This handbook is intended to assist new scouts and their families learn about the Boy Scout program. The rules and procedures described will help our troop remain successful and enhance each Scout’s enjoyment of the program.
About Troop 286
Troop 286 is the original and oldest running Boy Scout Troop in Odessa Missouri. Our Sponsoring Organization, local community members, the local VFW, and others help and assist Troop 286 with our shared belief in the values of Scouting. Our adult leadership is committed to ensuring the scouts receive a quality experience as they learn and grow into young men. We follow current BSA policy and procedure to provide the quality you expect and your sons deserve. Troop 286 is a boy led troop as much as is possible.
Boy Scout, Troop 286, exists to serve boys by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law, preparing them to make ethical choices over their lifetime, and enabling them to achieve their full potential. Our goal is to have every scout achieve their First Class rank in their first year. Earning the Eagle rank is the ultimate goal, but it is important that the scout enjoy the journey and appreciate the accomplishment.
Troop web-site – www.bsa286.com. You will find the troop calendar and other useful information posted at the web-site.
Boy Scout Oath
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.
Boy Scout Law
A Scout is:
- And Reverent
Aims and Methods of Scouting
The aims of Scouting are:
- To Build Character
- To Foster Citizenship
- To Develop Fitness
There are eight methods of Scouting that are used to achieve the aims. They are an integral part of everything the Troop does.
- Personal Growth
- Adult Association
- Leadership Development
- The Uniform
Troop meetings are held from 6:45 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings. In June and July we generally meet two Mondays a month and attend Summer Camp during one week in June.
Each Scout is required to have a Boy Scout Handbook. The scout should bring his Boy Scout Handbook to Troop meetings. This book, aside from being very informative, is used to track the boy’s advancements. As advancements and merit badges are earned, the Advancement Chairman, Scoutmaster, or an Assistant Scoutmaster will record them in the Scout’s handbook.
Committee meetings are held on the Thursday after the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. There is an expectation in Troop 286 that parents attend the committee meetings. So please get involved, come to the meetings, and ask questions. All troop 286 parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Dues and Fundraisers
Webelos transferring into the troop will pay the $1.00 transfer fee since they have already paid their yearly Charter fee at the Cub Scout level. Thereafter, regular troop dues are paid monthly. Dues are $5.00 per month. Troop 286 considers Boy’s Life Magazing to be an essential part of the Scouting experience and encourages all members and parents to subscribe to Boy’s Life..
The Troop desires that all boys be able to participate in the scouting program regardless of their personal financial situation. Because of this, various fundraising projects are a regular part of the Troop activities. The boys sell popcorn every fall and 100% of their profits go into their individual scouting accounts. Troop 286 also plans other fundraising activities like the BBQ Lunch fundraiser during City Wide Garage Sales, etc. “Earning Your Own Way” is an important lesson for Scouts to learn and practice. Troop 286 expects all Scouts to participate in our “Earning Our Own Way” fundraising activities. The money earned from all fundraisers helps to buy advancements, finance camping equipment, buy cakes for Eagle Court of honors, and help finance selected trips.
While all money received by the Treasurer is deposited into the Troop’s bank account, each Scout has his own “virtual” account for himself and his family, which is tracked by the Treasurer. Any profit from fundraising activities is placed in this account along with any credits made by the Troop or any money specifically deposited into his account by you. Scouts can make withdrawals from their accounts to pay dues, Troop sponsored events, such as summer camp, Troop outings, merit badge universities, uniforms, or other scouting related events. Scouts are encouraged to develop financial management skills by learning to pay part of their way and they are provided with individual fundraising opportunities to help them.
It is policy that no one advances with a negative balance in their “virtual” account.
Dues and Negative Accounts Policy– the Treasure will contact the Scoutmaster about an account whose balance reaches -$40. The treasurer and the scout master will decide if there should be contact made and who will contact the appropriate persons whose account is in the negative. Contact will be made via individual e-mail; Scouts will not be restricted from camping with a negative scout account.
Scouts are to be charged dues until someone is notified scout has quit or until re-chartering date or 18th birthday.
Troop 286 uses the Patrol Method of Scouting. This means the boys operate in groups of approximately 4 – 9 boys based on age/grade level. The boys elect their patrol leaders, decide the patrol menu, cook, and eat as a patrol. They function as a group during meetings, campouts, and other troop activities. Patrol members bring ideas for programs to their patrol leader, who will then convey these ideas to the Patrol Leaders’ Council. Patrols have a patrol name, patrol yell, and patrol flag.
