|» Upcoming events
|3/22 ||Order Of The Arrow Fellowship Weekend - Cabin Camping|
|3/27 ||Court Of Honor - Full Class A Uniform Required|
|4/2 ||PLC Meeting|
|4/5 ||NYLT National Youth Leader Training - Weekend 1|
|4/6 ||Whitewater Rafting Trip - Contact Mr. Figueroa|
|4/12 ||NYLT National Youth Leader Training - Weekend 2|
|4/17 ||Board Of Review Night|
|more upcoming events
Boy Scout Ideals
The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
Scout Oath (or Promise)
"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.
A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
Do a Good Turn Daily
Boy Scout Advancement
If you were in Cub Scouts, each year you set your sights on earning a different badge. In Boy Scouts, all the boys, regardless of their age or grade, work on the same set of badges.
Scout Badge. All Scouts when joining a troop must pass the joining requirements listed on page 4 of the Scout Handbook for the Scout Badge. Scouts who have just crossed over from Cub Scouts will recognize these requirements – they are very similar to the requirements for the Arrow of Light.
Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class. The first set of ranks - Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class - is designed to teach the camping, first aid, and safety skills needed to go camping to new Scouts. Some Scouts can do all of the requirements in less than a year, some will take longer. You may pass any of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class at any time. For example, if you fulfill a First Class requirement before you are a Second Class Scout, you may get the First Class requirement signed off. You may not receive a rank, however, until you have earned the one before it.
Rank requirements are signed off by your fellow Scouts. A Scout who is two ranks above the rank you are working on is allowed to sign off. For example, a First Class Scout (or above) can sign off on all Tenderfoot requirements. For an online primer to rank advancement, check out the National Council video primers at www.scouting.org. Click on any of the rank badges and then choose a requirement to see a short clip about the requirement.
Scoutmaster Conference. One requirement that Boy Scouts have for rank advancement is that whenever you complete the requirements for a rank you need to have a Scoutmaster Conference. At this meeting the Scoutmaster will review the requirements with you to make sure that they have been learned correctly, he will help you to set up the goals for the next advancement, and he will have you share your ideas about the troop (how its going from your viewpoint, what you would like the troop to do more of, problems you see occurring...)
Board of Review. All rank advancements, except for the Scout badge, require a Board of Review. The members of a Board of Review are adult leaders in the troop except for the Scoutmaster or any of his Assistant Scoutmasters. The main purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest the skills a Scout has learned, but to see what the Scout's spirit is and how the troop is doing is helping the Scout along and meeting Boy Scout objectives.
Court of Honor. When you complete a rank advancement you will usually be given the badge at the next troop meeting. About three or four times a year, the troop will hold a special meeting called a Court of Honor. This is a formal ceremony to recognize you and your fellow Scouts for rank advancement and other Scouting achievements. This event is held with an audience of family, friends, chartered organization officials, and troop leaders.
The Path to Eagle. Once a Scout has reached First Class and learned the basic skills of Scouting, he is ready for the challenge of becoming an Eagle Scout. The Path to Eagle has three ranks, Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout. Here the requirements for advancement consist of earning merit badges, doing service projects to help the community, showing that you can lead other Scouts as a patrol leader or some other leadership position, and demonstrating to others that you have Scout spirit.
Merit Badges. A merit badge is an invitation to explore an exciting subject. With more than a hundred to choose from, some merit badges encourage you to increase your skill in subjects you already like, while others challenge you to learn about new areas of knowledge. Many of the merit badges are designed to help you increase your ability to be of service to others, to take part in outdoor adventures, to better understand the environment, and to play a valuable role in your family and community. Earning a merit badge can even lead you toward a lifelong hobby or set you on the way to a rewarding career. Look for more information about merit badges on our Advancement page, or visit the National Council website and check out their merit badge primer at www.scouting.org.
