Troop 367's
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Boy Scout Troop 367
(Palmer, Alaska)
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Frequently Asked Questions







I wasn't a Scout as a boy, can I be a Scout Leader?



All are welcome to contribute as much as they would like as a uniformed leader, Committee Member, or a Merit Badge Councilor (MBC).

As a Committee Member, you should be willing to attend the monthly Committee Meeting each month and get involved in as much/little upcoming activities as you wish.

As a Merit Badge Councilor, you choose to provide counseling from 1 to many of the available Merit Badges. YOU DO NOT need to be an "expert" to be a councilor, as the handbooks will cover ALL that you need to know to learn/teach each particular badge.

As a Merit Badge Councilor, your time is ONLY used "upon request" when a Scout decides he would like to work on a particular badge for which you've agreed to be a councilor. Merit Badges are earned OUTSIDE of the weekly meeting, so Scouts meet with you ON YOUR SCHEDULE of availability.

NOTE.. all leaders MUST complete a BSA Adult Application, which requires you to provide your Social Security Number. A background check will be done. WE (The Troop) will NOT know of the particular details of anyone's record, but will simply be told "yes/no" regarding your eligbility. If you do not provide your SSN, you will not be accepted as a leader. This is National BSA policy and not the policy of Troop 367.














How much does Scouting cost?



The Troop charges an annual "activity fee" of $100.00.
The Activity Fee - helps to pay for  numerous awards, badges, pins, camp ground fees, and more. It usually is NOT enough for all expenses and we rely on fundraising activities to cover the rest.


Monthly "camp fee" (food fee) - . The troop creates their own menu for the monthly camping trip and can decide to raise or lower this fee to be aligned with their menu choices. TYPICALLY, this is $8.00 per meal .


Summer Camp Fee - Week-long Summer Camp is a great experience, and we encourage Scouts to attend every year. The average fee is $320.00. Please start saving for this NOW so that Camp is not a "financial burden" when payment is due (usually May of each year).


Fund Raising - held as needed to supplement the cost of running the Troop. Covers new/replacment equipment (tents, stoves, cook gear, propane tanks, etc), or to cover the cost of more elaborate camping destinations.








Will my son be intimidated by the older boys?



We follow a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for bullying or unruly behavior. By any and all measure, Scouting is (and should be) considered a "safe zone" where boys can come and GROW in a positive and supportive environment.

Scouting is a PRIVATE organization. Should any boy's behavior become intolerable, it is well within our right to "un-invite" him from being a Scout in this Troop.














What do boys do as "Boy Scouts"?



The Boy Scout Of America Program is a 100 year old, professionally crafted, program of education and character development. By using the "Outdoor Method" (camping, fishing, rock climbing, etc) boys work together to do "the things boys like to do". In the process, they learn the value of teamwork, honesty, communication, mutual respect, and more as they work towards their goal and overcome any obstacles they encounter.

By employing the Methods of Scouting, we reinforce the AIMS of Scouting, which are reflected in our Oath and Law. The goal is to see that they become permanent fixtures in the character of each Boy Scout as we teach them to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrift, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.








What are some of the things THIS troop has done?









... camp year-round
... canoeing
... hiking
... Webelos Camporee
... week-long Summer Camp each year
... cooking over open fire
... Flag Ceremonies

And there is so much MORE. We do not limit the level of "adventure" the boys want to have. Scouting is a BOY LED program. THE BOYS decide what we do, and strong, trained, committed adults help them achieve their goals.

What do YOU want to do?














What "age limits" exist in the Boy Scout program?



The ONLY age requirements established by the National Program are as follows:

10 years old to join (If completed 5th grade or earned AOL, otherwise must be 11)

12 years old by July 1st, to attend a National Jamboree contingent

13 years old to participate in COPE (14 preferred, 13 with Scoutmaster's recommendation)

13 years old to join a Venture Patrol

14 years old to join a Varsity Team

15 years old to join Sea Scouts or a Venture Crew

16 years old to become a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

16 years old to be Youth Staff at a camp or Jamboree

Day before 18th birthday - the last day you are a Boy Scout or Varsity Team member (includes Venture patrol). PRIOR to his birthday, all work (rank and badges) must be DONE. The Eagle Board of Review can occur after the 18th birthday, but work/project must be done PRIOR to the 18th birthday.

Day before 21st birthday - the last day you are a Sea Scout or Venture Crew member

There are NO age requirements for ANY merit badges or youth leadership positions (other than JASM and Camp Staff)

National publishes no "minimum age" for Eagle Scout Rank, but the earliest possible age a Scout could become eagle is 11 years and 5 months of age.














