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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.

Troop 159

A Scout is:
trustworthy, loyal,
and reverent.

Troop Guide

Joining The Troop

Before a boy can enter a Scout Troop, he must meet the Boy Scouts of America age requirements by having completed the fifth grade, being 11 years old, or having earned the Arrow of Light Award, and he must be less than 18 years of age.

A boy may fall under any of the following categories:

  • He may be a new candidate crossing over from Webelos
  • He may be a new candidate entering Scouting with limited or no Cub Scouting experience
  • He may be a transferring Boy Scout.

Scouts who transfer into Troop 159 are required to fill out, in detail, the Boy Scout Application and medical history, sign it, and present it to the Scoutmaster Scouts of America Transfer Application/Notice and turn it into the Council Office. The Council Office then processes these two documents. Credit for merit badges, offices held, and honors secured (including the Order of the Arrow) are limited to those shown on the Transfer Application/Notice.

Non transferring scouts will also fill out, in detail, the Boy Scout Application and medical history, sign it, and present it to the Scoutmaster with a $7 registration fee.

New Scouts

Boys that are new to scouting and transferring Boy Scouts may join the troop at any time. Sometime during the February - March time frame, many boys cross over from their Webelos Cub Scouting programs to join Boy Scouts. All new recruits are placed in a New Scout Patrol under the direction of several members of the Adult Staff and Troop Guides. Through this program, the new Scout receives an orientation to Boy Scouts of America and specifically learns the operation of Troop 159 during his next four to five months. The new Scout participates in many of the regular Troop programs and outings, yet has his own activities where he learns basic personal and patrol skills and responsibilities which will prepare him for entry into the Troop structure.

Every Scout will need to purchase the Boy Scout Handbook, the official guide to Boy Scouting. The Boy Scout Handbook can be purchased at the Council Scout Shop.

The Boy Scout Handbook will serve as a guide through all the Scout’s years of Scouting and will serve as the record for the Scout’s advancement. Unlike the handbooks used at the different levels of Cub Scouting, a Scout will need to hold onto his Boy Scout Handbook for all his years in Scouting. It would be beneficial to purchase one with the sturdy book covers sold at the Scout Shop.

A Scout candidate will also need an official Boy Scout uniform with all of the appropriate insignia. These can also be purchased at the Scout Shop. The complete details of uniform needs and requirements are covered in the Scout Uniform section of this guide.

The Scout candidate’s first requirement is to, under the guidance of their parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide. The Boy Scouts of America takes youth safety very seriously.

The Scout candidate’s next goal will be to meet all the requirements for the Scout Rank in the Boy Scout Handbook in order to earn the Scout badge. After completing these requirements, the Scout candidate will request a Scoutmaster conference with the adult advisor for the new Scout patrol or with the Scoutmaster. The purpose of this talk is to make sure every Scout candidate knows what it means to be a Scout. When this requirement is completed, the Scout candidate is officially a Boy Scout.

After the new Scout has completed all the requirements, he will be officially inducted into the Troop within the next few meetings, and will receive the Scout Badge and the Scout Rank record card.

Scout Participation

When a Scout joins Troop 159, he is expected to participate in as many Troop events as possible, and to attend his Patrol’s meetings when they are called. Records are kept of his attendance. Scouts are asked to sign in at all meetings and special events. The Scoutmaster uses this information in his evaluation of Scout spirit for rank advancement and for the participation requirement for a Scout to run for certain Troop offices.

Scouts run the program of the Troop for the benefit of all wishing to participate. A high level of participation results in a quality program. Poor attendance, on the other hand, will result in a curtailed program and a waste of resources. Participation and contribution by each Scout is essential for the Troop to succeed in its aims.

When a boy joins the Troop, we ask him to make a commitment to the Troop, the Scouting program, and to himself. Scouting must have a high priority in his life. Personal dedication, a commitment to excellence, a sense of duty, personal loyalty and responsibility produce a young man who not only is a successful Scout, but an asset to society.

Parent Participation

Parents, both men and women, join the Troop when their son joins. It is their responsibility to their son and to the community to help make sure a good Scouting program is available. It is also an excellent opportunity to participate with their son in his development at this most critical phase of his life.

When parents are called upon to participate, or to help fulfill the needs of the Troop, they should make every effort to do so. Without each and every parent’s help, the Troop’s growth and learning will be curtailed.

When your son first joins the Troop, you will be asked to fill out a parent volunteer form. Parents that take on leadership roles within the Troop or Committee are required to register with the Council by filling out an Adult Leader Registration form. A $1 transfer fee or a $7 registration fee will be required. You will be asked for references and these will be checked by the Chartered Organization. This is to ensure that the adult staff is suitable to work with the Scouts. In addition, all adults are required to take BSA Youth Protection Training and Ethics Integrity Training. This training is required in order to work with youth. As a registered leader, you will receive the publication Scouting Magazine.

There are a number of ways for you to actively participate with the troop. You may wish to serve as an Assistant Scoutmaster, become a member of the Troop Committee, assist with Boards of Review, go on a camp out, help with a merit badge class, or any of many support jobs that need to be done. A Troop needs the help of both men and women. Your contribution may be large or small, but it is vitally needed. The Scoutmaster and his assistants are not babysitters. They are there to train and help your Scout grow into a mature and useful young man. If they squander their limited resources doing logistic jobs that you could perform, they cannot fulfill their function.

Troop Meetings

The Troop meets Monday evenings at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in the Parish Activity Center (PAC), 10205 RR 620 N. Troop meetings start promptly at 7:00 p.m. and end around 8:30 p.m. Meetings center around a program and activities related to Scouting. A portion of the Troop meeting is allocated to patrol meetings.

Scouts should be on time and in full uniform. They should be prepared for the meeting and have the Boy Scout Handbook, a small notebook, and a pencil.

A Scout’s parents should be prompt in picking up their sons after meetings. Troop policy dictates that no Scout will be left at the church unattended. A late pickup means that at least two adult leaders will be delayed in getting home to their families.