Other Awards. There are two other Scout awards that are usually of interest to new Scouts: the Totin' Chip and the Fireman's Chit. When a Scout demonstrates that he knows how to handle wood tools (knife, axe, saw) he may be granted totin' rights. Until a Scout has earned his Totin' Chit he is not allowed to carry a pocketknife. If a scout is found handling wood tools incorrectly, a corner of the Totin' Chip card is often cut off. When all four corners are gone, so are the Scout's totin' rights.
The owner of a Firemen Chit has demonstrated knowledge of safety rules in building, maintaining, and putting out camp and cooking fires. Until a Scout has earned his Fireman Chit, he is not allowed to carry matches.
Patrol Method The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.
The PatrolThe members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age. To give more youths the opportunity to lead, most troops elect patrol leaders twice a year. Some may have elections more often.
The patrol is a group of Scouts who belong to a troop and who are probably similar in age, development, and interests. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success. A patrol takes pride in its identity, and the members strive to make their patrol the best it can be. Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements. At other times they will compete against those same patrols in Scout skills and athletic competitions.
Patrol size depends upon a troop's enrollment and the needs of its members, though an ideal patrol size is eight Scouts. Patrols with fewer than eight Scouts should try to recruit new members to get their patrol size up to the ideal number. Types of Patrols
There are three kinds of patrols: new-Scout patrols, regular patrols, and Venture patrols.
New-Scout patrols are for 11-year-old Scouts who have recently joined the troop and are together for the first year in the troop. An older, experienced Scout often is assigned as a troop guide to help the new-Scout patrol through the challenges of troop membership. An assistant Scoutmaster should also assist the new-Scout patrol to ensure that each Scout has every opportunity to succeed right from the start. Regular patrols are made up of Scouts who have completed their First Class requirements. They have been around Scouting long enough to be comfortable with the patrol and troop operation and are well-versed in camping, cooking, and Scouting's other basic skills.
A Venture patrol is an optional patrol within the troop made up of Scouts age 13 and older. These troop members have the maturity and experience to take part in more challenging high-adventure outings. The Venture patrol elects a patrol leader, who works with an assistant Scoutmaster to put the patrol's plans into action. Patrol Meetings
Patrol meetings may be held at any time and place. Many troops set aside a portion of each troop meeting for its patrols to gather. Others encourage patrols to meet on a different evening at the home of a patrol member. The frequency of patrol meetings is determined by upcoming events and activities that require planning and discussion.
Patrol meetings should be well-planned and businesslike. Typically, the patrol leader calls the meeting to order, the scribe collects dues, and the assistant patrol leader reports on advancement. The patrol leader should report any information from the latest patrol leaders' council meeting. The bulk of the meeting should be devoted to planning upcoming activities, with specific assignments made to each patrol member. Patrol Activities
Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also conduct day hikes and service projects independent of the troop, as long as they follow two rules: The Scoutmaster approves the activity.
Patrol spirit is the glue that holds the patrol together and keeps it going. Building patrol spirit takes time, because it is shaped by a patrol's experiences—good and bad. Often misadventures such as enduring a thunderstorm or getting lost in the woods will contribute much in pulling a patrol together. Many other elements also will help build patrol spirit. Creating a patrol identity and traditions will help build each patrol member's sense of belonging.
Every patrol needs a good name. Usually, the patrol chooses its name from nature, a plant or animal, or something that makes the patrol unique. A patrol might choose an object for its outstanding quality. For example, sharks are strong swimmers and buffaloes love to roam. The patrol may want to add an adjective to spice up the patrol name, such as the Soaring Hawks or the Rambunctious Raccoons. A patrol flag is the patrol's trademark, and it should be a good one. Have a competition to see who comes up with the best design and who is the best artist. Make the flag out of a heavy canvas and use permanent markers to decorate it. In addition to the patrol name, the patrol flag should have the troop number on it as well as the names of all the patrol members. Mount the flag on a pole, which also can be decorated. Remember, the patrol flag should go wherever the patrol goes.
