St. Mary’s Troop 7

Handbook

Introduction

The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint new Scouts and parents with information and rules on how our troop operates and be a reference guide to current members. It is not intended to be a substitute or replacement for the Boy Scout Handbook. However, it is intended to be an extension of some of the ideas and philosophies that are found in the Boy Scout Handbook.

Since our troop is always changing, the information in this handbook will change too. When this happens, each Scout will be given an updated handbook or updated replacement pages.

If you have any questions, comments, criticism, or suggestions about this handbook please don't hesitate to bring them to our attention. We are always interested in hearing new ideas and philosophies on the way in which our troop could be run.

On behalf of St. Mary’s Troop 7, I would like to extend to you a warm welcome to Troop 7 and thank you for the opportunity to help shape your son's future.

David Fox, Scoutmaster, Troop 7

How Our Troop Works

Our troop is operated by an institution or group called the chartered organization. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, our sponsor, helps to support us financially, gives us a place to meet, and also approves the adult leaders who administer the troop's affairs.

Troop 7 has been in existence since 1945. We are one of many troops in the Firelands District that encompasses all of Erie and Huron counties. Firelands District is one of six districts that make up the Heart of Ohio Council.

The leaders are the Scoutmaster and his Assistants and the Troop Committee. All are unpaid volunteers; some are the parents of boys in the troop.

Within the troop, a Scout will be assigned to a patrol - a group of six to ten boys. His patrol will be his team for games and contests, his closest buddies in camp, and his teachers as he works on advancement.

Troop meetings are planned and conducted by boy leaders under the coaching and guidance of the Scoutmaster. This is part of the plan to help the Scout grow, to make decisions, and take an active part in making the troop program successful.

A typical troop meeting includes a game or two; work on outdoor skills, first aid, fitness, citizenship, or some other aspect of Scouting; a brief patrol meeting for advancement progress or planning a future event; and ceremonies highlighting Scouting's ideals.

At troop meetings, and working on his own, the Scout will have a chance to earn many badges and awards. He should earn his Boy Scout rank as soon as he has his first talk with the Scoutmaster. After that he will work on various progress awards and any of more than 100 merit badges. As he earns these awards and badges, he will progress from Tenderfoot through Second and First Class ranks into the more difficult requirements for the Star and Life Scout ranks. Finally, he may earn the most distinctive of all - the Eagle Scout Award.

Every month our troop will conduct a special event. It may be a weekend campout, a visit to some location of special interest, or a troop service project. Scouts are encouraged to participate in these events and to prepare for them on his own as much as possible.

The sections that follow explain some of the guidelines and rules as they pertain to St. Mary’s Boy Scout Troop 7.

Joining Requirements

Each Scout must fill out the BSA membership form and return it to the Scoutmaster along with the specified dues / registration fee.

All Scouts must have a medical form on file with the troop before they may attend any troop-related events. There are two reasons for having this medical form. First, it provides us with information on any special problems a Scout may have (hay fever, medicine restrictions, etc.). Also, it gives a doctor permission to treat an injured Scout if a parent cannot be reached.

A parent must fill out the attached ‘Troop Resource Survey’, which tells the skills, interests, and assistance that they are willing to share with the troop. Please make sure to fill out both sides. Our troop requires the help of all parents so that it may provide a quality program. One of the things that makes our troop great is the quantity and quality of our adult volunteers!

Parents Role

Each Scout needs his parents’ support in meeting the challenges that face him in Scouting. The parent encouragement and participation are crucial to the Scout’s growth and advancement.

Parents must also support the Troop’s activities; the Troop and the boy’s growth are dependent upon the collective energy and input of adults. The boys cannot do it by themselves.

The Troop adult leadership expects each boy’s parents to support the Troop through the contribution of their time. There are many opportunities for contribution. Some are:

Scouting does cost the parents a sum of money and time, but the return on the investment in their sons far exceeds the cost.

Meeting Times

Scout meetings. We meet every Monday evening during the school year in the cafeteria at St. Mary’s High School at the corner of Jefferson and Decatur Streets. The meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. (In some instances, the meeting location will be changed and each Scout will be notified of this in advance). If a Scout meeting is canceled due to weather or other reasons, each Scout will receive a phone call from his Patrol Leader. Also, if St. Mary’s school is closed for a holiday then the troop will not hold a meeting.

Committee meetings. The troop committee meets once per month. Check your troop calendar for dates. Parents are welcome to these meetings, but they should confirm the meeting by phone before coming.

Attendance Requirements

100 % attendance is expected of all Scouts. In order to attend monthly events (campouts, summer camp, trips, etc.) a Scout must have a minimum of 60% attendance in all phases of the troop programs in the quarter preceding the scheduled event. Excused absences are permitted for school, family, or sports activities.

Dues / Fees

Dues are $35.00 per year ($25.00 for siblings) and are due by November 1st of each year. The dues cover registration, camp fees, troop supplies, accident insurance, badges and literature. Dues must be paid up before you can attend any outdoor activity. You may pay your dues in advance at any time. (Make checks payable to St. Mary’s Troop 7). The troop committee recommends that each Scout earn his own money for dues.

Other Fees: Most special events (camping, trips, outings, etc.) require a small fee to be paid. This fee covers the cost of food, drink, and other consumable items for the event. The fee may vary according to the event.

Permission Forms

Permission forms must be filled out anytime the troop comes together other than at our regularly scheduled Monday meetings.

The permission forms are in two parts. The top half is to be retained by the parent. It contains information about the activity such as the place, dates, and times. The bottom half is to be filled out and returned to the Scoutmaster. This form along with any fee that is due needs to be returned by the due date indicated on the form.

