If you wish to print a copy of this document in PDF format, please click the link below to begin your download.
Troop 254 Handbook
Dear Scout and Parent,
On behalf of the scouts and leaders of Troop 254, I would like to welcome you to our family. We thank you for choosing our troop and hope that we can provide the guidance and quality program that you are looking for.
Many of you have been involved with scouting through the Cub Scouts. Scouting in a troop is far different than scouting in a pack. While the basic principles remain the same, the way they are achieved is quite different. In a Scouts BSA Troop, the scouts are responsible for leading the program. They help plan the events, lead the meetings, and teach the skills. This may give the new parent and scout the feeling of disorganization and chaos; however, let me assure you that there is a purpose behind all of this. The adult leaders are there for support and guidance, and to ensure that the scouts do not wander too far off the track.
A major part of the Scouts BSA program is a monthly camping activity for all scouts in the troop. For the older scouts, there is a High Adventure program held at scout camps across the United States and Canada.
To the scouts, I say, “Be Prepared.” While only two in one hundred youth who enter Scouts BSA achieve the rank of Eagle, the lessons and skills learned here will last a lifetime. Whether it is the cry of a loon across a Canadian lake at sunset or watching an eagle soar along a mountaintop at Philmont, enjoy your scouting experience. Good luck!
To the parents, I say, “Get involved.” Your child is now at least ten or eleven years old. Over the next 2-3 years you will see tremendous changes in them, both physically and mentally. Take this opportunity to be a part of your child’s life and development. Please plan to attend the Parent Orientation Nights and get to know the adult and youth leaders. We will answer your questions, and if you are interested in becoming a leader, get you started in the program. And to you the parent, good luck!
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster Staff of Troop 254
1.1.About This Guide
The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint the new scout and their parents with Troop 254 and the Boy Scouts of America. Troop 254 continues to maintain the highest standards in scouting, by requiring its leaders to attend training sessions offered by the Pathfinder District, the Longhorn and Circle 10 Councils, as well as BSA National Level Training.
This handbook describes some of the policies set forth by the Boy Scouts of America and does not intentionally contradict those policies. All troop activities will be conducted under the guidelines set forth in the Guide to Safe Scouting. This handbook will be reviewed periodically to ensure that it is in line with the guidelines set forth by the Boy Scouts of America. If a difference exists, BSA National policy will take precedence.
This guide is supplemented by additional policies which are located on the troop website at www.troop254.org. Many of these policy documents can be found on the Resources -> Troop Documents menu.
1.2.The Legacy of Lord Baden-Powell
Affectionately referred to as B-P throughout scouting, Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell was born in 1857. B-P’s father, Professor Baden-Powell of Oxford University, died when B-P was three years old. B-P’s mother was left to manage the household and raise her own seven children and two stepchildren. Mrs. Powell was totally devoted to the children. She was not ashamed to use any contacts through her family and friends to ensure that her children were properly raised, educated, and placed in society. The Victorian ethic under which B-P was raised became the basis for the Scout Law.
B-P was commissioned a Sub-lieutenant at the age of nineteen and began his military career in India. He served both in India and in Africa. As commander of the 5th Dragoon Guards in India, B-P recognized the need for practical field training. Those young men who satisfactorily passed the test were designated “scout” and wore a distinctive sleeve patch designed by B-P, the fleur-de-lys, or north point insignia. He became a national hero during the Boer War as commander of the town of Mafeking. His civilian and military forces were besieged for 217 days before being relieved. During the siege, a Cadet Corps made up of boys aged 9 and up; acted as messengers orderlies, and lookouts. After the war, B-P established the South African Constabulary, whose members selected a slogan that matched their commander, “Be Prepared.” It is not by sheer coincidence that the slogan’s initials were B-P. B-P continued in the military and at age 50 became the youngest Lieutenant General in the British Army. B-P was knighted by King Edward on October 3, 1909, “Knight Commander of the Victorian Order.”
It was, however, on a visit to England in 1903, that B-P became concerned about the youth there. Slums and lack of “good” influence gave rise to crime, drunkenness, violence, and vice. Youth detention centers were filled to overflowing. The youngsters were merely watching life instead of participating in it.
The first “Boy Scout Camp” officially began on July 31, 1907, with twenty-one boys. The “troop” was divided into four patrols: two bearing the names of birds and two the names of animals. Each patrol was designated by color; red, blue, yellow, or green (Webelos Scarf). The camp was held on Brownsea Island and lasted until August 9th. Activities were announced with the blowing of an African koodoo horn, a souvenir of the Matabele Rising. The program was based on techniques that B-P had developed over the course of his lifetime but was not a military training program. It is astonishing that a man with such deep military roots steadfastly refused to incorporate military-style training. He stated that “We are not training men for war, but rather, we are training boys for peace.”
