Troop Handbook 2011 rev.

Troop 58

Boy Scout Handbook

Boy Scouts of America

Twin Rivers Council

Fort Orange District

Elsmere, New York

 

 

 

Policies & Procedures

As approved and enacted by Troop 58 Committee

Revised September 2011

 

 

 

Statement of Policy

 


 

Troop 58 follows the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) rules and principles contained within “the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting” and “The BSA Scout Handbook”.  In addition Troop 58 has adopted specific guidelines based on the collective experience of our adult volunteers to help guide our Scouts in their day- to-day scouting routine. 

 

Troop 58 places a strong emphasis on outdoor activities and community service. It is therefore important that Scouts understand and accept our policies and procedures in order to safely and enjoyably participate in any Troop 58 activity.

 

These guidelines are specific to Troop 58 and those who choose to participate in our activities. We fully realize that Troop 58 is different from every other BSA Troop and we intend to maintain our individual identity while pursuing the ideals of BSA.

 

 

Policy Revision, Review Approval

Any revision and approval of troop policies and procedures will be done by the Troop Committee with input from the Scoutmaster and other adult leaders. These policies, procedures and information will be reviewed periodically by the Troop Committee.

In the event of any contradiction to policies and procedures in this guidebook, the rules, regulations and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America, will prevail over that which is written here.


Table of Contents

 

Introduction............................................................................................................................ P.1

 

Brief History of Troop 58....................................................................................................... P.1

 

Joining Troop 58 .................................................................................................................... P.2

 

Getting Started....................................................................................................................... P. 2

                       

                        Troop Meetings............................................................................................... P. 2

                       

                        Troop Uniform................................................................................................ P. 3

                       

                        Medical Forms ................................................................................................ P.3

 

                        Books................................................................................................................ P. 4

 

                        Communication.............................................................................................. P. 5

 

Personal Equipment .............................................................................................................. P.6

 

Troop Equipment.................................................................................................................... P.6

 

Troop Activities and Campouts ........................................................................................... P.7 

 

Behavior & Discipline........................................................................................................... P. 9

 

Advancement & Merit Badges.......................................................................................... P. 10

 

Youth Leadership & The Patrol Method ....................................................................... P. 13

 

Adult Guidelines.................................................................................................................. P. 14

 

                        Scoutmaster ................................................................................................. P. 16

 

                        Troop Committee......................................................................................... P. 16

 

Troop Charter & Council .................................................................................................. P. 18

 

Troop Dues, Fees & Finances............................................................................................ P. 19

 

Fund Raising ....................................................................................................................... P. 20

 

Adult Involvement ............................................................................................................. P. 21

 

 


Appendix

 

History of Troop 58 ………………………………………………………. Tab 1

Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy and Plan …………………….     Tab 2

Scout Oath and Scout Law……………………………………………….        Tab 3

Meaning of the Scout Oath ………………………………………………       Tab 4

Scout Motto and Scout Slogan ………………………………………….        Tab 5

Outdoor Code ……………………………………………………………… Tab 6

Boys’ Life Magazine ………………………………………………………        Tab 7

Order of the Arrow ………………………………………………………. Tab 8

 



Introduction

 

This guidebook serves as an overview of Troop 58 practices and procedures.  It is meant as an aid in becoming familiar with what is expected as a Scout and/or adult involved in Troop 58.  It is neither exhaustive nor a substitute for Scoutmaster conferences.

 

Parents should take the time to go over all the material provided here with their sons, and become familiar with it.  Please hold on to this guidebook for the duration of your involvement with Troop 58, and kindly forward any comments, suggestions, or new ideas to the Troop Committee.

 

For details on scouting principles and ideas please reference the resource section at the back of this guidebook or any Boy Scouts of America (BSA) sanctioned document/website.

 

History of Troop 58

 

As of the latest revision of this handbook, Troop 58 has been serving the youth in the Town of Bethlehem and vicinity for over 90 years.  We are the oldest troop in the Delmar area, and are tied with only one other unit for being the oldest continuously operating troop in the Fort Orange District (Albany County). 

 

The troop was formed in the fall of 1919 as “Troop 1 of Elsmere”, under the leadership of Mr. Kenneth Swallow, although it was quickly dissolved and reorganized in 1920 and again in 1926, when we became “Elsmere Troop 58”.  As the BSA grew throughout the country, we fell under the jurisdiction of the Fort Orange Council, which served the units springing up in Albany County.

 

As Scouting has changed down through the years, so have the events and opportunities for the boys in Troop 58.  Some of our more recent adventures include historic tours of Washington D. C., Gettysburg and Valley Forge; skiing and snowboarding in Vermont, and paddling down the Battenkill and Delaware River.  Over the years, the troop has visited Cooperstown, West Point, Battleship Cove, Mystic Seaport, Annapolis, and Algonquin Park, Ontario.  We have hiked several sections of the Appalachian Trail and the entire Freedom Trail in Boston, felt the spray of Niagara Falls, and explored lower Manhattan.  Our Scouts have been to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, the National Scout Jamboree, the World Jamboree the Florida High Adventure Sea Base and the for a week of sailing and exploring in the Florida Keys and in the Everglades. 

