TROOP 135/235 BSA
Troop Handbook (Digital Edition)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Scout Uniform 5
Camping Supplies and Sources 6
Weekend Camping Packing List 10
Troop Camp-out Procedures and Guidelines 11
Parental Support of the Troop 13
Advancement Program 15
Eagle Scout Program 18
Outdoor Program 19
Service to Others 20
Troop Organization 22
Troop Leadership Positions 24
Leadership Requirements and Procedures 27
Troop Discipline Policy 28
Fees, Fundraising, and Meetings 30
Welcome to Troop 135/235. We have prepared this booklet to help Scouts and Scout Families understand how our Troop operates. Nothing presented herein is intended to conflict with the policies and practices of the Connecticut Yankee Council or the Boy Scouts of America. This booklet is not intended to replace any official publications of the Boy Scouts of America.
Scouts should refer to the current edition of the Scout Handbook for a thorough explanation of all rank and advancement requirements. Additional guidance is available from the Scoutmaster Handbook, Guide to Safe Scouting, BSA Insignia Guide, and current versions of the various Merit Badge Booklets, among other official BSA publications.
The safety and security of our scouts are vitally important to us. This Troop strives to operate its active outdoor program in a safe and conscientious manner. The assistance and support of all Parents is important to us. We invite comments and questions concerning this Handbook and any Troop operation.
Mission of the BSA
The mission of the BSA is to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Goals of Troop 135/235
Troop 135/235 is dedicated to providing a safe and fun program of service to others, leadership development, and outdoor high adventure to its youth members, based on the values contained in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Our goal is to offer a program based on the philosophy of “scouts leading scouts” using the Patrol Method of organization.
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
The scout uniform is an important part of scouting. It signifies who we are as an organization, and what each of our roles is within the Troop. For this reason, the Troop requires that each scout have a full uniform and wear it correctly. If a family cannot afford a uniform, scholarships are available from the Troop Committee. Speak with the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman. Please note that each Scout is required to have a Scout Handbook, which should be brought to all meetings and campouts (unless otherwise specified by the SM).
Class A Uniform
The Class A uniform is worn at all meetings, special events and while traveling as a unit. It includes:
Scout uniform pants/shorts. (No Jeans or Camouflage)
Scout belt (web or leather).
Short or long sleeve tan scout shirt with “135/235” numerals, US flag, council patch, and green shoulder loops. Rank patch on the left pocket.
Troop 135/235 neckerchief with slide or BSA approved bolo. All Scouts and Scouters are given a Troop 135/235 neckerchief upon achieving the rank of Scout.
Any BSA cap or Troop 135/235 cap (Optional)
Full Class A Uniform
The "Full" Class A uniform is mandatory for all Scoutmaster Conferences, Boards of Review*, and Courts of Honor. The Troop committee requires that each Scout appear before the Board of Review in a clean Full Class A Uniform*. The Full Class A uniform includes all of the above plus:
Merit Badge sash (when more than six Merit Badges have been earned)
Class B Uniform
The Class B uniform is used at camp, camp-outs and other specified events. Unless a Class B uniform is specified, a Scout should appear in a Class A uniform. The Class B uniform consists of:
Scout uniform shorts or pants, blue jeans are discouraged.
Troop 135/235 T-shirt or other BSA T-shirt. Troop T-Shirts can be purchased from the troop.
Any BSA cap or Troop 135/235 cap optional but encouraged
Camping Supplies and Sources
When outfitting a new Scout, you are faced with buying a lot of equipment within a short period of time. Shop around and buy wisely. Additionally, postpone equipment purchases until your scout demonstrates to you that s/he is committed to Scouting – not all Scouts that join stay in Scouts. Consider renting or borrowing equipment. Here are a few suggestions:
A backpack is not needed until the program indicates that we will be backpacking. An old duffel bag or sports bag will work fine until then.
A daypack will likely be needed for many trips, including day hikes, camporees, Klondike Derby, etc. It should be big enough to carry a lunch bag, water bottle, scout handbook, jacket, and gloves, for example. A “book bag” may be adequate, but remember, it will likely get dirty, wet, and beaten up.
The Troop will supply all of the tents and tarps for camping. We recommend that you not buy your Scout a tent. S/He will not be able to use it on any Troop outing. Only Scouts who are Star Rank or above will be allowed to use their own tents.
Acquire equipment slowly, as needed. Scout equipment makes great gifts.
We camp 12 months a year. Make sure equipment is good for all seasons.
Talk with the older Scouts and adults on what equipment they have found to be the best. Try to avoid buying "gadgets" with minimal benefits.
Buy Quality once, Cheap twice. Try to buy good quality equipment, they last longer. You may buy items again if at first you get the low cost, low feature items
Required Items for New Scouts
Dinnerware Plastic or Lexan kits are light and durable and don’t transfer heat like metal. You will need a plate, bowl with flat bottom and a plastic mug. Make sure that the cup has a handle for hot liquids.
Utensils Knife, fork, and spoon (stainless steel or Lexan). Do not bring plastic picnic utensils; bring utensils that can take rough treatment.
Canteen It is highly recommended that you purchase Nalgene brand one liter bottles. Do not buy metal canteens, as they bend and are too heavy for hiking or backpacking.
Sleeping Bag Know your needs before you buy. Understand the temperature rating of the bag. Down bags are NOT recommended due to the fact that they do not insulate when wet, (fact: it rains on 50% of all Scout camping trips). Synthetic bags are much better. You will also need a stuff sack. Roll the bag and wrap it in a strong, large plastic bag (leaf bag) and then stuff into the sack. It's no fun sleeping in a wet bag.
Sleeping Pad A pad is used to insulate the camper and sleeping bag from the earth. It is not used for comfort. More body heat is lost to the earth than to the air. A lightweight foam pad will work. Pack it in a plastic bag to keep it dry.
Rain Gear Nylon suits that stuff into small bags are ideal. They are lightweight, cover well in driving rainstorms, and will be less likely to overheat than plastic suits, and they are not too costly. Do not buy a poncho; it won’t keep you dry if it is windy.
