Troop Policies

BSA Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based upon those found in the Scout Oath and Law.

Introduction

“Troop 96 is structured and operates under the patrol method.”

Troop 96 is a member of the Twin Rivers District, Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Troop 96 is located in Urbandale, IA and traditionally draws new scouts from Cub Scout Packs in the Urbandale/Johnston area.

The troop’s core adult leaderships consists of a Chartered Organization Representative, a Committee Chair, and a Scoutmaster. This group is called the troop’s “Key 3”. There are also several other adult leadership roles, ranging from Assistant Scoutmaster(s), Committee Members, and Merit Badge counselors.

The troop’s youth leadership consists of a Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader(s) (ASPL), Patrol Leader(s) and several additional positions, such as Chaplains Aide, Den Chief, Historian, Quartermaster, Scribe, Troop Guide, and others.

Individual scouts are arranged into patrols of roughly 8-10 scouts, which are led by a patrol leader.

Troop 96 is a scout-led, adult supervised, troop. Parent involvement is highly encouraged and welcomed!

Chartered Organization

The chartered organization for Troop 96 is Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3600 75th Street, Urbandale IA, 50322, (515) 278-0466. Aldersgate has been Troop 96’s home since 1964.

The church is the primary location for troop meetings. The 2nd floor music and youth area have been made available for troop use. The church provides a Troop Closet on the 2nd floor along with the use of a garage to house the Troop trailer, flags and other camping equipment.

The gymnasium is available for use but must be pre-arranged to avoid conflicts with other activities. Coordination and use of the church facilities are coordinated through the Troop Committee Chair and the Chartered Organization Representative.

Troop Committee

The Troop Committee, which which operates as the troop’s Board of Directors, supports the troop’s adults and youth leaders in delivering a quality program to the troop’s scouts. The committee typically to meets monthly.

More information on the Troop Committee is in the Troop Committee Guide.

Scoutmaster

The Scoutmaster is the person in charge of facilitating the troop’s program, and is the primary adult direct contact leader with the scouts.. The Scoutmaster has many roles and responsibilities however; the primary role is to ensure the troop’s program is executed successfully and in accordance with Boy Scouts of America policies. The following is a list of some of the roles required by the Scoutmaster:

  • Oversee Troop meetings that are conducted by the Senior Patrol Leader and other youth leadership.
  • Coordinate activities of the Assistant Scoutmaster(s)
  • Assists/mentors the Senior Patrol Leader in leading troop activities
  • Works with the Troop Committee on troop matters
  • Coordinates the annual program planning activities for the following year
  • Guide and support the Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC)
  • Facilitate the assignment of positions of responsibilities to scouts and provide appropriate instruction
  • Work with scouts to promote advancement
  • Coordinate and conduct scoutmaster conferences for rank advancement
  • Assist the Senior Patrol Leader in the new scout induction ceremony
  • Organize Troop Junior Leader Training (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops)
  • Attend troop meetings, summer camp, district roundtables, patrol leader council meetings, Troop Committee meetings
  • Coordinates campout activities with Outdoor Activities Chair and PLC.
  • Meet with Webelos II dens every fall to speak with parents about the troop.
  • Attend Cub Scout Pack Blue & Gold Banquets and accept new scouts crossing over into the troop.
  • Prepare for and oversee troop elections (March and September)

Assistant Scoutmaster(s)

The Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) assist the Scoutmaster as needed to ensure the troop functions successfully and in accordance with Boy Scouts of America policies.

The ASM must be prepared to assume the duties of the Scoutmaster upon request, or in the absence of the Scoutmaster. Therefore, the ASM should be familiar with and acceptable to performing the duties listed above for the Scoutmaster.

The ASM may have other duties as outlined by the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee, BSA and Scoutmaster Handbook. Each Assistant Scoutmaster will be assigned to a patrol by the Scoutmaster. They shall maintain order and assure proper operation of their assigned patrols. This duty requires the mentoring and guidance of the Patrol Leader to develop strong leadership and management abilities.

