Troop 19 Policies

Philosophy

Troop 19 is a “Boy-Run” Troop. Troop 19 believes strongly that development of personal responsibility and leadership skills are key elements of the scouting experience. By allowing the boys to take charge of themselves and their troop to the extent that they are able, we give them the opportunity to acquire those skills. Troop 19 is a Parent-supported Troop. Troop 19 encourages parents of all scouts to be involved in the troop, whether as adult leaders or in a support capacity. A high quality program requires a tremendous degree of parental support. By pooling their skills and energy, parents contribute to the success of the program and the growth of their sons. They also develop a sense of community, and have an opportunity to develop leadership skills of their own.

The policies outlined below are intended to bring this philosophy into action in the everyday running of the troop. Fundamentally, the intent is to compliment standing BSA policy (as in the Guide to Safe Scouting, the Scoutmasters Handbook and the Troop Committee Guidebook publications) and provide guidelines on those local issues which have challenged the smooth running of the Troop.

 Policies

STRUCTURE    The Troop is run on a day-to-day basis by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) with the help of his staff and the Patrol Leaders, and with the advice and guidance of the Scoutmasters. The SPL and staff are elected or selected from among the “experienced scouts” (those who have attained First Class or better). “New scouts” are Second Class and under.

All scouts are members of patrols. Patrols elect their Patrol Leaders from those qualified, and Patrol Leaders appoint other patrol officers. These Troop Leaders arc expected to attend Troop 19 Junior Leader Training, monthly Patrol Leader Council (PLC) meetings, and the annual program planning conference. Patrol Leaders who do not participate in training and planning activities may be asked to serve as PL another time.

Troop 19 has would like to eventually develop a “second tier” program aimed at older scouts, called the Venture Patrol. Participation in the second tier program will be limited to high school-aged scouts.

 MEETINGS    Troop meetings are from 7:30-9:00 p.m. every Thursday at The First Presbyterian Church of Delanco. All scouts are expected to attend troop meetings on a regular basis. They should be in uniform (see Uniform), on time, and bring their Scout Handbook. Weekly troop meetings include an organized course of advancement opportunities (see Advancement), as well as group activities, instruction, and planning sessions for campouts and other events. Attendance is very important.

UNIFORM   The Troop 19 uniform is defined as: an official BSA scout shirt with properly attached and current patches; any BSA approved scout or leather belt (no chain belts or belts that have a tongue hanging down), BSA scout pants or scout shorts. Fatigue-colored pants which closely resemble the scout pants in color are acceptable, but any clothing of a camouflage pattern is not allowed. The uniform should always be worn neatly and with pride. This uniform is to be worn for all troop activities, including travel to and from activities unless specifically instructed otherwise by the Scoutmaster in charge (i.e., we would wear our uniforms traveling to a campout but once there, change into clothing more suitable for the activities).  Troop 19 will present each new scout a plain dark green scarf/neckerchief upon joining the troop. For Boards of Review and Courts of Honor, the Troop 19 green scarf/neckerchief is required.    The Troop maintains a uniform bank of donated uniform items available for use by troop members as an alternative to new purchases. In cases of financial need, if suitable uniform materials are not available from this bank, the troop can assist in the purchase in part-or-whole and on a case-by-case basis with the concurrence of the Troop Committee Chair, Scoutmaster and Troop Treasurer.

ADVANCEMENT   Troop 19 expects new scouts to achieve First Class within twelve months of joining. To that end, an advancement program is provided at troop meetings which will give each scout who attends regularly the opportunity to advance in rank in a timely manner. All scouts arc encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. However, individual initiative is required on the part of the scout, so parents should not expect the troop to “see to it” that their son advances at a certain rate. Beyond the First Class rank, more individual initiative is required for a scout to advance. The troop will endeavor to provide ample opportunities to earn merit badges, and will offer merit badge sessions on a recurring basis. Scouts should not expect to earn merit badges by simply attending these classes, as there are almost always requirements that require home study or work to fulfill. (Note: The development of individual initiative is an important part of the scouting program). Scouts are encouraged to fulfill First Class requirements before attempting merit badges.

Troop 19 attempts to offer merit badge achievement opportunities each month to compliment the traditional scout advancement tracks. These sessions are normally offered for scouts of Star rank and above. The PLC determines the merit badges to be offered as part of its annual and monthly program plans. These merit badge opportunities are offered at weekly troop meeting during the advancement time block. Additional sessions might be required outside of the normal weekly troop meeting time. With the merit badge counselor’s approval, these additional sessions may be scheduled immediately before the weekly troop meeting or at other times consistent with the Counselor’s availability

Because of a continual need, parents are strongly encouraged to become involved as Merit Badge counselors. Job expertise, avocation or life experiences are usually all that may be required as qualifications. The troop committee will help complete the required administrative applications.

