Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rank Advancement

Several questions surfaced about rank advancement at the Troop Committee meeting..

What exactly does it take to advance?

Advancement in the BSA is based on the requirements in the BSA Boy Scout Handbook.....If an older Scout and is not working out of the 2009 printing...he needs to get a copy as soon as possible.

Pages 432-443 list the requirements. Pages 444-447 are log sheets to record his activities.

1. All of the advancement requirements for Tenderfoot are normally met at summer camp with the Troop. At camp he will also earn nearlyall of his Second Class and First Class requirements, less those activities he must undertake during campouts, meetings, and other activities. If he fails to attend summer camp, he will have to pick up the requirements through the year on camp-out and other activities.

As he completes the requirements of each rank, and each requirement is signed off by a Leader, but not his parent (unless the parent is passing off other Scouts simultaneously as the counselor/instructor), he should ask the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster's Conference in order to assure the requirements are met and the Scout is on track with the program.

Once he completes the SM Conference, and signed off in the book, he will ask the Advancement Chairman for a Board of Review, which as a group of two -three Leaders, will again assure the requirements are met, and signed off, that the Scout is on track, and any problems he may be having can be heard and resolved. The Board passes the review on to the Advancement Chairman, who assures the work is officially recorded in the Troop, the District, the Council as a permanent record.

Normally, a Scout in this Troop is expected to earn theFirst Class rank, afterhe completes summer camp, by March or April of the next year, depending upon his completion of the required ten Scout/Troop activities. As he continues in gaining rank, he will need to keep the Handbook completed in all detail, as the Handbook will be reviewed by the District Eagle Board at the time he is interviewed for the rank of Eagle.

2. A second phase of earning rank, starts as a Second Class Scout, when he is required to earn merit badges. He will earn four to five at his first summer camp w/the Troop. After the first summer camp, he is essentially on his own to pick up the total of 21 badges required for Eagle..a portion of which are Eagle required.

To earn the badge, he has to contact a Troop merit badger counselor as listed on the Troop Web site, or attend merit badge days, often sponsored by Disticts and Councils. These are usually advertised through the Troop or on web sites such as the Greater Alabama Council's Digital Eagle. A merit badge counselor is required to take annual training, given by the District or the Council. A Scout should seek out leaders other than his parent as a counselor, unless the parent is counseling other boys simultaneously in a group setting.

Before he speaks to a counselor, the Scout should get a "blue card" from the Scoutmaster, who once signed returns it to the Scout to work with the Counselor for the requirements..Once finalized by the Scout and the Counselor, the portion of the card designated for the Advancement Chair is turned it to become part of his permanent record.

3. The third requirement of advancement is "Scouting Spirit," or his advancement in rank through participating in Scout related service activities as outlined in the Scout Handbook. The idea is that he cannot earn his Eagle through correspondence courses, but is required to be active in the Troop by attending meetings, Troop activities other than campouts, monthly campouts, performing in the role of a leader within the patrol and within the Troop, fulfilling behavior included in being a team member. In summary aspects of Scout spirit which include anything addressed in the Scout Handbook, including wearing of the uniform, conforming to the tenets of the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout Slogan, and the Scout Motto and the Outdoor Code.

Our purpose as leaders is to assure the young Scout has the opportunity to earn the Eagle rank, to have fun and adventure, learn leadership and how to be team member, experience service to the community, and become a better person in meeting the needs of his family, his community, and his overall citizenship in the world.

With a troop the size we are, it takes a great deal of dedicated, trained leaders to make the program work. Each leader wishing to assist should register as a leader, immediately take the BSA Youth Protection Course (available on line), the Fast Start Course (available on line), and the merit badge counselor course (given annually by the District), then plan on taking the Scoutmaster Leadership Training Course (SMLT) and companion course, the Outdoor Leadership Course (OLS) offered by the District twice each year.