Leadership Training (Adult)

All adult leaders must complete the training required for their position. The majority of training is available online at my.scouting.org.

Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC)

With the guidance of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, the junior leaders plan the program, conduct troop meetings and provide leadership among their peers. PLC meetings are an opportunity for the junior leaders to meet, discuss and plan upcoming events and activities for the troop’s monthly meetings and campouts.

It is also a time for the troop’s junior leaders to surface, discuss and resolve issues within the troop. Additionally, the PLC is a key time for Patrol Leaders to address needs and wants of the patrols from information they would have garnered from their scouts.

The PLC is held monthly at the Troop’s regular meeting location. The PLC is typically scheduled for the Monday evening immediately following the weekend campout in place of a troop meeting.

The Senior Patrol Leader leads the meeting which includes the Patrol Leaders, Troop Guide(s), Scribe, Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster(s). The Troop Committee interacts with the PLC through the Scoutmaster.

Plans and activities decided on at the PLC require approval by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster (if the Scoutmaster is not available). The focus of the PLC is to reinforce a boy led troop and guide the scouts in a direction that fosters a learning and fun month.

The following are items for consideration at the PLC:

  • Current month’s troop meeting activity schedule
  • Resources and requirements for upcoming meetings
  • Identification of trainer(s) for meetings
  • Discussion/planning of upcoming outdoor activities (campouts-summer camp, etc.)
  • Special events (i.e., Scouting for Food, Tree Lot, Courts of Honor, etc.)

Troop Meetings

Troop meetings are intended to enhance scout skills, rank advancement, merit badge work and have fun! Scouts are expected to be in the designated uniform and attend as many meetings as possible. Each scout should bring their Scout Handbook to all meetings and outings.

Troop meetings are held from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm every Monday night unless otherwise noted. The scheduled meetings are conducted on the second floor of Aldersgate Methodist Church. Alternate locations may be used for special topics or if outdoor activities are involved.

The Troop’s annual calendar reflects the meeting dates as well as those Mondays which the Troop does not meet.

The weekly Troop meetings are conducted by the Senior Patrol Leader and other junior leaders as required. A theme or topic for each month should be identified during the annual planning meeting otherwise it is selected at the PLC.

Troop meetings should include the following:

  • Pre-opening Activity or Game
  • Opening flag ceremony
  • Group Instruction
  • Level-specific Skill Instruction
  • Patrol Breakout Meetings
  • Interpatrol Activity or Game
  • Closing

Patrol Meetings

When possible, it is important for the scouts to meet in their patrols to discuss needs and ideas to help their members or those of the troop. Patrol meetings offer time for planning and organizing for upcoming troop meetings, camp outs or other organized troop activity. Scouts within the patrols should utilize a “chain of command” to resolve issues or seek assistance. The chain begins with the scout; the Patrol Leader; Senior Patrol Leader; and Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.

Rank Advancement

All scouts are encouraged to progress through the ranks of Scouting through active participation including camping, outings, troop meetings, service projects, fundraising activities and other activities the troop may be involved in. Advancing in rank is not a race but rather is the opportunity for each scout to learn, experience and mature while traveling the scouting trail.

The Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster(s) and other adults will periodically review each scout’s Scout Handbook (primarily during campouts) to monitor their progress and look for potential shortfalls or obstacles. The Patrol Leaders and the Senior Patrol Leader should be checking these periodically as well.

When a scout feels they are prepared to advance they must first have their Patrol Leader and/or Adult Advisor (Assistant Scoutmaster) review their handbook and progress. Once this is completed the scout must request a Scoutmaster Conference.

Scoutmaster Conference

A Scoutmaster conference is conducted for Scouts as one of the requirements for rank advancement. The Scoutmaster is the primary adult leader to conduct the meeting. Assistant Scoutmasters may also conduct these conferences. There is no specific location or time that the conferences are conducted. Rather, a mutually agreed upon time, date and location is preferred. The majority of Scoutmaster Conferences occurs at Troop meetings but may also be conducted at campouts, other events or at non-scouting events. It is the responsibility of each Scout to request a Scoutmaster conference.

