Scoutmaster: Paul Parker
Boy Scouts of America Troop 421
Meeting Monday evenings Covenant United Methodist Church
4410 Duval Road, Austin, TX 78727
Table of Contents
Troop 421 3
What is Boy Scouting All About? 3
Troop Uniform 4
Troop Program 5
Parental Involvement 6
Leadership Positions 15
Troop Roster 20
Bead Totems 20
Common Abbreviations 21
Important Information at a Glance
Meetings – Monday evenings 7:30-8:45pm
Covenant United Methodist Church
Scoutmaster – Paul Parker
Website – http://Troop421.up.to
Last Revision: May 13, 2008
This handbook is for the use by members of Boy Scout Troop 421, their families and friends of
the Troop. The intent of this handbook is threefold:
1. To give an overview of the aims and goals of the Troop.
2. To provide a quick reference to Troop policies and procedures.
3. To supply pertinent information about the Troop in one location.
This handbook is a dynamic document. If the reader ever has any questions about the content or
thinks that some of the information is incorrect or outdated, they should contact a member of the
Troop Committee for clarification or to make a suggestion for correction.
Boy Scout Troop 421 is sponsored by the United Methodist Men of Covenant United Methodist
Church. The church is located at 4410 Duval Road, Austin Texas. We meet weekly in the lower
level of the education wing and alternately in the Fellowship Hall from 7:30pm to 8:45pm. Troop
421 is part of the Armadillo District of the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The adult leadership is organized around the Troop Committee. The Troop Committee is the
troop’s board of directors and supports the troop program. The troop committee of Troop 421
meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm at the church. For information about
opportunities to serve through the troop committee, see the adult leadership position descriptions.
What is Boy Scouting All About?
Boy Scouting focuses on the growth and development of young men. It is about developing
character and leadership by giving them learning opportunities through adventure.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) explains the program in terms of three aims and eight
The Three Aims of Scouting
1. To build character, self-reliance, self-defense, self-confidence and self-respect.
2. To foster citizenship. To foster a love of community, country and world, along with a
commitment of service to others and an understanding of democratic principles.
3. To develop fitness. To develop physical, mental, emotional and moral fitness that will stay
with the Scout for the rest of his life.
The Eight Methods of Scouting
1. The Ideals. Each Scout commits himself to the personal behavior guides and standards in
the Scout motto, the Slogan, the Oath and the Law.
2. The Patrols/Method. Patrols give Scouts experience in teamwork, democracy and
3. The Outdoors. Scouting emphasizes outdoors activities that foster an appreciation of nature
and our ecology. Along the way, Scouts practice and learn new skills and develop confidence
in their own abilities to cope with obstacles. Scouting is outgoing!
4. Advancement. The advancement program provides Scouts with a ladder of skills to climb at
his own pace. On the way up, he has many opportunities to learn and to be recognized for his
5. Personal growth. All of the other methods contribute to the personal growth of a Scout
through experience. A quest for growth is a method, too.
6. Association with Adults. Adult leaders, male and female, provide an example to Scouts of
the high character they should strive for in their personal growth.
7. Leadership development. Making boys get leadership experiences is one of the most
valuable things Scouting does.
8. The Uniform. The uniform reminds a Scout of who he is and what is expected of him. It
identifies him as part of a patrol, troop, council, and worldwide youth movement. He can take
pride in being a Scout, and in the achievements shown on his uniform and sash.
Troop 421 is committed to following these aims and methods through the application of the
Troop 421 is a “uniform” troop. Each member is expected to attend every meeting wearing his
The uniform consists of:
• Scout shirt with red epaulets
• Scout pants or shorts
• Scout belt (either the standard BSA webbing belt or another appropriate Scout belt e.g.
Philmont or Order of the Arrow leather belt with buckle)
• Scout socks (BSA green with red band)
The basic appropriate patches are:
• Capitol Area Council shoulder patch
• Numerals 421
• US flag (already on your shirt when you buy it).
• Patrol medallion.
• Rank Patch
• Badge of Office (if applicable)
The placement of these patches can be found inside the front and back covers of the Scout
Handbook. For the appropriate placement and use of other patches the official “Insignia
Guide” (BSA No. 33066) should be consulted.
Troop 421 has an activity uniform, sometimes referred to as a “Class B”. This consists of the
official olive Scout pants, scout belt, and scout socks, but replaces the uniform shirt with a gold
troop polo-style collared shirt with the Troop emblem on the left breast. Each Scout is to purchase
one upon joining the Troop. They are also available to all Scouts and family members at our cost.
This “Class B” uniform is the uniform used when the Troop is traveling; scouts must be in uniform
when traveling together to a scout activity to be eligible for BSA insurance coverage. It is also
normal wear for Troop meetings during the summer months. The troop is notified as to other
occasions when the “Class B” uniform can be worn. If scouts arrive for troop campouts or
activities and are not wearing the proper and complete uniform, they will NOT be permitted to
attend the campout or activity.
From time to time, the troop may also elect to design and sell a “Class C” T-shirt. This looks
more like a ‘normal’ T-shirt; and may contain “Troop 421” logo and camping dates. This less
formal T-shirt is often times worn in place of the “Class B” shirt; however, scouts will be informed
when the Class C shirt is appropriate.
Once each scout begins to earn Merit Badges, a Merit Badge Sash may be worn to display the
merit badges earned. Merit badge sashes may be worn, optionally, at any time the full uniform is
worn, but is expected to be a part of the attire for formal events such as Boards of Review and
Court of Honors. The Scoutmaster may also expect scouts to wear a Merit Badge Sash at
The troop maintains a supply of ‘used’ uniform items that include Class A & B shirts, Green Scout
Pants and Shorts and other items. Items may be purchased for much less than a new uniform. If
you are interested in buying an item from the troop’s supply, please contact the adult in charge of
the uniform supply closet. As well, outgrown items can be donated to this supply.
Jeans or other non-BSA pants are not a part of our meeting or travel uniform, although they are
fine to change into once we arrive at our camping destination.
