Boy Scout Troop 494 Guidelines

Boy Scout Troop 494 Guidelines

Revised April 29, 2014

 

 

Troop 494 Expectations:

Troop 494 will follow the National BSA and Northern Star Council rules and policies in our troop activities. However, there are a number of points that are not covered by those policies, or we have chosen to be more restrictive, so we have developed the following Troop Guidelines.

                                                                                               

Parents’ Expectations of Troop 494

  • We will offer the Scouting program as defined by the National BSA to the best of our ability.
  • We will maintain adequate adult supervision.  Generally that means no less than 8:1 and no less than 4 adults on a weekend campout, and always 2-deep leadership at a minimum.
  • We will treat all Scouts equally.
  • We will offer every boy the opportunity to reach Eagle.

 

Troop 494’s Expectations of Its Parents

o   Be active in our troop.  Scouting is a family activity, and it is a great way to spend time with your son.  Also, boys whose parents are active in the troop are much more likely to stay in Scouting and reach Eagle.

  • Volunteer to be one of our adult leaders.  We’re a volunteer organization, and we need you in order to offer the best program for the boys.
  • Recognize that, as a volunteer organization, there is a limit to what we can do.  Please understand that, if we cannot meet the particular needs of your son, we will require increased participation on your part. 

 

Troop 494’s Expectations of Its Adult Leaders

  • Serve as solid role models for the Scouts, and follow the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Get trained for your leadership position.
  • Follow the 2-deep leadership rule.
  • Adhere to our Adult Guidelines.
  • Treat all Scouts equally.
  • Ensure the Scouts’ safety and their adherence to the Scout Oath and Law.

 

Troop 494’s Expectations of Its Scouts

  • Follow the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Strive to reach Eagle.
  • Learn to take increased responsibility for yourself, especially once you reach First Class.
  • Accept all of our Scouts as members of our troop family.  Treat each other with respect and courtesy.
  • Have fun.

 

 


Two Deep Leadership:

It is the policy of Boy Scouts of America that all troop activities have at least two adult leaders supervising those activities. Troop 494 supports that rule 100% and has established the following rules:

 

Campouts: To insure we maintain two deep leadership during an overnight campout, a minimum of four adults (over 21 years of age) are required on all troop overnight campouts. An exception to this rule would apply to High Adventure Camps where group size is limited and the length of trip would make having four adult leaders impractical.

 

Merit Badges: When Troop 494 sponsors a merit badge class, as required by the BSA policy, a minimum of two non-related adults will be present during all class sessions.

 

Other Troop Outings: As with other troop activities we must maintain 2-deep adult leadership. Depending on the activities planned, the number of adults may be adjusted, but in all cases we will require that at least 2 adults are present.

 

Siblings’ Attendance on Troop Campouts and Other Events:       

Siblings are allowed on troop campouts or events only when the event is designated as a family event.  The parent or guardian is expected to attend, too, and supervise that sibling.

 

Drivers:       

Drivers carrying passengers to all campouts must be 18 years of age or older with the following exception: A driver may be under 18 if no others are in the vehicle other than immediate family members.

 

Licensed Scouts under 18 who drive to campouts or out of town events unaccompanied must have a permission slip signed by their parent stating their expected arrival and departure times. Other than the stated arrival and departure times, their vehicle is to remain parked and unused. Due to limited parking and safety concerns at many campouts and events, driving by Scouts under 18 is strongly discouraged.

 

When transporting Scouts to or from a campout it is expected that you travel as direct a route as possible to the location with only necessary stops for food, fuel and rest stops. 

 

See our troop website for Driver Permission Form.

 

Troop Meeting Place:

The troop meeting place is a very valuable asset, especially with a large troop; a suitable meeting place is very hard to find at a cost that we can afford. Due to this the utmost care is to be used in maintaining an excellent relationship with the meeting space provider. In order to accomplish this, the following rules apply to the meeting place: 1) Upon entering the building, Scouts shall proceed directly to the meeting room. Scouts shall remain in the meeting room during the meeting unless planned outside activities are in progress. 2) Scouts shall only use a designated restroom if more than one is available; a patrol may be designated to clean the restroom after each meeting, if needed. 3) No activities such as inline skating, roller-skating, remote controlled cars, etc. are to take place in the parking lot unless it is an approved, adult supervised activity. 4) Upon leaving the meeting the Scout is to expediently take the most direct route out of the building.

 

Knives and other Cutting Tools:

Only folding pocket or folding lock blade knives with a blade length of 4 1/2" or less are allowed at any Scouting activity.

 

No fixed blade sheath knives will be allowed. The only exception to this rule would be fish filet knives. A filet knife may be used for and ONLY for the purpose of cleaning fish caught while at camp. The knife may not be worn on a belt or carried while fishing except in a tackle box.

 

The Scouts will NOT be allowed to purchase knives, axes, hatchets, tomahawks, saws, etc. of any size or description while at camp (unless his parent is at camp). If a cutting tool is needed while at camp and the Scout does not have one, the adult leaders will issue the Scout a tool for the activity.

 

All Scouts, Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmasters are required to carry a "Tot’n Chip" with them while using a knife or other cutting tools (axes, bow saws, etc.) in camp for activities other than cooking.

 

Electronics:

Personal radios, CD/DVD players, video games, cell phones, mp3 players and iPods are allowed en route to Scouting activities but must be used with headphones. Scouts are not permitted to bring two-way radios or other electronic gear. Aside from the disruptive effect they have at campsites or other activities, they rarely survive the experience.

 

Uniforms:

The khaki BSA uniform shirt is the primary uniform (Class A Uniform) of Troop 494. The khaki uniform shirt is to be worn with a neckerchief and slide at all troop events that are designated as Class A uniform events. For events such as a troop Court of Honor, community service projects if designated, etc., the Merit Badge Sash shall be worn as part of the Formal Class A Uniform. Official BSA pants are optional along with other uniform accessories.

