ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
- Troop 447 is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, which is headquartered in Irving, Texas. We are part of the Baltimore Area Council and we are in the Four Rivers District (which comprises most of Anne Arundel County). Our sponsor is St. Philip Neri Church, which provides us with a meeting place and offers other support to the unit. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1911 and is part of the worldwide Scouting movement started by Lord Baden Powell. Scouting emphasizes as its goals character, citizenship and fitness. For older and more experienced scouts, leadership positions provide important growth opportunities.
ABOUT THE TROOP
- Troop 447 was founded in 1973. Since its original charter, over 600 scouts have been members of the troop. During its 44 years, 67 scouts become Eagle Scouts, the highest award a boy can earn in the program. Several adults have been with the troop since inception bringing experienced leadership and continuity through the troop committee. The troop enjoys an excellent reputation in District and Council circles.
- In Scouting, scouts actually run the troop under the guidance and direction of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters. The Senior Patrol Leader is the highest elected boy leader and he has one or more assistants. The troop is broken down into work groups called patrols. Your son will be assigned to a patrol. Since the troop is boy run, we anticipate there will be mistakes and misjudgments. We see these as learning experiences and we allow it to happen within reason. Because of this emphasis, scouts (and parents) are encouraged to go through patrol leaders when questions or problems arise. Of course there will be occasions which dictate adult involvement. In these cases, first contact the patrol adult advisor. If he is not available, contact the Deputy Scoutmaster, or if necessary, the Scoutmaster.
THE TROOP COMMITTEE
- Supporting the troop leaders is the troop committee. The committee is a group of men and women - some parents, some not - who have agreed to help the troop in a support capacity. In effect they serve as the troop's Board of Directors. Their primary responsibilities are assuring adequate and trained adult leaders, raising funds for the troop, approving major expenditures, overseeing the general program, assisting with advancement and providing whatever assistance is necessary for the effective operation of the troop. New parents are invited to join the committee. Experience is not necessary. You may just want to "sit in" on a committee meeting to see what we do. The committee meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm currently at Italia's Corner located in the Burwood Shopping Center. Troop 447 is extremely fortunate in having a staff of a number of adult leaders who have earned Wood Badge, the highest training afforded adult scouters. Some of the adult leaders have participated in scouting for many years.
- Provided with this handout is a calendar of events for the current scouting year. We meet every Tuesday (except as noted) from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Philip Neri, in either the school hall or lobby. We have a camping trip almost every month on a weekend. Other events are scheduled or may be added to the calendar as needed. Please refer to the calendar for details.
TROOP POLICIES - With this handout you are provided a complete set of troop policies which have been developed over the years. They are self-explanatory. Please read them and review with you son as soon as possible. We would like to emphasize two policies. The 50% attendance rule requires scouts to attend at least one-half of all types of events (meetings, camping trips, etc.). Of course, we encourage them to attend many more than that. Secondly, we expect and require scouts to wear their complete uniform to all troop meetings, camping trips and other activities unless designated otherwise by the Scoutmaster.
PARENT PARTICIPATION - In order for your son to be a part of the troop, we expect and require parents to participate in certain activities. Basically your involvement is as follows: (1) assist and participate in fund raising activities scheduled by the troop committee, (2) help with transportation to and from camping trips when asked, (3) attend Courts of Honor (usually 2 or 3 a year) and special activities and (4) assure your son participates in the advancement and fund raising programs and is active with the troop. While we recognize some parents may be limited in what they can do, the committee feels very strongly that parents must participate and do their part. The committee and leaders cannot do it all--we must have your cooperation and support!
- On or before August 31 of each year, the troop committee will address and set the re-registration fee for the following calendar year. When a new scout joins the troop, the yearly registration fee is prorated by month plus an additional fee to cover the cost of a troop hat, troop neckerchief, troop numbers and patrol emblem (provided once by the troop). Registration fees cover the following: (1) troop dues (this is in lieu of weekly dues), (2) National and Local Council registration fees, (3) Boy's Life magazine, and (4) troop insurance.