Uniforms. What's "official"?




Officially, the BSA has ONE uniform, and any historical version of it is acceptable (once official, always official). It is found in the front pages of every Scout Handbook.

The official BSA uniform is comprised of:

a BSA hat *
a troop neckerchief *
BSA tan shirt (with patches placed in the proper spots)
a Merit Badge Sash **
BSA olive pants
BSA web belt w/ buckle
BSA socks

This is THE official uniform, but in many pieces of BSA literature it may be referred to as the FIELD uniform, or commonly, the "Class A" (a military term the BSA prefers NOT to use as the BSA does not wish to be perceived as a paramilitary organization).

* Technically, hats and neckerchiefs (and how they are worn) are optional in the BSA Uniform Guide, but if the wearing of either is adopted by a troop, they are then considered official components of the uniform. We wear both. The hat is the "baseball cap" variety  and the neckerchief bearing our logo is to be worn UNDER the collar with the top button of the shirt unbuttoned.

** The Merit Badge Sash, worn over the right shoulder, is impractical for most Scouting-related activities. It is therefore only worn at ceremonial events or select meetings such as a Court of Honor.

It is not always practical to wear the Field Uniform shirt every minute a Scout is involved in a scouting-related activity. The BSA offers a variety of polo-type shirts and tee shirts imprinted with BSA logos, and many troops (ours included) often opt to have custom printed shirts made.

It is customary practice that when a troop (as a whole) agrees on a standard shirt, they will opt to wear it INSTEAD of the BSA olive shirt, and in many items of BSA literature, this will be referred to as an ACTIVITY uniform, or sticking with military nomenclature, "Class B".

Historically, the BSA offers major redesigns to the uniform about every 20 years. This past year, the BSA announced the "Centennial Uniform" with "switchback" pants and some color changes to troop number decals and shoulder loops. This is the 5th major redesign in the BSA's 100 year history.














The difference between Rank & Merit Badges?



Rank is an interesting word choice, clearly derived from Scouting's origin as a program modeled after a military structure.

Those holding a "higher rank" do not order around those of "lower rank". In Scouting, the term "rank" is a PERSONAL measure of his progress along the "Trail to Eagle"... or more appropriately thought of as his "trail to manhood".

When a boy joins Scouting, his first POSITION is one of "

He then works on the first 3 RANKS;
Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. Within the requirements of these ranks, a Scout learns the SAFETY aspects of Scouting; basic first aid, how to choose a safe camp spot, how to properly dress for an outing, how to find his way with map/compass, what to do if he gets lost, etc...

Now a demonstrated "safe" Scout... he is ready for his next period of personal development, which is LEADERSHIP. In the pursuit of
Star, Life, and Eagle, a youth is learning (and then mastering) the skills of leadership. By holding leadership positions within the troop, he learns to lead, instruct, and inspire others. He learns to "give back" to others, and also learns his emerging place in Society as a citizen.

There are 121 various Merit Badges available (only 21 needed for Eagle). To ensure that the Scouts are getting a taste of the opportunities available, the higher badges of rank require a set number of merit badges be completed (including some designated as "Eagle required").

Merit Badges offer exposure to a diverse background of interests, adventures, and opportunities that Scouts may never experience IF NOT for the Scouting program (Aviation, Scuba, Reptile study, shooting sports, etc). It is not uncommon that exposure to a topic via the Merit Badge Program leads to life-long hobbies and career choices, as well as "needed skills" like Home Repair, Auto Mechanics, and Public Speaking.

There is no limit on the number of Merit Badges a youth may earn.














Does my son have to come every week?



We certainly won't send the "Scout Police" out to find you if you don't show up, but you miss out on a big part of the BSA Program if you don't attend regularly.

Scouting is NOT just playtime, or "weekend fun" away from the kid sister. Scouting is a carefully crafted character-development program.

A boy who shows up sporadically DEPRIVES himself of the chance to make key decisions within the troop; choose trip ideas and destinations, make menu selections, divy out workload, and build close friendships. Every meeting includes a period of valuable skill instruction and fun competitions that may relate to the upcoming camping trip. If a boy misses a meeting, he will find himself less prepared for the upcoming weekend in the outdoors. The troop meetings are where we "learn", but the camping trip is where we reinforce the skills by putting them into practical use.

Scouts should make every effort to attend meetings on a regular basis. Those who don't are missing out on the full experience of their limited Scouting years.