 

The Class A Uniform is required at all National, Northern Star Council and Many Waters District official events unless exempted by the troop Committee. Examples of these are Jamborees, Camporees, Show and Do, Merit Badge Day, Roundtable, Order of the Arrow events, etc.

 

The Class A Uniform is required for travel to and from all BSA National Camps and events as well as all Northern Star Council and Many Waters District camps and official events unless exempted by the troop Committee. Examples of these are Northern Tier, Philmont, Sea Base, Camporees, Show and Do, Merit Badge Day, Roundtable, Order of the Arrow events, etc.

 

Our troop has designed the orange troop tee shirt, the black troop sweatshirt, the blue troop fleece jacket, and the troop Tomahawk or any other campout tee shirt as the official troop alternate uniforms (Class B Uniform) for troop activities. The alternate uniform may be worn at meetings and events that are not specifically designated as Class A events. In the event that a Class B uniform is not available for some reason, then the Class A uniform is always acceptable.

 

For questions on proper patch placement on the khaki uniforms please refer to the Scout Handbook. Inside the front and back cover show the full-scale patch placement locations and spacing.

 

It will be the policy of Troop 494 that if a Scout comes to a meeting without either the Class A or B uniform, he will be reminded to check the calendar before the meeting and asked to perform a service to the troop.

 

The campout leader prior to departure for the campout will designate the uniforms for campouts. Any Scout without the proper uniform for the trip will not be allowed to leave with the troop.

 

Camouflaged clothing will not be allowed at any troop meetings or any camps such as Tomahawk, Spring or Fall Camporees, or any other official Scouting type functions. Camouflaged clothing will be allowed on Troop 494 campouts where the troop is solely responsible for the campout program and activities.

 

Caps are acceptable as part of the Class A Scout uniform if the cap is an official BSA cap. Any of the caps from one of the BSA camps or the official BSA uniform caps are acceptable as part of the troop Class B uniform. Caps, clothing, or accessories advertising drugs, alcohol, tobacco or in poor taste are never acceptable for Scouts or adults.

 

Pop and Food:

Scouts will not be allowed to drink beverages during the troop meetings, unless the beverage is provided by the troop as part of our activities. They are free to purchase pop from the vending machines at the end of the meeting as long as it is OK with their parents.

 

On campouts, the Scouts are allowed to bring their own pop and snacks. We ask that the amounts brought be reasonable for the length of the campout. No food or drink is ever allowed inside the tents. If food is brought on a tent campout it must be kept in a hard sided cooler or container (Playmate size coolers are preferred) that can not be opened using only one hand. This policy is to prevent our camps from being invaded by animals like bear and raccoons.

 

Discipline Policy:

All members of the troop are expected to live by the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan and Outdoor Code as written in the Boy Scout Handbook. The Scouts will treat each other and all adult leaders with respect. If any problems are noted among the Scouts, leaders will attempt to resolve the situation immediately. If there is an ongoing problem, parents may be contacted. Scouts may be sent home from outings for unacceptable behavior at their parents’ expense.

 

Discipline procedure may include any or all of the following:

(a)   The Scout may be given a verbal warning.

(b)   The Patrol Leader with adult leader may have a conference with the Scout.

(c)    The Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster may have a conference with the    Scout.

(d)   The Scout may be removed from the meeting or function and may be required to attend a Scoutmaster Conference with a parent before he can attend another Scout function.

(e)   Perform additional troop-assigned duties to qualify for next rank advancement.

(f)    Suspension from all troop activities for a period of time.

(g)   Expulsion from the troop.

 

The Troop Committee and Scout Leadership are committed to making Scouting a positive experience for all. To do this we will need your support to ensure that negative behavior is discouraged. If your son is disciplined, please counsel him; don’t admonish the Scout leader.

 

Note: If someone feels they are unjustly picked on, please report to the Scoutmaster or troop Committee Chair.

 

Troop Dues:

To help pay for normal troop operating expenses, a $25.00 fee will be assessed annually on January 1 of each year to each existing Scout in the troop and upon joining to each new Scout. This fee may be paid with ScoutBucks, or payment can be made directly to the Troop Treasurer. The purpose of this fee is to assure that troop expenses are shared equally among the Scouts. Typical troop operating expenses include but are not limited to rank advancement supplies, maintenance and replacement of troop equipment, purchase of new equipment, postage, meeting supplies, newsletter costs, etc. The amount of the fee is to be reviewed annually by the Troop Committee and adjusted to fit the annual budget. Troop fundraising activities may also be conducted to cover expenses not covered by the annual fee.

 

Fundraising Activities:

All Scouts are expected to participate in the troop fundraising efforts. We conduct two types of fundraising activities, 1) troop funds (for camp equipment, troop activity fees, etc.), and 2) shared funds where a portion of the money earned is deposited in the ScoutBucks account of the Scouts that participate in the activity. At the beginning of each fundraising activity, an assessment is done by the Troop Committee to determine what the need is for the funds raised. The Scouts are then notified of how the money is to be used and divided. If the Scout chooses to not participate, it is suggested that the family make a cash donation to make up for troop funds not earned. Scouting can be an expensive activity for families, and this is why we make every effort to provide a number of opportunities each year for the Scouts to earn money to pay their own way to the various activities. We are a self-sustaining organization, and therefore we must generate our own income to operate the troop.

 

ScoutBucks:

ScoutBucks is a savings account maintained by the troop on behalf of a Scout, adult or family.  Deposits are made into the account for the money Scouts earn through troop fundraising activities, as well as directly by adults and Scouts’ parents as necessary. Withdrawals are made from the ScoutBucks account to pay for troop activities. ScoutBucks accounts are maintained as a convenience to our Scouts and adults. The Scouts and their families are financially responsible for their ScoutBucks accounts. 

