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Welcome to Troop 9 and the Boy Scouts of America. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Boy Scouts of America aims to fulfill its mission by providing boys with a program full of fun and outdoor adventure, with training in citizenship, service and leadership, and with opportunities to develop, organize and run their own troop program.

No two Boy Scout troops are alike as each develops its own program and guidelines to achieve the Boy Scouts’ mission and to meet the demands of its individual members. Contained in this handbook is information about Troop 9 and the guidelines Troop 9 uses in order to provide a safe and enjoyable Boy Scout program for our members.

As you read this, please keep in mind that the Troop 9 leaders are all volunteers and that we have tried to put as much information into this handbook as possible to give you an idea of how Troop 9 operates. Please keep in mind that when we need to make a decision, we will make it to the best of our abilities and with the safety of the scouts first and foremost in our minds. All parents are welcome to become registered leaders and we have found that active parental involvement actually enhances a boy’s scouting experience.

This handbook is to be read by both, the parents and the scout, and each should sign the acknowledgment page at the end which should then be returned to the Scoutmaster. The handbook is yours to keep for your reference.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topic

Troop Organization
Weekly Meetings
Campouts/Activities
Uniforms
Advancement
Troop 9 Website
Calendar of Events
Sign-Up Sheets and Activity Rosters
Permission Slips and Contact Information
Dropping Off/Picking Up Scouts
Cell Phones
Contacting a Scout on a Campout or Activity
In Case of Illness or Injury
Preparedness for Activities
Costs
Restricted Trips/Activities
Behavior Policy
Totem Chit and Fireman Chit
Miscellaneous Rules


TROOP ORGANIZATION

A Boy Scout Troop consists of three membership groups: Scouts, Scoutmasters and the Troop Committee

• Scouts:
-The scouts are led by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and his assistants (ASPLs)
-Each scout belongs to a patrol, led by a Patrol Leader
- The Troop Guides work with the lower ranking scouts on advancement
- The Den Chiefs work with the Webelos IIs to prepare them for joining Boy Scouts
- The Quartermaster is responsible for Troop 9’s equipment
- The SPL, ASPLs, Patrol Leaders, Troop Guides, Den Chief and Quartermaster form a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) which is responsible for planning and organizing the troop program, which includes the weekly meetings and monthly activities
• Scoutmasters:
-The Scoutmaster and his assistants are the adult leaders who oversee the troop program and primarily assist the PLC in the planning, organizing and implementation of the program
- For all meetings, activities and campouts, the Scoutmaster is the adult leader in charge. If the Scoutmaster is not in attendance, one adult troop leader (usually an Assistant Scoutmaster) will be designated as the Scoutmaster for that event.
• Troop Committee:
- The Troop Committee consists of the adult leaders who provide the support to the scouts and scoutmasters so that they can run the troop program
- The Troop Committee is headed by the Chairman and includes a Treasurer, Secretary, Recruitment Chair, Webmaster, Fundraising Chair, Cub Scout Liaison, Quartermaster, Youth Protection Chair and a Charter Representative

WEEKLY MEETINGS

• Troop 9’s weekly meetings run every Thursday night from 7:30 to 9:00 at the Pond Plain Hall.
• Parents are welcome to attend all or parts of meetings and are encouraged to come into the hall for closing announcements.
• The opening ceremony, early announcements and rank recognition begin at 7:30. Early announcements will include identifying which sign-up sheets are out and what will be going on or collected during that night’s meeting.
• Closing announcements usually begin around 8:55, and will include information on upcoming events, sign-up sheet reminders and any other announcements which may interest parents. While we will try to end at 9:00, we may run a few minutes over depending on the number of announcements.
• Due to an aerobics class that ends around 7:00, scouts and adults arriving before 7:15 should plan on entering the downstairs room at Pond Plain via the side entrance. If the side entrance is locked, please do not enter the upstairs room unless there is an adult troop leader present.
• If the Weymouth Public Schools are closed or dismissed early for weather conditions, that night’s troop meeting shall be cancelled. Scouts should contact their patrol leaders to keep informed of upcoming activities.

