Parent Guide

BSA Troop 29 Parent Guide

CONTENTS

Overview of Scouting

How to Join

Getting Started

Uniform

Initial Personal Equipment Needs

Advanced Personal Equipment Needs

Troop Equipment

The Patrol Method

Camping Policy

Advancement

Order of the Arrow

Scout Spirit – Troop Attendance Policy

Typical Troop 29 Camping Agenda

Camp Inspection Form

Cooking Policy

Fundraising

OVERVIEW

The Boy Scout program is designed to be fun while achieving the ideals set out in the Scout Law. The program is centered on a monthly campout, a skills advancement program and a weekly troop meeting. Scouting is an adventure – a terrific way to make new friends, camp at places you might never have the chance to without being in scouting, and learn skills the average kid would only dream about. It is also a proven method of building character, citizenship and fitness.

Our troop has been involved in canoeing, kayaking, mountain climbing, spelunking, snow camping, small aircraft and glider flying, shotgun and bow marksmanship, international travel, wood carving, and outdoor gourmet cooking competitions. Troop 29 has been a quality unit within Northwest Suburban Council for the over 20 years and has maintained both an active camping and high adventure program.

We will do our best to make scouting an enjoyable experience for your son. Feel free to speak to the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters with any questions, concerns or suggestions. We encourage parents to join us at all troop meetings and welcome you to attend all troop committee meetings and adult leader meetings.

HOW TO JOIN

First visit us at a troop meeting and consider being a guest at one of our campouts to get to know us. To officially join you must submit a completed official Boy Scout of America Youth registration form signed by a parent, and registration fees (payable to Troop 29) to the troop’s Webelos Coordinator or Membership Chairman.

Webelos scouts that plan to join during a Blue and Gold ceremony or Cub Scout graduation ceremony should invite Troop 29’s Scoutmaster to attend the event. The Scoutmaster will participate in the ceremony and decorate the new scout with the troop’s red scarf and epaulets.

Registration fees periodically change within the troop.

Registration costs help to offset the cost of the national registration fees, one Boy’s Life magazine per family, supplemental accident insurance, advancement awards, court of honor supplies, leader training, troop equipment and operating fees, cost of initial handbook, scarf, epaulets, slide, patches, beret.

Membership lapses if not renewed in September of each year.

GETTING STARTED

1. Troop Meetings are held at St. Anne’s Church in the basement, generally in the school cafeteria evenings from 7-8:30 PM. Scouts should arrive 15 minutes early as the meetings start promptly. They should wear the official scouting dress uniform

2. Each son will receive the Boy Scout Handbook from the troop upon registration and should bring this book to all troop meetings and campouts. Please review the section at the beginning How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide. Completing the exercises in the section is required for your son to achieve his first advancement to the rank of Scout. A sturdy and waterproof cover for the handbook is also recommended to prolong its life. The Handbook is not only your scout’s history but is an official record from Scout rank to Eagle.

3. Have a designated place at home for all Boy Scout information, patches, and forms such as a note book where rosters, calendars, awards, photos, newsletters, merit badge cards, camping permission slips, and rank advancement cards can be filed as well as a shelf for the scout handbook, trophies, merit badge work, and beret. Each time your son received a rank advancement or merit badge, he receives a card, which should be retained in the notebook. (Clear baseball card protectors work well). These cards are documents that verify his work and at times need to be accessed.

4. After a troop meeting you have not attended, talk to your son about what happened at the meeting and about upcoming events he has heard about. Ask for any forms he may have received relating to these events and put the appropriate dates on your family calendar. Details of all significant events are also communicated through email and are usually included on our web site www.scouttroop29.org. If you attend the troop meetings you will see how your son functions within the troop, get to know the other parent, and be better able to help your son take full advantage of the troop’s program.

UNIFORM

Troop 29 only recognizes one dress uniform, which is required for all troop meetings, Scoutmaster Conferences, Boards of Review, Courts of Honor and all District Camporees. Generally the dress uniform is not worn on monthly campouts.

The part of the dress uniform provided by the scout’s parents consists of scout khaki shirt with short sleeves, long green scout pants, scout belt, pocket sized notepad, and pen.

