Parent’s Handbook Troop 1354
Sponsored by Good Shepherd Gladstone
Introduction and Welcome:
Welcome to Boy Scout Troop 354! We are excited to have you joining us.
Thank you for your selection of Troop 354 as your choice for you and your son to experience Scouting over the next few years. The Troop Committee, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and members of the troop welcome you and your son(s) to a new or continuing experience in Scouting. We hope that you find Scouting to be as rewarding as we and numerous others have over the last 100 years.
When a boy joins the troop, his parents join the troop as well.
Experience has taught us that your son's interest and accomplishments will be in direct proportion to your participation with him. You will find that time spent in Scouting is quality time between parent and son. We encourage you to become involved in the troop in a leadership or support role.
The adults of the troop offer you a Parents’ Handbook to help you feel more comfortable with the Boy Scout program as a whole, and in particular, to make your tenure with Troop 354 as rewarding as possible. This handbook contains basic information that we think will be helpful. You will find the following in the handbook: basic troop information, the troop’s goals and objectives, an overview of the troop program and costs, advancement procedures, how you can help your son to advance,and our expectations of the Scouts and parents in order to make the troop program successful. Please take time to read this handbook and then go over the information with your son. You will also want to keep this handbook handy for occasional reference throughout the year. Scouting is designed to be a safe, fun, and fantastic learning experience.
We are sure you will find your family’s experience in Scouting with Troop 354 to be fun and fantastic, too. When you finish reading this handbook, please fill out a medical form, parent’s resource form and a few other helpful documents. You will need to fill out an official BSA membership form and merit badge counselor application in order to become an adult leader or Merit Badge counselor.
Feel free to email, call me or contact any one of our Assistant Scoutmasters any time you have questions.
Welcome to Troop 354! We are glad you’re joining us!
David Loar Warren Stafford
Scoutmaster, Troop 354 Troop Committee Chair, Troop 354
We look forward to your experience together in Scouting!
Troop 354 Scout and Family Handbook
- Mission, goals & philosophy
- Boy Scouting is Different
- The Boy Scouts Organizational Structure
- Troop Committee/Troop Leadership
- Frequently asked questions
- What is expected of a Scout - uniforms
- Expectations of a Parent
- Adult Volunteers - How parents can help
- Troop Finances/Fundraising
- Leadership Development & Advancement - Ranks, Scoutmaster Conference, Board of Review, other advancement considerations, Merit Badges, Court of Honor , Eagle Requirements
- Troop Meetings
- Troop Patrols, Patrol Methods, Patrol Leaders Council, Youth Leadership Positions
- Activities/Calendar - monthly camping
- Code of Conduct
- Camping rules & procedures - Troop Equipment, personal equipment
Appendix A - Troop Committee Members
Appendix B - Adult Troop Resource Survey
Appendix C - Troop 354 Permission Form
Appendix D - Camping Protocols
Appendix E - Kaper Chart
Appendix F - Jr/Youth Leadership Descriptions
Appendix G - Merit Badges info
I. Troop Mission, Goals and Philosophy
Mission - Service, Honor, and Duty on the Trail to Eagle
Troop 354 believes in a program that:
● Emphasizes outdoor experiences and community service.
● Provides opportunities for leadership development.
● Provides an appreciation of our environment.
● Promotes a life exemplifying the Scout Oath and Law.
The goals of Troop 354 follow those of the Boy Scouts of America. We help direct the development of young men in their citizenship responsibilities, shape the moral strength and character of young men, and enhance the development of the physical, mental, and emotional fitness of America’s young citizens.
We emphasize community service as an important way of demonstrating good citizenship. We are very proud of the tradition of excellence that has allowed a high percentage of our Scouts to advance to the rank of Eagle, and we encourage every Scout to work hard to achieve this lofty goal.
We recognize with pride the achievements of our Scouts who attain Eagle, Scouting’s highest rank. We are equally proud of those young men who set and achieve goals of gaining self-reliance, proficiency in Scoutcraft skills, and develop into responsible active citizens. Scouting succeeds because of the proven approach of utilizing the talents and skills of older, more experienced Scouts to teach and develop the talents and skills of less experienced Scouts. Even though the advanced Scouts who teach other Scouts may not be recognized immediately by others in the troop, the knowledge and compassion they learn will remain with them throughout their lives. Experienced Scouts have a unique opportunity to be a role model for the less mature Scouts.
Excellence in Scouting Award: Is a performance measurement and recognition program for councils, districts, packs, troops, teams, crews, ships, and posts. It is: Quality program, sustainability, and growth must all be in balance for success to truly be achieved
II. Boy Scouting Is Different
You may have already noticed some big changes. Throughout Cub Scouts and
Webelos/AOL, adult leaders planned every aspect of Pack activities and advancement. In
Boy Scouts, however, the boys are responsible for almost everything, including
communicating with parents. We encourage you to have your Scout ask the troop
leadership, following the "chain of command" beginning with his Patrol Leader, for
guidance in any questions he or you might have. This is a very important part of
building self-confidence and teamwork!
