Troop Policy Handbook

Uniform Standard

Body:

The purpose of this standard is to give guidance to Scouts and Scouters in Troop 361 so they know what is expected and what is proper in certain situations.

CLASS A- Full Green

  • Official BSA uniform shirt with correct insignia 
  • Troop 361 neckerchief
  • Official BSA headgear
  • Official BSA Scout belt
  • Official BSA uniform shorts/pants or Forest Green camouflage pants
  • Appropriate socks (BSA socks required with shorts)
  • Merit Badge Sash
  • Leather or athletic shoes

Full Class A uniform is required for all Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review.  Class A uniforms should be worn at all troop meetings, at all Flag ceremonies, while traveling to/from any Scout outing -- including Summer Camp, and at all district or council functions.

Merit badge sashes are worn over the shoulder (never on the belt) and normally only at Troop Courts of Honor.  We recommend that you keep your merit badge sash stored away carefully so that it does not become lost or worn.

Equipment

Body:

It is often a bit of a shock when new Scouts come home saying they need a lot of expensive clothing and gear. They may not understand that the nice gear owned by some of the older Scouts was collected over a period of time.

For purchasing all of the BSA uniform supplies, we recommend:

  • Pacific Harbors Council Store located in Tacoma.  This is the preferred location for all 
    Scouting equipment purchases.
  • BSA catalog.

Please be aware that there is a Scout outlet in Edgewood that has BSA equipment.  This particular store, while located within Pacific Harbors Council, is actually associated with Chief Seattle Council and caters primarily to LDS Scouts and Scouters in Puyallup and Enumclaw who live within Pacific Harbors borders but are chartered to Chief Seattle.  When you shop at this store, your purchases support Chief Seattle and detract from Pacific Harbors.  We recommend that you please use the Pacific Harbors Council store located in Tacoma to help keep funds in our area instead of in Seattle.  

Although the camping gear sold at the BSA shops is of high quality, it may be more expensive than gear sold at sporting goods stores or in the camping departments of discount stores like REI, GI-Joe's, Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart. In addition, many good deals have been found at garage sales or from older Scouts. The Patrol Leaders or any of the adults in the Troop are good sources of advice.

Basic Equipment List

*1. BSA Class A - Green Uniform per Uniforming Standard

*2. The Boy Scout Handbook

*3. Back pack or duffel bag (boy must be able to carry all of his own equipment)

*4. Sleeping bag or a blanket and sheet

*5. Canteen or water bottle '

*6. Poncho or rain suit

*7. Utensil kit (knife, spoon, fork)

*8. Drinking cup and plate or mess kit

*9. Personal first aid kit (Talk with Patrol Leader first. Malting a personal first aid kit is part of early rank requirements.)

10. Flashlight, plus extra batteries and light bulb

11. Bug repellent (no aerosol cans)

*12. Pocket knife (may carry only after earning Totin' Chip)

* Essential

Advancement

Body:

The following information is taken from the Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide published by the Boy Scouts of America. Additional comments that relate to Troop 361 guidelines or comments are provided in italics. The Troop 361 Advancement Committee strives to follow these guidelines to the best of our ability.

One of the major avenues of achievement in Scouting is advancing from rank to rank. The Boy Scout advancement program is subtle. It places a series of challenges in front of a Scout in a manner that is fun and educational to a boy. As Scouts meet these challenges, they achieve the aims of Boy Scouting.

A boy advances and grows in the Boy Scout phase of the program in the same way a plant grows by receiving nourishment in the right environment. The job of the adults concerned with advancement is to provide the right environment.

One of the greatest needs of boys is confidence. There are three kinds of confidences that boys need: in themselves, in peers, and in leaders.

Educators and counselors agree that the best way to build confidence is through measurement. Serf-confidence is developed by measuring up to a challenge or standard. Peer confidence develops when the same measuring system is used for everyone--when all must meet the same challenge to receive equal recognition Confidence in leaders comes about when there is consistency in measuring--when leaders use a single standard of fairness.

Standards for joining a Boy Scout troop and for advancement are listed in the latest printing of the Boy Scout Handbook and in the current Boy Scouts Requirement book. No council, district unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement. A Boy Scout badge recognized what a boy is able to do; it is not a reward for what he has done.

Advancement accommodates the three aims of Scouting: citizenship, growth in moral strength and character, and mental and physical development-

The advancement program is designed to provide the Boy Scout with a chance to achieve the aims of Scouting. As a Scout advances he is measured and grows in confidence and self-reliance.

