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FAQ’s

Troop 944 Information

What is the Troop 944 Philosophy?

The goal of Troop 944 is to help our young men become good citizens, learn life skills and become men of character who are physically, emotionally and mentally fit, while having FUN!

What are some important website addresses?

Check out the Troop 944 Link page here! 

 

General Boy Scout Info

How is Boy Scouts organized?

At the top of the structure is the BSA National Council which is broken down into 4 regions Northeast, Central, Western and Southern. In the Northeast Region, there is the Baltimore Area Council. The Baltimore Area Council is made up of ten Districts including the National Pike District. The National Pike District covers Howard County, MD. Troop 944 is in the National Pike District of the Baltimore Area Council in the Northeast Region of BSA.

What is District Roundtable and who should attend?

The District Roundtable is the time and place that information is shared about broader District and Council topics. It is usually held on the 2nd Monday of the month, at 7:30pm, at the Columbia Academy, 10380 Old Columbia Rd 21046. It is open to all adults. Agendas can be seen on the District website: Hunder the Roundtable link. 

What is the Patrol Method?

Patrols are the building blocks of the Troop. A Patrol is a group of 6 to 12 boys who work together under the direction of a Patrol Leader a boy elected from the group by the group. A Patrol takes pride in its identity, and the members help each other and strive to make their Patrol the best it can be. 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.

What are Boy Scout Ranks and how long might it take to earn those ranks?

The ranks are listed below with minimum time in rank and average time to that rank from joining Troop 944.  

Scout: 0-1 Month

Tenderfoot:  no min. time, average 4 months in 2013

Second Class:  no min. time, average 8 months in 2013

First Class:  no min. time, average 15 months in 2013

Star:  4 months min., average 30 months in 2013

Life:  6 months min., average 43 months in 2013

Eagle:  6 months min, average 67 months in 2013

 

Meeting Information

Which meetings on the calendar should my son attend?

The Troop and Patrol meetings are held on Wednesday nights year-round. We hope that all Scouts will attend these meetings regularly.

Which meetings on the calendar should adults attend?

Patrol meetings are just that, meetings of individual Patrols.  These meetings may be held at any time and place. Troop 944 designates one Wednesday a month as a Patrol Meeting night.  Usually this is the 4th Wednesday of the month in the White Church (older church, painted white).   It is designated on the Troop calendar as Patrol Meeting at White Church.

Patrol meetings should be well-planned and business-like using an agenda. Typically, the Patrol Leader calls the meeting to order.  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, and advancement activities. The frequency of Patrol meetings is determined by upcoming events and activities that require planning and discussion.

What are Troop meetings?

The Troop meetings are held in the main church fellowship hall (to the left as you enter the parking lot), and generally involve announcements, trip coordination, merit badge work, games, and awards.

What is the Program Patrol?

The Program Patrol functionally work for the ASPL for Program, and helps with programs at meetings and events for the month.  They will place the Flags into position, and lead the Troop in the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, Law, Outdoor Code, and whatever is requested.

At the end of the meeting, they will close the meeting with the Great Scoutmaster’s Benediction.

The Program Patrol may use different openings and closings that are more elaborate with the request of or approval of the SPL.  The Troop has ceremonial white/gold rifles that can be used in Color Guard ceremonies.

They may also be asked to perform at Courts of Honor and other events.

What is the Service Patrol?

The Service Patrol functionally work for the ASPL for service, and is the facility coordinator appointed for the month.  They are responsible for setting up chairs, tables, and other gear used in meetings and/or events.  This includes Troop service projects and Courts of Honor.  They unlock the front church doors before meetings.

They are also responsible for putting all chairs, tables, and gear back after the meeting/event, clean up the area, and exercise “Leave No Trace” principles. They lock the front church doors after meetings.

They should always report before the meeting, and are the last to leave.

What are the other leadership meetings?

The PLC (Patrol Leadership Council) Meetings are Scout meetings, usually held on the 3rd Monday of the month, which include the Senior Leadership, Troop Scribe, and Patrol Leaders from all Patrols along with the Scoutmaster.  If your son is Patrol Leader, he needs to attend these meetings. If he is not available for one of those meetings, then he is responsible for getting another member of the Patrol to attend in his place. He should start with the Assistant Patrol Leader, then Patrol Quartermaster, then Patrol Scribe.

The Senior Leadership Meeting, usually held on the 1st Monday of the month, is for the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders along with the Scoutmaster. These are the older Scouts who are running the Troop.

What are Parent meetings?

The Troop Parent Meeting, usually held the 4th Monday of the month, is for adults only; no Scouts or siblings should attend. Usually, an agenda goes out from the Committee Chair the week before the meeting.  They start at 7:30pm in the basement of the White Church, unless there are Eagle project presentations before the meeting (noted in the agenda).  Troop planning/support is discussed. Its a great way to learn about the Troop activities and organization. All parents are encouraged to attend.  

 

Uniforms

Why does the Troop wear uniforms?

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is the largest uniformed body of volunteers in the world. More than six million boys, girls, and leaders belong to the Boy Scout movement in the United States and wear the Scout uniform with pride. The uniform is part of the experience of being a Scout. It stands for the brotherhood of Scouting, the Scout ideals, and outdoor life.

What is a Field uniform?

The Field Uniform (incorrectly called Class A) consists of an official Scout shirt (with all appropriate rank and insignia), official Scout pants, and blue Troop neckerchief (with some appropriate slide or square knot). The Troop does not require Scout belt, or Scout socks.  However a belt and socks appropriate for the activity are required.  Please realize that Scout socks are padded and excellent for hiking.  Eagle neckerchiefs may be worn in place of blue Troop neckerchiefs; Scout bolos also may be worn at meetings in place of a neckerchief. Neckerchiefs, and not bolos, are required at Scoutmaster Conferences, Boards of Review, and Courts of Honor.

