Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 1 Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 2 The Boy Scout Promise: On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. The Boy Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. The Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared The Boy Scout Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily Outdoor Code: As an American, I will do my best to Be clean in my outdoor manners, Be careful with fire, Be considerate in the outdoors, and Be conservation-minded. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 3 General Information The Scouting Program is planned and run by the boys themselves at Troop 775 and can best be summed up in two paragraphs taken from ―The Scoutmaster’s Handbook‖ (a BSA publication). ―The Boy Scout troop is made up of patrols, groupings of five to eight boys who work together as a team. Each patrol elects its own leader. The Patrol Leaders, with an elected Senior Patrol Leader as their head, form the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). It is the PLC’s job to plan and run the troop program. Each Patrol Leader represents his patrol on the PLC, and interprets to his patrol the plans and decisions the PLC makes. Patrols also have their own meetings, elect their own officers, plan and carry out their own patrol activities.‖ The Aims and Methods of Scouting ―The Three Points of Scouting‖ When some people think of scouting, they think of hot dogs, tents, and campfires. When we think of a Scout, however, we think of someone who is honest, helpful, and kind. Sure we want to have fun, but the essence of scouting is expressed by our motto, ―Be Prepared,‖ our slogan, ―Do a Good Turn Daily,‖ the Scout Oath, Law, and Outdoor Code. The best definition of scouting is found in the three points of the Boy Scout Oath that are symbolized by the three fingers of the scout sign. Each point of this oath defines one of the fundamental duties of a scout. DUTY TO GOD, DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE, DUTY TO MYSELF. Since 1910, these principles have been taught in an atmosphere of recreation and fun which allows young people to develop self confidence, leadership and moral character. More and more men, trained as Scouts, are taking their places in today’s world as responsible adult leaders. Men who earned badges as Scouts, sit on the Supreme Court and in the chambers of Congress. Others Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 4 hold important offices in our government, business and industry. Most of the members of congress were Scouts, as well as most of the astronauts who have walked on the moon. The Aims of the Scouting Program as laid out by BSA and the goals of the scouting program in Troop 775 are; 1. To build character, 2. To foster citizenship 3. To develop fitness. ―The Eight Methods of Scouting‖ These Aims or goals are accomplished in the scouting program by what are called the ― Eight Methods of Scouting‖. These are not the purposes of Scouting but are the tools used to meet the ―Aims‖. 1. The Ideals; the scout oath and law, motto, slogan. 2. The Patrol method; a mini-democracy in action. 3. The Outdoor Program; the laboratory where that Patrol must function. 4. Advancement; skill training. 5. Personal Growth; a scout’s collective experiences. 6. Adult Association; role models. 7. Leadership Development; A BOY-RUN PROGRAM! 8. The Uniform; sense of belonging and pride. Troop Organization Troop 775 is a participating member of the Lowaneu District of the W.D Boyce Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Troop’s organization consists of a Chartered Organization, a Troop Committee, the Troop, and the Troop’s Parents. Our Charter Organization All Boy Scout Troops must originate from a Charter organization. Ours is the Central Church of Christ, Streator Illinois. Central Church is our ―sponsor‖ and graciously allows us to use their facilities to conduct our troop meetings and activities. Troop Committee The Troop is steered by the Troop Committee which is the governing body of the Troop. It is made up of a chairman and committee members. The two main duties of the Troop Committee are support and administration. The Committee makes all Troop rules and approves all major expenditures. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 5 Adult Leaders The Scoutmaster is the head executive adult and may be assisted by assistant scoutmasters. Youth Leaders The Scouts under a method known as the ―Patrol Method‖ run all Boy Scout Troops. This method seeks to increase the maturity and responsibility of the individual Scouts. The Troop is run by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and is broken down into numerous patrols with anywhere from five to eight Scouts. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader (PL), Assistant Patrol Leader (APL), and other positions, which are elected within the patrol. These positions are changed periodically. Troop Guides are experienced Scouts which directly lend support to Patrol Leaders. The patrol is the backbone of the troop. Each patrol may meet during the weekly Troop meetings, but may also, and is encouraged, to hold patrol meetings apart from the troop. In these meetings, the patrol solidifies plans for impending troop functions, works on advancement and patrol spirit. Joining the Troop Any and all boys are welcomed to join Troop 775 and every effort will be made by the Troop Leadership to make his joining as positive and effortless as possible. Whether a boy arrives out of the Cub Scouts or has had no Scouting experience whatsoever, it is important that parents communicate with the Scoutmaster any information about the boy that will help his incorporation into the Troop. Each new Scout who joins Troop 775 will be placed in a Patrol with Scouts of similar age. This assures that the new Scout will be with boys of like interests and maturity level. With the help of his Patrol and adult Scout Leaders, a new Scout will advance to an appropriate level of Rank for his age and level of participation. As a parent of a new Scout in Troop 775, you will have an opportunity to meet the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee Chairman, and many other parents who are active in the Troop organization. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible with your new Scouting family. As will be mentioned many times in this handbook, parent participation is a very important component of the Troop program. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 6 Troop 775 Troop Meeting Troop meetings are held every Thursday at Central Church of Christ located on East Main Street in Streator, Illinois. The meeting will start promptly at 6:30pm and end approximately 8:00pm. Scouts are expected to attend regularly, be on time, in uniform, and be with their patrol at 6:30pm for the opening flag ceremony. Due to summer sports, troop meetings during the summer months are held on Friday mornings, exact times are announced in May. Adult Leadership Adult leadership comes from the Scoutmaster and the Assistants. Although Troop 775 is run by the boys, adult leadership from the Scoutmaster Staff, through guidance, training, counseling, and participation is essential to the smooth running of all Troop activities. Two registered adult leaders, or one adult leader and a Scout parent, both of whom must be 21 years of age are required for all Troop 775 meetings. The Patrol Method Baden-Powell said ―The Patrol method is not just a way of running a troop, it is the ONLY way!‖ What is the patrol method? The patrol does everything on its own. When practical, it travels together, camps together, cooks and eats together, succeeds together, and works together. The Patrol Leader helps the scouts succeed by using shared leadership. Each member of the Patrol helps the other members and each Patrol is proud of their patrol name and symbol. Patrol Leaders are given authority and responsibility, if the SPL has a problem, he goes only to Patrol Leader to enforce the chain of command. The Patrol Leaders are also given the responsibility to know the members of their patrol and listen to their needs. Empowering boys to be leaders is the core of Scouting. Scouts learn by doing, and what they do is lead their patrols and their troop. The boys themselves develop the troop’s program and then take responsibility for figuring out how they will achieve their goals. This is a big change if you are coming from Cub Scouts. Some adults struggle with the idea of allowing boys to lead the troop. In the short term it is easier for the adults to make the decisions and direct the action. However, with the Scoutmaster’s direction, the boys form into patrols, plan the troop’s program, and make it come to life. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 7 Patrol Leaders Conference (PLC) Held monthly or as required. PLC’s require the MANDATORY attendance of the SPL, ASPL’s, PL’s (or APL if PL is unable to attend.) These conferences are planning sessions wherein the Junior Leaders will plan Troop organization and upcoming events. Patrol Meetings Patrols are encouraged to schedule and hold meetings apart form the troop. In these meetings, the patrol solidifies plans for impending troop functions, works on advancement and patrol spirit. The Buddy System On all Troop outings and camp outs, the boys will utilize the ―buddy system‖. Each scout will team up with a buddy. The two will always know where the other one is. For example, if one needs to leave the tent in the middle of the night and go to the latrine, the buddy goes with. Fundraisers A Scout is ―Thrifty‖, meaning, the Scout pays his own way. Troop 775 does not collect dues from the Scouts. We do however, on occasion, hold fundraisers. Each Scout is expected to participate in these fundraisers. The money raised stays within the troop. It will be used for camping equipment and supplies, patches/badges, event fees, troop meeting supplies, etc. Scouts Accounts Many of the costs of Scouting with Troop 775 can be offset by participation in Troop fundraisers. Scouts who participate in a fundraiser get a portion credited to their individual Scout account. This account can be used to help defray the personal fees of scouting events such as certain district functions or summer camp. It may also be used for the purchase of uniform pieces or manuals. The money in the scouts account must only be used for Boy Scouts and if the scout leaves the troop, the balance will be moved into the Troops General fund account. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 8 Note: Funds in a Scout account do not belong to the Scout. These funds are a financial resource available from the Troop. Through his participation in fundraisers, the Scout contributes to his account and, as a result earns access to the funds. Go-Bags I ask that each scout put together a ―Go-Bag‖. This will be a bag, like a school back pack (book bag) that the scout will put the following items in and bring with him to all scouting activites, i.e. meetings, campouts, etc. The following items should be in this bag: Boy Scout Handbook Notebook Paper and 2 pencils 6 Feet of rope (See the Scoutmaster if you need rope) Pocket Knife (only if you have earned the Tot N’ Chip card) First Aid Kit (page 289 of handbook, 2nd Class Req.) Flashlight Water Bottle Sun protection and insect repellant Orienteering Compass (may be purchased from the Scoutmaster for $5) Trail food, extra clothing and rain gear. (For outings) Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 9 Uniforms Wearing the proper uniform is important to all Boy Scout troops and Troop 775 is no exception. Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts believed that wearing the uniform gave a Scout a greater sense of belonging. The uniform identifies the young man wearing it as a Scout whenever he is in public. We strongly encourage our Scouts to wear the appropriate uniform at all scouts events. Periodically, and unannounced, the boys will be subject to uniform inspections. (please note that the following is just a guide line. We will never send a scout away for not being in uniform, our primary goal is to learn and have fun doing it) Uniform descriptions are listed below: Class ―A‖ Uniform – to be worn during Board of Reviews and Court of Honors Scout Shirt with patches Scout pants or shorts (khaki’s or nice jeans) Merit Badge Sash Dark shoes or hiking boots. Scout Handbook Class ―A‖ Uniform – to be worn at troop or patrol meetings Scout Shirt with patches Scout pants or shorts (khaki’s or nice jeans) Dark shoes, hiking boots, or tennis shoes Scout Handbook Class ―B‖ Uniform – to be worn on all camp trips and certain scouting functions as determined by the Scoutmaster: Troop 775 grey activity shirt or any shirt as long as it is in good taste. No shirts advertising alcohol or cigarettes Scout socks Scout pants (long or short) NEVER SWEAT PANTS Boots, Tennis shoes are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED The Scout Handbook Scout Hat While attending residential camp at Ingersoll Scout Reservation, the Class ―A‖ uniform shirt will be worn to camp and periodically through out the camping week. On other outings, the Scoutmaster will announce the class of uniform to be worn. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 10 Troop Activity Shirts The troop does have a troop activity shirt that can be worn on campouts and some outings. These shirts are personalized with the troop number and city and are ordered from a vender. Even though these shirts are not required, they do give the scouts a since of belonging. We will place orders in early spring, the cost of the shirts are approximately $14. Order forms will be handed out at a troop meeting in March and a current price will be listed at that time. Parents are also welcome to purchase a shirt for themselves. How can Parents Help? Troop Parents The role of parents within Troop 775 is to be supportive of the Troop’s efforts and to provide the atmosphere Scouts need to learn and excel. Parents should try to: 1. Read their Scout’s handbook and understand the purpose and methods of Scouting. 2. Actively follow their Scout’s progress (or lack thereof) and offer encouragement and a push when needed. 3. Show support to both the individual Scout and the Troop by attending all Troop Courts of Honor. 4. Assist, as requested, in all Troop fundraisers and other such activities. All such assistance lowers the cost of the program we offer to the Scouts and, therefore, lowers each family’s cash outlay for their Scout(s). 5. Be aware of the Troop program and annual calendar. Help The Troop Committee Providing support for a boy-run Troop is a lot of work, and while we have a great group of parents serving on the Troop Committee to help the boys to carry out their planned program, there’s always a need for more help on the Committee. That is why all parents are invited to be members of the Troop Committee and are encouraged to attend meetings. Registered Adult Members are needed to serve on Boards of Review (the final step in advancement of rank for a Scout). Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 11 Be A Merit Badge Counselor BSA offers about 130 merit badges. Each merit badge covers a specialized area of interest. Adults with an expertise or interest in covered merit badge areas are needed to guide interested boys through those requirements. See the Scoutmaster to sign up. Encourage Participation An important aspect of the scout program is to get the boys within each Patrol to work together towards accomplishing objectives. Before each camping trip the Patrols plan meals, share chores, and participate in activities such as campfire skits. On the trips, the Patrols execute those plans. A boy can gain the benefits of the program only if he plays an active roll in his Patrol. An active role implies regular attendance at meetings and weekend activities. Help your son to be active. Encourage him to keep dates open for Troop activities. A Scout that is assuming a Leadership position must make an even greater commitment. Help with Fund Raising Periodically, the Troop holds fundraisers to raise money for scouting activities. Some of the past fundraisers have been: car washes, cook out at Streator Foods, and Popcorn sale in March. Parents are needed to help coordinate and execute these fundraisers. We encourage all parents to encourage their scout to participate to their fullest in each fundraiser. Come on Outings Parents are always welcome on camping trips and activities. On most weekend outings we can use a little extra help. We always need as much help as we can get during our week at summer camp. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 12 Medical Exams Boy Scouts of America have recently switch medical forms. Instead of three different types, BSA now uses a single form for all ages and activities. This form is divided into the sections. Parts A and C are to be completed annually. 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. 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. Blank copies of these forms are available from the scoutmaster or online. YOU MUST HAVE A CURRENT MEDICAL EXAM FOR SUMMER CAMP. THIS IS A BSA REQUIREMENT. THERE CAN BE NO EXCEPTIONS. Camping An old Scout saying is that ―There is no Scouting without outing‖. Our Troop Camps-out approximately nine to fifteen nights a year. Camping and outdoor activities are bedrocks of Scouting. If a Scout does not attend camping trips he will get bored with attending the weekly troop meetings only. Most weekend campouts are held within a few hours of Streator. The Troop has ample supply of two-man tents. However, if the scout would like to bring his own tent for himself and his ―buddy‖, he is more than welcome to. If this is the case, please make sure that the tent is not to complicated for the scout to pitch. The Patrol Method will be used on ALL campouts and outings. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 13 PERMISSION SLIPS On all Scout outings, permission slips with parent authorization are a necessity. Each permission slip will be sent home a few weeks early for return the week before camp. This slip will note what, where, when and how much. For planning purposes, permission slips and camp fees must be returned no later than the meeting prior to the trip. This is to get an accurate number of Scouts that will be attending in order to insure we purchase enough food while at the same time not wasting funds by purchasing too much food. We must have a permission slip in order for the scout to go. DEPARTURES AND RETURNS All trips depart from and return to the church parking lot, unless otherwise noted. Parent drivers are needed occasionally. Seat belts are needed for each vehicle occupant. Each driver must have state minimum insurance. Please arrive ten to fifteen minutes early, to allow for packing time. The Troop will depart no later than 5 minutes passed the specified time. Return times are approximate and we will strive to arrive at this time. If we are exceptionally late or early, we will telephone you letting you know our new arrival time. SUMMER RESIDENT CAMP Each year, the Troop attends summer resident camp at Ingersol Scout Reservation near London Mills, IL. Summer camp is one of the highlights of our year. Please make this camp a priority. The Scouts will work on merit badges and items for rank advancement. The dates will be posted ahead of time. Resident camp is from Sunday afternoon until the next Saturday morning. Young Scouts occasionally experience homesickness. Family night helps, and leader understanding goes a long way. Remember, homesickness is natural, so encourage your Scout to stick it out. Swimming, hiking, canoeing, exploring, fishing and camp wide games are just some of the fun things we do at summer camp. They usually make it and are extremely proud after receiving their attendance patch and achievements earned. The memories last a lifetime. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 14 Equipment The Troop owns enough tents and ground cloths to put all Scouts and Leaders under roof, and also has various other camping equipment, like cooking equipment, lanterns and water jugs. However Scouts do need personal equipment to participate in campouts. Listed below are necessary and discretionary camping equipment. Weekend Camping Trips: Sleeping Bag and pad Blankets (if you wish) Pillow Laundry bag Complete change of clothes for each day Extra socks Troop 775 activity shirt Winter coat (could get cold at night)-for spring and fall camping Hat and gloves-spring and fall camping Warm clothing for sleeping Hiking shoes Shoes that can get muddy if it rains Personal toiletries and towels Whistle Flashlight (extra batteries) Mess kit (the troop has plenty of these to go around) Rain gear/rain poncho Battery powered lantern Canteen or water bottle Bug spray Compass Pocket knife (only if you have earned the Tot N’ Chip card) Scout handbook First aid kit (page 289 of handbook, 2nd Class requirement) Backpack Watch Lawn Chair Snack food for the trail or at camp. Please note, Soda/Pop will no longer be allowed on scouting campouts. If you wish, you may bring Ice tea, punch, etc. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 15 Sleeping Bags – The sleeping bag is probably the most important piece of equipment you will need as a Scout. You will use it often in all seasons and you will be sorry if you do not purchase a good bag right from the start. A bag with a treated nylon or other type of water resistant shell with a lightweight synthetic filling such as Hollofil or Polarguard is probably the most practical. Down filled or cotton slumber bags are not recommended because they lose their insulating properties when they get wet. For colder weather outings, a bag rated for at least +15dergrees F is mandatory. We do however, recommend a zero degree, Mummy type bag. This weight bag is fine for summer, too. Remember that you can always unzip a bag if it is too warm, but there is little you can do if your bag is not warm enough. A stuff sack is also essential for your sleeping bag. Pad – A proper pad will insulate and form a moisture barrier between you and the ground, which is especially important in winter. A closed cell polyurethane pad, three quarter length, is probably the most versatile pad. Another excellent pad, though considerably more expensive, is the self- inflating type. Boots – For most hikes, a pair of lightweight hiking boots with canvas uppers and rubber soles is satisfactory. Ordinary tennis shoes can also be worn for day hikes. For backcountry overnight hikes in rugged terrain or when a heavy pack is worn good ankle support is important. We recommend a quality high top hiking boot. Backpacks – Younger scouts have no need to invest in a backpack immediately and should use a duffel bag for their gear. Backpacks are necessary for backpacking trips, and many scouts use them to carry their gear on all our camping trips. A backpack consists of a metal frame with a cloth pack fastened to it or an internal frame. Before investing in a backpack make sure this is an activity your son will want to continue. The ―Go-Bag‖, is highly recommended on short trips and day hikes. The scout will have to carry some supplies such as first-aid kits, food, compass, whistle, scout manual, extra socks, and other misc. PLEASE MARK ALL SCOUTS EQUIPMENT WITH HIS NAME If not in a backpack, the gear must be packed tight so that the Scout can carry the gear himself. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 16 Totin’ Chip and Firem’n Chit cards Before a scout can carry a pocketknife or build a campfire, they must complete a short safety course on wood cutting tools and fire safety. At the completion of these courses the scout will earn the Totin’ Chip and Firm’n Chit cards. This will usually be done on one of the first camping trips after the scout joins the troop. What not to bring on an outing The following items are not allowed: Fireworks Fixed blade knives (folding pocket knives only) Portable electronic devices and games – to include but not limited to: Gameboys, Nintendo’s, CD or MP3 players, basically any device with an on/off switch is not allowed unless approved by the scoutmaster. Large sums of money On occasion, scouts do lose items on a campout, parents, please use your discretion with sending valuable items with your scout on campouts. Food Purchasing Each patrol will designate one scout to be in charge of purchasing the food needed for a camping trip or outing. Before the scout purchases the food, he must see the Scoutmaster for payment instructions. A parent or adult guardian MUST accompany the scout to the store and assist in the shopping and checkout. Medicines We never want a scout to go without his medication. If a scout is on medication, he will be allowed to bring it on all outings. Parent/guardian MUST check the medication in with the Scoutmaster and the Scoutmaster will keep the medication in a secure location and will insure the scout receives it at the appropriate time as indicated. All Medication must: Be in a bottle marked with the scouts name. Have the name of the medicine clearly marked on the bottle Have Dose amount and how often & time of day scout takes medication Any other instructions the parents feel the scoutmaster/adult leaders should know. Rank Advancement The Scouting program encourages boys to meet significant challenges that lead to personal growth. As a boy works his way through the ranks towards Eagle, the requirements he must Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 17 successfully complete will help him develop physically, emotionally, and morally into manhood. Four basic steps lead the Boy Scout through the ranks of Tenderfoot to Eagle: 1) A Scout learns, 2) A Scout is tested, 3) A Scout is reviewed, and 4) A Scout is recognized. To advance, a Scout will need to complete the requirements for each rank and actively participate in Troop activities (regular meetings, campouts, outings, service projects, planning, etc.). A Scout involved in his troop’s program is also making friends, exploring new subjects, trying out fresh ideas, and gaining invaluable experience as a leader. To begin the process of advancement, turn to the Boy Scout Handbook to find the joining requirements. When these requirements are completed, a Scout can proudly wear the Scout Badge and uniform that shows you are a member of the Boy Scouts of America. The rank patch will be presented to the Scout as soon as possible after completing the requirements and he will be formally recognized