Knife Swiss Army knifes are in vogue. Do not buy one with too many gadgets. They just add weight. A can opener is the most useful item after the knife blade. An official BSA knife is always acceptable. Tie a colored cord around the knife to distinguish it as yours and help you to find it when you drop it. BSA does not allow sheath knives.
Headlamp It should be waterproof and sturdy, as it will be dropped (many times). Make sure you have and carry spare batteries and/or a spare headlamp.
Compass A low cost but reliable compass ($20-$50) is essential for every Scout. Tie a colored cord around the compass to distinguish it as yours and help you to find it when you drop it. Silva is a great brand.
First Aid Kit The Scout Handbook lists the essential parts of a personal first aid kit. It should be brought on each trip.
Hiking Boots WELL BROKEN IN waterproof shoes or boots. It’s no fun breaking in boots on a ten-mile hike. High tops or hiking boots offer the best ankle support.
Socks Socks are one of the most overlooked items on camp-outs (sometimes forgotten altogether). Polypropylene sock liners are a must for long hikes or cold weather camping. The liner "wicks" sweat away from the foot avoiding blisters and frostbite. Make sure that enough socks are packed for a trip, plus extras. Cotton socks cause frozen feet in winter and blisters in summer. Stay away from Cotton socks.
Camp Stool This optional item quickly becomes a necessity. .
Please label every item that a Scout owns, with either the Scout’s last name, or initials. It will make lost items easier to return and allow a Scout to “find” his pack, sleeping bag, flashlight, mess kit, etc. during a camping trip, before the items become lost.
Internal frame packs are currently popular, but it has been our experience that external frame packs are better suited for our trips. Ask other Scouts and Scouters for their opinions and have your scout try on other Scout’s packs. A good retailer will be helpful in selecting and properly adjusting a pack.
Beginners The pack should fit the Scout NOW. Buying one to "grow into" will result in VERY uncomfortable hiking. Good youth packs include the Coleman Peak I compact frame pack, BSA pack, Teton Scout 3400 and Kelty youth pack. The hip belt should fit snugly. You can get the hip belt modified at an upholstery shop if it is too big. Be sure it has a sternum strap. Our experience has shown that they fit the younger Scouts for a number of years. It will also hold more than they need to carry. Generally, you can carry 20% of your body weight comfortably.
Old Timers Know your needs before you buy and research the options. You can spend a lot of money without getting a lot of use or benefit. Good fit is the most important part of any purchase.
Pack Cover It covers the backpack when hiking and will help keep the contents dry and the pack light. A plastic lawn/leaf bag is a great, low cost, alternative.
Cold Weather Gear
Socks and underwear are the key items here. Remember the backpacker’s axiom "Cotton Kills!" Synthetic fibers and wool blends retain insulating properties even when wet. Cotton will not! You can wear cotton when sleeping if it is clean and dry, i.e. change into clean socks immediately before retiring for the evening.
Socks Polypropylene liners with 100% wool or other synthetic. Bring one pair for each day, plus one extra pair. Also bring a box of foot powder to help dry and cool your feet.
Clothing Layering is the key here, dress like an onion! Bring clothing that can be layered to provide warmth in changing weather. The outer shell should be wind proof and waterproof. And remember gloves (at least two sets since one pair will often get wet.) Long underwear or sweats are great to sleep in provided they are clean and dry. Bring a set to sleep in, plus a set to wear during the day. Sweat lowers the insulating properties of clothes.
Tents The Troop will supply all tents and ground cloths. That is our policy. A Scout may NOT bring a personal tent until he has earned Star rank.
Stoves, pots, and pans. The Troop provides a patrol box with all necessary cooking equipment.
Equipment Specifically Not Allowed on Troop Outings
Liquid fuel equipment (stoves, lanterns, etc.) unless instructed to by leadership for hiking.
The Troop uses propane stoves and propane lanterns whenever possible
Sheath Knives (knives than cannot be closed)
Electronic games, toys, and computers
A Scout may NOT bring electronic equipment. Examples MP3, radios, televisions, tape players, compact disc players, cellular telephones, electronic games, or computers on any Troop activity. These detract from the program, and might become lost, damaged, or stolen during the activity. Please leave these possessions at home. If a Scout chooses to ignore this rule, please know that the Leaders and the Troop are not responsible for any loss or damage to said electronics.
Suggested Suppliers and Sources
BSA Council Store 1-800-333-7905 www.ctyankee.org
Connecticut Yankee Council, 60 Wellington Road, Milford, CT
L.L. Bean 1-800-221-4221 www.llbean.com
Campmor 1-800-236-7667 www.campmor.com
REI 1-800-426-4840 www.rei.com
Cabella’s 1-800-237-4444 www.cabellas.com
Dick’s (Danbury Mall) 1-203-730-0164 www.dickssportinggoods.com
Some of the suppliers listed above will rent equipment for the weekend. Equipment needed on a temporary basis (like a minus twenty-degree sleeping bag for a deep winter camping trip) might be better rented than purchased. Also, renting allows the Scout to “try before you buy.”
Year Round Camper
This coveted CT Yankee Council patch is awarded to Scouts who have satisfied the following requirements:
Camp overnight and prepare 2 meals – at least once per month for 12 consecutive months.
Troop 135/235 has a Campout each month that qualifies. If you have a schedule conflict – camping with another Troop in town that month will qualify.
If it can be demonstrated that even with advanced planning by the individual scout that the above was not possible, then an additional campout may be arranged at the discretion of the scoutmaster. At least 2 scouts and 2 adults, one of who must be a trained leader, must attend this campout.
If a scout attends BSA summer camp or another BSA camping event, this will satisfy the year round camper requirement for July and August.
TROOP 135/235 PERSONAL EQUIPMENT LIST
This is a list of camping supplies your scout might need for a campout. They may not need all items and there may be items you want to add. This is a good checklist for each campout.