When a badge and certificate are awarded to a Boy Scout to recognize that he has achieved a rank, they represent that a boy has:

  • Been an active participant in his troop and patrol. (Active participation in Troop 361 is 
    defined as meeting or exceeding a standard of attendance at 60% or more of the 
    meetings and outings scheduled during the earning of the rank )
  • Demonstrated living the Scout Oath (promise) and Law in his daily life.
  • Met the other requirements and/or earned the merit badges for the rank.
  • Participated in a Scoutmaster conference.
  • Satisfactorily appeared before a board of review.

In the advanced ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle), the badge represents that the boy has also:

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop. (Again, active participation is required 
    to fulfill any position of responsibility.)
  • Performed service to others.

Four Steps of Advancement

A Boy Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with his patrol and his troop, with his leaders, and on his own. It's easy for him to advance, if the following four opportunities are provided for him.

  1. The Boy Scout learns. A Scout learns by doing. As he learns, he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach others; and in this way he begins to develop leadership.
  2. The Boy Scout is tested. A Scout may be tested on rank requirements by his patrol leader, Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, a troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The Scoutmaster maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and to pass candidates. The Scout's merit badge counselor teaches and tests on the requirements for merit badges.
  3. The Boy Scout is reviewed. After a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank, he has a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms, there view is conducted by members of the troop committee. The Eagle Scout board of review is conducted in accordance with local council procedures.
  4. The Boy Scout is recognized. When the board of review has certified a boy's advancement, he deserves to receive recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next troop meeting. The certificate for his new rank may be presented later at a formal court of honor.

Troop Advancement

Body:

It is important to set an advancement goal for the year. A basic goal should be for each boy to advance a rank during the year. New Scouts should earn the First Class Rank during their first year in the troop. By doing so, these new Scouts become new contributors to the troop and are able to care for themselves and others.

Early Rank Requirements (Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class)

The early ranks, are designed to be a foundation for each Scout to build upon--each requirement helps to develop skills the Scout will need for the next rank.  For example, asking for help from their peers, leaders, and other adults begins with entry into the troop and continues throughout all rank advancement as follows:

  • A Scout will need to get the help of experienced Scouts to teach him the skills he must accomplish.
  • When he can demonstrate his accomplishment a Scout will need to get a sign off in his 
    Handbook
  • He then asks for adult help in updating his records to receive credit for those requirements 
    he has worked so hard to accomplish.
  • He asks for adult help again when he schedules his Scoutmaster Conference and his 
    Board of Review.
  • One of the requirements under the First Class rank, has the Scout visit and discuss his constitutional rights and obligations with a selected individual approved by his Scoutmaster. To fulfill this requirement the Scout must approach the individual (phone or in person) and 
    make a request. Most Scouts are shy about asking for help. When they have a specific 
    goal in mind it is easier for them to overcome their shyness. With completion of the 
    requirement their confidence level has been raised.
  • Now, they move on to asking for help with merit badges and eventually to developing and 
    seeking help for their Eagle service project. Each contact moves them further along in 
    rank and builds their confidence.

The early ranks are divided into four basic skill areas: Citizenship, First Aid, Outdoor Skills, and Physical Fitness/Personal Development. Activities are planned throughout the year that touch on all these skill areas. Each area has multiple skills that build upon each other.

Advanced Rank Requirements (Star, Life, Eagle)

The advanced ranks are designed to build on top of the foundation of the early ranks. Each Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges to achieve Eagle Scout. Twelve of those merit badges are defined and like the early ranks are divided into four basic skill areas: Citizenship, First Aid, Outdoor Skills, and Physical Fitness/Personal Development. The remaining ten merit badges can come from any of these areas or others.

With advanced rank comes advanced responsibility. Each Scout must serve in a position of responsibility at each rank. Generally these positions become more advanced as the Scout advances and develops his leadership capabilities. The advanced Scout is the backbone of the Scouting program-he is the one participating in planning conferences and teaching skills to younger Scouts. The advancement of the Troop depends upon the participation and involvement of its advanced rank Scouts.

Service to others is also required at the advanced level. By actively helping others the Scouts learn to make service part of their daily lives. They learn to appreciate what they have and the needs of others. As an Eagle candidate they learn what it takes to organize a project to help others.