Parents and guests are always welcome at Troop 159 meetings. Scouts are encouraged to bring prospective members at any time.


As in most organizations, communication is important so that everyone is informed of the news and events of the Troop. Information flows through several channels in Troop 159. Scouts are responsible for listening to instructions at meetings and understanding and remembering or recording them. The notebook and pencil will help this. The Yahoo! group email and website should keep Scouts and adults apprised of the scouting activities for several months in advance.

The Scoutmaster is responsible for informing the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and Adult Staff. The SPL is responsible for informing the Patrol Leaders and other youth. Patrol Leaders are responsible for informing their members about Troop events and special requirements, instruction or equipment needs. Scouts are responsible for transmitting messages to parents.

The Scoutmaster, Troop Committee Chairman, and officers of the Troop Committee may, on occasion, inform parents directly.

From time to time, a directory of Troop 159 membership will be issued. Keep it with the family phone book. If your address, phone number, email, etc. should change, please notify the Troop Committee Secretary or Committee Chairman.


BSA Troop 159 has two different uniforms known as Class A and Class B. The season of the year and the occasion are the major factors in determining which uniform is correct to wear. Uniforms may be purchased at the Scout Shop.

Sandals or open-toed shoes are not proper footwear with any of the uniforms. They should not be worn unless instructed to do so for use in a particular event, or by special permission of the Scoutmaster.

Although the initial investment in a full uniform can seem expensive, they are very rugged and will usually last until the Scout outgrows them. Keep growth in mind. As your son outgrows his uniform parts, please donate them to Troop 159 uniform bank, for other Scouts to use them. Likewise, as your son grows, he may be able to find uniform parts in the bank that he can use.

Troop 159 encourages every Scout, Adult Staff and Troop Committee member to wear their full uniform, proudly. It is a symbol that marks him as belonging to a select group of young men. The uniform tells the world what that Scout believes in and lives by. It and the person who wears it is respected in the community. We strongly endorse the wearing of the uniform.

If a scout is unable to afford a uniform, his parent or guardian should contact the Troop Committee for assistance. Any requests to the Troop Committee will be kept in confidence.

The next sections list definitions of each type of uniform.

Class A Uniform

The Class A is the main uniform for Boy Scouts. It is worn at all Scout meetings (except from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the Class B uniform may be worn), Scout ceremonies, whenever traveling with the Troop, and for other designated occasions. For Boards of Review, Scoutmaster conferences, Courts of Honor and Scout Sunday, the Class A uniform will be worn with the Troop neckerchief and a slide or with a bolo tie if First Class or above. The uniform consists of:

  • Boy Scout shirt (tan with all appropriate insignia)
  • The Quality patches (when available) are provided by the Troop. If these patches are lost, replacements can be purchased from the Troop
  • Boy Scout shorts or pants (green)
  • Boy Scout belt (green) with buckle
  • Boy Scout socks (green) when wearing shorts
  • Shoes (closed toes, no sandals)

Class B Uniform

The Class B is worn during campouts (but never to or from campouts) and on designated Scout activities. The uniform consists of many of the same pieces as above:

  • Troop 159 hat (purchased from Troop) or large brimmed hat for sun protection
  • Troop 159 T-shirt (purchased from Troop)
  • Boy Scout shorts or pants (green)
  • Boy Scout belt (green) with buckle
  • Boy Scout socks (green) when wearing shorts
  • Shoes/Boots (suitable to the activity, closed toes, no sandals)
Adult Staff

The Adult Staff is comprised of adults, 18 years or older, whose function is to guide the Scouts in the execution of the program, especially with regard to the main concerns of Scouting, character building, citizenship and physical fitness. Training for all adults working with Scouts is available and required for staff and committee positions. Read the Adult Training Overview document for more information.

The Scoutmaster trains his boy leaders to plan and run the Troop. He helps Scouts to grow by encouraging them to learn for themselves. He conducts Scoutmaster conferences.

The Scoutmaster is the one troop leader who relates closely to each of the other links in the chain of Troop operations, and, through the Troop Committee, the Chartered Organization Representative and the Chartered Organization.

The Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs) support the Scoutmaster. They are assigned specific program responsibilities, such as advising established patrols and new scout patrols.

The ASMs participate directly with the Scouts. They are assigned as advisors to particular patrols and act as facilitators to assist the Scouts with the running of their patrols. They also provide advice and assist with the teaching of basic Scouting skills. It is important that we have two or more advisors for each patrol.

In order to coordinate the efforts of the adult staff, a Scoutmaster’s meeting is held at needed.

Troop Committee

Every Troop has a group of adults whose main job is to back up the Scoutmaster and help him run a good Troop. The Troop Committee acts as the “Ways and Means” committee of the Troop. It is the Committee’s responsibility to provide the resources needed to run the Troop’s Scout Program, including advancement and outdoor programs, handling the Troop finances, working with parents, overseeing the safety procedures utilized and doing whatever they can to help the Scoutmaster do his job. They assist the Scouts in raising funds and keeping records. They recruit other adult leaders, run Boards of Review, assist in Courts of Honor and oversee Troop communications. A good committee supports its Junior Staff and Scoutmaster. Its role is not to run the program.

The Troop Committee meets monthly at 7:00 pm. Check the Calendar for date and location. All parents are welcome to attend.

Boards of Review

Troop 159 is filled with many active Scouts seeking advancement. One requirement at every level of the advancement process is the Board of Review.

Boards of Review consist of three adults excluding the Scoutmaster and the scout’s Assistant Scoutmaster. Because of the rule eliminating these adult staff members, a significant number of active adults are removed from the pool that can be drawn from to perform boards.

The second meeting of each month is the scheduled date on which Boards of Review are held. However, they may be held more frequently as needed. The Advancement Chairman, or someone appointed by the Advancement Chairman, coordinates the boards during the regular Scout meeting time.

Only the number of volunteers available to conduct these reviews limits us. You do not have to be a Troop Committee member to participate in a Board of Review. Inexperienced volunteers will be teamed with experienced volunteers. The requirements for Boards of Review are covered in more detail in the Advancement Section of this guide.