When attending a campout, Scouts are expected to reflect the ideals of Scouting even when not
in uniform. To this end, any t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other clothing items worn while on a campout
must not display any design, logo or wording not oriented to Scouting. Small brand name logos
are acceptable. If in doubt, please consult the Scoutmaster. Boy Scouts is not a paramilitary
organization and therefore military-style or camouflage fatigues are not appropriate dress at
anytime, with the exception of slouch or bush hats for sun protection.
Other Scout equipment
All Scout equipment, handbooks and other literature, uniforms and accessories are available
through the Scout Shop (926-6363) at the Capitol Area Council Service Center, 7540 Ed
Bluestein Blvd (US 183). Remember though, that apart from the uniform and books, none of a
Scout’s other gear (backpacks, etc.) needs to be “Official BSA” gear, so check out other sources
Troop 421 maintains an active and exciting program. Regular troop meetings are held on
Mondays from 7:30pm to 8:45pm at Covenant United Methodist Church unless otherwise
indicated on the Troop Calendar. Generally, on Monday’s after a campout weekend, there is
NOT a normal troop meeting; however, the Patrol Leaders Council does meet from 7:30pm to
8:45pm. This evening is an excellent time for the scout not involved in the PLC to schedule a
meeting with a merit badge counselor. From September through May, a monthly camping
opportunity is offered. These campouts are varied and try to offer a wide range of outdoor
experiences. We may also participate in District-sponsored “Camporees” as part of our camping
program. Other camping activities have included backpacking, orienteering, horseback riding,
rappelling, cycling, canoeing and fishing. Occasionally, a longer, more challenging event will be
offered such as a 3 – 4 day backpacking trip over a long weekend. Once a year, normally in May,
we have a family campout, which is an informal weekend at which the families of the Scouts get
together for a time of fun and fellowship.
Each summer, the Troop attends a weeklong summer camp. Past locations for summer camp
have been Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Nebraska, as well as Texas. For the older Scouts, a
trek to a High Adventure Base, such as Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, is offered as such
opportunities become available to the Troop.
The weekly meetings usually consist of an opening ceremony, a learning opportunity through the
presentation of a skill, a skill-reinforcing game, a patrol meeting and a closing ceremony. During
the meeting, individual Scouts may be called upon for Scoutmaster conferences or Boards of
Review in order to further their individual advancement.
In the summer, regular meetings are alternated with activity meetings. During these meetings, a
fun activity occurs. Options include softball, volleyball, short hikes, putt-putt, bowling as well as
During the year, the Troop may also participate in other Scouting functions such as Order of the
Arrow events, Scout Sunday celebrations and the Report to State parade. We also carry out
Community Service projects for our Chartering Organization and other community projects. When
a member of the Troop is working on his Eagle Scout project, the other members of the Troop are
strongly encouraged to help out.
Camping Do’s and Don’ts
• A complete change of clothing (2 in wet weather) packed in plastic bags.
• Several pairs of dry socks.
• Comfortable, durable shoes.
• Rain Gear (poncho).
• Scout Handbook, paper and pencil.
• Permission Slip completed & signed by guardian.
• Arrive in proper travel uniform.
• Eat dinner meal before reporting for a Friday night departure.
• See Scout Handbook for complete list of personal overnight camping gear.
• Be current on Dues.
Come prepared for fun!
If a Scout is on any prescribed medication, please make sure he has an adequate supply and
knows how to take it! If your son has allergies, and may need epinephrine, send it with him.
Write your name on everything you own. Include the Troop number if it is summer camp or a
district/council activity where other troops are present.
We are fortunate to own troop camping equipment; so take responsibility for, and pride in the
condition in which you return your Patrol’s equipment to the Quartermaster. After each campout,
scouts are assigned equipment to take home, clean, dry and return in good repair. Equipment
must be returned and checked in with the Quartermaster at the next troop meeting. Charges may
be assessed to the Scout if any “troop” equipment is returned in unusable or significantly
damaged condition through obvious disrespect for it and because of this it needs to be replaced.
This should be monitored by the adult Quartermaster and Troop Committee.
• personal radios, TV’s or electronic games (they may be left in the vehicles at your own
• any knives other than those approved under BSA guidelines. An example is no fixed
blade (sheath) knives.
• an axe or hatchet of any kind. Troop 421 provides these tools and they may only be
used by individuals carrying a “Totin’ Chip” and only in the axe yard. (For information on
“Totin’ Chip,” see the Boy Scout Handbook.)
• gum, soda, candy or snacks on any campout. They attract ants and critters. Scouts are
not allowed to eat in tents. Shoes are also not permitted in tents.
• cell phone (they may be left in the vehicles at your own risk). For the youth they will be
treated as if they were any electronic device and remain in the vehicle when camping.
Parents ‘join’ the Troop when their son joins. Parental assistance is needed in making the
Scouting program a success. Events will be cancelled if there are not at least two unrelated
registered adults over the age of 21 available to attend. Events can also be cancelled if there is
insufficient transportation available.
A partial list of areas for parental participation include:
• Attend Courts of Honor, parent meetings, summer camp and family camp.
• Provide transportation to and from monthly campouts.
• Volunteer to lead or actively participate as a key contributor in any of the following areas:
Troop Committee, Equipment, Fund-raising, Communications, Outdoors Committee,
Newsletter, Finance, etc.
• Attend Basic Scout Leader Fundamentals as a registered adult and be active as a
• Participate in Youth Protection Training.
• Maintain an awareness of your son’s participation, progress and behavior within the
• Serve as a Merit Badge Counselor.
• Help with equipment repair.
• Be aware of your son’s fund-raising and encourage him to help support the Troop.
• Help serve refreshments at various Troop functions.
The Adult Code of Conduct (below) gives additional information regarding parental involvement.
Parents should make a special effort to attend each Court of Honor. This is where your son will
be recognized for his advancement and position within the Troop (since the last Court). Parents
should check the Troop calendar (always available on the Troop website at http://Troop421.up.to)
so that they will know what events call for their attendance.
