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:
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.
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 Scouts years of Scouting and will serve as the record for the Scouts 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 candidates 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 Parents Guide. The Boy Scouts of America takes youth safety very seriously.
The Scout candidates 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.
When a Scout joins Troop 159, he is expected to participate in as many Troop events as possible, and to attend his Patrols 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.
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 parents help, the Troops 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.
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 Scouts 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:
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:
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 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 Scoutmasters meeting is held at needed.
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 Committees responsibility to provide the resources needed to run the Troops 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 scouts 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:
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 weeks notice so food may be purchased if you plan to attend. Your interest and support are vital to a successful program.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Troops 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 Troops activities are selected and planned at the annual program planning conference held in August. The Troops 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 hes 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, Its the only way to run a Troop.
The Patrol Leader has the patrols 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 patrols 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.
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.
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.
For more information on medical risk factors, visit Scouting Safely on www.scouting.org.
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.
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.
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 Scouts or the Troops 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.
Troop 159 has a website located at http://www.bsatroop159.org/. 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.
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 theyre 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.
Dos and Do Nots
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.DOS
Suggested Camping Gear
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 Scouts 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 parents 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 Scouts official record for advancement. Because it is the Scouts 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 parents 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, theyll record his achievement.
Dont 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 mothers 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.
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 Scoutings 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 Troops 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 sons 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 Scoutmasters approval, and identifies another Scout with similar interests to become his partner. If a Scout cant 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:
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:
Second Class Rank
First Class Rank
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 BSAs 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:
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 Troops OA Scouts take part in OA functions.
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