Your personal goal should be to monitor his Scout Handbook to assure he is getting checked off, staying abreast of and being active where possible in Troop activities, and as an active leader stay abreast of what his/your patrol is doing for their activities. If he getting behind, or is not what you think getting the most out the program, or has a problem, see the Scoutmaster other experienced leaders of guidance/assistance in keeping him on track.

He Should be achieving the rank of Life by the time he is 15 and should start thinking about an Eagle project as soon as possible to avoid the busy times he will be facing from all the directions he will be heading. Waiting until his 17th year for a project just places stress where it doesn't have to be.

There are three Eagle projects in back of the Scout Hut which will give him many ideas of what is possible in a short period of time without great expense.

There are few other successful organizations that excel as well as the Boy Scouts of America; there are few awards in life that are as gratifying and self fulfilling than the attainment of the Eagle rank as he begins writing resumes for job interviews, and through attainment of the rank will have a much greater chance of the interview or the selection compared to if he didn't.

It works..we just have to make sure it does. If he is life Scout and does not have a project in mind, he needs to go to: to get himself oriented toward the requirements. There is a great deal of leader information here also. To stay abreast yourself, go to

YiS Dan s

"Delivering the Promise"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Troop News

The Quartermaster take down last night was well attended and as expected, we were completed in an hour.

The following PLC spoke to several issues, all of which were discussed by the following Troop Committee meeting..for newer Scouts/families..we always have a Patrol Leaders Conference (PLC) the Monday after the Trip.. to discuss the trip and plan for the next month's activities..the following Committee meeting discusses it's possibilities, applications, and blesses the plan while discussing other Troop business. If you want to be active with the Troop, you should plan on attending the Troop Committee meeting.

There will not be a meeting on Monday the 31st due to it being Halloween eve.

Christmas Trees: They will arrive on November 20, Sunday, at 2:00 PM..this is a family affair..please be there at 2:00 at the vicinity of the Korean Church on the corner of Valley and Tyler just up from the BPUMC.

Mr. Morrow will be calling for assistance to move the current power pole to it's new site shortly. Mr. Simon is starting to work on the Tree Lot schedule for publication. We will be opening the lot on the day after Thanksgiving and will run it until the week before Christmas day or so.

For new families...working the Tree lot is a requirement, more discussion later, for the Scout and a parent...if you can't be there, you have to arrange with another family to take your place....As Mr. Young, Sr., has stated..if everyone of the Scouts/family sells a tree to someone in the family or in the neiborhood, we won't have enough trees to sell....Please make sure you are dropping off or passing out the notices that Mr. Griggs sent for handouts for trees, wreaths, and firewood.

Wreaths: Mrs Griggs wants the money and orders at the time of the Court of Honor. Please collect the money in advance to avoid cancellations at the time of shipment..Remember, the goal for each family is 10 wreaths to assure we have sufficient operational funds for 2012.

Popcorn...Mrs Eggers wants the money and orders at the time of the Court of Honor...Remember his earnings, once the Council takes theirs for the product, are his for Scout activities in the Troop.

A Bansal's Eagle Project is coming up..more notices to be emailed....make sure you sign a consent form he will have when you drop the Scout off at the Bham Zoo for the project.

Court of Honor this coming Monday, October 24, at the Bluff Park United Methodist Church at 6:30 PM..Uniform is Khaki BSA shirt, Scout belt, Scout trousers, Scout socks ,Sash, and Troop Neckerchief.
This is a Pot luck dinner and a family affair as noted:

Venture entree plus bread or salad dish
Shark entree plus vegetable dish
Phoenix entree plus salad or desert dish
Eagles entree plus bread or vegetable dish
Crocs entree plus desert dish or bread

The Phoenix Patrol is the host patrol and they should arrive at 6:00 PM to help with the set up and arrangements.

The fee of $90.00 for USS Yorktown in Charleston is due on November 17th. This does not include fuel, meals getting there and coming back (10 hour trip on the bus), or souvenirs.....The $90.00 is our reservation fee per person....Please make sure we get it or we will assume he is not coming.