 

ScoutBucks funds can only be used by active Scouts to fund their Scouting experience. Some acceptable examples of items for which the ScoutBucks funds may be used to pay for are: camping fees, camping equipment for Scout outings, Scout uniforms, Eagle Court of Honor expenses, troop-sponsored fun nights, registration fees, troop dues, troop t-shirts and sweatshirts, and Boy's Life magazine subscriptions.

The troop ScoutBucks Administrator will record the amount earned by each Scout through fundraisers and deposit those funds in a bank account until the funds are requested.  ScoutBucks reimbursements are issued by the Troop Treasurer. Voucher slips, available from the Treasurer, must be filled out and attached to the receipts for reimbursement from the ScoutBucks account.

A Scout's ScoutBucks may be used for their parent or guardian's expenses, provided the Scout agrees to the charge. However, any reimbursement requests that appear to violate the spirit of the ScoutBucks program shall be submitted to the Troop Committee for approval, and the Committee shall make the final decision on the request.

ScoutBucks cannot be refunded to the Scout because these funds were raised through fundraising activities in which individuals purchased items with the understanding that the proceeds would be used by the Scout to pay for Scouting activities. Our troop has a fiduciary responsibility to insist that these rules be followed in order to protect our tax-exempt status and to follow the spirit in which the funds were raised.

Because ScoutBucks have been earned during troop fundraising activities, all unspent ScoutBucks shall revert back to the troop when the Scout leaves the troop. The Scout will not receive the remaining ScoutBucks funds upon leaving the troop.  However, when the most recent deposits are from personal funds deposited directly to the ScoutBucks account by the Scout or others, those can be refunded.

The following may also apply:

  1. If a Scout leaves the troop, the funds may be transferred to another family member in the troop. 
  2. If a Scout becomes a registered adult leader within the troop, then the Scout may transfer the funds from his Scout account to his adult leader account. 
  3. If the Scout transfers to another troop, then the Treasurer shall issue a check to the new troop for deposit in the ScoutBucks account with that troop, upon request

 

All ScoutBucks that revert to the troop shall be placed in a ScoutBucks account called "Campership" (see Campership ScoutBucks Account below).

                                           

ScoutBucks Account Management:

In order to ensure that all Scouts and adults keep their ScoutBucks accounts current, the Treasurer will maintain a ScoutBucks Hold list. This list will include all Scouts and adults whose ScoutBucks accounts have a balance due (or the families who collectively have a balance due). 

 

The Treasurer will send ScoutBucks statements to all Scouts and adults periodically or upon request. When a Scout or adult has a balance due, the Treasurer will communicate to them that their ability to participate in troop events will be restricted while they are on the ScoutBucks Hold list. 

 

Scouts and adults on the ScoutBucks Hold list will not be allowed to incur any charges that will increase their balance due. These Scouts and adults will not be allowed to participate in any troop activities that have a cost associated with them while they remain on the ScoutBucks Hold list. 

 

Scouts and adults are removed from the ScoutBucks Hold list when their ScoutBucks account no longer has a balance due. The names on the ScoutBucks Hold list, but not the balances, will be communicated to the Committee Chair, Scoutmaster and Camping Chair as necessary.

 

The Treasurer will attempt to prevent Scouts and adults from developing a balance due in their ScoutBucks account. Prior to any troop activity that has a cost associated with it, the Treasurer will review the roster to:

(1)   Determine whether any Scouts or adults who are on the ScoutBucks Hold list are signed up for the event.

(2)   Determine whether any Scouts or adults signed up for the event do not have adequate funds in their ScoutBucks account to pay for the event.

The Treasurer will communicate to those Scouts or adults that in order to participate in the upcoming event they need to either (a) make a deposit to their ScoutBucks account prior to the event that will correct their balance due after the cost of the event, or (b) pay for the event and their ScoutBucks balance due at the time of departure for the event.

 

In addition, the Treasurer will take responsibility for ensuring that Scouts or adults will not take part in Tomahawk or a High Adventure campout unless their ScoutBucks will have a positive balance after all charges related to the campout.  For Tomahawk, the deadline for having a positive ScoutBucks balance will be determined by Tomahawk’s billing policy.  For a High Adventure campout, the payment deadline will be the date specified in the Participant Rules for that High Adventure campout.

 

The Treasurer will work with the Committee Chair during annual recharter to ensure that no Scouts or adults will have a ScoutBucks balance due after all charges related to rechartering are determined.  No Scout or adult will be allowed to recharter if their ScoutBucks account has balance due.

 

Scouts and adults who remain on the ScoutBucks Hold list for an extended period of time may be restricted from participating in troop activities. The troop reserves the right to take legal action to collect any outstanding balances in ScoutBucks accounts due to the troop.

 

Campership ScoutBucks Account:

Forfeited ScoutBucks money and other troop funds may be used for Camperships. Money in the Campership account is intended to be used to support camping and other Scouting purchases by Scouts and Scouters who may not have the ability to fund these costs otherwise.

 

Disbursements from this fund are to be requested from and approved by the Committee Chair.  In the event that the Committee Chair would be a beneficiary of the funds (he/she or a Scout in their family that is benefiting would make them a beneficiary), then approval of the Treasurer will be required.  All discussions regarding requests for funds shall remain confidential, with only the Committee Chair and Treasurer (the Treasurer only transfers the funds to the recipients account) having knowledge of the grant.

 

The recipient of the Campership funds should be active in the troop and make their best effort to fund their Scouting activities by participating in troop fundraising activities to the best of their ability. Being active in the troop is defined as regularly participating in troop meetings, activities, and community service. Each request for Campership funds shall be considered on an individual basis. The Committee Chair and Treasurer may request, or work with the parent or guardian, on a plan to participate in fundraising to defray the cost of the event that they are seeking funds for. If a short-term event occurs just prior to the need for funds, the Committee Chair may waive this requirement (examples would be a death in family, loss of wage earners job, accident, house fire, etc.). For fund requests for summer camp (Tomahawk) the recipient must apply to Northern Star Council for Campership funds prior to receiving troop Campership funds.

