Troop 30 Policies, Practices, Traditions


Troop 30 Policies

Troop 30 follows the policies of the Boy Scouts of America as outlined in the following: 

 - Scout Oath, Scout Law, Outdoor Code 

 - BSA Guide to Advancement 

 - BSA Guide to Safe Scouting 

 - BSA Uniform Guide 

 - BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia

 

Troop 30 Practices, Procedures, and Traditions

The following practices, procedures, and traditions are used to support the above policies:

 

First Things First...

If you are new to Boy Scouts, or new to Troop 30, welcome!  One of the first questions is usually "what do I need to do to get my son started?": 

 - Complete a "Youth Application" and turn it in to the Scoutmaster 

 - Pay the BSA and troop fees 

 - Purchase a Scout Handbook 

 - Purchase a Scout Uniform Shirt (as soon as practical) 

 - Read through the following information...

 

Troop Meetings

Troop 30 meets weekly on Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30 pm; normally in the Fairmount Elementary School Cafeteria, unless the school in closed.  When the school is closed (holidays, snow days, etc.), an alternate meeting location will be communicated via email and the troop website.  During summer break, we normally meet outside Fairmount, at the pavilion. 

 

Parents are welcome to stay and observe the troop meetings; we ask that you be mindful of the activities and keep the "background noise" down at times when the scouts need to pay attention.

 

Each troop meeting ends with a closing circle; most announcements and hand-outs take place at closing circle, and parents are welcome to "listen in".

 

Scout Handbook

Every scout needs their own Scout Handbook - they should bring it to every meeting, outing, and campout (put it in a waterproof bag for campouts).  Parents are encouraged to read through the handbook and become familiar with it.

 

Campouts and Outings

Troop 30 camps year-round; normally one campout a month (except February and November).  In February, we have our annual Green and Gold Banquet and overnight lock-in, and in November we have Scouting for Food (two Saturdays).  We also attend a week-long Summer Camp each year; we normally go out-of-council every other year.  We try to plan a high adventure trip (for the older scouts) on the in-council years (in addition to summer camp).

  

We only cancel campouts due to weather if the weather conditions are dangerous; we don't cancel just because it rains or the temperature is cold.  Our goal is to teach the scouts how to prepare for the weather.  Parents are encouraged to speak with the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters if they have any concerns about how their scout needs to prepare for a campout.

 

All scouts and scouters (adults) must have a current (up-to-date) BSA Annual Health and Medical Record on file with the troop prior to going on any campout.

 

All scouts must turn in a completed and signed Permission Slip for each campout, with the medication section filled in.

 

We wear our Field Uniform (Class-A) traveling to and from campouts (and then take the Uniform Shirt off when we get there).

 

The scouts are expected to pack their own gear for each campout (they need to know where and how their stuff is packed).  It's OK to look over their shoulder, but please let them do the packing.  The scouts will also be expected to carry their own gear from the car to the campsite.  The Scout Handbook has recommended packing lists, but if the parents have any questions, please feel free to discuss it with the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

Medications on Campouts

The medication policy is defined in the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting - the following is an excerpt:  "The taking of prescription medication is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual’s parent or guardian. A leader, after obtaining all the necessary information, can agree to accept the responsibility of making sure a youth takes the necessary medication at the appropriate time, but BSA does not mandate or necessarily encourage the leader to do so. Also, if state laws are more limiting, they must be followed. BSA camp standards may modify this for specific camp operation."

 

ALL medications, including over-the-counter, must be listed on the Permission Slip for each campout and outing.

 

Campouts and summer camp is NOT the time to take scouts off their standard medication.

 

Electronics on Campouts

We live in an electronic age, however...  One of our goals is to teach the scouts to be self-sufficient in the outdoors, without the use of electronics.  It's OK for the scouts to bring electronics (cell phones, iPods, etc.) to use on the drive to and from campouts, but we ask that they leave them in the car.  If the scout needs to use the phone during the campout, the driver can retrieve it from the car (or use one of the adult's).

 

Food For Campouts

For most campouts, each Patrol will plan their own menus, purchase their own food (will be reimbursed), and cook their own meals (with older scout and/or adult supervision).  Scouts are welcome to bring their own snacks if they wish; however, they should NEVER leave the snacks in their tents -- snacks attract critters.... raccoons, skunks, ants, etc.  If they bring snacks, they should ask the Senior Patrol Leader where to store them (usually in the troop trailer).