In Boy Scouts, the Scouts run the program. This requires some adjustment in expectations when compared to Cub Scouting where the adults do the planning and running of the program. Those who have come from the Cub Scouts are used to the dependability and consistency of adults running the program. Therefore, some boys and parents may not be completely at ease with the boy leadership aspect of the Boy Scout Program.
III. The Boy Scouts Organizational Structure
Nationally, the BSA is broken down into large regions called Councils, and Councils are further divided into Districts. Districts are made up of Cub Scout units called Packs, Boy
Scout units called Troops, and Venturing units called Crews.
Boy Scout Troop 354 is a part of the Heart of America Council. The Heart of America Council Boy Scouts of America is located in the greater Kansas City area encompassing troops in Missouri and Kansas.
Troop 354 is part of the Northstar District.
Our Chartered Organization, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, sponsors our Troop. The Chartered Organization owns our Troop and is responsible for approving leadership and providing us with a place to meet.
The troop also participates in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is a Scout Honor Program that serves as a leadership enhancement program of the Heart of America Council. It is designed to help the Heart of America Council fulfill its mission of preparing the young people of Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Its purpose is to provide recognition for boys who have demonstrated and proven their devotion to Scouting even beyond the extra mile. It is a boys program guided and inspired by adults.
Adult leaders are brought into the Tribe so that they may interpret and encourage the use and application of those principles in the lives of boys.
Scouts will be introduced to the program while attending summer camp and will observe “Call Night” when third-year campers may be asked to join the tribe.
IV. Troop Committee/Troop Leadership
The adult leaders responsible for the program are the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters. They provide direct guidance and support for the patrol method. They develop leadership skills, reinforce the patrol method, and help the SPL run the program.
The Troop Committee consists of adults, many of whom are parents of boys in the troop. The Troop Committee is responsible for securing the proper adult leadership for the troop and assisting the Scoutmaster in executing the Scouting program. The Committee approves the overall annual program and provides administrative support to the troop.
Specific functions include Committee Chair, Troop Treasurer, Committee Secretary, Advancement Chair, Summer Camp Coordinator, Communications Chair, Fundraising, and planning and organizing for specific events.
The Committee meets on the Monday following troop campouts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Methodist Church, Gladstone Campus.
New parents are encouraged to join the Troop Committee. Please refer to a current roster of adult leaders on the Troop Committee (Appendix A).
A Troop Committee member, the Chartered Organization Representative, is our liaison between the troop and the church. He/she communicates our needs and program direction to the Church. They keep the troop informed about upcoming church programs and assists with the annual re-chartering and recruiting adult and youth members for the troop.
VI. What Is Expected of the Scout
A successful troop involves many ingredients – a responsive chartered organization, a challenging and rewarding program, dedicated and knowledgeable adult leaders, adequate resources, supportive program, but most importantly, interested and motivated Boy Scouts. You, as parents, have certain expectations of your son’s troop that probably include the first four of these ingredients, as well as the opportunity for new experiences, growth of character and the rewards of a team environment.
When a boy joins the Boy Scouts, he is frequently not aware of the obligations and responsibilities he must accept which are vital to a successful Scouting experience. Since parents may not be familiar with all of these responsibilities, or expectations, they are listed below for your information.
While the Scouts are constantly reminded of these responsibilities during troop meetings and other activities, your assistance in assuring that these expectations are understood by your son would be appreciated.
As part of the Scout Oath - I will do my best, to do my duty to God - and Scout Law - A Scout is reverent- members of Scouting are required to believe in a Supreme Being, whatever he may determine that to be. Each Scout of Troop 354 is expected to:
1) Live by the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, and Scout Slogan in his day-to-day living, and in all troop meetings and activities. When the Scout sign goes up, his sign will go up and he will become quiet and stand where he is standing. He will treat others with the same respect that he wishes to be treated.
2) Attend weekly troop meetings. (Attendance at 2/3 of the meetings since joining or the last 6 months, whichever is shorter, is required for advancement). Troop meetings are noted on the annual calendar and in quarterly updates.
In the event that North Kansas City Public Schools are dismissed early or are closed due to weather/snow, the troop meeting will be cancelled. If a Scout cannot attend a troop meeting, he should call his Patrol Leader prior to the meeting.
3) Participate in troop activities. If a Scout signs up to participate in an activity, but does not attend, he is still responsible for his financial obligations for the activity (food, transportation, share of camping fees, etc.). In the event an activity is cancelled, the Scout will still be responsible for financial obligations for the outing that cannot be recovered, though every effort will be made to reach an equitable and fair redistribution of costs not incurred (money for food will not be refunded).
4) Attend Summer camping activity - we attend summer camp at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation Camp for 10 days.
5) Wear the complete Class A uniform at meetings and designated activities in a neat, well-groomed manner.
Class A Uniform
The Class A uniform (also known as the Field Uniform) is worn to all Scout meetings, whenever we travel, on Scout Sunday, for flag ceremonies, and for Courts of Honor.