at the next Court of Honor. As soon as the Scout has earned his Scout Badge, he will begin working toward the rank of Tenderfoot. The Boy Scout Handbook lists the requirement for this and each of the following rank advancements. The requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class may be completed concurrently. A boy who advances to First Class within his first year in Scouting has a better-than- average chance of eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. When a Scout successfully demonstrates that he has completed a requirement the Scoutmaster will acknowledge the fact and record the achievement. An adult leader must sign the Scouts Handbook, which is your official record that the requirement has been completed. Unlike Cub Scouts, Parents cannot sign–off rank advancements or merit badge requirements for their own boys! After all the requirements for a rank have been completed, the Scout will participate in a Scoutmaster Conference. When the Scout believes he has completed all the requirements of a rank he should approach the Scoutmaster and schedule a time to meet. After you have completed the conference and the Scoutmaster has signed the Handbook, the Scoutmaster will schedule your Board of Review. The date of your Board of Review is the official date of your rank advancement. What is a Scoutmaster Conference? A Scoutmaster conference is a one-on-one discussion with the Scoutmaster. This conference is held each time a boy completes the requirements for a rank advancement. The conference is an opportunity for a Scoutmaster to discuss Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 18 the Scout’s activity in the troop and his understanding and practice of the ideals of Scouting. Together they can set goals for future advancements. Occasionally, a Scout may be called into a Scoutmaster conference in order to evaluate the Scout’s participation or as a counseling tool for a variety of other reasons. What is a Board of Review? A Board of Review is held to evaluate the Scout’s acceptability into the next higher rank once all other requirements have been met. The Board is composed of Board Members. The purpose of the board of review is not to retest a Scout, but rather to ensure that he has completed all of the requirements, to determine the quality of his troop experience, and to encourage him to advance toward the next rank. The Scout will be asked to repeat the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout Slogan, the Scout Motto, and the Outdoor Code. The review will include a discussion of the ways in which the Scout sees himself living up to the Scout Ideals in everyday life. The Board will address the Scouts leadership performance and merit badge completion and knowledge, and Scout spirit (attitude toward Scouting). If the Scout demonstrates that he has completed all the requirements, the Board members will sign and date the advancement record in his Boy Scout Handbook. This date is very important because it is the beginning of the time period for advancing to the next rank. A BOARD OF REVIEW IS REQUIRED FOR EACH RANK ADVANCEMENT AND THE SCOUT MUST APPEAR BEFORE THE BOARD IN FULL CLASS “A” UNIFORM. What is a Court of Honor? A Court of Honor is a formal ceremony the Troop holds. At this ceremony the Scout receives formal recognition for merit badges earned, rank advancements and other special patches and awards. This is a special event and ―best dress‖ is in order. Scouts wear the full Class A uniform. Families, friends, and the public are encouraged to attend this very meaningful experience for Scouts. You are encouraged to support other Scouts by attending even if your Scout is not receiving an award. What is an Eagle Court of Honor? The highest rank in Scouting is the Eagle, attained by only three percent of boys who enter Scouting nationwide. This award represents the culmination of years of dedicated work by the Scout, and accordingly is awarded in a special ceremony. This Eagle Court of Honor is separate from the regular Court of Honor, although it may be held the same evening. All Scouts and parents of Troop 775 are encouraged to attend to help recognize these Scouts who have worked so very hard. The Scout and his parents plan and coordinate the ceremony. The Scout leaders will meet with the parents of the new Eagle Scout to plan this Special Court of Honor to make it memorable for the scout. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 19 MERIT BADGES Through the Boy Scout merit badge program, many Scouts have been introduced to a life-long hobby or even a rewarding career. They have discovered new abilities, increased their self confidence, and become experts in subjects that have enriched their lives and their ability to serve their community. The requirements for each badge appear in the Current BSA merit badge pamphlet for that award and in the Boy Scout Requirements Handbook. Scouts may work on any merit badge at any time, assuming they have the approval of the Scoutmaster, who is the first person to sign the merit badge paperwork. While achieving merit badges is not required for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class, Scouts moving toward those ranks also may work on merit badges. When it comes time to begin working on merit badges read the Chapter on Merit Badges in the Boy Scout