Class “A” Uniform Shirt Backpack Soap
Class “B” Uniform Shirt Large Duffel Bag Shampoo
W Winter Parka Dinnerware Toothbrush
Warm Jacket (Fleece) Eating Utensils Toothpaste
Sweatshirt Flashlight Hairbrush
Extra pants and shirt Extra Batteries Toilet Paper
Extra socks and underwear Extra bulbs Small Towel
W Long Underwear Pocket Knife Bandanna
W Snow or Ski pants Totin’ Chip Mug
W B Wool Socks 1 L Water Bottle Sunglasses
W B Sock Liners Compass Sunscreen
W Gloves or Mittens Matches Snacks
S Shorts First Aid Kit Watch
Scout Hat B Whistle Insect repellent-
W Wool Hat S Day Pack (non aerosol)
Rain Gear (No Ponchos) BSA Handbook Medications
W Winter Boots S Merit Badge Books
Hiking Boots Camera Pencil & Paper
S Sneakers Fishing Rod Camp Stool
S Bathing Suit W Hand Warmers S Pillow
S Towel S Mosquito Netting S Hanger
35° Sleeping Bag W 0° Sleeping Bag-Mummy Style
S Class ”A” Uniform
KEY: W = Winter Camping
B = Backpacking
S = Summer Camp
Troop Camp-out Procedures and Guidelines
Necessary Paperwork for Camping
As in all things, the fun doesn’t start until the paperwork is complete. This applies to the BSA as well. A Scout (or adult Scouter) will not be allowed to participate in any activity unless the following appropriate forms have been supplied.
The CONSENT TO TREAT form needs to be completed for Scouts and Scouters when joining and when registering in September each year.
The Part A form is needed for the Troop for all activities and is valid for one year.
The Part B form is for Scouts going to summer camp and requires a doctor’s exam. This form is good for three years (not including out-of-state camps).
The Part C form is required for each High Adventure Scout, and requires a doctor’s exam. This form is also required for adult Scouters going on a long-term camp-out.
The TROOP 135/235 PARENTAL PERMISSION form is required before a Scout can participate in any troop activity. This form must have the parent's signature and contact information. If parents will not be home during any activity, they must provide the Scoutmaster with updated information about where to contact them or provide an address and phone number of a responsible individual that can be reached in an emergency.
Scouts are expected to attend weekly meetings in order to qualify for monthly campouts and trips.
The Troop Quartermaster issues gear to each patrol for camp-outs.
This gear is checked out before each camp-out from the trailer.
Gear is to be cleaned after each camp-out, and properly maintained.
Stoves, cooking utensils, pots and pans are to be properly cleaned at home and returned at the next Troop meeting after each camp-out.
Tents and ground cloths must be air dried and cleaned before storing and returning to the next Troop meeting. Any damage and/or missing items must be reported to the Troop Quartermaster.
Broken mantels and glass globes for lanterns should be reported to the Troop Quartermaster for replacement.
Equipment repairs and replacements are made by the Troop as needed.
It is the responsibility of each patrol to plan a menu and to shop for necessary food items prior to each campout. The Patrol Leader will assign a Scout (the Grubmaster) to shop for the patrol’s food on a rotating basis.
Each Scout must pay the Grubmaster for food no later than the Troop meeting following the camp-out, based on the cost of the food divided by the number of scouts signed up to go. If a Scout does not attend the campout but was signed up to go, they are still responsible for their share of the cost of the food that was purchased. The cost is roughly around $20.00 per campout.
A Scout is responsible for snacks and food purchased while traveling to and from camp.
Additional supplies are paid for by the patrol and all Scouts share the expense.
Scouts will normally sleep two to three Scouts per Troop tent. Scouts will tent with Scouts in their patrol. Scouts must tent with Scouts within 2 years of their age. Scouts are not allowed to sleep alone (Minimum of two scouts to a tent). BSA regulations prohibit a Scout and adult Scouter from sleeping in the same tent. Personal tents are not permitted on Troop campouts unless you are a Star Rank Scout or above. Snack food should never be kept inside a tent (even if inside a pack). Animals can and will crawl into tents looking for food. Flames are NEVER allowed in tents.
Tents look their best when they are pitched side by side in a row. Placing tents end to end is not safe. Select a flat area away from any run-off or drainage areas. Remember to Look Up when placing a tent. Never place your tent where a branch or rock could fall on it.
The Troop spends one week in July at Camp Sequassen, Winsted, Conn. Camp runs from Sunday to Saturday. Space is limited in the camp, and advance sign-ups are mandatory, with total camp fees (approximately $500.00 per Scout) due around April 1st. Meals are included in this fee (but snacks are not). Camperships are available from the Council and Troop Committee for families in need of financial support. See the Scoutmaster for information and Campership Applications, which will be held in confidence.
The emphasis in summer camp is fun, merit badges, and fun. Scouts typically sign up for three to four merit badges, and attend daily classes, with evening homework, to complete the badges by week’s end. First year Scouts typically focus on swimming, basic camping skills, including cooking, wilderness survival, and craft merit badges. Experienced Scouts focus on waterfront and other outdoor badges. If a badge has requirements that cannot be done in the week at camp, Scouts are strongly encouraged to complete those requirements in advance of arrival at camp. Initial merit badge signups take place in March. After that, a Scout may make changes in his merit badge selection with the assistance of the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.
The Troop generally cannot accommodate late arrivals or early departures from Summer Camp, for several administrative and logistical reasons. However, we do look for parental support during part or all of the camp week.
Parental Support of the Troop
As with any volunteer youth organization, the Troop needs the active support of the Parents to be successful. It is often said, that if we have 40 Scouts in the Troop, we have 40 listings on the “job chart.” These functions include Assistant Scoutmasters, merit badge counselors, fundraising committees, advancement committees and boards of review, hospitality committee and people to plan courts of honor, picnics, trips, etc. The list goes on.