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. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
The Class A uniform consists of a scout shirt, scout shorts or scout pants, scout belt, scout socks and closed toed shoes. A neckerchief, slide and sash should be worn to all
Courts of Honor and on Scout Sunday.
Insignia placement can be found online at: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide/06.aspx
Class B Uniform
The Class B Uniform (also known as Activity Uniform) is worn to summer scout meetings, at summer camp, while on campouts and during sporting activities (except Scout Day at the K). The Class B Uniform is a scout t-shirt, scout shorts, socks, and athletic shoes. Scout t-shirts can be the troop t-shirt, or any summer camp t-shirt. Troop 354 provides a new scout with a troop-specific neckerchief and a Class B t-shirt.
We also have a uniform exchange where scouts may be able to find uniforms their size,
or you may purchase a uniform at the Scout Shop.
If special clothing is appropriate for a specific activity, then the leaders will let the Scout know in advance.
6) Keep his handbook up-to-date and bring it to ALL troop meetings and activities. The Boy Scout Handbook is also part of the uniform, and should be in the boy’s possession at all times while in uniform. Each Scout should also have a scout binder - He must have a pen or pencil, and a small notebook with which to take notes at troop meetings.
7) Return registration fees for troop activities on time. Payments and reservations for events vary between outings. Grub money ($20per scout and $10per adult) is due two Mondays before a camping trip. Payments and reservations for events vary between outings. The annual permission slip covers most outings; however, some trips may require additional forms or permission slips.
8)Treat Good Shepherd with more care and with more respect than your own house. Scouts are guests in the church.
9) Use only folding pocket knives or folding lock blade knives while working with the Scouts. Sheath knives (long knives in a sheath) are prohibited in Scouting. See camping - Totin Chip requirements
10) Do not bring cell phones, radios, electronic games, motorized cars, or other items that are hazardous (firearms, firecrackers, etc.) or cause distractions which are non-Scout related to any troop meeting or activity. This includes homework!.
11) Do not wander off from the group, whether at a troop meeting, activity, or campout. His whereabouts must be known by his Patrol Leader, and adult leaders at all times.
12) While at troop meetings or activities, conduct oneself as a best example of the fine Scouts in Troop 354, so that he can be proud, his parents can be proud, and the adult leaders can be proud of him and his conduct.
Your son’s commitment to these expectations should lead to having lots of fun, learning a great deal and to earning higher rank.
VII. Expectations of a Scout Parent
Each young man and his family are important members of our troop. Active, involved parents and family members are vital to a Scout's advancement and level of interest.
The parent of a Scout should:
● Complete the BSA Youth Protection Training (available online)
● Enjoy the Boy Scout experience alongside your son!
● Provide the necessary uniform, equipment and transportation for your Scout so that he is properly clothed and equipped to participate in troop and patrol activities.
● Provide encouragement to your Scout and help him set and abide by priorities, which will help further his Scouting experience. The success and enjoyment of the Boy Scout increases as the Scout's participation increases. Allow time to review, study and practice his rank requirements.
● Provide never-ending encouragement to your Scout in his advancement, service and commitment to the Scout Oath and Laws.
● Provide Information to the Scoutmaster or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters regarding problems or concerns you or your Scout may have (medical conditions, learning disabilities, medications etc.).
● Allow your Scout to "learn by doing". He will make mistakes when trying to accomplish tasks on his own, but this builds character! Remember, there are many older boy and adult leaders present to ensure that new Scouts and their patrols don't do anything that jeopardizes safety or other basic requirements.
● Encourage your Scout to attend summer camp! Experience proves that new Scouts are much more likely to stay in Scouting, enjoy Scouting more, and advance more quickly by attending summer camp.
● Help your son to find the time to study his advancement requirements, and if possible, test your son on those requirements so that he is more comfortable when reviewed by the troop leadership. In accordance with Boy Scout policy, parents, unless registered as a leader of designated by the Scoutmaster, are not authorized to sign-off Boy Scout requirements for their son.
● Attend and/or support Courts of Honor, campouts, fundraisers and other Troop 354 activities as your time allows. We welcome your participation for both the Troop's and your son's benefit.
● As a parent, participate in the troop’s activity based on your own family and work situation and demands.
VIII. Adult Volunteers - How parents can help
Troop 354 strives to maintain an excellent level of adult volunteers; and we expect each family to help the troop to the extent possible.
Adult leadership opportunities include: Assistant Scoutmaster positions, troop
management positions and troop committee participation..
We welcome the participation of all parents and guardians in our program in all areas, meetings, departments, training, merit badge counseling and camping. Some levels of participation require registration as an adult leader and BSA training.
The support and involvement of parents and family members in Troop 354 are what makes
the Troop successful. As a parent, you will have to decide how active you can be based on your family situation and its demands, but 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.
New Leaders Are a Must. With new scouts, we expect to gain new leaders as well.
Parent volunteers are a must in order to support the new scouts. Typically, at least two
parents of new scouts will need to become trained assistant scoutmasters to assist with
new Scouts (and to replace any outgoing adults). There are additional volunteer
opportunities on the troop committee.