Handbook. Scouts wishing to earn a merit badge do so with the guidance and approval of a merit badge counselor. Troop 775 will provide its own merit badge counselors. It is important that you get a merit badge ―blue card‖ from the Scoutmaster and get his approval signature. Contact a counselor BEFORE beginning to work on any merit badge as they may have information on changes in requirements which are not contained in the Boy Scout Requirements book or merit badge pamphlet. An approved Troop 775 Merit Badge Counselor must sign off all merit badge cards. Merit badge counselor sessions must meet the same ―two-deep leadership‖ requirements expected in all Scouting activities. Parents are encouraged to help their Scout meet badge requirements, but are not permitted to sign off on their own son's merit badge paperwork. There are three parts to the card. Two of these will be returned to the Scout when he receives the actual merit badge. The Scout copy should be kept by the Scout in a safe place. The Counselor will keep the other portion and the Scoutmaster will keep the Unit copy. It is the Scout’s responsibility to see that these cards are turned in to avoid delay in receiving your merit badge. We must reemphasize the importance of KEEPING YOUR COPY OF EACH BLUE CARD. These are very helpful when it comes time to turn in your Eagle application. We suggest the use of plastic baseball cardholder sheets to store the cards. Merit badges will be presented at the next Court of Honor after they Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 20 are earned. Merit badges are round cloth patches, which are sewn onto the sash and worn as part of the official Scout uniform. Service Projects Service often occurs in small, unassuming ways - Good turns and acts of kindness by individual Scouts throughout their daily lives. Yet, Scouting also promotes larger, group service projects. Troop service projects encourage boys to discover that even though they are young they have the ability to make positive changes in their communities. Scout service projects benefit others while building character and good citizenship in boys. Beginning with the rank of Second Class, Scouts are required to take part in service projects. If a Scout wishes to work on a service project that is not Troop sponsored, he must get prior approval from the Scoutmaster to receive service credit. Scouts cannot receive service credit for a project that benefits Scouting or for which they are paid. All candidates for the rank of Eagle are required to organize their own project and direct the work of others in its performance. When a Scout takes part in a service project, the adult leader will provide you with a note that shows the date you worked and the number of hours. This will be required when you go before the Board of Review. We suggest you keep it in a secure place. Discipline and Behavior Trying to keep 20 + teenage boys orderly and out of harm's way is a challenge. We want Scouting to be fun and we want meetings to be a comfortable place to spend time. We ask that parents and adult mentors assist us in conveying a few simple concepts. Please take a moment to review the following points with your Scout: a. We maintain a ZERO tolerance on physical abuse. No hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking, or other aggressive physical contact is allowed. b. Teasing, belittling, harassing, or taunting another Scout, older or younger, is not in keeping with Scout spirit and is not allowed. c. Disrespect of any kind is not in keeping with Scout spirit, and disrespect to an adult leader or to Scouts in leadership positions is especially discomforting. Disrespect or irreverence during flag ceremonies is completely unacceptable. Boy Scout Troop 775 Handbook 21 Each and every person involved in the Troop deserves to have a positive experience. At times a formal "Code of Conduct" between Scout and Troop may become necessary, but we hope that a reinforcement of the rules by parents -- a united front and a consistent message -- will cause Scouts to take heed. Should we continue to observe a Scout violating these standards at meetings or other gatherings, the Troop leadership will contact the Scout’s parents at the time of the infraction so that the situation can discussed at a more convenient time. Thank you in advance for your assistance and support. Financial Assistance It has always been the policy of Troop 775 that no boy shall be denied the opportunity to participate in any scouting function or go without uniform or needed equipment because of an inability to pay. If you are in need of financial assistance for any of the Troop’s activities, please do not hesitate to contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairperson, to make arrangements. Any such contact will be kept in the strictest confidence. Leave No Scout Behind It is also our policy to leave no scout behind. As long as the scout is willing and wants to be a scout, we as adult leaders will work with that scout until they reach their ultimate goal of Eagle. Contact the Scoutmaster if you have a question. This leader would be pleased to help you and your Scout understand the rules of Troop 775 and the policies of the National Boy Scouts of America. Do not hesitate to ask a question and continue to ask until you receive a satisfactory answer.