Welcome to Scouts BSA
New Parent’s Guide
Introduction Message from the Scoutmaster:
Welcome to Troop 133!
They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Your son has taken that important first step by joining Troop 133. Along the way he will make new friends, learn scout skills and life skills, perhaps a lifelong hobby or even a career. He’ll be challenged to go beyond the boundaries of his comfort zone both mentally and physically. If he sticks with it, he will develop leadership skills that will distinguish him from the crowd.
The program is designed so that the pace with which your son progresses through scouting will be unique to him. There is no right or wrong pace. The more active a scout is, the quicker and easier it will be for him to advance in rank and earn more awards and the more fun he will have.
As parents, you can help your scout succeed by staying informed (read the newsletters, attend the Parent’s meetings), ensuring he is properly uniformed, and he is active (regularly attends troop meetings and outings/activities). You can also help the troop succeed by being an active troop volunteer. The Troop is an all-volunteer organization. It is essential that every family support the troop by taking on a job (or two). You’ll learn more about the opportunities available at the Parents’ meeting.
This Guide was written with new scouts and new parents in mind. Take a moment to review its content. As questions arise, please refer back to this Guide for most of the answers. If you have unanswered questions, please ask.
Welcome to Troop 133! You are now part of the family.
Yours in Scout -
Troop 133 Uniformed Leaders and Committee Members
Brief History of Troop 133
Troop 133 was founded in December 1976, as a troop emphasizing the three core Scouting principles of Duty to God & Country, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self. While Troop 133 is chartered by Sardis Presbyterian, its program welcomes scouts of all faiths. The Leadership of the Troop strongly supports the adoption of non-discrimination policies by Scouts BSA, especially as it applies to membership. We want all Scouts to have access to and benefit from the scouting program, regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation.
Troop 133 has a commitment to providing boys aged 11-17 the opportunity to mature into young men by learning outdoor skills and leadership. The program is focused on advancement by achieving the requirements defined by the Scout-BSA National guidelines. We camp every month of the year giving the youth a chance to experience different activities each month. Each summer we attend summer camp and boy 13+ and Rank of First class to participate in a High Adventure trip.
Why Troop 133?
Trained adult leaders
Leaders active in the District & Council
Youth Leadership Training opportunities: Den Chief, ILST, S.E.A.L.S., NYLT, NAYLE
Active Outdoor Program – Backpacking, cold weather camping, whitewater rafting, caving, horseback riding, cycling, etc.
High Adventure Activities- Philmont, Sea Base, Backpacking on the AT, Kayaking in the Outer Banks
Shooting Sports: Archery, Shotgun, & 22 Rifle
Aims of Scouting
- Character development
- Citizenship training
- Mental and Physical Fitness
Methods of Scouting
- The Ideals: The Scout Oath, Scout Law, Motto & Slogan
- Patrol Method
- Association with Adults
- The Outdoors
- Personal Growth
- The Uniform
- Leadership Development
The Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight
The Scout Law
A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean,
The Outdoor Code
As an American I will do my best to.
Be clean in my outdoor manners. Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors. Be conservation minded.
Do a Good Turn Daily
What does a Scout do in Troop 133?
Personal Code of Conduct
A Scout is expected to live his life by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. We want him to be an example to those around him of the values, character and leadership of the Boy Scouts of America. A Scout should ALWAYS think like an ambassador and behave in a Scout-like manner that brings credit upon his family, the Troop, the community, and himself.
Scouts are expected to control their own behavior and those of other scouts. Those scouts who fail to live up to these standards will at the discretion of the Senior Patrol Leader and ultimately the Scoutmaster (or his designate) be subject to counseling/warning, probation, suspension, or even expulsion from the Troop. There is zero tolerance for hazing, bullying or violent behavior. A decision to suspend or expel a Scout from the Troop may be appealed to the Troop Committee.
Weekly Troop Meetings
The Troop generally meets on every Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Exceptions: first Tuesday of each month is usually reserved for the Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC)
Meetings are held at Sardis Presbyterian Scout Hut 6101 Sardis Rd.
Attendance requirements 75% on troop meetings and outings, frequent absences will impede the Scout’s advancement, and negatively impact the scouting experience.
Field Dress (Class A) uniforms shall be worn to Troop meetings, unless otherwise designated by the Scoutmaster. See the Scout Uniform section of this Guide for details.
