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Troop 444 Parent-Scout Handbook

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 19

									BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
      TROOP 444
   Channahon, Illinois
     www.bsatroop444.org




    Troop Handbook


                           1
Table of Contents
 Introduction.............................................................................................................................................. 3
 Mission Statement.................................................................................................................................. 3
 Charter ..................................................................................................................................................... 3
 General Policies ..................................................................................................................................... 4
 BSA Registration .................................................................................................................................... 5
 Code of Conduct..................................................................................................................................... 5
 Misconduct .............................................................................................................................................. 5
 Uniform Standards ................................................................................................................................. 6
 Uniform Policies ...................................................................................................................................... 7
 Scout Handbook ..................................................................................................................................... 7
 Attendance .............................................................................................................................................. 7
 Attendance Requirements for Leadership Positions ........................................................................ 8
 Attendance for Advancement in Rank ................................................................................................ 8
 Scout Responsibilities ........................................................................................................................... 8
 AT TROOP MEETINGS: ....................................................................................................................... 9
 ON CAMPING EVENTS ...................................................................................................................... 10
 Use of Electronic Devices ................................................................................................................... 11
 The Outdoor Program .......................................................................................................................... 11
 Adults on Outings ................................................................................................................................. 12
 Medications ........................................................................................................................................... 14
 Boy Scout Rank Advancement .......................................................................................................... 14
 Advancement Program ........................................................................................................................ 15
 Merit Badges ......................................................................................................................................... 16
 Leadership ............................................................................................................................................. 17
 Service Projects.................................................................................................................................... 17
 Finance .................................................................................................................................................. 17
 Scout Funds .......................................................................................................................................... 18
 Campout Food Allowance ................................................................................................................... 18
 Participation Contract .......................................................................................................................... 19




                                                                                                                                                              2
Introduction
This is guide for Scouts and their Parents. It explains the things you should know about Boy
Scout Troop 444 of Channahon, Illinois. The topics include a description of outings and
activities, what equipment each Scout needs and what is provided by the Troop, policies and
requirements for rank advancement, and how to prepare for Scoutmaster Conferences and
Board of Reviews. In addition, Troop 444 policies on uniforms, attendance, and conduct.

A copy of this guide will be presented to you upon joining the Troop. Parents should review it
with their son. A “Participation Contract" is provided at the end of the guide, which must be
signed by each new Scout certifying that he has read the guide and agrees to abide by the rules
contained therein. There is also a place for the Parents or Guardians to sign acknowledging the
same.

In order for Scout Troop 444 to provide boys with the high level of programs, outings,
advancements, and service that we do requires the support of many families and friends. No
single person can do it all. It is therefore expected as an obligation of membership, that each
family in Troop 444 will support the activities of the Troop in some way during each year. There
may also be times during the year where we will need to make specific requests for support so
please think about how you can best help.

Thank you.
The Troop Committee and Scoutmasters of Troop 444


Mission Statement
It is the mission of troop 444 to instill values through activities that involve leadership
development, problem solving and community service. Our goal is to prepare the boys to make
ethical choices and to have them reach their full potential.

We want every boy to become a well-rounded young man through the development of their
character, citizenship and fitness.
We will accomplish this by following the Scout Oath and the Scout Law
We are building the future leadership of our community and our country!


Charter
Troop 444 was chartered in 1955 by Channahon Methodist Church. We are in full compliance
with all the requirements set forth by the Boy Scouts of America established in 1910 under the
act of the United States Congress. The troop is located in the Ishkote District of Rainbow
Council of the North Central Region. The troop maintains an excellent working relationship with
the Channahon United Methodist Church through the work of the Chartering Organization
Representative, Nick Priddy who monitors the Committee’s work.

Scoutmaster:                 Manny Alonso
Email:                       manny.alonso@ComEd.com

Committee Chairperson        Carol Sowa
Email:                       csowa@hotmail.com



                                                                                                   3
General Policies
Purpose of Scouting
      Influence and develop character of the Scouts and encourage spiritual growth.
      Develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship.
      Encourage good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body.
      Strengthen the ability to get along with other boys and respect other people.
      Foster a sense of personal achievement by developing new interests and
      Leadership skills.
      Show how to be helpful.

Scouting is:
      A troop or group centered program of high adventure and outdoor skills for boys
      11 through 17 years of age.
      A program of outdoor skills and leadership development. Camping, hiking,
      aquatics, crafts and athletics.