Which political party does the BSA endorse?



By National policy, the BSA is APOLITICAL. We have no affiliation with any one political party, nor are Scouts (in uniform) permitted to act in ANY WAY that would be interpreted as giving support to any 1 political party or political issue.

Uniformed Boy Scouts may serve as the Color Guard at political events, but must exit the stage before any political speeches or grand-standing take place.

By Constitutional Charter, the President of the United States is the Honorary President of the BSA.






























What if my son is not advancing?



Advancement in Scouting is STRICTLY the responsibility of each individual Scout.

Through his Patrol Leader, he should voice his desire for trip destinations, activities, and opportunities to complete the various rank requirements and attend trips that HE finds exciting and thrilling.

HE is responsible for informing the Scoutmaster (in advance) of his choice to begin working on a Merit Badge; the completion of which is up to HIM and his Merit Badge Councilor. Through INDEPENDENT work (with a friend or family member - to comply with Youth Protection) he will work with his MBC to complete Merit Badge requirements at his own pace.

At meetings and on camping trips, AMPLE opportunity is made to complete work and FREQUENT reminders are made to encourage boys to "step up" to make the most of their opportunities.

Periodically, all boys will attend a Board of Review (BOR). Boys advancing to their next rank MUST attend the BOR as a requirement, but the Advancement Chair is also responsible for scheduling periodic BORs for boys who are NOT advancing to inquire as to the reason they are not progressing, or finding out what is "missing" in the Program.

AT ANY TIME, Scouts (with/without their parents) are free to inquire about advancement to the Scoutmaster or his Assistant Scoutmasters.

The SCOUT is ultimately responsible..... that's what makes the "Eagle" rank so significant and valuable. Attaining "Eagle" tells the world, that this is a young man who is responsible and a leader.














Can a boy be "demoted" or have badges taken away?



Once a RANK or a Merit Badge has been earned, it can never be taken away. In addition, once a Merit Badge Councilor signs a "blue card" stating that the badge requirement has been completed, no one has the authority to overturn the decision or refuse to award the badge to the Scout. (BSA policy)

Firemen' Chit and Toten' Chip are safety badges and it is at the discretion of the Troop Leadership to revoke a Scouts PRIVILEGES for fire-starting or knife/axe use. Should this ever happen, the corrective process is usually retaking the instructional course. Until that happens, a Scout is not permitted to carry/use a knife, nor may he start or tend a fire.





























What is a Court of Honor?



A Court of Honor is a Boy Scouting awards ceremony, commonly held quarterly throughout the year.

At the Court of Honor, Scouts and their families gather for a formal recognition of advancement(s) and accomplishments that have been earned since the last Court of Honor. There are also periods for the Troop's Committee Chairperson to speak to the state of the Troop, or for some other event such as Scouting's annual Friends of Scouting campaign.

By ceremoniously recognizing the value of advancement and hard work, we hope to strengthen a boy's motivation to continue being active within the Troop. The Court of Honor also gives parents/guardians valuable insight to accomplishments or Program happenings they may not see due to their lack of presence at the weekly meetings.

As always, the goal is to ENCOURAGE, through positive reinforcement and praise.














How many merit badges can I work on?



There is no limit to the number of merit badges a Scout can have "open" at one time. He may start working on Merit Badges the day he signs his registration form and has until his 18th birthday to complete the work.

Some units impose their own limits, but that is NOT BSA policy, and therefore, we do not endorse such restrictions.

That being said, the idea is to LEARN about a particular topic through the Merit Badge Program. A boy will be best-served if he strives to complete the work for a badge in a short enough time frame that ALL the information/lessons remain relevant. Again, this is at the Scout's discretion.














Can I keep working closely with my son?



If you mean "work with your son" like you did in Cub Scouts, the answer is NO. There is little 1-on-1 work as a Boy Scout.

Make no mistake... You are welcome, but Boy Scouting is a new phase of his personal development.

Your presence at Cub Scouts helped to guide him, keep him under control, and reinforce the importance of "family", but as a Boy Scout, he needs to focus more on himself, and on working with peers.

He's becoming a young man and needs to start interacting with other adults like the Scout Master, Assistant Scout Masters, and various Merit Badge Councilors. He also needs to become comfortable with working without adults hovering over him as he works with his patrol.














What is the minimum age to become an Eagle Scout?



The BSA does not list a minimum age before a Scout can earn his Eagle rank.

