TROOP COMMITTEE GUIDEBOOK
For Successful Troop Operation
Boy Scouts of America
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, Texas 75038
Publication Number: 34505B (1998)
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction, 3
Chapter 2 The Organization of Scouting, 5
Chapter 3 How Your Troop Works, 9
Chapter 4 Troop Committee Organization and Responsibilities, 13
Chapter 5 Selecting and Recruiting Adult Leaders, 19
Chapter 6 Troop Finances, 23
Chapter 7 Advancement, 27
Chapter 8 Troop Committee Meetings, 33
Chapter 9 Outdoor Program, Rechartering, Training, and Policy, 35
Welcome to the family of Scouting. As a troop committee member, you can help enrich the lives of boys and make a difference in the kind of men they become. Since 1910, it has been the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Boy Scouting works toward three aims. One is growth in moral strength and character. We may define this as what the boy is--his personal qualities, his values, his outlook.
The second aim is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the boy's relationship to others. He comes to learn of his obligations to other people, to the society he lives in, and to the government that presides over that society.
The third aim is development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness.Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).
To accomplish these aims, Boy Scouting has developed its program using eight methods.
1. Ideals. The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. The scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve.
2. Patrols. The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places a certain amount of responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it.
3. Outdoors. Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose.
4. Advancement. Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps to overcome them through the advancement method. The Scout plans his advancement and progresses at this own pace as he overcomes each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others.
5. Adult Association. Boys learn from the example set by their adult leaders. Troop leadership may be male or female, and associations with adults of high character is encouraged at this stage of a young man's development.
6. Personal Growth. As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. The religious emblems program is also a large part of the personal growth method.
7. Leadership Development. Boy Scouting encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared leadership and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership roles of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
8. Uniform. The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. the uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals.
Our youth must make mature decisions about many things that their limited experience with life has not prepared them for. many of these decisions will have long-term consequences. The ready availability of drugs and alcohol and the rising number of youth gangs are situations our youth face daily. The number of single-parent households, the effects of the seemingly never-ending change caused by the impact of new technologies, and the increased amount of time parents must spend away from their children to ensure economic survival are all factors that make the Scouting program so vital to our nation's future.
Boy Scouting has successfully assisted more than 98 million members since 1910 to develop the character and peer group associations to make ethical decisions and become role models in their communities.
The Scouting movement has also developed special programs to educate our youth regarding drugs, child abuse, literacy, the new world of careers, and hunger in America.
Working as a team in support of the troop and its Scoutmaster, you can help your youth members to develop the confidence, skills, character, and mental fitness that will allow them to give quality leadership to a changing society.
The resources listed at page 43 will be especially helpful as your troop committee members begin to understand their role in troop organization and successful troop operation.
ORGANIZATION OF SCOUTING
Organization of Scouting
Let's take a look at how Scouting is organized
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916 to provide an education program for boys and young adults. Boy Scouting was modeled after the Scouting movement founded by Robert S.S. Baden-Powell in England in 1908.
The BSA's National Council is led by a volunteer board of directors, the National Executive Board. The administration is performed by a staff of professional Scouters.
Among its major functions, the National Council develops programs; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, uniforming, registration records, literature development, and advancement requirements; publishes Boys Life and Scouting magazines.
The National Council maintains national
high-adventure bases for use by Scouts in Minnesota, Florida, and New Mexico.
It also organizes a national Scout jamboree every 4 years.
LOCAL COUNCIL: San Diego - Imerial County Council
Of course, it would be nearly impossible to administer directly the more than 50,000 registered Boy Scout troops from a centrally located national office. To achieve this, the National Council issues a charter to each local council. The United States and its territories is divided into 327 local councils. Each council has a headquarters city from which it administers the Scouting program within its geographical boundaries. Like the National Council, the local council is led by volunteers, with administration performed by a staff of professional Scouters. The council president is the top volunteer, and the Scout Executive is the top professional.
The local council's responsibilities include:
A Scouting District is a geographical area within the local council, as determined by the council executive board.
District leaders mobilize resources to ensure the growth and success of Scouting Units within the District's territory.
Each district has a district committee
of key Scouters. This committee does not make policy, but rather works
through chartered organizations to assure the success of troops. A district
committee does this by forming a number of sub-committees, each specializing
in an area of concern:
The district also provides the Troop with a Unit Commissioner. The Chartered Organization Representative gives direct coaching and consultation to the Troop Committee and to the Scoutmaster.
The volunteers on the District Committee can be a helpful resource to the Troop Committee. Call upon their guidance when needed.
The Scouting professional who provides
district service is the District
Executive. The Committee Chairman for the Troop and the Scoutmaster
should make a point to get to know the District Executive. He can be very
helpful in demonstrating how to accomplish the troop's
Your Troop is "owned" by a Chartered
Organization. It receives a national charter which
must be renewed yearly to use the Scouting Program as part of its
youth work. These groups which have goals compatible with those of the
Boy Scouts of America, include religious, educational, civic, fraternal,
business, labor, governmental bodies, and professional organizations.
Each chartered organization using the Scouting program provides a meeting place, selects a Scoutmaster, appoints a troop committee of at least three adults, and chooses a Chartered Organization Representative [ whose duties include:
As the Troop Committee works on behalf of the chartered organization, your troop must be operated within the organization's policies.