The Scoutmaster conference is an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to get to know more about the Scout than just on the surface. The meeting is intended to focus on how well the Scout is doing in many areas, not just the advancement area. Open-ended, non-intimidating questions should be asked to stimulate dialogue with the Scout. This is an opportunity to get to know the Scouts on different levels to help direct and guide the scouts, troop and adult leaders. The meeting should not be a rushed event but rather comfortable and “naturally paced”. The goal is to build positive relationships and also ensure the scout is prepared to move forward on the scouting trail. A recommended way to close the conference is by discussing the Board of Review (BOR) and reinforcing that it is not an examination but a review of what they have got out of scouting.

In the event the scoutmaster conference involves the child of the Scoutmaster, an Assistant Scoutmaster will sit in attendance at the meeting. The Scoutmaster Conference sheet will indicate the name of the attending ASM.

Board of Review (BOR)

A Board of Review is the final requirement for each rank advancement. A BOR is a meeting between a scout prepared to advance in rank and a minimum of three adult members of the troop. The attending members cannot be the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster or parent of the Scout. Members should be adults, other scout parents and/or committee members.

The BOR is conducted at the charter location and is held in a private area away from the troop. The review is not an examination but rather an opportunity for the scout to relate what they have learned in pursuit of the rank as well as the positive and negative aspects of the troop. The scout must have completed a Scoutmaster conference prior to the BOR. Additionally, the scout must be in class “A” uniform and have his scout handbook with them.

Results of the BOR will be provided to the scout shortly after the board has the opportunity to determine a final recommendation. A scout may request a BOR at any time once they have completed all other requirements for the rank advancement.

In addition, the troop provides additional opportunities for Boards of Review a minimum four times per year, typically 2 weeks before the Court of Honor (COH), on Advancement Night.

Scouts interested in a BOR must request the review with the Advancement Chair (AC) one week in advance to allow the AC to verify the scout’s qualifications and ensure board members can be arranged. It is the responsibility of each Scout to request a board of review.

Court of Honor (COH)

The COH is the time for recognizing the hard work and achievements of the scouts and other members of the Troop. The COH is a formal function requiring all scouts and leaders to wear class “A” uniforms (unless otherwise directed by the Scoutmaster). The Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster coordinate a scout to serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the COH with direct input from the Advancement Chair and Assistant Scoutmasters.

The troop conducts Courts of Honor 3-4 times per year. The times, dates and locations of the COH are published in the Troop’s annual calendar and typically are held at the charter organization. Occasionally a COH will be held outdoors, or at other locations.

Merit Badge Program

The merit badge program allows the scouts to learn and experience a wide variety of new and exciting skills as they progress down the scouting trail. There are over 120 various merit badges to choose from. The scout does not need to have advanced in rank to be eligible for merit badges. The following merit badges are required for the rank of Eagle Scout: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, Camping, Cooking and Family Life.

Each scout must meet with the Scoutmaster to request the start of a particular merit badge. Once the Scoutmaster has approved the scout’s request the scout must contact the Merit Badge Coordinator and be assigned a Merit Badge Counselor to work with. The Merit Badge Coordinator or Troop Librarian will issue the scout a Merit Badge Pamphlet which contains the requirements for the specific badge and a blue card upon which the completion is tracked. Scouts can use the online version of the merit badge pamphlet as well. Note: Merit badges are periodically updated and the online version may differ from the pamphlet on file in the Troop library. The most current version of the requirements should be used.

The scout must contact the Merit Badge Counselor to arrange a meeting to review the expectations of earning the badge. The scouts MUST have another adult in addition to the Merit Badge Counselor present at each meeting.

All requirements must be satisfactorily completed for the badge to be earned. The Merit Badge Counselor will sign the scout’s merit badge “blue” card upon successful completion of the merit badge and provide it to the Scoutmaster. The merit badge will be confirmed upon approval and signature of the Scoutmaster and awarded at the next Court of Honor. The scout must return the merit badge pamphlet to the Troop Librarian or Merit Badge Coordinator once they are finished with it.