CAMPOUTS AND ACTIVITIES

• Troop 9 runs an ambitious activity schedule with at least one overnight campout or other activity each month. All activities and campouts are listed in the Calendar of Events discussed below.
• Very few activities are mandatory (Bottle Drives, Courts of Honor, community service projects), but advancement is tied into the outdoor program and so scouts are encouraged to actively participate.
• Most campouts and activities depart from Pond Plain with a set meeting time.
• All participants will return directly to Pond Plain after a campout or activity to assist in unloading the troop gear unless specifically excused by the Scoutmaster of that event.
• Meeting times at Pond Plain will be adhered to, but return times may fluctuate depending on distance traveled and departure time from the activity. Calls will be made to parents if we will be more than 15 minutes late.
• Scouts are expected to cooperate with the Quartermaster at Pond Plain to store troop equipment and clean equipment. If equipment needs to be taken home and cleaned or dried, scouts will cooperate with the Quartermaster so that everyone will do their fair share.
• Scouts are not dismissed from a campout or activity until they receive the permission of the Scoutmaster of that event.
• Adults shall check-out with the Scoutmaster of the event before departure.

UNIFORMS

• Troop 9’s Class A uniform is a khaki scout shirt, scout belt, scout shorts, scout socks and a Troop 9 hat
• Troop 9’s Class B uniform is the Troop 9 hat and a blue Troop 9 T-shirt (short or long sleeve), golf shirt, sweatshirt or jacket.
• Troop 9 winter and new scout uniforms are the khaki scout shirt and Troop 9 hat
• All scouts Second Class and above, or who have been to Summer Camp, are expected to wear the Class A uniform during the fall and spring months, and during Courts of Honor. Scouts will be informed when the switch to winter uniforms is in place.
• The Class A uniform is required of all scouts and adults for Summer Camp, and Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review for Second Class and above regardless of when the conference or board takes place.
• All adult troop leaders are encouraged to make every effort to wear the Class A uniform when it is required of the scouts.
• Unless stated beforehand, Troop 9 does not require uniforms on campouts.
• Uniforms for day activities will be announced and posted before the activity


ADVANCEMENT

• The ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class focus on specific requirements to advance and therefore Scouts working on these ranks are reminded to always bring their Scout Handbooks to meetings and on campouts to work on advancement.
• The ranks of Star, Life and Eagle require scouts to earn merit badges and be active in troop leadership and service
• When a scout has completed all of the requirements for advancement and has his book signed off, he should sign up for a Scoutmaster Conference, which will be given the week after he signs up.
• When a scout completes his Scoutmaster Conference, he will be eligible for a Board of Review, which will be scheduled with the Committee Chairman.
• Scouts going for First Class, Star, Life and Eagle will encounter a two part Board of Review with the first part being a review of the basics of Scouting. When the scout passes the first part, the second part is a review of the individual scout.

TROOP 9 WEBSITE

• www.troop9weymouth.com is the Troop 9 website
• The homepage is a current event page which is updated roughly every three weeks and a copy of which will be posted on the Troop 9 bulletin board at Pond Plain
• The Troop 9 Forum page is extremely active and contains a lot of information including the Troop 9 Calendar of Events, trivia and patrol contests, general information on activities and rosters for activities, so please try and check in on a regular basis.
• All participants in the Forum are reminded to read and obey the Forum Etiquette page. Scouts, adult leaders and parents are encouraged to sign up with their own identity and participate in the various discussions.
• The TixGram Forum is our anonymous discussion forum and everyone must use the tnine identity. To log in for the TixGram Forum, enter tnine as the username and the point of the Scout Law that corresponds to the current month as the password.
• For youth protection and internet safety reasons, we prohibit the publishing of last names anywhere on the website. Scouts (and some adults) are referred to by first name, and all other adults are Mr. X (X being the first initial of their last name).
• An attached authorization form permits Troop 9 to post pictures of scouts and adults participating in troop activities. The pictures appear in the Photo Album. If you do not want your scout’s or your picture posted, please check the appropriate box on the authorization form.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