What began as a program to develop citizenship and character in the young men of England, quickly evolved into a worldwide program. B-P used his talents as an author and sketch artist to write and illustrate the first Boy Scout Handbook. Boy Scouting was brought to the United States in early 1910, by William D. Boyce. B-P was called upon in 1916 to help the ailing organization. B-P’s wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell, was as skillful as her husband and was named Chief Commissioner for her efforts in establishing a strong and efficient Girl Guide Association. Because of the heavy demand for an organization for younger boys, Cub Scouting was officially begun on December 16, 1916; based on the book written by B-P, The Wolf Cub’s Handbook. Rudyard Kipling, personally, allowed B-P the use of the Jungle Book characters. B-P personally taught the first adult leader course in 1911. At the newly acquired Gilwell Park, the first Scoutmaster’s training camp was begun on September 8, 1919. The “Certificate” of completion was a single wooden bead from a necklace belonging to Zulu chieftain, Dinizulu. Wood Badge beads are the most prized possession of a Scout leader. Around the world today Wood Badge classes are held in “Gilwell Hall” and a koodoo horn is used to signal events. After a successful exhibition in 1913, B-P determined that an exhibition should be held every two years. He dubbed the exhibitions “Jamboree”, but because of World War I, the next one was held in 1920. On August 7, 1920, at the first-ever Boy Scout World Jamboree, Lord Robert Baden-Powell was unanimously proclaimed the Chief Scout of the World by the scouts of the world.
B-P tried to retire from Scouting at the 1920 Jamboree and turn things over to others, but Scouting refused to let him go. B-P was proclaimed Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell in 1929, by King George V. On March 2, 1933, Pope Pius XI, officially endorsed the Scouting movement, after an audience with B-P and Olave. He continued to travel the world on behalf of Scouting. Wherever racism or religious bias interfered with the true purpose of Scouting, B-P was there. On May 24, 1937, B-P was awarded the Order of Merit by King George VI. The award was held by only twenty-four living persons. On July 8, 1937, B-P was awarded the J.G.D. Wateler Peace Prize for 1937. Finally, at the 1937 Jamboree, at age 80, Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, K.C.V.O., retired from Scouting. B-P and Olave retired to Nyeri, Kenya, Africa. B-P was nominated for the 1939 Nobel Peace Prize in 1938, however, the 1939 prize was not awarded; Hitler had started his march.
At 5:45 on the morning of January 8, 1941, Baden-Powell died. Olave concluded her diary entry:
Scout trail sign: “I have gone home.”
P.S. Looking back on a life of over eighty years, I realize how short life is and how little worthwhile are anger and political warfare. The most worthwhile thing is to try and put a bit of happiness into the lives of others.
1.3.The Purpose of the Boy Scouts of America
The Promise of Scouting is addressed in Chapter One of the Boy Scout Handbook, entitled “The Adventure Begins”. On page one of the Boy Scout Handbook, it promises the scout: the great outdoors, friendship, opportunities to set goals and follow clear routes to achieve them, tools to help make the most of family, community, and nation, preparation to help others in time of need, and experiences and duties to help him mature into a strong, wise adult.
In Troop 254 we developed the acronym CLEAR to help us remember the clear promise of Scouting:
Challenge – Learning – Experiences – Adventure – Responsibility
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
The activities of the Boy Scouts of America move youth toward three basic aims:
- Citizenship Training
- Character Development
- Mental and Physical Fitness
The Boy Scouts of America uses eight fundamental methods to achieve the three aims:
- Patrol Method
- Association with Adults
- Personal Growth
- Leadership Development
The ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are stated in the words of the Scout Oath (Promise), the Scout Law, the Scout Motto, and the Scout Slogan. A Scout is said to have Scout Spirit when he lives up to these ideals in his daily life.
The Scout Oath (Promise):
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
The Scout Law:
A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
The Scout Motto:
The Scout Slogan:
Do a Good Turn Daily
The Outdoor Code:
As an American, I do my best: to be clean in my outdoor manners, be careful with fire, be considerate in the outdoors, and be conservation minded.
2.BSA Organizational Structure
On February 8, 1910, a group of businessmen, educators, and political leaders founded the Boy Scouts of America. Currently, the Boy Scouts of America is a private non-profit youth organization that operates under a special formal charter that the Congress of the United States of America has renewed annually since 1916. This charter gives the BSA the exclusive right to the name “Boy Scouts of America” and the related program, symbols, uniforms, insignia, etc. The BSA national headquarters is in Irving, Texas in the Los Colinas Business Park.