A full listing of merit badges is available at scouting.org.

Troop Activities

Planning Process

Each year the PLC, in conjunction with adult leadership, will hold a planning meeting to determine the activities for the following year. Once the PLC has come up with their suggestions/preferences the Scoutmaster will review the feasibility of the activities and incorporate them into a calendar.

In the past we have tried to schedule at least one activity per month. In general the activity is a campout but can vary depending on what might be available. The planning will include a long term summer camp. Also, the December activity is typically held close to Des Moines to allow scouts working at the tree lot to also attend the activity. (i.e. pizza/fun night, lock-in at the church, or camping at Camp Dodge, etc.)

Campouts

The Troop conducts approximately 11 campouts per year. The majority of these are done in a tent setting with the exceptions being in the winter months. Typically the winter campouts are conducted in cabins. Regular camp outs involve 2 overnight stays (Friday evening until Sunday morning) and are conducted in various campsites throughout central Iowa. The dates and locations are preplanned during the annual planning conference and posted on the troop calendar with some subject to change as the year progresses. Primary needs for a successful campout are maximum participation of scouts, adult leaders and parents and a plan of activity within the campout (i.e., scout skills, advancement activities, campfire, etc.). Additionally, an activity is usually planned along with the campout (i.e., archery, tubing, canoeing, climbing, etc.).

Scouts are required to provide a completed Permission Slip to the Outdoor Coordinator or Scoutmaster prior to departure. All outings and camping transportation will be in accordance with the BSA “Guide to Safe Scouting”. Scouts and leaders are required to wear the class “A” uniform enroute to and returning from all outings and campouts.

Each person attending an outing which is beyond 72 hours must have a current BSA medical form on file with the troop. Scouts are responsible for providing their own personal gear, to include mess kits, for campouts with the exception of the following which the troop provides: tents, cooking gear, and camp lanterns. Sleeping pads are recommended to keep the scouts off the ground in the event of rain/water. The Scout Handbook outlines gear typically required for campouts.

Each patrol prepares a meal plan for the campout during the troop meeting prior to the campout. The meal plan must be reviewed by an adult leader. Each patrol leader will select a scout to purchase the food for the campout and will be reimbursed by the troop. Each patrol prepares their own meals during the campouts. Soda, candy or inappropriate items may not be brought on campouts. Scouts and adults will tent in accordance with the BSA “Guide to Safe Scouting”.

Tents are assigned to 2 or 3 scouts for each campout. The Quartermaster will record the name of each scout assigned to a tent for accountability. At the end of the campout a scout must take their assigned tent home to dry it out and clean it if necessary.

The Quartermaster will maintain a log of who is responsible for returning the tent to the troop cleaned, dried and properly packed. Additionally, parents are asked to assist their scout with the tents to ensure they are properly taken care of. DO NOT LEAVE THE TENTS IN THEIR BAGS AFTER A CAMPOUT! The tents must be returned to the Senior Patrol Leader by the following week’s troop meeting.

History: Typically the April through October campouts are 2 night campouts and November through March are 1 night campouts. The weather is usually a factor and the days are shorter in the winter so setting up camp would take place during darkness. Also, in the winter months a cabin is preferred to give scouts the option to sleep inside. This is especially beneficial for new scouts that may not know winter camping skills. Scouts can always camp outside if they choose.

Frost points can be earned for 1 point for every degree below 32 on a campout. A special patch is available when they have cumulatively earned 100 points.