• The Calendar of Events lets scouts and parents know when and where camping trips, overnights and day trips will take place.
• All scouts should have a paper copy of the calendar and it is posted in the Troop 9 Forum in the “2005-2006 Scout Year” section.
• As the calendar is planned in August, some dates and activities may change due to unforeseen, unknown or unavoidable circumstances or conflicts. Changes will be announced at meetings, posted in the Troop 9 Forum and updated on the Calendar posted at Pond Plain.

SIGN-UP SHEETS AND ACTIVITY ROSTERS

• There will be a sign-up sheet for each troop activity. Depending on the activity, the sign-up sheet will be posted at the troop meetings and on the website at least 4 weeks before the activity is to take place.
• Any scout or adult interested in that activity may signup either on the sheet or online with their name and other requested information (age, telephone #). Updated sign-up sheets will be posted at the rear of Pond Plain each troop meeting.
• As menus, food, rides and costs are all determined by the names on the sign-up sheet, it is important that all scouts and adults know for certain (barring an unforeseen emergency) whether or not they will be attending an activity before the date of the activity arrives, and that is why Troop 9 will establish a deadline date for each activity. The deadline date will be posted on Troop 9’s home page, in the Troop 9 Forum and on the signup sheet at Pond Plain.
• Upon the deadline date, an activity roster will be finalized from the names on the sign-up sheet. All of the people on the activity roster will be presumed to be attending and will be charged for the site and activity fees regardless of whether or not they attend the activity. In the event that someone on the activity roster is unable to attend, that person may also be charged for food depending on if they notify the person buying food before the food is purchased.
• If a name is not on the activity roster established at the deadline date, there is no guarantee that there will be room or accommodations for that person to attend that activity. While we will try to accommodate late additions to an activity, there will be times when we will be unable to do so and that person will not be permitted to attend the activity.
• For activities where Troop 9 has to make an upfront deposit, the deadline date for that activity will be just before the date the deposit is due, and participants will be required to make an initial payment for the activity at the deadline date. This initial payment will be non-refundable as it will be each participant’s share of the upfront deposit. Failure to make the initial payment may result in your being unable to attend the activity, or having to pay more as a late addition. If you make the initial payment, but then are unable to attend because of an emergency or otherwise and cannot find someone to take your place, Troop 9 cannot guarantee a full or partial refund.

PERMISSION SLIPS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

• Permission slips, signed by a parent or guardian, will be required for each scout to attend an activity, regardless of whether or not a parent is attending.
• The signed permission slip will be collected the Thursday night before the activity to assist with finalizing the roster.
• Any scout without a permission slip will not be allowed to participate in the activity.
• Separate permission slips are required for each activity.
• Please completely fill out the permission slip with accurate contact information specific for the dates of the activity
• In addition to being available near the sign-up sheets in advance of an activity, permission slips are now available online allowing you to download the form and fill in the required information

DROPPING OFF/PICKING UP SCOUTS

• When arriving for troop meetings, activities or campouts, we require that scouts and parents remember the 2 Deep Rule which means that there must be at least 3 people present (2 adults/1 scout or 1 adult/2 scouts) for a driver to leave a scout. Drivers shall not leave a scout if there is only one adult present. Drivers should also make sure that at least one adult troop leader is present before departing.
• If a scout is going to be dropped off directly at a campout or activity, the driver must accompany the scout to the location where the troop is and speak directly with the Scoutmaster of that event before departing.
• In the event that a scout needs to leave a campout, activity or meeting early, the scout’s parent should inform the Scoutmaster of that event beforehand of who will be picking the scout up. The person picking the scout up is required to speak directly with the Scoutmaster of that event before leaving with the scout.
• In the case of where an unforeseen situation or emergency arises that requires that a scout be picked up from a campout or activity, the primary contact on the permission slip must contact the Scoutmaster of that event and inform them of the situation so that the scout will be ready for pickup pursuant to the contact’s wishes. If someone other than the primary contact shall be picking up the scout, the primary contact must inform the Scoutmaster of the event exactly who will be picking up the scout. The only circumstance where a scout will be released to someone other than his parents or contact on the permission slip will be with the verbal permission of the parents or contact directly communicated to the Scoutmaster of that event and a second adult leader.