When your scout joins the Troop, we will ask each family to volunteer for at least one job with the Troop. Unless we get 100% support of the Parents, we will be unable to provide the quality Scouting programs that our scouts deserve.
Parents at Campouts
The Troop encourages parents to join us on campouts. Outdoor activities are at the heart of the scouting program and are enjoyable for everyone. There are, however, several duties and responsibilities that must be carried out by Parents that attend our campouts.
Sign up in Advance and Participate with the Troop
We ask that Parents intending to visit with the Troop during any part of or for the entire weekend camping trip sign up in advance. That way we can plan for sufficient food, tents, and other equipment. Also, if you sign up and have a change in plans, let the Scoutmaster know as soon as possible. Visiting parents are discouraged from bringing their own food (except for bag lunches and snacks). Additionally, the Troop will provide tents for all visiting Parents.
Your scout has very specific and assigned responsibilities to their patrol and the Troop, and they are expected to follow the activity schedule. Accordingly, we request that Parents participate in scheduled Troop activities along with your scout and not “go off on your own” with your scout or take your scout out of camp. This is disruptive to the Troop and makes the jobs of the Patrol Leaders and adult Scouters much more difficult.
The Troop operates by the “patrol method”, with Scouts doing most activities with their patrols. Visiting Parents will eat with the Scout leaders and will not be part of a Scout patrol.
The Troop is often short of drivers to transport Scouts and equipment to and from camping trips. When we do not have sufficient drivers for a trip, the Troop may be forced to cut back the number of Scouts that can attend a particular weekend event, which no one wants. The option of renting vans or buses for weekend transportation is an expensive and logistically difficult alternative and will be avoided.
The Troop will give as much notice as possible whenever we anticipate a shortage of transportation for a trip. In turn, we expect that the burden of providing cars and drivers will be evenly borne by all Parents over the course of the year. Please step forward when we ask for your assistance. It may mean the difference between a Scout going on a weekend camping trip or staying home.
Youth Protection Training
YPT is required for ANY adult who will be interacting with the Scouts. We strongly encourage ALL adults to take the online, 1-hour training as it helps illustrate the guidelines that adults and scouts follow to ensure that we all provide a safe environment for our Scouts.
Two Deep Leadership
One of the most important aspects of additional Parents at campouts is to maintain “Two Deep Leadership.” The Boy Scout requirement is to have at least two adults at every scouting event, at all times. If we have to separate the Troop into smaller groups or if an adult has to leave the campout for any reason, additional Parents help us meet this requirement.
Also keep in mind that as part of Scouting’s Youth Protection policy, one adult is never allowed to be alone with one Scout and an adult is never allowed to sleep in the same tent as a Scout. This policy applies to all adults who attend campouts.
Health and Safety
Another very important reason for having Parents at a campout is to maintain safe scouting. As adult leaders for the Troop, we are bound by detailed rules for safe scouting. While we do not expect a visiting Parent to know all of these rules, we expect the visiting adult to assist. Some of the most common safety rules include:
No Scout is allowed to leave camp alone and/or without permission.
No Scout is allowed to “play” with fire. All fires must be contained within the fire ring or cooking areas. Any Scout starting a fire must have a Firem’n Chit Card in his possession.
Fires are NEVER allowed in tents, including lighters, lanterns, and matches. NEVER.
No Scout is allowed to fight, play with, or throw a knife, axe or saw. Any Scout carrying a knife must have a Tot’n Chip Card in their possession. Axes and saws are not used outside of the Troop established Axe Yard.
Fighting, punching, teasing and hazing is never allowed. Scouts are to live by the Scout Law, and Oath.
If a visiting Parent observes a Scout violating any of these rules, they should bring it to the immediate attention of one of the adult Scouters. If the Parent feels that a Scout is in imminent danger, then they must correct the problem immediately.
Visiting Parents should not discipline any Scout (including their own). That is the responsibility of the Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters.
Smoking is not permitted during any Troop activity, including campouts. It sets the wrong example for the Scouts. Parents are requested to respect this prohibition.
Please support the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters in the program for the weekend. The Assistant Scoutmaster in charge will review the weekend program with the attending adults and will also review any special aspects of Safe Scouting that apply to the weekend’s program. If any Parent has any questions as to what will take place, or the Parent’s part in the weekend program, do not hesitate to ask.
Fun, Fun, Fun . . . . . . . .
We expect the scouts and adults to have fun during a weekend camping trip (and summer camp). If we are not having fun, we are not having a successful camping trip. And yes, we should be able to have fun even in the rain and snow. Parents are encouraged to actively participate in the evening campfire programs. This includes skits, songs, jokes, etc. (age appropriate, of course).
Each Scout is encouraged to advance. The advancement process demonstrates an increased skill level and maturity. All leadership positions within the Troop and certain outdoor events and programs are geared toward the experienced Scout. Often, unless a Scout has achieved First Class Rank, they may not be allowed to participate at that level. Each Scout tends to move at their own pace. Parents should encourage their scout to advance by helping with reviewing basic book requirements. But let the Scout learn by completing the requirements themself.
Most requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class, can be “signed off” by any Scout who is of Star Rank or above, Troop Guides, Venture Patrol, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Scoutmaster. Only the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster can sign off Star, Life, and Eagle requirements.
Siblings are never permitted to “sign off” on each other’s requirements.
Parental “sign offs” are specifically prohibited in the Boy Scouts (except where the parent is a registered leader in the Troop.) However, parent leaders are STRONGLY discouraged from signing off on their own scouts requirements.
In order for the Scout to advance in rank, he the following things must be completed:
Complete all requirements and have them initialed and dated in the scout handbook.
Complete the time, leadership, and service requirements required for advancing to the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle.
Request a Scoutmaster Conference.
Meet with the Scoutmaster in Full Class A uniform.*
For the rank of Scout, no Board of Review is required, only a Scoutmaster Conference.
For ranks of Tenderfoot and above, request a Board of Review by contacting the Advancement Chairperson. Boards of Review are held the 2nd Thursday of each month when notification has been made.