Parents are welcome to attend any campout to observe; however, parents supply their own
sleeping & basic camping gear. Parents interested in attending a campout can visit with the
Outdoor Program or Transportation Coordinator.
Parents & scouts are encouraged to sign up on the troop’s web site for email communications
that occur. (See Communications section below.)
Troop 421 is “boy run” and uses the Patrol Method. Each member of each patrol has his assigned
duties and other responsibilities. They should be allowed to fulfill these responsibilities to the best
of their own abilities with minimal adult intervention. As each Patrol member shows respect for
other Patrol members and campsites, adults are expected to do likewise.
Another area of parental involvement is discipline. Discipline should not be a problem in a Scout
Troop. Since a boy’s participation is voluntary, it is reasonable to assume that he wants to be a
good scout. A Scout’s behavior is expected to conform to the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which
each Scout knows from memory.
Troop 421 operates under the “Safe Haven” concept. By this, the Scout Troop should be
considered and expected by all to be a place safe from hazing, verbal or physical abuse, bullying,
and discrimination of any kind. Any violation of this policy will be dealt with as a serious violation.
Primarily the Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders and Junior Assistant Scoutmasters maintain
discipline with supervision by the Scoutmaster and other Committee members. Parents may be
called to come and collect their son, and will be given details of the situation and counsel with
their son concerning his behavior, his compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and his
continued participation in the Troop.
Reasons for counseling:
• Blatantly disobeying leaders.
• Foul language or blasphemy.
• Violating safety procedures (fire, placing oneself or another in harms way,
• Continued disruptive activity.
• Multiple violations of the Camping Rules.
Basic disciplinary procedures are as follows:
1. The first time an incident occurs, for a minor infraction, the Scout will be warned.
2. The second occurrence, or if it is a major infraction, the Scout’s parent will be called
to come and take the Scout home. An appointment will be made with the Scout and
his parent(s) to discuss the behavior, counsel the Scout on the appropriate behavior
expected and to secure the Scout and his parents’ assurances of improvement.
3. On the third incident, the matter will be referred to the Troop Committee for
disciplinary action. This may take the form of limited or permanent suspension from
the Troop or some other action agreed upon by the Committee, the Scout and his
Adult Code of Conduct
The basis of the Adult Code of Conduct is the Scout Promise and the Scout Law.
The purpose of Scouting is to encourage the physical, mental, social and spiritual development of
young people. The example and guidance of dedicated, responsible men and women who help
the youth members in the fulfillment of the Scout Promise and Law can never be underestimated.
Troop 421 strictly adheres to all the policies and procedures contained in the Guide to Safe
The following Code of Conduct is expected of all adults (Parents, Leaders, Volunteers, older
siblings and friends) who participate in any Scouting endeavors; with everyone recognizing that at
all times they should act responsibly and exercise common sense and good judgment when
mentoring the youth members. This is an Oath, and should be understood as such. It is and will
be presumed that ALL adults have willingly accepted and will follow this oath should they
continue participating in Troop 421 activities and functions.
1. Adults should actively participate in scouting functions where appropriate. A Troop's level of
success is facilitated by the quality of adult involvement in balance with the goals of a youth led
2. All Adults should respect the dignity of themselves and others, especially during meetings,
award ceremonies and other scout functions. Remember that everyone's focus should be on
what is in the BEST INTEREST of the boys themselves. This is their time to shine and be the
center of attention. Courteous manners will always be encouraged and expected.
3. All Adults should demonstrate a high degree of individual responsibility, recognizing that at all
times their words and actions are an example to other members of the Troop.
4. All Adults should act at all times in accordance with scouting principles, thereby setting a
suitable example for all.
5. All Adults should not promote their own beliefs, behaviors or practices where these are not
compatible with scouting principles.
6. All Adults should act with consideration and good judgment in all interpersonal relationships,
both inside and outside Scouting.
7. All Adults should respect everyone's right to personal privacy at all times, taking special care
where sleeping, changing of clothing, and bathing is associated with any Scouting activity.
8. All Adults should avoid unaccompanied and unobserved activities with any youth members
other than your own son.
9. All Adults should avoid potentially compromising situations by ensuring, where reasonably
possible, that at least two adults are in attendance while supervising and/or accompanying youth
10. All Adults should realize that bullying, physical or verbal abuse, neglect or any other type of
abuse is unacceptable conduct by ANY members.
11. All Adults should handle discipline issues by using the Patrol Method's "Chain of Command."
However, should the situation create an eminent danger to life or property, the Adults present
should take immediate and appropriate corrective action. It is important to note that discipline
should always be handled in a fair and impartial manner with special attention in maintaining the
Scouts dignity and reinforcing personal responsibility.
12. All Adults should refrain from using tobacco products in view of Troop members at all scouting
activities. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are permitted at any scouting
Failure to adhere to any of the twelve expectations of the Adult Code of Conduct will result in a
fair and impartial Peer Review. Any lapse of judgment or incident could result in disciplinary
actions as deemed appropriate by the Troop Committee and in accordance with policies and
procedures set forth by the Boy Scouts of America. The Troop Committee reserves the right to
notify any appropriate law enforcement agencies when deemed appropriate by the Boy Scouts of
America Youth Protection Policies and Procedures.
Troop 421 Youth Joining With 1 Month’s Dues Joining With 12 Months’ Dues
New Scout Membership $45 $125
Includes: Boy’s Life Includes: Boy’s Life
Magazine, Troop Polo/Travel Magazine, Troop Polo/Travel
Shirt, BSA Registration Fee, Shirt, BSA Registration Fee,
Scout Accident Insurance, and Scout Accident Insurance, and
first month payment of Monthly annual payment of Monthly
Currently Registered as a $25 $105
Webelos or Boy Scout and Includes: Troop Polo/Travel Includes: Troop Polo/Travel
Receiving Boy’s Life Magazine Shirt, BSA Registration Shirt, BSA Registration
Transfer Fee, Scout Accident Transfer Fee, Scout Accident
Insurance, and first month Insurance, and annual
payment of Monthly Dues. payment of Monthly Dues.