However, a boy must be at least 10 years old to join a Boy Scout troop, then there is a 30 day requirement in Tenderfoot requirement 10b, at least 4 months between First Class and Star, 6 months between Star and Life, and then 6 more months between Life and Eagle.















What is the ONE bit of advice for a Scout?




The Boy Scout Handbook does an EXCELLENT job explaining the BSA Program.

It also provides valuable skill instruction and has the potential to IGNITE dreams of adventure, exploration, and fun for boys of all backgrounds and abilities.... all of which are POSSIBLE in this troop!

"I'm bored" are the 2 words NO Scout has a right to say, as we are determined to help bring all their ideas into reality.

Spend time with your son each night (especially if he is new to Scouting). Read the book with him. Quiz him on a skill, or "challenge" him to a knot tying contest. Ask him how he sees himself living up to the Scout Law.

Don't let Scouting be "1 hour a week" each Tuesday night, but a regular and routine part of every day.














How do Scouts earn Merit Badges?



The day a boy signs his BSA application, he is eligible to start working on Merit Badges.

Completing a Merit Badge involves 4 people... The Scout, the Scoutmaster, the Merit Badge Councilor (MBC), and the troop's Advancement Chair.

The process:

1. Scout chooses a badge (or badges) that he'd like to work on (alone or with another Scout).

2 He informs the Scoutmaster of his intention to work on a badge, and is issued a "blue card" and given the contact information for a registered Merit Badge Councilor (MBC). A MBC can be ANY registered MBC in any Council. He is not obligated to work with councilors in his home unit or Council. CONTRARY TO URBAN MYTH, the Scoutmaster can NOT deny any Scout the opportunity to work on any badge, nor can he delay the badge being awarded once the MBC signs the "blue card" showing that it is complete. Judgment as to whether a Scout successfully completed the badge requirements rests solely with the MBC.

3. The Scout(s) contacts the MBC and make arrangements to meet as often as necessary to complete the badge requirements (following Youth Protection guidelines at all times). Upon the first meeting, the Scout presents the MBC with the blue card, which the councilor keeps so that he can update completion dates and keep track of the Scout's progress.

4. Upon completion, the MBC will sign all 3 segments of the blue card, and return it back to the Scout who in turn, presents it to the Scoutmaster for final signature indicating final recognition that all work is complete. Again, the Scoutmaster does NOT have the authority to deny, "retest", or delay the formal completion of any MB work.

5. The Scoutmaster will pass the signed segments along to the troop's Advancement Chairperson who will record the work on the Troop and Council levels, and ensure the Scout is presented with his badge on the next possible opportunity. *

* While NOT mandatory that a badge be presented right away, the BSA strongly encourages "instant recognition" for effort. The typical model is to present the badge by the next meeting, and present the "pocket card" during a formal presentation at the next Court of Honor.

6. The Scout will be given 1 segment of his blue card which he must keep so that it can be produced when applying for his Eagle Rank. The Troop should also retain a segment for their records.














What badges are "Eagle Required" ?




There are a total of 21 Merit Badges required for the rank of Eagle.

12 of these badges are Eagle Required "White Bands" (merit badges with white/silver border stitching around the edges).

The remaining 9 (or more if you choose) may be any badges from among the remaining 109 non-Eagle required "Green Band" merit badges (badges with green stitching around the border).

While there are 15 possible Eagle Merit Badges, there are some that are "optional". Refer to the picture to clearly understand which badges qualify for Eagle, and which ones do not. Earning MORE THAN ONE of the optional badges will NOT afford you the choice to NOT earn other required badges, but "extra" Eagle badges can be counted towards the mandatory total of 21.














What kind of knives can Scouts carry?



Contrary to urban myth, the only regulation on this (other than earning the Totin Chip award) is the restriction that may exist at part of State/Local law. National BSA DOES allow Councils and Districts to set their own rules, so long as the rules result in a SAFER result.

While the BSA strongly encourages folding (preferably locking) pocket knives, fixed-blade, or sheath knives are allowed. In fact, the Guide to Safe Scouting specifically lists "fillet" knives as a prime example of a sheath knife that is appropriate for Scouting purposes (Fishing MB requirements). Fixed blade knives are big, bulky, heavy, and generally far more "knife" than a Scout needs.

Some BSA camps impose their own limitations, which visiting Scouts are obligated to respect, regardless of Troop or BSA/BAC policy.

Troop 367 respectfully asks that adults encourage their sons to carry the appropriate knives (small, folding pocket knife), as these are more than adequate for 99% of all scouting activities.