New Scout Guide

Uniforms

Wear your uniform to all Troop meetings

Available at the Pleasant Hill Scout Store or McCaulous Department Store.

  • 1 Boy Scout Uniform Shirt: new style, short sleeve – (leave room to grow)
    Centennial Short Sleeved Shirt, cotton/poly blend material (67% cotton, 33% polyester) The shirt should be short sleeved (BSA offers a "convertible" long sleeve, but we opted against it) and the material is the poplin/cotton blend (not the nylon).
  • 1 Boy Scout Uniform Pair of “Zip-off” long pants: they convert to shorts. 
    Centennial Canvas Convertible Pant, Long Pant with zip-off legs (67% cotton, 33% Polyester) (not the nylon style).
  • Belt: now included with the new style pants.
    New Style standard BSA belt
  • BSA socks: the new official scout sock design.
    Solid green color new BSA sock, either ankle height or calf height OK (need calf height for higher boot styles) Parents should obtain socks (the troop does not have a requirement as to the height of the socks; it is each boy's preference).
  • Shoulder loops: Green color epaulets.  Parents should obtain a set of green epaulets (shoulder loops) where they buy the shirt.
  • Neckerchief: The boys who crossed over when Webelos received their temporary neckerchiefs at that time; they will get permanent neckerchiefs (with the troop patch) when they earn the rank of "Scout".
  • Neckerchief Slide: Neckerchief slides can be whatever style each boy wants, but since they are prone to becoming lost, we recommend the inexpensive BSA slide to start.
  • BSA Handbook: (mark your scout’s name clearly on the inside and outside of your new Handbook!)
    A nylon cover for the Handbook is recommended to keep the book in good shape for years.
  • Footwear: Footwear will be discussed at the first meeting, but we recommend that scouts have a pair of lightweight hiking boots (preferred wear with uniform, and essential for many outings).
  • Hat: Troop 224 will provide a troop cap.
  • Patches: Troop 224 will provide the “224” numerals and the "50-year" patch, patrol patch, and Quality Unit patch.  Parents should buy the World Scouting and the Council patches where they get the uniforms.  Patches can be sewn on at home (the inside cover of the BSA Handbook has a guide) or by the Scout Shop or several dry cleaners in the area.  Costs vary for this service so ask around.  I can now recommend that the latest "iron on" style adhesive does in fact work (unlike so many previous versions) but if you are going to use it, be sure to buy only the kind from the Scout Store and follow the instructions to the letter.

 Additional Notes:

  • Each New Scout must bring their BSA Handbook, a pencil/pen & notebook paper to take notes at all meetings.  The Handbook should be brought to all Troop Patrol meetings where they may be working on rank advancement.
  • Parents are welcome to stay and observe meetings if they like, but it is not required.
  • All Scouts, Leaders and Guides are to wear full Class A uniforms to Troop Meetings.
  • Scouts must be in full uniform for the Scoutmaster Conference for the initial “Scout” rank and all rank advancement Scoutmaster Conferences thereafter.

Rank Advancement, Merit Badges and Courts of Honor

Scout Participation

*       Scouts must have 50% participation in 3 categories (Troop and Patrol meetings, outings, and other) in order to advance in rank.  "Other" includes Court of Honor meetings, Eagle Court of Honor meetings, Eagle projects, service projects, and other activities and meetings that don't fall into the meeting and outing categories).  Note:  Most Scouts are involved with sports and other activities and are able to balance this requirement with their other activities.

*       Because attendance records may not be 100% accurate, it is advised that parents and Scouts keep a record of their Scout’s participation.

Rank Advancement (Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life, Eagle)

*       A scout must complete specific Rank Requirements, noted in the Scout Handbook.  For the first rank of Scout, the new scouts’ Patrol Leader(s) will teach and sign off on a new scout’s Scout Rank Requirements.

*       Other than the Scoutmaster Conference and the Board of Review, Rank Requirements should be signed off by the scout’s Patrol Leader.  If the Patrol Leader is not available, another First Class Scout can determine whether a scout has accomplished and/or understands a Rank Requirement and can sign off in the scout’s Handbook.

*       After rank requirements are all completed, the Scout contacts the Scoutmaster and requests a Scoutmaster Conference (SMC).

*       After successfully completing the SMC, the Scout contacts the Advancement Chair and requests a Board of Review (BOR).