Currently Registered as a $35 $115
Webelos or Boy Scout, Includes: Boy’s Life Includes: Boy’s Life
Without Subscription to Boy’s Magazine, Troop Polo/Travel Magazine, Troop Polo/Travel
Life Magazine * Shirt, BSA Registration Shirt, BSA Registration
Transfer Fee, Scout Accident Transfer Fee, Scout Accident
Insurance, and first month Insurance, and annual
payment of Monthly Dues. payment of Monthly Dues.
*BSA’s Boy’s Life magazine is an intended part of the program. As such, 100% of the
families in Troop 421 receive a subscription to Boy’s Life.
**Troop ‘dues’ are $8 per month, collected monthly, or discounted annually for a non-
refundable amount of $90. More information about the dues can be found below.
A Scout troop must have a budget and a treasury. The money to operate the troop comes from
the Scouts and their parents or guardians. Self-reliance is part of the character development
spelled out in the aims of Scouting, a goal that can be advanced by encouraging each Scout to
pay his own way for dues, uniforms, and personal equipment, and to take part in money-earning
projects to meet the troop’s needs.
Troop dues are collected on a monthly basis. Scouts are expected to pay monthly dues of $8 at
the first troop meeting of each month. Payment of dues enables a Scout to advance and
participate in any Scout activities scheduled for the next month. Failure to be current on dues will
result in exclusion from activities (including campouts) and not being allowed to complete
advancement or earn a merit badge until dues are made current. Scouts may wish to make a
single $90.00 payment annually to receive a discount on dues. This is encouraged to ensure
each scout is able to travel & advance through the ranks.
The dues give the Troop the necessary funds to pay for scouting equipment, bead totems, Troop
421 newsletters, postage, merit badges, rank advancement, awards and other items necessary to
run a quality troop. These dues will also pay the Scout’s registration and Boys’ Life subscription
for the next annual Troop recharter.
A Scout may pay for more than one month at a time if he wants; however, it is necessary that all
dues payment be made entirely separately from any other money paid at troop meetings. The
dues are collected by the Troop Scribe and turned over to the Treasurer at the beginning of each
If a Scout chooses not to participate for several months and does not pay his dues, his
membership is considered delinquent. In order to participate in any activities or advance in rank
he must pay all back dues, even for the months he did not attend troop meetings.
While all transportation costs and other camping fees are normally paid by the Troop, the scouts
do have to pay for their own food on campouts. An amount of $3 is assessed each Scout for each
meal. This means that campouts will normally cost $12-$15. The scouts cook and eat as patrols.
The meeting before each campout, the patrol plans its menu for the weekend and 1-2 members
of the patrol volunteer to purchase the food. At that time, food money is due from all scouts who
plan on camping. The budgeted amount cannot be exceeded and any leftover cash will be
returned equally to each member that participated in the campout. If a Scout changes his mind
about attending a campout after the food is purchased, his money will not be refunded. Because
the scouts are buying the food themselves, it is important that a Scout pay for each campout in
the exact amount of cash the meeting before the campout. Your help is appreciated in this
Some campouts may require an extra cost. In these cases, the Troop may underwrite a given
amount of the extra expense, but the Scouts are asked to contribute the balance.
Summer Camp is the largest expense item on the annual calendar. The cost of attending
Summer Camp varies depending on the distance to the camp, what type of transportation
arrangements need to be made, and the specific camp to be attended. There may also be other
costs, such as the type of activities a particular Scout takes part in while at camp. For example,
High Adventure programs usually run an extra $50-$150 per scout. Based on all of the above,
the Troop Outdoor Committee arrives at an amount per Scout. Each Scout is strongly
encouraged to participate in Troop fundraising activities during the year. Also, it is recommended
that Summer Camp fees be paid in a number of installment payments prior to the Camp.
Registration fees are due at the camps several months prior to the actual attendance date, and
this also makes the financial burden seem less by spreading the cost over a number of months.
The Troop Treasurer receives these payments and maintains records for each Scout.
Effective with campouts beginning in October 2006, the troop will reimburse drivers who transport
scouts (or scout trailer) to and from campouts. Reimbursement will only go to those parents who
have signed up in advance, and who actually transport scouts (other than their own children).
Checks will be issued only to those adults designated ahead of time to be drivers. The exception
to this may be last minute changes that require an additional driver.
The transportation coordinator will make every attempt to eliminate spare/empty seats in
numerous vehicles traveling to the same location. The troop will reimburse only for trips to
locations greater than 50 miles (round trip). In-town driving would not be reimbursed.
In the event we have a driver who brings scouts to a campout late (or after the initial group of
scouts drive to a campout), that driver will be reimbursed only if transporting 3 or more scouts.
Parents asked to transport scouts one way to get scouts to a campout will receive a check for the
round trip drive. This should be avoided whenever possible.
Prior to September 1,2008, the troop will reimburse an amount of $.20 per mile for scout transport
vehicles, and $.30 per mile for trailer transport vehicle(s). ON AND AFTER September 1,2008,
the troop will reimburse an amount of $.40 per mile for scout transport vehicles, and $.60 per mile
for trailer transport vehicle(s). This reimbursement rate will be periodically adjusted as deemed
necessary by the Troop Committee. A single driver to the camp would be responsible for
tracking/counting the mileage to and from the campsite and reporting back to the Finance chair
who would then reimburse the adult drivers.
It is expected that scouts who attend Summer Camp will pay for the transportation costs
associated to traveling to Summer Camp locations. Spring Break trips will be determined based
on the financial situation of the troop.
Several times a year, the Troop either organizes or participates in fundraisers. These can be
designated as being for the benefit of the individual Scout or the Troop as a whole. For example,
the annual BSA popcorn sale in November is designated as being for the Scouts. On an average,
each dollar sold earns the Scout 35 cents. This money is credited to their individual account for
use for any Scout-related activity or purchase except for the weekend campout food money. A
number of Scouts have paid for their entire summer camp by this method.