 

Typical uses of the Campership funds disbursed to individuals would be to purchase required camping equipment, fund troop campouts, summer camp (Tomahawk), and uniforms.  Funds also may be used to pay for Scouts’ and Scouters’ attendance at approved training functions such as Junior Leader Training (JLTC) and University of Scouting.

 

The troop Committee annually, at a minimum, shall review the balance of the Campership account and may transfer surpluses from the account to a troop account to be used for general troop operating costs or special purchases. A minimum balance should be maintained in the Campership account to cover anticipated needs of Scouts or Scouters.

 

Troop Finances:

The Troop checking and savings accounts will be maintained by the Troop Treasurer. The accounts will have access by the Treasurer, Committee Chair, and Scoutmaster. The savings account is the ScoutBucks earned by the Scouts participating in fundraising programs, or funds deposited directly, and individually recorded on a software package such as Quicken. There may also be accounts maintained for adults as well.

 

As no two outings are alike, the following guidelines should be followed regarding cancellations:

o   Some campouts or high adventure trips require deposits or partial payment fees months in advance. These types of activities will have a date specified for deadline to cancel without fee. Cancellations after this date will be required to pay the fee unless the Scout or adult sells his spot to another Scout or adult.

o   All campouts that require food purchase have a deadline of the Wednesday prior to the campout for canceling. Those canceling after this date will be charged for the food in addition to the facility fees.

o   Rates for Scouts and adults will be determined by the Camping Chair and/or the coordinator of the event, and approved by the Troop Committee.

o   Scouts or adults canceling at the last minute for any reason or "no-shows" at departure will be charged the full campout rate.

o   Scouts attending a portion of the weekend campout will be charged the full rate.

o   Cancellations must be done by contacting the Camping Chair, leader in charge of the activity, or the Scoutmaster. It is the responsibility of the person contacted to inform the buyer of the food to revise the amount to purchase.

 

Troop Expenses:

Scouts and their parents who volunteer to purchase food for a weekend campout must follow a budget per person as determined during the initial campout planning meeting and get the final person count the Wednesday prior to a campout. Receipts with a voucher slip are to be turned in to the Treasurer for reimbursement at the next troop meeting following the campout.  Receipts turned in more than 30 days after a campout will not be reimbursed.

 

Items that are purchased together but fall into multiple categories, such as camping food, copying fees, postage, court of honor food, etc., need to be broken out separately for the amount in each category. All slips and receipts will be turned in to the Treasurer for reimbursement.

 

Purchases for the troop other than campout food, such as food items for a troop meeting, supplies for a troop activity, troop equipment, etc., must have Committee approval BEFORE such items are purchased. If it is not feasible to wait for a Committee meeting, then approval may be obtained by directly contacting the Committee Chair. Purchases for items that do not follow this policy of pre-approval may be subject to non-reimbursement.

 

The Treasurer will be responsible for collecting money at activities that require Scouts to purchase items. If the Treasurer is not available, he/she will designate another person to collect the money and deliver to the Treasurer.

 

Voucher slips can be obtained at troop meetings, from the troop website, or from the Treasurer.

 

Junior Leadership Positions:

One of the major learning opportunities in Boy Scouts is leadership. Each Scout is required as part of his rank advancement to hold one of the numerous leadership positions available within the troop. Some of the positions are elected by the members of the troop (Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leaders), other positions are selected by the elected Scout (Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leaders), and there are a number of positions which are volunteer positions (Quartermaster, Librarian, Historian, etc.). When a Scout is elected, selected, or volunteers for a position, it is expected that they attend meetings on a regular basis, and if they are not able to attend a meeting(s) for any reason that they notify 1) Scoutmaster, 2) their assistant, if there is an assistant, or 3) any of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

Junior Leader Elections:

 

Senior Patrol Leader: The Scouts of the Troop 494 elect the Senior Patrol Leader. To be eligible for the position of Senior Patrol Leader a Scout must be at least Star Rank and have been a Patrol Leader for at least one year. The newly elected Senior Patrol Leader selects his assistants. The Senior Patrol Leader may serve for a maximum of 2 years.

 

Patrol Leaders: The Scouts of a patrol elect a Patrol Leader from the group. For patrols of Scouts that have been in the troop for more than one year, the elected patrol leader must be at least First Class rank. For patrols of first year Scouts, all members are eligible to be elected patrol leaders. In either case the newly elected Patrol Leader will select his assistant.

 

Parent Involvement:

Parent involvement in troop activities is always needed and very much appreciated. The troop always needs help with the numerous activities that we have for the boys. Our troop is successful because of the level of parent participation that we have, and we want that success to continue in the future. Training from BSA is available on wide variety of topics and is encouraged for anyone who is interested in working closely with the Scouts. Adult registration and training in BSA is required for certain adult leadership positions.

 

Parents are not allowed to sign their son’s rank advancement requirements. In the event that the parent was responsible for teaching the advancement requirement, then the person who assisted in supervising or witnessed the class should sign the Scout Handbook of the teacher’s son.

 

Parents Remember - If you are involved in the Scouting program it will help your son be more interested in Scouts. It is also a GREAT way to spend quality time with your son. In these days when it seems that none of us have enough time with our kids, here is a way to do it!

 

 

Adult Leader General Guidelines:

These guidelines summarize the manner in which all parents and registered adult leaders are expected to behave in dealing with the boys in our troop.  The guidelines set the expectations for appropriate adult behavior.

