All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind are convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.
Welcome to the Boy Scouts of America! By becoming the parent of a Boy Scout, you are setting your son out on the grand adventure of Scouting. This is a tremendously important and rewarding endeavor that you will be able to share with him. What is it all about? What will you be expected to do? What does it cost? We have prepared this section to answer these questions. The following pages describe the organization of a Troop and the advancement pattern that each boy will follow. Reading this will help you understand how your boy can progress through the ranks with your help. It will help you understand how you can help and what the various adult volunteers are doing to help the Troop.
What is it all about?
There are three aims to Scouting:
Aim I : To build character
Aim II : To foster citizenship
Aim III : To develop fitness
These three ideals are the bedrock of the American Scouting movement that represents the long-term outcomes we want for every boy. It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people, and in other ways to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential.The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Boy Scout Oath and Law.
Scout Law: A Scout is:
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help others people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Since 1910, these principles have been taught in an atmosphere of recreation and fun that allow young people to develop self-confidence, leadership, and moral character. More and more men, trained as Scouts, are taking their places in today's world as responsible adult leaders. Men who earned badges as Scouts sit on the Supreme Court and in both chambers of Congress. Others hold important offices in government, business, and industry. In fact most of the members of Congress were Scouts, as well as most of the astronauts who have walked on the moon.
The long list of famous Scouts includes:
- President John F. Kennedy
- President Gerald Ford (Eagle Scout)
- J. William Marriott, Jr. (Eagle Scout) : President, Marriott Corp.
- Sam M. Walton (Eagle Scout) : Former Chairman and CEO, Walmart
- Steven Spielberg (Eagle Scout)
- Neil Armstrong (Eagle Scout) : First man on the moon
- William C. Devires (Eagle Scout) : Transplanted first artificial heart
- Barber B. Conable (Eagle Scout) : President, World Bank
The Boys Scouts of America is the largest youth oriented organization in the United States. More than 4 million boys and leaders are currently registered in the Boys Scouts of America. Unlike Cub Scouting which many of you are familiar with, Boy Scouting is a youth-lead organization. The boys learn how to organize and lead the Troop. After training, and with supervision from the adult leaders, the boys run the show.The boys in the Troop will be working towards their 1st class and ultimately their Eagle ranks. As they travel on their trail to Eagle they will not only learn how to lead a team to a goal, but they will actually lead teams of Scouts in a number of situations. Many Eagle Scouts put their accomplishments on their resumes and find they are often considered in obtaining acceptance into college or the work force. Boy Scouting also provides for growth of moral strength and character, teaches citizenship, and enhances the development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. This is all done in the spirit of fun and adventure.Please take a few minutes to turn to Page 1 of your son's Boy Scout Handbook and read: Adventure, learning, challenge, responsibility : the promises of Scouting are all this and more. Are you ready for the adventure to begin? Then turn the page and let's get started.
At first, the size and active nature of the Troop may be a bit overwhelming to new Scouts and Scout Parents. However, it's our intent to acclimate you quickly to the Troop program, immediately immerse new Scouts in Scouting activities, and do everything possible to assist in becoming part of the Troop 765 Scouting family. To get both Scouts and Scout Parents off on the right foot, the following summarizes the basic information you need to get started:
Troop 765 meets Sunday nights in the McCauley Center under St. Michael Church. Meetings begin promptly at 7:00 PM and last typically until 8:30 PM. At times, PLC meetings, and merit badge sessions are conducted prior to the Troop meeting, usually beginning at 6:00 PM. The Troop meets every Sunday, unless otherwise indicated.
It is our hope that every young man joining Troop 765 finds the program interesting and fun, and looks forward to becoming an active member of the Scouting program. We encourage each boy to meet the following recommended guidelines to maintain their position as an active Scout in Troop 765:
1. Attend 75% of Troop meetings. Troop meeting participation is essential to help the Scout build Scouting skills, plan upcoming activities, learn to work as a Patrol, and provide an opportunity for leadership. (If for some reason a Scout cannot meet these guidelines he should communicate with the Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster).