Wearing a mixed uniform (part civilian and part Scout clothing) is inappropriate. If the Scout is missing part of the uniform, the parent will be called or asked to bring the missing piece of the uniform to the activity.

Good grooming is an important aspect of the well-dressed Scout.  Hands and face should be clean, hair combed, and the uniform should be clean.

Various insignia are included on the uniform. The Troop Community Strip/Council shoulder patch, Troop numbers, leadership badges, rank badges, etc., should be affixed per national guidelines. The Troop will periodically have uniform inspections. Merit badges are worn only when sewn on a merit badge sash (or with the sleeve option, not recommended). The correct placement of each badge and authorized insignia is shown in the Boy Scout Handbook.

NOTE: Medals are worn ONLY at a Court of Honor. They should never be worn on camping trips.

When should the Field uniform be worn?

The Field uniform should be worn to all Scout events. These include Troop meetings, camping trips, service projects, Courts of Honor, etc. The Scoutmaster or Senior Patrol Leader will designate proper dress if necessary.

What is an Activity uniform and when should it be worn?

The wearing of the Activity (incorrectly called Class B) uniform is determined by the Senior Patrol Leader during hot weather or for work details. Patrol Leaders may designate that Activity T-shirts may be worn at Patrol meetings, but ALL SCOUTS IN THAT PATROL must be dressed the same. It is the same as the Field uniform except the Scout does not wear a neckerchief or khaki shirt. A Scout T-shirt is worn with Scout pants.

What is a Class A uniform?

Class A uniform is the incorrect name for the Field uniform.

What is a Class B uniform?

Class B uniform is the incorrect name for the Activity uniform.

 

Advancement

What is the process to get requirements signed off?

For the ranks of First Class and below, the requirement must be witnessed by a Troop Guide, a Scout that is qualified to sign off requirements.  This can be done at meetings, service projects, camping trips or by special arrangement.  On occasion, an adult on the Program Staff (Scoutmaster, Asst. Scoutmaster, or designee) can sign off requirements.  A good example of this are the swimming requirements.

For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, the Scoutmaster (or his designee) must sign the Scouts handbook. 

What counts as an Event for Second and First Class?

Troop 944 Troop or Patrol events for Second and First Class rank advancement are as required in the handbook.  Events must have prior review/planning by the PLC, and include camping trips, service projects; outdoor activities together with hikes, bike rides, and swimming when the time or distance are in general conformity with rank or merit badge advancement requirements.  Events must have prior approval of the Scoutmaster (typically at PLCs).

Some clarifications to general policy are: 

  1. The Tenderfoot required overnight camping activity may count as one of the Second Class overnights.
  2. Second Class cooking requirement may be done during a fellow Patrol members First Class cooking requirement.
  3. A total of 3 overnight camping trips are the minimum for First Class.
  4. First Class cooking may be completed before the Second Class requirement during the first six months of a new Patrol with the prior approval of the Scoutmaster.
  5. Council-Wide events may be reviewed by the PLC for inclusion as a rank-event.

Scouts are encouraged to participate in the normal 12-13 Troop camping trips and normal 18-22 Troop Service Projects planned by the PLC each year to meet these advancement requirements.  (Eagle Service Projects can also be used.)  There are more than enough activities in a year to attain the 10 required for First Class.

 

Merit Badges

What is a Blue Card?

A Blue Card is a 3 part perforated form on blue card stock that is used to record the completion of requirements for a merit badge.

How does a Scout get a Blue Card?

Any Scout can ask the Scoutmaster for a Blue Card.  He must tell the Scoutmaster which merit badge he wants to work on and who his counselor is.

When does a Scout ask for a Blue Card?

A Scout must request a blue card before any work on a merit badge begins. 

What are Ages and Stages?

Ages and Stages are guidelines for working on Merit Badges.  Troop 944 uses these guidelines for three reasons.  First, Merit Badges should be appropriate for the experience level and educational grade of the Scout.  Second, the Scout should be able to comprehend the concepts behind the requirements.  He should not skate over the surface, minimally performing the requirements without developing an understanding to be able to use the information in the future.  And last, most of the Merit Badges are windows into possible careers.  Vocational guidance may be provided to older Scouts in particular at this stage.

What are Eagle required Merit Badges?

There are 13 Merit Badges that are required to earn the rank of Eagle.  A Scout needs 4 of these for the rank of Star and an additional 3 of these for the rank of Life, leaving 5 to do between Life and Eagle.

Camping

Citizenship in the Community

Citizenship in the Nation

Citizenship in the World

Communication

Cooking

Cycling or Hiking or Swimming

Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving

Environmental Science or Sustainability

Family Life

First Aid

Personal Fitness

Personal Management

You must choose only one merit badge listed on the same line. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed on those lines, the first earned counts for Eagle, the remaining badges as optional Merit Badges.

What are Optional Merit Badges?

Any non-Eagle required merit badge.  There are 2 required for the rank of Star, an additional 2 required for the rank of Life and an additional 5 required for the rank of Eagle.

Who are the Merit Badge counselors and how do I find them?

Merit Badge counselors are registered adults with skills in the subject area.  They have volunteered their time to help the Scout achieve the requirements set forth for the Merit Badges.  Counselor lists are occasionally emailed out to the Troop, are posted at the Troop website or are also available at anytime by contacting the Merit Badge Coordinator.

Where does information on Merit Badges exist?

The current requirements and worksheets can be found at www.meritbadge.org/ . Merit Badge books can be borrowed from the Troop Library or purchased at the Scout Shop.

How does my son earn merit badges?

The first year of Scouting, the boys should be focused primarily on advancing to First Class.  However, they are also welcomed to work on appropriate merit badges.