The chartered organization must also approve all adult leaders. The Chartered Organization Representative is your liaison to the troop's operating organization. As a member of the chartered organization, that person will guide you on the organization's policy. The representative will also know the most effective ways to get the organization's assistance and maintain a mutually satisfactory working relationship with the chartered organization.
In the chartered organization relationship, the Boy Scouts of America provides the program and support services, and the chartered organization provides the adult leadership and use the program to accomplish its goals for youth.
The Troop Committee's primary responsibilities
are supporting the Scoutmaster in delivering a quality troop program and
handling troop administration. How to accomplish them will be explained
in the remaining chapters of this guidebook.
HOW YOUR SCOUT TROOP WORKS
The Scoutmaster is the adult responsible for the image and program of the troop. The Scoutmaster and his Assistant Scoutmasters work directly with the Scouts. The importance of the Scoutmaster's job is reflected in the fact that the quality of his guidance will affect every youth and adult involved in the troop.
The Scoutmaster can be male or female, but must be at least 21 years old. The Scoutmaster is appointed by the head of the chartered organization.
The Scoutmaster's duties include:
To fulfill his obligation to the troop, the Scoutmaster, with the assistance of the troop committee, recruits assistant Scoutmasters to help operate the troop. Each assistant Scoutmaster is assigned specific program duties and reports to the Scoutmaster. They also provide the required two-deep leadership standards set by the Boy Scouts of America. An assistant Scoutmaster may be 18 years old, but at least one in each troop should be 21 or older, so he can serve in the Scoutmaster's absence.
Types of assistant Scoutmasters include:
The flow of new Scouts is an essential element of a healthy Scout troop. Boys joining a troop bring fresh enthusiasm and energy to the entire program. Many troops assign an assistant Scoutmaster to be responsible for troop membership growth such as the Webelos-to-Scout plan, recruiting new Scouts, and troop rallies for new members.
should be a shared concern of all adult leaders, but someone should have
the specific responsibility of steady new boy recruitment.
If there is no assistant Scoutmaster handling this important duty, a troop
committee member should be responsible.
The Scout troop is made up of patrols. A patrol is a grouping of six to eight boys who work together. Each patrol elects its own boy leader, called a patrol leader.
The new Scout patrol is composed of new members who have not entered the seventh grade.
The experienced Scout patrol is for those boys who are age 12 and older.
patrols are made up of boys who are age 13 or older who want
more challenging high-adventure
The Troop's Youth Leaders
The troop is actually run by its boy leaders. With the guidance of the Scoutmaster and assistants, they plan the program, conduct troop meetings, and provide leadership among their peers.
Junior Leader Positions
The Patrol Leaders' Council
The patrol leaders' council (PLC), not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the troop's activities. The PLC is composed of the following voting members: senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leaders, patrol leaders, troop guide, and Venture patrol leaders.
At its monthly meetings, the PLC organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings. The troop committee interacts with the patrol leaders' council through the Scoutmaster.
Annual Program Planning Conference
The troop's activities are selected and planned at the annual program planning conference. Submit the troop's yearly plan to the troop committee for its support. At this time, the troop committee may make alternative suggestions for the patrol leaders' council to consider. To avoid conflicts between troop plans and activities of the chartered organization, clear the program calendar in advance with the chartered organization representative.
Troop Committee Organization and Responsibilities
The Troop Committee is the troop's board of directors and supports the troop program. But you ask, "What does the troop committee do?" The troop committee does the following:
You can have a full committee with a reasonable amount of recruiting effort. The first five positions are essential for quality troop operation. Fill those positions first. There is no maximum limit to the number of troop committee members. The minimum number is three adults ages 21 or older.
For committees with more members than positions listed, assign each additional member to assist in one of the areas. The more support each position has, the better that area will function. Needless to say, there is a job for everyone the committee approves.
The video presentation, The Barbecue:
Working with the Troop Committee, and accompanying viewer's guide is
the single best introduction to troop committee operations. It explains
the various committee positions and duties in detail. The Barbecue
should be reviewed by all new and old members of the troop committee. It
is available from your local service center.
Duties of the Chairperson
Duties of Outdoor/Activities
Duties of Chaplain
Selecting and Recruiting Adult Leaders
A key function of your troop committee is assisting in the selection of the best possible person to be your Scoutmaster. Your Scoutmaster will be a role model for the boys and will reflect the character of the chartered organization. The Scoutmaster must be the kind of person you would want you own sons to be influenced by and whose judgment will always be in their best interest.
To find the right person, it is strongly recommended that you use the following steps.
The head of the chartered organization, or the chartered organization representative should be briefed by a representative from the local council who can provide recruitment techniques, videos, and other support material such as the brochure Selecting Quality Leaders.
Meet with the other troop committee members to develop a prospect list, and follow these steps:
b. Develop a list of prospects who closely fit the descriptions you heard in the videotape. Be prepared by obtaining lists of the chartered organization membership and parent rosters. Choose prospects who live up to the values of the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. do not make assumptions about whether or not prospects will accept or have the time to do the job. Give them the opportunity to make their own decision.
d. Clear the list of prospects with the head of the chartered organization before making any contact.
e. Preview part two of the videotape Selecting Quality Leaders. It explains the vision of Scouting to the prospective Scoutmaster. You should preview it to become familiar with the points it makes.
f. Select at least three people from the committee to call on the number one prospect. These persons should know the prospect quite well and have influence in the prospect's decision.