Appear before the Board of Review in Full Class A uniform. No Scout will be given a Board of Review unless they are in Full Class A uniform and have a Scout Handbook.*
Scouts who successfully pass their Board of Review (or Scoutmaster Conference for the rank of Scout) will be recognized for the advancement at the next Court of Honor.
Scoutmaster Conferences are normally held during each Troop meeting, although alternative-scheduling arrangements can be made. Scouts must appear before the Scoutmaster in Class A Uniform and must bring their scout handbook.* A Scout is not permitted to complete a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review for the same rank in the same evening.* Scouts who do not pass the Scoutmaster Conference will be given the reasons for the Scoutmaster’s rejection, and the corrective steps (and timing) necessary to pass a future Scoutmaster Conference.
The Scoutmaster may also hold a Conference with a Scout at times other than rank advancement, to address items such as lack of advancement, discipline issues, Troop or Patrol Participation. A Scoutmaster Conference is also an excellent opportunity of privately commending a Scout on a task particularly well done.
*Discretion can be used by Scoutmaster or Advancement Chairperson
Board of Review
The Board of Review consists of Committee Members, led by the Advancement Chairperson, who meets with each Scout after the Scout has completed the requirements for each rank (except for the rank of Scout). The Board is responsible for checking that each Scout has in fact completed the rank requirements, is displaying appropriate leadership skills, maturity, attitude, spirit, and is prepared to move on to the next rank. The Board will meet monthly, the dates are listed on the annual calendar, once the Scout notifies the Advancement Chairperson that they need a Board of Review. Scouts who successfully pass the Board of Review will be recognized immediately for having achieved the rank, and will be presented with their new rank badge at the next Court of Honor.
Scouts who do not pass the Board of Review will be given the reasons for the Board’s rejection, and the corrective steps (and timing) necessary to pass a future Board.
Decisions of the Board of Review may be appealed to the Troop Committee.
Scouts must appear before the Board in Full Class A Uniform, and must bring their scout handbook.* Members of the Board for the ranks of Tenderfoot through Life are comprised of Committee members .
Courts of Honor
Courts of Honor are held at least three times a year (early fall, mid winter, and late spring) to recognize individual Scout achievement as well as Troop activities. Parents are encouraged to attend all Courts of Honor to share with their scout the pride of accomplishment, and the achievements of their fellow patrol and Troop members.
Scout Handbook and “Blue Cards”
While the Troop and council keep records of each Scout’s achievement and advancement, there is only one official record of advancement: the Scout Handbook. For merit badges, only the merit badge blue cards serve as the official record. When applying for Eagle, the only records that are accepted are the Handbook and blue cards. Please take care of the book and cards! Many a Scout has spent months collecting information and documentation for advancement because of lost or destroyed Handbooks and missing blue cards. Each Scout needs to keep track of advancement cards. It is best to get your Scout a binder with paper, tabs and baseball card pocket inserts. The card inserts make excellent holders for Blue Cards and Advancement Cards.
With the advent of ScoutBook, this is no longer 100% true, but if the computer-based system fails, the paper-based system is the ONLY acceptable backup.
*Discretion can be used by Scoutmaster or Advancement Chairperson
Attendance Policy **
Scout must fully attend 50% in total of all meetings and activities scheduled each month.
Scout not present at the meeting/activity when the Scribe takes attendance, will not receive credit without speaking with the Scoutmaster.
Scouts must attend at least one campout every 3 month period to validate the 50% rule as stated above for each of the 3 month periods listed below:
October – December January – March
April – June July – September
**Discretion can be used by Scoutmaster
Eagle Scout Program
The Eagle Scout Program concentrates on assisting scouts who have attained Life Rank in the Troop. The Eagle Project is the last and most difficult step toward Eagle and is like no other step that the Scout will experience in advancement. It is very structured and formal. The purpose of the Service Project is to have the Eagle candidate demonstrate leadership. Planning and completing the project - and the final report - will take discipline, forethought, and stamina!
The progress towards Eagle is monitored constantly by the Eagle Advisor and evaluated periodically by the Scoutmaster. The Eagle Advisor will coach each Scout through project selection, proposal write-up, project execution, final report, Eagle Application, and the Eagle Board of Review.
The prestige and importance of the Eagle Rank is evident when you consider:
Only 2.5% of all scouts who join scouting reach the Eagle Rank.
Less than 50% of Scouts who attain Life Rank make it to Eagle Scout.
9 of 11 men that walked on the moon are Eagle Scouts; 12% of all astronauts are Eagles.
Professional recruiters put more value on an Eagle Scout candidate, than any sport or intramural activity.
Eagle Program Management
The Scatacook District Advancement Chairperson has the responsibility for management of the Eagle Scout Program:
Reviews all Eagle applications and approves all project proposals; approves all material changes to projects once they have been approved.
Visits the project site before, during and after completion.
Talks with the benefactor of the projects.
Conducts the Eagle Board of Review.
Your Eagle candidate needs encouragement and support. If requested, they may need your labors. But remember, it is the SCOUTS Eagle Project. Let your Scout identify solutions and solve any problems. Do not do their project. The Project is a test of the Scouts leadership skills, not yours.
A Life Scout cannot start his Eagle Project until ALL approvals have been secured! That includes the Eagle Advisor, Scoutmaster, Troop Committee Chairperson, project benefactor, and District Advancement Chairperson.
All requirements for the Eagle Rank, including all project work, all merit badges, leadership and time requirements, Scoutmaster Conference, and formal Eagle Application, must be completed and submitted to the District Advancement Chairperson by the Scout’s 18th birthday. There are no exceptions. Note that the Eagle Board of Review may take place after their 18th birthday.
The outdoor program in Scouting presents great opportunities for reward but also presents the risk of personal injury. Few Scouts joining this Troop have had camping experience and even Scouts with several years of active service are not always well equipped to live comfortably and safely in the outdoors. A two-tier program is designed to:
Insure that new Scouts have ample time and instruction to become efficient campers.