Due to several reasons, the Troop went into the red for the Cahaba River weekend particularly for the costs of renting the canoes and meals. This was due to Scouts stating they would be there and but make the trip after we guaranteed the canoes and bought the meals. This hasn't been the first time for this problem. To overcome most of it, we will require the trip's payment to be made the Monday, or sooner, before we leave or assume the Scout or family member will not be coming.

The Annual Troop trip to the Shiloh National Military Park is coming up in November (11-13). Fortuitously, the 11th is a school holiday. Also, the 11th is Veteran's Day, and the Troop will march in the Veteran's day parade in downtown

For Shiloh..we need leaders to go up on the early party on Friday (11th) to reserve our place and set up our camp..since school is out it would be great if you took the day and came with your son with the early party to help out. it would also work, since school is out if we could leave early as a Troop heading up there sooner than 6:00 PM so as to arrive earlier instead of so late. We will take a head count of this at the Court of Honor on Oct 24.

For the can drop the Scout off in full class A uniform at 8:00 AM on the 11th at the Hut..we will stay busy with quartermaster projects until we go for lunch at 10;30 AM at the Hoover Golden Corral, then depart for the parade and should return at 3:00 PM. If we don't leave early as a group for Shiloh, then we will take the parade marchers to McDonalds for supper, or back to the Golden Corral, and return at 5:00 PM to depart for Shiloh...they will have to bring their Shiloh gear to the Hut in the AM. We will take a head count of this at the Court of Honor on Oct 24.

Flag Ceremony at the Hoover Library November 8, Tuesday at 4:00 PM...The following Scouts have volunteered to be at the Hooover library flag pole at 4:00 on Tuesday, Nov 8: S and S Hardy, J McKinney, A Miller, C Hutchens, and M Gunn...Mr. Greg Stocks will also be there with some Cub Scouts..Uniform is khaki shirt, scout belt, long Scout trousers, Scout socks, Troop Neckerchief, and merit badge sash.

The final Order of the Arrow November Ordeal for 2011, is Nov 4-6...If you haven't got your Brotherhood you can come and get it done, you can prepare for pass the test at the Chapter Meeting at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church Scout Hut on Oct 27th, then come to Camp Comer on the Ordeal weekend to get it. Or you can just come and help out. Our ceremony team will be going up Friday night..Contact S Hardy if you want to go. We will need adult transportation also. We will want to leave Friday evening at 5:00 PM or so. If your are a member of the Order of the Arrow and want to wear the pocket flap on the BSA shirt, you have to stay active by attending chapter meetings, Council ordeals and activities, and pay your annual dues of $8.00 per year....or not wear the flap...The Order is one of service and is recognized as part of earning the Eagle.

Thanks to Mr. Eggers, who at the Art Show, joined all the Tarp Poles in the Tent and Tarp boxes together with elastic ties so as to quicken the process of setting up tarps at our camp sites...

Thanks to Mr. Crabtree, we now have another ice cream maker that he has donated to the Troop. One of our own recently became dysfunctional...with a repair potential by Mr. Chuck Hanke.

Sorry for so much information in one place..but the next few months are going to be busy for us in anticipation of an even busier 2012.

Thanks for all your support and thanks for encouraging attendance.

The Court of Honor agenda is attached.

YiS Dan s

"Delivering the Promise"

Monday, October 17, 2011

PLC tonight

Thanks to Mr. Cox and Mr. David Butler as outfitter, the trip down the Cahaba this weekend was one of our best in years......

Will talk more to it at the PLC on Monday Oct 17th as well as in the Committee meeting.

Scouts and leaders who went on the Cahaba trip, as well as the Troop quartemasters and patrol quartermasters should be at the Hut on Oct 17th at 6:30 PM for cleaning and storing camping equipment for about an hour..uniform not required.

We will start the Patrol leaders conference at 7:00 PM, uniform not required for the patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders which should last an hour or less in planning the rest of Octobers and the first part of November's activities..uniform not required.

The Troop Committee meeting starts at 8:00 PM and lasts about an hour also...if you are not regularly attending, you are welcome to participate with us.