Merit Badge Counselors

There are over 100 merit badges and each one of them requires a Merit Badge Counselor. There are no rank requirements for a Scout to achieve a merit badge. Some Merit Badges are required for the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle.

The earning of merit badges is an activity that a Scout usually does outside the normal meeting activities.

The requirements for being a merit badge counselor are:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Complete an application to be a Merit Badge Counselor.
  • Be willing to make yourself available to Scouts.

This important position takes a minimal amount of time. The Scout does the work and you meet with him to verify that the tasks were completed and that the Scout has acquired the knowledge required.

Note to Merit Badge Counselors: It is a Boy Scouts of America policy that adults do not meet with Scouts in a one-on-one situation. Two-deep leadership is maintained at all times. This is not a Troop 159 policy, but a national policy. It is unfortunate that circumstances occur that require the implementation of such policies, however, it has been instituted to protect the rights of the Scouts as well as the adults.

We suggest that Scouts work in pairs when possible, but if you find yourself working with a Scout individually, ask the Scouts parent to stay with you or insure that some other adult is present during the meeting.

Other Adult Participation Opportunities

There are many supporting activities that are required to help Troop 159 function at its fullest.

The troop goes camping once a month and drivers are required to get the Scouts and equipment to and from the campsites. All parents are welcome to participate in these outings.

It takes a lot of money to run a troop, as a result, the troop carries out several fundraisers through the year. There are three annual events, Boy Scout popcorn sales in the fall and the car wash each spring and fall. These events require a significant amount of adult participation. Also, the Troop Committee schedules other fund raising events on an as needed basis. If you are willing to participate in these activities, contact the Troop Committee chairman.

Troop 159 holds a Court of Honor several times during the year. The Court of Honor is a special ceremony that honors each Scout who has earned advancement or merit badges during the quarter. Parents should make it a point to attend each Court of Honor, not only to see their Scout honored, but also to show their support of the Troop. Check the troop calendar so you know what events call for your support and attendance.

Parents are encouraged to occasionally attend a regular meeting, even for a brief visit, to allow the Scouts to demonstrate the Scout program in action. Parents are encouraged to come to any camping or hiking outing to observe and participate. Please give a week’s notice so food may be purchased if you plan to attend. Your interest and support are vital to a successful program.

Troop Organization

Every Troop is part of some established community organization. The Troop is granted a charter by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to operate for one year at a time. As of 2007, St. Thomas More Catholic Church has been chartering Troop 159 for 30 years.

The chartered organization agrees to furnish satisfactory Troop meeting facilities, approve the Scoutmaster, appoint a Troop Committee Chairperson and choose a Chartered Organization Representative, a member of the church who serves as a link between the church and the Troop. That person is not the head of the organization.

BSA agrees to make training courses available to the Troop leaders, provide local camping facilities (i.e. Lost Pines Scout Reservations), make program materials available, maintain basic Troop records, and provide programs and services, and the chartered organization uses the programs and provides the leadership.

Troop 159 is organized into several operating units, including the patrols, the Junior Staff, the Adult Staff and the Troop Committee. The following figure represents the basic structure of the Troop.

Junior Staff

The Troop is actually run by its boy leaders. With the guidance of the Scoutmaster and his assistants, they plan the program, conduct the Troop meetings, and provide leadership among their peers. Troop 159 holds elections for its leadership in February and August. In order to hold a Troop position, one must be an active participant in the Troop and have Scoutmaster approval at the time of nomination.

Adult advisors are required to guide patrol elections and the planning for each campout and program. Adults must take responsibility for guiding Scouts in the right direction. This does not mean that they take charge, however, they do act as facilitators.

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)

The SPL is the top youth leader in the Troop. He is elected by his peers to serve in this position. He leads the patrol leaders’ council and, in consultation with the Scoutmaster, appoints other junior leaders and assigns specific responsibilities as needed. He should pledge to be available for at least 80% of all Scouting activities during his term of office.

To be eligible for nomination for this position, a Scout must be a First Class Scout, or higher, and must have had 70% participation in the six months prior to his nomination.

Due to the high rank of this office, and the tremendous influence of this officer, the highest level of responsibility and moral character is required. The Committee reserves the right to remove the Senior Patrol Leader from office after discussion with the Scoutmaster and with a majority vote.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)

The ASPL fills in for the senior patrol leader in his absence. He also is responsible for training and giving direction to the quartermaster, scribe, troop librarian, instructors.

There may be several ASPLs. Each ASPL may be responsible for up to three patrols. They assist the patrols with insuring that programs are properly planned and executed. On campouts, they will direct the patrol leaders to ensure the camp responsibilities are met.

This position is appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader and requires a rank of First Class.

Troop Scribe

The Troop Scribe is the Troop secretary; logging attendance for the Scoutmaster, producing rosters and permission slips. He also is responsible for any written Troop communications. He should attend all Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) meetings, recording detailed minutes.

This position is voted on by the troop and requires a rank of Tenderfoot or higher.

Troop Quartermaster

The Troop Quartermaster is responsible for troop supplies and equipment. The Quartermaster is also responsible for keeping an inventory of the troop t-shirts, hats and patches. During troop meetings, he will sell these items and ensure that the money is turned in to the Committee Treasurer or the Scoutmaster.

This position is voted on by the troop and requires a rank of Tenderfoot or higher.

Troop Librarian

The Troop Librarian keeps Troop books, pamphlets, magazines, audiovisuals, and merit badge counselor list available for use by Troop members. Merit badge books should be kept up to date and stored in order. The Librarian will keep a log of merit badge books that are checked out by Scouts.

This position is voted on by the troop and requires a rank of Tenderfoot or higher.

Troop Chaplain Aide

The Troop Chaplain Aide assists in Troop religious services and promotes religious emblem programs.

This position is voted on by the troop and requires a rank of Tenderfoot or higher.