Make an appointment with the number one prospect. This should be done by the person who knows the prospect best and has this person's respect. It can usually be done on the phone. Set a date and time to meet, preferably at the prospect's home. You will want to involve this person's spouse since it will affect the prospect's time at home. If the prospect questions the purpose of the meeting, frankly state that it is to discuss a matter important to the youth of the community. Confirm the date and time with the other members who will be making the visit.
Call on the prospect as a group. Gather at a convenient place and arrive at the prospect's home as a group. Review the steps that have been taken, explain how the qualifications were reviewed, and let the prospect know that he or she was considered by all to be the number one prospect to do the job.
Give the prospect a true and realistic picture of the job: time demands, adult leadership support, special problems the troop is facing, and other relevant information. After all the questions have been answered, a member of the committee extends the invitation to serve the organization as its Scoutmaster (subject to approval) and pledges the organization's full support.
If for some reason the prospect
is unable to accept the position, you should repeat the process with the
number two prospect (who now becomes number one).
Have the prospect complete an application to join the Boy Scouts of America. It is the responsibility of the committee to review and screen the application. Individuals who have lived in the community for three or more years and are known to members of the committee well enough for them to serve as a reference should require little additional screening.
Conduct a reference check on those who are new to the community as well as those who may be new to volunteer Scouting. References should be checked in a discrete, non-threatening manner, and previous Scouting experience should be confirmed.
Upon approval, the application
is signed by the chartered organization head of the chartered organization
representative, and is submitted tot he local council. All leaders registered
with the Boy Scouts of America must meet its standards for leadership.
Once the prospect has accepted
the position and has been approved as a leader, the head of the chartered
organization should personally welcome the new leader. An announcement
should be placed in the local newspaper and the chartered organization's
publication, if applicable. A formal induction ceremony should take place
as soon as possible at a meeting of the chartered organization.
A representative from the
local council will contact the new leader to schedule Fast
Start training using the video and accompanying booklet. Attendance
at the next roundtable is encouraged as well as participation in the next Scoutmastership
Fundamentals or Varsity
Scout Leader Fundamentals, and BSA Youth Protection training.
The same standards used to
determine the best prospect for Scoutmaster should also be used to qualify
assistant Scoutmasters. The majority of successful troops have three or
more assistant Scoutmasters. This is not an unrealistic goal. The guide
Quality Leaders can help you through the selection process. The video
presentation Selecting Quality Leaders is also a useful tool.
Recruiting Committee Members
Experience has shown that troops with committees of seven or more members work more effectively and provide better troop program support. The minimum number of committee members required is three adults ages 21 or older. If the committee is well run and active, you should have little difficulty getting others to join. But again, be sure that each member has a meaningful responsibility and is kept actively involved.
As with securing a Scoutmaster, to get qualified adults involved with your troop, you must first identify good people, select and rank the top prospects, and then use all available influence to recruit them.
Where do you find new committee members? The best source is parents of troop members. Parents have a natural interest in their sons having a successful Scouting experience. They are also an excellent resource for troop program assistance. The Troop Resource Survey should be completed by every troop member's parents. This task is the responsibility of the assistant Scoutmaster of the new-Scout patrol.
The survey will inform the committee what professions, special interests, skills, and resources are available to your troop. For example, a parent who works at a printing shop could help the troop produce a first-rate newsletter. Another parent might be a banker. Obviously, this person would likely be considered for the position of the committee treasurer. But their hobbies may be cycling and
fishing. If asked, they may well be more than willing to work with the boys in either of these activities.
The troop committee secretary should have a copy of every troop resource survey conducted by the assistant Scoutmaster for new Scouts or by other committee members. At the monthly committee meeting, the Scoutmaster should be consulted as to what adult help and talents are needed for the coming month's program. A care review of the collected resource surveys should begin the committee's search.
Not every parent will be able to serve on the troop committee or make a similar long-term task, but every parent should have the responsibility to perform a short-term task sometime during the year. Baking cookies for a bake sale, providing transportation to campouts, giving skill demonstrations at troop meetings, and accompanying the troop on a hike are all examples of help that is expected of troop members' parents. Let the parents know that the troop will call on them occasionally for help. Keep the parents involved!
Troop committee members should also use the troop resource survey with interested members of the charted organization, personal friends, Eagle Scouts, and Scouting supporters in your community. Once your resources are identified, don't hesitate to use them.
Proper management of the troop's finances will allow your troop to achieve its program goals. The recording, disbursing, and budgeting of troop funds, along with unit money-earning project assistance, is the responsibility of the troop committee and its treasurer.
Troop Bank Account
Every troop should have a checking account at a local bank. An account that requires two signatures on each check, those of the committee treasurer and Scoutmaster, is recommended. Troop funds need to be recorded and deposited weekly into the troop's checking account. The Troop/Team Record Book is an indispensable tool for this purpose. Disbursements from the checking account are made on the recommendations of the Scoutmaster with the authorization of your troop committee.
Petty Cash Fund
Occasionally in the course of troop activities, the Scoutmaster will need unplanned miscellaneous articles. The committee needs to establish a petty cash fund for this purpose. When most of this fund has been paid out, the Scoutmaster accounts for it with the receipts of purchases and secures a new advance from the treasurer.