CELL PHONES

• Cell phone use or possession by scouts during meetings, campouts and activities is prohibited.
• If a scout needs to make a telephone call from a meeting, campout or activity, he must ask the Scoutmaster of the event for permission, which will be granted if the scout has a legitimate reason (arranging pickup at Pond Plain after a campout/activity, forgetting a permission slip or money when it is due, etc). The scout will be given an adult leader’s cell phone to make the call.

CONTACTING A SCOUT ON A CAMPOUT OR ACTIVITY

• The Scoutmaster of each campout or activity, and his primary assistant, will have cell phones with them for the duration of the activity. Please feel free to ask them for their cell phone numbers before the activity.
• If a situation arises where a parent or guardian needs to contact a scout who is on a campout or activity, they should contact the Scoutmaster of that event or his primary assistant directly. If a parent or guardian does not have the cell phone number of either the Scoutmaster of the event or his primary assistant, they can contact another adult leader on the event, or failing that, they should contact the Committee Chairman, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster or Youth Protection Chairman, who if not in attendance on the activity, will have access to the cell phone numbers of the adults attending the activity. A Troop 9 phone list that contains adult leader’s home telephone numbers (and some cell and work numbers) is attached to these Guidelines.
• Once contact is made with the Scoutmaster of the event, the scout will be put on the phone as soon as possible.
• Troop 9 activities sometime take place in areas where cell phone coverage is limited, so please leave a message with a telephone number and the scout will return the phone call as soon as the message is received.

IN CASE OF ILLNESS OR INJURY

• On the permission slip, please be sure to check the boxes of the non-prescription medications/ointments you authorize troop leadership to administer to your son. In the event that non-prescription medications or ointments are administered while on an activity, the scout’s parents/guardians will be informed upon the return from the activity.
• In the event that a scout becomes seriously ill on a campout or activity to warrant a telephone call home, the Scoutmaster of the event will call the contacts on the permission slip, discuss the situation with the contacts and determine a course of action with the contacts.
• A scout will not be sent home from a campout or activity without the Scoutmaster of the event and another adult leader first receiving verbal permission from the contacts, so if you receive a call from your scout saying that he is coming home because he is not feeling well or another reason, please ask to speak to the Scoutmaster of the event.
• In the event that a scout is injured and requires more than first aid, the permission slip authorizes troop leadership to seek appropriate and immediate medical care. Every effort will be made to make immediate contact with the contact names on the permission slip.

PREPAREDNESS FOR ACTIVITIES

• The weather gods are not always kind to Troop 9, so all scouts and adults attending activities should pay attention to weather forecasts and be prepared for the worst.
• While we will let you know what we expect from the weather on Thursday night, please check the forecasts on Friday and adjust your gear accordingly.
• It is the responsibility of the scout and parents to make sure the scout is prepared with the appropriate gear (such as raincoats/ponchos, change of shoes, cold weather gear) for an activity or campout. Leaders will not be checking individual scout’s packs before an activity. The Boy Scout Handbook provides gear lists for all types of weather and scouts should check the appropriate list before departing for each campout. If a scout is not adequately prepared, his parents will be notified and instructed to bring to the activity the needed equipment or to take their son home.
• Troop 9 has some troop tents available for use during campouts, but participants are also welcome to bring their own.
• Troop 9 will supply all cooking gear and fuel.
• A troop first aid kit accompanies Troop 9 on all activities.