All Scouts are expected to come to Troop meetings prepared with their Scout Handbook, and pencil or pen.
At the end of each meeting there are usually brief announcements of upcoming events. Sign-ups for outings will be available after Troop meetings.
Patrols are generally given some time during troop meetings to take care of patrol business.
Troop 133 takes great pride in its service to the community. The Troop seeks to foster a strong sense of citizenship by participating in various service projects throughout the year. These projects include flag ceremonies, and volunteering manpower for local non-profit groups and events. (Room in the Inn, Scouting for Food, etc.)
Troop sponsored service projects announced by the Scoutmaster are approved for rank advancement. For service projects not announced, the Scout must obtain Scoutmaster’s approval prior to working on the project if he wants to apply it towards a rank advancement requirement.
From time to time, the Troop will require service hours to participate in certain outings. The outings and number of service hours required are determined by the Patrol Leader’s Council with guidance from the Scoutmaster.
Once a Scout has achieved the rank of First Class, he will need to select an approved leadership position to develop his leadership skills. These positions are listed in the Scout Handbook.
One of the key objectives of scouting is to develop trained youth leaders. The Troop offers the Introduction to Leadership Skills Training (ILST) for all newly elected or appointed leaders. District and/or Council offer Den Chief training, Scouts Excited About Leadership Skills (S.E.A.L.S) and National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). The National Council offers National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) for those Scouts who have completed NYLT.
Courts of Honor
Troop 133 conducts a Court of Honor quarterly to recognize Scout advancements and awards. The Court of Honor is a public ceremony, and is a chance for the Scouts to be recognized for
their achievements. Families and their guests are encouraged to attend. Eagle Courts of Honor are very special ceremony planned by the family of the Eagle Scout.
To supplement the dues collected from each Scouts, the Troop raises funds through our annual BBQ. All Scouts are required to participate in the selling of BBQ. The minimum gross sales amount will be established by the Troop Committee. In 2018, the minimum gross sales amount was set at $300 for first scout in the troop. Families with multiple scouts in the troop will have a different minimum gross sales amount depending on the number of active scouts from the family and is decided by the troop committee annually.
Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is the Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society. The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is:
1. To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives,
2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit,
3. To promote Scout camping, and
4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
Order of the Arrow is also unique in that its members are elected into the Order by their Troop. The requirements for election are set in the National Guidelines:
- Have demonstrated Scout spirit & adhere to the Scout Oath and Law in both public and private life
- Hold a minimum of the First-Class Rank
- Have experienced 15 days and nights of BSA camping under the auspices and standards of the BSA within the last two years. This must include one long term camping experience defined as 6 consecutive days and nights of camping.
- Have the Scoutmaster’s approval
What does a parent do in Troop 133?
The role of parents within Troop 133 is to encourage their scout to be active and support the Troop's efforts.
Read "How to Protect Your Child from Child Abuse and Drug Abuse: A Parent’s Guide," – the detachable booklet in front of the Boy Scout Handbook – and complete Section 3 with your new Scout
- Complete online Youth Protection Training – required of all drivers and outing participants.
- Review the Scout's handbook and understand the purpose and methods of Scouting
- Actively follow their Scout's progress and offer encouragement when needed
- Show support to both the individual Scout and the Troop by attending all Troop Courts of Honor and answering the call for volunteers when made.
- Assist in Troop fundraisers and service projects
- Be aware of the Troop Events Calendar which is available on the Troop website. Upcoming events are also listed in the Monthly e-Newsletter
- Serving as Merit Badge Counselor in areas in which they have specialized knowledge and skills
- Volunteering to be a member of the Troop Committee
Each summer, Scouts have the opportunity to attend a weeklong summer camp. All new Scouts are strongly encouraged to attend summer camp. At Summer Camp, Scouts work on rank advancement, Merit Badges, and develop themselves as scouts. Scouts who do not attend summer camp, especially in their early years, are at greater risk of losing interest in the scouting program and dropping out.
Troop 133 and the outdoor program:
Troop 133 has a very active outdoor program and all boys are encouraged to participate to challenge themselves and grow as a Scout. Troop 133 is active year around.
Outings are scheduled for weekends. Active participation in outings will generally translate into steady advancement in rank.