 

Troop Tents - Drying Wet Tents

If tents are wet at the end of a campout, one of the scouts sharing the tent will need to take it home -- the following is expected of the scout (and parents): 

 - within a day or two of bringing the tent home, put up the tent (or hang it up) and allow it to completely dry 

 - be sure to dry the rain fly and ground tarp (if included) 

 - after the tent is dry, repack it (including the ground tarp and poles) 

 - return the tent to the following troop meeting and check it in to the Scout Quartermaster

 

Adults Camping

Parents/guardians are welcome to camp with the troop, however any adult camping on more than two weekend campouts must be a registered scouter, which includes having current Youth Protection Training.  Any adult camping during summer camp must be a registered scouter.  During campouts, a registered scouter is not acting as a parent; they are there to help all scouts, not just their son.  All adults at Troop 30 campouts and outings are required to abide by the BSA two-deep leadership policy.

 

Permission Slips

A troop Permission Slip will be required for each campout and outing.  The permission slip is handed out at a troop meeting a few weeks prior to the outing (the due date is noted on the form); and will be posted on the troop website.  The scouts are expected to turn the form in to the Outdoor Chair by the due date (or contact the Outdoor Chair via phone or email if they can't make it to the troop meeting).

 

The permission slip contains information about the outing:  date, departure time, estimated return time, cost, etc.  Cut the permission slip on the dashed line - keep the top portion (with the outing contact information) and have your scout turn in the bottom portion, along with the payment.

  

The permission slip must be filled out completely for each outing - it is used for multiple purposes: 

 - serves as the formal sign-up and attendance list for the event 

 - the attendance is used for meals/duty roster planning,

  and to confirm we have enough adult leadership and transportation for the outing 

 - the "Over the Counter Medication Permission" section is used by the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters to address any medical issues that arise (if it's not filled in, the leaders cannot give your scout any over-the-counter medication) 

 - ALL medications the scout is currently taking, including over-the-counter, must be listed on the form

   (be specific with the frequency; not just "AM" or "PM")

 

Medical Forms

In addition to the permission slips for each outing, all scouts and adults that camp with the troop are required to turn in an updated BSA Annual Health and Medical Record

 - Parts "A" and "B" must be turned in annually 

 - Part "C" (physical exam with doctor's signature) is required for summer camp 

 - Part "D" is required for certain high adventure trips (this requirement will be communicated as needed)

  

Uniform

At a minimum, we would like all scouts to have a Field Uniform Shirt (Class-A) and a Troop 30 t-shirt.  We would like to see all scouts set a goal for themselves to have a complete uniform by the time they reach First Class rank (parents are encouraged to donate the uniforms their scout out grow to the troop's uniform exchange; and be sure to check the exchange for larger sizes).

 

When a new scout joins, the troop will furnish the neckerchief and shoulder loops.  The troop also furnishes a Troop 30 Patch for the neckerchief when the scout reaches First Class rank (also furnished to Assistant Scoutmasters when they complete their training).

 

 Troop Meetings:

 - during standard time, we wear the Field Uniform (Class-A) to all meetings

 - during daylight savings time, we wear the Field Uniform (Class-A) the first Thursday of the month

   and then the Activity Uniform (Class-B) the other Thursday's

 

Activity Uniform (Class-B):  Troop 30 recognizes any scout related shirt as an Activity Uniform (Class-B) shirt.

 

Campouts / Outings: we wear the Field Uniform (Class-A) traveling to and from troop campouts and outings.

 

Court of Honor: we wear the Field Uniform (Class-A); the scouts should wear as much of the complete uniform as they have, including their neckerchief and merit badge sash.

 

Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review:  scouts are expected to wear as much of the complete Field Uniform (Class-A) as they have, including their neckerchief.

 

Order of the Arrow (OA):  if scouts are elected to the Order of the Arrow, they will be expected to wear a complete Field Uniform (Class-A) to all OA functions.

 

Eagle Scout Board of Review: scouts will be expected to wear a complete Field Uniform (Class-A), including merit badge sash, to their Eagle Scout Project Review and Eagle Scout Board of Review.

 

Adult Leaders:  all direct-contact leaders are expected to lead by example by wearing their scout uniform correctly.


Courts of Honor

Four times a year (February, May, August, November), the troop conducts a Court of Honor (in lieu of one of the weekly troop meetings) where the scouts are recognized for their rank advancements, merit badge completions, and other awards (the scouts are recognized at the weekly troop meetings for their accomplishments, but the Court of Honor is where the formal presentation of the awards are made).  The February Court of Honor is held in conjunction with the annual Green and Gold Banquet.  Dress code for all Courts of Honor is the full Field Uniform (Class-A) - the scout should wear as much of the full uniform as they have.

 

Camping Gear

The troop furnishes the "group related gear" that we use on campouts:  tents (for the scouts), cooking gear, etc.