The BSA divides the United States into multiple geographic territories for administrative purposes including standardized adult training, review/approval of national tour permits (over 500 miles from home), and other responsibilities of which the local troop is usually totally unaware.
Each territory is divided into geographic areas called councils. Currently, there are a few hundred councils in the United States. Each Council operates under a yearly renewable charter from the national BSA organization. This charter gives the Council the right and responsibility to implement and administer the programs of the BSA locally through professional staff and formal volunteer committees. Each Council is financially self-sufficient through its local fundraising efforts. One major responsibility of the Council is to procure, develop, and maintain outdoor program facilities. A certain critical mass of resources is required to operate a successful council. Nationally, there is a definite trend of smaller councils combining to form larger councils.
The individual Scouts BSA troop is authorized to operate and implement the program of the Boy Scouts of America by the fact that its sponsoring organization has an active yearly renewable charter from the local Council. The sponsoring organization is known by various names including Chartered Organization, Chartering Organization, and Charter Partner.
The local Council is divided into smaller geographic areas called Districts. Districts are administrative areas that are staffed by a scouting professional known as a District Executive and by two to three dozen volunteer Scouters. They provide training and support for unit-level Scouters, programs in which the units may participate, and administer fundraising programs to benefit scouts, units, and the council.
Troop 254 operates under a charter granted to the North Texas Scouting Alliance in Euless, Texas, by the Longhorn Council based in Fort Worth, Texas. Troop 254 is one of over one hundred BSA units in the Pathfinder District. The Pathfinder District is made up of all BSA units chartered to institutions in the cities of Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine, Southlake, and Colleyville. This district is one of twelve districts in the Longhorn Council. The Longhorn Council administers the Scouting program in a multi-county area that stretches north, south, and west of Tarrant County. Dallas County and several counties to the north, east, and south comprise the area of the neighboring Circle 10 Council. Longhorn Council is part of National Service Territory 8 in the Boy Scouts of America.
Scouting serves young men and women in every part of the country through nearly 300 local council service centers. Each council helps chartered organizations in its geographic area to effectively use the Scouting program and to expand the use of the program to other community groups.
Every unit of the Boy Scouts of America (pack, troop, ship, post, or crew); exists as a part of a Chartered Organization. A Chartered Organization can be a church, synagogue, school, civic group, etc. The charter is granted from the local council to the Chartered Organization as part of their youth services program. The charter exists for one year and must be renewed annually. This is done to ensure that the Chartered Organization and the scout unit are fulfilling the needs of the other. All materials and monies of the scout unit are in fact property of the Chartered Organization. BSA provides the training, the program, and the services; the Chartered Organization uses the youth program and provides facilities and support for the scout unit. Troop 254 is charted by the North Texas Scouting Alliance in Euless, TX.
The Chartered Organization appoints a Chartered Organization Representative (COR) who will function as the liaison between the Chartered Organization and the unit. The representative is responsible for re-chartering the unit, recruiting quality leaders and ensuring that the unit is meeting the needs of the organization. BSA offers training to all COR’s. The COR for Troop 254 can be contacted via Scoutbook.
2.3.1.Chartered Organization Representative
The Chartered Organization Representative is the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. This individual is also the organization’s contact with the district committee and the Local Council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. The Chartered Organization Representative appoints the unit committee chair.
The unit committee chair is appointed by the chartered organization and registered as an adult leader of the BSA. The unit committee chairman appoints and supervises the unit committee and unit leaders.
The unit secretary is appointed by the committee chairman to keep minutes and records, send notices, and handle publicity.
The unit treasurer is appointed by the committee chairman to handle unit funds, pay bills, maintain accounts, and coordinate the annual Investment in Character campaign.
The unit advancement chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure that the unit has at least monthly boards of review and quarterly courts of honor and that the unit has goals of helping each Scout advance at least one rank each year. The advancement coordinator is also responsible for record-keeping and submitting advancement reports.
The adult Quartermasters are appointed by the committee chairman and Scoutmaster to work with the youth Quartermaster and are responsible for inventory, storage, and maintenance of unit equipment. The Quartermaster may also have an appointed clothing coordinator to assist with recycled uniforms and other uniform items. Quartermaster duties may be given to appointed committee members or delegated as part of the roles assigned to an Assistant Scoutmaster.
The unit outdoor activities chair is appointed by the committee chairman to secure permission to use camping sites, serve as transportation coordinator, and ensure a monthly outdoor program.
The unit training chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure training opportunities are available, maintain training records and materials, and is responsible for validating every adult maintains current BSA Youth Protection training. They are also responsible for overseeing the awarding and recognition of the adult knot awards.