 

Knowing about the Troop’s past helps each of us to put into perspective our roles in the present, and to help build goals for the future.  For a more complete History of Troop 58, please turn to our Appendix.

 

Joining Troop 58

 

To join Troop 58 you must:

 

1.            Meet the age requirements and basic skills as outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook.

See, http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/joining.asp.

 

2.            With his parents, complete a Boy Scout application, including the BSA medical form.

 

3.           Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or Promise, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code

 

4.           Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

 

5.           Once a boy has completed the application process, he will need a Boy Scout uniform and a Boy Scout Handbook.  Both Boy Scout Handbook and the Boy Scout uniform are available at the Twin Rivers Council Service Center, 253 Washington Ave Ext., Albany.

 

 

Getting Started

 

Troop Meetings

 

1.           Troop 58 meets every Wednesday (unless changed by the Scoutmaster) at 7:30 p.m., from September through June at the St. Stephen’s Church. Elsmere, NY. Troop meetings will conclude at approximately 9:00 p.m. All Scouts are expected to be present, on time, and in complete Class A uniform.

2.           The Troop Meetings and other Troop activities will run using the “Patrol Method”. Monthly meetings are planned by the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) and executed by the Patrol Leaders. The monthly meetings are approved by the Scoutmaster.

3.           Scouts are expected to be on time and to ‘sign in’ upon arrival at the meeting. The Scribe will provide a sign-in sheet and will remove the sheet at the end of the meeting. Anyone not signing in will be considered absent.

 

 

 

Troop Uniform

The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. Troop 58 wears both a “Class A” and “Class B” uniform.

1.         Troop 58's basic uniform consists of the “Class A” tan Boy Scout shirt (short or long sleeve with shirt tail tucked in) with green shoulder loops, proper insignia, the Troop 58 neckerchief, a tie slide, olive or tan shorts or pants, and dark shoes (no white socks). Required insignia include: American Flag, Twin Rivers Council shoulder patch, Green numerals “58” with“90” anniversary notation, World Crest patch. Optional accessories which make up the full uniform include official BSA trousers or shorts, BSA belt, green scouting socks, and BSA cap.

 

2.           Scouts must be in Class A uniform at the beginning of every meeting. The Class A uniform also is required for transportation to and from any Troop activity and for formal community events.

 

3.         “Class B” uniforms consist of the Troop 58 T-shirt. Optional accessories include official BSA trousers or shorts, belt, green scouting socks and BSA cap. Class B uniforms are worn when there will be a high level of physical activity such as hiking, canoeing, or road clean-up.

 

4.         Class A uniforms may be purchased at the Scout Store, 253 Washington Ave Ext., Albany. Class B uniforms and Troop neckerchief may be purchased from the Troop.

5.         The Troop maintains a supply of gently used uniform parts. Check with the Quartermaster for availability. 

 

Medical Information and Forms

 

1.            The Boy Scouts of America require that all youth, and adults, provide personal medical information, to be kept on file with the troop.  This helps us ensure the safety of all participants. The information provided for each person is kept confidential.

 

2.            Only the Annual BSA Health and Medical Record form is accepted. Information must be updated yearly.

 

·         Download form from http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/part_c.pdf

·         Personal information may be filled in before printing and saved for next year.

·         Parts A and B must be completed and on file with the Troop before any trip.

·         Part C must be completed and on file for trips greater than 72 hrs, activities that are strenuous and demanding or high-adventure camps. 

·         Part C must be signed by a licensed health-care provider and include immunization record.

·         Forms are submitted in duplicate with copies of your health insurance card (front & back) to the Troop.

·         Retain a copy for your records.

·         Height/weight limits are adhered to when an event is more than 30 minutes away from an accessible roadway or an emergency vehicle.

 

3.            Prescription and over-the-counter medications:

 

·         The troop requires that ALL medications be sent with Scouts in their original containers with proper labeling on the container, including the Scout’s name and directions for use.

·         ALL medications are to be in clear plastic bags with the Scout’s Name and Troop Number clearly marked on the outside of the bag.

·         ALL bags will be given to an adult leader prior to leaving for any activity. Medications will be dispensed by adult leaders, as required.

 

4.            For current forms and information see:

            http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx

 

Books

1.            Boy Scout Handbook (available at the Boy Scout Store, 253 Washington Ave Ext., Albany).  Every scout needs a personal copy of the Boy Scout Handbook. It contains all rank advancement information and tracking sheets for rank advancement.