Scouts not returning the permission form and fee by the due date will not be allowed to attend the activity.

A ‘Boy Lead’ Organization

The Senior Patrol Leader and his assistants run the troop.

The Senior Patrol Leader is elected by the troop and usually holds the position for one year. He will appoint his Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders with the Scoutmasters approval.

Other positions of responsibility within the troop are; Troop Historian, Chaplain’s Aide, Troop Quartermaster, Troop Scribe, Troop Guides, Instructors, and Troop Librarian.

The troop is broken down into patrols consisting of six to ten Scouts. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader who is elected by the scouts in his patrol.

The Patrol Leader will then select an Assistant Patrol Leader for his patrol with the Scoutmasters approval. Each patrol has it’s own flag and cheer. Most positions are held for one year.

The Scoutmaster will appoint Junior Assistant Scoutmasters. He will be a minimum of 16 years old, have served as Senior Patrol Leader, and must have excellent leadership qualities and Scout spirit.

Troop Committee

The troop committee is comprised of registered adults and is designed to assist the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters and the Advancement Chairman with the development of Troop 7. Committee meetings are open to all parents of registered Scouts. Only registered adults may vote.

Uniform

The St. Mary’s Troop 7 uniforms consist of:

CLASS A Uniform - to be worn at all troop functions unless otherwise specified by the Scoutmaster.

(Local outlet for official BSA equipment is ‘Dunham’s Discount Sports’ 5500 Milan Road)

CLASS B Uniform - to be worn during the summer months as specified by the Scoutmaster.

Troop Calendar

This planning calendar is a guide for the upcoming year. It lists all the important dates for meetings, campouts, boards of review, summer camp, etc. All of the listed dates are tentative and subject to change. The monthly newsletter will update the Scouts for the coming month on any changes that have occurred. Troop Calendars are usually issued to the Scout once per year.

Monthly Newsletter

Our troop publishes a monthly newsletter containing information on current and upcoming events. You should read this newsletter carefully since it also includes any changes in dates, fees, etc. The newsletter will be handed out at the first meeting each month. If you do not get one, contact your Patrol Leader for your copy.

Advancement

Advancement will be an important part of your Scouting experience. Progress through the Boy Scout ranks is achieved by working on various skills and merit badges.

Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks may be earned through registered troop adults or junior leaders. Some of the requirements for these ranks can be earned through instruction at troop meetings and campouts. However, the majority of the work will be completed by the Scout on his own.

Star, Life, and Eagle ranks are earned by serving in a leadership capacity, performing community service work, and earned merit badges. These merit badges are earned through counselors who are experts in their field. A list of merit badge counselors in our troop is available in the troop library. Scouts must have a buddy (parent, friend, other Scout, etc.) with them when meeting with merit badge counselors.

Although some of the merit badges are required, there are others that are electives. Each Scout can earn merit badges in subjects that are of interest to him. This should be the start of a very exciting trail of fun, achievement, adventure, and knowledge.

Advancement is the responsibility of the Scout. Parents and other adults are encouraged to help, but it is not the troop's or the parents' obligation to ensure progress. For those new Scouts who are bridging Webelos, this will be quite a change for you!

For more information on Scout advancement, refer to the Boy Scout Handbook.

Boards of Review

Scout Boards of Review are held once per month to review rank progress. Scouts must be in full ‘Class A’ uniform and must have their Scout Handbook for review. Boards of Review will be performed by the Troop Committee.

Camping

Camping is an exciting time for a Scout. It is also a time of great responsibility. Scouts will be setting up camp, cooking their food, washing their dishes, and building their own fires. At least two adult leaders (one that must be registered with the troop) will be present on camping trips to provide supervision and some friendly instruction as needed.

Scouts should use the personal equipment checklist in their handbook when packing for a campout. Small items forgotten can make for an uncomfortable trip.

To help preserve the spirit of camping in the outdoors no radios, electronic games, etc. will not be permitted.

High Adventure Camping / Outings

During the year, some campouts or outings will be designated as High Adventure type of activities. These activities are usually restricted to scouts that are 1st class scouts or higher and 14 years of age or older.

Behavior

Fighting, profanity, and other disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Scouts who repeatedly involved in discipline problems will undergo the following action:

Incident #1: Verbal warning
Incident #2: Conference with the Scoutmaster
Incident #3: Scoutmaster conference with the Scout's parents
Incident #4: Membership termination

Fundraisers

Our troop holds various fundraisers throughout the year. These are held in an effort to help our Scouts to be thrifty and earn their own way to outings and summer camp, if they chose. Scouts do not have to participate in these fundraisers, but sometimes criteria for going on an outing is based on money earned during troop fundraisers. We do encourage parents to help out on these events. Each Scout is encouraged to work with an adult and run a fundraiser, giving him the experience of what is involved in this type of endeavor.

Scout Fundraiser Accounts

Our troop holds several fundraisers throughout the year to help Scouts earn money for summer camp, trips or scouting equipment. It also teaches Scouts how to handle money and be thrifty (the ninth point of the Scout Law).

The money Scouts earn through troop fundraisers belongs to Troop 7. The amount each Scout earns will be individually tallied for each Scout. The Scout may use ‘his’ money for Scout functions or equipment.

If a Scout quits any money he has earned is returned to the operating budget of the troop. If a Scout transfers to another troop his money may be transferred with him.

Handbook revised January 11, 2005.

Approved by the Troop Committee 1/10/05.

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