The Unit Fundraising Chair is appointed by the committee chairman to supervise all fundraising activities and they ensure that every youth member has the opportunity to participate in all troop fundraising activities. In addition, they are the liaison to the district as the “Popcorn Kernel” for Popcorn sales and they also facilitate the district camp card/Scout Saver sales.
3.9.New Parent Mentor
The New Parent Mentor is an appointed member of the unit committee or can be an assistant unit leader. Their job is to welcome parents, keep them informed, and encourage them to help with at least one specific task or project each year.
The unit membership chair is appointed by the committee chairman to help ensure a smooth transition of new Scouts into the unit and schedules an orientation for new parents via the New Parent Mentor. They work closely with the Scoutmaster to make sure that all Program Initiatives are met.
3.11.Investment in Character Chair
The unit Investment in Character chair is appointed by the committee chairman to work closely with the unit committee on public relations for the council’s annual giving campaign; conducts the council’s annual campaign at the unit level to enroll family members and adult leaders, and gives recognition to contributors and enrollees.
3.12.Public Relations Chair
The unit public relations chair is appointed by the committee chairman to inform parents of their responsibilities in Scouting and with the chartered organization. They provide news and announcements about the unit to newspapers, bulletins of sponsors, websites, etc. They promote and stimulate service projects, Scouting Anniversary Week, Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath, and family participation in unit events. Finally, they promote new membership and let people in the neighborhood know that Scouting is available.
3.13.Scouting for Food Chair
The unit Scouting for Food chair is appointed by the committee chairman to coordinate an annual food drive for the unit and reports the result to the district.
The unit chaplain is appointed by the committee chairman to provide spiritual tone, guide the chaplain’s aides, give spiritual counseling, and promote the regular religious participation of each member.
4.Adult Program Staff
The Committee and charter organization choose the Scoutmaster. This person is the hub of the troop and has direct contact with each aspect of its operation. The Scoutmaster guides, trains, and mentors not only the youth leaders but also the adult leaders. The Scoutmaster has input to the Troop Committee and the Chartered Organization, helps recruit Assistant Scoutmasters, and conducts Scoutmaster conferences. They must have a deep understanding of their role and of the scouting program. The Scoutmaster must complete all required BSA training for the position. In addition, it is strongly recommended that this person has completed Wood Badge Training.
Assistant Scoutmasters are selected by the Scoutmaster and approved by the Committee. The roles of the Assistant Scoutmasters are to assist the Scoutmaster in providing a quality program for the youth. They should be there to act in the Scoutmaster’s absence, if necessary. They may also have a specific duty in the troop, such as working with the new scout patrol. The Assistant Scoutmasters are required to complete the BSA Training for their position. They should attend Wood Badge Training. The number of assistant scoutmasters will be determined by (1) the number of qualified registered adults and (2) the needs of the troop based on the number of scouts and the requirements of the program.
4.3.Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is a Scout selected by the Scoutmaster and approved by the Committee to work in a leadership role similar to that of an Assistant Scoutmaster. They are a very experienced scout and probably holds the rank of Eagle. It is required that the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster has attended National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).
All Scout Leadership positions require training. The following courses are offered at either the Troop, District, Council, Territory, or National level. The Scoutmaster will work with each scout to attend the appropriate training when needed. Please consult the “Guidebook to Youth Leadership Positions” on the troop website for additional information on each position. Many positions require prerequisites such as rank and prior service. In addition, not all positions earn credit towards the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks.
An overview of all youth-based training can be found online at https://www.scouting.org/Training/youth.aspx
Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)
The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to reach success most effectively in that role. It is intended to help Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Scouts and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training. Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses, such as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops.
Welcome to Den Chief Training!
Scouts wishing to become den chiefs will take this online course as part of their training to become a den chief. The module identifies den chief responsibilities and tasks and describes the den chief’s relationship with the adult den leaders and how that relates to the den chief’s activities with the den. After finishing the online training, den chief candidates print their certificate of completion and undergo further training with their adult den leaders.
5.1.Senior Patrol Leader
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is elected by the members of the Troop to represent them as their top junior leader. The SPL leads the meetings, events, activities, annual program planning conference, and Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). He or she appoints other junior leaders with the approval of the Scoutmaster and assigns duties and responsibilities to those junior leaders. They help lead junior leader training. This person sets the example for the Troop by wearing the scout uniform, living the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and showing Scout spirit. It is required that the SPL have attended National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).
5.2.Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
Helps the Senior Patrol Leader lead meetings and activities. Runs the troop in the absence of the Senior Patrol Leader. Helps train and supervise the troop Scribe, Quartermaster, Instructor, Librarian, Historian, Webmaster, and Chaplain Aide. Serves as a member of the patrol leaders’ council.