The Troop is run by a scout Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC) which meets at 6:45 p.m. before every Scout Meeting. The Patrol Leader’s Council is composed of the all troop leadership positions (Senior patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Scribe, Quartermaster, Librarian, Historian, Chaplain Aide, etc) and all Patrol Leaders. The PLC plans and conducts the troop meetings and activities under the supervision of the Scoutmaster and his Assistant Scoutmasters. It is also the responsibility of the Patrol Leaders’ Council to make sure that Troop programs and events are communicated to the Scouts. PLC meeting are held monthly.
In addition to regular troop meetings, the Troop attempts to have some type of activity monthly to enable each scout to utilize and enhance his learning experience and enjoy the rewards of the previous skill he has learned. Some examples of past and future activities are as follows: Camping, Hiking, One Day Outings, Merit Badge events, and Service Projects. All programs are based on Scout and parent input. If you would like to see something new, please bring it up to the Committee or Patrol Leaders’ Council. Normally each Patrol plans its own menu for an outing and patrol members purchase the food needed. Then a receipt is given to the Troop Treasurer for reimbursement.
Permission slips must be turned in by the due date to participate in each outing, whether one day or longer. These slips must be signed by a parent or guardian, and authorize the adult leader in charge to seek medical assistance should a Scout incur an accident or become ill. There is a place on the permission slip for the parent to indicate if they will be available for transportation to or from the event and whether or not they will participate in the outing. Parents are encouraged to take part in several of the monthly outings through out the year. Please turn in your permission forms by the stated deadline. Late registrations interfere with planning and food purchases.
A minimum of two adult leaders is required on every outing.
Please arrive on time to pick up your scout from troop meetings and outings.
Each year, Troop 286 attends a week long summer camp at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, or another of the Council Camps. Meals are provided in the dining hall.
Every Scout should have a Red Card with him when he goes to summer camp. A Red Card is proof of first aid and CPR training. It is required for the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges. It is good for three years.
A physical exam and form is required for summer camp (both youth and adults) on a yearly basis.
First year Scouts are required to go thru the New Scout program offered at Summer Camp.
Returning Scouts have an opportunity to work on more merit badges, but earning merit badges should not be the main focus of going to summer camp. Selected Scouts and leaders will also have an opportunity to represent the troop in the various skills competitions. Scouts can also earn the Mile Swim patch in addition to participation in Mic-O-Say activities.
The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is an H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation leadership program whose mission is the intensification of the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in the lives of Scouts and Scouters and to encourage their continued participation in Scouting.
Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s national honor society. (http://www.oa-bsa.org/) The Order of the Arrow (OA) recognizes those Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow troop members. Our lodge is the Tamegonite Lodge. Eligibility, the election progress and more information are available on Facebook. We strongly encourage you to check out the above websites for more information regarding Order of the Arrow.
Required prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs must be given to the outing leader by parent prior to departure with Scout’s name and written instructions for use. All medicines should be in the original container. Scouts with allergies and/or asthma are allowed to carry personal inhalers or an Epi-Pen.
The Scout Class A uniform includes the official BSA shirt with epaulets, trousers/shorts, belt (if applicable) and socks along with dark colored shoes. The neckerchief, slide, and sash for merit badges should be worn on special occasions like Courts of Honor. The official BSA cap is not mandatory. The Class A uniform should be worn to all Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Reviews, Scout meetings, Courts of Honors, and when traveling to and from a camping event, unless otherwise instructed.
The Scout Field Uniform includes the official BSA trousers/shorts and troop T-shirt. The Field Uniform can be worn during scouting events such a camping, hiking, cycling, and service projects.
Tents, tarps, and cooking gear, are supplied by the Troop. Each Scout is responsible for having his own Mess Kit.
The scout needs to bring:
- Mess Kit, including cup and utensils
- Sleeping bag or warm blankets
- Backpack or duffel bag
- Clothing appropriate to the season to include an extra pair of shoes or boots. (Refer to the Scout Handbook for personal camping list suggestions)
- Raincoat or poncho
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Water Bottle
- In addition, a compass and a pocket knife (after trained) are also useful.
Tents, tarps, and patrol boxes will be cleaned at the conclusion of each outing. On some occasions due to weather each scout and his family will be responsible for cleaning the tent and/or tarp that he uses. Return all equipment to the Troop Quartermaster at the next Scout Meeting. If you cannot make the next meeting, make other arrangements prior to the meeting. The Troop has invested a great deal in equipment for the use of the Scouts; therefore each Scout is expected to use and care for it better than if it were his own. Deliberate or negligent damage to equipment by any Scout will be cause for such Scout to be responsible for the repair, replacement or reimbursement to the Troop for the cost of such repairs/replacements.