 

2.            Merit Badge Books.  Troop 58 maintains a library of merit badge reference books.  Ask the Troop Librarian if you to borrow a book while working on a merit badge.

 

3.            Binder.  We recommend that each Scout obtain a 3-ring binder with ‘baseball card’ type plastic holders and several plastic sheet protectors to keep track of rank advancements, merit badges, merit badge work sheets and other important information.

 

 

 

 

 

Communication

 

Troop Information

1.            Troop information regarding meetings, activities and trips is communicated both in person at Troop meetings and electronically via email and our web site. Although,

Email is our primary means of communicating with Scouts and adults.

 

2.              Each Scout and adult must furnish a valid email address, phone number and mailing address to the Committee Secretary or Chair. This information will be included in the “Troop All” email list for distribution of Troop 58 news and information, and will be included in a full membership list which will be shared within Troop 58, unless requested otherwise.

 

3.            We expect every participant in Troop 58 to respect the privacy of Troop 58 participants and only use the information only for Troop 58 purposes. Messages to the entire Troop 58 membership for purposes other than Troop 58 approved activities are forbidden and may lead to discipline.

 

4.            There are announcements at the beginning and end of weekly Troop meetings. Scouts need to be attentive during announcements, since they will hear first-hand the upcoming plans for the Troop.  A Patrol Phone tree also is established at the beginning of each scout year which may be used to alert scouts to time sensitive matters.  

 

5.            Troop information, forms and photos also are conveyed electronically via the Troop website http://www.troop58.us/ which is maintained by the Troop Webmaster.

 

6.            In keeping with youth protection policies communication between an adult volunteer and a Scout must include a cc. to the Scout’s parent and/or adult leader.

 

7.            During activities, campouts and other activities communication between Scouts and home is limited.  Only adult leaders will have cell phones and they will use their best professional judgment in allowing calls to family or friends.  

 

Council Information

 

1.            Twin Rivers Council information is located on their website: http://www.trcscouting.org/.

 

2.            Electronic notification of Council scouting information can be received by signing up for MyCouncil.  MyCouncil is a membership system where you create a member account on the Twin Rivers Council web site. Your member account will allow you to receive electronic communications from the council in the form of emails and e-newsletters.


Personal Equipment

Many of our outings involve camping in tents, and cooking over open fires or on portable gas stoves.  Although a Scout’s personal equipment requirements may vary depending on the nature of the outing, the following is a list of items that are usually needed by all Scouts.  This list does not include everything your Scout will need, but these are the essentials. For other items, please consult the Scout Handbook.

 

·                     Sleeping bag (appropriate for three season camping)

 

·                     Sleeping pad for under the sleeping bag

 

·                     Mess kit (knife, fork, spoon, bowl and cup)

 

·                     Flashlight w/ extra batteries

 

·                     Personal first aid kit

 

·                     Clothes appropriate for the weather and season (NO COTTON!)

 

·                     Personal hygiene kit (soap, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, etc)

 

·                     Toilet paper in a plastic bag and a container of hand sanitizer

 

·                     Water bottle

 

·                     Rain jacket (poncho)

 

·                     Waterproof hiking shoes

 

Troop Equipment

Many of our outings involve camping in tents, and cooking over open fires or portable gas stoves.  General items such as stoves, cook kits, tents, ground clothes and coolers are supplied thru an inventory maintained by Troop 58.  All troop equipment used on an outing is distributed among the scouts at the end of a trip for cleaning. It is essential that all troop equipment be properly cleaned and returned by the next meeting to be ready for the next outing.  Any missing pieces or broken items need to be brought to the attention of the scoutmaster.

There are a limited number of sleeping bags and pads and back packs available to Scouts who are just starting out and who have not yet acquired them.

Troop Activities and Campouts

 

It is often said that “outing” is what makes up “Scouting".  Troop 58 brings into practice that concept and has a camping and/or outdoor activity planned for each month of the scouting year – regardless of the weather.  Our activities and trips allow scouts the opportunity to play, work, and learn with each other.  The friendships and valuable life skills that are built will serve them forever.

 

Activities: Troop 58 actively embraces the Scout slogan “Do a Good Turn Daily”.   Annual Troop Community service projects include spring and Fall Road Clean-Up, Scouting for Food, Memorial Day Cemetery Flag placement and parade, and support of the Town’s 4th of July celebration.  In addition to community service activities, events such as holiday parties or a “lock-in” are also planned.

 

Regional Trips: Troop 58 plans numerous trips throughout the year, from canoeing the waters of the Adirondacks to visiting the Nation’s capital.  Each year the Troop Youth Leadership selects the trips and with an Adult leader plans the specifics of the trips.

 

High Adventure Trips: These trips are planned 18 months in advance. They are at least a week long, are limited in size and require scouts to be of a certain age or attained certain skills. Examples would be Sea Base in Florida, Philmont in New Mexico and Northern Tier in Minnesota.