Every patrol has a patrol yell, which should be short and snappy. Choose words that fit the patrol's goals. Use the yell to announce to other patrols that your patrol is ready to eat or has won a patrol competition. Some patrols also have a patrol song. Other patrol traditions include printing the patrol logo on the chuck box and other patrol property. Many troops designate patrol corners somewhere in the troop meeting room; patrols may decorate their corner in their own special way. Some patrols like to specialize in doing something extremely well, such as cooking peach cobbler or hobo stew.
The Patrol Leaders' CouncilThe patrol leaders' council is made up of the senior patrol leader, who presides over the meetings; the assistant senior patrol leader, all patrol leaders, and the troop guide. The patrol leaders' council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. It then meets monthly to fine-tune the plans for the upcoming month.
As a patrol leader, you are a member of the patrol leaders' council, and you serve as the voice of your patrol members. You should present the ideas and concerns of your patrol and in turn share the decisions of the patrol leaders' council with your patrol members.
Your Duties as Patrol Leader
When you accepted the position of patrol leader, you agreed to provide service and leadership to your patrol and troop. No doubt you will take this responsibility seriously, but you will also find it fun and rewarding. As a patrol leader, you are expected to do the following:
- Plan and lead patrol meetings and activities.
- Keep patrol members informed.
- Assign each patrol member a specific duty.
- Represent your patrol at all patrol leaders' council meetings and the annual program planning conference.
- Prepare the patrol to participate in all troop activities.
- Work with other troop leaders to make the troop run well.
- Know the abilities of each patrol member.
- Set a good example.
- Wear the Scout uniform correctly.
- Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
- Show and develop patrol spirit.
Ten Tips for Being a Good Patrol Leader
Training for Patrol Leaders
- Keep Your Word. Don't make promises you can't keep.
- Be Fair to All. A good leader shows no favorites. Don't allow friendships to keep you from being fair to all members of your patrol. Know who likes to do what, and assign duties to patrol members by what they like to do.
- Be a Good Communicator. You don't need a commanding voice to be a good leader, but you must be willing to step out front with an effective "Let's go." A good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone understands what's going on.
- Be Flexible. Everything doesn't always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to "plan B" when "plan A" doesn't work.
- Be Organized. The time you spend planning will be repaid many times over. At patrol meetings, record who agrees to do each task, and fill out the duty roster before going camping.
- Delegate. Some leaders assume that the job will not get done unless they do it themselves. Most people like to be challenged with a task. Empower your patrol members to do things they have never tried.
- Set an Example. The most important thing you can do is lead by example. Whatever you do, your patrol members are likely to do the same. A cheerful attitude can keep everyone's spirits up.
- Be Consistent. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who is one way one moment and another way a short time later. If your patrol knows what to expect from you, they will more likely respond positively to your leadership.
- Give Praise. The best way to get credit is to give it away. Often a "Nice job" is all the praise necessary to make a Scout feel he is contributing to the efforts of the patrol.
- Ask for Help. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. You have many resources at your disposal. When confronted with a situation you don't know how to handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and direction.
Scouting takes pride in giving youth members unique leadership opportunities and training. Patrol leaders may have the opportunity to participate in all or some of the following leadership training. Introduction to Leadership
This is the first step of leadership training. It is usually conducted by the Scoutmaster within a few days after a troop election. It may last no more than an hour, but it should cover the responsibilities of a patrol leader and the needs for upcoming events within the troop.
Troop Junior Leader TrainingCouncil Junior Leader Training
This is a daylong training conference conducted by the Scoutmaster and senior patrol leader. Its purpose is to reinforce the patrol method and to allow members of the patrol leaders' council to set goals for themselves, their patrols, and their troop.
Many councils offer weeklong junior leader training conferences at their camps for key troop leaders. This course supplements troop training and introduces leadership skills in an outdoor environment.
National Junior Leader Instructor CampNational Leadership Seminars
This program focuses on helping Scouts develop teaching skills that they can use to conduct council junior leader training conferences. It is offered through the Philmont Training Center every summer.
These Order of the Arrow leadership seminars take place over a weekend and focus primarily on the skills and attributes of leadership. Youth participants should be at least 15 years of age or a lodge officer.