The Annual Budget
The troop budget is a plan for receiving and spending the troop funds. Immediately after approval of the
troop's annual program plan, the Scoutmaster and the committee treasurer should start the preparation of the annual budget. The Unit Budget Plan and the Troop/Team Record Book are useful guides.
Troop expenses will include:
When the cost estimates for expenses have been calculated, the next step is to identify sources of income. These include:
These projects can be large
or small, depending on the amount of money that is needed. Some suggestions
Project selection should begin with the patrol leaders' council and the Scoutmaster. They will bring their ideas to the troop committee.
Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether your project conforms to Scouting standards.
Local councils use every opportunity and means available to keep summer camp cost to a minimum. But despite their best efforts, many boys and their families will have difficulty paying the average camp fee at one time. The Boy Scouts of America has devised a systematic savings plan that will allow most boys to have their camp fee paid when it is due.
By depositing money weekly
or monthly toward the camp fee, the majority of the fee will be paid by
Friends of Scouting
The local council provides may services to make the Scouting program possible for your troop. These services include program, support materials, training, advancement program, activities, camping facilities, high-adventure opportunities, and personnel readily available to assist in making possible a better program for your troop.
Friends of Scouting, or FOS
Membership Enrollment, or SME in some councils), is a primary source
of operating income for the council. Friends are those individuals with
an interest in the Boy Scouts of America and a desire to support the program
financially. When properly informed and given the opportunity, many families
of youth members wish to become Friends of Scouting.
Unit Money-Earning Application Omitted.
Ranks are simply a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Everything boys do to advance and earn these ranks, from the day they join until they leave the program, should be designed to help boys have an exciting and meaningful experience. This means providing your boys a stimulating and active troop program!
Education and fun are functions of Scouting, and they are the basis of the advancement program. In the Scouting program, recognition is gained through leadership in the unit; attending and participating in the activities; living the ideals of Scouting; and developing a proficiency in outdoor living and useful skills.
No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add or subtract from any advancement requirement. The advancement requirements have been carefully developed to achieve the aims of Boy Scouting. To alter the requirements would defeat that purpose and would also be unfair to the Scout.
Boy Scout advancement is a four-step process:
1. The Boy Scout learns. A Scout learns by doing. As he learns, he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach others. In this way, he begins to develop leadership.
2. The Boy Scout is tested. A Scout may be tested on requirements by his patrol leader, Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, a troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The Scoutmaster maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and to pass candidates.
3. The Boy Scout is reviewed. After a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank, he has a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class,
Star, Life, and Eagle palms, the review is conducted by members of the troop committee The Eagle board of review is conducted in accordance with local council procedures.
4. The Boy Scout is recognized. When the board of review has certified a boy's advancement, he deserves to receive recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next troop meeting. The certificate for his new rank may be presented later at a formal court of honor.
The committee member responsible for advancement must become familiar with the video presentation Boy Scout Advancement; the booklet National Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide; and the booklet Boy Scout Requirements. These three resources are indispensable tools to use in your troop's advancement program. The entire troop committee should review the Boy Scout Advancement video.
Any registered Boy Scout may earn merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle palms until his 18th birthday. A Scout with a disability may work toward rank advancement after his is 18 years old (review "Program for Youth Members with Disabilities" in National Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide).
If a Scout foresees that he will be unable to complete the requirements for the Eagle rank prior to his 18th birthday, a petition may be filed in writing with the national Boy Scout Committee through the local council for special permission to continue to work toward the award after reaching age 18. The petition must show good and sufficient evidence and detail extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances are defined as condition or situations that are totally beyond the control of the Scout.
If circumstances should also prevent a
Scout from requesting the extension
he is 18, it is still permissible to ask for the extension, detailing the
circumstances that presented him from completing the requirements and from
requesting the extension before age 18. A limited extension may be granted
by the national Boy Scout Committee.
The Scoutmaster Conference
You will notice that participation in a Scoutmaster conference is a requirement for every rank. The purpose of the conference is to ensure that the Scout is ready for his board of review. An increasing level of trust between the Scoutmaster and each Scout develops during these conferences. In time, the Scoutmaster is allowed by the Scout to become a positive guide and influence in his life. The conference is also an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to review the Scout's personal growth and set goals for further advancement.
The Merit Badge Program
The ranks of Star, Life and Eagle require that a Scout earn a certain number of merit badges. Merit badges are awarded to Scouts for fulfilling requirements in specific fields of interest. The subjects range from Agribusiness to Woodwork and cover areas such as hobbies, careers, sports, science, and Scouting skills. In all, there are more than one hundred merit badges. (See Boy Scout Requirements.)
A Scout, along with a buddy, works closely with a council-approved merit badge counselor to complete the requirements for the merit badge. Each counselor must be a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America and an expert in the chosen subject. When a boy feels that he is ready to earn a merit badge, the Scoutmaster will give him the name and telephone number of an approved counselor from the merit badge counselor list, usually provided by the local council or district. Because
the Boy Scouts of America does not permit a youth member to work alone with an adult, each Scout must have a "buddy" to accompany him. (See Boy Scout Requirements.)
If an approved list is not provided, or if the Scoutmaster feels that some of the popular merit badges need additional counselors, the troop committee member responsible for advancement has the primary responsibility for developing the troop's own counselor list. Troop counselors must meet the same qualifications as persons serving district and council-wide, and they must be approved by the district or council.