Adults learn BSA philosophy and method in all the leadership training forums (e.g., Scoutmastership Fundamentals, Youth Protection, monthly Roundtable Meetings, and Wood Badge).
All activities that include adult leadership will strictly follow the Youth Protection
and Safe Scouting guidelines set forth by the Boy Scouts of America in the BSA
publication The Guide to Safe Scouting. Adult leadership is always two-deep, which
means two leaders must be with the Scouts at all times. No Scout should ever be in the
company of an adult without being in sight of others, or without having another adult in attendance. Adults may transport a Scout from one location to another without
another adult in the vehicle as long as there are at least two Scouts in the vehicle. Other
policies as spelled out in the Youth Protection and Guide to Safe Scouting guidelines may
apply. BSA policy requires adult volunteers to take Youth Protection Training before they
can become a registered leader. All registered adult leaders involved with the Troop must
take Youth Protection training every two years and review these policies before
attending a Troop event. Youth Protection training is offered online. Other adults are also encouraged to take this training course. Youth Protection guidelines are for the protection of both the Scout and the adult leader and should be strictly adhered
How can parents help?
Troop 354 is a boy led, adult guided troop - a troop environment where the boys provide the leadership and adults play pure advisor, safety net and logistics roles in the background. Parents are an integral part of supporting the boys and can help in many ways.
Please complete the Parent Survey (Appendix B) to let us know how you can help!
There are many opportunities for parents/grandparents and other adults!
● Join the Troop Committee
● Volunteer to assist with activities - Requests for help for specific activities such as preparations for Courts of Honor and fundraisers are sent via email as needed and include details and contact information.
● Assistant Scoutmaster - Appointed by the Scoutmaster and include adult males or females who are willing to wear a scout uniform and offer general assistance to individual scouts or with troop activities may carry the title of ASM. These volunteers are often seen hanging out at scout meetings waiting for boys to ask them for help with particular requirements. They take forms, help keep order when an adult voice is needed and jump in when the situation needs another hand.
● Merit Badge Counselor - The troop needs your talents to help out boys advance toward Eagle. There are currently 125 merit badges the boy can earn. Decide which you would like to offer to counsel either as a class or individually, and contact the Advancement Chair or the merit badge coordinator. A complete list of merit badges and their requirements can be found at www.meritbadge.com.
● Attend campouts - Adults are needed for every campout! Parents of younger scouts sometimes worry if they will be a nuisance or distract from the trip for their boy. Honestly, the boys tend to do their thing, and the adults do theirs. As long as you respect the “boy lead troop” ideal, you’ll be fine. Parents are always welcome, but younger non-scout siblings and pets may not attend.
● Training - For many reasons, including training, it is best to register yourself as a member of the troop when you register your boy. Many training courses are available online, such as Youth Protection, Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense, and This is Scouting. Anyone can log on and take these courses at any time at www.my.scouting.org. You do have to create an account, which will ask for your BSA number. If you don’t have your number yet (these are assigned by the council with your adult registration), just proceed without one, and you can link your record with your training later when you get your number.
IX. Troop Finances/Fundraising
Program Cost /Dues
Dues are paid during rechartering in October. Scouts joining the troop mid year will pay a prorated portion of the annual dues subject to the committee’s discretion. Payment of dues entitles Scouts to hold positions of leadership within the Troop, attend meetings, camping functions and any other scout function. If dues are not paid by the end of December, the Scout is considered "inactive." If dues are not paid by the end of October, as we re-charter our Troop, a Scout's membership is dropped from the BSA and Troop rolls. The money generated
from dues is used for insurance, advancement material, annual re-chartering and training
classes for adult leaders. A copy of our annual budget with details regarding our fees and
expenses is available to all parents and our Treasurer provides regular updates on the
Troop’s finances at our Committee meetings.
All youth and adult leaders re-register and pay annual dues and re-charter fee. The re-charter fee is set by Boy Scouts of America annually and troop dues are evaluated and set by the Troop annually. This pays for registration with the National Office, Boy’s Life Magazine subscription, insurance fees, as well as funds to support the troop program. This is less than the amount of money needed to purchase equipment and fully operate the troop. Fundraising and support from other organizations allow us to keep dues at a reasonable level. The troop uses the fees to purchase patches, awards, tents, stoves and all other items needed to have a quality program.
If the fees are an obstacle to your son’s participating in Scouting and becoming a part of the troop, please contact the Committee Chairman or Scoutmaster to receive special consideration of your circumstances. The Scouts put a high value on your son’s future with Scouting and the matter will be handled in strict confidence.
Other expenses for the Scout include costs that will vary from activity to activity, such as food for campouts, etc. Usually the adult Trip Leader will have identified the common costs of an activity, such as entrance fees, permits, and supplies, and have calculated a per-Scout fee.
See Section XII for a list of sample activities and costs
A Scout is responsible for replacing or repairing any troop equipment he loses or negligently damages while in his charge.