Troop Instructors

The Troop Instructors teach one or more advancement skills to Troop members. They are also responsible for the review of Scout skills for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class rank advancement. They may be required to attend Boards of Review of Scouts that they have tutored. The quantity of instructors for the Troop will be calculated by dividing the number of patrols divided by two.

This position is appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader, with Scoutmaster approval, and requires a rank of Star or above.

Troop Guides

The Troop Guides assist the Assistant Scoutmasters in the training of new Scout Patrols.

This position is appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader, with Scoutmaster approval, and requires a rank of First Class or above.

Credit For Leadership

To get full credit toward rank advancement during a six-month period, a Scout must participate at an 80% level for meetings and other Troop functions. A Scout will also have to fulfill the duties of his position to the satisfaction of the Troop adult leadership.

If a Scout is not able to fulfill the above 80% rule during a six-month period, he should contact the Scoutmaster and discuss with him alternative methods for fulfilling the leadership requirement.

Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC)

The Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC), not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the Troop’s activities. The PLC is composed of the following voting members: Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, and Patrol Leaders. Other Troop officers participate, but do not vote.

The Troop’s activities are selected and planned at the annual program planning conference held in August. The Troop’s yearly plan is then submitted to the Troop committee for approval. The Troop committee either approves the plan or makes alternative suggestions for the PLC to consider. At its meetings, the PLC organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for the weekly Troop meetings. The Troop committee interacts with the PLC through the Scoutmaster.


Every Boy Scout Troop is made up of patrols — groupings of six to twelve Scouts — that work together as a team. This allows a Scout to be in a small group within his Troop. It also means each Scout gets involved because he’s really needed. Every Scout has an opportunity to get a job and a chance to learn and practice responsibility. It provides real experience in the democratic way of doing things.

Patrols also have their own meetings, elect their own officers, and plan and carry out their own patrol activities. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement said, “It’s the only way to run a Troop.”

Patrol Leader

The Patrol Leader has the patrol’s top position. He appoints members to available patrol jobs, so as many as possible can share in its leadership. He takes the lead in planning and steering regular patrol meetings and activities. He helps patrol members advance, and may teach Scouting skills. He encourages members to recruit new Scouts to fill patrol vacancies. He represents his patrol on the PLC, and reports to the patrol the decisions of the PLC. He sets a good example by working on his own advancement, taking junior leader training, and living up to the Scout Oath and Law. Any Scout accepting a patrol leader position should pledge to be available for at least 80% of all scouting activities during his term of office.

This position is elected by each patrol and requires a rank of First Class or above.

If a Patrol Leader fails to perform his duties, the Scoutmaster will counsel him. If he continues to neglect his duties, he can be removed by majority vote of his entire patrol.

Assistant Patrol Leader

The Assistant Patrol Leader steps in to serve when the Patrol Leader cannot. He may also carry out special tasks assigned to him, like overseeing patrol members’ advancement.


Two Grubmasters are appointed by each patrol for each campout and they are in charge of camping menus and assembling food for such events. This allows everyone in the patrol to have an opportunity to meet the meal planning and cooking requirement for First Class Rank advancement. Receipts will be turned in after campouts to the patrol’s adult advisor along with any money that is left over. The patrol may choose to vote and use the extra money to replenish their chuck box, or split it between the patrol members that participated in the campout. Grubmasters are expected to stay within budget (See Campout Planning Night) when buying food for campouts. A Boy Scout is thrifty.

Chain of Command

The “chain of command” revolves around the SPL and his ASPLs, who lead the junior staff in conducting the program. The ASPLs serve as the channel of communication between the patrols and the SPL. The SPL then serves as the main channel of communication to the adult staff. Scouts with questions or needing assistance, or guidance, should go first to their patrol leader, who in turn should go to the ASPL, who in turn should go to the SPL, who then should go to the Scoutmaster or other member of the adult staff. The success of the program is dependent upon the effectiveness of the patrol, junior and adult leadership.

Permission Slips

Each Troop 159 outing requires that the Scout present a Parent Permission Slip before he is allowed to participate. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS OR EXEMPTIONS TO THIS RULE! Separate permission slips will be provided for each outing, and will include a tear off portion that will provide contact information and expected return times so that you will know where your Scout is, how to contact him in an emergency, and when to expect his return. Permission Slips will be provided on Campout Planning Night and are expected to be turned in the same night. If you are unable to do so, the Permission Slip will be collected before departure.

When you allow your Scout to join the Troop, you give your permission for him to do so by signing the “Parent Authorization” section of the Boy Scout Application form. Before each outing, every Scout is given a Permission and Waiver of Responsibility form that has been filled out with information you would need in the event of an emergency. We ask that you detail any medical restrictions on the form itself when you sign it. It is vital that this information is updated for each outing as conditions and medication may change over a period of time and the Adult Advisor in charge of the outing must know what the current condition of a Scout is. The form is constructed so that you may detach the bottom portion for your information and the Scout will have the top portion properly filled out and signed for presentation before leaving on the troop outing. Occasionally, a special form is used when the outing requires unique treatment. If a Scout wishes to attend a Troop 159 outing and does not have a permission slip, it is his responsibility to obtain one and get it properly filled out, signed and have it ready to present before leaving on the outing.

Medical Forms

The Boy Scouts of America recommends that all youth and adult members have annual medical evaluations by a certified and licensed health-care provider. In an effort to provide better care to those who may become ill or injured and to provide youth members and adult leaders a better understanding of their own physical capabilities, the Boy Scouts of America has established minimum standards for providing medical information prior to participating in various activities. Those standards are offered below in one three-part medical form. Note that unit leaders must always protect the privacy of unit participants by protecting their medical information.

Parts A and C are to be completed annually by all BSA unit members. Both parts are required for all events that do not exceed 72 consecutive hours, where the level of activity is similar to that normally expended at home or at school, such as day camp, day hikes, swimming parties, or an overnight camp, and where medical care is readily available. Medical information required includes a current health history and list of medications. Part C also includes the parental informed consent and hold harmless/release agreement (with an area for notarization if required by your state) as well as a talent release statement. Adult unit leaders should review participants' health histories and become knowledgeable about the medical needs of the youth members in their unit. This form is to be filled out by participants and parents or guardians and kept on file for easy reference.