Scouts:
      Establish their own goals and rate of advancement
      Help plan programs and make decisions that affect their Troop.
      Participate in special good turn projects.
      Divided into groups called Patrols
      Meet weekly at Troop Meetings and/or Patrol Meetings
      Participate in monthly outdoor hikes or overnight campouts and attend yearly
      summer camps for a week. If eligible, participate in yearly High Adventure
      outing.
      Participate in various fund-raisers to fund their Campout and Summer camp
      and/or High Adventures.
      Assist fellow Scouts with their Eagle Scout Projects.
      Learn to recognize and accept others with varying degrees of disability and assist
      fellow scouts with special needs.

Parents:
      Provide continuous encouragement and support for your sons as they progress
      in scouting.
      Participate in special Troop Courts of Honor where Scouts receive advancement
      recognition.
      Participate and schedule outside activities and campouts.
      Lend special skills and abilities as Merit Badge Counselor.
      Serve on the Troop Committee or in a direct leadership[role as Scoutmaster or
      Assistant Scoutmaster.
      Assist in various fund-raisers and encourage your scout to promote and actively
      participate in fund-raisers.




                                                                                        4
Requirements:
      A boy must be 11 years of age or have completed the 5th grade. A boy who is
      10 ½ years of age, and has been awarded the Arrow of Light may join the troop,
      but will not receive advancement recognition until the above age requirement has
      been met. He may participate in earning his skill and merit badge awards, and
      attend Troop functions during this period.
      Subscribe to the SCOUT OATH AND LAW, and PASS the Scout rank
      requirements.
      Complete all application forms. A transfer Scout must complete a Boy Scout
      application form when transferring into the Troop.
      Adults desiring to join the BSA organization must complete the adult application
      form.
      REFUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE AFTER THE PAYMENT FOR BSA
      REGISTRATION HAS BEEN MADE TO THE COUNSIL.
      Complete an EMERGENCY MEDICAL RELEASE FORM (back of Boy Scout
      Application), and have this form signed by a parent or guardian.
      Payment of Troop 444-registration fee (see financial section). This fee is
      required to register the scout.


BSA Registration
Upon completion of the Scout requirements and/or approval of the Scoutmaster, the boy
will be officially registered with the Boy Scouts of America through the Rainbow Council
and will be assigned a Patrol (smaller group of boys, within the Troop).


Code of Conduct
Scouts are expected to observe the Scout Oath and Law, BSA and Troop policies and
regulations as well as Church building rules in order to:
       Gain the most positive value from their scouting experience
       Protect the health and safety of all persons.
       Respect the rights of others.
       Respect and protect Troop program equipment and facilities.
Scouts are expected to attend Troop and Patrol Meetings on a regular basis, be prompt
to the meetings, and devote their energy to learning under the direction of all troop
leaders.


Misconduct
Misconduct will be regarded as actions, which do or may interfere materially or
substantially with the operation of the Troop and/or Patrol. Misconduct in any of the
following categories will result in disciplinary and/or corrective action to the Scout.
Intentionally causing loss or destruction of equipment or facilities will result in the Scout
and parents being responsible for reimbursement.
    1. Not being in specifies uniform at Troop meetings or functions.
    2. Disobeying adults or Scouts in a position of leadership.
    3. Causing disruption of Troop program.
                                                                                                5
   4. Infringing on the rights of others.
   5. Endangering the health, welfare or safety of any person.
   6. Inappropriate behavior.

Once a Scoutmaster, or other leader has witnessed and/or has been advised of
inappropriate or unsafe behavior by a Scout, an Adult Leader or other person
witnessing the behavior, the Scoutmaster will determine the course of action to be
taken.

Any boy, whose actions pose a perceived danger to him self or others, during Scout
activities, will be sent home. It will be the Scout’s Parents responsibility to supply
transportation home for the Scout. The Scoutmaster, or designated representative, will
contact the boy’s parents and/or guardians to discuss what has happened and to
discuss ways the family and troop can work together to better integrate the boy into the
Scouting program. Serious safety issues and/or inappropriate behavior by a Scout will
be handled by the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee-and as required, local Council
Office and BSA National Office will be contacted.


Uniform Standards
The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a
positive youth image in the community. Boy scouting is an action program, and wearing
the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and
purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood
of youth that believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout
activities and also provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what
they have accomplished.

All Scouts are expected to acquire a complete Scout Uniform within 30 days of Troop
registration. Scouts are required to wear correct uniforms to all Troop and Patrol
events. In cases of hardship, this requirement may be waived upon approval of the
Scoutmaster.

Correct uniforms, and guidelines for wearing them, are:
      "Class A": Consists of a Scout long or short-sleeved shirt with proper earned
      insignia (including Merit Badge sash/Order of the Arrow sash), Scout long or
      short pants or blue jeans/khaki pants or shorts. Optional items are: Scout-type
      belt, hat or socks. Neckerchief and slide should be worn during appropriate
      events. Check with the Scoutmaster or Senior Patrol Leader if you are unsure if
      it is needed.

