Text and Materials
The Boy Scout Handbook is the only book a Scout is required to have during his scouting career. “The Boy Scout handbook covers a wide range of things the Scout will do as a member of the patrol and troop. And it will point him toward the most important Scouting goal of all-the Eagle Scout Rank”. – Ben H. Love, former Chief Scout Executive. It not only provides valuable tips on hiking, camping and other outdoor and life skills, but also provides a convenient place for record keeping. The Scout records his advancement in rank, positions in the troop, Merit Badge requirements and records of campouts, service projects and other outings in the Handbook. There are many ancillary books the scout may find useful, such as the Scout Fieldbook, Outdoor Cooking and Knot Tying. Scouts will also need paper and pencil. Troop 370 maintains a library of many Merit Badge pamphlets, which are maintained by the Troop’s scout librarian.
All scouts pay dues of $1 a week. It is recommended that the scout earn his dues. If a scout is behind in his dues, he will not be able to participate in any activities except for troop meetings and fundraisers. Any family issues concerning the paying of dues can be brought up to the Committee Chairman or the Scoutmaster.
Currently a merit badge and each rank advancement costs approximately $2.00. Troop 370 spends approximately $300 a year in ranks, merit badges & other achievements. The majority of the income for the purchase of these patches comes from dues. This is why it is important that a scout maintain current in dues. A scout who is not current with dues by the Troop recharter date in February as has not made prior arrangements with the Committee Chairman or Scoutmaster may be dropped from the Troop roster.
Advancement is one of the eight methods of Scouting. The troop advancement program encourages boys to meet significant challenges that lead to personal growth. As a Scout works his way from Tenderfoot through the ranks towards Eagle, the requirements he must complete will help him develop physically, emotionally, and morally into manhood.
Four Steps to Advancement
A Scout learns.
Learning is a natural outcome of scouting activities. The requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class provide hands-on experience to challenge young Scouts. Since a Scout may complete any requirement at any time, he is rewarded based on his own pace.
At the higher ranks, merit badges and required community service open new doors for older boys. Some requirements may lead to rewarding careers and life-long hobbies.
A Scout is tested.
A Scout wanting to complete a requirement for advancement must demonstrate that he has mastered that skill. Once he has been tested and found competent in that skill, the Senior Patrol Leader or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader will sign the advancement record in the scout’s handbook for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class. For the ranks of Star through Eagle, the Scoutmaster, or any Assistant Scoutmaster will sign the advancement record in the scout’s handbook. Parents may not sign off requirements.
A Scout is reviewed.
Once a Scout has completed all requirements for any rank from Tenderfoot to Life, his progress will be review by the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee.
The Scoutmaster Conference. The Scoutmaster Conference is an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to discuss with the Scout his activity in the troop and his understanding of the ideals of Scouting. The Scoutmaster will review with him the requirements for his next rank and expectations for the Board of Review.
Board of Review. The last step to advance to a rank is the Board of Review. The Board consists of three to six members of the Troop Committee. The purpose of the board is not to retest the Scout but to ensure he has completed the entire requirement. They also determine the quality of his troop experience and encourage him to advance to the next rank. Each review will begin with the recitation of the Scout Oath and Law. Boards of Review are generally held the first meeting of each month.
A Scout is recognized.
Recognition is a powerful incentive of the BSA program. Our Scouts will receive new badges as soon as possible after the Board of Review has certified his achievement. Approximately every four months, the troop holds a Court of Honor to publicly recognize advancing Scouts in front of family and friends.
Note: Any Scout who has learning or physical disabilities will be afforded accommodations within the limits of the Troop resources.
When a scout decides to earn a merit badge, he first obtains approval to begin from his Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster provides the scout with names of appropriate merit badge counselors. The scout finds a scout buddy to be his partner for meetings with the merit badge counselor to follow safe scouting guidelines. He then contacts the counselor to start working on the badge. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scouts and they decide on projects and a schedule. Expertise, advice, and guidance as needed is offered by the counselor to the scouts. The counselor certifies their completion and the merit badge is presented at a troop meeting.
Each merit badge has an official BSA pamphlet which contains requirements, introductory information and supplemental references. Purchase pamphlets from a BSA scout shop, find them in a troop library, or check them out from a public library. Make sure you get the most recent version of the pamphlet.
Merit Badge Counselors are volunteers who are selected, trained, and approved by council or district committees to teach scouts about specific merit badges. They are knowledgeable in the topic and understand the goals of scouting and the merit badge program.