Hone the skills of the Scouts with several years behind them.
Afford older Scouts, with proven ability, a more challenging and stimulating program.
The two tiers are broken down as follows:
New/experienced Scouts – age 10 ½ to 13. First year Scouts will be members of an existing patrol that consists of Scouts up to age 13. It is assumed these Scouts have little or no experience in the outdoors. The objective is to train them in the basic skills required to be a proficient camper. Even if the Scout is experienced in the outdoors (due to family camping), they will be trained in the scout method of outdoor living.
New Scout Campout
The Troop usually dedicates a campout in May to teach basic skills to new Scouts. This gives the new Scouts time to understand the basic foundation in scout skills, while learning to work together in a “scout-run” patrol organization, meeting new scouts and scouters, and having lots of fun.
Venture Patrol – age 14 and up and be a high school student. This portion of the program entails added risk to the Scouts, hence the participation requirements for age. The Scout should also have demonstrated a reasonable ability in the outdoors and a positive attitude and team spirit. A working knowledge of first aid is a must. The objective of this segment of the program is to allow each Scout to test his abilities and promote self-confidence, while having fun.
High Adventure Trips – age 14, Star rank with Scoutmaster approval. This trip is designed for the older, experienced scout. The purpose is to provide a challenging outdoor experience that tests the scouts’ abilities and to promote self-confidence while having fun. The High Adventure trip is typically a weeklong outing in August.
Service to Others
One of the founding principles of the Boy Scouts is service to others. The Scout Slogan reminds us to Do a Good Turn Daily, and the third point of the Scout Law tells us that a Scout is Helpful. Some ranks require Scouts to participate in an approved service project:
Scout 1 Hour
Second Class 2 Hours
First Class 3 Hours
Star 6 Hours
Life 6 Hours(including 3 conservation related)
And of course, advancement to Eagle Scout requires the Life Scout to plan, develop, and lead an approved Service Project (normally that will take over 100 hours to accomplish).
The key phrase to remember and understand is “Service to Others”. This usually means service to any religious organization, school, or community, and can include, service to “other” Scout organizations, including all Scout Camps. It should be noted that the Eagle Project is specifically prohibited from providing service to a Boy Scout organization.
The service requirements discussed here relate to projects for advancement. In every case, the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster must approve service projects in advance. A Scout will not be given service hour credit “after the fact” for projects that had not been pre-approved.
Earning Service Hours for Rank Advancement
In general, the service hours should be performed after the Scout’s last rank advancement. For Second Class, that would mean after the Scout reached Tenderfoot. For Star, service hours would be earned after reaching First Class; for Life, service hours would be earned after reaching Star. As a further guideline, the service hours should generally be earned within at least the 12 months prior to the Scoutmaster Conference for the rank. For example, if a Scout had been First Class for 2½ years, and earned six service hours two years ago (and none since then), and now it’s time for the Scoutmaster Conference, the question the Scout should expect to hear is “what have you done for service to others lately?” If the Scout has a good reason why the two-year old service project should count, then it will count. If the Scout cannot answer that question, then the next question the Scout should expect to hear is “describe how you have demonstrated Scout Spirit since your last rank advancement”. Service to others is not a “one-time” thing, nor should it be.
Approval of Service Projects
The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters must approve all service projects in advance. All service projects that are advertised for sign-up during a Troop meeting, and all Eagle Projects, are automatically pre-approved by the Scoutmaster. Scouts who want to work on other Service Projects should present the idea in advance to the Scoutmaster. Be prepared to answer questions related to the project such as who will benefit, what group is sponsoring the project, how much time will you put in to the project, and will any other Scouts be working on the project.
Wearing of Scout Uniform During the Service Project
In general, a Scout should wear a Class A or Class B Uniform during a Service Project. But it does depend on the project. If a project involves a lot of manual labor (typical Eagle Projects for example), it may not be appropriate to wear a Class A Uniform. But for less labor-intensive projects, it would be appropriate (and required) to wear the Class A Uniform. It helps Scouting if people know that a group of Scouts are performing some service, and not just a gang of kids.
Service Hour Tracking
The Scout should keep track of the number of hours worked and the projects he worked on and then have an adult in charge of the project sign off in your book at the time service was performed.
Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow (OA) is an organization of honored campers within the Scouts of America. Its primary purpose is service to others. Candidates must be at least First Class, have camped outdoors at least 15 nights during the previous two years, and attended a long-term camp (including summer camp, jamborees, or Philmont). The Scoutmaster must recommend all candidates. Candidates for the OA are elected annually by a majority of fellow Troop members, (only non-member can vote) usually in February or March. After the election, they must complete a test of service during a weekend “ordeal” hosted by the local council OA Lodge. As with any Boy Scout activity or event, the OA is “scout run” by elected and appointed youth leaders and is well supervised by adult Scouter “Arrowmen.”
The Troop Committee may also nominate one eligible adult, each year, to join the OA.
The Troop Committee is the link between the Chartering Organization and Troop operations. Its duties are:
Carry out the policies and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.
Select the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and merit badge counselors.
Recruit and approve its own membership and form committees as required.
Manage the finances and disbursements, in line with an approved budget plan.
Plan and administer the annual fundraising events.
Obtain, maintain, and care for Troop property.
Administer advancement program.
Other responsibilities as may be assumed from time to time.
The Scoutmaster is the one and only troop leader who relates closely to each of the other links in the chain of troop operations: the scouts, the junior leaders, the Patrol Leaders Council, the assistant scoutmasters and the troop committee. The main function of the SM is to quietly but effectively pull all the components together to get the desired results: helping scouts grow into responsible young adults.
Scoutmaster Position Description
Train and guide scout leaders to run the troop.
Help scouts to grow by encouraging them to learn for themselves.
Guide scouts in planning the troop program.
Work with and through responsible adults to bring scouting to scouts.
Help the troop Committee recruit Assistant Scoutmasters.
Conduct Scoutmaster conferences.
Make sure that the monthly outing is being planned and executed by the ASM in charge.