      Current Troop position, current patrol, and current rank are most crucial on
      the Scout Uniform. Placement instructions may be found in the Scout
      Handbook.




                                                                                        6
      "Class B": • Consists of the Troop activity t-shirt or any other Scout related t
      shirt/sweatshirt (camp t-shirts, Council t-shirts, etc.) and Scout pants/shorts, blue
      jean pants/shorts or khaki pants/shorts.
      Merit Badge sash/Order of Arrow sash is to be worn at Courts of Honor and any
      other formal Scouting event.
Scouts must wear the Class A uniform to all Courts of Honor, Scoutmaster Conference,
Boards of Review, all Troop meetings, while traveling to and from campouts and other
events, and to all other events requiring it.


Uniform Policies
Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, and Patrol Leaders are expected to set an
example for the other Scouts by wearing the proper attire.

The Class “A” uniform is required wear for the following events: Scoutmaster
Conferences, Boards of Review, Courts of Honor, District or Council Events, District
Camporees, Summer Camp, Parades, All Troop attendance at Public Events, Scout-O,
Scouting for Food, etc. Any Scouts not in Class “A” uniforms for their Conferences,
Reviews, or Court of Honor will not advance in rank or be presented with merit badges
earned.

Class B (any scout related shirt or troop t-shirt) only to be used when specified by the
Scoutmaster for various Troop function.

Uniform inspections will be conducted weekly by Patrol. The patrol with the
greatest over all score, divided by the number of patrol members, will be
rewarded for their efforts.


Scout Handbook
The Scout should acquire a Scout Handbook immediately after joining the Troop. The
Scout Handbook is used as reference, and record keeping, of the boy’s advancement
through the scout rank.


Attendance
Troop 444's attendance policy evolves around certain objectives of Scouting. First, and
most important, scouting should be fun for the boy. If it isn't fun for him, let him do
something else. Second, Scouting uses the patrol system and focuses its activities
around outdoor challenges. A patrol is as important, as complicated, and requires as
much loyalty as any other team. Finally, Scouting is unique in offering young men the
opportunity to learn and practice leadership in this challenging outdoor environment.

Our ultimate objective for Troop 444 is for the Scouts to run the Troop. We expect
the Scouts to plan their outings, troop meetings, and Patrol Leader Councils with only
the slightest direction from the Scoutmasters.


                                                                                           7
 Fundamentally, it is our expectation that all Scouts will attend all Troop outings and
activities unless they have a conflict with school, athletic, religious, or formal
family obligations. We hope the parents and Scouts, in understanding our objectives
and the importance of the whole group participating, will make every effort to attend
Troop outings and activities. The quality of Troop 444's programs will be directly
proportional to the active participation of its members.


Attendance Requirements for Leadership Positions
 For the Ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle - there is a leadership requirement that is, in
part, to "serve actively for a period of 4 to 6 months" in one or more of a defined list of
leadership positions. In Troop 444, we have defined active as fulfilling the position
responsibilities as written and signed as well as attending during each month, the major
activity for that month - no credit will be earned for any month in which the activity is
missed. Under unusual circumstances a Scout may request for an exception to the rule
from the Scoutmaster. (Note: Den Chiefs are required to attend Troop activities to fulfill
the "be active in your troop and patrol" requirement.) Under this policy, candidates for
youth leadership positions are asked to commit in advance to attending the scheduled
activities. If a Patrol Leader cannot make an outing we will endeavor to have the
Assistant Patrol Leader take charge and give the Assistant Patrol Leader the leadership
credit for that month. During the summer months, leadership credit is earned only for
those positions that are "active" during a given month.


Attendance for Advancement in Rank
Advancement in rank generally requires that a Scout be active in his Troop. It is Troop
444's policy that a Scout attends at least 70 percent of the Troop activities and all of the
required activities for the specified time period that pertains to the particular rank they
are achieving, which is noted in the Boy Scout Handbook. Under unusual circumstances
a Scout who has missed an activity may request for an exception to the rule from the
Scoutmaster.


Scout Responsibilities
Troop 444 expects reasonable behavior in accordance with the Scout Oath and Law. All
Adults and Scouts participating in Troop 444 activities will abide by BSA policies and
procedures and the Troop 444 By-Laws. In this section are a number of items that
discuss what Troop 444 expects of a Scout in terms of his behavior. These items
provide a clear set of expectations for each Scout and adult. The personal discipline
needed to fulfill these Scout responsibilities will result in tremendous personal growth.
As the Scout grows physically, mentally, and emotionally, he will have opportunities in
Scouting to channel those changes into productive endeavors.
Remember our Troop is only as good as its reputation!




