Dear Scouts and Parents:

Welcome!  We are glad you are considering joining our troop.  Scouting is the largest and one of the oldest organizations around, immediately known and respected by many people throughout the word.  Troop 25 and its leaders believe strongly in the character building that comes from following the Scout Oath and Scout Law, focusing on making youth leaders and teaching skills that will help them throughout their lives.  We also believe strongly in parent participation in all Scouting activities.  The youth that get the most out of Scouting are those whose parents are visible and active.  Parents play a key role in the success of Scouting – you help motivate your son, providing moral support, and helping as you can with troop activities.  Your excitement and involvement will rub off on your son.


Scouts get out of Troop 25 what they put into it.  Leaders try to keep the “outing” in Scouting by offering plenty of activities of all kinds.  We ask the scouts to lead the troop as much as possible.  That includes work planning and preparing for campouts and weekly meetings.  As you learn and grow with us, your responsibilities will increase.  Developing self-confidences, self-reliance and leadership are key goals of the Scouting program.  We hope the pamphlet will be useful to you, our new or prospective parents and Scouts.  Please read it together, along with the first pages in the scout Handbook.  The exciting transition from Webelos to Scouting, or entering Scouting for first time, can be confusing at times.  Please do not hesitate to ask one of our leader
s if you have any questions, now or any time in the future.

Activities
Troop 25 strives to keep busy with a variety of exciting events.  Each month our youth leaders (Patrol Leaders Council, or PLC as it is more commonly referred to) meet with our adult leaders to plan interesting and fun activities.  These may include: 

  • At least a week of Summer Camp
  • High Adventure trips (older scouts)
  • Troop Camp Outs (once a month)
  • Hikes and other one-day activities
  • Community service
  • District Camporees, Webelos Woods, Freeze-O-Ree
  • Etc. 

The Troop posts its campouts and activities on:

  • Scoutbook: www.scoutbook.com and
  • Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Troop25BendOR


Parental Commitments
Scouting is a family affair.  No Scout is expected to travel the Trail to Eagle by himself.  Parents should encourage their son to work on advancement and take full advantage of the Scouting program.  Parents are invited to all Troop meetings and expected at all Courts of Honor, usually held 4 times a year.  Parents that don’t stay for the entire meeting are expected to be there for the last 10 minutes to hear announcement.  One adult is encouraged to register as a Committee Member from each family and help with a minimum of one Troop event a year.

 Without help of all kinds from our parents, Troop 25 would not exist.  We hope you will take an active part in encouraging your son, and the other scouts.  Your role as “cheerleader” is a big reason for your son’s interest and success.  Parents have the option of serving on the Troop Committee, as a Merit Badge Councilor, activities participate/planner, or as an active leader. All these positions are of great importance.


The Troop Committee sets Troop policies and acts in a support role, including fundraising and transportation, and approves the decisions made by the Scouts to ensure safety and financial stability of the Troop accounts.  They meet monthly at the date and time as determined by the Committee Chairman.  The Troop program planning is done by the Scouts themselves, not the parents.

A parent can also participate in the role of a Merit Badge Councilor. If a parent has a special skill or training, she or he may want to serve as a Merit Badge Counselor for interested Scouts.  There are over 120 different merit badges available.

What is scouting without camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities? A family may be asked to provide transportation or participate in one to several outings during the year.  EVENTS MUST BE CANCELED if sufficient leaders and drivers are not available.  We need your help to prevent that from happening.

 Of course, there is always room for anyone who wants to take a more active role in working with the Scouts to plan their program – Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, etc.  Council/District training programs are held several time a year, and everyone is encouraged to take advantage of them.  Many of the Troop 25 parents have taken various training courses. Visit: www.scouting.org and www.my.scouting.org

Because the Scouts run the troop, “helping” is usually just “watching.”  Your help makes the difference.  National B.S.A. rules require at least two adults at every meeting and activity.  Some activities require adults with special training.