The Troop requires funds to purchase equipment, help subsidize activities etc. The dues
collected do not support the troop for the whole year. The Troop raises funds through
money-earning activities approved by the Troop Committee.
Participation by the Scouts in these activities are an important part of being a Scout and learning to pay his own way. All members of the troop are expected to participate in Fundraising, as well as the outings and troop meetings. Adults are always needed to serve as coordinators for the service and Fundraising projects, please speak to the Troop Committee Chair to volunteer your leadership.
There may be times that the Troop may have a special fundraiser to pay for high adventure trips. Even if a scout is not going on a high adventure trip, we encourage the scout to support the other scouts by participating in the fundraiser.
Fundraising activities have included candy sales, chili dinners with silent auctions, trash bag sales and popcorn sales. We are always looking for new ideas.
X. Leadership Development & Advancement Overview
Part of the Scout Program is to develop a boy through varied leadership experiences. Scouting is one of only a few organizations that places the emphasis of developing leadership skills on boys 11- to 18-years-old.
Under supervision of adult leaders, boy leaders have the opportunity to plan, organize, and to be responsible for the well-being of the other Scouts in their patrol and troop. Sometimes, in this learning-by-doing process, a boy leader will make a mistake. Making mistakes is natural and a part of being human. When a boy makes a mistake and learns from it, the lesson learned is more meaningful than either being told how to do something, or always succeeding. The adult leaders of the troop usually allow these mistakes to happen to aid in the learning process, but make sure that mistakes do not affect any of the boys’ health, wellbeing, or safety.
While working on more advanced skills that will serve his own advancement, he recognizes the importance of demonstrating Scout Spirit and service to others in his everyday life. Scouts working on Star and Life must more specifically work on service projects for these ranks.
Youth/Junior Leadership Positions
Leadership is important to advance in rank, to have a good program, and to develop as a young man. Even if the Scout does not currently hold a leadership position in the Troop, he should make sure he understands the responsibilities of those that do. Those being led should take
responsibility to make sure that those they choose as leaders do their job.
Leadership positions include: Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), Patrol Leader (PL), Troop Quartermaster (QM), Grubmaster , Troop Librarian,. Other positions may include: Troop Scribe, Troop Guide , Jr. Asst Scoutmaster, Troop Historian, Leave No Trace Trainer, Den Chief, Bugler, or Instructor.
For all the above positions the scout must:
1. Set a good example.
2. Wear the uniform correctly.
3. Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
See Appendix D for Youth Leadership Job Descriptions
The advancement process is an important part of being a Scout. It is important for you, the Scout’s parent, to have knowledge of the steps and the process of advancing rank in Scouting. The BSA Advancement Program is designed to encourage Scouts to accomplish a progressive series of learning experiences in the areas of citizenship, character development, personal fitness, Scoutcraft skills, and leadership.
The process provides for the learning and application of knowledge and skills.
The advancement process consists of four steps:
● Learning - acquiring of knowledge of a subject through participation in activities.
● Testing/application - skills are demonstrated to a qualified leader
● Review of work - review to ensure standards have been met and assess the Scouting experience in general.
● Recognition - public recognition of achievement at a Court of Honor. Here are the details of each of the steps… Learning.
After joining the troop,the Assistant Scoutmasters will work with the Scout to complete the requirements for the rank of Scout.. This should be completed before the boys go to scout camp that summer.
The next three ranks are Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. It is permissible to work on any of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class, while at a lower rank. There are no time requirements for these ranks; however, they must be earned and presented in the proper order. In earning these ranks, the Scout learns and demonstrates the basic Scout skills, as well as demonstrating good Scout Spirit and an understanding of the Scouting program.
The specific requirements for each rank are listed at scoutbook.org and in the Boy Scout Handbook.
Scouts should keep accurate records of their individual service hours and camping experiences (which are required for certain ranks). This should include date, number of hours or number of nights, location/place, description/explanation and leader in charge. This information is available on scoutbook.org or in the back of their Scout Handbook.
After completing the requirements for each rank, the scout will need to:
● If not already done, arrange for a Scoutmaster’s Conference for all Scout ranks.
● See the Advancement Chair to set up a Board of Review. An Advancement Committee member will review the Scout’s handbook to verify that requirements have been met and properly signed off, and that troop meeting attendance and troop activity participation requirements have been met before the Scout meets with Board.
● If the Scout does not have his handbook available for review by the Advancement Committee, it will delay the Board of Review process. After the review of the Scout’s handbook, he will be given an information sheet about his pending Board of Review. The information sheet outlines what the Scout will need to do to be ready for the Board of Review, including wearing his complete uniform and bringing his handbook to the scheduled Board of Review.
1) For the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class, complete the skill requirements and see the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Patrol Leader, or an Instructor for testing and a sign-off. (legible initials and date).
The ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class must be earned in order.
2) For the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle, complete the requirements for time, service project, and merit badges. See the appropriate individuals, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters or Advancement Chair for sign-off. (legible initials and date). They also require service in a leadership position. As with merit badges, it is often more enjoyable for Scouts to work together towards the same rank.