                                                                                           8
RESPONSIBLE TO: Each Scout is responsible to any, or all, of the following - his
Patrol, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior
Patrol Leader, other boy leaders, Assistant Scoutmasters, Scoutmaster, and all
members of the Troop Committee.

Behavior problems can be either discipline or attitude related. We try to handle most
behavior problems within the Troop structure, but there are times when we will contact
parents about a problem. These times may include incidents that we feel are too serious
to deal with on a Troop level, or repeated occurrences of the same problem. At those
times we will contact the Scout’s parents to have them discuss the problem with
us. On campouts or other non-meeting events, the parents will be called and told to
come and take their son home.

Beyond that, we also have some behavior guidelines for both meetings and campouts.


AT TROOP MEETINGS:
The leadership of Troop 444 tries to provide safe, fun, and educational Troop meetings
every week. Every Scout is asked to observe the following for the good of all members:
         Be on time, Troop meetings start promptly at 6:30 PM, which means that you
         are with your patrol, quiet, and ready to start at that time.
         Participate in every activity offered to you. If you don’t like an activity, you
         need to contact your Patrol Leader (PL) and let him know so your voice will
         be heard in the Patrol Leader Council (PLC).
         Be attentive, which means pay attention to the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL),
         your Patrol Leader, program instructors, and adult leaders.
         Be cooperative. If asked to do something (within reason), do it. If asked not to
         do something, don’t do it.
         Don’t harass or hassle other Scouts, adult leaders, or instructors.
         Do not use inappropriate language. Words that are offensive to others or
         “unclean” are not tolerated.
         There is no hazing, rough housing, bullying, etc. by anyone to anyone at any
         time. Immediate action will be taken to eliminate the problem. Depending on
         the severity, you could be asked to leave the Troop.
         Unless you have specific permission, do not touch, use, or take anything that
         does not belong to you (other people’s stuff).
         Bring only Scout or meeting program related items with you to Troop
         meetings. Trading cards, toys, games, radios, skate boards, and other non-
         Scout related items are not allowed and may be confiscated until the end of
         the meeting, if they pose a problem
         We also must remember that we are guests in the church building and are
         only permitted in, and allowed to use, certain parts of it. Troop 444 is
         responsible for the building and any damage to the building and its contents
         while we are using it.




                                                                                         9
All Scouts are expected to adhere to the following rules concerning the church
building:
       If you arrive when no adult leaders are present and the building happens to be
       unlocked, DO NOT ENTER!
       No food or drinks are allowed; they will be taken from you and thrown away.
       If you track mud/dirt into the building please let an adult leader know so that it is
       cleaned up (you will be responsible for clean-up).
       Horseplay will not be tolerated.
       After each meeting or event make sure to clean/straighten up the room(s) that we
       used, picking up all trash (ours or not ours) and putting furniture back in its place.
       No one is allowed to leave the room until the area is policed to the satisfaction of
       the Senior Patrol Leader and/or the adult leader in charge.
If you use the bathroom, do not make a mess. Keep the bathroom facilities clean. An
Adult leader will check the bathroom after every meeting.