Inappropriate Behavior
The goal of the adult leaders is to have a safe, fun Troop program for the Scouts. Hopefully the Troop never has an issue with inappropriate behavior, or behavior that poses a risk to themselves or others but in the event it happens, the adult leaders have the right to intervene in any situation that they deem unsafe.  If a Scout is unwilling to abide by the requirements of the adult leaders in charge, they may require a parent to come get the Scout, whether the situation occurs at a Troop meeting or during an outing.


In the Troop manual is the Troop's policies for discipline and how we deal with inappropriate behavior. Please review this with the your Scout to make the expectations known.   

Meetings
Troop 25 meets every Tuesday night, except holidays or as announced, at Bend’s First Presbyterian Church, from 7 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m.  Once scouts arrive, they are expected to remain at the meeting unless the leaders are told of special situation in advance.  Occasionally a meeting will be held at another location for a special event.  Scouts and parents will be told about these special meetings as far in advance as practical and/or by email blasts.

Committee and Adult Leadership       
Our Troop Committee of parents oversees all activities and is the ultimate authority concerning troop operations.  As described throughout this pamphlet, parent involvement in the committee is very important.   The committee helps with record keeping, advancement, including Board of Reviews, fund raising and long–range planning.  Committee Members work with the Scoutmaster and other troop leader to ensure an interesting, successful and safe troop.  Parents are welcome to express their views at any time and at least one parent is expected to register as a Committee Member for an official vote in troop decisions.  

The Scoutmaster is responsible for day-to-day troop operations, and is charge of all meetings and activities.  The Scoutmaster answers to the Troop Committee.  Assistant Scoutmasters work with the Scoutmaster and the youth leaders to carry out meeting plans and activities described by National B.S.A. regulations.

Youth Leadership
A major goal of Scouting is to develop leadership skills in our youth.  Youth leaders are elected by their peers to help run the troop.  The highest youth leader is the Senior Patrol Leader, or SPL.  The SPL runs the troop activities, with the Scoutmaster’s help, following a plan decided at monthly PLC meetings.

Parents of new scouts have a natural tendency to want to lead the scouts, as was the case in Cub Scouts.  In Boy Scouts, the parents do not run the meeting, the youth leaders do.  Parents, please try to curb your instincts; don’t do something for your son that he can do for himself.  Sometimes the best education is to fail and overcome your failure.  The lessons learned are not forgotten and the young man (your son) will develop self-reliance.  Unless it is an immediate safety concern, please try not to interfere with the youth leaders.

 Patrol Method
Our troop is organized into patrols of six to ten scouts, each with an elected Patrol Leader.  The Patrol Leaders and Assistants have a key role in helping the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and adult leaders accomplish the goals of the troop.  New scouts work with an adult Assistant Scoutmaster and/or a Troop Guide, to learn the skills needed to advance and grow in our troop.  This working together is called the “Patrol Method” and is a cornerstone of successful scouting.

Advancement
Advancement is the way you grow as a Scout, and become eligible for troop leadership positions and other honors.  You start as a “Scout” and progress to “Eagle” in the following order:  Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.

Advancement is how you become eligible for troop leadership positions, high adventure camping trips, and honor such as election to the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor camping society.

Advancement through First Class may be signed off by the Scoutmaster and his/her assistants. As approved by the Scoutmaster, older scouts may be permitted to sign off. Family members can never sign off on advancement.  Above First Class, only the Scoutmaster may sign off advancement.  Merit badges must be signed off by the registered merit badge counselors.  A parent cannot be the counselor for his/her son without Troop committee approval.  When a Scout is ready to begin work on a merit badge, he asks the Scoutmaster for a “blue card” and the name of a counselor.

 The Troop and its leaders provide the means and opportunities for advancement, but the leaders will not force advancement.  It has to be done by the Scout: the motivation for advancement has to be their own.  If a Scout determines not to advance, they can continue in the program, but they must do so without be a disruption to the others. Upon completing advancement, the scout should promptly get their book signed – the scout book or blue cards are their record of achieving rank requirement or merit badge completion. The Troop is not responsible for maintaining advancement records.