Who May Approve/Sign Requirements

Each Scout is responsible for obtaining sign-offs in his Scout Handbook from authorized leaders when he completes a requirement. Signing authority is given to the more advanced Scouts who are providing leadership to the troop. Based on the requirement some items have been designated for specific authorities only:

  • If the requirement states "with your patrol"; only the Patrol Leader for the Scout's patrol may sign-off on completion--that Patrol Leader is the one who knows if the Scout finished the requirement satisfactorily or if he still needs to work on it a little more.
  • Requirements that are based on information maintained in the database, such as 
    attendance, time in troop or responsibility, or merit badges earned are only signed-off 
    by Advancement Committee adults who can verify the information in the database.
  • Swimming requirements that relate to the safety of the Scout and our knowledge of his 
    abilities are limited to qualified authorities such as Summer Camp Waterfront personnel 
    or troop personnel with the appropriate credentials.
  • Scout Spirit, Scoutmaster Conferences, and Boards of Review are designated for Adult 
    Leadership signatures only. 

If there's a question about who can sign-off, the Scout's Patrol Leader will help him resolve it with the help of the Scoutmaster or Adults from the Advancement Committee.

Attendance

Body:

In order to establish a consistent manner of determining whether certain advancement requirements have been met; the following standard is established for Troop 361, Federal Way, Washington. This standard applies to the active participation requirements for Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout.

Active Participation is defined as meeting or exceeding the standards regarding both meetings and outings listed below.

Meetings. Attendance at 60% or more in each consecutive month for which participation is sought. Meeting attendance means being present the entire time period when the meeting is scheduled to occur.

Outings. Attendance at 60% or more of all the troop/patrol outings scheduled during the months for which participation is sought. Attendance at an outing means that the Scout is present for the entire time period, if the event is a day-only event, or that the Scout spends at least one night camping on an overnight event.

Responsibility. Each Scout is responsible for his attendance and behavior. The troop scribe is responsible for accurately recording attendance, or for assuring that recording is done in his absence.

Exceptional Circumstances. A Scout who believes that he has an exceptional circumstance that justifies the waiving of part or all of this standard may request that waiver from the registered troop committee. He must present the entire circumstances, including the affect this waiver might have on other Scouts' attendance.  A Scout requesting a waiver must make the presentation personally after being scheduled by the troop committee chairman.

Behavior

Body:
  1. All guidelines explicit and implicit are designed to adhere to the Spirit of Scouting and must be interpreted in that light.
  2. Scouts are expected to obey all directions/requests from Adult Scout Leaders and their Patrol Leaders..
  3. Gambling is not permitted at any troop or related BSA function.
     
  4. Scouts are expected to use proper speech at all times. Explicitly, this excludes coarse jokes, cursing, and any manner of speaking that degrades boys, women, ethnic minorities, individuals from any particular group or nationality, or any challenged individual.
  5. Scouts must refrain from the use of Tobacco, Alcohol, and non-prescription drugs at all times.  This rule is in forced regardless whether the Scout is present at a Scout outing.
     
  6. Scouts are expected to assist in the enforcement of "two-deep" leadership at all times, including merit badge counseling, patrol outings, and advance crews. Boys attending a session with a merit badge counselor must bring a buddy or parent.  Transportation to and from outings must not have a single boy in a car with one adult. At least two boys or a second adult must be in the car.
  7. Straight-bladed knives are not permitted at any troop or related BSA function.
  8. Firearms are not permitted at any troop function or related BSA function, including vehicles used to transport boys to and from outings.
  9. This list of guidelines is not assumed to be comprehensive. Any principle not adequately covered herein is covered by Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America and related BSA publications. We hereby recognize this book and the staff of BSA as final arbiters of the rules to follow and their interpretation.
  10. When a Scout declines to follow these guidelines, the offending party will be contacted discreetly at the request of the committee or Scoutmaster, by chair's or Scoutmaster's designees (preferably three but at least two individuals) regarding any pertinent breech of the guidelines. Generally, the committee will inform the party of the problem and insist that there be no further inattention to the guidelines. It is expected that these discrete meetings will rectify virtually all difficulties. Should they fail to do so, the chair, in collaboration with the chair's designees and the representative of the charter organization, reserves the obligation to prevent further participation of the offending party in troop or related BSA functions.

Merit Badges

Body:

The merit badge program is one of Boy Scouting's basic measurement tools. Earning merit badges gives a boy the .rind of self-confidence that comes from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Through the merit badge program, a boy also learns career skills, develops socially, and may develop physical skills and hobbies that give a lifetime of healthful recreation.