Meals: Meals on camping trips are planned, purchased and cooked by patrols.  Each Scout is expected to participate with meal planning and preparation.  An Adult leader will assist (particularly with the younger Scouts) in the planning and preparation, but this is designed to be a Scout-run process with minimal adult supervision.  Adult leaders plan, prepare, cook, and eat as a separate group.

Each member of the patrol shares in the cost of food.  The Patrol Leader assigns duties such as cooking and cleanup and selects two or more Scouts to go to the grocery store (with a parent) to purchase the food.

Transportation: Travel to and from activities is coordinated with adult volunteers and personal vehicles. All drivers must be 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license and have insurance and vehicle information recorded on the trip permit. Parents/guardians not attending the activity may be called upon to provide transportation for the Scouts.

All activities and events:

1.                              A Permission Slip will be available approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled Troop activity. This slip will give the details of the event, the estimated cost, and the name of the adult leader in charge for the activity.

 

2.                                   Dues, all camping fees and outstanding fund-raising money must be paid in full and a completed Permission Slip turned in on or before the Troop Meeting prior to the scheduled campout or activity. Due to the need to prepay camp fees and purchase food for campouts and other activities, all money paid for a campout or an activity is non-refundable.

 

3.                              All Scouts must be properly prepared and packed for each activity. Any personal gear needed from the Troop inventory must be reserved at the previous Troop Meeting with the Quartermaster.

4.                              All members must be in “Class A” uniform when leaving for and returning from the activity unless specifically noted otherwise.

5.                                   All Scouts attending an activity must be prepared to complete rank advancement activities, work on merit badge requirements or instruct younger Scouts.

6.                              The Buddy System must be used on all trips and camp-outs. No one is to leave an activity without permission. Scouts must inform their Patrol Leader or other youth or adult leader when he wishes to leave an activity or the campsite. Scouts may be picked up before the end of the activity. However, arrangements for early pick-up must be made between the parents and the Adult Leader in Charge prior to departing for the campout. Scouts leaving early must personally appear before an adult leader and ‘check out’.

7.                                   No cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, firearms or fireworks will be permitted at Troop activities.

8.                                   No specialty playing cards, dice, radios, tape recorders, mp3 players, electronic games or other electronic items will be permitted on campouts unless prior permission is granted by the Scoutmaster.

9.                                   Any telephones found will be confiscated and turned off until the campout ends.

10.                          Pocket knives with blades up to 3" long and multi-purpose tools (i.e. “Leatherman” tools) will be allowed. “Totin’ Chip” rules will be in effect.

11.                          In accordance with BSA philosophy, non-denominational religious services will be held either as part of the group activity in which the Troop is participating (i.e., Camporee’s, etc.) or Troop services will be held at the local campsite.

Behavior & Discipline

Along with the opportunities that scouting offers, each Scout has the obligation to conduct himself in a manner that is consistent with the characteristics called for by the Scout Oath and Law, the Troop 58 Code of Conduct, the Scout Motto, Scout Slogan and the Outdoor Code (see Appendix). Any Scout not complying with these at Troop meetings, campouts or other Troop activities will be subject to disciplinary action and may be expelled from the Troop.

1.         The purpose of disciplinary action is to foster an understanding of “Scout Spirit” and integrate the Scout into the Troop; and is intended to be constructive. Discipline may include, but is not limited to:

Sitting out of activities,

Extra projects reflecting the values and purpose of the Scouting program,

Monetary reimbursement for any damages caused,

Written or verbal apologies,

Suspension from current or future activities or campouts,

Expulsion from current or future activities,

Conferences with the Scoutmaster,

Conferences with the Troop Committee, and/or

Expulsion from the Troop.

2.           Discipline will be handled by the Chain of Command. The Discipline Policy and Plan (see Appendix) will be followed in administering discipline at any Troop 58 activity.

3.           A Scout who engages in a ‘major incident’ (dangerous or destructive behavior, persistent disruptions, misbehavior, or who fails to follow instructions of youth or adult leaders) may have his parents called to come and bring him home - regardless of time of day or location. At that time, the Scoutmaster or the adult leader in charge will discuss the reasons for expulsion with his parents.

4.         An appeals process is available via the Chain of Command. Decisions will be made based on the Troop 58 Code of Conduct and Scout philosophy, as outlined in the Scout Oath, Motto, Slogan and the Outdoor Code.

 


Advancement & Merit Badges

First Class - First Year

It is Troop 58’s goal to help each new Scout earn First Class rank in his first year with the Troop. Informal studies and review of Troop records indicate that 80% of all new Scouts quit the Troop by the end of their second year if they do not make it to the First Class plateau by the end of their first year. That number jumps to 90% by the end of the third year and practically 100% after the fourth year.