- Tents should be opened up in the backyard, basement, or garage and allowed to dry completely.
- Remove all leaves, grass, and dirt from inside of tent. Use damp rag (but with no chemical cleaners) if necessary to wipe the tent inside and out.
- Ensure all pieces of the tent are present. Report any missing or damaged components.
- Fold the tent neatly. Poles, stakes, and cover should be rolled up inside of tent and not inserted into tent bag separately.
- Return the tent clean, inspected, and ready to use.
- Tarp should be opened up and allowed to dry. Shake off leaves, grass, and dirt.
- If tarp is muddy, hose it down and scrub. Allow tarp to dry completely.
- Relatively clean tarps can be swept clean with a broom.
- Fold neatly.
- Return tarp per instructions.
- Patrol boxes are inspected semi-annually and repaired/restocked as needed..
Boy Scout ranks include the following: Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Please refer to your Scout handbook for more information regarding the various Scout ranks.
Advancement is the process by which Scouts progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. The purpose of advancement is to strengthen character, body, mind, and the concept of being a participating citizen. The Boy Scout requirements for rank are the basis for advancement. The final requirements for each rank are a Scoutmaster Conference and Board or Review. It is the scout’s responsibility to call the Scoutmaster and schedule an appointment for the Scoutmaster Conference. After the Scoutmaster Conference has successfully been completed it is the scout’s responsibility to call the Advancement Chairperson to set up their Board of Review. He should attend these in Class A uniform and have his updated Scout Handbook with him.
Troop 286 requires 50% participation in all meetings and activities to fulfill the activity requirements for advancement.
Troop 286’s procedure for earning merit badges is as follows. A Scout first expresses an interest in a particular merit badge and informs the Scoutmaster. To get him started, the Scoutmaster gives him a signed merit badge card listing the badge he wishes to complete. Then, the Scout contacts a merit badge counselor and makes an appointment. The scout can find a list of merit badge counselors on the troop 8 web-site (capebsa.org) or consult the Heart of America Council’s (hoac.org) website for a list of the District’s counselors. The merit badge counselor sets a date and time to meet with the Scout, complying with the buddy system, and may suggest the Scout bring the merit badge pamphlet along with his card. This initial interview may even be accomplished over the telephone. At this first interview the Scout and his merit badge counselor review and possibly start working on the requirements. In some cases, the Scout may share with the merit badge counselor the work he has started or accomplished. A tentative schedule for completing the requirements may or may not be discussed. The number of meetings will depend on the difficulty of the requirements. Some merit badges can be completed with an initial interview and a final interview after the requirements have been completed; others may require additional meetings. When the scout has completed all the requirements, he calls the merit badge counselor and arranges for his final review of the requirements. Then, the merit badge counselor signs off on the merit badge card, and the Scout returns the completed card to the Advancement Chairperson.
All completed Merit Badge cards are kept by the Advancement Chairperson. The cards are returned to the boy when he gets ready to present his Eagle book and needs them for his Eagle Application. If a boy does a merit badge individually he turns the completed card into the Advancement Chairman. The Merit Badge Card policy at merit badge universities, summer camp and like events is that merit badge cards will be collected by the Scoutmaster or troop representative that is present at the event (completed and partially completed merit badges) 2 copies of partially completed merit badge cards will be made (one for scoutmaster, one for the scout), and then actual card will be given to Advancements Chairman so the partial can be recorded on Troopmaster software and then stored in the troop filing system held by Advancements Chairman. The boy can then ask for the partial merit badge card when he is ready to complete the merit badge. The requirements they have met are now recorded on Troopmaster software in case the card accidentally gets lost after it has been returned to the scout.
Merit badges are worn only on the merit badge sash. Merit badges may be worn in three columns on the sash, there is no required order. The sash is worn over the right shoulder.
Courts of Honor
Approximately every three months (Feb/March, May, August and December), Troop 286 Court of Honor meetings are held to recognize and award each Scout’s achievements (rank advancements and merit badges earned) during the prior three months. This is a meeting where families are encouraged to attend in support of their son(s). This also provides an opportunity for each parent to learn more about the upcoming troop events, as well as hear details of the past three months’ activities. Scouts are expected to be in full Class A uniform for all Courts of Honor. The Advancement Chairman purchases all rank advancement and merit badges for this event. The Advancement Chairman will give a deadline for Board of Reviews and merit badge cards to be turned in. This is approximately 2 – 3 weeks before the Court of Honor. Awards and Merit Badges received after the deadline will be awarded at the next Court of Honor. If a scout is not present at the Court of Honor their awards will be held until the next Court of Honor so as the boy gets the public recognition he deserves.