Merit Badges
Although you start at “Scout” rank, you can progress to First Class rank within one year.  To do this, you will work with other first year scouts, with specific youth and adult leaders.  Bring your Scout Handbook to every meeting and activity.  This is very important so your progress can be promptly recorded.

Once you reach First Class, Merit Badges become the main advancement tool.  (You can work on badges earlier if you choose.)  There are over 120 merit badges to choose from.  Many badges, like Pets, Athletics, Theater and Citizenship, may be worked on in school or at home.  You can get credit for this work.  You may work independently on merit badges that interest you.  Leaders may help by allowing time to work on some badges during troop meetings.  Camping offers many opportunities for advancement and merit badges as well.  You must get the Scoutmaster’s permission and a Blue Merit Badge Card BEFORE starting work on a badge.  This allows the leader to follow up, while you work with a specific, approved counselor who has experience in the subject.

Board of Review
After you, the Scout, have completed the requirements for a rank, you need to ask the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference.  Once you pass the Scoutmaster Conference you need to ask the Advancement Coordinator for a Board of Review.  These are held as needed, during regular troop meetings.  The Board of Review is made up of at least three adult members of the Troop Committee.  The Board will check to make sure that your Scout Handbook and other records are up to date.  They will also ask you about what you learned while working on the badge or rank, and what you think about our troop in general.  This sounds scary, but it really isn’t.  Many of the people on the Board of Review are the same ones you see each week.  They all want to see you succeed and grow with our troop.  You should save all written work and projects you do for merit badges and rank.  These are turned in to the Scoutmaster when you request a Board of Review.  Advancement is the Scout’s responsibility.  You should request a Board of Review at least one week in advance.

Courts of Honor
The accomplishments of Scouts and leaders are formally recognized at a Court of Honor, held about four times per year.  Most are help on Mondays in place of a regular troop meeting.  Parents’ attendance at our Court of Honor is an important and very easy way to demonstrate an interest in your son’s scouting progress.  Although Scouts are formally recognized at Courts of Honor, they receive their rank patches as soon as possible, usually at the next regular troop meeting.

Uniform
There are a few things that Scouts need right away to begin the Scouting trial:  A Boy Scout uniform and a Scout Handbook.  Your uniform is the place to wear all the awards you will soon be earning; your handbook tracks your progress from your first meeting.  Troop 25’s uniform consists of a Boy Scout field uniform (“Class A”) shirt with proper insignia, Scout pants, Scout belt and Scout Baseball cap.  The Troop has a scout cap that is provided at the time of joining the troop, but any scout cap can be worn at the scout’s discretion. Shirts and caps should be purchased as soon as possible, because they are worn to every troop activity and when traveling.  Periodic uniform inspections while encourage pride. Our Troop also has an activity uniform (“Class B”), t-shirt with our current logo, for wearing around camp and other times that leaders specifically announce. The “Class B” uniform is often worn during summer months.  Uniforms can be purchased at the Scout Shop located on South 3rd Street, near the intersection of Powers Road in Bend.


Dues and Fees
We try hard to keep the cost of Scouting reasonable, but some costs cannot be avoided.  Upon joining the Troop, there is a one-time equipment fee.  As the fee implies, it goes toward taking care of the Troop equipment: tents, cooking utensils, stoves, etc.  There are no other fees that are gathered from the scout as "dues" unless there is an unforeseen cost that exceeds the Troops financial holdings.  This is not a common occurance, not to say it won't ever happen. What the Troop expects is for every Scout to participate in fundraising to pay his/her way. See fundraising below.
 

Other costs that can be expected with the Troop are the outing costs. Generally, Troop campouts typically leave on a Friday night and get back Sunday in the early afternoon.  Cost of the weekend can range, but typically are $20 a person for the cost of food. Any money not spent in the purchase of food is collected after the campout and redeposited into the Troop fund. The Troop pays for registration costs and other outstanding additional costs: activity patches, camp registration costs, rentals, etc. 

