Parent Guide

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Troop 51

Parent Guide


Created by

Michele Lewis, Advancement Chair

Bud Truitt, Assistant Scout Master

Barbara Wyatt, Parent Committee Chair

Parents, welcome to Troop 51!

Thank you for allowing your son to choose us from the many great troops

available. There are some wonderful changes ahead as your son grows with

Troop 51. We would like to make the transition from Cub Scout to Boy

Scout as smooth as possible.


Troop 51 started in 1953 with St Mary’s Episcopal Church as

our charter organization. We are still with them after all these

years. Our current enrollment is about 20 Scouts organized in

two patrols. The boy’s ages range from 11 to 17.

The patch was design in the ‘50s based on a comic strip



Our Troop philosophy is that the “BOYS” run the troop. Adult leaders are in

an advisory role. We lead or guide the boys in the direction and help them

make the decisions. Whether it is a good or bad decision doesn’t matter, so

long as “they” make the decision and the boys stay safe. We also emphasize

cooperation, teamwork and respect. These skills coupled with an ability to

make a decision should help them through school and to transition to the

work force when the time comes. In contrast, Cub Scout packs are adultled,

so often new Boy Scouts are a little disoriented by the significant

change from Cub Scouts. With patience and encouragement, new Boy Scouts

will learn to adjust and thrive in the Boy Scout system.

Individual advancement and opportunities for the boys to assume

positions of responsibility are a very important aspect of the Scouting

program. We do this by electing new troop leaders (Senior Patrol Leader

and Patrol Leaders) every year. Coupled with a monthly campout or outing

and structured meeting environment, each boy is provided ample opportunity

for exposure to the information he needs to make rank from Tenderfoot to

Eagle Scout.

Our Troop is built on a hierarchy called the “Patrol Principal.” As each

boy progresses through the hierarchy, he assumes more Troop

responsibilities. As he matures and grows in the Scouting program he also

develops leadership skills and abilities which will serve him well throughout

his life. Each boy starts out in a patrol. Unlike Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts don’t

make rank at the same time with others in their patrol since each patrol

consists of scouts of various ages and ranks so that older scouts can have

opportunity to lead and mentor younger scouts. Scouts who are First Class

rank or above will work with new scouts to help complete rank requirements

and basic skills. Each boy may become a patrol leader or an assistant

depending on his experience and rank. While in the patrol, he may assume

additional Troop duties such as Scribe, Chaplain’s Aide, Librarian,

Quartermaster, or Bugler. Eventually a boy could become a Senior Patrol

Leader or Troop Guide based on his rank and experience.

First Steps


„h Annual Membership dues (includes Boys’ Life magazine)

„h Tan Boy Scout shirt with 51 sewn on the right sleeve

„h Boy Scout Handbook


„h Boy Scout Merit Badge requirement book or merit badge

worksheets printed from

„h Plastic baseball card sheets (to hold in progress and completed

blue merit badge cards)


Troop 51 meets Monday nights at 7:00 pm, except for the third Monday of

the month. The third Monday is for the PLC and Parent Committee.

Generally, the troop schedules its monthly campouts the weekend before to

allow the patrol leadership to have a Monday night to discuss that camp out

and create future plans.

The boys run the weekly meetings which focus on learning skills (merit

badges and advancement), planning activities (outdoor and service projects)

and games. The boys learn leadership as it is modeled by the older boys

leading the meetings and through skill acquisition (boys teaching boys). The

Patrol Leaders (boys) are guided by the senior patrol leader (a boy) and the

Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters (adults).

Court of Honor

Recognition and service are important features in scouting. “Courts of

Honor” – or COH meetings, where the achievements of individual boys are

recognized and honored – are held every 3 - 6 months throughout the year.

Camping and Summer Camp

Our goal is to have a weekend campout and/or outing each month (usually

excepting December). Of course safety is a key element here and the

weather in general is a big factor. Traditional Scout-owned campsites such

as Camp Hahobas and Camp Thunderbird are utilized along with various

places in Washington such as national and state parks, like Mount Rainier and

Fort Worden. The troop has camped overnight in a submarine on a river in

Oregon, in hand-dug snow caves on Mount Rainer, in prepared shelters and in

troop tents.