This program is not intended to force a Scout to advance against his will but rather to ensure that he sees everything that Scouting has to offer. Boys are still free to earn merit badges and other awards at their own pace.

Questions about the First Class - First Year program should be directed to the Scoutmaster.

Life to Eagle

The Troop has an Eagle Scout Advisor who is responsible for guiding Life Scouts through the process of becoming an Eagle Scout. Completing the Eagle Rank requirements can be a long and arduous task. There are a number of rules and procedures not used in the lower ranks..

Life Scouts are encouraged to meet with the Eagle Scout Advisor as often as necessary throughout the process to ensure that all requirements are met properly.

Scoutmaster Conferences

Scoutmaster Conferences are held by appointment. Scoutmaster conferences are required in order to advance in rank. If the Scoutmaster is not available an Assistant Scoutmaster may perform the conference in an emergency. It should be noted that procrastination is not considered an emergency. A Scout should request a conference personally after all rank requirements have been met and well in advance (at least three weeks) of an upcoming Court of Honor. A Scout should report for a conference in full Class A uniform with his Official Boy Scout Handbook, or completed Eagle paperwork

Board of Review 

Boards of Review (BOR) are required for each rank advanced and are held after the scoutmaster Conference. BOR for all ranks except Eagle are held at the Troop level. They are held prior to all Courts of Honor and as necessary throughout the year. A typical Board of Review consists of three members of the Troop committee. Scouts are responsible to contact the advancement chair personally to schedule a BOR well in advance of any Court of Honor (at least three weeks).

These reviews are not intended to re-test Scouts on the skills they have mastered; however, this may occur from time-to-time. Rather, they are a chance to gauge the Scout’s growth in the Scouting program. They also help a Scout grow accustomed to speaking with a group of people in an interview setting.

Boards of Review are complete Class A uniform events. Merit badge sashes are encouraged; however, please remember that this is not an Order of the Arrow event and OA sashes should not be worn. A Scout’s failure to appear in uniform, to bring his Official Boy Scout Handbook, or to complete rank requirements are all causes for postponement of a Board of Review.

Merit Badges  

Merit badges are earned by satisfying a prescribed set of requirements for the badge. A Scout must first discuss with the Scoutmaster his intention to work on a specific merit badge. If the Scoutmaster deems this acceptable, he/she will give the Scout a signed merit badge application (a “blue card”) and offer the Scout guidance on which merit badge counselor to contact.

 

The Scout must then personally contact the counselor and meet with the counselor to present his work, discuss the topic of the merit badge, or to ask questions.  This may require several meetings with the counselor, depending upon the merit badge and how much assistance the Scout requires. When all the requirements are satisfied, the counselor will sign the blue card and retain a portion of it.  The Scout then brings the remainder of the card to his Scoutmaster to sign again.  It is then filed with the Advancement Chair, who will register the badge with the Council, purchase the patch, keep a portion of the card with the troop's records and return the Scout's portion of the card to him when the patch is presented. 

 

At the next Court of Honor, a certificate of merit badge completion is awarded to the Scout, together with his patch.  The certificate, or the signed blue card, is proof of having earned the award.  The patch, itself, is NOT proof.  It is strongly recommended that each Scout keep all his signed blue cards and certificates in his 3-ring binder.  When applying for the Eagle rank, proof of earning each merit badge will be required.

 

 

 

Troop 58 is fortunate to have several involved members of our Troop serving as merit badge counselors. We keep a list on hand. Also, we have access to the Council list of approved merit badge counselors.

 

Our view of the merit badge process is that maximum benefit is obtained when the Scout initiates the process of earning a merit badge by personally contacting the merit badge counselor and mutually scheduling the completion of requirements. Boys learn how to communicate, to schedule, to organize, and to complete requirements with an adult merit badge counselor registered with Troop 58.

 

Troop 58 will occasionally offer Scouts the opportunity to complete a merit badge as a Troop activity during Troop meetings or on weekends. However, each Scout is expected to complete each requirement as listed in the merit badge book.

No parent/guardian can sign advancement

Troop 58 is blessed with a very good Scoutmaster, several very good Assistant Scoutmasters and active Troop Committee members. As such, there will always be an adult, not related to the Scout, available to sign off on advancements in the BSA handbook.

However, consistent with BSA policy, a parent may be a merit badge counselor for a Scout and sign his “Blue Card”.

Courts of Honor

Each year the Troop holds several Courts of Honor to recognize each Scout’s personal achievements. The September event is the annual ‘kick-off dinner’ at which we recognize advancements and merit badges earned over the summer and enjoy a ‘pot-luck’ dinner. The June event is our end-of- the-year picnic. Both events include a year-in review slide show. All members of the Troop 58 family are strongly encouraged to attend.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Whenever a Scout earns his Eagle Award, a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor is convened. Due to the time needed to arrange guest speakers and congratulatory letters, an Eagle Court of Honor requires significant advanced planning. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor represents a significant milestone in a Scout’s life and, as such, any family and friends of the new Eagle should be invited. Eagle Scouts of all ages are extended an open invitation whether they have an affiliation with the Troop or not. This event is hosted by the Eagle Scout’s family at a venue secured by them.