The requirements for merit badge counselors are:
1. Be 18 years of age or older and of good character.
2. Be recognized as having sufficient skills and education in the subjects for which they are to serve as merit badge counselors.
3. Be registered as adult members of the Boy Scouts of America.
Potential sources for counselors are parents (review your troop resource survey), former Scouts, committee members, local school teachers, government agencies, labor union, special-interest clubs, technical and industrial organizations and serious hobbyists. A useful tool is the Work Sheet for Building a Merit Badge Counselor List. Other tools include:
To help foster a sense of personal responsibility and citizenship, Scouts are required to participate in a service project approved by their Scoutmaster for the ranks of Second Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.
The time of service must be a minimum of 1 hour for Second Class and 6 hours for Star and Life ranks. This may be done as an individual project or as a member of patrol or troop project. Star and Life service projects may be approved for Scouts assisting on Eagle service projects. The Scoutmaster approves the project before it is started.
The Eagle Scout service project provides the opportunity for the Eagle Scout candidate to demonstrate the leadership skills he has learned in Scouting. He does the project outside the sphere of Scouting.
Before any Eagle service project is begun, it must be approved by
the district or council advancement chairman and the recipient of the project..
Board of Review (Except for Eagle Scout)
When A Scout has completed all the requirements for a rank, he appears before a board of review composed of at lest three and not more than six committee members.
The review has three purposes:
1. To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
2. To find what kind of experience the boy is having in his patrol and troop.
3. to encourage the Scout to progress further.
The board of review is not a time to retest the Scout, but to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting ideals. It is also important to review those Scouts who are not advancing. the guidance and care shown could motivate these Scouts to further achievement.
The review should be conducted at a convenient time and location, such as a troop meeting, summer camp, or the home of a member of the troop committee. Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters do not participate in the board of review..
The board of review members should feel free to refer to the Boy Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, or any other references during the review.
Because many boys are ill at ease when talking to adults, it is important that the board of review be held in a relaxed atmosphere. A certain amount of formality and meaningful questioning should be used during the review. Use questions that require a narrative answer.
Examples of the kinds of questions that might be asked are:
At the conclusion of the review, the board should know whether a boy is qualified for the rank or palm. The Scout is asked to leave the room while the board members discuss his achievements. The decision of the board of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous. If members are satisfied that the Scout is ready to advance, he is called in, congratulated, notified as to when he will receive his recognition, and encouraged to continue his advancement or earn the next palm.
Scouts who are not advancing should also come before the board of review. The board should show interest in these Scouts' rank progress. Ask the kind of questions that may reveal why they are not advancing:
At the conclusion of every board of review,
it is the committee's responsibility to prepare and turn in to the local
council office a copy of the Advancement
Report, and ensure that the badges earned by the boys
are obtained and awarded in a timely fashion.
Eagle Board of Review
The Boy Scouts of America has placed the Eagle Scout board of review in the hands of either the troop committee or the district or council advancement committee. Your council has determined which method is to be used.
The Eagle board of review is composed of a minimum of three members and a maximum of six members. the members do not have to be registered Scouters, but must understand the importance of the rank and the Eagle board of review. At least one district or council advancement representative shall be a member when the board of review is conducted on the troop level.
If a unanimous decision is not reached,
a new review may be convened at the request of the applicant, the Scoutmaster,
or the troop committee. If the applicant is again turned down, the decision
can be appealed to the national Boy Scout Committee. Your district or council
representative can help in this process.
Courts of Honor
When a Scout advances, he should be recognized as soon as possible--preferably at the next unit meeting. He is recognized a second time at a public ceremony called a court of honor.
The main purposes of the court of honor are to furnish formal recognition for achievement and to provide incentive for other Scouts to advance.
Formal courts of honor should be conducted at least four times a year. All Scouts who have advanced since the previous court of honor are honored. Their parents and friends should be invited to attend the ceremony.
Suggestions on court of honor agendas and
ceremonies are found in Troop Program Resources for Boy Scout Leaders.
Advancement Report Omitted
Troop Committee Meetings
The committee meeting is attended by all committee members and the Scoutmaster. Occasionally you may want to invite guests such as your chartered organization representative and unit commissioner.
The Scoutmaster is not actually a member of the troop committee, and has not vote. The committee should not forget that its primary responsibility is supporting the troop program. The importance of mutual cooperation between the two groups of leaders is critical for the smooth and successful operation of the troop.
The support and administration of an active
troop requires the participation of every committee member. Every member
should have a working assignment. This will not only help the troop to
operate effectively, but will assure team spirit and their attendance at
meetings. When people feel that it doesn't matter if they attend or not,
often they will choose to do something else.
Committee Meeting Agenda
1. Call the meeting to order--Chairperson
2. Welcome and introduction of new members and guests--Chairperson
3. Approval of previous meeting's minutes--Secretary
6. New business (assign tasks as issues are discussed)
7. Announcements (including the date of next month's troop committee meeting)
If everyone is prepared, troop committee meetings should not last
longer than one and one-half hours. It is the chairperson's responsibility
to keep the meeting moving swiftly. There is no better way to discourage
attendance than to conduct meetings that last too long with too little
accomplished. the video The Barbecue: Working with the Troop Committee
will also give you some helpful hints on conducting the committee meetings.