Troop fundraisers are held to help raise money for transportation, camping fees, and troop
Participation in troop fundraisers is expected of all Scouts. In the event that a Scout is unwilling
to participate, he may be assessed a reasonable participation fee at the discretion of the Troop
Committee. From time to time, the Troop Committee may offer “reward” activities for scouts
participating in fundraising activities. These are offered to reward scouts who display scout spirit
by helping the troop raise money.
As a Scout joins a Scout Troop, advancement should be a natural thing. As he learns new skills,
participates in each activity and takes responsibilities for duties, he is fulfilling the requirements
for rank advancement.
When a Scout first joins Troop 421, he first works with the Troop Guide, Junior Assistant
Scoutmaster (JASM) for Advancement, Patrol Leader, Instructor or the Advancement
Chairperson. These Troop members ensure that the new Scout learns everything he needs to
know in order to advance through the ranks. However, it is up to each individual Scout to decide
to advance. It is the responsibility of the Scout to make sure that as he fulfills a requirement that
the appropriate person signs it off and that the Advancement Chairperson is made aware of the
accomplishment. When a Scout has completed all the requirements for a rank, he needs to
coordinate with the JASM or Advancement Chair to schedule a Scoutmaster’s Conference. Once
the Scoutmaster has approved the Scout, and then it is again the Scout’s responsibility to meet
with the Advancement Chair to inform them of his readiness for a Board of Review. Only after a
Scout has successfully completed a Board of Review, will he be awarded the rank. It is important
to remember that dues must be current in order to advance rank in the troop.
The rank of Scout must be earned before a scout can attend a troop campout.
Beyond the requirements for each of the ranks through First Class (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second
Class, First Class), the main part of the advancement requirements is through the completion of
Merit Badges. There are over 100 Merit Badges available, in a wide variety of subject areas. If
you look closely at the badges, you will see that they have either silver (white) or green (dark)
borders. The badge with a silver border are required for Eagle. The green-bordered badges are
optional. By the time a Scout reaches Eagle, he must have at least 21 merit badges, including 12
of the 15 with silver borders (there are some choices to be made – see Eagle requirements).
Many new Scouts find that they are so busy meeting the requirements for their first ranks that
they don’t have time to work on merit badges. This is normal and as it should be. On the other
hand, there comes a time when rank advancement is no longer possible without expanding
horizons by working on merit badges. Some of these are easiest and most efficiently earned at
summer camp. But, it won’t be possible to get every badge needed at camp.
Since merit badges are needed to advance beyond First Class and since everything can’t be
done at camp, how does one go about it? We suggest that each Scout look through the book and
with his parent’s help, find something he’s done or might like to do. If it interests him, he should
discuss it with the Troop Advancement Chair.
At a troop meeting a Scout can request and receive a Merit Badge Application (“blue card”),
which he must complete with certain information. In return for this information he will be given the
name and phone number of a counselor. If more than one counselor is available, he may be able
to choose. However, if there is a choice, a parent should not counsel his or her own son. Scouts
are encouraged to vary counselors for other badges.
To get started, it is most helpful (but not required) for the Scout to obtain the appropriate Merit
Badge booklet. The Troop maintains a Troop Library and a booklet may be borrowed by
contacting the Troop Librarian. If a new or personal copy of the booklet is needed, it may be
purchased at the Service Center (see “Other Scout Equipment” for location and directions). The
public library also has Merit Badge booklets available to check out. They also have the ability to
send off to other libraries and borrow theirs for scouts to check out … takes about two weeks.
After reviewing the requirements, the Scout is expected to contact the Merit Badge Counselor,
identify himself, and request an appointment to meet and discuss the requirements for the merit
badge. The counselor will setup a time to meet with the Scout and it is important that this
appointment be kept. Sometimes the counselor may tell the Scout what is expected over the
phone and he may need to do some things in order to prepare for the meeting. If he thinks he has
already completed some of the requirements, he should tell the counselor what he has done and
ask if that will meet the requirements. A Scout should not start working on any requirements prior
to obtaining the “blue card”. It is always safest to speak to the counselor before beginning to
work on the badge. The Scout should always take along his Merit Badge Application (blue card)
to meetings with the counselor since it contains spaces on the back for initials and dates that
various requirements or parts of requirements were completed. When all of the requirements are
completed and the applications signed and dated by the counselor, it should be given to the
Advancement Chairperson so that the Scout may be recognized and the Scout Office informed.
Consideration should always be given to working on a required merit badge when possible. The
quicker these are completed, the sooner the Scout will be able to climb the Eagle advancement
ladder. A scout can work on more than one merit badge at a time. Although there is no “official”
limit on the length of time allowed to complete a merit badge, the Troop recommends that a Scout
take no longer than six months. Once a full year has passed since the Merit Badge was begun,
the scout may be asked to repeat some of the requirements to guarantee he is familiar with the
A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a Merit Badge Counselor. A Scout’s
buddy can be another Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister, or a relative or friend.
Scouts are encouraged to work on Merit Badges on the open Monday evenings when the PLC’s
occur or by appointment before Troop Meetings.
Another requirement for rank advancement involves service hours. Scouts will have different
opportunities each year to earn service hours through the troop activities and Eagle Scout
projects. However, Scouts may also earn hours through non-scout activities. When you elect to
do this, you MUST obtain approval PRIOR to working the service hours. Be prepared to give a
brief explanation of the service project and how long you expect it to last. A signed document (by
an adult who oversaw your service) should be submitted to the Advancement Chair once the
hours have been worked.
If at any point the Advancement chair determines that a Scout is not advancing in rank, a special
Board of Review may be convened to investigate what the Troop Leadership can do to assist that
youth in his advancement endeavors. This Board of Review is meant to be a positive, up-lifting
experience that has as its goals to get the youth energized to pursue and complete rank
advancement and/or to identify if there are any special needs, concerns or barriers to achieving
There are a number of training opportunities available to Scouts. Each meeting is effectively a
training exercise. Campouts are even more so. However, formal training exists at the following
• Junior Leader Training (JLT) – Twice a year, soon after Troop elections, a JLT is held.