The members of a patrol elect the Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader serves for approximately one year. This person must be a First Class Scout at the time of the election, agree to meet the job description as outlined in the Junior Leader Handbook, and have the Scoutmaster’s approval. The Patrol Leader appoints their assistants and other patrol positions. A person serving as Patrol Leader must attend one of the Council training sessions for junior leaders, such as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) during the tenure of his service.
5.4.Assistant Patrol Leader
The Assistant Patrol Leader helps the Patrol Leader plan and steer patrol meetings and activities. This leader assists with keeping patrol members informed and helps the patrol get ready for all troop activities. In addition, the Assistant Patrol Leader represents their patrol at Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings when the Patrol Leader cannot attend.
The troop guide is both a leader and a mentor to the members of the new-Scout patrol. They should be an older Scout who holds at least the First Class rank and can work well with younger Scouts. He or she helps the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol in much the same way that a Scoutmaster works with a senior patrol leader to provide direction, coaching, and support. The troop guide is not a member of another patrol but may participate in high-adventure activities outside of the patrol.
The quartermaster is the troop’s supply boss. They keep an inventory of troop equipment and ensure that the gear is in good condition. The quartermaster works with patrol quartermasters as they check out equipment and return it, and at meetings of the patrol leaders’ council provides reports on the status of equipment in need of replacement or repair. In carrying out these responsibilities, the quartermaster may have the guidance of a member of the troop committee or program staff.
The scribe is the troop’s secretary. Though not a voting member, he or she attends meetings of the patrol leaders’ council and keeps a record of the discussions. The Troop scribe cooperates with the patrol scribes to record attendance, collect dues payments at troop meetings, and maintain troop advancement records. A member of the troop committee may assist the scribe with their work.
The historian collects and preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia and makes materials available for Scouting activities, the media, and troop history projects.
The troop librarian oversees the care and use of troop books, pamphlets, magazines, audiovisuals, and merit badge counselor lists. They check out these materials to Scouts and leaders and maintains records to ensure that everything is returned. The troop librarian may also suggest the acquisition of new literature and report the need to repair or replace any current holdings.
Each instructor is an older troop member proficient in a Scouting skill. They must also have the ability to teach that skill to others. An instructor typically teaches subjects that Scouts are eager to learn—especially those such as first aid, camping, and backpacking—that are required for outdoor activities and rank advancement. A troop can have more than one instructor.
5.11.Outdoor Ethics Guide
The outdoor ethics guide helps the troop plan and conduct an outdoor program that emphasizes effectively practicing the principles of outdoor ethics. The guide works to help Scouts improve their outdoor ethics decision-making skills to minimize impacts as they participate in outdoor activities. They support Scouts who are working to complete the relevant requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. Ideally, this person should have completed the suggested training at https://outdoorethics-bsa.org/troopOEGuide.php and have earned the Camping and Environmental Science merit badges.
The chaplain’s aide assists the troop chaplain (usually an adult from the troop committee or the chartered organization) in serving the religious needs of the troop. He or she ensures that religious holidays are considered during the troop’s program planning process and promotes the BSA’s religious emblems program. Chaplain’s aide training must also be completed.
The bugler plays the bugle (or a similar instrument) to mark key moments during the day on troop outings, such as reveille and lights out. He or she must know the required bugle calls and should ideally have earned the Bugling merit badge.
The den chief works with a den of Cub Scouts and with their adult leaders. He or she takes part in den meetings, encourages Cub Scout advancement, and is a role model for younger scouts. Serving as den chief can be a great first leadership experience for a Scout.
5.15.Webelos Den Chief
A Webelos den chief can help plan and assist with the leadership of Webelos den meetings and field activities. He or she can lead songs, stunts, and encourage Webelos Scouts to progress into the Scouts BSA troop.
5.16.OA Troop Representative
The Order of the Arrow representative serves as a communication link between the troop and the local Order of the Arrow lodge. By enhancing the image of the Order as a service arm to the troop, he or she promotes the Order, encourages Scouts to take part in all sorts of camping opportunities, and helps pave the way for older Scouts to become involved in high-adventure programs. The OA troop representative assists with leadership skills training and reports to the assistant senior patrol leader.
The troop webmaster is responsible for maintaining the troop’s website. He or she should make sure that information posted on the website is correct and up to date and that members’ and leaders’ privacy is protected. A member of the troop committee or program staff may assist the troop webmaster with the work.