Part B is required with parts A and C for any event that exceeds 72 consecutive hours, a resident camp setting, or when the nature of the activity is strenuous and demanding, such as service projects, work weekends, or high-adventure treks. It is to be completed and signed by a certified and licensed health-care provider–physician (MD, DO), nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant as appropriate for your state. The level of activity ranges from what is normally expended at home or at school to strenuous activity such as hiking and backpacking. Other examples include tour camping, jamborees, and Wood Badge training courses. It is important to note that the height/weight chart must be strictly adhered to if the event will take the unit beyond a radius wherein emergency evacuation is more than 30 minutes by ground transportation, such as backpacking trips, high-adventure activities, and conservation projects in remote areas.

Risk Factors – Based on the vast experience of the medical community, the BSA has identified that the following risk factors may define your participation in various outdoor adventures.

  • Excessive body weight
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Seizures
  • Lack of appropriate immunizations
  • Asthma
  • Sleep disorders
  • Allergies/anaphylaxis
  • Muscular/skeletal injuries
  • Psychiatric/psychological and emotional difficulties

For more information on medical risk factors, visit Scouting Safely on

Prescriptions – The taking of prescription medication is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual's parent or guardian. A leader, after obtaining all the necessary information, can agree to accept the responsibility of making sure a youth takes the necessary medication at the appropriate time, but BSA does not mandate or necessarily encourage the leader to do so. Also, if state laws are more limiting, they must be followed.

Troop Insurance

The Troop 159 insurance policy for all of its members is renewed each year at re-charter time. It automatically covers any Scout or Adult leader who transfers into our Troop or any new members when they are properly registered with the Capitol Area Council office during the course of the year. More information on Troop insurance may be obtained from the Scout office, the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman.

Personal Conduct

Each Scout is expected to conduct himself by the code of conduct contained in the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law both in their everyday lives and at Troop activities.

Conduct, which willfully or wantonly endangers the Scout or other Troop members, cannot and will not be tolerated. Neither can purposeful misuse of other Scout’s or the Troop’s equipment.

Volunteers often provide transportation to and from Scouting events. Scouts are required to wear a safety belt whenever the vehicle is moving and must behave properly so as not to distract the driver.

A Scout who does not follow these guidelines may be sent home from the outing or may not be permitted to join in the next event he wishes to attend.

One or more adult advisors are assigned to each patrol. One adult is required to stay with patrols during meetings and watch interactions between Scouts and behavior. Parents can be called by the Scoutmaster, or Committee Chairman, and be required to attend two meetings with their Scout after two warnings for minor misbehavior or one major warning. This will be a requirement for the Scout to continue with the Troop.

The Scout program provides a code of conduct, which is contained in the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Read the Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan. In these few words are captured the essential elements of a successful, moral and personally rewarding life. If we live by them, and encourage others to live by them; our homes, communities, and nation will be better places in which to live.


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.


Be prepared!


Do a good turn daily.


Troop 159 has a website located at The website is a good source for information about the Troop. It contains this guide, the calendar and a wealth of other useful information. There are included links to the Boy Scouts of America, the Capitol Area Council, the Chisholm Trail District, and the Chartered Organization (St. Thomas More Catholic Church) webpages.

It is the policy of Troop 159 to never post information about youths that may place their safety in jeopardy. Photo captions will NEVER include the Scouts’ names. When Scouts’ names are listed in the text, the only letters of the last name that may be used are those necessary to distinguish between like first names.

Camping Program

Troop 159 conducts a full program of camping activities, year-round.

Campouts are held approximately once a month (consult the current calendar for dates). They are usually held at popular campsites around Central Texas.

Except for family campouts and special campouts, cooking is usually conducted using the “patrol method” where each patrol is responsible for they’re own menu and cooking.

Campouts feature competitive events in Scout skills, campfires, camp-wide games, advancements, church services, special activities and tours, and mostly a lot of fun.

Campouts are held, rain or shine, hot or cold. A Scout should be prepared to adequately protect himself from the elements. He receives instruction in these methods by regularly attending Scout meetings. Campouts are only called off in the event of Central Texas travel advisory or unsafe driving conditions. Part of the camping program is designed to teach young men how to deal with adversity, such as bad weather.

Campout Planning Night

The troop meeting prior to a campout, is referred to as Campout Planning Night. Scouts and Adults going on the campout should bring $12 (in cash) to pay for the food they will eat. Scouts are also required to have a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian. The patrols will plan the campout activities and menus during this troop meeting.

Do’s and Do Not’s

Consult the Boy Scout Handbook or Scout Fieldbook for complete information on appropriate equipment for most types of camping. Here are some guidelines about special Troop 159 requirements and rules.

  • Always bring a complete change of clothing (two in wet weather).
  • Always bring several pairs of dry socks (seal in Ziploc bags).
  • Boots-above-the-ankles are the preferred footwear. Cloth shoes border on unacceptable.
  • Always bring a ground cloth, poncho and work gloves.
  • Always bring a Boy Scout Handbook, a notepad and pencil.
  • Always bring a water bottle(s).
  • Always come prepared for the weather!!! That includes sunscreen and head protection!
  • Always come prepared for fun!
  • Never bring radios, TVs, Gameboys, CD players, tape players, cell phones, comic books, games, sodas, candy, or magazines other than Scout magazines.
  • You may not bring any food items other than those purchased by the patrol. Other food items may pose an infestation hazard by either bears or bugs.
  • Fixed-blade knives are not allowed in Troop 159 except for cooking, and must be left in the Scout’s pack while not in use. Only Scouts qualified by the Scoutmaster may use axes.
  • Pocket knives (4 inch blades or smaller) may only be carried and used by Scouts who have received a Totin’ Chip. The Totin’ Chip must be with the Scout in order to carry and use a knife.
  • Lighters are not permitted at any time.
  • Aerosol spray products are not permitted on any Troop activity. Cream or pump types are to be used.
  • If fire starting is required on a campout, matches will be used. Matches may only be carried and used by Scouts who have received a Fireman Chit. The Fireman Chit must be with the Scout in order to carry and use matches.
  • Cameras are allowed, but at the Scout’s risk (please seal them in Ziploc bags when not in use).
  • No fireworks are allowed at any time.
  • Tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and weapons are illegal and will not be tolerated.
Suggested Camping Gear

