Troop Handbook
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Revised: July 2008

Welcome to Troop 22!

As a member of Troop 22, you are joining a group of great boys. Boys who like to have fun in the outdoors: camping, cooking, swimming, boating, hiking, learning about nature, science and hobbies. Activities you can participate in together or at your own pace. You will be recognized for what you learn and achieve by your friends and parents. Along the way, you will also learn leadership and organizational skills that you can't learn anywhere else. It won't be all fun: there will be some work too, but in years to come you can look back and be proud of your accomplishments.

Scouting is an international organization: boys your age all around the world are doing the same things you are going to do. And you may have opportunities to meet many of those scouts as you participate in the many different Scouting activities you are eligible for over the next few years. As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, you are also a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and therefore are entitled to participate in international Scouting events as well.

Troop 22 is part of the Great Bear District of the Three Fires Council, Central Region, Boy Scouts of America.

Troop Background

Boy Scout Council records show that Troop 22 was formed in Hampshire in 1953, however we believe the Troop is much older - we know of one scout who was in the troop in 1938! Each scout troop has one or more sponsoring organizations. Ours are the Hampshire Lions Club and the Hampshire American Legion. These groups have provided guidance and financial assistance to the troop for many years. Currently, the troop is made up of boys from the Hampshire area, but membership is open to anyone who is interested and meets the BSA specified joining requirements.

Troop Structure

The troop is a Scout-run organization. Each boy is a member of a patrol, usually 6-8 boys who want to camp and participate in various activities together. Each patrol has a leader (Patrol Leader) who represents the remaining scouts in the patrol at meetings (Patrol Leaders Council). In addition, the boys elect a leader for the troop (Senior Patrol Leader) who appoints several other boys as his assistants (Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Scribe, Quartermaster and Librarian). Each Patrol Leader also appoints an assistant (Assistant Patrol Leader) to help and take his place when he is unavailable. All of these positions are known as Junior Leaders, and the troop has a special Junior Leader Training session shortly after the election. The various appointed positions each have their own job descriptions and responsibilities. In addition, there are other positions the boys can hold such as a Den Chief (a Cub Scout Den helper).

Adult leaders are also important to the troop but the intention is for them to be advisors, not directors. One leader is the Scoutmaster and the others are Assistant Scoutmasters or Troop Committee members. BSA rules require that at least two registered leaders, or one leader and one or more parents, must be present at all troop activities.

Troop Meetings

The troop usually has three types of activities each month: the Patrol Leaders Council, where all of the elected and appointed leaders meet to plan activities for the coming months. While these meetings are open for anyone to attend, only members of the council are eligible to vote or participate. The Patrol Leaders Council is usually the first Monday of the month from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

The second activity is the Troop Meeting. The troop meets every Monday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EXCEPT the first Monday (Patrol Leaders Council) and the Monday following a Campout or other special activity, or a school holiday. Parents are always welcome to attend if they have questions or would just like to see what goes on.

The third activity is a Campout or other special event. These are usually planned several months in advance and published in the Troop Newsletter. Parents (Moms too) are always welcome to join us and sometimes we need additional help to drive to and from the activity. Campouts are usually on BSA property, at state or national parks, or county forest preserves.

Camp Food

When we attend long term camps, our food will be supplied, and in some cases, prepared for us. You can be assured (despite reports to the contrary), that the supplied food is generally healthy and sufficient.

When we are camping on our own, however, we will be required to supply our own food. In these cases, each patrol will plan their own menus and duty rosters so that each patrol member is involved in the preparation and cleanup. The menus must be approved by an adult leader and a budget will be given to each patrol. Each patrol will then purchase their food and bring it to the Campout. Those patrols who turn in their receipts will be reimbursed for their food expenses up to their budget amount. Carbonated beverages of any kind and candy are not permitted on campouts. Items such as milk and juice that would be used by everyone will be purchased by the troop leaders.

Behavior

All boys are expected to behave in a mature and responsible manner at meetings and outings, respecting the rights and opinions of each other as well as following the direction of Junior Leaders and Adult Leaders. Boys who feel they are exempt from these simple rules will be asked to call their parents for a ride home.

