Information For Parents of Troop 406
Below is a condensed version of a full presentation available to our troop members. This information can be helpful in understanding the troop, Boy Scouts, and your role in them. Prospective scouts are encouraged to visit a troop meeting and talk with the scouts.
- Welcome to New Parents
- Patrol Method
- Troop Committee
Welcome New Parents
Troop 406 welcomes you as parents of Troop Boy Scout Troop 406. Boy Scouting is different than Cub Scouting and some valuable information is provided here to ease your transition We operate a year round program. During the school year the Troop meets every Thursday evening from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at grace Lutheran Church at 6th and Main Streets in Royersford. In Summer the troop meets less regularly, but most of our scouts participate in Summer Camp, Training, Community Service, or Eagle Projects.
Troop 406 uses the patrol method. Although it may look chaotic at times, the method works and has been proven to provide the most benefit to the Scouts themselves. In the patrol method the troop is divided into a number of smaller groups called patrols. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader (PL) and an Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) who are responsible for the patrols overall function. Overseeing all of the patrols are the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL). The SPL, ASPL, the individual patrol leaders, and the other leadership positions make up the Youth Leaders Council (YLC). The YLC meets monthly and plans and organizes the troop's activities and functions. This leadership method has proven to be very effective in developing young boys into strong leaders.
It is the patrol leadership that is responsible for communicating to their patrol members. Phone chains and email links are in place so that program changes are easily communicated. Each Scout is expected to bring a notepad with a pen/pencil to each meeting so that they can keep good notes on when and where activities are to take place, as well as what kind of gear may be required. In addition, the Troop calendar is posted and available through the web page.
The troop is overseen by a cadre of adult leaders who are responsible to ensure that the overall goals of Boy Scouting are achieved. The adults provide guidance when and where it is appropriate. However, the primary function of the adult leadership is ensure the safety and well-being of the scouts.
Parents of Scouts may serve on the Troop Committee. It is the responsibility of the Troop Committee to provide guidance to the troop leadership. The committee also oversees the troop budget, service projects, fundraisers, etc. All Troop business and important decisions are discussed. Parents' input and willingness to serve on the Troop Committee is essential to the success of the Troop. The Troop Committee meets from 7:00-8:30 PM usually on the second Tuesday night of each month (verify on the Troop Calendar webpage). Please plan on becoming an active member of this committee.
Initially the troop covers the registration fee. This includes the cost of the official BSA Registration and a years subscription to boy's Life magazine. Annual dues are $60 (subject to change). These dues cover the cost of the Troop/patrol insignia plus all ranks, merit badges, and other awards received by the Scout as well as rechartering for the following year. Scouts are required to wear a full uniform (see uniforms). These are available at the scout store. Our scouts are also required to wear our District Patch, Troop 406 numeral patch and Troop Neckerchief. These items are sold to the scout at our cost.
Each year the Troop committee works with the scouts to select a fund raiser(s) where Scouts can earn money to offset the cost of camping and other trips. The money a Scout earns is deposited into their own Scout Account. A Scout may elect to use this money he has earned to offset any fee, up to the balance available in his account. Camping fees are based on an individual event basis. During the year, we do hold a Troop fundraiser(s) to cover the Troop's costs. This money is kept separate from the Scout accounts. Recently the troop has been selling popcorn with great success. We also hold an annual christmas tree sale and donut sale. Portions of these sales are deposited in the scout account by the Treasurer.
Camping Fees are due TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the campout. The Youth Leaders Council (YLC) works with the Troop committee to determine the menu, and the Scouts (along with the leaders) purchase the food. These policies and prices are subject to change, please check with committee members for the most up-to-date policies and prices.
All Scouts are required to have a complete uniform when participating in Troop related activities. Information regarding uniform articles and insignia can be found in The Boy Scout Handbook (which is part of their required gear). Uniforms don't have to be new as long as they are in good repair (we do have a closet of "broken in" scout uniform gear). Garage sales, Army Navy stores, and thrift stores are good sources for many uniform items. Remember, a scout is thrifty! As a minimum, the following items are required (Class A):
- Scout Shirt (short or long sleeve)
- Troop Neckerchief with Slide (bought from troop)
- Scout Pants or shorts
- Scout socks
- Scout Belt with buckle
- Insignia/patches (Council Patch, Troop 406 Insignia, rank, patrol, etc,)
- Notepad with pen/pencil
- Boy Scout Handbook
- BSA membership card (it is best to laminate this and keep it in the handbook)
The Troop field uniform (class B) is a more casual outfit and replaces the official scout shirt with a scouting related T-shirt and ball cap. These field uniforms are primarily worn while camping and other activities for which the official uniform is not appropriate. When we travel as a troop we require the Scouts to wear their complete class A uniform.
Each new scout is required to have his BSA handbook available. The Boy Scout Handbook contains critical information that each scout needs to participate in our program. The handbook is where the record of the Scout's advancements are kept. Handbooks can be purchased anywhere uniforms are sold.
Parents are required to complete a medical history form before their son can participate in any outdoor activity with the troop. the medical form provides leaders with critical information in the event of sickness or injury. These forms are available from the troop leadership and are on the website.
If a parent desires to transport any Scout other than their own to any Scout function or activity they must have adequate insurance coverage and seat belts for each passenger. A local Tour Permit is required to be completed and submitted identifying each driver, it is also available from troop leadership and on the web site.
Troop 406 camps throughout the year in all types of weather conditions. There is usually one campout each month. All registered Scouts and Scouters are allowed to camp (there are occasional family camp-outs and parents will be notified when these special camp-outs occur). Monthly Troop Camp-outs usually start on Friday afternoons and end Sunday mornings. As the times do fluctuate, please ensure you provide a proper contact number to arrange transportation to/from the scout hall. Parents of new Scouts should refer to the Boy Scout Handbook and this website for a listing of personal gear and clothing required for each Scout. Scouts are required to have their own sleeping bag, personal mess gear and camp chair. Thrift shops and garage sales are good sources of used camping equipment.
You can refer to our camping gear list web page for a detailed list of equipment to bring and not to bring. Click here
Requirements for advancement to each rank are listed in The Boy Scout Handbook. Requirements can be fulfilled at troop meetings, campouts, hikes, and other troop/patrol activities. A registered leader will initial and date the requirements as they are covered.
It is the Scout's responsibility to get a requirement signed off immediately as it is completed. Therefore, the Scout should bring his Handbook to all troop activities.
Once the requirements for a rank have been completed, the Scout must have a Scoutmasters Conference and Board of Review. The Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster will meet with the Scout for the Scoutmasters Conference. The requirements for the rank just completed will be reviewed, and other Scout-related topics will be discussed. It is the responsibility of the Scout to ask the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmasters Conference and request a Board of Review.
Following the Scoutmasters Conference, the Scout will meet for a Board of Review at one of the scheduled Board of Review times. Again, the Handbook will be reviewed, a uniform inspection will take place and the panel will question the Scout about his growth in Scouting. When requirements have been satisfactorily met, the Scout will advance in rank.
The rank patch will be presented at a Court-Of-Honor or troop meeting, Courts-of-Honor are held about every three or four months. Parents and other family members are invited to attend the Court-of-Honor. Awards, advancements and merit badges are presented to Scouts during a ceremony to honor their hard work.
Ken Houseal, Scoutmaster Troop 406 and Pete Robin previous Scoutmaster Troop 406