We plan an annual summer camp using the camp grounds available through

Boy Scouts. Troop 51 has been to Camp Fife (east of Mount Rainier), Camp

Parsons (Hood Canal), Camp Hahobas (Hood Canal), Camp Parsons and a camp

in Oregon and Idaho. BSA summer camps are usually in a remote area with

horse riding, boating/swimming activities, and badge-related activities.

This summer, the boys voted to enjoy this summer’s week camping at Fire

Mountain (dates to be determined) as well as Philmont for scouts over the

age of 14 (July 31 through August 12 plus travel dates).

In order for us to take the boys on camping trips, we must have at least 2

registered adults who have received youth protection training. We ask that

the parents consider attending some monthly campouts and spend some time

at summer camp. The multi-adult rule is for your son’s protection and

benefit. We like to have more than two adults present in order to give the

boys the attention they need and deserve.

Information on Scout Advancement

Advancement refers to the progression of a scout through the “ranks” by

learning skills and participating in the scout program as outlined in the

Boy Scout Handbook.

Boys progress through the following ranks:

„h Scout

„h Tenderfoot Scout

„h 2nd Class Scout

„h 1st Class Scout

These ranks build up knowledge of first aid, camping, safety and

scouting ideals.

„h Star Scout (6 merit badges required)

„h Life Scout (11)

„h Eagle Scout (21)

In these ranks, merit badges become the major component.

Merit badges show proficiency in a particular field of study. Each rank

requires a specific number of merit badges. Each of these ranks allows a

number of elective merit badges as well as those referred to “Eagle


Service projects are required for each rank after first class. Scouts may

complete the requirements for these ranks at any time, but the ranks

must be awarded in order. Merit badges may be earned at any time but

we recommend concentrating on Trail to First class in the beginning.

Any boy can become an Eagle Scout. The choice is the boy’s. It requires

dedication and a lot of your support. Meetings and campouts often teach

skills required for advancement through the ranks. BSA recommends that

all new boys set a goal of becoming first class scouts by the end of their

first year.

Parents can help by bringing their son to “Trail to First Class” meetings that

are scheduled on the calendar before regular troop meetings. Having your

son work on requirements at home so they are ready for discussion at these

meetings insures his success.

Parents cannot sign off on Boy Scout requirement as they did in Cub Scouts.

Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmaster and certain scouts are the only ones

that may sign off requirements in the handbook. Merit badges can only be

signed by a merit badge counselor that is registered for that badge with the

council. A list will be provided for your scout.

Parents aid the advancement process by serving as merit badge counselors,

Assistant Scoutmasters, or as Troop Committee members. Ask the

Scoutmaster how you can get involved!

To advance from one rank to another, each requirement listed in your son’s

Boy Scout Handbook under that rank must be signed off. When all are signed

off, the boy has a Scoutmaster’s Conference, then goes to a “Board of

Review” - a team of 3-6 adults (formed from the Troop Committee), who

assess that the requirements for that rank have been completed. They listen

to the scout and encourage further advancement. Proper uniform (shirt and

neckerchief and clean pants are appropriate for the Board of Review, along

with his scout handbook. This is not a test but a review of the requirements

to ensure understanding and encouragement to continue moving forward.

Merit Badge Counselors

Merit badges are different from rank requirements. The boy seeks out a

counselor from a list supplied by the Advancement chairperson. The

counselor guides the boy through the requirements as outlined in the merit

badge booklet. Merit badge booklets contain all the information needed to

earn the badge. Many Boy Scout merit badge books are available in our troop

library or at the council scout shop. Anyone with knowledge in a field may be

a counselor by filling out the proper forms. There are more than 100 merit

badges. These fields can be work related, a hobby, or just field in which you

may have some general interest or knowledge.


How to earn a merit badge

1. Get a blue card from the Advancement Chair (Mrs. Lewis) or the

Scoutmaster (Mr. Ernst).

2. Tell the Scoutmaster which badge you’d like to work on and he

will sign your blue card that confirms your participation. This

must be done before you can begin work on the badge, earlier

work cannot be counted towards requirements.