Part of the Scout Law states that a “Scout is thrifty”. That is not to say that he or she is cheap, but instead learns to pay his way and spend his money wisely. Through the course of the year, fund raising opportunities exist. Some of the fundraisers benefit the Council, some benefit the Troop, and some benefit the Scout. The Scout is expected to participate in all these events.
Depending on the fundraiser, a percentage of the profits may be deposited into the Scout’s account. The decision to split fees is made at the Committee Meeting and announced at the kick-off of the fundraiser. The fees can be used to cover camping costs, special program fees, summer camp and/or camping gear. The use of scout account funds to cover camping gear (i.e. backpack, troop-approved tent, troop-approved sleeping bag, etc.) must be discussed with the Scoutmaster prior to the purchase of the items.
In the event a Scout decides to leave the Troop any money remaining is his or her Scout account will be transferred to the Troops general fund.
Besides the initial joining fee, the troop assesses yearly registration fees. The Troop Committee determines these fees.
Camping costs are the responsibility of the individual scouts. The costs for each camping trip is established prior to the campout. The costs include food for the weekend, general camping fee, and any special use charges that may be incurred. Camping trips that generally have an increased cost would include a Council or District sponsored event, a camp-out that includes the use of rental equipment, rappelling tower, rifle range and ammo purchase, or camp-outs that are outside the normal camping area.
A member of the patrol is responsible to purchase the food for the campout. That Scout must submit the receipts to the Troop Treasurer for reimbursement. The reimbursement is limited to the number of boys from the patrol that signed up to attend the campout times the amount designated for food for the campout. This amount can vary depending on the length of the campout and will be communicated by the Scoutmaster. Scouts are encouraged to stay within the budget.
If the Scout signs up to attend a campout/event and later changes his mind, it is their responsibility to cancel by the Troop meeting prior to the campout/event (unless other rules apply because of advance registration fees). He or she must contact the SPL, whoever is the food buyer for the patrol, and the adult handling the registration for the campout/event. Failure to do so makes the Scout responsible to pay the fees.
The Boy Scouts of America is a uniformed organization. The uniform announces to others and reminds each scout they are a member of the BSA who has made a common commitment to live the Scout Oath and Scout Law in one’s daily life. The uniform reminds a scout that they have joined in something larger than themselves to sharpen and strengthen them, other scouts, and all those her or she encounters. The uniform provides each scout the opportunity to show their uniqueness by tastefully displaying the scouting ranks, awards, and honors he or she has earned or has been awarded.
The official Scouts BSA uniform consists of a scout shirt, scout pants or shorts, a scout web belt or a leather belt, a pair of scout socks, and an appropriate pair of shoes for the current activity. This is known as the Field Uniform, though unofficially it is called a “class A” uniform. Members of the BSA may purchase components of the official Scouts BSA uniform at area “Scout Shops”.
The Scoutmaster may approve various activity appropriate, Activity Uniforms for wear at scheduled times or for scheduled events. An Activity Uniform is unofficially called a “class B” uniform. Often a Activity Uniform is a scouting oriented t-shirt, scout pants or shorts, a scout web belt or leather belt, scout socks, and activity appropriate shoes. T-shirts must either be plain or scouting oriented. T-shirts with sports, school, music group, or other logos or wording are not appropriate. Activity Uniforms can be purchased on the troop website.
To assist scouts with the proper placement of patches on the Field Uniform, the BSA has created this easy to use info graphic.
The leaders of Troop 254 and the Troop Committee, are committed to ensuring that the troop has the proper equipment to support the activities appropriate for programs that are encouraged by the Boy Scouts of America, the primary activity being camping.
The Troop maintains troop level equipment for camping. All equipment is owned by the sponsor organization, the North Texas Scouting Alliance, but maintained by the troop. This equipment was purchased by the troop, using funds from fundraising projects. While not a complete list, the following is representative of the type of equipment we maintain:
- Troop trailers
- Dining flies
- Folding tables
- Propane stoves
- Chuck boxes for each patrol with appropriate cooking equipment
- Dutch ovens
- Saws and hatchets
The troop does not own or maintain troop tents. It is our experience that tents are better kept if they are owned and maintained by the scout. Each scout is expected to either bring their own tent, or, following youth protection guidelines, to arrange to share a tent with another scout who has one. We do not expect each boy to bring a tent.
Each scout must provide their own camping gear. The recommended list can be downloaded from the troop website.
The Troop also maintains equipment for special activities, such as:
- Climbing ropes, harnesses and helmets
- Lashing ropes and poles
- Larger scale cooking equipment
- Rifles and Shotguns
- Archery Bows, Arrows, and Targets
With the proper equipment, the Troop will be able to run safe, enjoyable activities.
