Frequently Asked Questions




Money


The registration fee is $150 for each Scout per school year. (Financial arrangements are available.) This fee pays for registration and insurance with BSA, all badges and awards, a year's subscription to Boy's Life, and use of troop equipment. The troop does not pay for food or personal camping equipment; e.g., pack, sleeping bag, personal mess kit, etc. The troop supplies a neckerchief and slide, but not the uniform or handbook. (NOTE: also See Camping Policies section below)

HELPING OUT


This is your Super Troop. Our troop is run entirely by volunteers (like you ). It takes a lot of work to keep our troop operating smoothly. The troop committee chairman, working closely with the scoutmasters, knows what is needed. Please volunteer your services to him - he appreciates it ! He will ask for your help - offer your time and energies. If our parents don't do it, it will not get done.

RANK ADVANCEMENT AND OUTDOOR PROGRAM


(A TWO-PART PROGRAM)

All Scouts should participate in both of these areas of Scouting. It is our experience that Scouts who work only on rank advancement without going on the outdoor activities, quickly lose interest and drop out. The reverse is also true. Please encourage your Scout in both parts of Scouting.

CAMPING TRIPS ARE FOR PARENTS AS WELL!

Dads and Moms, make plans to go on at least one trip this year with the Troop. If you are to be a driver, you are asked to spend the night and go on the entire trip. You will be part of the adult patrol, known as the Skunk Patrol, which camps, cooks, and cleans up as a patrol. You are encouraged to help scouts with skills and advice. Please DO NOT "take over" patrol leadership. The patrol leader is primed to do a good job, and you may give him quiet, tactful help, but please remember that this is his chance to learn about leadership. If you find a situation has gotten out of hand, please quietly inform the adult leadership.

There are many reasons to attend a campout. You are demonstrating your interest in your son's scouting life. You get to know and support the troop leadership. You get to see the Super Troop in action. Finally, you are there in the event of an emergency. Relax, smile, and enjoy yourself. Be sure to read over Super Troop's camping policies carefully.

"FAIR WEATHER CAMPOUTS!?"

No such thing in Super Troop! We camp regardless of the weather and there will be bad weather campouts, but this is half the fun of camping. Our more experienced members will teach all Scouts how to care for themselves. While a weekend may possibly be uncomfortable, your son will be well taken care of.

ABSOLUTELY NOT PERMITTED IN SUPER TROOP

Please do not bring sheath knives, hatchets, axes, liquid fuel equipment (unless approved by leadership), personal electronic gear, junk food (including, but not limited to 2 liter or 6-pack colas), foul language, abusive behavior, inappropriate publications, firearms. alcohol. tobacco. or illegal drugs.

PATROL METHOD

Super Troop uses the Patrol Method which gives Scouts experience in group living and team building. It places a certain amount of responsibility on them and teaches the Scouts how to accept it through various patrol functions. The patrol leader has a BIG responsibility. His patrol meetings are important, so when he calls to ask for your help, please answer with your support.

World Wide Web

Our web site can be viewed by going to www.supertroop197.com. Currently, the site contains information about activities, campouts, patrols, leadership, and general information. It is updated often so scouts can learn about merit badge clinics, campouts, and meeting information. Also, troop members and family receive emails from the patrol leaders and coordinators. Email is the easiest way of sending information to scouts and their families.

UNIFORMS

Scouts wear their Standard uniform (not including hat or neckerchief) to all troop meetings & to and from Summer Camp. Super Troop asks your help in adhering to this policy without exception. Proper uniform and being on time are symbols of your personal commitment to troop responsibility. It is your choice to be a part of the brotherhood and aims of Scouting. Therefore, wear the uniform proudly and mark it carefully (they all look alike). A Scout cannot receive advancement or go before a board of review if he is not in uniform. Scouts wear their formal Class "A" uniform (including neckerchief, scout socks, and dark shoes) to district and special events and other formal functions like a Scoutmaster Conference, Board of Review, or a Court of Honor. Scouts wear a khaki "Class B" troop 197 Tee-shirt when they arrive to go on a campout, and also during the week at a Summer Camp.

SCOUT HANDBOOK

Please mark your book carefully and bring it to all troop meetings and campouts. Parents and Scouts need to read it completely. It is nearly the complete resource for the program end of Scouting. It will hold your Scout's record of advancement. These records are updated regularly into the troop's computerized files provided the book has been signed by the adult leadership first. The handbook is part of the uniform and the Scout is responsible for it.

PARTICIPATION

Super Troop 197 can be a lifetime asset to your Scout, helping him to grow in a sound program while teaching him about the outdoors, how to care for himself, and how to get along with others. Participation and attendance are key to a successful experience in Scouting. By joining Super Troop, you and your Scout have an obligation to take advantage of and help make the program fly. Your Scout and the troop are weakened by absences. Scouting asks your son to make choices and consider the long term benefits. The more you participate, the better your experience with Super Troop will be.

CAMPING POLICIES

GENERAL

All camping gear is to be packed in a backpack. If you need help in knowing what kind of gear your son needs - what to bring, what to eat, what to wear, etc. - please consider the following resources. Your Son - He will be taught by experienced campers. Scoutmasters and Troop Committee Members will be happy to meet with you and answer any questions that you or your Scout may have. Visit our web page for many useful links on the Internet. You may want to rent gear before deciding what to buy. Scouts must arrive ON TIME so we can leave ON TIME. They are not to leave the scout hut after a campout until all cleanup and unpacking is done and he is excused by troop leadership. Menus are decided by patrol leadership in advance. Scouts must bring money to a campout to cover patrol prepared food and lunch on the return road home. Scouts wear a khaki "Class B" troop 197 Tee-shirt when they arrive to go on a campout.

