2012 - 05 San Marcos 030

New members of our troop most always have many questions about our troop and about scouting.  It is our hope that this Troop Guide will answer most of your questions.  Please feel free to contact the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster for any of those questions that are not answered here or if anything is unclear.  You can email the troop at Troop@troop1630.com.

General Information

Troop Meetings2012 - 03 Penny's Ranch 8151

Troop Meetings are held Monday evenings in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg from 7:00 to 8:15pm.  We meet every Monday of the year excluding those Mondays that fall on a school holiday.  The address for the church is 1127 3rd St, Rosenberg, TX 77471.

Uniform

“The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals.”

        – Extracted from the “methods of Scouting” from Boy Scout national website

“The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.”

     –  Sir Robert Baden-Powell

Scouts are expected to wear the full scout uniform (Scout shirt over troop tee shirt, Blue jean shorts/pants) at Troop functions and when traveling to outings unless otherwise announced. Candidates for Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review will be required to wear the full scout uniform.

During the summer months Scouts wear the Troop or Scout related tee shirt to Troop meetings.   At camp and during strenuous activities, the full uniform is not required.

Scout Handbook

Every Scout needs a copy of the Scout Handbook.  It is in the handbook that the scout will be able to keep track of his progress, noting when requirements are completed.   Scouts should bring the handbook to each Troop meeting and monthly outing.

Membership Dues / other costs

Membership: The annual membership cost for a Scout and parent combined is $64.00. This fee covers BSA registration fees for both scout and one parent, Boy’s Life magazine, and annual Troop fee.

Monthly outings: Excluding any special fees, the cost of an outing will be approximately $25 – $30 per person.  This goes to the payment of food, fuel, camping reservation, etc…

Summer Camp: Excluding special fees for some merit badges or excursions the cost of summer camp will be approximately $300.

Fund Raising

In addition to the annual membership dues and help from our sponsors the Troop participates in the following fundraising activities:

  1. Discount Card program – the Troop sells Discount cards that are good for the entire year at local supporting merchants.  The cards sell for $10.
  2. Popcorn Sale – the Troop participates in the Scouting Annual Popcorn Sale.
  3. Flags over Fortbend – Six times throughout the year our scouts will place a flag in the front yard for residents in our assigned neighborhood.  To determine it Troop 1630 services your area please check the Common Patriots Webpage

Conduct at Scout Functions

So that the outdoor experience can be enjoyed by all attendees please do not bring any electronic device such as radios, IPod, Itouch, Ipad, I _____, CD Players, electronic games, etc. to Scout functions.  If approved by the vehicle driver, these items may be used while traveling to outings but must be left in the vehicle.

Do not bring mobile phones to Troop campouts.  Mobile phones disrupt the outdoor experience and will be collected by an adult leader and returned to the parent following the campout.  Adults should set a good example by turning off ringers, and by limiting phone use to times and places where scouts are not present.

Fixed blade knives, glass containers, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and inappropriate magazines and books are never to be brought to Scout functions.  Adults must follow these same rules as well to set a good example.

Hazing, initiations, unsafe or unsanitary pranks, racial slurs, or off color remarks will not be tolerated at any scouting function.  A scout is Friendly.

Parents

Parent Participation

Scout is fun for adults too!  We encourage and expect our parents to attend Troop meetings and monthly outings.   Each parent is registered as a member of the Troop’s parent committee and contributes to help the Scouts and Troop in whatever way they can.

Parent Committee

Parents of the Scouts in the Troop make up the Troop Parents Committee.  At least one parent joins the Troop with their son.  The Committee is responsible for overseeing the Troop operation, and handles duties such as Treasurer, Advancement, Health and Safety, Equipment and Fund Raising.  One of the basic roles of an adult in a the troop is to serve as a mentor for the boy scout leaders – to train them and guide them toward effective leadership – and to make sure that the program is carried out safely in accordance with Boy Scout directives.  It is, however, up to the boys themselves to run the troop and carry out the program.

The Boy Scout Program

The Boy-Led Troop

One of the key elements of the Boy Scouting program is the emphasis on youth leadership.  Boy Scout leaders are not just leaders in name only, but are responsible for the operation of the troop.  There are few organizations that afford boys the leadership opportunities that they will have in scouting. To be effective at this Baden Powell set up the “Patrol Method”.

The Patrol Method

The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living, participating citizenship, and leadership. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their Patrol Leader.