Fundraising

The troop conducts multiple fundraising activities throughout the year to help fund both the troop and scouts. The activities are very successful and often result in each scout receiving enough funds to pay for dues and summer camp. The fundraising activities include:

Christmas Tree Lot

Troop 96 and Troop 43 operate a Christmas tree lot located on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. Scouts, leaders, and parents from each troop work at the lot to sell trees and wreaths during the Christmas holiday season. Net proceeds of the sales is split up among the scouts based on the number of hours they worked. The monies are placed in each scout’s account with the troop once the net proceeds are determined. Scouts do not wear their uniforms while working the tree lot. The scouts are the salespeople while the adults do the lifting, cutting and loading of the trees into the customer’s vehicles. The purchase of the trees, rental of the location, and scheduling of work shifts is handled by the Tree Lot coordinator.

Popcorn

Troop 96 provides the opportunity for scouts to further fund their scouting experience through popcorn sales in the fall. This optional fundraiser is conducted with the Mid-Iowa Council, and is managed by the troop’s Popcorn Colonel.

Camp Cards

Scouts may also raise funds through the sale of the Mid-Iowa Council’s annual Camp Card sale. These cards offer coupons at local businesses and can help supplement the scout’s journey.

Flag Detail

Troop 96 has operated this long-standing tradition in Urbandale for decades. Businesses in the Urbandale area pay Troop 96 to fly the American flag on 10 specific days throughout the year.

Each business which has agreed to post the flag pays a fee for each time the troop puts the flag out. The troop’s annual calendar identifies the specific dates the flags must be posted and retired. The flags are posted in the morning (6am) and retired in the late afternoon before sunset (6pm). The flags are stored in the garage at the chartered organization where they are picked up and returned each time they are flown.

The flag coordinator maintains maps of the locations where the flags are to be posted for each business and is the primary contact each morning the flags are posted.

Additionally, prior to the start of the flag season, a roster will be made available for the scouts to volunteer for specific dates. The monies from this event go to the troop and each scout is encouraged to participate at some time throughout the year.

Dues

As in any organization, there is a cost to run the program. One method of collecting money is to charge the scouts dues. These dues go to funding purchases of patches, Troop meeting materials, camping gear, and other items for the Troop.

Annual dues are $150.00 per scout. If a scout ages out mid-year or starts or ends mid-year the cost is prorated at $12.50 per month. Scouts may pay for the dues with their scout account.

Scout Accounts

When Scouts earn money during fund raising activities the money is allocated into a scout account. This money can be used by the scout for dues, campout fees, uniform items, camping gear, and other scout related items. When in doubt about what can be reimbursed check with the Scoutmaster.

Note that the monies in the account are the troop’s monies and are there for the benefit of the scout. If a scout leaves the troop all remaining funds in their account will be deposited into the troop’s general fund.

The Scout Account is a reimbursement-only arrangement. It is not intended to provide monies in advance of purchases. Reimbursement requests must be accompanied by receipts from purchases.

Uniforms

Troop 96 is a fully uniformed unit. The Troop has designated two types of uniforms; Class A and Class B. No open-toed shoes are authorized during scout activities (except swimming-water activities).

Class A

Class A uniform consists of the official Scouts BSA uniform shirt, pants/shorts of olive color, Scouts BSA related belt, Scouts BSA socks, troop neckerchief, and Scout Handbook.

Class B

The Class B uniform consists of the Troop T-shirt, pants/shorts of olive color, Scouts BSA related belt, Scouts BSA socks, troop neckerchief, and Scout Handbook.

Scout Handbook

The troop issues each brand-new scout a Scout Handbook upon joining the troop. The Scout Handbook contains a tremendous amount of information and acts as a guide to the success, advancement and growth of each scout. It is an official record of activities and achievements each scout has completed. The handbook will remain with the scout throughout their membership in scouting. It is recommended that each scout purchase a handbook cover to protect their books as they should be taken to all scouting activities, including campouts.

Additionally, the handbook must be presented to the Scoutmaster at Scoutmaster Conferences and to the members of the Board of Review. Only specific members of the troop can make annotations in the handbook. Unless an activity is completed in a group setting, the troop leaders will not initial or sign their own son’s handbook.