Resources for Patrol Leaders
As a patrol leader, you have many resources available, including your Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmasters, senior patrol leader, and the troop committee. Other resources include your teachers, religious leaders, and community leaders. Literature resources available to you include the following:
- Boy Scout Handbook, No. 33105
- Junior Leader Handbook, No. 33500A
- Fieldbook, No. 33200
- Boy Scout Songbook, No. 33224
- Boy Scout Requirements, No. 33215C
- Troop Program Resources, No. 33588
- Troop Program Features, Volumes I, II, and III, Nos. 33110, 33111, 33112
- Worksheets from Scoutmaster's Junior Leader Training Kit, No. 34306
- Boys' Life magazines
- Copy of troop rules and policies
- Troop and patrol rosters
- Activity calendar (troop, district, council, chartered organization)
- First Class—First Year Tracking Sheet, No. 34118A
- Campfire Program Planner sheet, No. 33696
- Troop Planning Worksheet (from Troop Program Features)
- BSA Supply catalog
APL – Assistant Patrol Leader. Scout appointed by the Patrol Leader, who stands in for the Patrol Leader when needed.
ASM – Assistant Scoutmaster. An adult leader, appointed by the Scoutmaster to assist at meetings and on camping trips.
ASPL – Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Scout appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader. In our Troop, the Senior Patrol Leader usually appoints two Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders – one in charge of programs, and one in charge of trips.
Bear Bag – Tarp rigged to hold food items overnight, generally tied to a tree and elevated where bears and minibears can’t get at it.
Blue Card – Card on which your merit badge counselor records progress on a merit badge. There are three portions – when you are finished, the counselor gets one, the scout gets one and the Advancement Chair gets one. See the information about merit badges on the Advancement page.
BOR – Board of Review. All rank advancements, except for the Scout badge, require a Board of Review. The members of a Board of Review are adult leaders in the troop except for the Scoutmaster or any of his Assistant Scoutmasters. The main purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest the skills a Scout has learned, but to see what the Scout’s spirit is and how the troop is doing is helping the Scout along and meeting Boy Scout objectives.
Breakout – To dissolve into smaller groups for a meeting, i.e. patrols.
Buddy System – To have another Scout with you at all times.
Camporee – A District campout with many troops. Generally patrols compete in various events, testing Scouting skills and knowledge.
Class A’s – Tan BSA uniform shirt, troop neckerchief and slide. At some events, we don’t wear the neckerchief.
Class B’s – Tan Troop 5 t-shirt. Worn on service projects and other events that could lead to mud or other forms of dirt.
COH – Court of Honor. A formal ceremony, held three times a year, to recognize you and your fellow Scouts for rank advancement and other Scouting achievements. This event is held with an audience of family, friends, chartered organization officials, and troop leaders.
Cracker Barrel – An informal meeting for leaders with snacks held during a campout.
Den Chief – A scout approved by the Scoutmaster and the Cubmaster to assist in a Cub Scout den. The Scout is generally a First Class Scout or above. The Den Chief Training given by the council is recommended for scouts interested in being a Den Chief.
Fall In – A call by the Senior Patrol Leader or one of his Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders to gather. Scouts usually stand in patrols.
Firem’n Chit – A card showing that the Scout has earned the right to use matches and build cooking fires and campfires. Usually, a Scout will earn this on his first camping trip.
FOS – Friends of Scouting. An organization that supports Scouting at the council level. The Westchester Putnam Council does not collect membership fees and is supported by the efforts of Friends of Scouting fundraising and individual contributions. Friends of Scouting also runs many council events. Annually, Friends of Scouting is invited to conduct a fundraising appeal at one of the Troop’s Courts of Honor.
Greenlee – A bear-proof metal locker that is used at camp for storing food.
Grubmaster – The person responsible for buying food for a campout. The grubmaster should know how many scouts he is buying food for, and the menu for the trip. He should remember "A Scout is Thrifty" when he makes his choices at the supermarket.