Outdoor Program, Rechartering, Training, and Policy
Outdoor Program, Rechartering, Training, and Policy
Most boys join Boy Scouting for one reason - to have fun in the outdoors. The troop committee, working in support of the Scoutmaster, should make every effort to give their Scouts an outdoor experience every month. This goal is not easy to accomplish. It takes people (leaders, transportation) and money (food, equipment), but this challenge can be met with the help of the troop committee.
Two registered adult leaders, or one adult leader and a parent of a participating Scout, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips or outings.
For complete information on current policies and procedures for safe activities, consult the Guide to Safe Scouting available from the local council.
Tour permits establish high standards of health and safety for your troop and assure parents and the council that your tour will be wisely planned, safe, and fun.
The Local Tour Permit Application must be filed with the Council service center in Portland 2 weeks in advance of a scheduled trip of less than 500 miles
A National Tour Permit Application must be submitted to your local council office for approval at least 1 month before your departure on a trip of more than 500 miles. The council office forwards it to the regional office for approval.
Safety is the number one concern when arranging transportation for troop outings.
For trips beyond hiking distance, you will need to arrange for private cars. Trucks may not be used for transporting boys except inside the cabs. Insurance companies may refuse to accept responsibility if this rule is violated. Private cars or licensed buses should be used.
General guidelines are:
a. Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)
b. No record of accidents or moving violations
c. Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders.
Types of Troop Camping
Short-term camping is usually done over one or two nights on the weekend. The troop-equipment must be adequate for the number of boys involved. These short-term camps allow advancement opportunity, fun, and fitness. As we pointed out earlier, troops should camp monthly.
Resident camping lasts at least a week and sometimes longer. This will be at a council summer camp facility.
It is the troop committee's responsibility,
in cooperation with the Scoutmaster, to secure adequate numbers of tens,
cook-kits, and other outdoor gear. Because of the cost of this equipment,
a troop money-earning project will usually be organized (see chapter 6).
The equipment coordinator should work closely with the troop quartermaster
to maintain the troop's equipment with adequate repair and storage.
Near the end of your charter year, your council will provide an application for charter renewal. This is a computer printout of information previously furnished. Your task of reregistering the troop is much less than that of registering it initially. You need only update the printed information. An instruction sheet will accompany the renewal papers.
You will receive a printout with all youth and adults presently registered,
from which the unit commissioner and troop committee will conduct a membership
inventory. The commissioner and committee chairman then hold a charter
renewal meeting attended by the commissioner, chartered organization
representative, executive officer of the chartered organization, Scoutmaster,
and all other adult volunteers. At this time, they identify which youth
and adults to reregister. Your completed charter renewal application is
then submitted to the local council.
Quality Unit Award
One measure of a Boy Scout troop's success is fulfilling the requirements for a national Quality Unit Award. There are 10 requirements of which four are mandatory:
All adult leaders should take advantage of the available training opportunities. Fast Start training can be done in your home or, if a new troop, at your first committee meeting by a district or council representative. Contact your district executive or a member of the training committee to schedule training. Within the first few weeks, the new committee members should review the following Boy Scout Leader Fast Start videos:
On a monthly basis, districts conduct roundtable meetings, which emphasize troop program. Adult leaders, including troop committee members, meet and learn new program ideas, get information on up-coming events, and share solutions to common problems. Roundtable meetings are excellent training opportunities. Each month has a program feature and a training feature.
The following activities have been declared as unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts America:
Youth Protection Training
BSA offers a training program for adults
that explores the various forms of child
abuse. Using a video presentation and discussion guide, the causes,
signs, and proper response to and reporting of child abuse incidents are
explained in detail. For the protection of yourself, as a leader, and the
boys in your troop, every adult associated with the troop, including merit
badge counselors, should attend this seminar. To participate in Youth Protection
training, contact your local council district executive for the next training
Youth Protection Guidelines
Child abuse is a critical problem in America, with several million incidents reported each year. Emotional abuse occurs when a young person is continually berated and denigrated, and the youth's self-esteem is severely harmed. Physical abuse involves the bodily injury of a child. Sexual Abuse is any sexual activity between an adult and a child or between children when there is an unequal distribution of power, as in the case when one child is significantly older or larger.
The Boy Scouts of America recognizes child abuse as an unacceptable, and has developed a five-point strategy to combat such abuse:
If at any time you suspect an instance of child abuse within the Scouting movement, you must contact your local council Scout executive immediately. Each Scout executive has established contacts with local child protective and law enforcement agencies, and is aware of procedures to be followed to ensure that children will be protected from further abuse.
As a volunteer in Scouting, adult leaders
are cautioned not to be investigators of allegations of child abuse. Reports
of suspected abuse can best be handled by trained professionals working
in cooperation with the local council Scout executive. As long as reports
are made in good faith, all states provide immunity from liability to those
who report suspected abuse.
Child molesters--individuals who sexually abuse children--do not fit into any convenient profile. They may come from any walk of life--even respected community professionals--any may be members of their victims' own families. Children also molest other children, an activity who significance is often minimized.
With their parents or other trusted adults,
all boys joining a Scout troop must complete the exercises in the parents'
guide entitled How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse.
Standards of Youth Protection
While there is no way to detect every potential child abuser in advance of attempted or actual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America clearly conveys the message that Scouting is a hostile environment for individuals who want to abuse children.