Unless previously approved, no electronic devices (i.e. electronic games, iPods, cell phones, radios, etc.) are permitted at any scout function except for travel to and from the event. Please consult the troop technology policy for further guidance which is located on the troop website.
When your child initially enters the Troop, they will be placed in a patrol. This patrol is a group of scouts, of various ages, which will be working together. During the first year, their advancement is geared primarily to achieving the rank of First Class. Troop Guides and Instructors, scouts appointed by the Scoutmaster, will work with the new scouts to help them develop the scouting skills necessary to attain the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class.
An especially important part of the new scout program is attendance at Summer Camp. An integral part of Scouting is the sense of belonging. It is at Summer Camp that this is best presented and learned. During Summer Camp a scout learns that he or she can rely on the other members of the Troop and they can rely on him or her.
During this first year, your child should be working on requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. While the scout cannot earn the ranks out of order, they can fulfill the requirements at any time. Demonstration of the skills are presented to Scouts that hold the rank of First Class or above and have been approved by the Scoutmaster as being someone who can signoff as the requirements having been met. The Scoutmaster or their assistants do not sign off requirements unless specifically stated as a requirement with the Scout’s handbook.
After a Scout completes the requirements for the rank, they participate in a Scoutmaster Conference. This conference is a chance for your child and the Scoutmaster to have a friendly chat. Included will be information on what has been going well, where difficulties have been encountered, gathering of information on how the advancement is going. There is no testing done, but instead information gained to determine the effectiveness of the Scouts who have been signing off the requirements. As part of the conference, a discussion is held on what are the next steps and to provide positive re-enforcement to the scout.
Following the Scoutmaster conference, the Scout schedules a Board of Review. The Board consists of members from the Troop Committee. The responsibility is to see that the scout is ready to hold the next rank and to gain feedback on the scouting program and Scoutmaster. Once again, the scout is not tested to ensure that they know all the requirements.
While a Scout can work on merit badges at any point after obtaining the rank of Scout, they are encouraged to work on badges that are appropriate for their age level. At no time should a Scout work on a merit badge without first obtaining approval from the Scoutmaster which typically isn’t approved until after the scout has earned the First Class rank. There are special circumstances where merit badges are approved.
The troop website has documentation which outlines the basic steps to getting a Merit Badge. At Troop 254 we value the process more than the badge so your goal should not be a patch, it should be to learn something new and grow.
After reaching the rank of First Class, your son will begin working in leadership positions and continuing to earn the necessary merit badges to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. During this time, the Scout should be working on approved service projects and reporting the hours to the Advancement Coordinator via the appropriate form which is available on the troop website. Service projects do not have to be associated with the troop, but they should be approved by the Scoutmaster beforehand. They do need to be for the benefit of others (church clean up, work at a food bank, etc.) and should not be confused with a good turn (i.e. mowing the lawn of an elderly person).
Once the scout has reached the rank of Life Scout, they can begin working on the Eagle Scout Project. This project must be developed in accordance with the BSA policies. Prior to the start of any project, the Scout needs to present the project plan several times through the process. The Eagle Project is all about the process and an Eagle Mentor should be selected by the scout and then approved by the Scoutmaster. The Eagle Project must obtain multiple approvals on the Troop, District, Council and National Levels. Once the approvals are obtained, then the Scout can complete the project. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate leadership, planning and execution. It is important the Scout keeps a journal on the project. This will be helpful when writing the final report and in preparing for the District Board of Review. All requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout must be completed prior to the Scout’s 18th birthday.
We understand that there is a great deal of energy in youth of scouting age. That is one of the reasons Scouting includes an active outdoor program. However, there are some actions that will not be tolerated. Any activity which is illegal or prohibited, including fighting or hazing, that threatens the safety or life of any scout, or interferes with the program, are grounds for disciplinary action by the Scoutmaster and/or the Committee. The Committee may impose other actions, up to and including expulsion from the troop. Hazing or corporal punishment are strictly forbidden by BSA. No Scout discipline may be enacted except through the Scoutmaster or an appointed Assistant Scoutmaster.
The Scouting program has always placed value in the core tenants surrounding God and Country. We typically give thanks before meals and may conduct a worship service on each campout. The worship service itself is simple and is not religion specific. Religious freedom is a corner stone of our country and we try to incorporate all walks of faith. We in no way wish to offend a scout or his family by implying that they should believe as we do. Boy Scouts of America only requires that the Scout believe in a Supreme Being. If your child, because of his faith, does not feel comfortable with our methods of worship, please ask to meet with the Scoutmaster.