Youth Protection

The Boy Scouts of America, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, and Troop 96 take youth protection seriously. The Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection program has been developed to safeguard both our youth and adult members. Youth Protection Training (YPT) is required for all leaders and is recommended for all parents. T

Youth Protection Training is available on-line through the BSA website at my.scouting.org.

Community Service Projects

A very important aspect of Scouting is the performance of service hours by every scout. Nearly every rank requires service hours to be completed for awarding of the next rank. Service hours consists of different types of activities i.e., helping the elderly, feeding the homeless, assisting a non-profit organization, cleaning/clearing public areas, etc. The Scout Handbook and BSA website provides a listing of service project ideas. However, these resources are not exhaustive, scouts are encouraged to come up with their own ways to help the community.

Service hours must be approved by the Scoutmaster before they are completed and may only be counted once for rank advancement. Completed service hours should be logged in each scout’s handbook and ScoutBook for review at BOR’s.

Keys and Access

Access to the church (troop meeting area) is restricted to the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters and certain members of the Troop Committee. Additionally, access to the Troop closet, trailer and garage area is limited to specific members of the troop’s adult leadership.

Youth Leadership Positions

Youth leadership in Troop 96 carries much responsibility. Youth leadership positions are required for rank advancement however scouts are reminded that the most important aspect is leading the scouts to have a productive and successful troop. Most importantly, youth leaders are responsible for ensuring that scouts are having fun.

Troop elections for Scout leadership positions are conducted twice per year. All youth leaders are expected to attend Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops training (ILST), even if they have completed it in the past. Additional attendance at the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is encouraged. Position descriptions and introductory videos are available here: https://troopleader.org/troop-positions/

Elected Positions

Elected positions within Troop 96 include:

  • Senior Patrol Leader (The candidate for Senior Patrol Leader candidate must be at least the rank of First Class, and be prepared to serve a one-year term.)
  • Patrol Leader

Appointed Positions

There are no restrictions to seek appointment by the Senior Patrol Leader to other positions; however scouts are advised of the position’s responsibilities and Scoutmaster expectations prior expressing their interest.

Appointed positions include:

There are additional positions available that do not provide credit towards advancement. These include Bugler and Honor Guard members. However, scouts are encouraged to seek these specialized positions.

The Order of the Arrow

For more than 90 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized scouts and scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives for nearly a century. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Known as Arrowmen, members are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. Order of the Arrow service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America's youth.

Mission

The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

Purpose

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, OA’s purpose is to:

Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.

Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.

Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.

Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

History

The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America.

It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.

In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting's National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community.

Membership

Information regarding membership, including membership requirements is available here: https://oa-bsa.org/about/membership

Troop 96 typically conducts OA elections in the spring of each year.

More information about OA is available here: https://oa-bsa.org/

Medical Examinations

In accordance with BSA policy, each scout and adult attending outings and campouts are required to have medical screenings completed. Campouts that extend beyond 72 hours require each scout and adult leader to have passed a complete physical prior to departure. The completed BSA medical forms are retained by the troop and taken on the campouts. New BSA medical forms can be downloaded from the BSA website here: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/.

Scouts without current physicals on file with the Troop will not be allowed to attend the extended campouts.

Medication

Some scouts require taking medication prescribed by their physician. Often times the medications are taken daily and must be administered during campouts or other lengthy scouting activities.

Prior to departing for the outings parents are strongly encouraged to provide the Scoutmaster with the required dosages of medication and any type of background information possible, without violating the HIPPA law, to ensure the scout has a positive outing with minimal medical issues.

Parents/Guardians are required to complete a Medicine Admin Log for their scout for any outings beyond 72 hours in length.

The Scoutmaster or designee will document the administering of medications on the Medicine Administering Form.

Emergency Treatment

In the event of a medical emergency the Scout’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be notified as soon as possible.