  • BSA Handbook
  • Backpack or duffel bag (depending on outing)
  • Pack with padded hip strap (optional)
  • Pack cover (optional, waterproof nylon or large plastic bags)
  • Sleeping bag (20 degree) in waterproof bag lined with plastic bag
  • Closed cell foam sleeping pad
  • Small pillow (optional)
  • Tent (some Scouts share a tent)
  • Waterproof ground tarp
  • Straps to hold sleeping bag, pad and tent on pack (not bungee cords)
  • Clothes suitable for forecasted weather and activities (packed in plastic freezer bags)
  • Class A uniform (always worn while traveling to and returning from a camp out)
  • Jacket, coat, or sweatshirt (wool or polypro preferable, weight appropriate for the season)
  • Troop 159 Class B T-shirt
  • Troop 159 cap
  • Poncho/rain gear
  • Hiking boots (well broken in)
  • Lightweight tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of wool socks
  • 1 pair of lighter inner socks (polypro)
  • 1 change of underwear
  • 1 hiking shorts (optional, depending on weather)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt (optional, depending on weather)
  • Small hand towel
  • Soap (camp suds)
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste (small tube)
  • Adhesive bandages/personal first aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal cook kit (Deep bowl, Cup, Spoon, Knife and fork) in mesh bag
  • 2 plastic water bottles (1 quart each)
  • Pocketknife (must have a Totin’ Chip and blade must be less than 4 inches)
  • Matches (when permitted)
  • 50 ft. 1/8 inch nylon cord
  • Flashlight (small with extra batteries)
  • Compass (liquid filled)
  • Bandanna
  • Whistle
  • Sunscreen (at least 15 SPF) and don’t forget to use it
  • Watch
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Camera and film (optional)
Rank Advancement

The Boy Scout advancement program provides a ladder of skills that the Scout climbs through at his own pace. As each Scout acquires these skills, they move up through the series of ranks, for which they are awarded badges; Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. The higher the Scout climbs the more challenging his tasks.

Four Steps to Advancement

Step 1 – The Scout learns. Every Scout learns Scouting skills by taking an active, hands-on part in Troop and patrol meetings and outdoor programs. This learning is the natural outcome of regular Scouting activities.

The requirements are designed progressively so that when a Scout reaches First Class rank, he is a good outdoorsman, physically fit, active in his patrol and Troop, informed and active as a citizen, and he will have made the Scout Oath and Law a part of his daily life.

It is each Scout’s responsibility to himself to learn the advancement program. This can be done through discussions with his patrol leader, members of the junior staff or members of the adult staff . The Boy Scout Handbook is his best source of information, when other sources are not available.

It is the adult leaders’ responsibility to provide a means for the Scout to set and accomplish his goals.

It is the parent’s responsibility to help your Scout organize his advancement effort, and to guide him (at least initially) in how to go about each step in working on badges.

The requirements for each rank can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook, which is the Scout’s official record for advancement. Because it is the Scout’s official record, periodically you may wish to make a copy of the advancement pages in case the book is lost or damaged beyond use. For the parent’s convenience, copies of the advancement pages are also provided below.

Step 2 – The Scout is tested. When a Scout feels he has mastered or achieved any of the advancement requirements, he should contact a leader, Scout or adult. When a leader, Scout or adult, sees that the Scout has mastered a given skill and has satisfied a given requirement, they’ll record his achievement.

Don’t forget, as a Scout, it is your responsibility to make sure that a leader knows when you have met any requirement for advancement.

Step 3 – The Scout is reviewed. Each of the six ranks in Scouting contains the requirement “participate in a Scoutmaster conference.” The purpose of the 20-minute to one-hour conference in full Class A uniform with neck gear is to develop over a period of time an increased level of understanding between the Scout and the Scoutmaster. Once this relationship is established and begins to grow, the Scoutmaster can be increasingly effective in helping the Scout get the most from Scouting.

When the Scout completes all but the last requirements for a rank, he will be ready ask the Scoutmaster for a “Scoutmaster conference.” For the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class, his Assistant Scoutmaster may hold the conference. The Scout will be given a date for the conference. The conference may be the same evening, so the Scout should dress appropriately.

After the Scout has had his conference, he will then sign-up for a Board of Review with the Advancement Chairman. The board is composed of at least one adult member of the Troop Committee and other parents who have agreed to participate in Boards of Review. The purpose is to make sure the Scout has met all the requirements for rank advancement, to chat with the Scout about how he feels he is getting along with the Troop and its program, and to encourage the Scout to keep advancing. The intention of the board is NOT to retest the Scout on the skills and activities required for the rank.

Board of Reviews are held on the second meeting of each month, schedule permitting, or more frequently as needed, during the regular Scout meeting time and may only be scheduled with the Advancement Chairman after you have participated in the Scoutmaster conference. A Scout must be in full Class A uniform with neck gear to participate in a Board of Review.

Step 4 – The Scout is recognized. When the Board of Review certifies the Scout, his new rank is announced at the close of the meeting. His badge will be awarded to him as soon as possible with the next few meetings.

The Court of Honor is a formal ceremony generally held several times a year. At that time all Scouts who have advanced or earned merit badges since the last court will be recognized before an audience of families, friends, Troop leaders and fellow Scouts. The Scout who has advanced in rank, will receive his badge (if he does not have it already), the official advancement record card and will have the opportunity to present his mother or guardian with a mother’s pin to recognize parental participation and support in his efforts. The record cards are very important and should be saved. When a Scout is applying for the rank of Eagle Scout, having these official cards simplifies the process.