2. Attend 50% of Troop 765 overnight campouts. (This does not include summer camps. All boys are encouraged to attend summer camp, but this is not mandatory.) Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that the skills and activities learned and practiced at Troop meetings come alive with a purpose. Activities and outings are planned to provide an opportunity to develop Scouting skills and to meet the many requirements for rank advancement. (Again, if for some reason a Scout cannot meet these guidelines he should communicate with the Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster).
Troop 765 requires all Scouts to wear Field or Class A uniform to all Troop meetings, campouts, and when the Troop is traveling to, or from, any event. Class A uniform for our Troop consists of the official Scout shirt, Scout pants, Scout socks, and Scout belt. Troop 765 does not routinely wear neckerchiefs, although they are required for the more official occasions such as Court of Honors, and for a Board of Review. The Scout uniform helps to achieve the objectives of Scouting. The uniform by itself cannot make a good Scout or a good Troop, but its use has been proven to improve both the Scout and the Troop because it is a visible symbol of Scouting and unity. At times, you'll hear reference to a Class B uniform. Instead of the tan Scout shirt the Troop 765 tee shirt or other approved Scout tee shirt is worn. The Scout may wear the tee shirt to meetings when approved by the Patrol Leaders Council.
The Boy Scout Handbook serves as each boy's guide to rank advancement requirements and the primary reference tool to both the Scouting and life skills embodied in the Scouting program. Scouts are required to have a personal copy of the handbook and should bring it, along with a notebook, and pen to every Scout meeting and outdoor activity.
Upon joining, we ask each Scout Parent to provide some basic medical background about the Scout. Information such as allergies and regularly ingested medications are important issues for Troop leaders, especially when camping with new Scouts. The BSA Class 3 medical form is used to compile this information, and a copy of the form is included with your introductory materials.
Scouting is Outing!
Take the outing out of Scouting and you have nothing. Troop 765 maintains a year-round program that involves a weekend outing each month of the year. Parents should check the calendar of upcoming events on this site. Boys are reminded about the outings at the meetings and should sign up 2 to 3 weeks prior to the event so appropriate arrangements can be made.
Troop 765 is a boy-run troop. Leadership is one of the key characteristics Scouting strives to develop in every young man, and every boy is provided an opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership. Meetings are planned and conducted by the Patrol Leaders' Council and the Patrol Leader assigns patrol activities. The Troop is divided into several patrols. The patrols generally consist of Scouts of similar age. For the most part, Scouts may stay in the same patrol throughout their Scouting career. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps the boy accept the leadership of others and helps him to grow into a more responsible adult.
The Chartered Organization
Your troop is owned by the chartered organization which receives a national charter yearly to use the Scouting program as a part of its youth work. These chartered organizations, which have goals compatible with those of the Boy Scouts of America, include religious, educational, civic, fraternal, business, labor, governmental bodies, and professional associations. Each chartered organization using the Scouting program provides a meeting place, selects a Scoutmaster, appoints a troop committee of at least three adults, and chooses a chartered organization representative.
The Troop Committee
The Troop Committee is the Troop's Board of Directors supporting the Troop Program and handling troop administration. The structure of our Troop Committee includes the positions of Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Outdoor Activity Coordinator, Advancement, Chaplin, Training, Equipment Coordinator, and Hospitality. A full description of the Troop Committee, its roles and responsibilities can be found in the Troop Committee Guidebook.
The Scoutmaster is the adult leader responsible for the image and program of the Troop. The Scoutmaster and his Assistant Scoutmasters work directly with the Scouts. The general responsibilities of the Scoutmaster include:
- Train and guide boy leaders
- Work with other adult leaders to bring Scouting to boys
- Use the methods of Scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting.
Assistant Scoutmasters are selected by the Scoutmaster and assist the Scoutmaster in the operation of the Troop. Assistant Scoutmasters are assigned program tasks by the Scoutmaster and provide guidance to the boy leadership. They also provide the required two deep leadership (two adult leaders present at every Boy Scout activity).
Senior Patrol Leader
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the boy leader in the Troop. He leads the Patrol Leaders' Council and, in consultation with the Scoutmaster, appoints other junior leaders and assigns specific responsibilities as needed.
The Patrol Leaders (PL) are responsible for giving leadership to the members of their patrols. They provide representation on the Patrol Leaders' Council. The PL is also responsible for working with their patrol and troop to coordinate the arrangements for any Troop events assigned to their patrol.