All of the merit badges are listed in the Boy Scout Handbook. There are merit badge manuals available for each of the merit badges. Most of these can be found in the Troop library and are available to be checked out to the Scouts.  All of the merit badge manuals can also be purchased from the Scout Shop.  The requirements for each of these merit badges can be found in the merit badge requirements book, on-line at www.meritbadges.org, or in the front of the merit badge manuals.

There will be opportunities at summer camp, Feast Weekend, and other special events to earn merit badges. The Scout will be given a list of options, and the Scout can choose which badges he prefers.  Most summer camps have more stringent ages & stages requirements than Troop 944.

There will also be merit badges offered occasionally during Scout meetings. One of the merit badge counselors may come up and present an overview of a merit badge, and then any Scouts wishing to work on that merit badge will sign up and work with that counselor, typically during portions of the meeting for several weeks thereafter.

With approval of the Scoutmaster when obtaining a Blue Card, a Scout may also look at the merit badge counselor list, and contact any of the counselors directly to work on a merit badge of his choice.  It is important to only use official registered counselors for Merit Badges, or the Blue Card may not be approved by the Troop as completed.  The Scoutmaster will review this with the Scout when requesting a Blue Card (before any work has started).

 

Overnight Camping Info

How do we arrange rides to the campouts?

Each Scout is responsible for arranging his own ride to the campouts. This is usually done within his Patrol by Patrol Leaders, but hes certainly able to go to other Patrols, too. (In reality, the parents are the ones doing this coordination for the early years, but the boys should take increasing responsibility over time.) Simply find out who else in the Patrol will be attending the campout, which parents will be going, and who has room in their car for additional Scouts. (Please remember to leave room in the car for all the Scout equipment!) An easy way to accomplish this is via email distribution within your Patrol, or in person at the Wednesday night meetings.

In addition to food, how much do trips usually cost?

In addition to food, there is usually a cost for a trip to pay for the camping site and the activity.  Some trips are more expensive (more than $100) such as, skiing, and white water rafting.  Some trips are very inexpensive (less than $30) such as the feast, bike trip, and rappelling.  These fees may be paid out of a Scouts Scout account.

What items are prohibited?

The following items are prohibited at all Boy Scout Events to include camping trips.  Please note that aerosol cans are flammable, this includes bug spray and suntan lotion in aerosol cans.

Alcoholic beverages                                 Drugs

Liquid fire starters                                     Ammunition

Firecrackers                                             Open flames in tents

Double bladed axes                                  Firearms (must be furnished by Scouting)

Switchblade knives                                   Liquid fuel lighters

Aerosol cans (flammable)                        Unapproved chemicals

Matches

What special preparation is necessary for winter camping?

here are several things that make winter camping warmer and safer. 

A Scout needs a warm sleeping bag.  Sleeping bags are rated by temperature.  As a rule of thumb, the bag used should be rated 10 degrees colder than the actual temperature.  An insert can be used to boost the warmth of a sleeping bag.  Air mattresses and cots should not be used as they create a layer of cold air under the sleeping bag.

Scouts should ensure that their tents are vented.  This allows the release of warm moist air.  Otherwise, condensation will form on the sleeping bags.

Before bed, a Scout should change all inner layers of clothing.  Dry clothes (especially socks and underwear) will keep a Scout warm at night.  Gloves, hats and socks will protect the extremities.

 

Equipment

What equipment is supplied by the Troop?

Each Patrol is issued:  tents, a chuck box, a folding table, a lantern, a water jug, and a dining fly.  Every six months this equipment is issued to the Patrol Quartermaster.  The Patrol Quartermaster will keep and account for the equipment.  If a Patrol member needs a piece of equipment, he should go to the Patrol Quartermaster to make arrangements for it.  After six months time, the Patrol Quartermaster will return the equipment to the Troop Quartermaster.  

How many Scouts sleep in one tent?

Usually two Scouts per tent. If there are an odd number of Scouts participating in an overnight camping trip, then three Scouts can sleep in a tent together. No Scout may sleep alone in a tent without approval of the Scoutmaster.

What is a chuck box, and how do I take care of it?

A chuck box contains the cooking stove, pots, utensils, etc. that the Patrols will be using at the campouts. The Scouts are responsible for their own individual mess kits. The Scouts are responsible for cleaning all the dishes during the campout, but when it comes back home, the Grubmaster is responsible for rewashing all the dishes (for sterilization this time!) in the dishwasher. Important note: Please let the dishes air dry for a full day (or more) after they come out of the dishwasher to remove any remaining dampness before returning them to the chuck box. Otherwise, those dishes will be moldy the next month when the Scouts try to use them.

What equipment must each Scout supply?

Each Scout is responsible for bringing his own bedding (sleeping bag, pad, and/or cot), changes of clothing, mess kit & utensils, and water bottle.  All of this equipment should be marked with the Scouts name.Other equipment for a particular trip may be required depending on the activity.  For example on the bike trip, a Scout needs his bike and helmet.  Daypacks are usually recommended

What is a mess kit?

A mess kit usually consists of a non-disposable plate, knife, fork, spoon, cup and bowl which are able to handle hot and cold food.  Sometimes the kit is contained in a mesh bag, called a dunk bag that can be hung to dry after the dishes are cleaned.

 

Cooking Information

How does Patrol cooking work?

When a Scout signs up for a campout, there will be an associated fee. That fee is for the campout only; food is separate. Each Patrol will designate one Scout to be the Grubmaster for that trip. The other Scouts will help cook and clean according to the Grubmasters duty roster. The Grubmaster also takes the chuck box home after the trip to rewash and dry all the cooking equipment. He can then return the chuck box to the patrol quartermaster.

How much should food cost for a weekend camping trip?