Instructors – Scouts appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader who are responsible for teaching Scouting skills and knowledge to the other Scouts.
Klondike Derby – A district sponsored event during the winter. Patrols compete in various Scouting activities, with the ultimate activity being a race to haul a patrol-built sled around a designated course.
Librarian – A Scout appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader to keep track of the Troop’s collection of merit badge pamphlets.
Merit Badge Counselor – An adult who helps a Scout earn a merit badge. Interested adults should consult the information about merit badges on the Advancement page.
Minibears – Critters of the woodlands and plains who like to eat your meals and snack on your candy. (NO FOOD IN TENTS!)
OA – Order of the Arrow. A national honor society for Scouts.
PL – Patrol Leader. A Scout elected by his patrol to lead them at troop meetings and on camping trips, and to represent them on the Patrol Leader’s Council.
PLC – Patrol Leader Council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, the Patrol Leaders, and other youth leaders. The PLC meets at least once a month to plan meetings and outings.
QM – Quartermaster. The person in charge of equipment – packing it for each camping trip and at the end of each trip, issuing equipment to scouts to be cleaned or dried at home.
SC – Scoutmaster Conference. A meeting with the Scoutmaster. At this meeting, the Scoutmaster will review the requirements for rank with the Scout to make sure that they have been learned correctly, help the scout set up the goals for the next advancement, and ask the scout to share ideas about the troop (how it’s going from your viewpoint, what you would like the troop to do more of, problems you see occurring…) A Scoutmaster may request a conference with Scouts at any time, but for the most part the conference is part of a rank advancement.
Scribe – The Scout who takes notes for meetings, appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader.
Service Hours – Hours of community service. Most rank advancements include a required number of service hours. For service projects not sponsored by the Troop, Scouts should get a letter from the sponsor, specifying the organization, the date of the service and the number of hours. Service projects sponsored by the Troop may also qualify for hours of community service at the High School.
Signoffs – Signatures on advancement requirements. To sign off on a requirement, a Scout must be two ranks above that requirement. For example, a Second Class Scout may sign off on Scout rank requirements, a First Class Scout may sign off on Tenderfoot requirements, etc.
SM – Scoutmaster. The main adult leader of your troop. He is responsible for training the Senior Patrol Leader, advising the Patrol Leaders' Council, meeting with each boy as they are ready for advancement (Scoutmaster Conference), and directing the activities of the various Assistant Scoutmasters.
SPL – Senior Patrol Leader. The top Scout leader of the troop, elected by all of the Scouts. With guidance from the Scoutmaster, the Senior Patrol Leader is in charge of Troop Meetings and the patrol leaders' council, and does all he can to see that the patrols succeed.
The Game – A variant of dodge ball, played at Troop Meetings. Ask one of the Scouts to explain the rules.
Totin’ Chip – a card showing that the Scout has earned the right to use a knife, ax, and saw. Usually a Scout earns this on his first camping trip. If a scout is found handling wood tools incorrectly, a corner of the Totin’ Chip card is often cut off. When all four corners are gone, so are the Scout’s totin’ rights.
Troop Guide – A Scout designated by the Senior Patrol Leader to help new Scouts with their advancement.
UOS – University of Scouting. A council sponsored event held in November, where various training sessions are offered for adults. Usually, Den Chief Training for Scouts is also offered.
YLT – Youth Leader Training. Training conducted by the Troop for the Scouts who hold a position of leadership. Sometimes called the JLT, Junior Leader Training, this training is held twice a year, after SPL elections and the patrol reshuffle, to train Scouts in their new positions and to plan meetings and events for the term. YLT is usually held at Durland Scout Reservation.
YP – Youth Protection. Also known as "A Time to Tell". Refers both to the guidelines given by BSA to insure youth protection (always have a buddy with you…), and Youth Protection night, where the Scouts view the BSA video, "A Time to Tell" and talk about how to deal with situations of abuse. Parents are invited to attend Youth Protection night, and should be aware that their Scouts may or may not want to talk about it later. It is held during an April Troop Meeting.