 

  1. Adults will treat all boys in our troop in a positive, respectful manner at all times.
  2. No boy in our troop will be given more favorable treatment than any other boy. Conversely, no boy will be singled out for adverse treatment.
  3. Adults will always follow their training on Safe Scouting, especially the principle of two-deep leadership.
  4. If an adult has an issue with a boy and the adult is not able to handle that issue in a positive, constructive manner, then the adult will immediately consult with the Scoutmaster or another adult to handle the issue.  
  5. Adults will not engage in negative behaviors such as yelling at, belittling, harassing, or bullying any boy in our troop.  Our troop will be a safe haven from this type of treatment.    
  6. In their roles as authority figures, adults will enforce only the adherence to our troop guidelines, not their own personal preferences.  
  7. Adults will remember that the Scoutmaster has responsibility for enforcing our troop guidelines for disciplining of the boys.
  8. At all times the safety of the boys is our most important concern.  An adult is expected to take immediate action to protect a boy whenever his safety is an issue.
  9. In order to set a good example for the boys, adults will not smoke around the boys. 
  10. Adults will follow the roles and responsibilities established by the Troop Committee for dealing with the boys.

 

Camping:

Our troop does enjoy camping. We conduct a variety of overnight experiences throughout the year. We give the Scouts a wide range of experiences and challenges.

 

Troop Equipment: The troop provides tents, rain tarps, ground cloths, cooking equipment, and other camping equipment for the Scouts to use while on campouts. We expect the Scouts to treat this equipment with care and respect. Any damage that occurs that is caused by deliberate or careless behavior will be paid for by the Scout, but not from ScoutBucks.

 

Our troop has made a considerable investment in equipment, and we do not feel that it is necessary for adults to lend their personal gear to the troop for any event. Anyone who loans their equipment to the troop for any troop activity does so at their own risk, and the troop will not reimburse anyone if the personal equipment they loan to the troop is lost or damaged.

 

Scout Personal Equipment: Each Scout is required to provide their own personal equipment for our campouts. The following is a list of recommended items:

 

        Backpack                                                 Sleeping Bag

        Sleep Pad                                                Flashlight

        Personal Eating Gear1                            Rain Gear

        Compass                                                 Pocket Knife

        Change(s) of Clothing2                           Boots/Shoes (appropriate to the season) 3

        Gloves/Mittens                                      Personal Hygiene (soap, tooth paste, etc)

 

        1 Should include knife, fork, spoon, plate/bowl, and cup/mug. Plastic articles are recommended over metal items. Plastic will help keep food hot longer and prevent burns that can occur with metal items.

        2 Changes of clothing should be ample to cover the length of the campout. Keep in mind that boys do get wet and dirty on campouts. One change of clothes is usually enough for a weekend trip, but we need to keep weather conditions and duration of the  campout in mind when packing for the campouts.

        3 For winter activities it is recommended that boots with removable liners (Sorel type) be used. This allows the boots to be easily dried and they generally keep the feet warmest.

 

Campout Sign-ups: Our troop normally schedules 10 to 11 campouts each year, plus specialty "High Adventure" trips (Spearhead, Sailing, Mountain Backpacking). Sign-up for each camp is announced at the regular troop meetings.

 

For some of the campouts we do have limited space available, so sign-up is on a first come basis. And for troop High Adventure trips we generally impose an age restriction of 13 years of age; additional requirements can be imposed based on the nature of the event.

 

Camp Fees: Fees for our weekend campouts are to cover the cost of food and any camp usage fees that may be charged. We typically charge $20 to $30 per Scout for a weekend campout, but that does vary depending on the camping activities. Those fees are due at the troop meeting prior to the campout. Fees can be paid by check, cash, or from the ScoutBucks account. A nominal fee for adults attending the camp out will be collected to help cover the cost of the campout food and other expenses.

 

Camp Cancellations: If a Scout has signed up for a regular campout but is unable to attend, he must contact the troop camping coordinator(s). If he notifies them by the Wednesday night before the campout, he will not be charged for the camp. (Exception: High adventure or other "pre-paid" camps – see below.)

 

If the Scout notifies the troop after Wednesday night, he will be charged for the campout.

 

The reason for the deadline is to allow enough time to the Scout’s patrol to adjust menus and grocery purchases for the revised attendance count and to prevent the troop from delaying departure waiting for a missing scout.

 

High Adventure camps need to be handled differently. Since most of the time the fee must be prepaid to the camp, refunds in most cases cannot be given. If a Scout has signed up for the camp but cannot attend, he will lose the fee unless he can recruit a substitute to attend in his place.

 

High Adventure Planning Process: 
High Adventure trips are managed as a part of our regular camping program.  The Camping Chair will have responsibility for overseeing High Adventure trips.  This will incorporate the event into our existing camping leadership process.

The Camping Chair will lead the development of options for High Adventure trips.  These options will be approved by the troop Committee.  The selection of individual trips will be done by the Scouts, subject to Committee approval.

For each High Adventure trip the Camping Chair will establish a High Adventure Subcommittee composed of participants (and possibly non-participants) who will jointly plan and organize the event.  The Subcommittee must consist of both adults and Scouts.  The planning responsibilities will be divided among the Subcommittee members.  In this way we will not rely on just one person to plan and organize these very extensive and involved trips. 

The High Adventure Subcommittee will be overseen by the Camping Chair.  At his or her discretion, the Camping Chair may be a member of the Subcommittee. 

The Subcommittee will follow the troop's High Adventure Planning Guidelines (as shown on our troop website) to ensure that all the necessary steps are being taken on a timely basis.  These Planning Guidelines are very general, and the Subcommittee will modify them as necessary for the particular High Adventure trip.  These Guidelines incorporate everything that we have learned from planning these events in the past and will assist the Subcommittee in successfully planning the event. 