ON CAMPING EVENTS
All of the above rules and guidelines apply on camping events with some changes and
additions that are camping specific. These include:
        Arrive on time. Help is always needed to load the equipment prior to our
        departure. Departure times are established in order for the troop to travel safely
        and arrive at the campsite in a reasonable amount of time. If you are unable to
        make the departure time please discuss your problem with the Scoutmaster. If
        we are loaded and ready to go and you are not there at the established time we
        will leave without you.
        You WILL wear a seat belt at all times while traveling no matter what seat you
        are in.
        No one is allowed to ride in the back of pickup trucks at any time, in any place,
        under any circumstances, whatsoever. (Is that clear enough?)
        The driver of the vehicle you are riding in is the dictator of that vehicle. You are a
        guest in their vehicle and proper behavior is expected. Consumption of food or
        beverages in someone’s vehicle is at the discretion of the driver, not the son of
        the driver. Please respect their wishes.
        You WILL be in full uniform (see UNIFORM below) while traveling. If you don’t
        have one on you will be asked to do so. If you don’t have it with you, you will be
        asked to go home and get it. If you don’t get back in time see bullet point #1
        above.
         When we are coming home the same procedure applies.
        You will do as your PL, SPL, other youth leaders, and all adult leaders tell you.
        Troop 444 uses the buddy system. A Scout is not allowed to wander around
        camp without a buddy. During most campouts your buddy is also your tent-mate.
        If you need to go somewhere and you don’t have a buddy please see your Patrol
        Leader, Senior Patrol Leader or an adult leader.
            o DO NOT GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT A BUDDY!
        Each Patrol has a duty roster for campouts. You will do your assigned duties
        promptly; not at the next meal, or the next day, but at the time that you are
        assigned. You will not do anything else until your duties are completed.
                                                                                           10
       Along with bullet point directly above, you will not get in the way of someone else
       doing their assigned duty. Therefore, if you are not a cook for a meal, stay out of
       the cooking area.
       No flames in tents.
           o NO FLAMES OF ANY KIND, IN ANY TENT, AT ANY
           o TIME, IN ANY PLACE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES,
              WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!
           o (Again, clear enough?) This includes matches, cigarette lighters,
           o Open candles, candle lanterns, gas lanterns, stoves of any kind,
           o Heaters, campfires, etc.
       Quiet times are enforced, usually from 10:00 or 11:00 PM until 6:00 or 7:00 AM.
       Usually the Troop leadership enforces them, but when we are in state or federal
       parks the rangers may also enforce this. Quiet time means that you are in your
       tent, asleep. If you are not, you will be warned once, and then sent home. The
       Troop cannot afford to be kicked out of a camping area because of one
       A Scout’s tent is his home on a campout. Just as you wouldn’t go into someone’s
       home without knocking or ringing the bell, you don’t enter someone else’s tent
       without their permission.

SAFETY: The safety of all Scouts in Troop 444 is of primary concern to the Troop
leadership. Some safety items have already been mentioned, but there are a couple
more: Non-folding sheath knives, fireworks, and martial arts weapons (throwing stars,
butterfly knives, nun-chucks, etc.) will not be permitted at any Troop or Patrol functions.
In addition, firearms and archery equipment are allowed only at those events specifically
scheduled for the use of such items, and even then, only under qualified adult
supervision. For more information see the Guide to Safe Scouting.


Use of Electronic Devices
Cell phones are not to be used during meetings and outings. Cell phones should be
either turned off or have ringer disabled. As a courtesy to others, Scouts are not to
answer incoming calls or text messages nor make calls or send outgoing messages
until it is appropriate to do so. Scouts will be required to ask permission from a Leader
or the adult in charge prior to cell phone usage. Good judgment is expected when using
cell phones.

IPods, MP3 players, Game Boys, etc., are permitted while traveling but not at meetings
or outings. Electronics will be allowed for special events and outings. You will be
informed when they are permitted.

The Outdoor Program
Much of Scouting is designed to take place in the outdoors. Therefore, Troop 444 offers
many opportunities for the Scout to participate in activities and outings in the Outdoors.
The outdoor program is where most rank advancement occurs. We ask that you
participate in the outdoor program as much as possible; it is to your benefit. It is our
goal to offer at least one outdoor activity or outing every month along with a one week


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long summer camp and one high adventure trip between Ely, Minnesota canoe base,
Florida Sea Base, and Philmont Scout ranch in New Mexico.


PARTICIPATION: Each Scout should participate in as many Troop and Patrol functions
as possible. This includes Troop meetings, Patrol meetings, campouts, hikes, civic
events, moneymaking projects, and conservation & service projects including Eagle
Scout projects.


Adults on Outings
Here is some information we try to give parents on campouts with the troop.

Camping is the heart of Boy Scouting, so please take a few minutes to read this sheet.
Boy scouting is absolutely different from Cub Scouting or Webelos! And while parents
(and sometimes whole families) often accompany the Scouts on campouts, the Scouts
camp with their patrol and not with their parents and family members.

Scout Tenting & Meals — Scouts tent with their patrol in a patrol site separate from the
other patrols. Patrols plan their own menus, and cook and eat together as a team. In
general, adults do not eat or tent with a boy patrol. Although there a few “exception”
campouts.

Adult Tenting & Meals — Adults tent with the adult patrol in a patrol site separate from
the other patrols. We plan our own menu, and cook and eat together as a team. In
general, adults do not eat or tent with a boy patrol.

Adult/Boy Tenting — BSA youth protection policies forbid an adult and a boy sharing
the same tent, the only exception being a parent.

Smoking/Drinking — Drivers may not smoke while Scouts are in the car. Adults may
not smoke or use tobacco products, nor drink alcoholic beverages during a Scout
activity. Adults who must smoke or chew must do so discretely out of sight of the
Scouts. Adults can never consume alcohol in the presence of Scouts or during Scout
campouts.