The steps to follow in the merit badge program are outlined in the current Boy Scout Requirements Book. This book lists the requirements a Scout needs to earn each of the note than 100 merit badges that are available. Scouts must be tested individually, and they must meet all the requirements.

Scout Buddy System. A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a merit badge counselor. A Scout's buddy can be another Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister, or a relative or friend. From his scoutmaster, the Scout obtains a signed merit badge application (blue card) and the name of the appropriate merit badge counselor. The Scout sets up his first appointment with the counselor. The counselor should explain the requirements to the Scout. The Scout and his buddy then meet as appropriate with the counselor until the Scout completes the badge requirements.

Group Instruction of Merit Badges. The question arises as to whether it is permissible to have boys earn merit badges in groups. Many subjects may be presented to groups of Scouts without defeating one of the purposes of the merit badge plan--working closely with a qualified adult.

The National Executive Board has approved this policy statement on merit badge counseling:

"To the fullest extent possible, the merit badge counseling relationship is a counselor-Scout arrangement m which the boy is not only judged on his performance of the requirements, but receives maximum benefit from the knowledge, skill, character, and personal interest of his counselor. Group instruction and orientation are encouraged where special facilities and expert personnel make this most practical, or when Scouts are dependent on lonely a few counselors for assistance. However, this group experience should be followed by attention to each individual candidate's projects and his ability to fulfill all requirements."

Merit Badge Partials from Summer Camp. The troop database will be used to track partial merit badges earned while attending summer camp with the troop. To complete the badges the Scout will need to make arrangements with either one of the adults who attended summer camp with him or a merit badge counselor for the badge. When he has completed his outstanding requirements the adult will notify database personnel to show as complete. Partials will be retained in the database for one year.

Camping and Outing procedure

Body:

Unless informed otherwise, you should assume the following arrangements apply to all troop outings and campouts.

  1. An activity information sheet will be provided with details and a permission/information slip which is to be returned.
  2. The lower portion of the permission slip needs to be returned to the Scout's Patrol Leader or Troop Guide by the deadline stated, if the Scout wishes for plans to be made for his transportation.
  3. Any necessary fees must be returned by the given deadline. The patrols are responsible for setting and collecting food fees. The Troop Scribe will not collect individual fees.
  4. A sack lunch, including drink, may be needed for the first meal on the outing or Scout may eat before coming to outing. Be sure and check the plan beforehand.
  5. Patrols need to plan for any coolers and ice necessary for their food. Joint use of large coolers is encouraged.
  6. Each patrol should include at least one roll of paper towels and one full roll of toilet tissue in their supplies for each campout.
  7. The troop will assemble at 6:00PM in the Sunrise United Methodist Church parking lot to depart.
  8. Class "A" uniform will be worn correctly by all registered members while traveling to and from an activity or campout. This is a BSA National requirement which is related to insurance coverage.
     
    • Walkman radios, gameboys, and other portable electronic amusements may be used while traveling, provided they do not disturb others. Any and all such devices will be locked in the vehicles upon arrival at the campsite or activity area until time to travel again.

Service Projects

Body:

Service project durations for rank are defined in the Boy Scout Handbook.  In general, service projects are intended to benefit interests outside of Scouting but the Scoutmaster has the ultimate say.  

The Scoutmaster must approve each project before it is started.  

Training

Body:

Once a Scout has obtained his First Class Rank opportunities for advanced leadership training are available to him. They include but are not limited to the following:

Internal Troop training. This training opportunity involves the Scouts chosen to staff the troop for a period of six months. The Scouts meet with the Scoutmaster to learn additional leadership skills, to learn specifics about how the troop operates, and to build team skills among leadership.

Den Chief training. This training opportunity is offered by the District to provide leadership skills to Scouts who would like to work with the younger Cub Scouts and Webelos. Many of these Scouts had Den Chiefs that mentored to them when they were in the Cub Program. This training is generally offered in the Fall when Packs are forming. Scouts must be of First Class rank and approved by their Scoutmaster to attend.

Adult Training.   Adults are expected to complete required training for their positions.  Please see  Pacific Harbors Council Homepage for more information about scheduling adult training.

Other Council Programs. Additional opportunities are available through programs provided by other Councils or the National Boy Scouts.