If a scout is injured while in the care of the troop (i.e., campout, troop meeting, outing, training, etc.), the following procedures will be strictly adhered to:

  1. Notify the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster or adult leader immediately.
  2. Evaluate the injury for severity and treat the injury at the First Aid level.
  3. Seek professional medical help if deemed necessary. This is for all serious injuries or any injury involving head injuries or trauma. Minor injuries such as cuts, scratches, bruises, etc., will be handled by the scout and adult leaders.
  4. Notify the Scout’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) with pertinent information as soon as possible.
  5. The scout can continue with Parent(s)/Guardian(s) consent if no further injury is expected and the scout can actively participate without assistance.
  6. If the scout cannot continue on the outing/campout, a scout or leader will be assigned as a monitor for the injured scout until he departs the location.
  7. The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster will prepare a written report on the incident for the Troop and for the Parent(s)/Guardian(s).

Recruitment

Recruiting is an integral part of scouting and is very important in keeping the scout levels in the troop. There are many opportunities for scouts and adult leaders to recruit or at least influence other youth or parents in considering joining the troop.

The interest and excitement of scouting can easily be discussed through interactions at school, home, church, etc. One of the best methods to recruitment is using the testament of the scouts. Allowing the scout to explain the adventures they have had often influences other boys to consider joining scouts. Interested youth may be offered the opportunity to visit a troop meeting however, the Scoutmaster must be notified ahead of time before bringing a referral to a troop meeting.

Coordination with Cub Scout Packs

The Scoutmaster or designated Assistant Scoutmaster will routinely interact with the feeder Cub Scout packs to Troop 96, as well as any other packs requesting information about the troop.

The Scoutmaster will maintain close coordination with the Cubmaster for the Pack’s crossing-over ceremony and acceptance of the new scouts into the troop.

The Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader, and additional scouts will attend the crossing over ceremonies for the packs involved.

Troop 96 will provide a neckerchief, slide and shoulder loops to each new scout at the ceremony. The troop will issue a Boy Scout Handbook, Class “B” t-shirt, and Troop numerals “96” patch once a registration form and fees are paid by the new scout.

Coordination and activity conducted with the packs are a very effective way to contact potential scouts and also the opportunity to visit with and influence the parents and leaders involved with the packs.

Troop Awards

Michael Lang Scout of the Year Award

The Michael Lang Scout of the Year Award was established by the Lang family of Urbandale, IA to memorialize their son and recognize his love for scouting. Michael Lang was a Star scout in Troop 96 who was overcome with an asthma attack and died while on a trek at Philmont Scout Reservation in the mountains surrounding Cimarron, New Mexico. The award was established to honor the scout who best exemplifies the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

One eligible Boy Scout from within the troop will be elected annually as the recipient of “The Michael Lang Scout of the Year”. Only scouts who have been in the troop since January of the awarding are eligible. Nominees must meet the following requirements to be eligible and voting is by secret ballot:

  • Attend troop campout at the established minimum participation level of:
    • 5th & 6th Grade: 75%
    • 7th & 8th Grade: 60%
    • High School: 50%
  • Attend a long-term summer camp;
  • Advance one rank or earn at least five merit badges during the awarding year;
  • Show Scout spirit, as approved by the Scoutmaster;
  • Cannot have previously earned the “Michael Lang Scout of the Year Award”.

Voting will take place in January following the completed year with the award presented at the next Court of Honor. This will allow for a complete 12 month calendar years’ worth of activity to be considered for each scout.

Adult Leader/Volunteer of the Year

One adult leader/volunteer within the Troop will be selected annually as “Adult Leader/Volunteer of the Year”. The timeframe for the award is from January to December of each year. The Troop adult leadership and Troop Committee Members select the annual winner based on the following criteria and recognize the recipient at the spring Court of Honor:

  • Consistently displays scout spirit and honors the scout oath and scout law;
  • Exhibits leadership traits and is accountable and responsible for own actions;
  • Selfless service in helping others in the troop;
  • Willingness to provide training and instruction;
  • Coaches and mentors scouts to grow and learn;
  • Positive influence in the troop;
  • Actively participates in fundraising activities, troop meetings and outings;

Troop Equipment and Maintenance

The troop is authorized two storage areas on the charter organizations property. The troop maintains a closet on the second floor of the church in the meeting area. The closet contains various items including a “Scout Closet” area of used scout shirts and pants for those scouts who might need assistance in obtaining the scout uniform at a reduced cost.