 

 

 

Youth Leadership & The Patrol Method

 

Troop 58 is a “boy-led” troop and as such, we intend to allow them as much freedom and privacy as conditions dictate.

 

Our troop is divided into patrols.  The patrol method permits the Troop to meet various Scouts’ interests and advancement needs; to organize outings and campouts; and to have each patrol on a campout address its own needs (equipment, food, etc).  The patrol method also provides a new Scout the opportunity to meet others, learn everyone’s name, and shed the feeling of “getting lost in the crowd”.  In a patrol, a Scout can quickly grow comfortable and reach out to make new friends.

 

Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) is made up of the Scout leaders of the troop. The PLC is the backbone of any troop.  It meets monthly, or as needed, to plan, develop, and execute the Troop’s program.  Patrol Leaders bring the interests of the Scouts in their patrols to the discussion at the PLC meetings and receive guidance from the Scoutmaster and his assistants. 

 

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the one Scout who is ultimately in charge of the Troop and carries the most responsibility.  He is typically an older scout, more mature, elected by a majority of the boys in the troop and, with the help of his appointed Assistant Senior Patrol Leader(s) (ASPL), presides over the PLC.  To be an SPL in Troop 58, a Scout must be at least the rank of Star, should have two years’ tenure in the Troop, have completed Junior Leader Training and should have served as a Patrol Leader, SPL, or ASPL.  The ASPL is chosen by the newly elected SPL.

 

Each Patrol Leader is elected by the Scouts in his patrol.  The Patrol Leader, and his appointed assistant, have the responsibility of seeing that every Scout in the patrol has the opportunity to participate in the Troop’s programs.  He makes sure that all scouts are treated equally, and share in the patrol’s responsibilities during outings.  He also represents the boys in his patrol at the Patrol Leaders’ Council.  When he is unable to carry out his responsibilities, his appointed assistant fills in.  Any Scout with at least a year’s tenure in the Troop, and who also carries the rank of First Class or higher, can be a Patrol Leader. The Troop expects that all Patrol Leaders to complete Junior Leader Training.

 

Other youth positions, appointed by the Scoutmaster, include:

 

The Quartermaster keeps track of all troop equipment and is responsible for checking it out to patrols, and checking it back in. 

 

The Librarian maintains a volume of troop literature including copies of all current merit badge books, Scout Handbooks, etc. 

The Scribe attends to Troop correspondence and maintains Troop records.

 

The Historian maintains the troop records including a log of past members (including alumni directories), past activities, and a photo album of troop and patrol events. 

 

 


Other positions are appointed by the Scoutmaster to fill Troop needs such as, Bugler, Chaplin’s Assistant, Webmaster, etc.

 

Adult Guidelines

 

1.                 For the protection of our youth, Troop 58 will abide by the guidelines set forth in “Guide to Safe Scouting”. For the protection of the adult leaders, volunteers and boys in the Troop, every adult associated with the troop, including merit badge counselors, must have completed Youth Protection Training. Contact the council website for the next training session, or on-line training. A goal of Troop 58 is to have all participating adults trained in BSA’s “Youth Protection Training”.

 

2.                 All adults attending the campouts will camp and function in the Patrol Method and must abide by the same rules as the Scouts. Adults will camp and eat as a separate Patrol near or adjacent to the Troop. No boys will be allowed to sleep with adults (except a parent). No adults of opposite sex will be allowed to sleep together.  

 

 

 

3.                 All money for food purchases, etc., will be handled the same as the Scouts. Adults may be asked to participate with the Scouts at mealtimes from time to time, or eat with their sons at mealtime. Participation by all parents/guardians is welcomed.

 

4.                 All adults attending an overnight event must have an Annual BSA Health and Medical Record form (Parts A and B) on file with the Troop and be current in their Youth Protection training.

 

5.                 The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members. Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults are better off without tobacco and the Troop does not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. All scouting functions, meetings, and activities are conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.

 

6.                 Troop 58 has the following policies in place for someone who wishes to become an adult leader. All candidates should:

 

·         Attend regular Troop meetings observing, respecting and supporting the

boy-led leadership style.

·         Apply for Troop Committee membership and attend Committee meetings.

·         “Shadow” one or more Assistant Scoutmasters in a mentoring program as

approved by the Assistant Scoutmaster or Scoutmaster. This may include merit badge instruction and skill instruction and will provide an opportunity for feedback from ASM/SM.

·         Meet with the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster for ongoing critique

and feedback.