First Class in One Year Program
Studies have shown that if a Scout achieves the rank of First Class within a year of joining, he typically stays in Scouting for at least three years. Scouts, who do so, are more likely to retain Scout values as an adult and achieve the BSA primary mission of “producing useful citizens”.[(1998) Scoutmaster Handbook. Irving, TX: Boy Scouts of America, 119. Therefore, Troop 286 has adopted the First Class in One Year Program. Each newly formed patrol will have an assistant scoutmaster assigned to them who will be responsible for helping the new scouts track their advancement requirements. An older scout who works as a Troop Guide will be assigned to the new boys patrol to give guidance, answer questions, etc. Scouts will be responsible for taking their handbooks to the scoutmaster so he can sign off after their assistant scoutmaster has verified completion of the requirement.
Senior Patrol Leader
- Presides at all troop meetings, events and activities.
- Chairs the Patrol Leaders’ Council.
- Assigns duties and responsibilities to other leaders.
- Makes up a duty roster whenever the Troop is eating/functioning as a Troop rather than as patrols.
- Calls all Patrol Leaders to communicate information.
- Establishes an agenda for Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings.
- Communicates troop functions/plans to the committee.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
- Takes over the responsibilities of the Senior Patrol Leader in his absence.
- Helps with leading meetings and activities.
- Attend Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings.
- Attend Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings.
- Plan patrol meetings.
- Call/e-mail the members of his patrol to inform them of recent and important information or reminders.
- Makes duty rosters for his patrol when at a function where the Troop is functioning as Patrols.
- Shows patrol spirit and instill patrol spirit in his patrol members.
Assistant Patrol Leader
- Performs Patrol Leader’s duties in his absence.
1. Keeps minutes of Troop outing and submits them to the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee, and PLC.
- Keeps records of Patrol and Troop equipment.
- Keeps equipment in good repair.
- Checks out equipment and sees that it is returned in good order.
- Suggests new or replaced equipment items needed to Patrol Leaders’ Council.
- Works closely with adult Quartermaster Advisor.
- Keeps records on literature owned by the Troop.
- Advises Patrol Leaders’ Council of new or replacement items needed.
- Has literature available for borrowing at Troop meetings.
- Keeps system to check literature in and out.
- Follows up on late returns.
- Gathers pictures and facts about past activities of the Troop.
- Place this information in permanent forms such as scrapbooks, wall hangings, or information files.
- Write a paragraph about troop activities and send to webmaster for posting on Troop web-site.
- Plans and carries out religious non-denominational services at Troop activities. For this he may utilize others if he wishes. These should be planned prior to the activity and submitted to the Patrol Leaders’ Council for approval.
- Provide invocation at all meals during a Troop activity.
- Encourage Troop members to earn their religious emblem.
- Works closely with Chaplain.
- Responsible for waking the members of the Troop on campouts on time.
- Preference should be given to those who know music and can play taps and reveille unless there are none eligible who can perform these duties.
OA Troop Representative
- Keeps informed of OA events and activities.
- Informs Troop OA members of related events and activities via e-mail and troop announcements.
- Works with younger Scouts on advancement and duties.
- Assists in establishing a new patrol.
- Prepares instruction materials.
- Teaches younger scouts skills for rank advancement.
- Den Chief
- Works with a den of Cub Scouts and their adult leader.
- Assists with den meetings.
- Encourages Cub Scouts to advance.
- Serves as a role model for younger scouts.
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
- Must be 16 years of age.
- Provides support and supervision to the troop’s other boy leaders.
- Resource for teaching scout skills.
- Help provide two deep leadership.
The Scoutmaster may assign additional leadership roles that the Committee approves.
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is a week long camp held during the summer. Troop 286 does not allow a Scout to hold the position of Senior Patrol Leader unless he has attended an NYLT course.
The troop feels strongly that NYLT is of great value to our boys and serves as a wonderful tool to help them develop their leadership skills. As an incentive to attend an NYLT camp, Troop 286 will reimburse a Scout’s campers account 50% of the NYLT fee after the first year and the remaining 50% after the second year if the boy returns to the troop with 75% participation in troop activities, meetings, and fundraising events with ultimate approval of the scoutmaster.
Troop Health and Safety
All troop activities and behavior must comply with the Guide to Safe Scouting (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/toc.aspx) In keeping with BSA policy Troop 286 may require a medical form for some events.