This daylong activity introduces new boy leaders to the responsibilities of their positions,
the concepts of leadership, methods of decision-making, and the team approach to
leadership. All scouts serving the troop in an elected or appointed position are expected
to attend these trainings. Normally, these trainings are open to all scouts at Star rank
• Silver Pines (JLTC) – this is a Council level JLT. It takes place over a weeklong
campout. The leadership of the Troop, with the approval of the Scoutmaster and the
Troop Committee, nominates eligible candidates to attend this training conference. The
Committee normally votes to provide a 50% scholarship to each Scout who accepts his
nomination to attend.
• National JLTC – This training conference takes place at Philmont Training Center (PTC)
adjacent to the Philmont Scout Ranch, in Cimarron, New Mexico.
All of the following is made available to any adult:
Boy Scout Handbook
As a parent, this is your best initial description of the Boy Scout program. Be sure to read “The
Adventure Begins” introductory section as a good overview.
Fast Start Training
This is an on-line course that takes about 45-90 minutes to complete. It gives a good ‘fast start’
for parents and new leaders to learn more about the scouting program, how the troop functions,
and roles within the troop. Five topics are covered: The Troop Meeting, The Troop Committee,
The Outdoor Program, Basic Concepts of Scouting, and The Scout Uniform. This training can be
located on the Capitol Area Council website.
Youth Protection Training
This training is an important component of the Boy Scouts of America's strategy to protect its
members from child abuse. The course is offered on-line and by the Armadillo District training
staff. This training can be located on the Capitol Area Council website.
New Leader Essentials Training
All new leaders are expected to attend a 90-minute training session on the essentials of providing
leadership to Scouting. Training is offered by the Armadillo District training staff at the district
Boy Scout Leader Specific Training
This is a three hour group training session that includes the ‘Troop Committee Challenge’ game.
Training is offered by the Armadillo District training staff at the district level and on request at the
An extended training course offered in the spring and fall by the Armadillo District training staff.
This typically includes an evening of training, followed by a full Saturday of training, capped off
with a full weekend campout of training.
The Wood Badge course provides advanced training in leadership and teamwork for adult
leaders in Scouting. The first phase is the practical phase that involves two 3-day weekends or
six consecutive days of training in both conference and outdoor settings. The second phase of
the program is the opportunity to apply the skills learned in the practical phase by carrying out an
action plan created during the first phase.
Summer Conferences at Philmont
Weeklong courses designed to educate and inspire adult leaders.
For more information about any of the above training opportunities, contact the Scoutmaster or
the Adult Training Coordinator. Some of these training opportunities are offered on-line. Please
Communications are the most important aspect of the day-to-day operation of a successful
Troop. Without a good communications method, the whole program quickly falls apart. The basic
chain of communications is as follows:
Patrol Leader to
Senior Patrol Leader to
Troop Committee to
Chartered Organization Representative to
Of course this may vary based on need and circumstance, but each member of the troop is
encouraged to follow this two-way communications stream so that everybody stays adequately
Patrol Leaders are required to contact each member of their patrol at least once a week outside
of Troop meetings. They should inform their patrol of any news they have received from the SPL,
what the patrol’s responsibilities are during the next meeting, of any information or money that is
due, and of any special events. They should also call to verify attendance for upcoming campouts
and communicate this information back to the SPL, so that arrangements can be made for
adequate transportation. They should also make all requests to the Quartermaster for equipment
of upcoming campouts in a timely manner.
If a Scout misses a meeting, it is his responsibility to call his Patrol Leader or Senior Patrol
Leader to acquire any information, handouts, newsletters, permission slips or other information
necessary for participation in troop activities.
Outside of the normal troop meeting and ongoing phone communications between the Scouts,
Troop 421 provides the following communication avenues:
• Troop calendar: This is updated on an as needed basis and is provided to the Scouts at
meetings, in the newsletter, and on the website at http://Troop421.up.to .
• Troop Newsletter: The Newsletter is published about 3 times a year. Parents are
encouraged to look for and read each Troop Newsletter. There are articles about
upcoming campouts, reports on previous campouts and activities provided by the boy
leadership, a menu column, and news about the Troop. Contact the Publicity Chairperson
to make a submission.
• Troop E-Info: The troop maintains a list of all Troop members, committee members and
parents who have e-mail addresses and wish to be contacted. This is used to provide an
alternate means of communications within the Troop community.
• Troop Website: http://Troop421.up.to . The website is a useful source of information. It
contains a current copy of the Troop Calendar, links to other useful Scouting resources
on the World Wide Web; a link to communicate with the Scoutmaster, information about
upcoming campouts with links to pertinent sites; various Troop documents including
permission slips for each campout, and other useful Troop information. There is also a
Troop photo album. If you have a Troop 421 related photo that you would like to see on
our Website, contact the Webmaster.
• Other Web Sites:
Armadillo District: http://www.armadillodistrict.org/
Capitol Area Council: http://www.bsacac.org/
Boy Scouts of America: http://www.scouting.org/
Troop elections are held semi-annually. In order to be eligible for an elected office, a Scout must
meet any rank eligibility requirements, must exhibit Scout Spirit, must be paid current on all dues,
and his election must be approved by the Troop Committee.
Senior Patrol Leader The Senior Patrol Leader is elected by the Scouts to represent them as the
top junior leader in the troop and reports to the Scoutmaster.
Senior Patrol Leader duties:
• Runs all troop meetings, events, activities, and the program planning conference(s).
• Runs the Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting.
• Appoints other troop junior leaders with the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster.
• Assigns duties and responsibilities to junior leaders.
• Assists the Scoutmaster with Junior Leader Training.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader is the second highest-ranking
junior leader in the troop. The Senior Patrol Leader, with the approval of the Scoutmaster,
appoints him. The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader acts as the Senior Patrol Leader in the absence
of the Senior Patrol Leader when called upon. He also provides leadership to other junior leaders
in the troop. He reports to the Senior Patrol Leader.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader duties:
• Helps the Senior Patrol Leader lead meetings and activities.
• Runs the troop in the absence of the Senior Patrol Leader.