COSTS

• Troop 9 sets an annual dues amount, usually payable in November or December, and also conducts several fundraisers throughout the year including bottle drives and new this year, popcorn sales. These funds go towards the recharter fees, insurance, merit badges, rank badges, awards, troop equipment and supplies, website fees, handbooks for new scouts, 1 Troop 9 hat and T-shirt per scout and leader, court of honor expenses, some activity fees or site fees to defray an activity’s cost and several other miscellaneous items.
• Each campout or activity has a separate cost payable by those attending. Following is a breakdown of costs associated with Troop 9’s Outdoor Activities and how those costs are divided amongst the participants:

-Site Fees: Will be split equally amongst all participants.
- Activity Fees: Admission and activity tickets generally depend on the age of the participant, so each participant will be charged accordingly.
-Food Costs: Depends on whether it is a troop or patrol cook activity. Troop cook activities will be divided equally amongst all participants, while patrol cook activities will be divided equally amongst patrol members.

• All site and activity fees will be determined once the activity roster is finalized at the deadline date.
• Food costs usually will not be determined until just before the activity when the food is purchased. The Troop 9 Committee has decided to recommend that the per person food cost for a weekend campout not exceed $10. Adults will be working with each scout patrol to help with grocery lists and budgeting for food.
• When patrols are planning their menus, they need to plan for 2 breakfasts (Saturday and Sunday) and 1 dinner on Saturday. The troop will provide soup, peanut butter and jelly, white bread, and apples for lunch on Saturday, and when applicable, Sunday.
• Water and some type of drink mix will always be available on campouts, and patrols are prohibited from bringing soda without the permission of the Scoutmaster for that event.
• The troop will purchase milk and juice for each campout and charge the patrols accordingly.
• Certain food items will be purchased by Troop 9 and available to all participants in order to minimize waste and provide for inadequacies or unforeseen situations. Patrols will not plan on these items being a main course for their patrol. These items will include:

- Ketchup, mustard and relish
- Syrup
- Soup in a Cup
- Oatmeal
- Peanut butter and jelly
- White bread
- Hot chocolate
- Drink mix (Gatorade, Fruit Punch, etc.)

• Except in rare circumstances, if someone owes money for an activity, that person will not be permitted on the next activity until the balance owed is paid in full. It will be up to the person to speak with the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman concerning the situation.
• Except for activities for which Troop 9 establishes a payment schedule, or for which prepayment or upfront deposits are required, money (food and site costs, activity fees) for all activities will be collected the Thursday night before the activity.
• For activities that tend to be more expensive, like Summer Camp, the ski or whitewater rafting trips, we will establish a payment schedule for the participants of those activities. Payment schedules will be designed to break up the payments and to satisfy any deposit requirements for the activity.

RESTRICTED TRIPS/ACTIVITIES

• Most Troop 9 trips and activities are open to the entire troop, however certain trips, particularly High Adventure trips, may be limited to scouts over a certain age or rank.
• Parents are welcome on any trips/activities provided that 1) they comply with Troop 9 Youth Protection rules and 2) we are not limited in the number of adults who can attend, in which case, priority must go to registered adult leaders.
• Scouts must perform a number of troop service hours via bottle drives or troop service projects in order to participate in either the ski or whitewater rafting trips. Scouts unable to attend the bottle drives or service projects, must meet with a scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader to explain their absence, and if the scout had a good and valid reason for not attending, the scout will be given an opportunity to earn the required troop service hours in an alternate manner.

BEHAVIOR POLICY

• Troop 9 is committed to conducting a fun and exciting scouting program in a safe manner. In order to accomplish this, the following behavior policy will apply to all Troop 9 meetings and activities:

1) First incident of inappropriate conduct:

a) The offending scout/adult will be spoken to immediately by the leader who observed the incident.
b) The Scoutmaster of that event will then speak to the offending scout/adult with the leader who observed the incident.
c) If the incident warrants it and the Scoutmaster is not in attendance, he will be informed of the incident as soon as practical.