Assistant Patrol Leaders
Assistant Patrol Leaders help the PL run the patrol and fill in for him in his absence.
Patrol Advisors are adults assigned to each patrol to help direct and train patrol leaders in their leadership roles.
They oversee the continual progress of Scouts in that patrol toward their rank advancements.
Troop Organization Advancement
There are many definitions of advancement, but the Scouting definition might well be the art of meeting a challenge. For that is exactly what the Boy Scout advancement program asks the boys to do. The Boy Scout advancement program provides a ladder of skills that a Scout climbs at his own pace. As he acquires these skills he moves up through a series of ranks, for which he is awarded badges: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. The higher he climbs the more challenging his tasks : and the more rewarding.
- Learning skills that qualify for Scouting's more rugged and exciting outdoor challenges.
- Developing body and mind, growing self-confidence, and helping younger Scouts climb the advancement ladder.
- Discovering how it feels to go further : in so many ways : than he ever thought he could.
We don't look at advancement as a goal, but as a natural outcome of a planned, quality Troop program.
There are four steps of advancement:
- The Scout learns.
- The Scout is tested.
- The Scout is reviewed.
- The Scout is recognized.
Advancement through First Class
From the time the Scout enters the Troop through the time he earns advancement to First Class, he is learning basic Scouting skills to enable him to camp, swim, hike, cook, tie knots, administer first aid, and perform other tasks in the outdoors and to work as a member of a team. With those first steps the Scouts begin to build themselves physically, mentally, and morally. He will start to live the Scout Oath and Law. Soon he will learn the symbolism inherent in the Scout badge; he will learn that there are three points of the trefoil, which stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: Duty to God and country, duty to others, and duty to himself. Our goal is for every Scout to achieve the rank of First Class within his first year in the Troop. This is a sign that the Scout has mastered the fundamentals of Scouting and can begin to start the long process of learning to lead others, refining the learned skills, and learning additional skills.
Advancement from First Class to Eagle
From the achievement of First Class through Eagle, the Scout will be demonstrating leadership, performing service projects, earning merit badges, and using the skills learned while achieving the rank of First Class.
The next ranks he will earn are Star and Life. These ranks are harder to obtain than the earlier ranks, but are also more interesting for the older Scouts. Upon completion of all the requirements for Star and Life, the Scout will be eligible to work for Eagle. The original principals, the Scout Oath and Law now have fuller meaning for the Scout and their understanding of them is much greater. The final steps towards Eagle are filled with leadership experiences. Details for the advancement requirements associated with each rank are contained in the Boy Scout Handbook.
The goal of the merit badge program is to expand a Scout's areas of interest and to encourage the Scout to meet and work with adults in a chosen subject. A Scout working with a registered merit badge counselor earns merit badges. The Scout is required to contact the counselor to arrange for times and places to meet with the counselor. The Scout is required to request a blue card from the Scoutmaster for the badge work. The merit badge counselor will sign the card as individual requirements for the badge are completed. After the badge is completed the card is given to the Troop Committee member responsible for rank advancement.
Boards of Review
When a Scout has completed all the requirements for a rank, he appears before the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference. Upon successful completion of the conference a Board of Review composed of members of the Troop Committee is scheduled for the scout. The purpose of the conference and review is not an examination. Rather it is to determine the Scout's attitude and acceptance of Scouting's ideals; to ensure that the requirements have been met for advancement, to discuss the Scout's experiences in the Troop and the Troop's program, and to encourage him to keep working towards advancement. A Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review may also be held to counsel a boy about his lack of progress toward advancement.
Advancement Presentation and Courts of Honor
Immediate recognition best characterizes the manner in which Troop 765 presents merit badges and rank advancement to its Scouts. Typically, every Scout will be presented advancements on the Wednesday evening after he either successfully passes a Board of Review or has completed the appropriate merit badge requirements. Troop 765 conducts a formal Court of Honor each quarter to formally recognize the achievements of all the Scouts during the previous three months. The Court of Honor is a public ceremony for the parents and all other interested individuals to attend.