Upon achieving the rank of First Class, the Scout should be ready to accept the responsibilities of leadership in the form of Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Instructor, Quartermaster, or Troop Scribe.
These positions satisfy leadership requirements for Star and Life, and are rotated every six months, with the exception of SPL which is a yearly office. In these positions, the Scout gains self-confidence and an understanding of the responsibilities of leadership. While serving in these positions, the Scout assists others with advancement.
Scouts in a patrol should be able to go to their PL for advice, counsel, and for the learning and testing of skills. In completing the requirements for Star, Life, and, even Eagle, the Scout learns and demonstrates leadership at both the patrol and the troop level.
Testing can be done in one of several informal or formal methods. The Scout normally demonstrates his ability with Scouting skills to either his Patrol Leader or a Troop Instructor. Frequently, the Scout is tested without realizing it, such as the case of a Patrol hike or troop campout. An approved merit badge counselor, associated either with the troop or District, will normally use the more traditional means of testing for merit badge skills, either by verbal or written questions and answers, demonstrations, or a required written report. Note: requirements need to be observed by a troop certified leader to be recognized as completed.
Scouting also involves participating in service projects. These can be both fun and a meaningful part of a Scout’s responsibility as he provides service to his community (“Help other people at all times”). Service is done by participation in troop-sponsored service projects such as collecting food in the “Scouting for Food” drive in November, United Methodist Men monthly pancake breakfast and semi-annual mulch sale delivery. Each Scout is required to give cheerful service by participating in projects for his rank advancement. These need to be pre- approved by the Scoutmaster for the Ranks of Star and Life, and need considerable planning as a Scout undertakes has Eagle project.
When a young man makes the decision to become a Scout, he will have his first Scoutmaster’s Conference. For every rank, a Scout will have the opportunity to sit down with the Scoutmaster.
They will discuss his progress in the completion of the requirements to the next rank including Scout Spirit, as well as the setting of goals on how he will continue his progress. These one-on-one conferences are used to encourage and help a Scout focus his attention on his continued development. These conferences can be held at troop meetings, campouts, or at a special time and place mutually agreed upon by the Scout and the Scoutmaster.
As part of earning their Eagle Scout, scout must first complete the 13 required merit badges, plus 10 additional badges (at a minimum). Merit badges are not typically earned as part of regular troop activities; although some skills that are necessary as part of a scout’s rank advancement may be applied to some badge requirements.
Merit Badges (MB) are an important part of the advancement program and deal with skills in specific areas requiring a greater base of understanding than the requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class.
Merit Badges can be earned in any order, with a few exceptions. In looking at the requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle, one observes that the number of required merit badges increases with each higher rank. It may be more fun to work on badges with a friend. The Scouts will work on specific badges at summer camp and should pay particular attention to getting those required for the next rank advancement. The Scout Leaders help to steer the Scouts to those merit badges that will both expose them to a wide variety of experiences, as well as those that will best enable them to advance with regularity. We recommend that the Scout earn the Eagle required merit badges as soon as they are able. Some merit badges require a great deal of time to complete (up to 6 months). If these are left to the last months before the Scout turns 18 years old, they may be impossible to complete due to scheduling conflicts, school commitments, and the tenure required to complete
Parents are encouraged to help their scout earn badges. There are also Merit Badge Colleges and programs held by different organizations that scouts can attend to earn Merit Badges. See Appendix G for more information about merit badges.
Eagle Scout Requirements
For the rank of Eagle Scout, the Scout should consult the Scoutmaster before the Scout begins his Eagle project to obtain specific guidance on the advancement procedures. When all requirements have been met, the Eagle Scout Coordinator and/or the Troop Advancement Chair is notified that all merit badges, leadership position, service project, and time requirements have been completed.
He will provide advice on the application process, and review all necessary paperwork (including the Eagle project report). The paperwork is also reviewed by the Scoutmaster and the Eagle Advisor for accuracy and style. The Scoutmaster will also arrange for a special Eagle Board of Review that requires the presence of a District Eagle Board member. The Board of Review consists of a minimum of three Committee members and should not exceed six people. A Review is generally scheduled as needed, concurrent with the troop meeting.
Court of Honor
The Scout will receive public recognition at the Court of Honor. At this time, the Scout will be recognized for his hard work and dedication in front of the entire troop and the parents of the Scout. Courts of Honor are held quarterly. It is important that parents and family members attend these special ceremonies, not only to participate in the recognition process.. Scouts can confirm their eligibility for recognition with the Advancement Chair no later than the week prior to the upcoming Court of Honor. To minimize possible disappointment, we ask the boys and you to check this list to ensure that your Scout is scheduled to receive the awards he has earned and is due at the Court of Honor. We recommend that Scouts check the list one or two weeks in advance of the COH. This way any errors can usually be corrected in time for awards to be received at the Court of Honor. For recognition for the rank of Eagle Scout, the Troop Committee will help the Eagle Scout and his family plan for and schedule the unique Eagle Court of Honor at a mutually agreeable date and time. All members of the troop are invited to attend these impressive ceremonies. Each member of the troop will receive an invitation to these special events.