Patrol food cost for a Friday-Sunday trip usually cost between $12 and $18 for each Scout (Grizzly food is typically a few dollars more).  This will vary depending on the choice of food, consumables needed for the chuckbox, and use of previously purchased food.  All menus should meet First Class cooking requirements as a healthy meal.

The Grubmaster should keep a tally of how much money is spent on the food for that weekend, and then divide the amount by the number of participants. Each Scout will be responsible for paying the Grubmaster for that food. Once the list of whos attending the trip is finalized, a Scout is responsible for his portion of the fee, whether or not he attends the trip.

If a Scouts Patrol food cost per person is more than $20 per boy, he probably has bought the wrong items, or too much.  The parent shopping with him should help him put the food back and let him start over.

The Patrol Grubmaster is responsible for the food.  All food purchased is to be shared by persons committing to go.  Under NO circumstances, should the Grubmaster be responsible to personally pay for food committed to by others.

Normally, Patrols will have one price for food for the weekend.  It is very difficult and awkward to attempt to price the food any other way since it is bought in bulk.  After the food has been bought for the trip, if a person misses a meal for any reason (doesnt like the food, leaves for an athletic event, or decides not to go on the trip for whatever reason), he still needs to pay his share of the Patrol food.  Should a trip be cut short and not all meals used, the Grubmaster can collect for the full amount of food.  If in his opinion, his family can reasonably use some of the food, he can reduce the costs to the Patrol members.  The food can also be divided equally among the scouts that went or were supposed to go on the campout.  The cost of any food given to a food bank, or thrown away, or given away is borne by the Patrol members.

What types of food should be planned for a weekend?

The Grubmaster will get a list of everyone in the Patrol who is attending the trip, find out if there are any food allergies (not liking a certain food doesnt count!), plan nutritionally-balanced meals, purchase the food, and be the lead cook.

Nutritionally balanced means that each meal must contain all four food groups meat/eggs, dairy, fruit/vegetables, and bread.

What is First Class Cooking?

One of the requirements for the rank of First Class is that a Scout must arrange for selecting and buying all food for his Patrol on a camping trip.  He is responsible for making sure the Chuck Box is on the camping trip and properly cleaned after the trip.  He is the primary cook, clean up person, and water person, etc.  Other Scouts help under his direction such as those working on Tenderfoot or Second Class cooking requirements.  He must say an interfaith blessing before each meal.  See the Scout handbook for more details.

 

Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Reviews

What is a Scoutmaster Conference?

For rank advancement the Scout must request a Conference from the Scoutmaster.  He will be placed on a list by the time requested if needed.  The Scoutmaster may assign the Conference to an Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) or Junior ASM (JASM).

Frequently Scouts ask for a Conference and then are not ready when the Conference time arrives.  Scouts must be in full Field Uniform (Class A), have their Scout Book, and have all task requirements for the rank completed & signed off in the book.  Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class also have pages within the book that need to be filled out (10 animals, 10 plants, events, etc.).

At the Conference the Scoutmaster will determine if the Scout knows all the skills required to obtain the desired rank.  This knowledge is cumulative.  In other words a Scout sitting for his Second Class Conference also must know the Tenderfoot requirements.  If the Scout does not know the materials, the conference will be stopped and the Scout will be asked to study the material and reschedule another conference.

Scoutmasters (and Asst. Scoutmasters) do not evaluate their own sons/relatives.

What is a Board of Review?

After a successful Scoutmaster Conference, the Scout must request a Board of Review from the Committee Chair or their designee.  He will be placed on a list by the time requested if needed. 

Scouts should be familiar with their Troop & Patrol activities, be in full Field Uniform (Class A), have their Scout Book, and other requested documentation with them.

A Board of Review is a check to see if the Scout is happy with the Troop.  They will ask how a Scout likes his Patrol, Troop, Adults and if there are things that could be done differently.

Board of Reviews Committee members do not evaluate their own sons/relatives.

How does my Scout get his Board of Review and Scoutmaster Conference for advancement?

Once a Scout has had all requirements for a rank signed off, he may request a Scoutmaster Conference. He must go to the Scoutmaster to make this request; no parent should be making this request for the Scout. The Scoutmaster will put the boys name on a list, if needed, and they will go through the Scouts in the order of the list as time permits.  Only the Scoutmaster or designated Assistant Scoutmasters may conduct these Conferences. 

After a successful Scoutmaster Conference, the Scout may request a Board of Review (BOR). The Scout, not the parent, should go to the BOR Chairman to request this review. Again, the Scouts name will be put on a list, if needed, and he will be called when its his turn. If he is not in full Field Uniform or does not have his Scout handbook, he will be skipped. The Board consists of three or more registered parents.

While we try to keep this process as timely as possible, it could take several weeks for the Scout to receive these reviews. The best thing a parent can do to help this process along is to get involved! The more parents we have available for Boards of Review, the shorter the wait will be for the Scouts.

When are Scoutmaster Conferences scheduled?

Scout, Tenderfoot, & Second Class Conferences are generally arranged on trips, Troop meetings, and Patrol nights.  These Conferences are relatively short and the Scouts are still learning about advancement practices.

First Class, Star, & Life Conferences are generally arranged on trips and Patrol nights.  These Conferences are somewhat longer since more information needs to be reviewed; and are typically done on trips for both available time and because the Scout must be active in the Troop as one of the requirements.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts plan ahead and have Blue Cards signed off in advance of trips & summer camp they should not bring Blue Cards on trips and summer camp to avoid potential of losing them.

Eagle Conferences are frequently performed on weekends and trips by two adults, the Scoutmaster and an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Many Troops do not perform Scoutmaster Conferences at Summer Camp Troop 944 does. 

When are Boards of Review scheduled?