UNIFORMS - One of the first things you need to get is the scout uniform. The Boy Scout program is an action program and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of scouting. The uniform is practical attire for scout activities and provides a way for scouts to wear the badges that show their accomplishments. We ask that a scout obtain his uniform within two weeks of joining. Uniforms may be purchased at the Dorsey Road Scout Shop in Hanover, Md. or the Scout Shop in Baltimore. Second hand uniforms may be obtained from former scouts. Note when purchasing the uniform, do not purchase a hat, neckerchief, troop numbers or patrol emblem. These are part of your registration fee (see above) and will be given to your son when he presents himself in uniform at a troop meeting. Basically you need to obtain a scout shirt, scout pants, scout belt and buckle, a Baltimore Area Council strip. The store clerk will be glad to help you.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT - Almost assuredly, within four weeks of joining we will have a camping trip. New scouts are enthusiastic about going camping right away since this is a highlight of the program. It is not necessary to go out and buy the best or all new equipment. However, for the first trip he should have the following; pack or duffle bag to carry gear, sleeping bag (and blankets, if cold; raincoat or poncho; sweater, jacket and or sweatshirt; extra change of clothes; extra socks (two pair); knife, fork and spoon; cup and plate/bowl; towel and soap; toothbrush and toothpaste; flashlight with extra batteries; hard soled shoes; paper and pencil; and scout handbook. These are the essentials. You can add to the list and upscale equipment as your son gains experience. A lot of the equipment you may already have or can borrow. Tents and cooking gear are provided by the troop.
TRANSPORTATION AND FOOD ON CAMPING TRIPS - Transportation is normally provided by the adult leaders going, supplemented by parents when needed. Usually each patrol is asked to have transportation available to and from each trip (it should be the same person each way). On occasion, we may use a bus. See transportation policy for more information. Usually each patrol provides their own food, which they cook as a group. The patrol develops their own menu, which is approved by the adult advisor. One boy is designated by the patrol leader to buy the food and collect the $10-$15 from all patrol members. Parent guidance is welcome, but try to let the scouts do as much as possible. NOTE: If a scout commits himself to go on a trip and later decides not to go, payment for food is not refundable. This is only fair to the boy (and parent) who buys the food and the rest of the patrol. See troop policy on boy financial matters.
ADVANCEMENT - An important part of the Scouting program is advancement. As scouts gain experience and obtain skills and merit badges, they will be eligible for advancement to higher ranks. Some higher ranks require leadership positions in the troop. Many opportunities exist. For the first several ranks, scouts will concentrate on skills, which can be signed off by a qualified fellow scout or adult leader. For merit badges, scouts must seek out a certified adult counselor for that badge (the troop maintains lists). This adult may or may not be part of the troop. Parents may sign up to be merit badge counselors in areas of interest or expertise. Parents can help by encouraging their son, reviewing requirements and helping them study. Generally, however, parents should not sign off on skill requirements and merit badges.
SUMMER CAMP - The highlight of the year is summer camp. This is a week-long camping experience, usually at our Council camp in Harford County. It is a great opportunity for advancement, leadership, fellowship, water activities, competition and much more. Scouts should plan on going to camp early by saving and earning money. Whatever you do, don't let your son miss out on this super activity.
PARENT AUTHORIZATION AND RELEASE FORM - We ask each parent to complete and sign this form. This gives us pertinent medical history on your son and authorizes the leader in charge to seek medical assistance if necessary in an emergency situation where the parent cannot be reached. The Troop carries accident insurance which covers certain injuries which may not be covered by your own insurance carrier.
ADULT APPLICATION/TRAINING REQUIREMENTS - Any adult wishing to become a uniformed leader SM-ASM or Committee Member for BSA Troop 447 must submit the following: 1) A copy of your Youth Protection Certificate verifying that Youth Protection has been completed. 2) A copy of your Shield the Vulnerable certificate verifying that Shield the Vulnerable training through the Archidiocese of Baltimore has been completed. 3) A duly executed BSA Adult Leader Application. Those courses listed below with a * MUST be completed prior to the following year's recharter. The others are all online courses and must be taken immediately. Please Note: Shield the Vulnerable Training is given online by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Uniformed Leaders SM-ASM must take Shield the Vulnerable Training, Youth Protection, Fast Start, This is Scouting, *SM-ASM Leader Specific Training, and *Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills. Committee Members must take Shield the Vulnerable Training, Youth Protection, Fast Start, This is Scouting, Troop Committee Challenge, and *Intro to Outdoor Leaders Skills (only for those who wish to go camping). Please be advised that Introduction to Outdoor Leaders Skills and SM-ASM Leader Specific Training is usually offered only twice a year....Please be sure to take these valuable courses as soon as they are available.
- After you have read and digested all this information, please feel free to contact the Scoutmaster, Committee Chairman or any adult leader if you have any questions, concerns etc. or you may save them and visit a troop and/or committee meeting to have your questions answered.