In the advancement process, Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review are required. These must be scheduled at least a week in advance and both may not ordinarily occur on the same night. It is required that scouts sign up for these events. A scout will attend his Board of Review and Scoutmaster Conference in complete and current uniform. The scout must also bring his Handbook. Scouts transferring into Troop 19 must provide proof of rank to the Troop Advancement Chair (e.g. Handbook with requirements signed-off. BSA cards showing rank achieved, or a transfer record from his former troop). Scouts and/or adults who provide advancement instruction are expected to (1) prepare an instruction plan that the Scoutmaster can review at least a week before instruction is given and (2) if they are unable to meet scouts some night, notify the Scoutmaster and arrange for their own substitute. To ease the planning and teaching load, we suggest instructors work in pairs.

 CAMPING     Troop 19 conducts a monthly outdoor program, usually overnight campouts. Because campouts encourage physical fitness and patrol (rather than individual) activities, and also for safety reasons, the following items are prohibited by all attending:

·        Electronic devices such as radio, tape or CD player, electronic games (During prolonged travel distances and if approved by the Campmaster, these types of devices may be used during travel to/from events only. During the campout, these devices will be locked up in vehicles and NOT used during outdoor events);

·        Toys (Frisbees and balls are allowed)

·        Fireworks;

·        Firearms;

·        Non-folding knives, martial arts weapons or saw chains;

·        Knives with blades longer than the palm of the hand;

·        Snacks other than those planned and purchased by the patrol;

·        Canned or bottled soda;

·        Pets;

·        Hatchet or axe.

 Prohibited items will be confiscated and held by the campmaster until the conclusion of the campout, then returned to the parent/guardian. Consistent with BSA policy, use of tobacco and alcoholic beverages are also prohibited. If a scout does not pay his camping fee and dues by the announced date (normally 2 weeks before the outdoor event), he may not attend.

Parents are encouraged to camp with Troop 19. Adults in attendance will operate as their own patrol. They will follow the same sign-up, camp fee, and deadline procedures as scouts, and do their share of Patrol cooking and cleanup duties as listed on their duty roster. They should notify the Campmaster early enough to be included in program activities and contribute significantly to the campout activities. Generally, siblings are not to camp with the troop. On those occasions where younger siblings are present, they are the sole responsibility of their parent(s). Further, siblings should not actively participate in the programs provided for the scouts. The intent of this statement is to preclude liability issues.

If an extraordinary (unplanned) expense occurs during a camping event, the campmaster will need to provide written justification for reimbursement and undergo the committee approval process. If reimbursement is denied, whoever authorized the expense will pay the bill(s). The spirit of this statement is that if a situation concerning the safety and/or welfare of the scouts occurs, the troop will support the Campmaster.

On those activities where their scouts are participants, parents will be asked to provide transportation assistance. It is expected that each family provide such support at least once or twice during the troop program year. As this support is vital, we would encourage parents to sign-up in advance during the planning sessions at troop meetings.

Traditionally, Troop 19 offers one long term camps (more than 4 consecutive nights in length ) each year as identified in the annual Troop program plan. The time frame of mid-to-late July is the target date for summer camp.

FINANCES   Dues are $1.50 per week. Individual scouts are responsible for keeping their dues current, and may be denied camping opportunities if they are behind in payments. Dues pay for the day-to-day running of the troop (copying and postage, badges, publications, etc.)

We’ll assume that a Scout who doesn’t attend troop activities for two months has gone “inactive.” To reactivate, the Scout needs to pay his dues and start participating again. If a Scout is inactive when the troop recharters in March and has not made arrangements with the Scoutmaster, then he will not be re-registered with BSA. To reactivate later, the Scout must complete paperwork to rejoin BSA and Troop 19.   Each March Troop 19 must re-charter with BSA.  The annual dues for each scout are $24.00.  This fee covers the re-charter amount, a one year subscription to Boy’s Life and miscellaneous Troop administration fees.  The registration fee is due by March 10. Any Scout who has not paid will be considered “inactive” and will not be re-registered.

 Fundraising.- Fundraisers are held to provide an opportunity for scouts to earn “Campership Funds” and, if necessary, to purchase troop equipment and pay major expenses. “Campership” funds are earned primarily to offset the costs of summer camp fees and other long term camping activities.