Boards of Review for all ranks, other than Eagle, are generally whenever three Committee adults are available.  They are performed on trips, meetings, Senior Leadership nights, and PLC nights.  Boards require three Committee adults.

Eagle Boards of Review are set at the discretion of the District Advancement Committee.  Eagle Boards require three to six adults (BSA registration is not required).

Many Troops do not perform Boards of Review at Summer Camp Troop 944 do

What is the proper uniform for a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review?

The Scout must be in full Field Uniform (sometimes called Class A). If hes not in uniform, then he cannot complete either his Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review.

Who can perform Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review?

Scoutmaster conferences are assigned to the Scoutmaster, Asst. Scoutmasters or Junior Asst. Scoutmasters by the Scoutmaster.  Eagle Scoutmaster Conferences are assigned to two adults, the Scoutmaster and an Asst. Scoutmaster.

Boards of Review are made up of 3 registered Adults that are not on the Program Staff.

 

Service

Why do Boy Scouts do service projects?

The slogan of the Boy Scout is to Do a good turn daily. Troop 944 generally has 16-18 Troop Service Projects each year. 

In April 1997 BSA responded to the President’s call for increased volunteer service with a commitment to provide 200 million hours of service by youth members by the end of the year 2000. BSA’s campaign was called “Service to America” and was promoted by the Order of the Arrow.

This program was hugely successful and is indeed continuing in a large scale within many local Councils and nationally, but with a different name.  The new name of the program is Good Turn for America.  Visit the official website at   http://www.goodturnforamerica.org/  for more information.

What is a Troop service project?

Any event or task that provides service to others that the Troop has selected.

What is a Patrol service project?

Any event or task that provides service to others that has been approved by the Scoutmaster in which a Patrol participates.

How are service projects chosen for the Troop?

The Troop typically has 16-18 service projects of all kinds each year to promote service to others, as well as provide a means for Scouts to meet service requirements for rank advancement.  The service projects are chosen at the Troop Annual Planning Program.  

One of the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders is usually responsible for coordinating Service Projects for the Troop. It is his responsibility to plan, inform, and sign up Scouts (and adults) for projects.

What is Webelos O Ree and the Klondike?

Webelos O Ree and the Klondike are District Cub Scout events that the Troop helps by running one or several stations. 

Webelos O Ree is a camping trip for Webelo Scouts which is usually held at Broad Creek Scouting Reservation.  Troop 944 usually does the moulage first aid and the BB range.

The Klondike is a simulation of the Canadian Gold Rush held usually at the McKeldin area of Patapsco State Park.  Troop 944 has done the monkey bridge on the Cub Scout trail.  While this event can be a camping event and Scouts of all ages may participate on age appropriate trails, Troop 944 usually doesnt choose to camp or run the trails.

What is We Remember?

We Remember is a Council event held on the Friday before Memorial Day.  The task is to plant flags on all graves at Baltimore National Cemetery (in Catonsville).  Usually the Troop meets in the parking lot of the church and then drives over to the cemetery.  Watching the flag planting is one of the more amazing things to watch.  Hundreds of scouts planting flags on thousands of graves takes only minutes.

What is Hamfest?

Hamfest is a Ham Radio event held at the Howard County Fairgrounds on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  Troop 944 has used it as a one night camping trip (Saturday night) and has provided traffic control for parking on Sunday.

What is the Preakness Balloon Fest?

The Preakness occasionally has a Balloon Festival as one of its events leading up to race day.  Recently, Turf Valley Country Club has been one of the venues for the hot air balloons.  Troop 944 has provided service to the balloon crews including help setting up, chasing, and help packing it all back up again.  This event is usually the Thursday evening and Friday morning before the Preakness.

What is the Waverly Mansion service project?

The Howard County Council of Garden Clubs conducts holiday tours of Waverly Mansion usually on the first Monday evening in December.  Troop 944 sets up luminaries and provides traffic control for parking during the event.  The Scouts like this event for two reasons 1.  it usually snows that day, 2.  cookies and hot chocolate provided by the Garden Club at no cost to the Scouts.

What is the Blood Drive?

Bethany UMC hosts and the Troop organizes a Red Cross Blood Drive just before Thanksgiving.  Scouts help with the signup and refreshment area of the drive as well as with a Troop bake sale.

What is the Church cleanup?

Twice a year, usually April and October, Bethany UMC organizes a cleanup of the grounds.  Troop 944 participates in this project as a service to the organization that sponsors them.  In the past, Scouts have spread mulch, and raked leaves.

 

High Adventure

What is High Adventure?

Any program that requires a scout to be more responsible and physically fit.  There is always a minimum age and or rank requirement.  Usually this is 14 and/or First Class.  However each program is different, so one should check the site and/or Troop requirements.

When does the Troop select the High Adventure trips?

The Scouts select the High Adventure trip during the Troop Annual Planning Program.  Because of registration requirements for the popular trips, this is done 2 years in advance.  For example in June 2008, the Scouts selected the 2010 National Jamboree as the High Adventure trip for that summer.  

What is Philmont?

Philmont Scout Ranch is a national camping area, owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America. Philmont is large, comprising 137,493 acres or about 215 square miles of rugged mountain wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rockies. 32 staffed camps and 50 unstaffed camps are operated by the ranch. Philmont has high mountains which dominate rough terrain with an elevation ranging from 6,500 to 12,441 feet.

This was the Troop high adventure trip in 2007 and in 2011.

Website:  http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/

What is Sea Base?

The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is owned and operated by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to offer unique educational aquatic programs to our members. Located in Islamorada and on Summerland Key in the beautiful Florida Keys as well as Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, the near shore reefs and crystal clear waters offer unparalleled opportunities for long term and short term programs year round.

 

What is Haliburton?