Troop Elections

There are two Troop Elections each year to select the Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leaders (all troop positions are six month terms). At this time, the new SPL and each PL will also appoint his assistants. Anyone wishing to hold the offices of SPL or ASPL must be first class or above and have been an active member of the troop for the preceding six months.

Court of Honor

At various times each year, the troop will hold a special meeting called the Court of Honor. At this ceremony, boys will be recognized for the advancements and achievements they have earned. This is a family activity and all are welcome.

Chris Bennett Memorial Scout of the Year Award

Chris Bennett was a Tenderfoot Scout in the troop in 1984. Chris exemplified the spirit of Scouting by knowing, believing and living the Scout Oath and Law. He was well liked by his fellow scouts. Chris died of injuries received when struck by a car near Hampshire while riding his bicycle. His family made several donations to the troop in his memory including this award.

For more information and a list of recipients, click here.

Boys Life Magazine

Each family with a boy registered in Troop 22 will receive Boys Life Magazine each month. The Subscription fee is paid by the Troop. This is an excellent magazine, with topics for Boys and adults of all ages.

Troop Web Page

The troop hosts a web site that is updated regularly and includes details on troop activities and other Scouting information.

Troop Uniforms

The Boy Scouts of America is a uniformed organization. This means that the members are expected to wear proper uniforms at all Scouting activities unless specified otherwise. There are two types of uniforms: The Field uniform and the activity uniform.

Our troop has decided that our Field Uniform will consist of the Boy Scout Shirt (with appropriate patches and insignia), the purple and white neckerchief, and the olive Boy Scout Cap. Field uniforms are to be worn at all troop meetings, when traveling (i.e. to/from camps and activities), and at Courts of Honor. Optional parts of the field uniform include a sash for displaying merit badges, olive colored pants or shorts, and various BSA jackets, coats and sweaters. The sash may be worn with the Field uniform (only) at any time but is suggested to be worn at special events like the Court of Honor.

The Activity Uniform, to be worn when directed but usually at Summer Camp, Camporees, and informal Scouting events. It is also worn in the summer, when school is not in session, at troop meetings. In general, any BSA casual shirt (there are several) is acceptable as an activity uniform, but at Troop activities, the activity uniform is the purple and white Troop 22 shirt.

Boys who elect not to wear official Scout pants or shorts are expected to wear clean dark colored jeans, pants or shorts. Sweat pants of any color, or brightly colored pants or shorts are not acceptable. This applies to both uniforms.

Patches

The troop will supply, as part of the funds raised from dues and other activities, all patches earned as the result of advancement, from earning merit badges, and election or appointment to troop/patrol positions. Quite often, the fees for camporees, summer camps, and other special events will include a patch. All other patches will be the responsibility of the Scout to purchase if desired or required to complete his uniform, such as council strips, unit numbers, etc. Any duplicate patches needed because they were lost or for additional uniforms will also be the responsibility of the Scout.

Scout Handbook

Each Scout is required to have a Boy Scout Handbook. This book, aside from being very informative, is used to track the boys advancements. As advancements and merit badges are earned, the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster will note them in the Scout's Handbook.

Advancement

The first rank a boy earns in the troop is Scout. By completing various requirements, the Scout advances in rank to Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Further advancement requires the scout to earn several Merit Badges, perform approved service projects and achieve tenure since his last advancement. These rank advancements are the Star Scout, Life Scout and Eagle Scout. Each scout has a badge on his uniform that shows the highest rank he has earned so far.

In order to earn merit badges, boys must have earned the Scout rank.

In order to gauge how a scout is progressing, a new scout should be able to achieve his First Class rank by the end of his first year in Scouting (May). Since the higher ranks have tenure requirements and some difficult merit badges, a specific time guideline is harder to set. Most important is that the scout is progressing by earning merit badges and participating in service projects and other troop activities.

Advancement within the ranks between Scout and Life Scout is monitored and certified by the troop adult leaders. When advancing a rank, the Scout must participate in a Troop Committee Board of Review. These Boards of Review will be held at the first regular Troop meeting each month. The rank of Eagle requires certification by the Three Fires Council, specific merit badges need to have been earned, and a significant service project defined and managed by the Eagle Candidate while he is a Life Scout. The rank of Eagle is an achievement that a person can be proud of his whole life and is presented at a special Eagle Court of Honor.