  

Personal Gear:  each scout is responsible for the following personal gear: 

 - sleeping bag and sleeping pad 

 - water bottle 

 - mess kit 

 - hiking boots or hiking shoes 

 - backpack and small daypack 

 - compass 

 - rain gear

  

Refer to the following sections in the Scout Handbook for suggested camping packing lists: 

 - The Scout (10) Basic Essentials - page 207 

 - Personal Camping Checklist - page 292 & 293 

 - Warm Weather Clothing Checklist - page 272 

 - Cold Weather Clothing Checklist - page 273 

 - Personal First Aid Kit Checklist - page 127

 

Note: boys of scouting age tend to out grow gear before they wear it out; top-of-the-line, ultra expensive gear is usually not necessary.  If you have any questions about gear, please consult the Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

A note about sleeping bags: since we camp year-round, a sleeping bag that is comfortable during the summer months will not keep the scout warm during winter months.  Scouts (and adults) that camp a lot will typically end up with two sleeping bags - a light or medium weight bag for the warmer months, and a winter weight ("arctic duty") bag for the winter months.  If you have any concerns about your scout's sleeping bag or sleeping pad, please discuss it with the Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a handy tool on a campout; scouts are allowed to bring a pocket knife on campouts, with the following conditions / restrictions: 

 - the scout has earned their Totin' Chip 

 - the scout has their Totin' Chip card with them 

 - the rules of the specific event do not prohibit knives

 

Violation of the Totin' Chip rules, or unsafe use of the pocket knife will result in the knife being confiscated by the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster and it will be returned to the scout's parent at the end of the campout.

 

Fixed blade knives (sheath knives) are generally not needed on a campout, and are not allowed without permission of the Scoutmaster.

 

NOTE: Knives should NEVER be brought to a troop meeting at the school.

 

Advancement / Requirements Completion

In Boy Scouts, the scouts advance individually instead of as a group.  Parents are encouraged to read through the rank advancement requirements in their son's Scout Handbook and to help the boys learn the skills; however, the completion of requirements can only be signed off by approved troop members.

 

The following outlines the basic steps the scout goes through to advance: 

 - completes the requirements listed in the Scout Handbook 

 - works with an older scout (Star rank or above) to review the skills and get sign-off 

 - after completing all requirements for a rank (except the scout spirit, Scoutmaster Conference, and Board of Review):

     > print a copy of the Scoutmaster Conference Pre-Check forms and review them

     > work with an Assistant Scoutmaster to complete the forms

     > sign up for a Scoutmaster Conference in the "red book"

     > print a copy of the Scoutmaster Conference Worksheet and complete it

     > bring the following to the Scoutmaster Conference:

          - completed Scoutmaster Conference Pre-Check forms

          - completed Scoutmaster Conference Worksheet

          - Scout Handbook

          - wear Field Uniform (Class-A), including your neckerchief

     > after completing the Scoutmaster Conference, sign up for a Board of Review in the "red book"

     > after completing the Board of Review, notify the Scoutmaster

 

Refer to the Troop 30 Rank Advancement Guidelines for more details on the steps to completing rank advancements.  The Troop Guides, Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmasters will assist the scouts through the process, but we encourage the parents to become familiar with the process also.

 

Youth Leadership Positions

Some of the scout ranks require serving in a leadership position; the "Our Patrols" page on the troop website contains links to the requirements and expectations of each position, including attendance and participation expectations.  Troop elections are held in February and August; if a scout cannot meet the attendance expectations due to other commitments (sports, etc.), they should hold off running for the position until a later election.

 

Visitors

We encourage scouts to bring visitors to troop meetings or other activities to show them what scouting is all about.  The scout will be expected to introduce their visitor to the Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster.  For activities other than troop meetings, we ask that the scout's parent remain at the event.

  

Troop Fees / Outing Costs / Fundraising

We charge yearly troop dues to cover the basic cost of providing the program and awards for the scouts.  In addition, each outing will include costs to cover food, camping fees, etc. -- the cost of each outing will be noted on the permission slip.

 

The troop participates in several fundraising activities during the year.  For most fundraisers, the majority of the profit goes into the scout's individual scout account; the money in the scout account can be used to cover the costs of outings and yearly fees.

 

We strive to keep costs as low as possible, while trying to deliver a quality scouting program.  We don't want money to be the reason a boy cannot participate in scouting.  If there are situations where money is preventing a scout from participating, please contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair.  There are certain scholarships available to assist with summer camp fees, either through the troop or the local council.  All requests are confidential.

   

Troop Committee / Volunteers

The business side of the troop is managed by the Troop Committee, which meets once a month (normally the third Wednesday night of the month).  Parents interested in volunteering with the troop are encouraged to attend the committee meetings, and to register as a Committee Member.

 

If you are interested in working directly with the scout program, please speak with the Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

Once a year, in August, we hold an Annual Planning Meeting where we plan the basic camping program for the following year.  Parents are encourage to attend.  During the weeks leading up to the planning meeting, we get input from the scouts about what they liked and didn't like about the previous year's camping program, and what they would like to do in the coming year.  We use this as input for planning the next year.

 

All parents have a voice; all committee members have a vote!

 

updated: 02/22/14