Haliburton Scout Reserve is located 250 kms (150 miles) north of Toronto.  This 5000 acre reserve is richly forested and has 10 sparkling lakes providing wilderness homes for many animals, birds and fish.   Centered around Lake Kennabi, Haliburton Scout Reserve offers 23 campsites which are accessible only by water. It is surrounded by a world of breathtaking scenery. The Reserve provides Scouts with the most enjoyable camping experience possible. Camp covers a 7 day period and can include a variety of activities from the available land and water programs.

In the past, this high adventure trip has also included an extra 3 day tour of Niagara Falls, Niagara Mohawk Power Plant and a day in Toronto Canada.

The Troop considers this to be high adventure because of the distance from home (i.e. out of the country) and the proximity to water.  The age/rank restrictions will be published at the time of registration.

What is Northern Tier?

Northern Tier High Adventure Program is the only outfitter in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Canada charged by the Boy Scouts of America to deliver the Scouting program to Scouts and Leaders adventuring into North Americas Canoe Country.  Since 1923, Scouts have been voyaging into the great north wilderness to seek adventure. Eagles soaring overhead, walleye swimming in the depths of pristine lakes, meeting a moose on the portage trail. These are the experiences that Scouts get in Canada and the north woods of the United States. 

What are the Adirondacks?

The Rollins Pond Canoe Base and the West Pine Pond Backpacking Center form the Reservation, both located in Altamont, NY between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, about an hour west of Lake Placid in the heart of the Adirondacks. With its many lakes and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, Floodwood is perfectly located to offer a high adventure challenge second to none. With Rock Climbing, Water Skiing, archery, and many day hikes and paddles available, Floodwood offers a great program in camp as well as on trek

What is the National Jamboree?

The Summit (Bechtel Reserve in WVA) Is More Than A Place

It’s an adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America. And anyone who loves the outdoors. And home to the National Scout Jamboree. And the 4th BSA High Adventure Base, with the other three being the Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier and Florida Sea Base. 

It’s the beginning of the next century of Scouting. With incredible facilities and intense outdoor programs, The Summit is a place that takes kids to the limits of what they think they can do, and then goes further. What is there to do?

You name it! The jamboree program reflects the skills of Scoutingphysical fitness, environmental conservation, our national heritage, and the true spirit of Scouting.

See yourself rappelling, discovering scuba, kayaking, rafting, and sailing. Experience trap shooting, archery, bikeathlons, buckskin games, confidence courses, conservation trail, and more! There is not enough time in the day for all the exciting activities that are there waiting for you to try.

Daily activities include an incredible merit badge midway, arts and sciences, a re-creation of Baden-Powells original Scout camp on Brownsea Island, an American Indian village, regional entertainment stages, and many other activities. The arena shows are a highlight for all participants. The jamboree is Scouting at its very best!

This is the Troop high adventure trip for 2013.  Minimum age/rank requirements are First Class.  They must have completed the 6th grade or be at least 12 years of age.

 

Religious Awards

Why does Boy Scouts offer Religious Awards?

The 12th point in the Scout Law is Reverent.  A Scout is reverent. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.

Scouting itself does not actually have qualifications for Religious Awards.  It recognizes the achievement of an award earned and given within the Scouts faith.  Scouting recognizes this with a silver thread square knot on a background of purple, worn on the Field Uniform.

Troop 944 encourages all Scouts to participate in their chosen faith, and recognizes the Scout individually by presenting the Religious Knot at our Courts of Honor.  The Scout may also wear the medal presented by his faith on his Field Uniform at formal Scout events.

What Religious Awards does Bethany UMC offer?

Traditionally Bethany offers classes for various Religious Award levels. The Boy Scout level for the United Methodist Church is called: God and Church. For older Boy Scouts there is a program called: God and Life. These classes are open to Scouts of any religion in the Troop and are paid for by the Charter Organization.

 

Order of the Arrow (OA)

What is Order of the Arrow?(OA)

Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of Boy Scouts.  It was founded in 1915 to honor Scouts selected by their peers.

What is purpose of Service in the OA?

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

What Lodge or Chapter do the Troops Scouts belong?

Troop 944s Scouts belong to Nentico Lodge 12.  The webpage can be found at:  http://www.nentico.org/index.html

How are Scout OA Elections accomplished?

At the February camping trip (the Feast), elections for Order of the Arrow are held.  Any scout that has met the minimum requirements 1st Class rank and camping for 20 nights is eligible.  All Scouts present (OA and non-OA) vote for those they believe uphold the values of Scouting.  The Scouts that are currently members of the OA count the votes and record the nominees.

How are Adult OA Elections accomplished?

Adults in the Troop do not traditionally vote for other adults.  At the January Parents meeting, a request for volunteers is made.  Usually the Troop selects 2 adults each year.  There is a minimum 20 night camping requirement for adults, but no minimum rank requirement.

What is tapping out?

Tapping out is the formal nomination process, correctly named Call Out.  Usually this happens at the March Court of Honor.  Those Scouts and adults selected are Called Out (tapped out) at this meeting.  The names of those previously selected are secret until this public announcement.

What is the Ordeal?

Once a Scout is Called Out he has one year to complete the Ordeal.  The Ordeal is the formal initiation process into the OA.  Usually it is an OA camping trip where Scouts sleep under the stars and perform service to others.

 

Budget

What are the fees for the Troop?

The Troop collects activity fees each year as well as a one-time, new Scout fee. These fees in 2009 are:

Each Scout pays a new Scout One Time Fee $ 20.00

Activity Fee for the first Scout in a family (Yearly) $ 90.00

Activity fee for each additional Sibling Scout $ 80.00

What is a Scout Account?

