Troop 279 presents its Jump Start Guide to give new Scouts and their parents some essential information about our Scouting program and to help ease the transition to Boy Scouting. There is a lot of information available but this should address some of the more frequently asked questions for newcomers and crossover Scouts as they begin their Scouting journey.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
The Scouting movement was started in England in the early 1900s by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a retired British Army general famous for his leadership during the Boer War in South Africa. Scouting brought together skills that Baden-Powell had developed as a boy and his years of experience in training soldiers. The movement came to America in 1912 when an American businessman, Mr. William Boyce learned about Scouting during a trip to England and fashioned a similar program upon his return to the United States. Scouting today continues to embody the same principles of integrity, and service to God, country and others that were the cornerstones of the program set forth by Lord Baden-Powell.
The opening chapters of the Boy Scout Handbook serve as an excellent introduction to the Scout program and is a must read for any new Scout family.
Every Scout takes the following oath and is expected to live its principles in his daily life:
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.“
Additionally, each Scout is expected to follow the 12 points of the Scout Law:
A Scout is:
Boy Scout Troops are “boy-led” under the guidance and mentoring of adults. One of the underlying principles of the early Scouting program that still remains today is the “Patrol Method”. Boys work better together when divided into small groups of 5-10 – each patrol develops its own identity and can have activities of its own apart from the troop as a whole.
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the Scout responsible for leading the troop.
A “New Scout Patrol” is generally formed from new boys just joining Boy Scouts. This allows them to focus on basic Scouting skills. Each patrol is headed up by a Patrol Leader elected by the members of the patrol. New scout patrols are mentored by an older Scout with the leadership position of Troop Guide for their first year.
Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout Troop.
A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members. The scouts camp, cook, and compete as a Patrol.
Leadership positions in Scouting prepare a Scout for leadership positions later in life. Service projects teach the importance of giving back to the community. And so the list goes on. But, also, as in all endeavors of life, you get out of something what you put into it. Scouting offers many opportunities, and the Scout must take the initiative to make those opportunities a part of his life.
There are a number of other Youth Leadership Positions in both the troop and patrols. A complete listing, with responsibilities for each, is included on the Troop 279 Wiki. A Patrol Leaders Council consisting of the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, and Patrol Leaders meets monthly to plan troop activities. It's up to the scouts to choose the types of activities that they would like to do.
The Scoutmaster and his assistants provide adult leadership for the troop and help the boys to select, organize, and carry out their activities. Additionally, the troop has a Troop Committee – a sort of “board of directors” that approves, oversees, and helps carry out the troop's Scouting program. All parents of Scouts are invited to join the Troop Committee and we highly recommend that a parent of each Scout attend the monthly committee meetings (held at the same time as troop meetings). Feel Free to review the Adult Leadership Positions to get an understanding how you can help out.
Our troop is sponsored by Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City, GA. The church provides us with a place to meet and other assistance as needed. Our liaison to the church is the Chartered Organization Representative. Finally, there is an extensive Boy Scout organization above the troop level made up of both volunteer and professional Scouters who help carry out the Boy Scouting program. Boy Scout troops in our area are members of the Fayette District that is, in turn, part of the Flint River Council.
Scout to First Class Upon completing the joining requirements a boy becomes a “Scout” and begins his advancement trail. Basic “Scoutcraft” (e.g. camping, first aid, nature) skills are emphasized in the first three ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. While Scouts can simultaneously work on the requirements for each rank, the actual ranks must be earned in order. Each requires demonstration of certain skills, completion of a number of service hours, and certain troop and leadership activities.
We encourage new Scouts to go to summer camp. At summer camp they will be enrolled into the “Mountain Man” program that will complete most of the Scout to First Class Rank requirements.
Upon completion of requirements, each Scout will have a Scoutmaster Conference to review his readiness to advance, and a “Board of Review” – presenting himself before a board of committee members for final approval.
After the First Class rank, advancement requirements are based primarily on Merit Badges, service hours, and successful participation in Youth Leadership positions.
Merit Badges require completion of certain requirements related to a skill, hobby, or avocation (e.g. Camping, Coin Collecting, Cooking, Aviation, etc). A Scout has to demonstrate completion of the requirements to a “merit badge counselor” – an adult specifically designated to help with a particular merit badge.
A list of current Troop 279 merit badge counselors and more detailed information about merit badges is contained on the Troop 279 Website. Scouts should familiarize themselves with these procedures before beginning work on a merit badge – to do otherwise could result in a Scout’s effort not being recognized for fulfilling merit badge requirements.
Troop Dues: $140/year
A Scout is also expected to have certain personal camping equipment items. Do NOT feel compelled to rush out and buy anything – the needs of a first time camper are very modest and leaders are very willing to make recommendations. Check out the Basic Gear Wiki page to get an idea of what personal camping gear may be required.
The troop normally schedules at least one outdoor activity (hiking, camping) each month. Additionally, we schedule other activities such as tours, merit badge workshops, and game nights. We also attend a summer camp each year. Many other activities are available through the district and council. We try to list these on the web site, but don’t hesitate to ask if you’re interested in further information on a specific activity.
Boy Scouting is a uniformed organization and each Scout is expected to have a complete uniform and wear it in accordance with BSA and troop guidelines.
BSA has an extensive set of guidelines concerning safety in the Scouting program and Boy Scouting has an excellent safety record. Also, youth protection guidelines require that at least two adults must be present at all Scouting activities and under no circumstances will an adult be left one on one with a Scout who is not his son. Likewise, Scouts participating in activities where they will be meeting with an adult (e.g. merit badge counselor) must bring a buddy along or the activity cannot take place.
Youth Protect training is available online at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx
ALL Troop 279 Leaders must have Youth Protection Training. I encourage Parents to take the training as well.
Boy Scouts are not allowed to carry or use knives, hatchets, saws, or other cutting tools until they’ve received their “Totin’ Chip” card following completion of a hands-on safety course. Additionally, Scouts cannot carry any knife with a blade exceeding 4 inches. Scouts cannot carry matches or build fires until receiving their “Firm’n Chit” certifying completion of a fire safety course.
Boy Scouting is a program that prepares boys for life as an adult. It teaches leadership, responsibility and integrity while providing opportunities for new experiences and just plain fun. Many former Scouts say that the introduction to their life’s profession came through merit badge work during their Scouting years. Rank advancement teaches the importance of pushing yourself and the rewards that come from working toward established goals. A board of review teaches Scouts to present themselves in a professional manner before a group of adults. Camping not only teaches outdoor skills, but the importance of teamwork and compromise.
Boy Scouting teaches responsibility. A Scout is expected to take responsibility for his own Scouting career – seeking advancement, learning, and leadership. Adult leaders help guide the Scout, but it is up to the Scout himself to contribute to his own advancement and troop leadership. Scouts help their fellow Scouts by being both good leaders and good followers and always follow the 12 points of the Scout Law.
Scout leaders help the Scouts on their Scouting journey – mentoring, demonstrating, and teaching. Leaders ensure a quality, safe, and enjoyable Scouting experience.
Without strong parental support, the troop's program will fail. Encourage and help your son in his Boy Scout adventure. As a troop, we rely heavily on ALL parents to make a contribution toward the troop program, but this need not be a large time commitment. An excellent way to begin is as a member of the Troop Committee.
Welcome to Troop 279!