At present, Troop 19 fundraising activities include: the annual BSA Popcorn Sale, a pre-Christmas Poinsettia Sale, and the spring flower sale. Other opportunities may arise and be suggested by the committee or Scoutmasters. Scouts who participate in fundraising activities have the potential to off set the cost of most or all of the monies required for summer camp. The benefit of scout participation in fundraisers is in his learning to fulfill his monetary responsibilities, engaging in team activity, learning work methods and having fun.

Financial Need. No boy will be denied full participation in Troop 19 because of financial need. Financial support will be made available to those who need it. The Scoutmaster and Troop Committee are primary advocates in this regard. The Troop Treasurer will maintain a separate savings account for campership funds. Deposits from this fund will be made from outside donations and from the troop-operating budget as determined by the Troop Committee.

Disposition of funds.  Campership funds for inactive scouts stay in the troop treasury. If the Scout transfers to another troop, we will apply his funds to back dues up to the transfer date and then transfer remaining funds to the other troop. If the Scout quits Boy Scouts, campership funds remain with the troop and will be deposited into the Troop Check account..

Camp fees that have been collected will generally not be refunded should the scout be unable to attend the campout. The individual scout must insure his dues are current and pay the appropriate camp fees 2 weeks before the campout.

 Handling of Fundraising Proceeds. With regard to the proper crediting of fundraising proceeds into individual campership accounts, the following guidelines are provided:

If the fundraising is an individual outside sales activity (i.e., Pop Corn Sales), then 50% of the individual scout’s net profits are credited to that scout’s campership fund.

If the event is a point sales activity (group participation at specified dates/times), then accurate records by the adult leader is necessary. The fundraising event chairman must keep a log (date: time in/out) of personnel who participated and for each day of the fundraising activity. Distribution of 50 % of the final net earnings will be accomplished on a pro-rata basis: with every hour of fundraising served earning one share of the net earnings.  Computations and final disbursements will be reviewed by the Troop Committee.

DISCIPLINE    Troop 19 intends that every Scout and Leader treat each other with respect. We try to keep scouts so busy with scouting that they don’t have time or energy to cause problems. We also try to reinforce behavior that matches the Scout Oath and Scout Law and discourage inappropriate behavior. Most scouts require only that attention, but some scouts need more supervision than others. In Troop 19, the Scoutmasters are ultimately responsible for scout discipline. In problem behavior cases, the Scout and his junior leaders and Scoutmasters try to work through increasingly serious discussions, and, perhaps, interventions. In general, the following resolution procedures are as follows:

Formal discipline progresses with discussions between the Scout and

·        his patrol leader;

·        a junior leader like the Troop Guide or Senior Patrol Leader;

·        a Junior Asst. Scoutmaster (if available);

·        Assistant Scoutmasters and or Scoutmaster (there must be a minimum of two adult leaders present when individual scouts seek or receive disciplinary action);

·        the Scoutmaster and the scout’s parents (and perhaps other adult leaders).

 If a scout continues inappropriate behavior to the point of a formal Scoutmaster Conference, then interventions may be necessary. Usually, interventions occur after the Scoutmasters pool information and compare notes about the scout. Except in situations involving immediate danger to scouts, parents do not intervene directly with scouts, including their son. Interventions vary according to the Scout, behavior, and context, and the following, which may be used alone or in combination, are only examples:

·        Contract: the Scout and Scoutmaster agree how the Scout will change his behavior and maybe the consequences if he doesn’t and sign a written agreement.

·        Shadowing: a parent must be present for the Scout to participate in some or all scout activities. (The Scoutmaster and parent negotiate the parents level of participation.)

·        Suspensions: the Scout may not participate in some or all scout activities (troop meetings, campouts) or duties (hold patrol or troop office) either for a specified time period (weeks, months) or until some event occurs (scout apologizes, completes an assignment). The Scout may be required to call his parents to have them pick him up from a campout or from summer camp.

·        Expulsion: the scout is required to leave Troop 19.

 If formal discipline beyond a Scoutmaster Conference is necessary, the Troop Committee Chairman reviews the situation and may become involved, The Charter Organization Representative reviews all expulsions.

In the case of behavior that intentionally threatens the safety of other scouts, any adult may intervene to the degree necessary to protect all the scouts. In an extreme case-- for example if the Scoutmaster believes that a scout poses an unpredictable or uncontrollable threat to other scouts --that scout may be asked to leave the troop without any graded approach or interventions. 