*       Until reaching the rank of First Class, rank advancement is much more important than merit badges.

*       Because Scout Handbooks are sometimes lost or misplaced, some parents photocopy the sign offs for rank advancement (starting on page 432 for Tenderfoot requirements).

*       A detailed description of the rank advancement process can be found in the Troop Handbook.  If you still have questions after reading the Troop Handbook, contact any Uniformed Leader for assistance. (see the Troop Roster for a list of ULs, which are the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters)

Blue Cards (Merit Badges)

*       A blue card is record of a scout’s completion of requirements for a merit badge.  The early ranks, through First Class, do not require merit badges but work on “rank advancement” where Scouts learn and practice important, foundation skills.  During this time, Scouts may, however, obtain merit badges that will be applied to later ranks.

*       Scouts will be given one of the three parts of the Blue Card when they receive their merit badge.  Most parents encourage their Scouts to keep their completed Blue Cards in 8-1/2 x 11 inch baseball card collector sheets.  These sheets are available at the Pleasant Hill Boy Scout store or at most hobby stores.

*       Many Scouts and Tenderfoots work on a couple of simple merit badges (e.g., Wood Carving or Leatherworking) during Summer Camp; it provides them with a sense of accomplishment.

*       Only Uniformed Leaders can give out Blue Cards; the intention is to ensure that the merit badge selected is not too complicated for the Scout’s age and experience.

*       Before the first overnight outdoor activity, Scouts can ask for a Camping merit badge Blue Card.  The merit badge takes awhile to complete as it requires 20 days and nights of camping with the Troop; however, note that there is no particular rush to sign up for this merit badge.  Although it may take a couple/few years to earn it, Scouts have until the age of 18 to complete it.

Scoutmaster Conferences (SMC)

*       Scoutmaster Conferences are required for each rank advancement (i.e., for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle).  For ranks after Scout, scouts must contact the Troop’s Scoutmaster to schedule a Scoutmaster Conference after they have completed all of the requirements for their rank.

Boards of Review (BOR)

*       Boards of Review are not required for the Rank of Scout.  Once a new scout has all of their Scout rank requirements signed off they will only need to pass a Scoutmaster Conference to achieve their Scout rank.  All other ranks require a Board of Review.  When the Scout completes his SMC for a rank, he then contacts the Advancement Chair and requests a Board of Review.

Courts of Honor (COH)

*       The Court of Honor is the formal recognition, in front of parents and the Troop, of a Scout’s progress, leadership and other awards. All Scouts and their parents are required to attend Courts of Honor, whether or not they are receiving an award.  A Scout who has achieved rank advancement will escort his parents to the front, where he will be presented with a rank patch and a mother’s pin, which he will affix to his mother’s ribbon.  New Scouts being awarded the Rank of Scout will be presented with the blue Troop neckerchief and will return the patchless one given to him upon joining the Troop.

Outings

The Scout "10 Essentials"

These are listed in the Scout Handbook (Page 264) and the Troop Handbook.  Your Scout should have these with him on all outings.  For day hikes, Scouts put these in a school type backpack.

1.         Pocketknife (only if your Scout has earned his “Token Chip”) can be the usual Scout or Swiss Army style or Leatherman, multi-tool type.

2.         First Aid kit – any style will do. Put in a specific spot in the frame and identify from the outside with a red or reflective silver cross over that spot so it is very easily obtainable.

3.         Extra clothing – For everyday hikes, we use the Class B Troop tee-shirt, not Class A’s.  Remember – “Cotton kills.”  With the great breathable clothes available, buy an extra under shirt, fleece jacket / sweatshirt, socks and pants / shorts made from these fabrics.  Look online at “Campmor.com” which has good bargains or discount Sporting goods store.

4.         Rain gear – This doesn’t have to be expensive Frog Wear (look that up on line) but a simple, compressible orange poncho will suffice.

5.         Water bottle – At least 1 liter size.  Use the wide mouth heavy, impact resistant plastic bottles, not the small mouthed ones.  Some Scouts buy the “Camelback-style” bags.  Though much more expensive, these are good for long hikes, with water available, but the water filtration / purification systems don’t fit them and they are difficult to clean thoroughly).  Many new backpacks have specific carrying spots for the reservoir style bags.

6.         Flashlight – Hand held or headlight style, make sure that they are lightweight and have a good beam. Put in new batteries or carry extra, prior to each trip.