The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters form the operating management of the Troop. The Scoutmaster will assign an assistant scoutmaster specific program responsibilities. The Scoutmaster will schedule regular Adult Leader Meetings for the purpose of reviewing the troop program as well as the roles of the assistant scoutmasters in its implementation. They actively participate in weekly Troop meetings and monthly outings. They are required to complete the formal Scoutmaster course (conducted by the Council) prior to taking the position. They are also encouraged to participate in other formal and informal Leader Training Programs when offered. An Assistant Scoutmaster may also be temporarily called upon to assume the duties of the Scoutmaster should he not be available.
The Troop is based upon scout leadership and the patrol method of organization. Junior leaders are responsible for a variety of roles within the Troop. See the descriptions on the following pages for the structure of the Troop and the positions for Junior Leaders.
Patrol Leaders Council
The Patrol Leaders Council or Greenbar is the committee of Junior Leaders that plans Troop activities. It consists of the SPL (Chairman), ASPL, Patrol Leaders, and Scribe. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters serve as advisors to the Greenbar. The Greenbar formally meets at least once a month to plan each Troop meetings and campouts.
The PLC also meets briefly at the conclusion of each Troop meeting to review how the meeting went compared to the plan. Adjustments can then be made to future Troop meetings.
Once a year, the PLC develops the Troop long-range activity plans. Members of the PLC are expected to attend these meetings.
Troop Leadership Positions
Scouts must successfully serve in leadership positions in order to advance beyond First Class. The requirements vary depending upon the rank.
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)
Whenever the Troop comes together for a meeting or activity, the SPL is in charge. Other leaders carry out the duties of their positions, but the Senior Patrol Leader "runs the show". S/He leads the Patrol Leader Council and assigns specific duties and tasks as needed. S/He typically should not serve more than 2 consecutive terms.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader helps the SPL in training and giving direction to the Troop and patrol leadership. He directs and manages the Quartermaster, Historian, Guides, Den Chiefs, and Scribe. S/He fills in as SPL in the event the SPL is not present at an event. Other ASPLs may be appointed by the Scoutmaster to meet certain needs, from time to time.
The Scribe is "Troop secretary". Typical scribe duties include:
Collects and maintains patrol attendance records at each Troop meeting and camp-out.
Performs and records results of uniform inspection at Troop meetings.
Records and distributes minutes of the Patrol Leaders Council meetings (Green Bar)
Records Troop Activity service hours.
Track dates of youth leadership positions
The Historian maintains and adds to the Troop memorabilia. Typical duties include:
Maintains Troop awards and honors and displays them at Courts of Honor.
Keeps the Troop's photo albums in good condition.
Adds to the Troop's history records by photographing special events.
Keeps scrap book of news clippings and Troop events.
Collects and cares for the Troop memorabilia.
Collects and files information about former Scouts and leaders, and make materials available when needed for programs, news stories, or Troop history projects.
The Quartermaster is responsible for the Troop's equipment, working with the Troop Equipment Coordinator. Quartermaster duties include:
Responsible for the Troop's flags, bringing them to all events where they are needed and returns them to storage.
Assists the Patrols and the Troop committee in caring for Troop equipment.
Keeps an inventory of patrol and Troop equipment and sees that it is in good condition.
Works with the patrols, checks equipment in and out of storage, and reports damaged or lost equipment to the Scoutmaster for repair or replacement.
Each year the Quartermaster leads a project to improve the equipment or efficiency of tracking and maintaining the equipment.
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM)
This Scout assists the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters in supervising and supporting the other Junior Leaders. The Scout is at least 16 years of age and must be an Eagle Scout. The Troop may have more than one JASM. This is an appointed position.
Venture Patrol Leader
This Scout is the elected leader of the Venture Patrol and is responsible for coordinating all of its activities.
The Chaplain’s Aide is an appointed position, assisting the Troop Chaplain with religious activities at troop events. S/He helps plan for religious observance in troop activities, tells Scouts about the religious emblem programs for their faith, maintains a library of pamphlets for the various programs, and makes sure that religious holidays are considered during Troop program planning. This scout is also responsible for doing Invocations and Benedictions at any and all scouting meetings and events.
Den Chief is an appointed position. S/He works with a den of Cub Scouts and helps them advance through the Cub Scout ranks. S/He also serves as a Scout role model for the younger scouts and acts as a recruiter by encouraging Cub Scouts to join the Troop upon graduation. S/He assists with activities at den and pack meetings, is a friend to the scouts in the den, and meets with the adult leaders of the den and pack, as necessary. The Den chief is a key link between the pack and the troop.
This is the only position at the patrol level that qualifies for the leadership requirement for the senior ranks. The patrol leader should attend Junior Leader Training and have at least a First Class rank. S/He typically should not serve more than 2 consecutive terms. The Patrol Leaders duties are:
Actively participates in the PLC and volunteers the patrol for tasks as needed.
Responsible for leading the patrol at troop meetings, camp-outs and other Troop Activities.
Appoints the Assistant Patrol Leader, and other duties as needed.
Organizes Camping Duty Roster, Camp meals and patrol activities.
Maintains patrol equipment and Troop equipment assigned to the patrol.
Brings the patrol flag to all meetings and activities and takes it home afterward.
Turns in all patrol equipment as needed and reports all damaged and missing equipment.
Assistant Patrol Leader
This position is appointed by the Patrol Leader and acts as patrol leader in their absence. A First Year Scout is usually chosen for this position. It is preferred that the APL also completes Junior Leader Training.
Leadership Requirements and Procedures
Troop Leadership Position
Minimum Preferred Rank
Senior Patrol Leader & ASPL
Historian, Den Chief, Chaplain’s Aide
Not a First Year Scout
Leadership elections are normally held in February and September. One Scout cannot hold two Troop leadership positions at the same time. The Scoutmaster must approve all candidates, based on several elements, including Scouts who:
Participate in Troop activities dependably.