After selecting the best possible leaders, the BSA structures further protection for children into its programs. The following policies have been adopted by the Boy Scouts of America to provide additional security for youth and to protect adult leaders from situations in which they may be vulnerable to allegations of abuse:
Occasionally the troop committee may be asked by the Scoutmaster to deal with a problem which might involve disciplinary action or a health issue of an individual youth or adult member. These issues should be dealt with in strict confidence. If the subject concerns a scout, his parents should be fully informed of the issue.
Because serious or recurring behavioral
problems may require the troop committee's involvement, the Scoutmaster
should share discipline problems with the goal to integrate the youth into
the Scouting program. Problems that may lead to a youth's permanent removal
from the troop should be handled by the Scoutmaster and the troop committee,
and should involve the Scout's parents or guardians. Together, the troop
committee, parents, and Scoutmaster should work toward a solution with
the troop's best interest in mind.
Smoking and Drinking
It is a policy of the Boy Scouts of America that the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances is not permitted at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.
Health is a most valuable possession. Smoking will dangerously impair a person's health. The BSA recommends that leaders maintain the attitude that young adults are much better off without tobacco. Leaders are encouraged not to use tobacco products in any form nor allow their use at any BSA activity.
-planning, 10,12 planningrecords
-restricted, 39-40 restricted
Activities chairperson, 16 Activities chairperson
Adult association, 4 Adult association
Advancement, 4, 27-28 Advancement1
-altering requirements, 27 altering requirements
-chairperson, 16 chairperson
-four steps of, 27-28four-steps of
-records, 16 records
-report, 31, 32 report
-requirements, 5 requirements
Aims of Scouting, 3 Aims of Scouting
Alcoholic beverages, 42 Alcoholic beveagesl
Annual Giving Campaign, 6 annualgivingcampaign
Annual program planning conference, 12 AnnualProgramPlanningConference
Assistant patrol leader, 12 assistantpatrolleader
Assistant Scoutmasters, 9. 10, 21 assistantscoutmaster
Assistant senior patrol leader, 11 assistantseniorpatrolleader
Baden-Powell, Robert S S., 5 BadenPowel
Behavioral problems, 42 BehavioralProblems
Boards of review, 16, 30-31 BoardofReview
Boys' Life, 5,24 BoysLife
Buddy System in merit badges work, 29 meritbadgebuddy
Budget, 15, 23-24 budget
Camp savings plan, 15, 25 CampSavingsPlan
Camping, 10,37 TypesOfCamping
-equipment, 18, 37 CampingEquipment
Camporees, 6 camporees
Chaplain, 17 Chaplain
Chaplain aide, 12 ChaplainsAide
Charter, 6 Charter
-presentation, 9, 14 CharterPresentation
-renewal, 14, 37 recharter, Rechartering
-review, 14 CharterReview
-review meeting, 9,37 CharterReviewMeeting
Chartered organization, 7-8 CharteredOrganization
Chartered organization representative, 7-8 CharteredOrganizationRepresentative
Child abuse, 40-41 ChildAbuse
Citizenship, 3 Citizenship
Committee, Troop TroopCommittee
Controlled substances, 42 ControlledSubstances
Council president, 6, CouncilPresident
Courts of honor, 16, 31, CourtsofHonor
Den chief, 12, DenChief
Disabilities, Scout with, 28, Disability
District, 6, ScoutingDistrict
District committee, 6, DistrictCommittee
District executive, 6, DistrictExecutive
Dues, 24, Dues
-age limit extension, Extention
-board of review, 31, EagleBoardofReview
-service project, 29, EagleScout
Emotional abuse, 40, EmotionalAbuse
Emotional fitness, 40
Equipment coordinator, 18, EquipmentCoordinator
Equipment for camping, 18, 37, CampingEquipment
Executive board, local council, 6, ExecutiveBoard
Expenses, 24, Expenses
Experienced-Scout patrol, 11, ExperiencedScoutPatrol
Family activities, 15, Family
Fast Start training, 21, 38, FastStartTraining
Fast Start videos, 38, FastStartVideos
Finances, 23-26, TroopFinances
Fitness, 3, Fitness
Friends of Scouting, 25, FriendsofScouting
Funds, 15, Funds
-experiences, 11, HighAdventureExperiences
Ideals of Scouting, 3, IdealsofScouting
Income, 24-25, Income
Instructor, 12, Instructor
Junior assistant Scoutmaster, 12, JuniorAssistantScoutmaster
-approval of by the chartered organization, 8, CharteredOrganizationApproval
-organization, 8, Organizations
-required for outings, 35, RequiredforOutings
-selecting and recruiting, 19-22, SelectingandRecruiting
-training for, 38, Training
-youth, 11-12, Youth
-development, 4, LeadershipDevelopment
-for camp, 14, Camp
-selection standards, 5, Selection
-two-deep, 10, 28, 41
Librarian, 12, Librarian
Literature, 5, Literature
Local council, 6, LocalCouncil