Pledge of Performance
In keeping with our Mission the scouts at Troop 8 are expect to follow a code of conduct which is becoming to a Scout. Each boy and his parents are required to sign the Troop 8 Pledge of Performance on a yearly basis. It is troop policy that if the Pledge of Performance is not signed a scout may not attend campouts. The pledge is shown below and outlines the expectations. Should violations of this policy occur appropriate disciplinary action will be taken by the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters.
BSA Troop 286
OUR PLEDGE OF PERFORMANCE
Please read the following list of behaviors that you as a scout will uphold prior to you and your guardian signing this pledge.
1. Follow the Safe Swim Defense in all swimming activities, Safety Afloat in all craft activities on the water, and Climb on safely for climbing activities.
2. If of driving age, only my sibling is allowed to ride as a passenger. No passengers are allowed in the bed of a truck. Keys to the vehicle will be turned in upon arrival.
3. Maintain a safe fire ring at all times.
4. Follow the Toten Chip rules at all times.
5. Will at all times be a credit to the Boys Scouts of America and demonstrate Scout like behavior (i.e.: no bullying, no hitting, no swearing, no taking or destruction of other scouts property, etc.).
6. Will at all times maintain a good standard of personal cleanliness and operate a clean and sanitary camp as well as leaving the site in a better condition than when found.
7. Will not litter or deface property.
8. Will respect the property of others and will not trespass (i.e.: not entering any other person’s, troop’s or private citizen’s tent, camp-site, or property without permission).
9. Will not bring any electrical devices or other restricted materials (i.e.: cell phones, electrical games, video recorders, alcohol, fireworks, firearms, aerosol cans, etc.).
In general obey and practice the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and the Outdoor Code.
By signing this Pledge of Performance I and my legal guardian accepts that if this pledge is broken immediate disciplinary action will take place (i.e.: confiscation of banned substance, meeting with guardian, and/or scout being sent home).
___________________________ ________________________ ____________
Printed Scout Name Signature Date
___________________________ ________________________ ____________
Printed Guardian Name Signature Date
During all events and activities the Scouts are expected to live up to the rules established by the Boy Scouts of America, the Troop and the leaders. In the event that a Scout or adult does not follow these rules or threatens the health and safety of any of its members, the leaders in charge may take immediate remedial action, including but not limited to immediate suspension from the activity. Depending on the circumstances the parents may be immediately required to pick up their Scout. The individual may be reinstated either by the leader in charge of the specific event or by requesting reinstatement by the Troop Committee. Should such actions recur by the same Scout or adult, they may be subject to permanent dismissal from the Troop upon decision by the Troop Leadership (i.e. Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and Troop Committee)
It is recognized that parent interest in scouting varies for many reasons. The benefits that the Scout receives are directly proportional to both the QUALITY and QUANTITY of parental support and participation.
At a minimum, as a Scout parent, it will be necessary for you to provide:
- The necessary uniform, equipment and transportation for your Scout so that he is properly clothed, equipped and able to participate in troop and patrol activities.
- Time to review, study, and practice his rank requirements.
- Never-ending encouragement to your Scout in his advancement, service and obedience to the Scout Laws.
- Information to the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters regarding problems and concerns you or your Scout has.
- Payment of all dues and debts promptly.
- Occasional help with transportation for campouts and other events.
· There are always positions available in which the troop needs help. Many positions honestly will require only a few hours of your time. Experience has shown that parental involvement, either in a leadership or a support role, has a direct bearing on the motivation a Scout has and the accomplishments he achieves.
There are also many training opportunities available for adults in the Heart of America Council and the Big Muddy District. The Troop strongly encourages Youth Protection and Basic Leader Training for adults wishing to attend many of the outings. In addition, there is training offered for specific activities such as Pioneering Kit, Challenge Course, and Rock Climbing and Rappelling.
The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man’s curiosity about that particular topic.
The Troop needs the support and input from all of its Scouts’ parents. All parents are welcome to become a committee member or just attend committee meetings. In order to ensure a successful program, parental involvement is necessary.
Whatever your volunteer role, our troop needs you to keep operating as a quality unit which makes our troop worthy of the fine Scouts it serves.
Boys Life Magazine
Each family with a boy registered in Troop 286 should obtain a subscription to Boy’s Life Magazine. This is an excellent magazine, with topics for the entire family.
Troop 286 maintains a website. The address is http://www.bsa286.com. It contains a troop calendar, event announcements, and photos. It is sometimes used for cancellation of troop events.
Troop 286 will provide a neckerchief, slide, and epaulets to each scout crossing over to Troop 286.