Troop Advancement Procedures
We encourage all boys to proceed in Scouting at their own pace with guidance from our leaders and patrol advisors. Each new boy is also assigned a mentor (older Scout) to assist in the process. Each boy must demonstrate his skill and knowledge of each new rank requirement prior to seeking approver's initials. Each boy should seek a qualified leader or senior Scout to which he can demonstrate his new skills and obtain approval for satisfactory completion of the requirement. After all requirements for a given rank are completed and properly signed, the Scout should with the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference. The Scoutmaster Conference is a meeting each boy has with the Scoutmaster where the Scout's progress and future goals are discussed to ensure he is ready for a Board of Review. Once having received the approval of the Scoutmaster, the Scout needs to request a Board of Review. He will then be contacted for the time and date of the review. Boards of Review are typically held once a month during the weekly Troop meeting. On the evening of the review, the Scout must be dressed in full Class A uniform or field dress including neckerchief and have his handbook with him. The Scout's uniform must be in proper order with current rank badge and troop/council insignias in place. During the Board of Review, the Scout will be interviewed by three members of the Troop who will ask questions about his learning since joining the Scouting program. If skills and knowledge are successfully demonstrated during the BOR, the three-member panel will recommend that the boy receive his rank advancement. If additional work effort or preparation is required by the Scout, the panel will discuss their
findings with the boy and ask him to reschedule another Board of Review at a later date. Parents are encouraged to monitor merit badge progress and are asked to counsel their son to pursue Eagle Scout required merit badges over time, rather than putting them off and slowing their Scouting progress.
Scouting, like many other activities pursued by young men lately, does have some fees associated with participation. Troop 765 strives to keep Scouting as affordable as possible. Troop dues are $10.00 per month and are collected in $60.00 increments, in April and October. This and the money raised from troop fundraisers pay for the operation of the troop as well as our troop equipment. Each new scout is set up with his own scout account and money he earns via fundraisers is placed into that account. Each boy is assessed $15.00 for each campout that he attends plus any cost during the campout. Fundraisers that require troop participation are
split 50/50 between the troop and the scouts. Those that do not, such as Popcorn Sales, receive 100% into their scout account. These accounts can be used to pay dues, camp fees, scout trips, or anything else that involves scouting and our Troop.
Scouting is effective whenever we take advantage of its truth: The place where Scouting works best is also the place that the boys want most : the outdoors. There are a number of good reasons why the outdoor program
is so special; here are the four that are especially good:
- The outdoors is the best place to learn outdoor skills (cooking on a campfire, swimming, etc.)
- The outdoors is a great place for learning about living with others. When Scouts walk on the same trail, eat together, and share triumphs and troubles together, they learn some important things about patience, respect for other's viewpoints, and sharing. This is a learning process for all boys. Skills like these are among the personal growth skills we want from every Scout.
- On the trail or in camp, the boy's leaders will be challenged by the real thing : getting their patrols fed and sheltered, keeping them warm and safe, solving the problems they can, and knowing when to seek help. It's a time when leadership skills can deepen, patrols grow closer, and the troop grows together.
- The outdoors is also a place where a Scout can get closer to nature. He will learn the outdoor code : the understanding and respect for the environment we all share, and develop an active concern for its health and a willingness to keep it healthy.
Parents are encouraged to attend the outdoor events. The Troop generally offers a mix of events each year including rappelling, canoeing, hiking, biking, and 4 season camping.
High Adventure Activities
In recent years, the Troop has organized some special Scouting opportunities for older, more experienced members of the Troop. These outings, often called high adventure, are provided so older Scouts can continue to be challenged in their Scouting skills. Seabase in the Florida Keys, Northern Tier in Canada, and backpacking in New Mexico at Philmont are three such experiences. Upcoming adventures include: White Water Rafting in West Virginia, and Snow Skiing at Snow Shoe in West Virginia.
What to bring on a Campout:
- Sleeping bag rated for the season
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Clothes (items depending on the length First Aid Kit of stay, season, and environment)
- Scout knife
- Mess kit, cup, and cutlery
- Towel and washcloth
- Insect Repellent
- Boy Scout Handbook
If you missed the last one ALWAYS bring the Boy Scout Handbook.
Note: A complete list of personal as well as group overnight camping gear can be found on Pages 224-227 of the Boy Scout Handbook.