• Helps to train and then supervises the troop scribe, quartermaster, instructors, librarian,
historian, and chaplain aide.
• Serves as a member of the Patrol Leaders’ Council.
Scribe The Scribe keeps the troop records. He records the activities of the Patrol Leaders’
Council and keeps a record of dues, advancement, and Scout attendance at troop meetings and
activities. He reports to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
• Attends and keeps a log of Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings.
• Records individual Scout attendance and dues payments.
• Works with the troop committee member responsible for records and finance.
• Distributes beads to scouts who have earned them, for the Bead Totem, if in use.
Librarian The Librarian takes care of troop literature and reports to the Assistant Senior Patrol
• Sets up and takes care of troop library.
• Keeps records of books and pamphlets owned by the troop.
• Adds new or replacement items as needed.
• Keeps books and pamphlets available for borrowing.
• Keeps a system for checking books and pamphlets in and out.
• Follows up on late returns.
• Maintains troop closet at church.
Quartermaster The Quartermaster keeps track of troop equipment and sees that it is in good
working order. He reports to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
• Keeps records on patrol and troop equipment.
• Makes sure equipment is in good working condition.
• Issues equipment and makes sure it’s returned in good condition.
• Makes suggestions for new or replacement items.
• Works with the troop committee member responsible for equipment.
Historian The Historian keeps a historical record of troop activities and reports to the Assistant
Senior Patrol Leader.
• Takes and gathers pictures and facts about troop activities and keeps them in a historical
file or scrapbook.
• Takes care of troop trophies, ribbons, and souvenirs of troop activities.
• Keeps information about former members of the troop.
Chaplain’s Aide The chaplain aide works with the troop chaplain to meet the religious needs of
the Scouts in the troop. He also works to promote the religious emblem program. He reports to
the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
Chaplain’s Aide duties:
• Assists the troop chaplain with religious services at troop activities.
• Tells Scouts about the religious emblem program for their faith.
• Makes sure religious holidays are considered during troop program planning.
• Helps plan for religious observance in troop activities.
Patrol Leader The Patrol Leader is the elected leader of his patrol. He represents his patrol on the
Patrol Leaders’ Council. He reports to the Senior Patrol Leader.
Patrol Leader duties:
• Appoints the assistant patrol leader.
• Represents the patrol on the Patrol Leaders’ Council Plans and steers patrol meetings.
• Helps Scouts advance.
• Acts as the chief recruiter of new Scouts.
• Keeps patrol members informed.
• Knows what his patrol members and other leaders can do.
Asst. Patrol Leader The Assistant Patrol Leader is appointed by the Patrol Leader and runs the
patrol in his absence. He reports to his Patrol Leader.
Assistant Patrol Leader duties:
• Helps the Patrol Leader plan and steer patrol meetings and activities.
• Helps him keep patrol members informed.
• Helps the patrol get ready for all troop activities.
• Represents his patrol at Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings when the Patrol Leader cannot
• Lends a hand controlling the patrol and building Patrol Spirit.
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster: The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is appointed by the
Scoutmaster. This scout leader assists the Scoutmaster by reviewing scouts who are ready for
advancement. The JASM also oversees the semi-annually Court of Honor Ceremonies. The
JASM also assists with advancement of new scout members. The JASM reports to the
Scoutmaster. Generally, but at the discretion of the Scoutmaster, the JASM should be at least
Life in rank and 16 years of age as this position requires a high degree of maturity, experience,
and self motivation.
Above all Scout Leaders should:
Set a good example.
Wear the uniform correctly.
Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
Show Scout spirit.
• Responsible for all youth related programs within the Troop.
• Trains youth leaders in the performance of their duties.
• Develops the annual program in conjunction with the Patrol Leader’s Council. Based on
the developed program, he communicates needs for specific support to the appropriate
• Serves as advisor to monthly Patrol Leader’s Council meetings held to determine
monthly/weekly program offerings.
• Reviews all advancement progress and approves all Scouts for review for rank
advancement through Scoutmaster’s Conference.
• Assists with Eagle project preparations – Eagle project follow-up.
• Appoints Assistant Scoutmasters and Junior Assistant Scoutmasters.
• Delegates specific duties to Assistant and Junior Assistant Scoutmasters.
• Attends monthly District Roundtables.
• Coordinates Troop activities with those of the local district and council.
Committee Chairman :
• Prepares agenda for committee meetings.
• Chairs monthly committee meetings.
• Assists in recruiting committee members.
• Approves volunteer adult leader applications on behalf of the Troop Committee.
• Works with Scoutmaster to identify how the committee can further assist the Troop
• Monitors the training, development and recognition of Adult Leaders (Scoutmaster,
Chartered Organization Representative:
• Attends Troop Committee meetings as a representative of the Covenant United
• Represents Troop plans and needs to Covenant United Methodist Men.
• Works with Scoutmaster to identify how the Methodist Men can further assist the Troop
membership and how the Troop can assist the Church.
• Assist Troop Committee in identifying resources within the Church.
• Approves volunteer adult leader applications on behalf of Covenant United Methodist
• Monitor and mentor Chaplain’s Aide Assists and encourages attaining religious emblems.
• Assists in planning non-denominational worship experiences within Troop activities.
• Acts as resource person and point of reference for spiritual needs.
• Coordinates an active outdoor program of monthly overnight outings in conjunction with
SPL, ASPL, PL’s and Scoutmaster.
• Insures that Outdoor Program meets the Health and Safety guidelines of the Troop and
• Makes and confirms reservations where needed.
• Prepares permission slips for distribution three weeks prior to event.
• Collects permission slips and camping fees with Treasurer.
• Coordinates drivers to provide safe, reliable and timely transportation of Scouts and
equipment to and from unit activities.
• Insures that all transportation meets National Council and Troop Insurance and Safety
• Secures Tour Permits from local Council at least two weeks prior to event.
• Serves as Advisor to Quartermaster, assisting in inventories of equipment and disbursing
and collecting clean gear.