XI. Troop Meetings
Troop Meetings are on Mondays throughout the school year (except when the public schools are closed due to weather) beginning at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall of the Good Shepherd Methodist Church, Gladstone Campus. A Class A Uniform is the designated uniform for troop meetings (merit badge sash is not necessary for meetings; however, it should be worn at formal ceremonies like COH and Scout Sunday. Please refer to the Boy Scout Handbook for uniform specifications.
The troop is run by boy leaders under the supervision of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters. The senior boy leader in any troop is the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The SPL is elected by the boys in the troop at an annual election. In each patrol, which consists of about eight boys, there is a Patrol Leader (PL) elected by the boys in that patrol at semi-annual elections. An Assistant Patrol Leader may also be appointed by the Patrol Leader. Additional offices may be appointed by the SPL and may include: Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), Quartermaster, Scribe, Historian, and Librarian.
Having a Boy Scout Handbook is mandatory. This handbook should be well marked with the Scout’s name and brought to every meeting. It is a basic text of resource and outlines the requirements and serves as a place to record each boy’s advancement.
Weekly troop meetings are held on Mondays from 7 - 8:30 pm at the Good Shepherd Methodist Church, Gladstone Campus, and are organized around specific themes, providing an opportunity for the Scouts to learn new skills and to prepare for an upcoming camping trip or activity.
● Skills Instruction*
● Patrol Meeting
● Interpatrol activities (aka games)
* Guest experts, older Scouts, and parents with expertise in particular areas may provide the skills instruction portion of the meeting. For this reason, we ask that all adults indicate their areas of knowledge on the Adult Resource Survey (Appendix A) and return it to the Troop Committee.
We encourage all parents or guardians to try and join the Scouts for the closing at 8:15 to receive details regarding upcoming activities and keep informed about what the troop is doing.
XII. Patrols & youth leadership
The Patrol is the core of Scouting. It is the nucleus of the troop. The Troop is organized into groups called Patrols. Patrols work together to develop pride in their group, learn new skills, go on outings, play games, and compete in inter- Patrol contests. Patrols are mixed with boys of various ages, so that each patrol has older scouts available to guide and instruct younger scouts.
This method is used because of its beneficial results. In a small, controllable organizational structure, youth live and learn citizenship, how to organize and execute a successful program, and to take responsibility for someone beside themselves. Patrols are generally organized with boys of all ages and Scouting experience working together. In this way, the boys teach and learn from each other.
As a Scout, working together with the other members of his patrol over a period of time, builds in himself a spirit that will keep him going even in the worst conditions. This opportunity to experience working to complete common goals and teaches boys cooperation and the acceptance of increasing responsibility. Everyone pitches in, and the Scouts quickly learn to take pride in their patrol’s accomplishments. The relationships established in his patrol can last a lifetime.
Each patrol has an identity (name, call, flag, and patch).
Scouts who are newly bridged from AOL will be assigned an adult assistant scoutmaster who will help the new Scouts get oriented and begin to learn basic Scouting skills. The troop structure helps to ease the transition and give the new Scout encouragement and guidance as he learns about Boy Scouts.
Scouts may be pulled out of their own patrol for very special activities, like a High Adventure activity where only older boys may be eligible to participate. High Adventure activities can include ski trips, bike trips, white water rafting trips, canoe trips, or caving trips, among many others.
The Patrol Leaders Council
The Senior Patrol Leader, his Assistant and the patrol leaders comprise the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). The PLC meets to plan and organize upcoming meetings and activities. The PLC meets on the Monday following troop campouts at 6:30 pm at the Church. The PLC serves as the means by which each of the Scouts plays an important role in the democratic operation of the troop. Also, short PLC meetings are often held immediately following the remaining troop meetings to insure details for upcoming activities are in place. The troop’s annual program is developed by the Patrol Leaders Council at a planning meeting in July or August.
XII. Troop Activities/Calendar
The PLC uses the North Kansas City School’s calendar, District and Council calendars, BSA, patrol and adults in the troop as resources to develop a complete annual plan.
Following the development of the annual program, the Senior Patrol Leader presents it to the Troop Committee for their approval and commitment of support. Once the approval has been given, the PLC begins administering the program. The monthly PLC meeting is used to review and refine the program. The PLC ensures each month that the annual plan meets the current needs of the troop and makes changes where necessary. The PLC reviews the individual patrol’s responsibilities and helps ensure that the troop program will take place as planned. The PLC also assures that campouts and other special activities are planned, organized and happen without significant problems.
Monthly camping & other activities
In addition to monthly campouts, there are other special events that make up the program, including the Klondike, District Camporees, summer camp at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation and other events.
Monthly camping provides great opportunities for Scouts to work on scout skills that will help with their rank advancements. Scouts will learn Fire building and use knives for cooking and other activities. Scouts must pass specific training before building a fire or working with a knife or keeping a pocket knife in their personal gear.