STANDARD DEPARTURE AND RETURN TIMES:

Campouts - meet at 5:30 & leave from the Scout Hut at 6:00 p.m. (Friday) We return usually around 1:00 p.m. (Sunday) Your son can usually call you with the expected return time, by cell phone, before arriving back at the Scout Hut.

WORSHIP SERVICES

In accordance with Scouting Principles, Super Troop has a nondenominational service on Sunday morning of each campout. These services are led by the troop's chaplaincy program. Scouts wanting to obtain their Religious Emblem Award should join the chaplaincy and participate in the planning of the worship services.

ADVANCEMENT/ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

GUIDELINES

Super Troop 197 a quality advancement program which is consistent with BSA national guidelines. A Scout entering in the early Spring is virtually assured of being awarded the rank of Tenderfoot by the end of the school year (in some cases, after a week of BSA Summer Camp). This is provided he follows the New Scout Program designed exclusively for Super Troop 197. Continued participation in the New Scout Program constitutes the Scout's first full year of advancement (Fall to second Spring). A Scout can set an achievable goal of being awarded Second Class rank in January and the same for First Class during the following May. A Scout may set his goals with his Scoutmaster's approval for being awarded the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle at his own schedule and pace. Every resource and opportunity will be provided for the Scout to attain these goals so long as the Scout consistently and actively demonstrates his desire to do so.

The Scout should be aware that the earning of skill requirements and merit badges is only one part of the requirements for rank advancement. A Scout must be active in the troop and patrol for various time intervals. While this sounds easy, one should note the key word "active". It goes beyond being registered. It means you are an active and contributing member of your unit. If you are not being a participating member, leader, and example in your troop and patrol, your Scoutmaster may not accept your performance for this requirement. Find out what is an acceptable performance and write it down at each Scoutmaster Conference. You must demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law in your everyday life. This is not an "attendance at meetings/camping trips" quota type requirement. This expectation is also negotiated at each Scoutmaster Conference. Finally, there is a specific leadership requirement for each rank. Super Troop provides you an opportunity (a tool) in order for you to be successful in earning this requirement. While not required, the Scout is strongly encouraged to participate both as a student and as an instructor in the Troop's Junior Leadership Training program. It generally takes at least one year to successfully meet expectations for leadership requirements. (as outlined in the Scoutmaster's Conferences) and so we offer JLT sessions each school year to help accommodate those Scouts who wish to serve the Troop in order to satisfy the various leadership/active participation requirements. You must be selected by the Scoutmaster Conference for participation in JLT. As a matter of record, no Scout has ever been awarded the Eagle rank from within Super Troop 197 without his having actively served in patrol and troop leadership for more than a year and without having participated in one or more JLT sessions.

At all levels of advancement, the Scout can and must earn merit badges. The selection of merit badges fall into two categories:

Eagle Required badges and Elective badges. We strongly advise that all Eagle Required badges be earned through either the BSA Council or District merit badge programs, a BSA Summer Camp program, or a Super Troop sponsored class. All other avenues of merit badge (either Eagle Required or Elective) work - including the choice of a merit badge counselor - must be approved in advance by the Scoutmaster. The blue merit badge application must be issued and signed by the Scoutmaster before the Scout starts work on the merit badge. The merit badge buddy system is required (please refer to the BSA Requirements Book). Merit Badge Counselors are approved solely by the Scoutmaster and only after the counselor has been registered with BSA and his or her credentials appropriate to the specific badge to be taught have been certified.

SUMMER CAMPS

BSA Summer Camps are a very important component of the program offered at Super Troop 197. For a Scout to be successful in establishing and reaching his goals in the program, he should absolutely expect to attend at least one of BSA Summer Camp sessions for the first three years he is in the troop. There are several reasons for this: 1) this is the best place to earn merit badges at a quality level of instruction and in a quantity and time frame not to be duplicated elsewhere; 2) there are many merit badges that are nearly impossible to earn except at a BSA Summer Camp; 3) this is our troop's training ground for senior leadership positions (e.g. most troop leadership requirements begin to be met during a week of summer camp); and, most importantly, 4) this is where the fun, citizenship, self-confidence, and character development which under gird the entire program offerings of Super Troop are established first among all the relationships the Scout will build in his journey. In order to experience success in the New Scout Program, it is nearly imperative that the first year Scout attend at least one session of BSA Summer Camp during his first year in Super Troop.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The uniformed adult leadership's responsibility is to deliver a program which, in turn, delivers the Promise which is outlined in the troop's Mission Statement and is consistent with BSA national policy. The uniformed adult leaders serve the Scouts only and at the pleasure of the Troop Committee. The Troop Committee provides the resources necessary for the uniformed adult leadership to deliver the Promise. The Troop Committee serves the uniformed adult leadership only and at the pleasure of the parents. Scout spirit and other positive encouragement should be offered by the parents to not only their own sons but to all the Scouts in Super Troop. The key word here is "encouragement". The steps in the journey and the decisions underlying those steps are the province of the Scouts themselves and should not be weakened or otherwise undermined by co-ownership no matter how well intentioned. The Promise is only realized when accepted by the Scout himself.