To help achieve funding goals, the Troop offers a unique cooperative sharing plan for fund raising. The Treasurer maintains a ledger of Scout Accounts.  The Scout Account is money held in escrow by the Troop for the Scout to be used only in support of Scout activities (camping fees, purchases from the Scout Shop).  Half of the profits from a Scouts fund raising activity goes to his Scout Account.  For any Popcorn sales over $200, the Scout receives 80% of profits to encourage greater sales. Scouting is a nonprofit organization the funds must only be used by the Scout for Scouting purposes. The Troop does not pay commission on sales for that portion of sales over $200. Any Scout Account funds not used by the Scout revert to Troop use when the Scout leaves Scouting. Scout Accounts can be transferred to another Scouting organization or to siblings in the Troop.

Scout Accounts which have a negative balance and/or Scouts who owe money to the Troop shall make restitution. Otherwise, the Scout may not be allowed to participate in monthly activities, re-registration, or rank advancement.

How can one find out how much is in a Scouts account?

The easiest way is to ask the Troop Treasurer.  A list of accounts with balances is usually shared at the Parents meeting every month.

What is the Troops fundraising requirement?

The Troop expects that all Scouting families will participate in the fundraising program.

The goal is for each Scout to earn $80.00 minimum yearly in fund raising activities for the Troop (of which $40.00 goes into the Scouts own account). If the Scout does not participate in any fund raising, he owes the Troop $40.00 by December 31st.

What is the Popcorn fundraiser?

Selling Popcorn is a Baltimore Area Council-wide fundraiser.  Profits from this fundraiser go to the Baltimore Area Council, the National Pike District, the Troop, and to the Scout (Scout Account).  It is typically in the fall of every year.

 

Adult Roles

What is a Charter Organization Representative (COR)?

The Charter Organization Representative (COR) serves as a liaison between the sponsor of the Troop, Bethany UMC, and the Troop Committee, represents your Troop to the local council and at the monthly District Committee meetings.

What is the Troop Committee?

The Troop Committee is the body of registered adults that approve the Program designed for the Troop.  The Committee ensures that all projects undertaken are completed.  The Committee consists of a Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Advancement Chair, Equipment Coordinator and Committee members.

What is the Program Staff?

The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters comprise the Program Staff.  These adults are uniformed and work directly with the Scouts.

What is a Patrol Coach?

A Patrol Coach is a registered adult that has agreed to work as a mentor for a particular patrol.  They should be at Troop and Patrol Meetings, and may attend some of the PLCs and go to summer camp. 

Training is available for these adults.  Informal training starts at summer camp.  This is normally provided by the Scoutmaster.  

What is the parent role in Boy Scouts as compared to Cub Scouts?

In Cub Scouts, the parents had a vital role in helping their son advance.  In Boy Scouts, the parents are primarily there for the health and safety of the Scouts and should be focusing on helping the Patrol and the Troop, not just their son.  The focus on the larger groups will also benefit their son, but will help the Scout to gain more independence.

Boy Scout Troops are run entirely by parent volunteers. As such, we need all parents to get involved!  There are many opportunities, large and small.  The Committee Chairman has a list of the activities needing adult leadership.  Parents can also drive to and chaperone campouts, be merit badge counselors, help conduct Boards of Review, etc.  Many hands make light work!

What is required for trip and service project coordination?

Trips and Service Projects usually have an adult leader.  Any registered adult can volunteer to take responsibility for a trip or project.  There is a Troop booklet on the website about organizing trips called, Im Responsible for a Camping Trip? 

This responsibility includes obtaining the appropriate tour permits, arrangements for use of camp sites, arrangements for the activity, advertising the trip, etc.

How can a parent facilitate a Scout?

Parents can encourage their Scout to be active in the Troop, utilize the Scout chain of command (Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster), and to be responsible for planning his activities, including merit badges and advancement.

How can a parent volunteer?

The Troop Committee Chair maintains a spreadsheet of adult volunteer duties.  A version of the volunteer spreadsheet can sometimes be found on the Troop website.  To volunteer for an available duty, just contact the Committee Chair and ask to do that job.  There are a few jobs that need the approval of the Scoutmaster or special training (Assistant Scoutmasters, for example need the approval of the Scoutmaster and training).

What is the Parent picnic?

This is an Adult only event held in late August or early September to kick off the new year and calendar.  The goal is to have fun and for the volunteer spreadsheet to be completed at this time. 

What training is available to adults?

Fast Start is the first level of adult Boy Scout training.  It is offered both face-to-face and on-line.

Youth Protection training is required of all adult boy-contact leaders every two years.  It enforces the importance of creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members.  It is offered both face-to-face and on-line.

Wagon Wheel is National Pike Districts second level training course series offered twice a year for adults.  It is actually composed of a hands-on version of 4 National courses.  It is composed of New Leader Essentials, Troop Committee, Scoutmaster Specific, and The Outdoor Program.

The University of Scouting is a Council series of adult Courses in all areas of Scouting, Cub, Boy, Venturing, etc.  Many different class room courses are offered.

Wood Badge is the most advanced training available for Scout Leaders who are involved in the programs of the Boy Scouts of America.  It is comprised of an intensive series of hands-on courses for a theoretical phase, and a practical courses including five tasks for the Scouter accomplished over about 15 months.

What is the Grizzly Patrol?

Every person who is registered with the Troop is in a patrol.  For the adults, it is the Grizzly Patrol.  There is an informal Patrol for the adult women called the Camping Goddess Patrol.

 

Scout Roles

What is the organization structure?

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the top Scout position.  He has Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL) that work with him.  Each Patrol has a Patrol Leader who is on the Patrol Leader Council (PLC).  Each Patrol also has Patrol members.

What are Patrols?