The Subcommittee will develop High Adventure Participant Rules tailored to the particular High Adventure trip.  High Adventure trips are not like a weekend campout and require a commitment from each participant saying that they agree to follow whatever requirements the Subcommittee deems necessary.  These requirements may include: 

  • Preparatory hikes, campouts or physical conditioning
  • First aid or other training
  • Timing of progress payments for the trip
  • Submission of all requirements (such as physicals or training) by the required dates
  • Achieving certain rank or merit badge requirements prior to the trip
  • Achieving minimum attendance levels at regular troop activities (troop meetings, campouts, service projects, etc.)
  • Any other requirements as determined by the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee will hold a Signup Meeting for anyone who has expressed interest in participating in the high adventure campout.  Attendance at this meeting will be mandatory.  At that meeting the Subcommittee will present its High Adventure Participant Rules, a timeline for periodic payments, a tentative schedule of all events relating to the trip (including training, preparatory campout or hikes, etc.), and any other information the Subcommittee feels the participants will need to know before signing up for the campout.  Participants who are interested in the campout will be asked at that meeting to sign off on their High Adventure Participant Rules form to formally commit to the campout.

 

In the event that there are more people interested in the campout than we can accommodate, the Subcommittee will develop a selection process to determine who can participate.  This selection process must be objective and consider only criteria such as age, rank, level of participation in troop activities, etc.

                                                                                                                

Participants who are selected for the campout and have signed off on their commitment to meet the High Adventure Participant Rules must understand that these requirements are not optional, and that if the participants do not follow through on the requirements they will be dropped from the event and will forfeit any money they have paid.  Alternate requirements may be necessary if an individual cannot make some of the required events, but all requirements must be fulfilled.

The troop Committee will retain final responsibility for all decisions regarding the planning and preparation for a High Adventure trip.  In its role, the Committee retains the right to make final decisions as to the participant list, the High Adventure Participant Rules, crew makeup, all aspects of planning and participant preparations, training requirements, dismissal of participants from the trip for failure to meet Participant Rules, minimum rank requirements, hardship exceptions to be released from their commitment to the campout, etc.

Adult Leader Campout Expectations:

Thank you for attending this campout as an adult leader.  In Scouts we work to develop the boys’ abilities, confidence, and leadership.  As an adult leader you have an active role in this process.  Because of this, these expectations will help guide you in maximizing your positive impact on the boys. 

 

There are two guiding principles that we need to follow as adult leaders on a campout:

  1. Lead by example.  If we expect the boys to behave or act a certain way, we should be acting in that way.  This means that the adults should be following all the rules that we expect the boys to follow.
  2. The boys need to do all their duties.  This means that you should not be stepping in and doing tasks for the boys.   You can help guide or coach the boys through an activity, but you should not do the task for the boys.

 

The following addresses specific adult items while on a campout. 

 

Cell Phones
The troop does not allow electronics on campouts.  We know that as adults we may need to keep in touch via voice or email.  Because of this adults are allowed to bring and use their cell phones, but with a caveat.   You can only use your phone away from the boys.  In general, a walk away from camp or to the parking lot is sufficient.  Please silence your ringer so that the phone will not be disruptive.

 

Lights out/quiet hours
Adults sometimes stay up later than lights out/quiet hours.  We do not require the adults to be in bed at lights out, but we do expect them to be quiet.  It is discouraging to the Scouts when they are being asked to be quiet and go to bed, but there are adults being loud enough to be heard by the scouts.  Your volume level should be such that any Scout in their tent cannot hear you.  This may mean having to whisper.

 

Here are a couple general guidelines:

  1. Your behavior should follow the Scout Oath and Law.  This is the same that we expect from the boys.
  2. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.  Feel free to talk to the Scoutmaster or any of the Assistant Scoutmasters.
  3. If you observe inappropriate behavior, please intervene to stop the behavior.  If you do not feel comfortable intervening, please get the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster to step in.
  4. If you are seeing inappropriate behavior, please let the Scoutmaster know.  Even for behavior that you do not intervene with. 
  5. The Scoutmaster is ultimately responsible for the safety of the scouts.  If you observe or have any safety concerns, please let the Scoutmaster know.
  6. If your son is on the campout, try to step back from the parent role.  Let your son participate in the Scouting program.  If your Scout keeps asking you questions about what to do, please direct him to talk to his patrol leader or the senior patrol leader.
  7. Remember, as an adult, you are there for all the Scouts, not just your son.
  8. Please step up and help out with duties for the adult patrol.
  9. If you stray from the rules, you will be gently reminded by the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
  10. Please remember the Youth Protection Training, and always maintain two-deep leadership.
  11. Have fun.  Enjoy the campout.

 

Adult Leader High Adventure Campout Expectations:

The responsibilities of an adult leader are defined by the specific high adventure program’s participant booklet (for BSA programs).  The specific requirements vary between the destinations.  Troop high adventure outings are generally treated as campouts, but may have specific requirements for the adult leaders also.  The adult leader responsibilities will be discussed and outlined in the planning meetings for the troop high adventure outing.

 

In addition, there are general expectations by the troop for adult leaders attending any high adventure outing.  The Adult Leader Camping Expectations, as outlined in a separate document, are in effect for high adventure adult leaders.  The expectations are broken down into categories outlined below:

 

General

  • You are representing Troop 494, Northern Star Council, and the Boy Scouts of America.  Make sure that your actions and the Scouts behavior are respectful, considerate, and follow the Scout Oath and Law (you can read those in your son’s book if you need to brush up.)  People we interact with remember bad behavior much easier and longer than good.
  • As an adult leader, your participation is for the benefit of all the Scouts, not just your son.  This means that there is a possibility of a situation arising such that you may need to change crews and/or get separated from your crew.  In an extreme case, this may mean that you could be separated from your son. 
  • You are to act for the benefit of the entire troop, not for an individual.  Meaning you may need to do something that is for the good of the group, that may have a neutral or negative impact on you.  For example, you may need to accompany an injured Scout to a medical facility while your crew continues their adventure.
  • You need to be aware of the policies and procedures outlined in the specific participant handbook for BSA destinations, or regulations for the destination for non-BSA high adventure.
  • Remember the Youth Protection Training.  Always practice two-deep leadership.
  • Have fun and enjoy the adventure.