The part of the dress uniform provided by the troop consists of red scarf and epaulets, slide, 29 patches, nametag, and upon attaining the First Class Rank, a beret/hat.

The official dress uniform can be bought by mail order or at the local BSA shop in Mt Prospect (600 N Wheeling Rd). We recommend buying the shirt and pants 1 to 3 sizes too large to accommodate adolescent growth spurts. Do not cut the pant leg to size, rather tuck it under to make a large hemming it as your son grows, to give you the most out of this investment. If your son does replace his uniform with a larger size, please consider donating the old one to our uniform exchange program.

INITIAL PERSONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDS

>> Remember to label all items with scout’s name, Troop 29 and NWSC

>> Realize that some things will be lost, broken, or worn out.

>> So don’t start with the most expensive equipment

1. Sleeping bag rated for 25degrees F

(Polyester shell and liner and Polyester (not down) filling for quick drying and heat retention)

2. Fleece liner to insert into sleeping bag for temperatures below 25 degrees.

(Make or buy at Walmart for $15)

3. Ground pad to use under sleeping bag

(Closed cell on one side and open/egg crate on reverse)

4. Unbreakable plastic plate, mug, and flatware

5. Flashlight with batteries

6. Rain gear

7. Second pair of shoes

8. Personal Dub kit to include toothbrush, toothpaste.

9. Personal first aid kit – mole skin, band aides, etc

10. Clothing suited to weather forecast, extra socks, hat

ADVANCED EQUIPMENT NEEDS

This equipment generally makes for excellent gift items for special occasions throughout the year. As the scout becomes more comfortable with camping and his skill level increases, he will desire additional equipment of higher quality. Some purchases are best delayed until the scout reaches a more mature physical size (generally as a high school student in the Venture Patrol) when that equipment can last him a lifetime.

Book Scouts

Compass – good to have on the trail

Pocket knife – carry your Totin Chip as well.

Knife sharpener – a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one

Sunscreen on a carabineer– needed even on overcast days

Bug Spray – better to use lotion. Never use spray in or near tents

Whistle – for signaling in an emergency

Toilet papers – remove cardboard tube and stash inside zip lock bag to keep small and dry

Day Pack – small back pack to carry a lunch, water, first aid kit when your patrol hikes

Nalgene type water bottle (break resistant), canteen or hydration pack

Binoculars – get a closer look at wildlife

Tripod chair or folding camp seat – not every campsite has a chair

Bandana – for hot pad when cooking, bandage, personal hygiene, fashion accent

Scout book – essential if working on advancement

Camera/journal – take only photos and leave only footprints

Matches, waterproof case, hot spark fire starter,

Fishing pole and accessories

Mosquito Hat

Hiking Boots

Advanced Scouts (1st Class and above)

Pocketknife

Merit Badge Sash

Down Sleeping Bag

External Frame Back pack

Compression Sacks

Carabineers, rope

Snow shovel

Quick dry towel

Sock Liners, Wool Hiking socks

High Adventure Scouts

Equipment needs vary according to destination.

Iodine tablets for water purification

Water filter

Ultralight camp stove and pot

Light weight 3 season one person tent

Winter Gear

The scout will undergo special training for cold weather camping which requires special equipment for camping in freezing temperatures.

TROOP EQUIPMENT

The troop provides a trailer (circa 2004) stocked with quality tents (circa 2007), ground cloths, tarps, dining fly, tables, cooking pots and utensils, cook stoves, propane, charcoal, fire buckets, water coolers, first aide kit, firewood, paper towels, dish soap, bleach, and digital camera.

The quartermaster (QM) and quartermaster assistant (QA) maintain the troop’s equipment with the help of all scouts. He also determines who may have access to troop equipment based upon their ability to use the equipment safely and return it in good shape.

Scouts are trained on how to properly use troop equipment to avoid damage or excessive wear and tear. A check out system is in place for tents to insure that they are properly maintained. Scouts who do not follow the troops procedure may be liable for the cost of replacing the tent if damaged (e.g. by using bug spray near tent, setting tent too close to campfire, bending poles by waving them, returning tents damp or dirty, putting them through a washing machine)

ORGANIZATION –THE PATROL METHOD

This is a boy led, adult guided troop using the patrol method.