Additionally, the closet contains other supply items needed by the troop and used by the scouts throughout the year. The closet must remain secured and only the adult leaders have keys. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are responsible for the storage and security of the closet. The troop’s Librarian also is responsible for keeping the closet neat and orderly.

The second storage area is the garage located on the southwest corner of the church lot. The troop maintains a trailer, cooking equipment, tents, cots, lanterns and other assorted items required for campouts. The troop’s Quartermaster (chair and scout) are responsible for the accountability, storage and security of the garage items. Upon returning from each campout the Quartermaster will ensure the equipment is in a high state of cleanliness, accounted for and properly stowed.

Youth and Adult Behavior

Scouting activities are meant to be fun, exciting and memorable experiences that everyone involved in the troop can share. Additionally, scouting activities are meant to teach and develop the scouts in accordance with the scout law and scout oath. The participant’s actions and behavior must stay within the guidelines of “proper behavior”.

All Scouts and Scouters must abide by the Boy Scouts of America’s “Guide to Safe Scouting” and successfully complete the Youth Protection Training every two years.

Misbehavior and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Every scout and adult will be given the benefit of the doubt regarding behavior however, founded inappropriate behavior that brings discredit to the troop, BSA, community and/or results in injury to another will be dealt with accordingly. Some examples of inappropriate behavior are as follows:

  • Disobeying the rules of the activity, troop;
  • Behavior that is disrespectful;
  • Being uncooperative;
  • Physical aggression;
  • Name calling;
  • Intentionally damaging troop or others property/equipment;
  • Threatening violence or intimidating others;
  • Repeated leaving of designated area without permission;
  • Inappropriate language, gestures or materials;
  • Hazing;
  • Repeated lying;
  • Theft of troop or private property (includes money);
  • Cheating;
  • Behavior that would otherwise be considered unlawful.

Disciplinary Policy

Scouts that violate the Boy Scouts of America’s “Guide to Safe Scouting”, “Youth Protection Policy” or the acceptable behavior policy will face disciplinary action. In the event a scout or scouter does not follow the rules and guidelines to safe scouting or threatens the health and safety of any participants, the adult leader in charge may take immediate remedial action as deemed necessary, including but not limited to, immediate suspension from the remainder of the activity. The Scoutmaster will be informed of any inappropriate behavior and remedial action taken as soon as possible.

At a minimum, the scout will be questioned by the SM (ASM if SM is not available). Depending on the circumstances and recurring behavior a Scout may be subject to the following:

  • Formal or informal apology to individual, troop, vendor, etc.
  • Probationary period (6 months)
  • Loss/suspension of leadership/position of responsibility
  • Parent/guardian supervision at all scouting activities
  • Parent/guardian attendance at all outings to include camp outs
  • Suspension from the troop
  • Permanent dismissal from the troop

In the event a scout’s behavior warrants removal from a camp out or scout activity, the scout’s parents/guardians are required to pick up their scout immediately. The Committee Chair, at minimum, will be informed of any inappropriate behavior and consulted concerning potential disciplinary action.

Release of Image / Information Policy

Troop 96 is an active troop which results in many opportunities for photographing and sharing information of what the scouts have accomplished with the community and public. Additionally, the increasing use of electronic media via the internet i.e., troop website, Facebook, YouTube, etc., lends itself the opportunity for the troop to publicize their activities.

The troop policy is to allow photographs/images of the scouts involved in scouting activities to be published on a troop website or news media unless otherwise directed by a parent or guardian in writing to the Committee Chair. The privacy requests of those who to decline the use of their images will be respected.

At no time will the scouts’ last name, address, telephone number or any other private information be published. General photographs of the troop and the scouts in action may be used but will be reviewed and considered on an individual basis. Any troop photos which clearly depict a scout/adult who does not want their image released will not be used.