 

Travel

  • All high adventures have travel involved to varying degrees.  Some require airline flights, busses, taxis, hotels, and walking.  This brings unique challenges that you need to be ready for.
  • Please try to keep your group together.  When travelling in airports or bus terminals, please do not let the boys roam on their own.  Please find a location that you all can stay together, or walk around together in a group.  Just like at camp, the boys should be using the buddy system.
  • You are responsible for the Scouts you are travelling with.  This means you are responsible for their safety and well-being.  A responsibility not to be taken lightly.
  • Every Scout is different.  Every group of Scouts is different.  Please use your judgment as to the best way to ensure the Scouts are following the Oath and Law.
  • Make sure all the adults travelling together are aware of who has responsibility for what.  For example, who has the bus tickets, airplane boarding passes, travel documents, hotel reservations, etc.  The adults should work together to make sure things run smoothly.

 

Rank Advancement Procedure:

1.     Complete all requirements for the rank.

2.      Make sure each requirement is initialed and dated, including the month, day, and year. (Example: 12/10/01), in your Boy Scout Handbook as soon as the requirement is complete.

 NOTE: Each requirement must be initialed by approved Troop Guides, SPL, ASPL’s, JASM, or registered adult leader. See Advancement Committee member for approved list.

3.      Obtain Rank Advancement Check Sheet from the Troop Advancement Coordinator.

4.      For ranks of 1st Class and below, verification of completion of requirements may be performed (signed) by any registered adult leader.

5.      For ranks of Star and above, verification will be by the Troop Advancement Coordinator. Within one week, Troop Record Keeper will verify that all requirements have been met and return signed Advancement Check Sheet to the Scout.

6.      Periodically the detail advancement records in each Scout’s book will be transferred onto a printout of their record in our advancement record database.  The Troop Record Keeper will then transfer completed requirement dates from the printout of their advancement record into the troop advancement record database.

7.      Give signed Advancement Check Sheet to the Scoutmaster and schedule a Scoutmaster Conference.

8.      After the successful Scoutmaster Conference, the Scout will transfer the signed Advancement Check Sheet to the Board of Review Coordinator for scheduling of a Board of Review.  It is the Advancement Committee’s responsibility to see that the Scout receives his Board of Review in a timely manner.

9.      Upon successful completion of the Board of Review, the Scout will transfer the completed Advancement Check Sheet to the Troop Record Keeper.

10.  The Record Keeper will update the troop record database and file a copy of the Advancement Report with the Northern Star Council Scout Office.

 

NOTE: It is the Scout’s responsibility to bring their Scout Handbook to every troop function where the possibility of having requirements signed off exists.

 

Scoutmaster Conferences:

Scoutmaster Conferences will generally be conducted during regular troop meetings or on another troop activity. The Scout must present himself to the Scoutmaster with proof of completion of all requirements. A time will then be established for the conference. The Scoutmaster Conference must be completed before the Board of Review can be scheduled. The Scoutmaster may not conduct his/her own son’s Scoutmaster Conference; a registered Assistant Scoutmaster will conduct that conference.

 

Each Scout may participate in at least one Scoutmaster Conference per year regardless of whether a rank has been earned during the year or not. This Scoutmaster Conference will be used to check on the Scout’s progress toward the next rank and ensure that the Scout is not having difficulties with any of the advancement requirements. No more than one rank may be reviewed in each Scoutmaster Conference.

 

At least one parent or guardian must attend the Scoutmaster Conference with the Scout earning the Scout Badge. This will be done to provide an opportunity to the parents to meet the Scoutmaster.

 

Board of Review:

The Board of Review for Tenderfoot through Life or Palm rank advancement will generally be conducted at a regular troop meeting or on another troop activity.  The Scout must present his signed Advancement Check Sheet as proof of the completion of the Scoutmaster Conference to the Board of Review Coordinator. It is the Advancement Committee’s responsibility to see that the Scout receives his Board of Review in a timely manner.

 

When a Board of Review is scheduled with the Board of Review Coordinator, the Scout should present himself to the Board of Review Team in a Formal Class A uniform which is as correct as possible with all patches worn properly and wearing his Merit Badge Sash. If circumstances prevent the Scout from appearing in his Formal Class A uniform, then he should be clean and neat in appearance and dressed appropriately.  The Board cannot reject candidates dressed to this description.

 

The Board of Review Team will be made up of at least 3 but no more than 6 adult leaders who are registered Committee members (over 21 years of age).  Scoutmasters or Assistant Scoutmasters may not participate in Boards of Review except as observers. The Scout’s parents or guardians may not participate in their own son’s Board of Review.  If the Scout’s parents or guardians insist on observing the Board of Review, they should be counseled on how this might adversely affect the Scout’s performance.  However, if they insist on being present, then they must be permitted to observe.

 

The purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest the Scout on the advancement requirements.  Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience, decide whether he is qualified to advance, and if so, encourage him to continue the quest for Eagle or the next Palm.  The Board of Review is an opportunity to check on the Scout’s likes and dislikes and for him to discuss with some of the adult leaders how he is doing as a Scout in the troop. It is also an opportunity for troop leaders to uncover ways to improve the troop.  Open-ended questions are used to generate discussion between the Board of Review team and the Scout to help the team better know and understand the Scout.

 

The Board of Review must be performed in a formal yet relaxed environment and should take no more than 15-30 minutes. The decision of the Board of Review team must be unanimous.  If the Board does not approve the Scout, then the Scout must be told what he can do to improve.