Troop Dues

Each scout is expected to pay dues of $5.00 per month, regardless of attendance. Scouts having passed their Eagle Scout Board of Review are exempt from paying dues. The dues go toward rechartering fees, Boys Life subscriptions, patches, and equipment, such as tents and cooking gear. It will be the duty of the Scribe to collect these dues and record their payment. Boys who are significantly behind in paying their dues will not be permitted to attend campouts or other activities and will be so notified in advance.

Fund Raising

The Council and troop will each sponsor fund raising activities at various times of the year. While part of the money earned goes towards troop finances, the majority will usually be put into a fund so the boys can pay for the various activities we will participate in, such as summer camp and high adventure activities.

All fund raising activities must be approved by the Troop Committee. Boys may not wear their uniform when fund raising except for Council sponsored activities such as the annual popcorn sale, or Scout-O-Rama ticket sale.

Summer Camp

Each year (usually in late June) we will attend a BSA long-term summer camp. This camp, one week in duration, will provide a large variety of outdoor activities such as camping, cooking, archery, swimming, boating, target shooting, crafts, and more. Most recently, we have attended the Napowan Adventure Base in Wild Rose, WI. This camp, about four hours drive, is an excellent facility. Boys will have the opportunity to earn many different merit badges and have a great deal of fun. Camp costs vary but you can estimate it will cost about $250, which includes camping fees, food, supplies and transportation.

In order to attend summer camp, boys must have earned the Scout rank. For more details on summer camp click here.

High Adventure

We will at times be able to participate in high adventure activities. In the past, we have taken a trip to the Boundary Waters for a week long canoe trip. We have several times taken a week long sailboat trip at the BSA Sea Base in Florida. Every four years, we have the opportunity to attend the National Scout Jamboree. These activities are intended for older boys who have met specific requirements and are offered in addition to the usual summer camp.

Order of the Arrow

OA is a special group of older boys who are experienced campers and are elected by their fellow scouts in January of each year. OA members can participate in exclusive campouts and activities each month with other members from different troops. Election and membership in OA are considered an honor. Elections results are kept a secret and announced at the Spring Camporee each year.

Secret Organizations

A concern of some parents has been the perception that there are secret organizations within the BSA. This is simply not the case: all meetings are open to parents at any time. Some meetings and events such as Order of the Arrow activities are not open to Scouts who are not members but parents are always welcome.

Merit Badges

Merit Badges fall into two categories: those that are required for the rank of Eagle Scout and those that are not. Boys can earn merit badges at any time once they are members of the troop. Topics range from Basketry to Atomic Energy. Some are fairly easy, and some are hard but all are educational and will teach skills that can be used later in the Scouts life. A list of all the available merit badges is listed in each Merit Badge pamphlet.

In order to earn a merit badge, the scout will work with a merit badge counselor. The counselor, a person with in-depth knowledge of the subject, will help teach the subject and ensure that the scout has completed the requirements for the badge. Some counselors are in Hampshire, others are farther away. An up to date list of counselors is available on our web page.

As a troop, we will sometimes be working on a merit badge: we select the badge to work on at the Patrol Leaders Council meetings, so be sure your Patrol Leader knows which merit badges you want to earn. You cannot, however, earn enough badges to advance far by limiting yourself to those earned as a troop. Most of the badges we work on will not be Eagle requirements. Even those we work on as a troop may have requirements that you must complete on your own initiative. You can also earn badges as a patrol activity. Again, you should discuss the badges you are interested in with your Patrol Leader. If you want to work on a badge, you need to do the following:

  1. Decide which badge you want to earn.
  2. Obtain the merit badge pamphlet from the Troop Librarian and read it so that you know what the requirements are.
  3. Ask the Scoutmaster for an Application for Merit Badge card (blue card).
  4. Find out who a Counselor is for the merit badge and contact him/her.
  5. Complete the requirements and earn the badge.
  6. Return the completed Merit Badge card (blue card) to the Scoutmaster.
  7. Return the merit badge pamphlet to the librarian when you are finished.

BSA policy requires that you attend any meetings with the Counselor with a “Buddy”. If you cannot find a scout in our troop that is interested, contact the counselor anyway and perhaps he knows of another boy who is working on the same merit badge. In addition, a Buddy can be a parent, a friend, a brother, sister or other relative.


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