lead as well as follow.
Scout Oath (or Promise)
“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.”
“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Differences between Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts
The Boy Scout requirements for rank are the basis for a Boy Scout’s advancement.
There are four steps in the Boy Scout advancement procedure: learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition. The introductory Scout skills are taught to Scouts by older Scouts.
Boy Scouting has the following ranks:
- Second Class
- First Class
Scouts must complete any rank advancement before their 18th birthday.
After a Scout has earned the rank of Eagle, they can earn Eagle palms for additional merit badges and service to Scouts. The requirements for ranks from Scout thru First Class are the same for every Scout, and focus on basic Scouting skills. Beginning with the rank of Star, boys are required to hold leadership positions in the troop and to complete a certain number of merit badges. These are choices each Scout makes for himself.
There are more than 130 different merit badges. The following list is complete as of Spring 2015, but a merit badges are added or removed periodically.
1. American Business
2. American Cultures
3. American Heritage
4. American Labor
5. Animal Science
6. Animation (Coming soon)
13. Automotive Maintenance
17. Bird Study
23. Citizenship in the Community
24. Citizenship in the Nation
25. Citizenship in the World
27. Coin Collecting
30. Composite Materials
32. Crime Prevention
35. Digital Technology
36. Disabilities Awareness
37. Dog Care
41. Emergency Preparedness
45. Environmental Science
46. Family Life
47. Farm Mechanics
49. Fire Safety
50. First Aid
51. Fish and Wildlife Management
53. Fly Fishing
55. Game Design
61. Graphic Arts
63. Home Repairs
65. Indian Lore
66. Insect Study
70. Landscape Architecture
74. Mammal Study
77. Mining in Society
78. Model Design and Building
83. Nuclear Science
87. Personal Fitness
88. Personal Management
92. Plant Science
96. Public Health
97. Public Speaking
98. Pulp and Paper
102. Reptile and Amphibian Study
103. Rifle Shooting
109. Scouting Heritage
110. Scuba Diving
112. Search & Rescue
113. Shotgun Shooting
114. Signs, Signals, and Codes (Coming soon)
116. Small-Boat Sailing
117. Snow Sports
118. Soil and Water Conservation
119. Space Exploration
121. Stamp Collecting
127. Traffic Safety
128. Truck Transportation
129. Veterinary Medicine
130. Water Sports
134. Wilderness Survival
135. Wood Carving
Good information about merit badges is available at MeritBadge.org.
Leadership and Boy-led Troop Scouts
Troop 324 strives to maintain a boy-led troop. Each Spring, the Scouts have a meeting and plan their camping activities for the upcoming year. Boys with leadership positions within the troop have a monthly meeting, called the Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) and plan the next several weekly meetings and any other activities.
Adult leaders are the safety net for the Scout leadership to take on and make mistakes while learning leadership, communications, ethical decision making and team work skills.
Maintaining a BLT philosophy as an adult leader is hard. As adults, we are used to being in charge and have vast leadership experience. It is hard to step back into the background and let the Scouts take charge, especially when it would be so easy for you as the adult to take charge and solve the issues at hand.
As adult leaders, we are here to serve our scouts and grow them into better leaders. The best way to do that is to allow them to try things out, experience success and failure and encourage the scouts to constantly challenge themselves or try new approaches and techniques.
Every mistake a Scout makes is a learning opportunity. If the Scouts do not make mistakes, they don’t have an opportunity to try out new things and stretch their skills. If mistakes are repeated, then we need to understand why. Allowing the Scouts to learn by making mistakes is a fundamental trait of a good adult leader.
There is no better confidence builder than Scouts who succeed on the second time. The adult leader mentoring and encouraging the Scout to try again using lessons learned is key to the Scout’s growth.
Parents are a critical support element for the Scouts taking on the challenges of learning and developing leadership, communication, ethical decision-making and teamwork skills. Each parent who chooses to register as an adult Scouter and takes the required training automatically becomes a member of our troop committee. All adults must be registered with the BSA in order to attend any overnight activity or to even drive other boys to events In addition to committee member, there are a number of adult leadership positions that are necessary to support our troop.
One of the greatest ways to show your sons how important and beneficial Scouting can be for them is to take an active and participatory role in the troop. Take some time to become acclimated to the troop and your new role on the troop committee and then consider what role your skill might be used to benefit the troop.
Troop 324 strives to use the Patrol Method in all of its activities. The Patrol Method promotes a feeling of belonging and allows the boys to experience leadership and responsibility. The boys really need some space to try things out. And to paraphrase Baden-Powell… We shouldn’t do anything for the Scouts that they can do for themselves. For example, Scouts should plan their meals, cook them, and police their kitchens. They will make mistakes, maybe have less-than-stellar menus, and sometimes suffer through the results. These can be great learning opportunities if an adult leader is there to coach them through the process.
The adult leader can help at difficult moments; encourage the boys when things get tough, give helpful advice when needed, and still keep enough distance to allow the boys to take on the chunks of leadership that they can handle
The trick is to find a happy medium between simply ignoring the Scouts, and becoming so involved that they don’t have a chance to learn on their own. Each Scout is different and consequently each Patrol is different. Each will need varying degrees of coaching support and room to grow. Adult leaders are there to give them the support they need while letting them try out things and learn along the way.
For this year (2016-17), Troop 324 registration costs were:
- $85 Scout (without an adult); $110 Scout (with adult)
- $73 for a second Scout
- $52 for Eagle Scouts
- $25 for adults w/o Scouts.
We prorate these amounts for new Scouts, so their troop dues are half of the listed amount, and new dues will be collected in October.
Bartle Summer Camp
Payments for Bartle summer camp are due in mid-April ($175) and mid-May ($175) for full-time campers. If any of you adults are interested in joining us for camp in 2017, please let me know if you want to go full or part-time. I will have to double-check the daily cost for part time campers.
High Adventure Camping
BSA has four national high-adventure camps. These are Philmont, Northern Tier, Seabase and Bechtel Summit. These are rigorous trips and are restricted by BSA to boys 14 and older. Just as a FYI, our troop is sending boys to Philmont in 2017. Your boys will hear this mentioned several times in the next few meetings, and you will see it in numerous emails if you haven’t already.