Boy Leadership — Adults should not interfere with the functioning of boy leaders, even
if they make mistakes (we all learn best from our mistakes). Step in only if it is a matter
of immediate safety or if the mistake will be immediately costly. If possible,
involve a uniformed adult leader first.

Boy Growth — Never do anything for a boy he can do himself. Let him make
decisions without adult interference, and let him make non-costly mistakes.

Adult Training & Resources — The Boy Scouts of America provides an outstanding
handbook for adults, and an excellent training course to help us understand the goals of
Scouting and how to attain them. The adult manual is called the Scoutmaster
                                                                                         12
Handbook, and it's worth your time to read it. The training is called Scout Leader Basic
Training, and is offered in our area twice a year.


Rationale
Boy Scout camping activities center on the patrol, where boys learn teamwork,
leadership, and most camping skills. It is important that adults not be in the middle of
patrol activities such as site selection, tent pitching, meal preparation, and anything else
where boys get to practice decision-making. A key difference between Boy Scouting
and Cub Scouting/Webelos is leadership. Look for the word "leader" in a job title, and
you will begin to appreciate the difference. The responsible person for a Cub/Webelos
den is the adult Den Leader. The responsible person for a Boy Scout patrol is the boy
Patrol Leader. The responsible person for the Patrols is the Senior Patrol Leader.
This isn't token leadership (like a denner). A Patrol Leader has real authority and
genuine responsibilities. Much of the success, safety, and happiness of six to ten other
boys depend directly on him.

Boy scouting teaches leadership. And boys learn leadership by practicing it, not by
watching adults lead. So what do we adults do, now that we've surrendered so much
direct authority to boys?

Here are our troop's guidelines on the indirect, advisory role you now enjoy (no kidding,
you should enjoy watching your son take progressively more mature and significant
responsibilities as he zooms toward adulthood).

The underlying principle is never doing anything for a boy that he can do himself.
We allow boys to grow by practicing leadership and by learning from their mistakes.
And while Scout skills are an important part of the program, what ultimately matters
when our Scouts become adults is not whether they can use a map & compass, but
whether they can offer leadership to others in tough situations; and can live by a code
that centers on honest, honorable, and ethical behavior. Boys need to learn to make
decisions without adult intervention (except when it's a matter of immediate safety).
Boys are in a patrol so they can learn leadership and teamwork without adult
interference. Being an adult advisor is a difficult role, especially when we are advising
kids (even worse, our own sons).

If a parent goes on a campout, you are an automatic member of our "Pedro" (adult)
patrol. This patrol has several purposes—good food and camaraderie (of course), but
more important is providing an example the boy patrols can follow without our telling
them what to do (we teach by example). Since a patrol should camp as a group, we
expect the "Pedro" to do so also; that way, adults don't tent in or right next to a boy
patrol where your mere presence could disrupt the learning process.

Quite simply, our troop policy requires adults to cook, eat, and tent separately from the
Scouts. We are safely nearby, but not smothering close. Sure, go ahead and visit the
patrol sites (not just your son's), talk to your son (and the other Scouts), ask what's
going on or how things are going. But give the guys room to grow while you enjoy the
                                                                                            13
view. Show a Scout how to do something, but don't do it for him. Avoid the temptation to
give advice, and don't jump in just to prevent a mistake from happening (unless it's
serious). We all learn best from our mistakes. And let the patrol leader lead.

Your job is tough, challenging, and ultimately rewarding, because your son will
be a man the day after tomorrow.


Medications
It is not uncommon for Scouts to require medications. Doctor prescribed medications
required by Scouts will be administered to the Scout by a designated Adult Leader and
will remain with the Adult Leader for the duration of the campout/event. Should the
Scout require medications, these medications should be provided by the
Parent/Guardian to the Campout/Event Troop Leadership. MEDICATIONS MUST BE
PROVIDED IN THE ORIGINAL PHARMACY CONTAINERS and where necessary-
should include written instructions along with the medication.

Medication containers should be placed in a Clear Plastic / Sealable storage bag /
container and should include the Scout’s name and phone number of the
Parent/Guardian.


Boy Scout Rank Advancement
Four basic steps lead to Boy Scout Rank advancement:
       A Scout learns. He practices or learns the required skills.
       A Scout is tested. At his own pace, when he is ready, a Scoutmaster or
       Assistant Scoutmaster will evaluate if the requirement is complete. If so, the
       requirement will be signed-off in the Boy Scout Handbook.
       A Scout is reviewed. See Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review below.
       A Scout is recognized. Court of Honor
    .
Scoutmaster Conferences:
To have a Scoutmaster Conference, a Scout must have completed all but the last two
requirements for the rank he is working on. He must then make a request to the
Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conferences. These conferences are generally
conducted outside of Troop meetings. All Scoutmaster conferences except Eagle will
last approximately one hour. Eagle Scoutmaster conferences will last approximately
two hours. Once a date has been determined the Scout is required to be in complete
Class A uniform (including neckerchief and slide), and have his Scout Handbook with
him.