2) A second incident of inappropriate conduct during the same activity:

a) The Scoutmaster of the event will be informed immediately.
b) The parent/guardian of the scout will be called, informed of the incidents and asked to come to wherever the activity is and take their son home. If the offender is an adult, they will be asked to leave the activity.
c) The Scoutmaster, if not in attendance, will be informed as soon as possible.

3) Severe/dangerous/recurring incidents of inappropriate conduct:

a) If, in the judgment of the Scoutmaster of the event, a first incident warrants the immediate removal of the offending scout, the parents will be notified immediately and asked to come to wherever the activity is and take their son home. If the offender is an adult, they will be asked to leave the activity immediately.
b) The Scoutmaster, if not in attendance, will be informed as soon as possible
c) If a scout/adult continues to display inappropriate conduct, they may be suspended from all troop meetings and activities, and will not be permitted to return until they meet with the Scoutmaster and Committee Chairman. A scout’s parents will also be required to attend this meeting.

• Inappropriate conduct and language includes, but is not limited to, the following:

• Teasing or taunting
• Swearing or other foul/improper language
• Fighting (kicking, punching, etc.)
• Swinging an object at another scout or adult
• Pushing/shoving/tripping another scout or adult
• Using a knife, hatchet, ax or saw without a Totem Chip card
• Fooling around with a knife, hatchet, ax, saw, matches, aerosols, sprays or fire
• Refusing to perform a task appropriately and fairly assigned to you
• Creating a nuisance by not following the directions of the scouts/adults in charge
• Violating rules of the organization/place of the activity
• Disregard for troop property
• Vandalism
• Stealing

• Immediate notification to parents and removal from an activity:

- Violation of the following rules will result in immediate notification to parents/guardians and the removal of the scout or adult from the activity:

• No alcoholic beverages
• No smoking
• No illegal drugs
• No firearms
• No fireworks
• No pornography

TOTEM CHIT AND FIREMAN CHIT

• Scouts must have their Totem Chit card with them to possess or use a knife, hatchet, ax or saw.
• Scouts are reminded that improper/careless use of a knife, hatchet, ax or saw will result in corners being removed from their Totem Chit card. If all four corners are removed, that scout will not be permitted to use a knife, hatchet, ax or saw on any subsequent campouts until that scout repeats the Totem Chit course and receives a new Totem Chit card. If two corners are removed from the new card, then that scout will be forever prohibited from using a knife, hatchet, ax or saw.
• Replacement Totem Chit cards will be issued with one corner removed.
• Scouts must have their Fireman Chit card with them to use matches or otherwise light a campfire, stove or lantern.
• Scouts are reminded that improper/careless use of fire will result in the immediate revocation of their Fireman Chit card. Fireman Chit cards will be reissued at the discretion of the Scoutmaster.

MISCELLANEOUS RULES

• Except in rare circumstances, there must be a minimum of three adult troop leaders on all activities with a goal of 1 adult per 5 scouts.
• All scouts will follow the buddy system on activities.
• For safety reasons, scouts are prohibited from using propane tent heaters.
• All participants will wear seatbelts going to and from all Troop 9 activities.
• The Two-Deep Rule requires that there must be at least three occupants in a vehicle, unless the vehicle contains only a parent and son.
• All participants will be responsible for cleaning a campsite before we depart.
• Scouts are permitted to use electronic devices (radios, CD players, Gameboys, etc) only while traveling to and from an activity and in their tents after lights out.
• While Troop 9 is fortunate to usually have enough adult coverage for an event, every now and then we may need additional adults to drive or attend part of an event. Therefore, we ask that any adults, not attending the entire activity, who would be available to assist us, whether as a driver or part-time attendee, signup as a reserve.