Camping/Troop Activity Fees
One glance at the calendar (available at www.gladstone354.com) shows that Troop 354 is an active troop with a full schedule of planned events. Our goal is to schedule a major activity each month, such as camping, biking, backpacking, or canoeing, which is the essence of the Scouting Program. It is said “three-fourths of Scouting is outing.”
Campouts are planned at various interesting places throughout the year, and each requires a different level of skill on the part of the Scouts.
The troop collects $20 for most camping events. Some activities have additional expenses associated with the specific event.. Fees will vary depending on the duration of the campout or activity (2 nights versus 1 night), whether or not registration fees or park permits are required and any special equipment for the activity. The troop may supplement some activity fees.
Most activities will have information describing the event on our website and/or Facebook page.
XIV. Code of Conduct
When it comes to behavior, a guiding principle of Boy Scouts can be found in the Scout Oath, to be “morally straight”. This means that on all Scout-related activities and meetings, Scouts are expected to behave in such a way that our Troop is a physically and psychologically safe environment where Scouts can grow and develop.
The Boy Scouts of Troop 354 identified the following general behavior rules, which are consistent with the Scout Oath and Law:
● Be respectful to everyone, no exceptions.
● No horseplay
● Raise your hand when you want to speak
● Don’t interrupt others who are speaking
● Get your work done first
● If you are assigned a job, do it
● Everyone work together
● No cursing
● No cell phones during Scouting activities and meetings
In accordance with these rules, the following are consequences for failing to abide by this code of conduct. Rather than list out every conceivable situation and potential consequence, the list below is divided into three broad categories of violations, with consequences appropriate to the violation underneath. The Scoutmaster Team and the Committee Chair reserve the right to make decisions on consequences, and only the Key 3 can expel a Scout from the Troop.
(Note: the Key 3 includes the Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, and Chartered Organization Representative).
Any Scout who engages in behavior that is dangerous/unsafe (i.e. life threatening, or can or does cause serious physical or psychological injury), violent, excessively mean/racist/sexist, or aggressive behavior, or who engages in major vandalism/property damage and/or theft.
● Immediate removal from activity/meeting, not to return until a Key 3 meeting is held. For property-related violations only, the Key 3 meeting requirement is optional at the discretion of the Scoutmaster Team and Committee Chair.
● Some instances may be so egregious that removal from the troop is warranted after first instance. This decision is made by the Key 3.
Foul, mean, disrespectful language/behavior (including jokes and other morally questionable language), minor theft, minor property damage.
● For the first instance, the Scout will be removed from the activity to have a conversation with an adult leader. Behavior expectations will be reinforced. A minor consequence may be implemented, such as making an apology or being assigned a ‘chore’.
● For the second instance, the Scout will be removed from the activity/meeting and have to go home.
● For the third and subsequent instances, the Scout will be removed from the activity/meeting and will not be allowed to return until a Key 3 or Scoutmaster Team meeting.
Disruptive, irresponsible, uncooperative behavior.
● Consequences include warnings, reprimands, special assignments, extra ‘chores’, missing out on activities such as a troop game, writing apology letters, and eating last at meals.
● Repeated instances over a longer period will be dealt with in a Scoutmaster conference.
● Continued behavior problems will result in a Key 3 meeting.
The Troop understands that Scouts are young boys growing into young men, and will make mistakes along the way. This is expected from time to time, which is why consequences for the second and third category above are relatively minor compared to the first category.
Please direct any questions you have to the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair.
XV. Camping rules & procedures
Patrols are expected to follow Camp Protocols (see Appendix D). Kaper charts will also be used for cooking/meal prep & clean-up duties (see Appendix E).
Toy guns, bows and arrows, homemade or otherwise, fireworks or aerosol cans (pump sprays are allowed) will NOT be allowed on any scout event such as camping trips, troop meetings, Court of Honor, hikes, service projects, summer camp etc.
These devices do not support an appreciation and enjoyment of the outdoors. If a Scout
is found with any of the above items during a trip, it will be confiscated by the
Scoutmaster or another adult and returned later. Repeated incidents may result in disciplinary action. Cell
Phones are permitted, and are good tools of communications with parents to arrange for
pick up times and the like, but may not be used except in an emergency situation or by
permission of an adult leader.
The Troop has tents for each patrol to use during our monthly campouts. The Troop Quartermaster is in charge of assigning Troop owned equipment to Patrols/tent pairs
during an outing. Patrol Leaders are expected to supervise the use of the equipment.
The person who checked out the equipment is expected to thoroughly clean and dry any Troop equipment before returning it to the Quartermaster at the next Troop meeting. The QM may refuse to accept equipment that has not been adequately cleaned and may refer repeated problems to the Scoutmaster. The QM should immediately report any damaged equipment to the Scoutmaster and/or the Equipment Coordinator. Any equipment that is not returned over a period of time will be considered lost. The person responsible for that piece of equipment will need to replace the item or pay the troop committee to replace it.
Troop 354 suggested packing list for monthly campouts