ADULT LEADERSHIP    Troop 19 abides by the BSA Youth Protection Program, which requires two-deep adult leadership (including one BSA-registered scouter) at all activities that pose potential danger to scouts (campouts, aquatics, etc.). Other activities, such as merit badge counseling, are arranged to prevent private, one-to-one adult-to-scout situations. This policy applies to all adults who supervise scouts, other than their own children, during all scouting activities.

The Scoutmaster, Charter Organization Representative and Troop Committee recruit Assistant Scoutmasters (Troop Committee Guidebook). Interested adults who want to serve should contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairperson.

COMMITTEE     The Troop Committee consists of the Chairman, Vice Chairman. Treasurer, Secretary, Quartermaster, and Advancement Chair and their sub committee members. All of these registered members have equal voting authority. The committee is responsible for approval of the troop program, seeing that BSA policies are followed in all activities, and insuring that the Scoutmaster has adequate logistical and monetary support to carry out the program. Troop 19 encourages all parents to be involved; to attend meetings and to take on an area of responsibility. Committee meetings are structured to be effective and focused on the agenda. Any parent is welcome to attend committee meetings. We expect parents to take a turn providing transportation to and/or from campouts and to participate in fundraising activities. Lack of parental involvement may lead to the scout’s dismissal from the troop. 

FEEDBACK     Parents concerned with how Troop 19 operates should contact the committee chair or the Scoutmaster. Except in situations involving immediate danger to scouts, parents do not intervene directly with scouts, including their son. To ensure that Scoutmaster’s or committee members can give comments their undivided attention, please confer with them at times when they are not supervising scouts. For example, during troop meetings and while loading for and unloading after campouts are not good times to confer with Scoutmasters.

Parents who don’t feel satisfied with the Committee Chair’s or Scoutmaster s response may contact the Charter Organization Representative. If they still aren’t satisfied, they may contact the Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and District Executive through the BSA office, preferably in that order. Scouts who have concerns about the troop, want to go inactive, or want to quit Troop 19 should confer with their Patrol Leaders and the Scoutmaster. When appropriate, the Scoutmaster will try to accommodate Scouts’ concerns. Even if he can’t, the Scoutmaster wants to hear Scouts’ ideas for improving the troop or preventing other Scouts from being dissatisfied.

A Junior Leader who intends to go inactive or quit before his term of office expires must consult with the Scoutmaster so another Scout can take over the leadership duties. We expect all scouts, leaders and committee members to fulfill their commitments they have made to the troop.

 COMMUNICATION     Realizing the importance of communications to an organization’s success, the

Troop will strive to implement programs which strive to meet three main goals:

to communicate effectively and efficiently with current troop members such that it will enhance their overall scouting experience (examples: PLC accountability in getting the word out to the patrols, a Troop 19 website);

to communicate effectively and efficiently with troop parents/guardians such that it encourages their participative support, facilitates their involvement and promotes an overall positive experience (examples: e-mail or mailed communiqués, one-on-one phone updates, quarterly parent meetings, weekly greeters creating an inviting environment); and to communicate effectively and efficiently with direct and indirect support agencies to help achieve the fulfillment of the planned annual troop program and underscore the value of scouting as a youth ministry (examples: expanded publicity for use of the Website, photo displays of each outing to publicize the Troop, guests of honor invitations).

 EXCEPTIONS TO POLICY     Except in emergencies affecting someone’s safety or welfare, committee members and Scoutmasters cannot make exceptions to a troop policy on their own. For example, a Scoutmaster cannot unilaterally allow a Scout to complete a Scoutmaster’s Conference and a Board of Review the same night. The treasurer cannot unilaterally allow someone to attend a campout without paying a camp fee. The campmaster cannot unilaterally allow a sibling to attend a campout.

Exceptions to troop policy must be approved by the Scoutmaster and the appropriate Committee member or activity leader. For example, if the reasons were compelling, the Scoutmaster and the Advancement Chair (or Board of Review leader) could allow a Scout to complete a Scoutmaster’s Conference and a Board of Review the same night. The Scoutmaster and the Treasurer could waive a camp fee. The Scoutmaster and the Campmaster could allow a sibling to attend a camp out.

If the Scoutmaster, Committee member, or the activity leader is unavailable, a designee may approve exceptions. If no designee is available, the Committee Chairperson may serve as the second decision-maker.

 This document was reviewed and validated on November 26, 2001 by The Troop 19 Committee

It will be updated annually and reviewed for consistency with BSA policies and guidelines.

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