3. Find out who the counselor is (from Advancement Chair or your

list of merit badge counselors). Let them know you are beginning

work on the badge, ask them any questions to help you get


4. When you are ready to review your work, MAKE AN

APPOINTMENT with your counselor.

5. A meeting will be set up, usually before a scout meeting, to

review your work or to help you with any questions.

6. After you have done all the requirements (nothing more or

nothing less), your counselor will sign off your blue card.

7. Bring the blue card to the scoutmaster for his signature.

8. Finally, turn your blue card into the Advancement chair. It will

be recorded in our troop records, then to the Council and a badge

and your section of the blue card will be returned to you (usually

at a court of honor).

Recently, our troop has participated in the Sasquatch districts merit badge

PowWow’s. These are held 3 or 4 times a year on a Saturday. Scouts can do

all work there or start at home or at a meeting on a badge and finish them

up at the PowWow. Counselors are present for all badges offered. We

recommend this highly, as it’s a good way for the boys to earn some fun

badges as well as work on some of the more academic Eagle required ones.

We send out information on the PowWow about 2 months before they are

held, giving the scout plenty of time to plan.

We do recommend however, that the first few months of your scout

transitioning to Boy Scouts be spent on Advancing on the Trail to First class.

Troop Committee (or Parent Committee)

This is the backbone of the Troop. Although the boys are running the show,

it is the parents who guide them and do the “behind the scenes” support

work. Many Troop Committee members also act as Merit Badge Counselors.

The Troop Committee members provide the liaison between the sponsoring

organization and the Troop, they review the troop’s progress, maintain bank

accounts, establish policies for the Troop, establish and perform in fund

raising projects, etc. Participating as a member of the Troop Committee

benefits not only your son, but
all the boys in the Troop. A list of

committee members and positions is included in your packet, feel free to

contact any of them for more information.


We like to do much of our communication through email and phone calls.

Please provide us your email address if you have one. Kim Gorder created a

website at that features many of the

activities of the troop and useful to help your son recruit friends to join

Troop 51.

Adult Opportunities

As you know a program like this requires numerous people with varied

backgrounds to make it a success. We expect an adult member of the

Scouts’ family to actively participate in Troop activities. Please volunteer to

be an Assistant Scoutmaster or Committee member or counsel some merit

badges. Without you, we cannot run the Troop. Your life experiences are

essential to the Troop. The Troop always needs active Assistant

Scoutmasters. You will have an opportunity to work directly with the boys

during meetings, campouts, and fundraisers.

What can you do today?

1. Encourage your son to attend meetings, work on badges and

provide input to their Patrol leaders on what they would like to do

at the weekly meetings and campouts.

Register for summer camp.

3. Volunteer to become an Assistant Scout Master.

4. Become a
Parent Committee Member so that you can be a part of

this exciting troop.

5. Volunteer as a
campout adult. Each campout requires two adults.

Your son no longer needs to have a parent with him as in Cub

Scouts. We always provide two adults to ensure the safety of your

son — more than two adults is even more fun!

6. Volunteer to be a
Merit Badge Counselor.7. Help the entire troop with your contacts. Through parents’ work

and personal connections, Troop 51 has been able to receive

photography instruction from Robi’s Cameras, composite materials

instruction from Toray, pay for their summer camps by working at

a tree farm and earn motor boating skills from parents who have


Recruit scouts. As your son learns many things in scouting, mention

the troop to other parents and youth. We believe all boys should

have the scouting experience.

12/2/2008 Page 10 of 11

What Every Scout Should Know

Scout Oath:

On my honor I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country

and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong,

mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Law:

As Scout is ...

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent.

Scout Motto:

Be Prepared.

Scout Slogan:

Do a good turn daily.

Outdoor Code:

As an American, I will do my best to --

Be clean in my outdoor manners,

Be careful with fire,

Be considerate in the outdoors, and

Be conservation-minded.


We hope this information helps you and your son enjoy our Troop!

Any of our leaders or committee members would be happy to answer your

questions or help you find your niche in our troop. Please feel free to

contact us by phone or by email.

Steve Ernst, Scoutmaster

Kim Gorder, Asst Scoutmaster  

Barbara Wyatt, Committee Chair

Michele Lewis, Advancement Chair

Ericca McReynolds, Treasurer