Camping Equipment
Camping is a key part of a Scout troop (it’s the OUTING in Scouting), and some simple equipment is needed to be comfortable and enjoy the experience.  A sleeping bag or a couple of heavy blankets, reusable plate and eating utensils (called a mess kit), rain gear and a flashlight, as well as the other 10 essentials, are needed for every campout.  Pocketknives may be carried after the Tot’n Chip card is earned - sheath knives are permitted on Troop only events (no district, council or summer camp events) as dictated by the Troop manual.  Your Scout Handbook is a good source for additional information on what to pack. 

Before buying expensive items like sleeping bag, boots and backpacks, we strongly suggest you use suitable family gear or borrow for the first few trips.  This lets you see what is needed, what others use, research purchase and take advantage of sales.  Troop 25’s leaders have camped for years and can suggest money-saving substitutes, or recommend good quality equipment that will survive the rigors of Scout camping.  Group items such as tents, lanterns, stove and coming equipment are furnished by the troop - and should be used with the same care as your own.  You break it, you buy it or repair it.

Fundraising
Troop 25 tries to keep the cost of Scouting reasonable by promoting fundraising during the year. As discussed prior, the Troop requires certain fundraisers to fund the Troop's budget.  The Troop mostly generates revenue from selling Christmas Wreaths.  What isn't collected from Christmas Wreath sales is collected from Christmas Tree recycling.  If the Troop collects all of the funds from Wreath sales, all proceeds from Christmas Tree recycling goes to a Scouts personal account, maintained by the Troop treasurer. The Scout gets paid by the hour for participating. If the Troop doesn't meet its financial needs from wreath sales, the cost comes out of the Christmas Tree recycling bucket, which means the Scout gets a lower hourly wage during his participation.


Other fundraisers are optional and go directly to the Scouts account: District Popcorn sales, Wreaths Across America and other opportunities that ocassionally present themselves during the year. Participation is optional, but strongly encouraged.  


Money in the Scouts account can only be used toward scouting related costs: campouts, summer camps, gear purchase, etc. Any out of the ordinary costs should be verified with the Troop committee prior to purchase to unsure it qualifies as a scouting expense.

 Medical Forms
So that the leader can “Be Prepared” in case medical attention is necessary and parents are unavailable, a medical history is needed from each person prior to participating in troop activities.  The B.S.A.’s physical from includes a parental permission box that should be signed. Parts A and B are required on all campouts.  For long-term activities (more than 72 hours) like Summer Camp and some High Adventure activities, a physical exam as part of the part C section of the medical form is required by B.S.A. National policy.  The medical form is only good for 1-year from the date signed.

Notes and Questions
The adult leaders of Troop 103 want to ensure that your son’s transition into Boy Scouts is as successful and confusion-free as we can make it.  If you have any question please do not hesitate to talk with us.  If your son has a question, he should first approach his Patrol Leader and then the SPL. 
 
Adult Training and Registration 
Adults must register with BSA to attend any summer camp.  In addition, every event must have at least one registered adult and a minimum of 2 adults.  This is to comply with National BSA rules for two deep leadership: requiring a Scout to never be along with just one adult.  All adults should take Youth Protection Training (YPT), which is valid for 2-years. This training is required upfront for registration into Boy Scouts and required to be kept current to maintain membership status. 


The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are required to become "Trained" which requires Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skill (IOLS) and a half day classroom training. These trainings teach the basics behind what the positions require: outdoor skills and leadership requirements, making you knowledgable on your Troop position.  Everyone is encouraged to take these trainings, even if you don't hold these positions in the Troop.


Other trainings exist and are required based on the activities being performed: BSA Lifeguard, NRA Range Master, Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Wilderness First Aid, and many more. Advanced adult leadership training, known as  Woodbadge training, is beneficial to ones own leadership skill advancement both is Scouts and your personal life.  

Troop 25 Membership

Boy Scout Application

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