The boys are organized within the troop in patrols. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader and an Assistant Patrol Leader. The other members of the patrol in biannual elections elect these boys in biannual elections. The Patrol Leader is responsible for attending monthly Patrol Leader Council (PLC) meetings, calling boys with reminders of due dates, special events and keeping his patrol organized at meetings and campouts. Each boy in the patrol, will have the opportunity to be the patrol leader. Boys new to the troop generally are formed into a new boy patrol where they will form close friendships. The new boy patrol works together on advancements, camping activities and also tent together.

The Assistant Patrol Leader helps the Patrol Leader perform his duties, fills in at any event and performs any required tasks should the Patrol Leader be unavailable.

The Patrol Leaders are responsible to the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The SPL runs the troop meetings, runs the PLC, and disseminates information to the Patrol Leaders. The SPL is responsible to the Scoutmaster. He is assisted by the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) who helps the SPL perform his duties and is responsible for assigning the remaining positions of responsibility within the troop. These troop leadership positions include Librarian, Scribe, Quartermaster and QA, Historian, Chaplain’s Aid, Troop Guide, OA representative and Den Chief.

The adult leaders provide overall guidance. Adult leaders are trained parent volunteers who work directly with scouts in the skills program and camping program and are titled Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.

The troop committee is a group of parent volunteers who support the scouting program through fundraising, handling finances, newsletters, advancement records, recruitment, record keeping, training, merit badge councilors, and transportation.

The Patrol Leader Council (PLC) meets monthly to plan details of the next month’s events. The PLC is composed of the SPL, ASPL, Patrol Leaders or Assistant Patrol Leaders, the Scribe as well as all other positions of responsibility.

A high adventure program for senior scouts is organized by these scouts and their elected Venture Patrol Leader. During the school year the Venture patrol runs a parallel camping program. Requirements to join the High Adventure Patrol include being Star Rank, high school enrollment, minimum age of 14, completion of swimming, camping, wilderness survival, first aid and life saving merit badges, passing a personal equipment gear check of sleeping bag, ground pad, hiking back pack, first aid kit, hydration system, appropriate footwear and a fitness assessment consisting of a shakedown consisting of hiking one mile with a backpack loaded with one week of gear.

CAMPING POLICY

1. A permission slip is available several weeks before every camping trip at troop meetings and on the troop web site. The permission slip is returned to the Adult Leader in charge of that campout along with the camping fee at least one week prior to the event. The permission slip includes a request for medical information and parent contact information

2. Boy Scouts of America requires that at least two adults be present at all troop meetings and campouts and that no single adult be alone with a single scout. This is what ‘two deep leadership’ means. Parents are welcome to join us on all campouts. It is a great experience! We choose camps we believe to be safe. We require parents camping overnight prepare by obtaining Youth Protection Training available through our troop, council, or national website at http://olc.scouting.org/info/ypt.html This training needs to be renewed every 3 years.

3. We abide by BSA regulations related to safety with fires, use of knives, saws, and axes. Alcohol, fireworks and illicit drugs are prohibited any scouting activity. Tobacco use is prohibited. These restrictions apply to both youths and adults.

4. The troop trailer is used for most campouts for hauling troop equipment and personal gear. We need and welcome parent volunteers to pull the trailer and to car-pool our campers to the campsite.

5. Uniforms are not required at campouts except for district sponsored Camporees, summer camp or if indicated on the camping permission slip.

6. Full or partial refunds are available for a campout that a scout cannot attend due to unforeseen circumstances if there is enough time to cancel their camp reservations and their food has not been bought by the patrol’s cook.

7.The patrol’s cook is responsible for advance meal planning and grocery buying with the assistance of either the cook’s parent or an adult leader. The food budget is $3 per scout per meal, with most campouts comprising 4 meals: Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sunday Breakfast. Junk food, pop and foods that require refrigeration are discouraged. The cook submits the grocery receipt to the committee treasurer for reimbursement at the next week’s troop meeting. The receipt should be labeled “Please reimburse name of cook” and list the names of the patrol members he cooked for.

8. The other patrol members will have other duties assigned on a given campout, that they must fulfill in order for the camp to be successful. Such duties include: water crew, clean up crew, campfire building and tending, campfire program, and Sunday worship service.