Parents/adults are encouraged to attend outings. Adults will be members of the adult patrol and will be responsible for completing the patrol duties assigned to them.
Troop 133 recognizes those scouts who are active in the outdoors through the BSA Outdoor Awards program: Nights of Camping are only tracked on recognized Scout related outings. Each Scout is responsible for tracking the dates and locations of camping. A Camping Log is included in the Scout Handbook.
Commitment for Outings:
Commitment for the Campouts generally obtained weeks prior to the outing. Details of the outing are available from the Trek Leader as announced during the Troop meetings and in Troop emails. Outings are normally paid for by the troop. Outings that require guides, rentals or extras those are paid for by the scouts. Please make payment by the due date.
If the outing is conducted utilizing the patrol method, then one Scout in each patrol will be responsible for planning a menu based upon a specified budget, purchasing of food, bringing it to the outing, establishing a duty roster – including cooking and clean-up, and leading the execution of these duties. These are skills required to earn the rank of First Class. A senior Scout, Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster will work with the Scout in accomplishing this task. Reimbursement of costs up to the budgeted amount is accomplished by the Scout using the online reimbursement request located on the website.
In order to be fair to the Scouts, it is very important to receive firm commitments well in advance of the outing. Withdrawals after the deadline will likely still be subject to the outing cost to avoid a negative impact on the budget.
What to bring on a Campout
Each Scout is required to maintain in their backpack the Ten Essentials. Additional pack items will depend upon the outing. See website for sample Pack Lists for backpack treks. On backpacking treks, the younger Scouts will participate in a “Shake Down” the Tuesday before the outing the Scouts come with all gear packed and ready to go. Senior Scouts will then inspect their pack and verify contents. They will also identify things to be left behind and provide suggestions on how to arrange their gear. Scouts will also be given their share of Patrol gear to carry.
If for any reason your Scout must withdraw from an outing he has signed-up for, there are some people who must be notified. The Scout must email the Trip Leader and the adult leader in charge of that outing. Paid outing fees may be refundable.
BSA and Troop 133 Organization
National Council Boy Scouts of America
Local Council (Mecklenburg County)
Chartered Organization (Sardis Presbyterian)
Assistants Scoutmasters Senior Patrol Leader
The Troop Committee meets the 1st Wednesday of each month to discuss the direction of the Troop and actively seek comments, insights and /or concerns regarding the Troop’s program from parents and Troop leaders. The success of the Troop largely depends on the support of parents and adult leadership. Therefore, Troop 133 encourages all parents in becoming active participants.
Participation is greatly appreciated at any level: from attending Troop Committee meetings, becoming Committee members, becoming a Merit Badge Counselor or becoming a uniformed leader. To volunteer, please contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman.
The Scoutmaster is the adult leader responsible for the image and program of the Troop. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters work directly with the Scouts. The general responsibilities of the Scoutmaster include:
- Train and guide youth leaders.
- Work with other adult leaders to bring Scouting to youth.
- Use the methods of scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting
Assistant Scoutmasters are recruited by the Scoutmaster and approved by the Troop Committee to assist the Scoutmaster in the operation of the Troop. Assistant Scoutmasters are assigned program tasks by the Scoutmaster and provide guidance to the youth leadership. He or she also provides the required two deep leadership (two adult leaders present at every Boy Scout activity). Assistant Scoutmasters are required to take Youth Protection, SM/ASM Position Specific, and Outdoor Leader Skills. Many also have taken additional training such as Hazardous Weather Training, CPR, First Aid, Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense, High Adventure Training (HAT), and Wood Badge.
Senior Patrol Leader:
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the top youth leader in the Troop and is elected by the Scouts. He leads the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) and, in consultation with the Scoutmaster, appoints other junior leaders and assigns specific responsibilities as needed.
The SPL must be at least a Star Scout and has previously served in one of the approved Positions of Responsibility (POR) to be eligible for election.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader:
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) helps the SPL run the Troop and fills in for the SPL in his absence.
The Patrol Leaders (PL) are responsible for giving leadership to the members of their Patrols and are elected by their Patrol members. Our youth leaders are trained to practice “Service Leadership” in leading their Patrol – taking care of those behind them.
The PL must be at least a First-Class Scout. The PL represents their Patrol on the PLC.
Assistant Patrol Leaders:
Assistant Patrol Leaders (APL) helps the PL run the Patrol and fills in for him in his absence.