·         Attend District & Council training opportunities. These may include Youth

Protection Training, Boy Scout Leader Training (BSLT), Woodbadge, District Roundtable, University of Scouting and more. Many of the trainings are available via the Council website.

 

Upon a favorable report from the Scoutmaster and/or Assistant Scoutmasters (SM/ASM), the Troop Committee may choose to extend an invitation to the interested adult asking him/her to become an ASM. However, all ASMs must be trained in accordance with the then current BSA national policy before accepting the position.

 

7.                 Any Adult who uses excessive vulgar language or inappropriate behavior

(as defined by Scouting Law) may be asked to leave the scouting function, placed on suspension or asked to leave the Troop at the discretion of the Troop Committee and Scoutmaster(s).

 

Scoutmaster

 

The Scoutmaster is chosen by the Committee Chair on the recommendation of other committee members to be the key adult role model in the Troop.  This position requires mandatory BSA training before an adult may accept this position and assume the responsibilities of Scoutmaster.

 

His jobs are many and varied, but include: advising, guiding, and training the Senior Patrol Leader and the rest of the PLC, reviewing each Scout’s advancement progress, delegating some tasks to his Assistant Scoutmasters and to be a trusted friend and a teacher to all Scouts in Troop 58.  The Scoutmaster makes a major commitment of time and effort in order to make the Scouting experience come alive for all Scouts in Troop 58.

 

 

Troop Committee

 

Working to support the Scouts and Scoutmaster is the Troop Committee. 

 

This is a group of adults, at least 21 years old, who meet monthly to deal with many of the administrative issues of running the Troop.  Among their many responsibilities is annual re-chartering of the Troop, managing Troop finances, long-range planning and approval of the Troop’s annual program, planned by the PLC. 

 

 

1.                 All interested adults are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Troop 58 Committee.

 

2.                 Troop 58's Committee meets on the third (or last) Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Post 1040 American Legion Hall, Elsmere, NY.

 

3.                 The chief responsibilities of the Troop Committee are to assist the Scoutmaster in the development and operation of the Troop program to ensure its success.

 

4.                 The Troop Committee meeting will conduct business that includes, but is not confined, to Chair’s report, Secretary’s report, Scoutmaster’s report, and Treasurer’s report. Sub-Committee reports, as necessary, and reports such as pop corn sales, rank advancement, membership, outdoor program, leadership issues, equipment and facilities may be presented, together with and old and new business.

 

 

 

5.                 Committee business will be conducted at the regularly scheduled monthly meetings. A minimum of three Committee members are required to conduct committee business. Decisions will be made by a majority vote of the members present. All Committee members will be notified in advance of meetings held outside the regularly scheduled time.

 

6.                 All Troop expenditures are to be pre-approved by the Troop Committee. For camping, a petty cash reserve may be set up for use at the Quartermaster’s discretion. All other requests must be supported by pre-approval or receipt. Only the Treasurer, and his/her approved alternate, may sign Troop 58 checks.

 

7.                 All receipts should be submitted with 45 days after purchases are made so that an accurate budget may be determined. Reimbursement for approved expenses will be made at the monthly committee meeting.

 

8.               The Committee Chairman is responsible for running the committee, presiding over all monthly meetings, delegating certain administrative tasks to other committee members, and, above all, appointing a Scoutmaster.

 

9.                 The Advancement Chairman maintains all the advancement records for every Scout. Periodically, this person files the advancement reports with the council and purchases the awards and certificates.  When a Scout is ready to advance in rank, the Advancement Chair arranges for a Board of Review.

 

10.            The Treasurer is responsible for receiving income from dues and fund raisers, making payments as needed for equipment, program, etc, and maintaining all troop accounts, reporting periodically to the committee on the status of available funds, and aids in the development of an annual troop budget.  The Treasurer is also the trustee of our memorial funds, and is responsible for keeping track of Individual Scout Accounts.

 

11.          The Fund Raising Chair is responsible for operating fund raisers during the year to finance the Troop’s program, promoting the fund raisers, and enlist everyone’s cooperation (Scout’s and parents).  Fund raising may also be the responsibility of a group of people, and directed by the chairperson.

 

 

12.          The Eagle Scout Advisor works with the Advancement Chair, and guides a Life Scout, and his parents towards the rank of Eagle. The advisor assists the Scout to complete all necessary paperwork correctly and on time, coaches the Scout on the completion of his service project, arranges for an Eagle Board of Review and assists in planning the Eagle Court of Honor.

 


 

Troop Charter & Council

 

The Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post #1040, American Legion, is our Chartered Organization. The Post holds the ownership of Troop 58 and is charged with seeing that the Scouting program is conducted appropriately and effectively in our community. 