7.         Trail food – a Powerbar style snack or a package of GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts).  This is not a major meal. Double sack the trail food in a Ziploc style bag.

8.         Matches and fire starters – Put these into a zip lock bag, also.  The fire proof matches are expensive but useful.  One box should take care of a Scout for many, many years (as long as he doesn’t waste them).  The fire starters will lose their incendiary properties after a year or so and will need to be replaced.  Compressed lint works well, too.

9.         Sun protection – Even in the winter, the sun’s rays can burn at elevations over 3,000 feet.  Small bottles of SPF 35 should be packed.  These, too, lose their effectiveness.  Check the expiration date on the bottle. A sun burn can really ruin an outing.

10.       Map and Compass – Not all Scouts will have a map of the trail but each Patrol will have one.  Every Scout should have a compass.  There are varieties from the simple to the mirrored one with declination lines.  For the beginning Scout, the simple one will suffice.

What Personal Equipment a Scout Needs to Take on a Troop 224 Outing

1.         Sleeping bag

Not cotton covered or cotton filled kind.  The temperature rating should not be above 35 degrees.  Do not buy an expensive, large bag; Scouts will grow out of their bags within a couple of years.  If you can borrow a smaller bag for a while, that is best.  The bag should be just a little larger than the Scout.  Too much extra room requires a larger pack to carry it and will have too much extra space for the Scout to warm up with his body heat.  Your Scout will probably need more than 1 bag while in the Troop.  Bags do wear out and lose their warmth rating.  Do not store compressed - the ideal storage is draped over a dowel.

2.         Sleeping pad

There are many kinds available at REI, Sportmart and Big 5.  Remember that it needs to be packed in, so don’t buy too big of one.

3.         Ground cloth

Between 5 x 8 and 8 x 10.  A simple blue tarp is fine.  It is put under the pad if going tent-less.

4.         Backpack (Frame)

Do not go out and buy the biggest and the best, especially right away; they will grow out of it in a couple/few years; you may want to consider renting or borrowing one for the first couple/few outings.  Just not too small – remember, he has to carry his own bag, pad, clothes and some of the Patrol gear.  Frames must be size appropriate.  Some companies are making frames that they say will grow with the wearer.  However, if your Scout is going to be taller and heavier, don’t plan on just one frame for his entire Scouting career.  Also, as the Scout gets older and does longer hiking trips, he will need to carry more and will probably have a preference to Internal or External frames.  Go to REI and learn as much as possible from a Frames salesperson - then, make your decision.

5.         Eating gear

All your Scout needs is a heavy, high impact plastic mid-size plate, bowl and handled cup.  He also needs a heavy plastic fork, knife and spoon.  The Troop supplies the pots and pans.  Although the cute aluminum sets are enticing, they are not needed.

What the Troop Provides on a Troop 224 Outing

1.         Tents – 4, 3 or 2 man styles

The components of the tents are divided up and carried by each Patrol.

2.         Cooking utensils - Pots, pans, utensils, hot pads, stove and fuel.

These are divided up and carried by each Patrol.

3.         Cost of entrance to Parks, Campsites

This is part of the fund raising done at the Tree Lot

Other Outing Considerations

1.         Food

Each Patrol decides on what they will eat on the Outing and one member of the Patrol will purchase it (the Grubmaster).  Each Patrol member must reimburse the Grubmaster before they leave for the Outing.  If food is purchased for a Scout who is later unable to go on the outing, that Scout is still responsible to pay for his part of the food.

2.         Rides to and from the Outing

It is each Family’s obligation to drive Scouts and gear on at least 3 Outings a year.  The driver must stay with the Troop during the Outing for safety (fast egress from the site).  Drivers (also known as Creakies) do not normally get gas reimbursed except for longer trips.  However they do get their food and all other costs covered by the troop funds.  They do not have to do the hikes but they are encouraged to participate in all activities.

3.         Trip Planning

All the details for each outing will be planned and coordinated by a Scout Trip Leader working with an adult advisor and the Patrol Leaders.  Parents are encouraged to engage as adult advisors and help Scouts plan these activities.  Communication of information to parents and scouts is done primarily through email and via the website, including trip details like signup deadlines and costs not covered by the Troop for each outing.  The website is also utilized to communicate information and create a record of the planning required for future trip planners.