Demonstrate leadership or show potential and behave responsibly.
Set a good example for the other Scouts to follow.
Live the Scout Law and Scout Oath everyday, not just during Troop activities.
Demonstrate Scout Spirit.
Troop Guide Program
Each patrol in Troop 135/235 will be under the supervision of an older Scout called a Troop Guide. A Scout must be at least First Class Rank and be appointed by the Scoutmaster to participate as a Troop Guide. They should serve no more than one year and continue to work on their own rank advancement.
The Troop utilizes experienced Scouts in teaching scouting skills. This allows the Scouts to attain leadership credit toward rank advancement and focuses attention on the younger Scouts to help them advance. The Troop Guides role includes working closely with the patrol leaders and to oversee the advancement of the younger Scouts to First Class Rank. A Guide may, counsel scouts and guide them smoothly through the early challenges of Scouting towards a comfortable relationship with the troop, its leaders and its program which includes:
Camping Cooking Fire Building First Aid Knife & Ax Pioneering
An Assistant Scoutmaster is also appointed to each patrol to assist in the smooth running of the patrol by supporting and encouraging the guides and patrol leaders.
At the discretion of the Scoutmaster, if a Scout in a leadership position is not performing his duties as described above, the Scout can be removed from his position.
Troop Discipline Policy
Every Scout is expected to understand and comply with the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, Scout Slogan, the Outdoor Code, and the policies of the Troop. Scouts having difficulty following these rules will be given an opportunity to correct their behavior. Counseling of Scouts will be based on the severity of the discipline violation. If a conflict between two members of the Troop occurs, the following actions will occur:
If a Scout exhibits unruly behavior at any event, the following will occur:
First time infraction, the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, or Patrol Leader will counsel the Scout, depending upon the severity of the behavior. The Scout agrees to comply in a timely and respectful manner.
If the Scout does not comply with the desired behavior, the above will refer the matter to a more senior leader or to adult leadership for further review.
The second infraction will result in the Scout being removed from the meeting or event. The Parents of the Scout will be called to immediately pick up the Scout.
The repeat infractions will result in the suspension of the Scout from the Troop.
1st Level Talk with Patrol Leader.
2nd Level Talk with an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader brings the Scout to the ASPL and remains for the discussion.
3rd Level Talk with Senior Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader bring the Scout and remain for the discussion.
4th Level Talk with Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster. The Senior Patrol Leader brings the Scout to the Scoutmaster and may remain for the discussion.
5th Level Talk with Troop Committee (Special Meeting). The Scoutmaster is present with the Scout and remains for the discussion. The parents of the Scout can also attend.
Any Scout or junior leader can move the counseling level up the chain, or if the infraction is severe enough, the junior leader can jump levels. Any parent can appeal to the Scoutmaster or Troop Committee the decision of the Troop Leadership. All decisions by the Troop Committee are final.
Disciplinary actions by the Troop and Committee can include, but are not limited to:
Loss of leadership position for part or all of that term or a future term.
Failure to recommend the Scout for Order of the Arrow.
Sent home from camping trip, camp, meeting, or outing.
Suspension from future Troop events.
Failing Board of Review.
Suspension from the Troop (temporary).
Expulsion from the Troop (permanent).
Fees, Fundraising, and Meetings
The Troop collects a camp fee for every campout to cover the cost of camping including wear and tear on equipment. This enables the troop to get a more accurate head count for the purposes of meal planning and transportation needs as well as allowing for better planning of the weekend program.
The Troop’s primary operating expenses come from dues and our annual fundraisers. Currently, dues are $125.00 per Scout, which includes the annual registration fee, insurance, Council Fees and a one-year subscription to Boy’s Life Magazine, established by the Troop Committee, payable in September.
The Troop sometimes takes trips that will cost more than the usual camp fee such as White Water Rafting, Spring Trip, and High Adventure Trips. During some campouts extra activities are made available to the Scouts that also incur additional costs like renting skis. The Scout will incur these additional costs. During travel sometimes a meal is eaten on the road, this expense is also the responsibility of the Scout.
In cases where a prepayment is required for a trip, or where the Troop has committed itself to an amount, fees collected by the Troop will not be refunded if a Scout cancels. If a cancellation occurs, it is best to attempt to find another Scout who can take “your” place.
The Troop currently runs one fundraiser, the Holiday Wreath sale.
During the Holiday Wreath Sale we sell an assortment of balsam wreaths, table displays and pine roping during the Christmas Holiday Season, generally from November 1st to December 1st. Cash prizes can be earned by top selling Scouts, based upon the value of the sales they made.
Scouts are expected to actively support the fundraiser by selling an established quota of wreaths, often through door-to-door sales. 100% of the Scouts are capable of meeting the quota. If a Scout does not reach his quota, they will be assessed the difference.
Parental support is vital to the success of the fundraiser, not only by supporting your scout in individual, door-to-door sales, but by serving on various committees, and assisting with sales and distribution of the wreaths. Volunteers will be solicited at the beginning of the Scout year, in September.
The Troop has regular Troop meetings every Thursday evening, from 7:00PM to 8:30 PM. Regular Troop meetings are not held over the summer. Each Scout is expected to attend a majority of Troop meetings during the year. There are no meetings on holidays, or school vacation weeks.
A master calendar of planned Troop events is prepared each September and revised as necessary. Scout families will receive a copy but should re-verify schedules as dates approach.
Troop 135 has a website brookfieldtroop135.org
Troop 235 has a website brookfieldtroop235.com
Scouts can input articles.
The beginning of each Scout year Troop 135/235 holds a MANDATORY Parent Meeting. This is a time when information is passed from the Troop Committee to the Parents. It is also a time to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the activities or events going on in Troop 135/235 and about Troop advancement. The meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get to know other parents within the troop and to be involved in the goals of the troop. Additional meetings may be called if important information needs to be passed on to parents regarding trips or activities.
Dear Parents and Scout:
Please review this handbook and sign the physical copy that you understand the policies and procedures of Troop 135/235.