The purpose of a Scoutmaster conference is:
      Assesses if the Scout has completed all requirement and is ready for
      advancement
      For the Scout and Scoutmaster to get to know each other a little better, the Scout
      ask questions

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        To determine what the Scout’s goals are and how the Troop can help
        Suggestions for Troop or Scoutmaster improvements that the Scout might have

Boards of Review: Boards of Review (BOR) are held the 1st Thursday of the month.
Once a Scout has completed his Scoutmaster Conference he should contact the
Advancement Coordinator to schedule an Advancement Board of Review. Scouts must
request a Board of Review 10 days prior to the BOR date. Once a date has been
determined the Scout is required to be in complete Class A uniform (including
neckerchief and slide), have his Scout Handbook with him and have received sign
off on the Scoutmaster Conference. The Troop Committee or Advancement Coordinator
may also call boards of Review for Scouts who are not advancing in rank.


Advancement Program
Advancement through the ranks is one of the most important parts of Scouting. The extent to which a
boy participates in the advancement program largely governs the benefit he gains from membership
and the length of time he stays in Scouting. Boys join the Troop as a Scout and then advance through the
ranks in the following order:

Tenderfoot
Second Class
First Class
Star
Life
Eagle

Parents Note: Parents are cautioned, however, that advancement should not
become the sole reason a parent keeps a Scout in Scouting. Parents should
encourage their son to make advancement in Scouting his own personal goal,
rather than his parents' goal. Scouts, not parents, should make the routine telephone calls to
Youth Leaders, Troop Leaders, and Merit Badge Counselors concerning advancement, appointments,
and attendance. Part of the Scouting experience is for the Scouts to learn how to deal with adults. For
some further thoughts on this topic, please refer to the "Expectations for Potential Eagle Scouts"
following this section.

New Scouts: Scouting has determined that if a boy reaches the First Class rank within
the first twelve months after he has joined the Troop, he is likely to stay in Boy Scouting
longer. The Scout will also benefit and enjoy his Scouting experience more if this
objective is attained. Keeping this in mind, our goal is for Scouts crossing into the Troop
in March to attain their Tenderfoot by June, Second Class by November or December,
and First Class between March and June of the following year. This time frame gives
ample time for each Scout to master skills and satisfy requirements for advancement in
rank.




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Merit Badges
Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as
they earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may
earn any merit badge at any time. You don’t need to have had rank advancement to be
eligible.

Troop 444 maintains a library of Merit Badge pamphlets and a list of Merit Badge
Counselors for the Ishkote District of Rainbow Council. Scouts should contact the Troop
Librarian or Advancement Chair for assistance and sign-out policy regarding booklets
and finding a local counselor. Families are encouraged to donate used Merit Badge
pamphlets to the Troop 444 library. Merit badge pamphlets may be purchased at The
Chalkboard or online at www.scoutstuff.org.

Pick a Subject. Talk to your Scoutmaster about your interests. Read the requirements
of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one to earn. Your Scoutmaster
can provide you with a list of merit badge counselors. These counselors have special
knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you. You must
have a merit badge counselor before beginning to work on a badge, and the counselor
must come from your Scoutmaster’s list.

Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with
the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or
guardian, a brother or sister, a relative, or a friend.

Call the Counselor. Get a signed merit badge application (blue card) from your
Scoutmaster. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you
want to earn the merit badge.

Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an
appointment to meet the requirements. When you go, take along the things you have
made in your effort to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures
or have an adult tell, in writing, what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do
each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the
things required.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement,
he or she will sign your blue card. The counselor may keep 1/3 of the blue card. Give
the remaining 2/3 of the signed blue card to your Scoutmaster, to be signed. Merit
badge blue cards must then be turned in to the advancement Coordinator 10 days prior
a Court of Honor in order to be received at that Court of Honor.

After the Scout has completed all the requirements the counselor signs the blue card.
He or she will keep the Counselor's section and return the rest of the card to the Scout.
At the next Troop meeting, the Scout should give the card to the Advancement
Chairperson. The Scout may receive the Merit Badge as early as the next Troop
meeting. The Certificate card will be presented to the Scout at the next scheduled Court

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of Honor. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the Scout keeps these documents in a SAFE
place.