Patrol Leaders' Council (“PLC”):
The Patrol Leaders' Council, not the adult leaders, are primarily responsible for planning and conducting the Troop's meeting activities. The PLC is composed of the following voting members: Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders, Scribe, Quartermaster, Junior Assistant Scoutmasters, and Troop Guides.
Leadership is one of the core methods of Scouting. Lord Baden-Powell once said – “The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.” Patrols are led by a Scout elected by the Patrol members. The patrol method helps the boys accept the leadership of others and helps him to grow into a more responsible adult.
New Scout Patrols
Troop 133 assigns all new Scouts into a New Scout Patrol (Hawkeye Patrol). The reason for this is to provide focused training that will help these new Scouts understand what it means to be a Boy Scout and a member of a Patrol. The new Scouts will also learn or practice skills that will be called upon when they are integrated into a regular Patrol. Older scouts will serve as the Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leaders of the New Scout Patrols. One or more Assistant Scoutmasters will also be assigned to help supervise the Patrol. All new Scouts are encouraged to bring any issues, problems, or questions to the attention of the Patrol Leader, Troop Guide or Assistant Scoutmaster.
The Boy Scout advancement program provides a ladder of skills that a Scout climbs at his own pace. As he acquires these skills he moves up through a series of ranks, for which he is awarded badges: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and finally Eagle. The higher the Scout climbs the more challenging are the tasks required -- and the more rewarding. Advancement is a natural outcome of a planned, quality Troop Program, in which the Scouts actively participate.
Advancement through First Class
Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts, considered the First-Class rank as the point where the Scout has taken the biggest step toward the goal of independence and reliability. The Scout will need to have demonstrated their skill to find direction and guide others, cook and care not only for themselves, but for their entire Patrol, and show they are ready to help others that require first aid.
While the world around us may have changed, a Scout from the time they join the Troop until the time they advanced to First Class will learn the basic scouting skills valued by Lord Baden-Powell. When joining the Troop, new Scouts must first learn the three parts of the Scout Oath: Duty to God and Country; Duty to Others; and Duty to Self.
The Scouts will learn to prepare for an overnight camping trip, cook, tie knots, how to hike safely, how to respect the American flag, how to function as a Patrol, develop physically, identify poisonous plants, how to navigate with and without a compass, knife and axe safety, fire safety, identify 10 plants and animals, water safety and demonstrate swimming proficiency, learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, administer first aid, all while working as a member of Patrol, and demonstrating Scout spirit by living according to the Scout Oath and Law in their everyday life. When the Scout achieve the rank of First Class, the Scout has hopefully grasped the fundamentals of scouting and can begin to start the long process of learning to lead others, working on the learned skills and learning additional skills.
Advancement from First Class to Eagle
After achieving the rank of First Class, the Scout will work toward the rank of Star, Life, and ultimately Eagle. The Scout will focus on developing their leadership skills, performing service projects, earning Merit Badges (six for Star and five for Life) and applying the skills learned while achieving the rank of First Class.
Those special few who demonstrate the commitment to developing their skills as a leader and challenging themselves physically, mentally will be rewarded by earning the final rank Eagle. To earn the rank of Eagle, the Scout must earn 21 Merit Badges, and continue to serve the Troop in a leadership position and must demonstrate their leadership skills through a substantial service project (“Eagle Project”) that they must plan and direct. Our goal in Troop 133 is to provide our Scouts with the training, tools, resources, and opportunities which challenge the Scouts to be the best leader they can possibly be. Specific requirements for advancement are contained in the Boy Scout Handbook.
Sign-Off of Advancement Requirements
It is the philosophy of the Troop that a Rank requirement should only be signed off after the Scout has demonstrated a proficiency in the skill. Each Scout rank builds on the foundation of prior ranks so it is a disservice to the scout if they advance before they are ready. A shaky foundation will result in a poor trained Scout. Recognizing the significance of these sign-offs, rank requirements can only be signed-off by a Scout who has a rank of Star or above, or in certain cases by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters. Before requesting that a requirement be signed-off, the Scout must have
- Read the relevant section of the Scout Handbook
- Be able to demonstrate his proficiency in the skill.