 

 

The Post appoints a Chartered Organization Representative (CR) who assumes the ultimate responsibility for the Troop and is a vital link between the Troop, the Post, and the local council.  His responsibilities include approval or denial of the appointment of all adult leaders in the Troop and removal of any adult leader should the need arise.  In addition, the CR holds a seat on the District Committee, votes on all district-related issues and reports to the Post on the status of the Troop.

 

The Twin Rivers Council, under the auspices of the BSA, covers a 12-county area: from the City of Hudson to the Canadian border, west through the Mohawk Valley, and the Eastern half of the Adirondacks.  The Council supports all the Scouting units in its territory, has many different functions, and their charter is jointly held by the National Council of the BSA and the United States Congress. 

 

Our council is divided into 7 distinct Districts.  Our district, The Fort Orange District, covers all of Albany County.  The District Executive, a paid employee of the Council, oversees the operations of the district.  The District Chairman presides over the District Committee, which plans and executes an annual program to support the troops, packs, and Venture crews in the district.  The District Commissioner is a volunteer who organizes a staff of volunteers to serve as a resource for the individual units.  Our troop is assigned a Unit Commissioner from that staff who visits us periodically, advising on leadership issues, training opportunities, district events, and the annual charter renewal process.

 

 


 

Troop Dues, Fees & Finances

 

1.         Troop dues are collected from each Scout to help offset the routine costs of registration, advancement, troop gear, and insurance.  The amount of dues is set annually by the Troop Committee and is due on or before October 1 of each year. Dues may be paid quarterly by arrangement with the Treasurer. Scholarships are available to Scouts who cannot afford to pay dues by arrangement with the Committee Chair and Treasurer.

2.         A Scout will not be re-registered if his dues are not paid before the Troop’s re-chartering in December of each year. If a Scout is not re-register, he will be considered “inactive”.

3.           If dues, fees and fund-raising monies are not up-to-date before each campout, activity or other event, a Scout may be excluded from the campout.

4.           Troop 58 hosts three main fundraisers per year.   Popcorn sales in the fall, a pancake dinner in the winter and a car wash in the spring.  The Troop Committee throughout the year may plan other fundraisers.

5.         Scout Accounts are set up for each Scout’s fund-raising efforts. The Scout’s portion of the popcorn sales is distributed to his Account. Account funds may be used to pay Troop dues, camping fees and Summer Camp registration.

6.         If a Scout is classified as “inactive”, his Account will be liquidated and distributed to the Troop’s General Fund.

7.         If an active Scout transfers from Troop 58 into another Troop, he may transfer his Account funds into the new Troop’s treasury within the first six weeks following his departure. Requests must be made to the Troop 58 treasurer in writing - providing a name, address, phone number & Troop number to which the check may be mailed.

8.                 Fund-raising proposals must be approved by the Troop Committee. Money collected from fund-raising efforts will go directly into an account set up for such purpose, or the general fund. Fund-raising must be planned and authorized by the Troop Committee.

9.                 Money collected from fund-raising events is the sole property of the Troop.

10.       All dues and miscellaneous collected funds, unless specifically designated by the Troop Committee, will go into the Troop’s General Fund and be dispersed by the Treasurer, upon approval by the Troop Committee for Troop needs. Funds may be expended for non-Troop needs to support other not-for-profit entities, or as scholarships to enable a Scout to participate in Troop activities.

Fund Raising

1.            Scouts and Adults are needed to participate in fund raising activities to help the Troop off set operating expenses.  Troop 58 hosts three main fundraisers per year.   Popcorn sales in the fall, a pancake dinner in the winter and a car wash for the spring.  The success of these fundraisers depends largely on the participation of Scouts and Adult volunteers.

 

2.            Other fund raisers may be planned by the Troop Committee throughout the year. Suggestions for new or different fundraising events are always welcome; however, we do wish to keep the number of such events to a minimum. As always, our success is dependent upon participation by all Scouts and support from the Scouts’ parents.

 

 

Remember: The success of the fund raisers depends upon your participation.

 


Adult Involvement

The key to running a successful Scouting program is dedicated volunteers and interested parents. Scouting allows parents to participate in their son’s lives in a way no other youth activity can even dream of achieving. From helping out with fund-raisers to volunteering to counsel a merit badge to attending committee meetings as an interested parent, many opportunities exist to be involved.

[From Growing Up Right, Growing Up Strong Parents, Kids, and Scouting , http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/511-001.pdf]

 

Troop 58 offers many volunteer opportunities. Matching Troop 58 program needs with individual’s special skills or interests helps enrich our scouting program. Activities, trips and fundraisers require various levels of involvement, abilities and time availability and offer the interested adult many opportunities to be involved.  To help distribute volunteer assignments adults are asked to fill out a troop resource sheet.  To be involved with the troop on a more formal level an adult leader application form must be filled out.  Please discuss with the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair if interested.

If at any time you have any questions please feel free to call one of the Troop’s leaders. Only together can we maintain the excellent program now in place in Troop 58.

 

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