Local Tour Permit Application, 35, LocalTourPermitApplication
Meeting place, troop, 7, MeetingPlace
Members, recruiting, 10, Recruitment
Membership inventory, 10, Membership
Mental fitness, 3, MentalFitness
Merit badge counselor list,16, MeritBadgeCounselorList
Merit badge counselors 28-29, MeritBadgeCounselor
Merit badge pamphlts, 16, MeritBadgePamphlets
Merit badges, 28-29, MeritBadges
Methods of Scouting, 3-4, Methods
Mission of the boy Scouts of America, 3, MissionofBoyScoutsofAmerica
Money-earning projects, 15, 24-26, MoneyEarningProjects
-ideas for, 24, Ideas
-standards for, 25, Standards
Moral strength, 3, MoralStrength
National Camping Award, 16, NationalCampingAward
National Council, 5, NationalCouncil
National Executive Board, 5, NationalExecutiveBoard
National Tour Permit Application, 35, NationalTourPermitApplication
New-Scout patrol, 10, 11, NewScoutPatrol
Order of the Arrow elections, 10, OrderoftheArrowElections
Outdoor/Activities chairperson, 16, OutdoorandActivities
Outdoor Progrm, 3,6,35-37, OutdoorProgram
Parenta involvment, 9,21-22
-for experienced Scouts, 11, ExperiencedScoutPatrol
-for new Scouts, 11, NewScoutPatrol
-method, 3, 11Methods
Patrol leader, 12, PatrolLeaders
Patrol leaders' counil, 9, 12, PatrolLeadersCouncil
Patrols, 11-12, Patrols
Personal growth, 4, PersonalGrowth
Physical abuse, 40, PhysicalAbuse
Physical fitness, 3, Physical
Professional Scouters, 5,6, ProfessionalScouters
Program planning conference, 12, ProgramPlanningConference
Quality Unit Award, 38, QualityUnitAward
Quartermaster, 12, Quartermaster
Rank advancements, 12
Ranks, 27, Rank
Rechartering, 14, 37, Rechartering
Recognition for achievement, 28, Recognized
Record keeping, 15, Records
Recruiting unit leaders, 19-21, RecruitingAdultLeaders
Reference check guidelines, 21-22, ReferenceCheck
Registration, 6, Registration
-records, 5, RegistrationRecords
Religious emblems, 17, ReligiousEmblems
Reregistering the troop, 37, ReregisteringtheTroop
Resources, 43, Resources
-of the BSA to the troop, 8
-of the chartered organization to the troop, 8
Restricted activities, 39-40, RestrictedActivities
Roundtable, 14. 39, Roundtable
Scouters, 6, Scouters
-professional, 5, ProfessionalScouters
-volunteer, 13-18, 19-22
Scout executive, 6, ScoutExecutive
Scout Law, 4, ScoutLaw
Scout motto, 4, ScoutMotto
Scout oath, 3, ScoutOath
Scout slogan, 4, ScoutSlogan
Scouting magazine, 5, ScoutingMagazine
Scouting shows, 6
Scoutmaster, 9, Scoutmaster
-characteristics of, 19-20, CharacteristicsofaScoutmaster
-recruiting, 19-21, CharacteristicsofaScoutmaster
-selection of 7, ScoutmasterSelection
Scoutmaster conference, 10, 2, ScoutmasterConference
Scoutmastership Fundamentals, 21, ScoutmastershipFundamentals
Scribe, 12, Scribe
Secretary, 15, Secretary
Selecting unit leaders, 19, SelectingandRecruiting
Senior patrol leader, 11, SeniorPatrolLeader
Service projects, 29, ServiceProjects
Sexual abuse, 40, 41, SexualAbuse
Short-term camping, 37, ShortTermCamping
Smoking, 42, Smoking
Sports activities, 10
Summer camp facilities and leadership, 6, SummerCampFacilitiesandLeadership
Sustaining Membership Enrollment, 25, SustainingMembershipEnrollment
Tobacco use, 42, Smoking
Tour permits, 35, TourPermits
-chairperson, 17, Training
-for adult leaders, 38, AdultLeadersTraining
-for troop leaders and committee members, 17, Training
-standards, 5, TrainingStandards
Transportation for troop activities, 16. 36, Transportation
Treasurer, 15, Treasurer
Trips, 35, Trips
-activities, 10, 12, Activities
-budget, 23-24, budget
-equipment, 18, 37, CampingEquipment
-expenses, 24, Expenses
-finances, 23-26, Finances
-functioning and structure, 9-12
-library, 16, Library
-meeting place, 7, MeetingPlace
-meetings, 9, Meetings
-new, 6, NewTroops
-program, 6, TroopProgram
Troop committee, 13-18, TroopCommittee
-chairperson, 14, Chairperson
-meetings, 9, 33-34, TroopCommitteeMeetings
-members, 21-22, CommitteeMembers
-organization and responsibilities, 11, 13-18, 19, Organize
Troop guide, 12, TroopGuide
Troop historian, 12, TroopHistorian
Troop resource survey, 15, 21-22, TroopResourceSurvey
Two-deep leadership, 10, 38, 41, TwoDeepLeadership
Uniform, 4, Uniform
-inspection, 9, UniformInspection
Uniforming standards, 5, Uniforming
Unit Budget Plan, 23, UnitBudgetPlan
Unit commissioner, 6, UnitCommissioner
Unit leaders, securing and training, 6
Varsity Scout Leader Fundamentals, 21, VarsityScoutLeaderFundamentals
Venture patrol, 10, 11, VenturePatrols
Venture patrol leader, 12, VenturePatrolLeaders
Video presentations, 14, 21, 28, 34, 38
Volunteers, 6, 13-18, 19-22, 38
Youth leaders, 11-12, YouthLeaders
Youth Protection, Youth Protection Training
-guidelines, 40-41, YouthProtectionGuidelines
-standards, 41, StandardsofYouthProtection
-training, 21,40, Youth Protection Training