The Troop Organization Structure

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is at the top of the organizational structure.  To earn this position the scout must first have served as an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) for 6 months.  The troop elects two ASPL’s to serve in this position.  At the end of the ASPL’s term the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters will promote one of the ASPL’s to SPL for the next 6 month term based on attendance, performance, and Scout Spirit.

As stated above the boys in the troop are organized  into patrols that function as a team in carrying out the scouting program.  Each patrol elects their Patrol Leader(PL).

Patrol Leaders Council – PLC

This Council includes the SPL, Assistant SPL’s, PL’s, and Troop Scribe.  The PLC meets every month typically on the third Monday of the month, prior to the Troop meeting, to set the troop plan for the upcoming month and to discuss any topics of interest.

Merit Badge Program

The Merit Badge Program gives scouts the opportunity  to learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers.  There are over a 100 merit badges to choose from and any scout may earn any merit badge at any time. Several merit badges are required for Star, Life, and Eagle ranks.  Merit badge counselors will work with the Scouts to help them meet the requirements and will sign off on requirements as they are completed.To work on a merit badge the Scout will make this request on the Merit Badge Request Clip Board.  The Advancement Coordinator will create a merit badge card and work with the scout in identifying a merit badge counselor.

Program Planning

In August of each year there is a PLC only camping trip planned for the purpose planning the Troop program for the next twelve months.  The PLC will plan the theme for each month that is usually centered around a merit badge.  They will determine the outings for each month as well as plan service projects and other activities.  It is this plan that the PLC will work with at their monthly PLC meetings.

Court of Honor

This is a special ceremony that occurs twice a year for the purpose of recognizing the scouts on their achievements such as rank advancement, merit badge completions, and any other special awards that may have been earned over the past 6 months.  Scouts are awarded badges in regular Troop meetings but will receive further recognition at the Court of Honor.   All parents, grandparents, and siblings are encouraged to attend this special event.

2012 - 05 San Marcos 117

Outings

Monthly Outings

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 scout skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose.  Except for December the troop strives to go on an overnight camping experience or some other special event every month.  Examples of outings include backpacking trips, canoeing, shooting sports, cycling, caving, fishing, and base camping.  The theme and location of the outing are determined at the annual Patrol Leaders Council meeting help in August of each year.

On most outings, Scouts cook, and eat together with their Patrol using a menu they planned at a previous troop meeting.  Costs of the outing average between $25-$30 and cover food, fuel, equipment expense, and any camping reservations if needed.  The Grubmaster in each patrol takes care of acquiring and bringing all food and supplies needed for the menu and is reimbursed by the Treasurer.

Summer Camp

Considered the highlight of the scouting year.  Summer Camp is a weeklong trip. Not only is it great fun but it is also an excellent opportunity for scouts to learn new things and advance.  Previous Summer camps have taken our troop to Northern Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and the Texas Hill Country.

Winter Camp

Winter Camp is also available to the troop.  Usually this camp stays closer to home and within our council.  It is offered between Christmas and New Year offering another opportunity to earn merit badges.

Equipment

If any special equipment is needed by the scouts for a camping trip it will be suggested well in advance of the outing.  On most outings the scout will only need to provide his personal gear.  The troop provides all patrol equipment such as tents and Patrol equipment.

Medical Forms

To participate on outings all Scouts and adults must have a current medical form on file.  Copies of the forms are carried along on the outing.  The forms can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/healthandsafety/ahmr.aspx .  Please complete the appropriate parts.

Advancement

Rank Advancement Requirements

As scouts attend troop meetings and outings they will complete requirements needed to advance to the next rank.  Requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class can be signed off by a approved older scout of Star rank and higher or the Scoutmaster or Assistance Scoutmaster.  Parents do not sign requirements.

The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster signs requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle ranks.

For all ranks the Scoutmaster signs off on the Scout Spirit, Leadership, and Scoutmaster Conference  requirements.

Once the Scout has completed all requirements, he schedules a conference with the Scoutmaster.  After completing this conference, he schedules a Board of Review with the Advancement Coordinator.

Scoutmaster Conference2012 - 10 El Lobo 0716

The Scoutmaster Conference is more a discussion and a review of rank requirements and is not a test of Scout skills.  It is a discussion where the  Scoutmaster and Scout get to know each other a little better and an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to learn how the scout is fitting in with the Troop.


2012 - 10 El Lobo 0333Board of Review

The final requirement for rank advancement is a Board of Review.  The purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest a Scout, but rather to ensure that the Scout has completed the requirements for the rank.  It is also a time to evaluate the experience the Scout is having in the unit and to encourage the scout to progress further.