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
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.
„h Annual Membership dues (includes Boys’ Life magazine)
„h Tan Boy Scout shirt with 51 sewn on the right sleeve„h Boy Scout Handbook
Optional:„h Boy Scout Merit Badge requirement book or merit badge
worksheets printed from www.meritbadge.com„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
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 Tenderfoot Scout
„h 2nd Class Scout„h 1st Class Scout
These ranks build up knowledge of first aid, camping, safety and
„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
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 Committeebenefits 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 awebsite at http://bsatroop51.mystarship.com/ that features many of the
activities of the troop and useful to help your son recruit friends to join
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.2. 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
boats.8. 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
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.
As Scout is ...
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent.
Do a good turn daily.
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
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 Scoutmaster51@gmail.comKim Gorder, Asst Scoutmaster CampingKim@gmail.com
Barbara Wyatt, Committee ChairMichele Lewis, Advancement Chair
Ericca McReynolds, Treasurer