The goal of the merit badge program is to expand a Scout's areas of interest and to encourage the Scout to meet and work with adults in a chosen subject. Merit Badges are earned by a Scout working with a registered Merit Badge counselor. Numerous opportunities to work on Merit Badges are made available including summer camp. A Scout may also work on Merit Badges outside of the Troop by working with any registered Merit Badge counselor.
Parents of Troop 133 Scouts are encouraged to become Merit Badge Counselors. If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please contact the Troop Advancement Chair, the Scoutmaster, or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
Merit Badge Procedures
This is the procedure to be followed by a Scout to earn a merit badge:
First, decide on the Merit Badge to pursue. It is also strongly recommended that you print out and review the Merit Badge Workbook before you meet with your merit badge counselor. Merit Badge Workbooks can be found at http://www.meritbadge.org.
If the Merit Badge will be worked on at an organized troop event the Merit Badge Application (“Blue Card”) will be provided to you at the event. If you are pursuing a Merit Badge on your own, then you may obtain the Blue Card from the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
- Fill out the information in pen, and then have it signed by the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
- The Merit Badge Counselor will meet with you to discuss the requirements of your Merit Badge and will monitor your progress. If you have any questions or problems as you are working on your requirements, contact the counselor. When meeting with a merit badge counselor on your own, always use the buddy system or be sure your parent is accompanying you.
- When you have completed your requirements, contact your merit badge counselor to review your requirements and have him/her sign off on your Blue Card. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says, "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."
- Be sure the Counselor has signed the Blue Card in all applicable places. The Counselor will keep one part.
- Then, take the Blue Card to the Scoutmaster for his review and sign off.
- Turn in your signed form to the Advancement Chair. You will receive back the portion entitled "Applicant's Record" the merit badge will be awarded at the next Court of Honor. You must keep this copy, and you will need it for your Eagle Board of Review.
A scout notifies the Scoutmaster once he has completed majority of the requirements. The Scoutmaster will review with the Scout his performance in the troop, and if satisfactory will approve the scout for his Board of Review by the Troop Committee.
Boards of Review
When a Scout has completed all the requirements for each rank, he appears before a Board of Review composed of three members of the Troop Committee. The review is not an examination, but rather an opportunity for the Troop Committee to ensure that the requirements for advancement have been met, talk to the Scout about their Scouting experience and the Troop’s
program, how the Scout is getting along in the Troop, provide the Scout with an opportunity to express any comments or concerns, and for the Troop Committee to encourage the Scout to keep working towards advancement.
Courts of Honor
When a Scout advances, he should be recognized as soon as possible - preferably at the next unit meeting. He is then recognized a second time at a public ceremony called a Court of Honor. The main purpose of the Court of Honor is to formally recognize Scouts for their Scouting related achievements and to provide incentive for other Scouts to advance. Troop 133 has formal courts of honor at least three times a year, in the Fall, Winter and late Spring.
The Court of Honor is a very special event for our Scouts. Every Scout deserves to be recognized in front of his family and the larger Troop family. For this reason, families are encouraged to attend even if your own Scout will not be advancing in rank. Guests are always welcomed.
How the uniform helps a Scout
The uniform is one of the methods Scouting uses to achieve the aims of Scouting. When a Scout puts on the uniform, he tells the world that he has agreed to live by the Scout Oath and Law, and that he is a person who can be trusted. The uniform serves as a constant reminder to our Scouts that they are to act as a Scout.
How the uniform helps the Troop
1. When smartly worn, the uniform help build good Troop spirit.
2. By investing in a uniform, a Scout and his parents are really making a commitment to take Scouting seriously.
3. The uniform makes the Troop visible as a force for good in the community.
4. In public, Scouts in uniform create a strong, positive, youth image in the neighborhood.
The following are Troop 133 uniform requirements:
- Tan Boy Scout shirt
- Council Patch
- World Scouting Crest
- Arrow of Light patch if earned as a Webelos Scout
- Green pants that match Official BSA pants
- Official Scout Belt (green web belt or other BSA issued belt)
- Boot Socks
- Merit badge sash at COH and special ceremonies as designated by the Scoutmaster
Provided by the Troop:
- Troop Neckerchief & slide (presented when the Scout bridges from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, or when joining the troop)
- Troop numerals
- Earned rank patches and badges
- Journey To Excellence Patch
- Awards earned by Scout and presented at Courts of Honor