 

Each Scout may participate in at least one Board of Review per year regardless of whether a rank has been earned during the year or not. This Board of Review will be used to check on the Scout’s progress toward the next rank and ensure that the Scout is not having difficulties with any of the advancement requirements.

 

No more than one rank may be reviewed in each Board of Review.

 

Upon the successful completion of the Board of Review, the new rank badge will be awarded to the Scout at the next Class A uniform troop meeting. The rank advancement card will then be awarded at the next Court of Honor.

 

Eagle Board of Review:

Troop 494 will strictly follow the rules and policies of BSA and Many Waters District for the Eagle advancement process. Those policies and rules are outlined in the BSA Advancement Policies Manual. 

 

The Eagle Board of Review will include at least one district or council representative. If the troop requests it, more than one may be included. There shall be no fewer than 3 and no more than 6 members on the Board, and all must be at least 21 years old. They need not be on an advancement committee or registered with the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an understanding of the Eagle rank and the purpose and importance of the Board of Review.

 

Merit Badges:

o   The Scoutmaster must sign all merit badge application cards before the Scout begins work on the merit badge regardless of whether the merit badge is being offered by the troop or being completed with an outside counselor.  

o   The troop will provide opportunities for the Scouts to complete Eagle-required merit badges during troop meetings with sign ups being announced in advance. The troop will also make every effort to offer merit badges that are associated with a particular troop activity. Any other merit badges that the Scout wishes to complete are the responsibility of the Scout to schedule with a merit badge counselor.

o   Any merit badge that is to be awarded at a troop Court of Honor must be completed at least two weeks prior to the Court of Honor.

 

Cub Scout Crossovers:

To welcome to our troop Webelos who cross over to Boy Scouts, the troop will present the boys at their crossover ceremony a troop neckerchief and slide (the cost of these will be charged to the boys’ ScoutBucks accounts).  If the Pack does not provide the boys with a Boy Scout Handbook, then the troop will give the boys a Handbook as a gift.

 

Eagle Scout Gifts:

The troop will give a flag to all of its Eagle Scouts as a gift.  In addition, each Eagle Scout will also receive a gift of an engraved axe if they have an Eagle Scout Court of Honor or if they request an axe.

 

Troop Website Policy:

National BSA has developed guidelines for Councils to use in developing their websites, but no guidelines have yet been written for troops to follow in developing theirs.  Our Troop Website Policy is based on the principles behind the National BSA guidelines for Councils, as adapted for our troop.

Troop Website Goals

  1. Communication tool and information resource for our youth participants, adult leaders and parents
  2. Recruiting tool for youth participants
  3. Public relations tool for the troop
  4. Troop history archive with troop documents and photographs of troop activities
  5. Troop Committee resource for information and tools that make the troop run more smoothly

Guidelines

  1. The troop website will be hosted at a hosting facility that gives the troop complete control over the content and management of the site. 
  2. The troop website will be managed by the Troop Webmaster, who will manage the site as directed by the Troop Committee.
  3. The troop website must be appropriate to the Scouting movement.
  4. The troop website cannot contain links to any sites that contain material that is not appropriate to the Scouting movement.
  5. The troop website cannot contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements.  It may, however, link to sites that contain advertisements or commercial endorsements, as long as those advertisement or commercial endorsements are not inappropriate to the Scouting movement.
  6. The troop website must abide by all laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property, and by those pertaining to the Internet.
  7. The troop website must consider the safety and privacy of its members and participants by controlling the information about and images of all individuals.

Privacy and Youth Protection
The Troop Website Policy carefully addresses the concern that parents may have about child protection and the Internet through the following set of reasonable guidelines designed to protect our youth participants (i.e., boys under the age of 18):

- The troop website will not be used to collect any personal information on its youth participants.

- Contact information for youth participants will not be maintained on the website, not even in a secured document or in a secured, password-protected area.  In order to facilitate the contacting of adult leaders, however, the most basic adult leader contact information may be provided on the troop website.

- Photographs of individual youth participants may be maintained on the website provided that no first or last names are shown with any photographs

- Full names of youth participants are not allowed anywhere on the troop website, not even in a secured document or in a secured, password-protected area.
- Documents from troop events such as programs from troop Courts of Honor (collectively known as Troop Memorabilia) can be presented on the troop website provided that the full names of youth participants are not shown in the documents.

- The Troop Webmaster will maintain the log-ins and passwords that allow access to any secured, password-protected area of the website and will change those log-ins and passwords as necessary to maintain the security of the website. 

- At any time, a parent may request that no images of their boy appear on the troop website, and the Troop Webmaster will immediately take steps to comply with that request.  This option will be communicated to all new parents when they join our troop, and a notice about this option will be posted on the page that links to the troop photo albums.

- To ensure responsible sharing of the photographs on the website, the Troop Webmaster will post the following message on the page that links to the troop photo albums:  These photographs are provided by our troop members to share their experiences on our campouts and other troop activities.  You are welcome to share these photographs as long as you do so respectfully, without altering the photos, attaching the names of anyone in the photos, or using the photos in a way that is disrespectful to anyone in the photos.”

Website Responsibilities

Adult Webmaster

  • Manage and maintain the overall structure of the site.
  • Control security and assign authority for access to the site.
  • Assist and advise adults and Scouts on proper and best use of the site.
  • Maintain a web page and style guideline for adults and Scouts to follow to ensure consistency.

Scout Webmaster

  • Coordinate the ongoing maintenance and updating of the site to ensure that it is kept current and is a useful resource for all troop members.
  • Assign responsibility for every page on the site and follow up with the responsible person to keep their pages updated.
  • Make changes to web pages as requested by appropriate adults who do not have access.
  • Proactively approach adult and Scout leadership to see what information or resources they would like to see on the site, or what improvements they want.