Qualifications needed to run for Senior Patrol Leader

Body:

Qualifications for Senior Patrol Leader:

1. Registered Scout with rank of Star or above.

2. Active in this troop for at least 6 months.

3. At least thirteen years of age.

4. Willing to serve for a six month term.

5. Willing to be trained and work with the other troop leaders.

6. Has not served more than six months as Senior Patrol Leader   in this troop.

Qualifications for Patrol Leader:

  1. Registered Scout with rank of First Class or above.
  2. Experience in a troop or patrol office.
  3. Active in this troop for at least three months.
  4. At least 12 years of age.
  5. Willing to serve for a six month term.
  6. Willing to be trained and work with the other troop leaders.
  7. Has not served as Patrol Leader for more than one year in this troop during the past two years.

Procedures for Election:

Senior Patrol Leader: Nominations in writing will be made and seconded by an active, registered member of the troop for senior patrol leader. Votes will be cast by secret ballot at the beginning of the next meeting to elect the senior patrol leader from those nominated

Troop Guide: The troop guide(s) will be selected by the Assistant Scoutmaster.

Patrol Leader:  After the election of an SPL and subsequent appointments of ASPL and Troop Guides, each patrol will then elect a Patrol Leader by secret ballot.

Others: The senior patrol leader will appoint the scribe(s), quartermaster(s), librarian, and historian at the next meeting; with the approval of the Scoutmaster. The patrol leader will appoint his patrol members to their positions at the next troop meeting, with the approval of the senior patrol leader.

Parental/Guardian Support

Body:

Cooperation and support from each Scout's family are absolute necessities for the BSA and Troop programs to be successful. When a Scout registers with Troop 361, his parent or guardian is assumed to have obligated himself / themselves to provide some form of support based upon parental skills. Parents/guardians should advise the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman of their particular interests and the way in which they can contribute to the Troop's Scouting program which is there to benefit their son and his peers.

Troop functions will require help at certain times. Requests for assistance will be rotated as much as possible. For example, parental support may be needed in the transportation of Scouts to and from campouts, camporees, and other Scouting activities.

Parental/guardian support is also solicited to provide assistance in the various areas of expertise for an active merit badge program. A wide range of interest areas is available to each Scout, but each merit badge requires adult supervision and assistance. We ask all parents/guardians to complete the merit badge survey and notify the Troop Committee member responsible for advancement to advise how they can supper an active and comprehensive merit badge program.

Parents/guardians are expected to attend Courts of Honor. This is the opportunity for each Scout's progress to be duly recognized by the Troop and the Scout's family. It is an important occasion which also recognizes the achievements of a successful troop program designed by and for the boys.

Adult Behavior

Body:

All adults in Troop 361 are expected to observe the following Adult Behavior Guidelines:

  1. All guidelines explicit and implicit are designed to adhere to the Spirit of Scouting and must be interpreted in that light.
  2. Adults involved in transport of Scouts and Scouters must obey traffic laws including speed limits.
  3. Gambling is not permitted at any troop or related BSA function.
     
  4. Adults are expected to model polite speech for the Scouts at all times. Explicitly, this excludes coarse jokes, cursing, and any manner of speaking that degrades boys, women, ethnic minorities, individuals from any particular group or nationality, or any challenged individual.
  5. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not permitted at any troop or related BSA function.  Adults must also be free of alcoholic or tobacco odors and/or impairment.
     
  6. The principle of "two-deep" leadership must be followed at all times, including merit badge counseling, patrol outings, and advance crews. Merit badge counselors cannot counsel boys one-on-one. There must be at least two boys or at least two adults. Transportation to and from outings must not have a single boy in a car with one adult. At least two boys or a second adult must be in the car. All other activities require two adults.
  7. This list of guidelines is not assumed to be comprehensive. Any principle not adequately covered herein is covered by Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America and related BSA publications. We hereby recognize this book and the staff of BSA as final arbiters of the rules to follow and their interpretation.
  8. When an adult declines to follow these guidelines, the offending party will be contacted discreetly at the request of the committee or Scoutmaster, by chair's or Scoutmaster's designees (preferably three but at least two individuals) regarding any pertinent breech of the guidelines. Generally, the committee will inform the party of the problem and insist that there be no further inattention to the guidelines. It is expected that these discrete meetings will rectify virtually all difficulties. Should they fail to do so, the chair, in collaboration with the chair's designees and the representative of the charter organization, reserves the obligation to prevent further participation of the offending party in troop or related BSA functions.