• Coordinates the delivery to, and pick up from, the gathering point of all equipment for
• At the end of the youth leader’s term of office, inspects the patrol equipment with the
Troop Quartermaster to determine its condition and any replacement that needs to be
• Identifies and recommends repairs and purchases needed gear.
• Maintains log of repairs and purchases.
• Coordinates overall Advancement Program.
• Maintains complete and up-to-date records of all advancement and records all service
hours worked by the Scouts.
• Reports completed merit badges and names of Scouts receiving ranks at each
• Develops and maintains list of Merit Badge Counselors.
• Manages quality control for ranks and merit badges.
• Identifies slow movers.
• The Advancement Chairman either sits on, or delegates a Chairman to sit on Board of
Reviews for all ranks other than Scout.
• Insures committee members serving on boards are prepared to evaluate Scout’s
performance for his advancement according to standards established by Boy Scouts of
• Develops meaningful service projects to benefit the community.
• Picks up awards at Council Office.
Courts of Honor:
• Coordinates youth-development programs and physical arrangements for awards
presentations with the youth Master of Ceremonies, SPL, Scoutmaster, and
• Procures and maintains any props needed for ceremonies.
• Assists in developing special awards for youth and adults.
• Manages potluck dinner activities.
• Coordinates refreshments for Courts of Honor.
• Coordinates refreshments for Troop parties.
• Attends weekly Troop meetings to collect dues and other fees.
• Provides Scoutmaster with monthly up-to-date list of paid Scouts.
• Using accepted accounting practices, distributes funds into appropriate accounts.
• Pays routine bills.
• Records expenses by nature, including expenses from unit account.
• Provides finance statement at each Committee meeting.
• Identifies potential fund-raising activities.
• Recruits parents for running individual projects.
• Serves as Unit Popcorn Chair.
• Maintains records of individual Scout participation in fund raising activities.
• Works with Troop committee to set amount each Scout should assist in raising, after
expenses, awards and credits are deducted. This figure allows that Scout to fulfill his
obligation to the Troop either through participation in fund raising activity or by paying his
share of the needed profits into the Troop treasury.
• Records minutes of monthly Committee meetings.
• Provides copies of minutes and meeting reminders to committee members and those
special requested participants in advance of meetings.
• Distributes & obtains approval for minutes of previous meetings at Committee meetings.
• Prepares Troop 421 Newsletter from articles provided.
• Copies, addresses and mails newsletter to each family in the Troop and to each adult
without a son in Scouting.
• Distributes newsletters through email.
• Prepares and mails special announcements regarding Courts of Honor and other special
• Works with Courts of Honor, Outdoor Program and Advancement Chair to ensure all
families are notified about Courts of Honor and other family-oriented events.
• Establishes and maintains communication with the Packs Assists with coordinating
annual Webelos Woods campout.
• Coordinates visits by the Packs/Dens with the Troop Assists the Packs with their
• Assists Pack in securing Den Chiefs or other Troop assistance as needed.
Receives new applications for youth and adult membership, and processes them with the
troop and council to ensure successful new membership registration.
Completes the annual re-charter process, renewing youth and adult memberships and
ensuring the troop and council have accurate membership records for the next charter
Adult Training Coordinator:
• Ensure Troop leaders and Committee Members have opportunities for training.
• Maintain an inventory of up-to-date training materials, videotapes and other training
• Work to ensure Fast Start Training is completed by all new members.
• Responsible for coordination of BSA Youth Protection Training within the Troop Inform
and encourage Troop Committee members of training opportunities concluding in filing
and following up on recognition and awards
The Troop Roster is provided as an addendum to this handbook. Use it along with the job
descriptions above to find out whom you need to contact.
Bead Totems (Note: The Bead Totems section may or may not be in use, check
with your Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Chairman)
The Troop 421 Bead Totem is a great way of keeping track of your Scouting experience. It allows
for the Scout to show off his participation in the Troop program in addition to official BSA rank
advancement and merit badges.
The totem itself is a leather swatch embossed with the Troop 421 “Thundering Herd” emblem,
which was designed by a former troop member. The totem is worn on the Scout belt on the right
hip, and is considered to be part of our Class “A” uniform. The totem has four leather thongs
suspended from it. As a Scout participates in the Troop program he can earn or is awarded
various colored beads.
Each Scout who joins Troop 421 is issued a bead totem when he earns his first bead. A list of the
opportunities to earn beads is included below.
Activity or Event Bead Color and Shape
Regular Overnight Campout Green flat
Overnight with rain>50% of time Blue flat
Overnight-temperature <32F White flat
Council or District Event Purple flat
Honor Patrol Clear flat
Silver Fork Award Clear round
Honor Camper Turquoise round
Perfect Attendance for one month Black flat
Community or Eagle Service
Project participation Blue & White or light Blue flat
One week BSA Summer Camp Dark Green flat
Order of the Arrow Function (not Red flat
including tapouts at camps)
Troop Leader – 1 term Yellow flat
Patrol Officer – 1 term Yellow & White or light Yellow flat
Troop or Patrol Hike Tan flat
Conservation or Nature Project Green & White or light Green flat
Baden-Powell Patrol Award Brown flat
Silver Fork Patrol Award Black Eagle Talon Black Eagle Talon
Honor Patrol Award Black Bear Claw Black Bear Claw
Baden-Powell Patrol Award Black Arrowhead Black Arrowhead
The Bead Totem makes a great memento of your Scouting career. Looking at an individual totem
can tell a lot about that Scout’s commitment to and participation in the Troop Program over the
Patrol Awards are displayed on the Patrol Flag.
Commonly Used Abbreviations
APL: (Assistant Patrol Leader). See page 16.
ASPL: (Assistant Senior Patrol Leader). See page 15.
JASM: (Junior Assistant Scoutmaster). See page 16
JLT: (Junior Leader Training). See page 12.
PL: (Patrol Leader). See page 16.
PLC: (Patrol Leader's Council). : Scout leadership group who meet once a month to discuss
activities and plans for the troop. This group discusses camping plans, summer camp trips, etc.
This group is assisted by the SM.
SM: (Scoutmaster). See page 16.
SPL: (Senior Patrol Leader). See page 14.