9. Electronic devices are not permitted at campouts, although may be permitted during travel to and from campsites.

10.The scout may bring a scout knife (defined as a pocket knife with a blade 2 and ½ inches or smaller) and fire making equipment to any campout but are not allowed to use them without adult supervision until they take specific skills training and have passed the corresponding tests proving they know the safety skills required. Once they pass these tests the scout will receive a license called a Totin’ Chip and Fireman’s Chit which permits them to use these things. These licenses should be carried with them during these types of activities. Scouts who do not abide by the safety rules will lose this privilege for a time until they retake and pass the skills training.

11. Items that are not troop equipment are someone’s personal equipment. Personal equipment may not be borrowed at will – you must ask and obtain permission from the owner to use it.

12. Costs for campouts are determined by the cost of site reservation, food costs, and trailer supplies with most costing around $25 per 2 night campout.

13 Parents (excluding trained leaders) who join the troop on a campout are required to pay the same scout camping fee, must show proof of taking Youth Protection Training, and may use troop camping gear including tents if available.

14 Any scout on a trip who does not live up to the behavior standards required of all the participants, may be sent home at parents expense after contact is made with a parent/guardian. Final authority needed for a scout to be sent home from an event will be the adult in charge of that event.

15 A scout who becomes ill, incapacitated and unable to complete a trip may be sent home. Parents will be responsible for all costs over and above those covered by insurance.

ADVANCEMENT

1.The initial ranks of scouting ( Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class) are progressively difficult accomplishments that are the basis of the Scout Handbook. Personal fitness, first aid, camping, outdoor skills, and team spirit are the basic abilities Scouts learn in completion of these ranks. Scouts who regularly attend troop meetings and campouts will usually obtain First Class rank in one year. These scouts are sometimes referred to as Book Scouts.

2.There are 125+ Merit Badges covering different subjects. It is through the completion of Merit Badges and Troop leadership that Scouts progress through the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle. To begin work on a Merit Badge, the Scout first speaks with a scoutmaster and obtains a signed Merit Badge card. He then reads the Merit Badge booklet and discusses the requirements with an approved Merit Badge Councilor. He may then work on the Merit Badge requirements alone, or with others in the troop, reporting to the Councilor at agreed upon intervals until completion of the requirements. The Scout must have his work approved and card signed by the Councilor. The Scout gives the card to the Advancement Chairman who documents the work and arranges for the award at the next Court of Honor. The Scout will also discuss his merit badge work with the scoutmaster at his Scoutmaster conference prior to the Court of Honor. Troop 29 traditionally helps scouts with several merit badges during troop meetings and campouts such as First Aid, Camping, Hiking and Cooking. The advancement chairmen keep a current listing of available merit badge counselors. The troop librarian can loan any merit badge book to the scout, or they can be purchased at the local scout shop.

3. When the Scout has completed all requirements for a rank he requests a Scoutmaster Conference and reviews the material with his Scoutmaster. This can be done during most troop meetings through a sign up sheet.

4. The Scout then asks for a Board of Review. The Board is composed of an advancement chairman, 2 to 5 committee members or volunteers. The Scout, in uniform and with his Scout Handbook, is presented by the Scoutmaster to the Board to determine if the Scout is qualified to advance and to inquire about his experiences in scouting. Scouts who are not advancing should also come before the board on a periodic basis. Scoutmasters, the scout’s parents and Assistant Scoutmasters do not participate in the Board of Review. The Board of Review can be done at most troop meetings through a sign up sheet. The advancement committee will refuse to do a Board of Review for First Class rank and higher if the scout is without full dress uniform and handbook.

4. The scout is immediately recognized at the scout meeting for attaining a new rank. He is recognized again in a public ceremony called the Court of Honor, held four times each year. Parents and family are invited to the event.

ORDER OF THE ARROW

OA is a national honorary scouting society committed to service and camping. Each year several youth and adults from our troop have a formal induction into the OA at the Spring Camporee each April. Requirements for joining are

1) Be elected by your fellow scouts in Troop 29

2) Have the rank of Star

3) Be an active participant at troop meetings and campouts

4) Have the Camping Merit Badge.

SCOUT SPIRIT- TROOP ATTENDANCE POLICY

Having Scout Spirit is included as an important element at each level of scouting advancement.