The Troop will have weekly meetings during the year except when school is out of session. During summer and school breaks the Troop may meet on a different schedule. The Troop will camp once a month, attend Summer Camp, and conduct a high adventure activity each year. The program for these campouts may require that a scout have minimum qualifications to participate in certain activities as required by BSA or Troop Leadership. All campouts and events, other than weekly meetings require registration and payment on the troop website. In addition, the troop maintains a yearly calendar which is available on the troop website. Parents and scouts are encouraged to sign up on the troop’s Facebook, Twitter, and texting service to be in the know on all events. Please speak with the Scoutmaster for more information if you would like to take advantage of these services.
Transporting Scouts to and from activities is an important part of all outings. The vehicle and driver must meet BSA requirements as outlined in “Guide to Safe Scouting.” The vehicle must have a seat belt for each passenger and always be worn. The Insurance coverage must meet BSA guidelines of liability and information on file with the troop committee. The driver must be over 21 years of age to transport scouts. For more detailed information, please see the “Travel Guide for Parents” which can be found on the troop website.
The leadership of Troop 254 desires every youth’s scouting experience to be successful. Over the years, we have learned that a certain level of commitment on the part of each child and their family is essential to achieve that success. To that end we believe it is important to explain our expectations and to obtain your acknowledgement of those expectations before your child joins Troop 254. Annual dues are significantly reduced based off a family’s yearly involvement. The yearly dues schedule is published in the November of each year. Please speak with the Troop Committee Chairman for more details.
To adequately participate in the Scouting experience, we expect each Scout and family to commit as follows:
- Register and actively participate in the activities of Troop 254 (including weekly meetings) beginning with the first Troop meeting.
- Families agree to drive and attend three campouts with their scout. Unless otherwise informed, the troop departs at 6:00 PM sharp from FUMC Euless on Friday evening and returns at approximately 1:00 PM Sunday afternoons to the same location. Summer camp can and does count for one campout. For those who are medically unable to camp, we ask that you serve as a Prep Cook for the Adult Patrol. This will require shopping and prep for the travelling adults.
- Commit to attend a 1-week summer camp
Similarly, we have found that our children do best in Scouting when they have a higher level of support from their families. If Scouting is a priority with parents, it will usually become a priority for the scout. They will make the meetings and the other activities of their troop and will advance successfully in scouting. We realize that adults have other commitments in their lives and that not everyone is a “camper.” We also know that nearly everyone can contribute some of their time or talent to help our troop remain strong and vibrant in order to provide our children with an excellent Scouting experience. We ask that you consider a a minimum of three of the following areas in which you can contribute your help to the troop understanding you will probably be asked to participate in at least one of those capacities. Perhaps you have a few ideas of your own?
- Troop Committee*
- Trained Adult Leader*
- Expert Shopper
- Outdoor Skills Instructor*
- Troop Service Projects
- Merit Badge Instructor*
* Adult Leader training required for these positions.
We have many adults who camp along with our troop. We encourage you to do so if you like and if you are willing to take some training so that you attend as an “adult leader” as opposed to “Mom” or “Dad.” Scouting is youth “led” and Adult “run.” It is helpful if you understand the “Aims and Methods” of delivering the Promise of Scouting to our children. Parents are welcome to attend Summer Camp in Colorado with the troop during June. Please understand that this is not a “vacation” and your talents will be used in some capacity whether as a skills instructor or support staff. The days are long, and the altitude is high, but the personal reward is great.
If you have any questions about any of the above-mentioned items or anything else, please ask them before you commit to Troop 254. Each troop has a “personality.” Our program is structured and demanding. We are very outdoors oriented. We camp one weekend each month except the months of July and August and we camp in all weather. If this is the type of organization you and your child are seeking, we would love to count you among us. If you prefer something more “laid back” and less demanding, perhaps another troop would better serve your needs. Some troops spend less time outdoors and then only when the weather is “pleasant.” The most important requirement to assure your child’s enjoyment of Scouting is that you find a good “fit” for your son or daughter and their troop.
To maintain the quality of our program, we are expecting to induct a number scouts each year. We would like to ensure that the boys and girls, along with their families, know what to expect and what is expected of them if they choose to join Troop 254.
In closing, I would like to share with you two crucial sayings we live by in Troop 254, and they frame the very heart of our troop.
First, we encourage failure in a safe environment. This concept runs counter to many things in our lives, but in Troop 254 it is paramount to success. We believe that boys and girls learn through failure, but it is our job as leaders to be stewards of their environment. We do allow for the youth to discover failure, learn and overcome, but nothing will ever endanger their safety.
Finally, we must always remember these words: “It’s not the badges earned, but the lessons learned”.
Those two statements define all that we do in Troop 254.
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster Staff of Troop 254