A Patrol is a group of 6 to 12 boys who work together under the direction of a Patrol Leader a boy elected from the group by the group.  On trips, patrols will usually cook and camp as a group.  See What is the Patrol method? for more information.

What are the Leadership positions and responsibilities?

There are many leadership positions available to a Scout.  

Leadership by Scouts is necessary for the Troop to operate.  But more important, Leadership is to DEVELOP Scouts for their own future.

Some Troop Leadership positions are used as part of the requirement for the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks.  These are specified in the Scout handbook.  Others, such as Patrol Quartermaster, Patrol Grubmaster, are still needed, but are not used for rank credit.  They are great training positions.

Positions may be characterized as:

  1. Staff  examples include Historian, Scribe
  2. Intermediate examples include Bugler, Den Chief
  3. People Leader examples include ASPL, Patrol Leader

These are explained in more detail in Youth Leader Training (YLT).  All Scouts are encouraged to attend YLT, whether or not they are expecting to be in Leadership in a particular six-month period.

Scouts should plan their careers when possible to start out with Staff positions, and work towards People Leader positions.  ALL THREE types of positions are needed for a Scout to benefit the most.  Scouts should NOT plan to repeat the same position.

The Senior Patrol Leader and Scoutmaster will guide the Scouts into which positions are best for their personal development and at what stage in their Scouting career.  Please also note that Scouts much match up to available openings, and it is not necessary to have a Leadership Position all the time.  Part of Scouting is also learning to be a follower and team player.

The real purpose of Leadership Positions is to DEVELOP SCOUTS, not merely rank advancement.

What are the Patrol jobs?

The Patrol has a number of jobs.  These include:  Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Quartermaster, and Patrol Scribe.  The job responsibilities are very similar to the Troop positions, but the jobs only apply to the Patrol.  For example, Patrol Quartermaster is responsible for the equipment that the Patrol has checked out.  Please note:  Only the Patrol Leader job counts towards leadership credits for advancement.

When are Elections?

Troop elections are held at the February camping trip (the Feast) and in early September at a Troop meeting.  At these elections, the Scouts will vote for a Troop Senior Patrol Leader and each Patrol will elect a Patrol Leader.

When is the Troop calendar planning done?

In June, there is a Troop Annual Planning Program (TAPP, formerly called the Troop Operations Workshop, TOW) where the Scouts determine their activities for the following year. All Scouts are invited to participate in this session.  Adults may attend the TAPP, but do not participate in voting.

What training is available for Scouts?

Twice per year (generally March and October) we have Introduction to Leadership Skills Training (ILST), formally known as Youth Leadership Training (YLT).  All Scouts who are in leadership positions are required to attend this meeting if they want to get credit for their leadership role that session.  However, all Scouts are invited to attend.

 

Discipline and Safety

What is the behavior issue process?

Behavioral issues are raised to the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters.  The issue is discussed at the next Patrol Leaders Council and Parents Meetings.  Appropriate action is taken as a result of these discussions.

Serious behavioral issues on trips can require Troop leaders to phone parents (collect call) to request that parents immediately drive to camp and pick up their son for transport back to the Scouts home.

What is Two Deep Leadership and why is it necessary?

Boy Scout policy requires that there be two adults at every function.  This protects both the Scouts and the adults.  When a Scout arrives at an event, the adult driving him should not leave until there are two adults present.  More information can be found by taking Youth Protection Training. 

What are Prohibited items?

See Prohibted Items under Camping

What is an ASPL?

ASPL stands for Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.  Usually the SPL appoints 1-3 Scouts to assist him as ASPLs.  All must go to Youth Leader Training to receive credit for the leadership position.

 

Common Acronyms

What is a COH?

It stands for Court of Honor.  These are held 4 times a year (March, June, September, and December) to formally present awards, Merit Badges, and rank advancements.

What is a COR?

The Charter Organization Representative.  

What is ILST?

Junior Leader Training, now called Introduction to Leadership Skills Training (ILST).

What is a JASM?

A Scout designated by the Scoutmaster, holding the rank of Eagle for some period of time that is still active in the Troop.  JASMs are trained and may give Scoutmaster Conferences assigned by the Scoutmaster.

What is the OA?

Order of the Arrow.

What is a PL?

Patrol Leader.

What is an SPL?

SPL stands for Senior Patrol Leader, the Scout that is elected twice per year by Scouts to lead the Troop.  All must go to Youth Leader Training to receive credit for the leadership position.

What is TAPP?

Troop Annual Planning Program, formerly called the Troop Operations Workshop (TOW). 

What is TOW?

Troop Operation Workshop, now called Troop Annual Planning Program (TAPP).

What is an Assistant Scoutmaster?

A trained, registered adult, selected by the Scoutmaster to be part of the Program Staff working with the Scouts.

What is Broad Creek?

Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation is the Baltimore Area Councils camping facility.  It consists of three camps:  Camp Spencer and Camp Saffran are Boy Scout Camps and Camp Oest is the Cub Scout Camp.

What is the Committee?

Short hand for Troop Committee. 

What is a Grubmaster?

The person responsible for cooking on a camping trip. 

What/Where is the Main Church?

As you enter the parking lot, it is the brick entrance on your left.  It is the new building.  The Fellowship Hall, where the Troop meets, is the first room on your right as you enter the building.

What is Moulage first aid?

Makeup to simulate injuries for First Aid training.

What is Program?

t is the Plan developed by the Program Staff and Scout Leadership for the Troop.

What is an Equipment Coordinator?

The Adult leader responsible for overseeing, purchasing, and organizing the Troop equipment. 

What is a Scoutmaster?

The main Leader of the Troop that works with the Scouts.

What/Where is the White Church?

As you enter the parking lot, it is on your right.  It is the old church.  We usually enter it from the back, down the steps into the basement.  There is the venue for Patrol meetings.

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