We discuss scout spirit with advancement candidates at each Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review.

Scouts usually mention obeying the Scout Oath and Law, helping the members of their patrol and troop, and working hard at scout skills, when they are asked about Scout Spirit.

The troop committee feels that participation in troop activities and programs is an important aspect of Scout Spirit. We consider the participation standard when scouts are evaluated for advancement in all ranks. This standard for participation takes into account the demands on a Scout’s time by school and other activities while requiring active involvement with the troop is maintained.

Troop 29’s standard requires that during the period spanning from the Troop’s prior Board of Review to the one at which he appears for advancement, a scout shall attend 60% of troop activity days (troop meetings, troop service projects, fund raising, campouts and special events). The scoutmaster has been requested to evaluate the quality of that participation. A positive attitude and eager involvement as a scout is expected.

Attendance at meetings and events is documented by the Senior Patrol Leader, ASPL and Scribe. Attendance records are maintained by the Advancement Chairman and are made a part of the scout’s advancement record.

If a scout fails to meet the participation element of Scout Spirit, he will be considered ineligible for advancement in rank, participation in high adventure activities and summer camp.

TYPICAL TROOP 29 CAMPING AGENDA

Friday 7-9pm Check in and camp set-up

Saturday7:30 am Reveille

8-9am Breakfast

9-9:15am breakfast cleanup

9:30-noon Flag raising ceremony + activities

noon-1pm Lunch + cleanup

1-3pm activities

3-5pm free time

5-6:30 supper + cleanup

6:45-7pm retire the colors

7-9:30pm free time

9:30-10:15pm campfire program

10:30 taps

Sunday 7:30am reveille

8-9am breakfast + cleanup

9-9:15 flag raising ceremony

9:15-9:30 religious ceremony

9:30-10:30 Break camp

CAMP INSPECTION FORM

Point system:

4 points – excellent

3 points – very good

2 points – good

1 point – fair

0 point – unacceptable

Safety:

1. Tents pitched properly in a safe location, 5 feet apart

2. Tents each with a fire bucket

3. Tents 5 feet away from fire scar area

4. Cooking area defined and away from tents

5. Fire buckets for cooking area if stoves are present

6. Cooking utensils stored safely

7. No evidence of liquid fuels being used by scouts

8. Fire buckets available for fire scar area

9. No open fire left unattended

10. No flames in tents.

11. Tools safely stored

Health

1. First aid kit available and in sight

2. Drinking water supply clean and covered

3. Cooking area clean

4. Washing facilities for dishes and utensils available

5. Food properly stored or refrigerated

6. Tents have ground cloths

7. Hand washing station with soap set up

Identity

1. Tour permit available

2. Agenda Posted

Attitude

1. Courtesy and respect for judges

COOKING POLICY

—Cooking for campouts is done by the patrol method. The Patrol Cook will prepare the menu after conferring with his patrol, then create the shopping list, buy the patrol’s food with the assistance of a parent or adult, and then prepare the food on the campout. He may designate an assistant cook. He may do some of the prep work at home. His parent should help advise regarding frugality and nutritional aspects of food choices.

-—He will know ahead of time the number of scouts in his patrol he will cook for. He should have his shopping list approved by the Adult leader prior to buying the food to ensure a balanced, healthy menu without undo waste of food.

- Samples of outdoor recipes are available on the troops website, listed according to difficulty.

—The food budget is $3 per meal per Scout. 4 meals are planned for most campouts- Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast.

—The Patrol cook should have his receipts initialed by the Adult Leader and turn it in to the Troop Treasurer for reimbursement at the following troop meeting.

-Soda, candy and junk food is not reimbursed.

—Troop 29 provides training on proper menu and cooking methods and expects safe handling of food and of fire. We discourage bringing food to campouts that require coolers or refrigeration especially whole milk and raw meat especially chicken. Powdered milk and canned meats should be substituted. Parents will need to assist their scout with the grocery shopping and budget requirements.

—Adult campers function under the same guidelines.

FUNDRAISING

The profits from the October Wreath fundraiser benefit the participating scouts. They may use the money for any scout related activity. A portion is retained by the troop for equipment needs. The scouts in the High Adventure program may participate in additional fundraising to offset the cost of their trips.