A Court of Honor is typically held in lieu of the regular Troop meeting, followed by a time to chat with one another. All Scouts should attend the Court of Honor in full Class A uniform with neck gear.

Merit Badges

As chartered by the Congress of the United States, the Boy Scouts of America is a movement dedicated to supplementing and enlarging the education of youth. The merit badge program, which provides opportunities to explore more than a hundred fields of skill and knowledge, plays a key role in the fulfillment of this educational commitment.

As a vital part of the advancement plan, the merit badge program is one of Scouting’s basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program (which may begin immediately upon registration in a troop), each Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a Scout with invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills.

Each merit badge subject is outlined and explained in a pamphlet that contains short, introductory information written for Boy Scouts by recognized authorities. These pamphlets can be obtained from the Scout Shop. Also, many of the pamphlets can be found in, and checked out of, the Troop’s Merit Badge Library. Simply talk to the Troop Librarian after a meeting and, if available, he will check out the merit badge pamphlet you need. Please get these pamphlets back to the library as soon as possible since others may also have need to use them. (If you have any old merit badge books which you no longer need, please donate them to the Troop so that other Scouts may use them.) Guidelines can also be downloaded from the Merit Badge Research Center.

The parents and friends of the Troop who are knowledgeable of the various merit badge subjects should make themselves available to counsel the Scouts on particular merit badges. Register your commitment with the Advancement Chairman of the Troop Committee. The Advancement Chairman will provide the instructions on how to go about counseling a merit badge, particularly the procedures required to make sure the Scout is approved to work on the badge, and that his progress is accounted for.

The merit badge program is designed to encourage Scouts to seek information from new people who are experts in their respective fields. A parent should not sign off on his or her son’s merit badge requirements. If you are the only advisor for a merit badge that your son is interested in, contact the Advancement Chairman and arrangements will be made to handle this situation.

When a Scout shows an interest in earning a particular merit badge, he obtains his Scoutmaster’s approval, and identifies another Scout with similar interests to become his partner. If a Scout can’t find a partner, he must have an appropriate “buddy” to attend meeting with him (see the next paragraph) and his merit badge counselor. The BSA Youth Protection Committee policy reads:

A Scout must have a “buddy” with him at each meeting with a merit badge counselor. A Scout’s “buddy” could be another Scout, a parent or guardian, brother or sister, other relative or friend.

For both the protection of the Scout and the adult, there should always be one other person present during a meeting.

The steps in the Merit Badge procedure are:

  1. The Scout reviews the merit badge requirements and indicates his interest in a merit badge to his adult patrol advisor who gives him:
    1. A filled-out and signed (by the Scoutmaster) Merit Badge Application (blue card) that tells the merit badge counselor that the Scout has permission to work on this badge.
    2. The name, address, and phone number of the Merit Badge Counselor.

  2. The Scout reads the latest edition of the merit badge pamphlet. Many of these may be obtained from the Troop 159 Library or purchased by the Scout himself.
  3. The Scout then contacts the merit badge counselor and makes an appointment. The counselor will set up a date for a meeting with the Scout and will suggest that he bring with him his merit badge pamphlet, his merit badge application, any projects that the Scout may have started and any other indication of preparedness.

    At the first interview, which may be by telephone, the counselor and the Scout decide upon projects, short-term and long-term goals with dates of completion in mind and dates and time for future meetings.

    The counselor will assist the Scout to meet the requirements and certifies when he has completed them. The number of counseling sessions depends on the difficulty of the subject and the preparation and ability of the Scout.

    Upon successful completion of the merit badge requirements, the counselor completes the application and returns it to the Scout.

  4. The Scout will then return the application to the Scoutmaster, who signs off the merit badge application and turns in the appropriate section of the blue slip to the Advancement Chairman, who then logs the Merit Badge Award on the Troop Advancement Report.

    The Scout will be awarded the merit badge and the Merit Badge Card at the next quarterly Court of Honor. Just as with advancement record cards, merit badge cards are very important and should be saved. Information from these cards is required for advancement to Star, Life and Eagle ranks.

    Boy Scouts are always tested individually. The Scout is expected to meet the current requirements, neither more or less. Occasionally the question arises as to whether it is permissible to have Scouts earn merit badges in a group. Many subjects may be presented to groups of Scouts without defeating one of the purposes of the merit badge plan. Although the presentation of the material may be made to a group of Scouts, a qualified counselor must perform the examination for the merit badge on an individual basis.

Scout Rank
  1. Complete the fifth grade, or be 11 years old, or have earned the Arrow of Light Award, but be younger than 18 years old.
  2. Submit a completed Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian.
  3. Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handclasp.
  5. Demonstrate tying the square knot (joining knot).
  6. Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or promise, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code.
  7. Describe the Scout badge.
  8. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse and Drug Abuse.
  9. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
Tenderfoot Rank
  1. Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed, before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it.
  2. Spend at least 1 night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch on a ground bed you have prepared.
  3. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.
  4. Demonstrate you know how to tie the following knots and what their uses are: two half hitches and the tautline hitch.
  5. Explain the rules of safe hiking, both on a highway and cross-country, during the day and at night. Explain what to do if you are lost.
  6. Demonstrate how to display, raise, lower, and fold the American flag.
  7. Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan.
  8. Know your patrol name, give the patrol yell, and describe your patrol flag.
  9. Explain why we use the buddy system in Scouting.
  10. Record your best in the following tests:
    • Pushups
    • Pull-ups
    • Sit-ups
    • Standing long jump
    • Run/walk approximately one quarter mile

  11. Show improvement in the activities listed above after practicing for 30 days.
  12. Identify local poisonous plants; tell how to treat for exposure to them.
  13. Demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver and tell when it is used.
  14. Show first aid for the following:
    • Simple cuts and scratches
    • Blisters on the hand and foot
    • Minor burns or scalds (first degree)
    • Bites and stings of insects and ticks
    • Poisonous snakebite
    • Nosebleed
    • Frostbite and Sunburn