Leadership
Boy Led Troop
One of the ultimate aims of the Boy Scouts of America is to provide quality leadership
for our nation. Therefore, Troop 444 is a "boy run" Troop - meaning that the Patrol
Leaders’ Council (which comprises scouts elected by their fellow scouts into positions of
responsibility) runs the Troop and makes all-important decisions.

Each Scout who has been elected or assigned a "Position of Leadership" shall know
their specific responsibilities. If those responsibilities are not fulfilled, there will be a
formal warning between the Scout Master, Assistant Scout Master, and the Scout
(parents contacted). Upon a second formal meeting, the Scout will be removed from his
position.


Service Projects
Scouts shall participate in a service project not normally expected of a boy as part of his
religious or school activities. The work may be done by the Scout alone, or with other
Scouts, his Patrol or Troop. The service should not be part of a project the Scout is
already doing outside of Scouting. The idea is to get the Scout to do things not normally
expected of him as a Troop member or as a member of his family. He should be
reaching out in new ways to help others. Upon completion, a signed description of the
project should be submitted to the Scoutmaster.

All service projects must be pre-approved by the Scoutmaster. Pre-approval is
particularly important when a Scout who are First Class (going for Star rank) and Star
rank (going for Life rank). The Scoutmaster, in the Scout Handbook prior to the
Scoutmaster conference, must sign Service project requirements. All volunteer efforts
are worthy and assisting another organization in any manner is great but in order to
qualify for scout service hours must be pre-approved.

Eagle Service Projects are pre-approved by the Scoutmaster as well as Rainbow
council.


Finance
Fundraising
Throughout the year, your scout will have the opportunity to participate in various
fundraising efforts. While it is not mandatory for a scout to fundraise it is recommended.
Fundraising benefits the individual Scout, Troop 444, and Rainbow Council.

Fundraising moneys are used by the Troop to pay for leadership training for Scouts and
adult leaders. It is also used to purchase and maintain equipment.


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Scout Funds
Scouts that participate in fundraising efforts will be issued a scout account. Fundraising
profits will be added to a scouts account based on individual sales. Money in a scout’s
account may be used only for camps, event fees, scout uniforms, scout related
equipment (must present receipts for reimbursement), and yearly dues.

It is extremely important for you to communicate with your scout about events and or
camps he has signed up for. If a scout signs up for an event or camp, which requires a
payment and does not participate, the money for that event/camp will still be deducted
from your scout account. If no funds are available in the scout account you will be
expected to pay out of pocket for the fees due.

Any Scout transferring to another BSA Troop may request the transfer of his scout fund
to the Troop. The request must be submitted in writing to the Troop 444 Treasurer and
must include:
       The new Troop number and Council
       The new Troop Treasurer’s name and address
       A Statement acknowledging transfer of the Scout into the new Troop signed by
       the new Scoutmaster.

The scout fund balance will be forwarded directly to the new Troop Treasurer. In no
event will a direct payment to the transferring scout be made.

Attainment of Eighteenth Birthday
Upon the attainment of the eighteenth birthday the balance of funds (after any
deductions for any financial obligations) will be transferred to the Troops General Fund.

Termination
In the event of termination of the Scout, whether voluntary or involuntary, any balance
remaining in the Scout fund is forfeited and will be transferred to the Troops General
Fund.


Campout Food Allowance
The food expense allowance for weekend campouts will be $15.00 per scout or adult
leader. Receipts must be turned in to the Treasurer. No additional amounts will be
reimbursed unless approved by the Troop Committee.




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Participation Contract
Troop 444 of the Boy Scouts of America provides a very high quality program of
Scouting adventure and activities. In order to accomplish the Troop's programs and
goals in the best Scouting tradition, it is important that all Scouts understand and
acknowledge certain Troop standards as an ongoing obligation. By signing below each
Scout (with the support of his Parents or Guardians) acknowledges and agrees to the
following:

      That he has read and understands the Troop 444 Guide.

      That he will abide by the Troop 444 Guide.

      That he will abide by the Scout Oath, Scout Law and the Outdoor Code.

      That he will support the program of leadership from his peers.

      That he will do his best to comply with the policies of Troop 444.

      That he understands and will abide by the rules on using knives, axes and saws
      and will use them only if he has attained the rank of First Class (or above) or has
      a Tote N' Chip card.

      That he will support the Troop and Patrol program in Troop 444 by actively
      participating with his Patrol in activities.

      If applicable, as a Youth Leader, he must be an example to follow and must
      attend all Troop activities possible.


Date: ______________________

Scout (Print):______________________

Scout (Signed):______________________

Parent/Guardian (Print):______________________

Parent/Guardian (Signed):______________________




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