  15. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  16. Complete your Board of Review.
Second Class Rank
  1. Demonstrate how a compass works and how to orient a map. Explain what map symbols mean.
  2. Using a compass and a map you’ve drawn, take a 5-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.
  3. Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.
  4. On one campout, demonstrate proper care, sharpening, and use of knife, saw, and ax.
  5. Use the tools listed above to prepare tinder, kindling, and fuel for a cooking fire.
  6. Light the cooking fire. Assist with the meal preparation and cleanup.
  7. On one of these campouts, select your patrol site and sleep in a tent that you pitched.
  8. Participate in a flag ceremony for your school, religious institution, chartered organization, community, or troop activity.
  9. Participate in an approved (minimum of 1 hour) service project.
  10. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.
  11. Show what to do for “hurry” cases of stopped breathing, serious bleeding, and internal poisoning.
  12. Prepare a personal first aid kit to take with you on a hike.
  13. Demonstrate first aid for the following:
    • Object in the eye
    • bite of a suspected rabid animal
    • puncture wounds from a splinter, nail, and fish hook
    • serious burns (second degree)
    • heat exhaustion, shock, heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventilation.

  14. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim. Demonstrate your ability to swim 50 yards using two different strokes. (This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
  15. Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss your participation in the program with your family.
  16. Demonstrate scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  17. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  18. Complete your Board of Review.
First Class Rank
  1. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.
  2. Using a compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least 1 mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.)
  3. Since joining, have participated in ten separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.
  4. On one campout, serve as your patrol’s cook. Prepare a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu that requires cooking; secure ingredients; supervise your assistants in fire building; and prepare the meals. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals, and supervise cleanup.
  5. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.
  6. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your community.
  7. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and the clove hitch and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.
  8. Use lashing to make a useful camp gadget.
  9. Demonstrate tying the bowline (rescue) knot and how it’s used in rescues.
  10. Demonstrate bandages for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and collarbone, and for a sprained ankle.
  11. Show how to transport by yourself, and with one other person, a person from a smoke-filled room with a sprained ankle, for at least 25 yards.
  12. Tell the five most common signs of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  13. Demonstrate your ability to swim 100 yards using one resting stroke and two other strokes, and to float (rest) as motionless as possible for 1 minute. (This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
  14. Demonstrate scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  15. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  16. Complete your Board of Review.
Star Rank
  1. Be active in your troop or patrol for at least 4 months as a First Class Scout.
  2. Demonstrate scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn six merit badges, including four from the required list for Eagle. (The required list for Eagle has 15 merit badges in 12 categories. Any of the 15 may be used for this requirement.)
  4. While a First Class Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least 6 hours of work. Your Scoutmaster must approve these projects.

  5. While a First Class Scout, serve actively 4 months in one or more of the following troop positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop):
    • patrol leader
    • senior patrol leader
    • assistant senior patrol leader
    • den chief
    • scribe
    • librarian
    • historian
    • quartermaster
    • bugler
    • chaplain aide
    • instructor
    • junior assistant scoutmaster
    • troop guide
    • Venture crew chief
    • Varsity team captain.

  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your Board of Review.
Life Rank
  1. Be active in your troop or patrol for at least 6 months as a Star Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three more from the required list for Eagle. (The required list for Eagle has 15 merit badges in 12 categories. Any of the 15 may be used for this requirement.)
  4. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least 6 hours of work. Your Scoutmaster must approve these projects.
  5. While a Star Scout, serve actively 6 months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your Board of Review.
Eagle Rank
  1. Be active in your troop or patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following:
    1. First Aid
    2. Citizenship in the Community
    3. Citizenship in the Nation
    4. Citizenship in the World
    5. Communications
    6. Safety
    7. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
    8. Environmental Science
    9. Personal Management
    10. Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR sports
    11. Camping
    12. Family Life

    You must choose only one merit badge listed in items (g) and (j). If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items (g) and (j), choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.

  4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for 6 months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout.
  5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. The project idea must be approved by your Scoutmaster, troop committee, and the council or district before you start. YOU MUST USE THE Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 18-927, IN MEETING THIS REQUIREMENT.
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your Board of Review.
Eagle Palm
  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 3 months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after award of last Palm.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Make a satisfactory effort to develop and demonstrate leadership ability.
  4. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last palm. (Merit Badges earned any time since becoming a Boy Scout may be used to meet this requirement.)
  5. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
Order of the Arrow

Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson founded the Order of the Arrow (OA) in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.

The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:

  1. To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.
  2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
  3. To promote Scout camping.
  4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

To qualify, a Scout must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop and hold First Class rank. The Scout must have experienced fifteen days and nights of camping during the two-year period prior to his election. The fifteen days and nights must include six consecutive days (including five nights) of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Their fellow unit members, following Scoutmaster approval, elect Scouts to the Order.

After election, the candidate is “tapped out” at a formal Order of the Arrow ceremony. For Troop 159, this only occurs at the OA ceremony held in conjunction with the annual Spring Camporee. Once the tap-out ceremony has been performed, the candidate has one year to present himself for “Candidate Ordeal” or lose his chance for membership.

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is conducted at Scout camp and is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain complete silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers, which teaches significant values.

After ten months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.

After two years of service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every fifty members registered with the lodge each year.

Each Order of the Arrow lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application by the local council. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, youth leadership development, service, and enhanced membership tenure. The Capital Area Council lodge is the Tonkawa Lodge.

Adult Scouters may also be tapped out and participate in the ordeal ceremonies. Each Troop is allowed to tap out one adult each year. The adult also has requirements to qualify. The adult must be a registered Scouter with the Troop. They must meet the same camping requirements that the Scouts meet. Each year, the Scoutmaster and the Committee Chairman select an adult that meets the above qualifications.

It is important for the Troop to have adult OA members. They provide the adult supervision required by Boy Scouts of America when the Troop’s OA Scouts take part in OA functions.

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