Troop 80 Introduction
What follows is an attempt to provide parents and boys with much of the information they will need to begin a long and successful association with the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 80. What follows is an overview. Much more information may be found in the Troop’s Welcome Guide which is available from our Scoutmaster.
The concept of the Boy Scouts of America was brought to this country from England in 1910, and over the years has evolved into the world's most successful organization for boys. Scouting offers character development, leadership training, and physical development in an atmosphere of fun and fellowship.
Boy Scouts are recognized the world over and can be seen in the Pascack Valley area performing a multitude of community service projects.
Troop 80 is a member of the Northern New Jersey Council (NNJC) and functions as part of the Three Rivers District, one of 3 such districts within the NNJC. Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Venturing Crews from the 70 towns in the Three Rivers District offer a wide range of fun activities while developing character for boys between the ages of 6 and 18. Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews also offer opportunities for shared and direct leadership for scouts with the interest, who are self-starters and show initiative.
Like many other organizations, Troop 80 has set forth policies that govern the functioning of the troop. A committee comprised of registered adults serves as the support staff for the trained uniformed adult leaders.
Most Troop decisions are made by the scouts on the Patrol Leader's Council (PLC).The PLC is comprised of the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and the Patrol Leaders. The SPL may request other elected and/or appointed boy leaders of the troop to serve on the PLC. The PLC makes plans and determines much about the way the troop is run.
The program developed by Troop 80 is designed to offer that unique combination of fun and learning that is difficult to capture.
Getting Started Quickly
If you are getting started in Boy scouting for the first time, the following are a few suggestions that will get you off to a good start and maximize your interest in scouting.
1. Plan to attend all regular scout meetings, and as many scout sponsored functions as you can. Troop 80 meets most Monday evenings beginning at 7:30 PM at the Elks Lodge on Sulak Lane in Park Ridge NJ. Besides working on scout craft skills, playing games and having fun, monthly camping trips and hikes are planned as well as opportunities for community service.
2. The wearing of a complete uniform is an important part of the scouting experience and each boy is expected to acquire a uniform. Parents who feel that they are unable to secure a uniform for their son should contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman. The troop maintains an inventory of used uniforms that are available at no cost. A Boy Scout uniform is an important part of the Boy Scout program and boys are expected to wear uniforms when attending most scout functions.
A Boy Scout uniform consists of an official uniform shirt with appropriate patches,long green pants or official short pants, green official socks, and a BSA Boy Scout belt. Look for a copy of the official BSA uniform guide on this site. Additionally, a troop neckerchief will be presented to each scout when he bridges over from Cub scouts.
Official Boy Scout uniforms can be purchased at:
25 Ramapo Valley Road
Oakland, NJ 07436
3.Purchase the latest version of the Official Boy Scout Handbook. The Handbook is the basis for everything done in scouting. The books can be purchased at official scouting outlets. Buy a protective cover too!
4.Parents are encouraged to register along with their son. The scouting program cannot function without competent adults who volunteer their services to the troop and take certain specified training courses. Scouting offers parents and their sons an opportunity to experience and share a very important time in each other’s life together.
5. Boy Scouting is designed to provide boys with lots of fun, while teaching them many lessons that will be valuable later in life. What a boy and his family get out of scouting is directly proportional to what they put into the program.
Boy Scouts differs fundamentally from Cub Scouting in that the Boy Scouting program is planned and executed by the senior scouts. The scouts elect their Senior Patrol Leader and their Patrol Leaders. The Patrol Leaders Council(the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, the Patrol Leaders, and certain other appointed boy leaders) meet regularly to plan the activities and meeting schedule for the Scout year which runs from September to summer camp.
The boys are responsible for ALL aspects of these items. They decide what will be done, who will plan and organize, who will teach what, what games will be played, how much time is allotted to each activity, what materials are needed, etc.Their detailed planning is reviewed and approved by the Scoutmaster for safety and fiscal prudence prior to implementation.
Scouts who wish to hold a leadership position are encouraged to apply for one. Certain leadership positions call for election while others are appointed by the SPL or Patrol Leaders(who are elected). Written position descriptions are distributed to every scout in the troop about 2 weeks in advance of elections. Once elected or appointed, the scout is expected to take his leadership role seriously and fulfill the requirements for his position. A scout who does not may be removed from his leadership position by the SPL or his Patrol Leader. Even if he is permitted to stay in his position, the Scoutmaster may not give him credit for his role in which case the scout will not be able to advance in rank.
Since this is a boy-run program, and since scouting is designed to be a learning experience, parents should know and understand that success and failure lie in the boys' hands. While the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters watch very carefully what they do, barring safety or other extenuating circumstances we will let them have the freedom to "sink or swim". Only when they are truly responsible will they really learn the lessons of leadership.
More information about the expectations and role of a senior scout may be found in the Troop’s Welcome Guide.
Health Forms Required
Each registered boy (and adults who come on trips with the scouts)shall have the BSA medical form and health history updated and signed annually by a licensed physician; and kept on file with the Troop Committee Chairman. The BSA requires physicians to use and sign its form which is posted on the troop’s website. The BSA health form tells the adult leaders of any chronic medical problems a boy or adult may have. It will list medications the boy takes on a routine basis and any allergies he might have. If a boy requires regular medication, parents should give them to the adult leader in charge of medical forms before leaving on each trip (usually the Troop Committee Chairman, sometimes an Assistant Scoutmaster).
If a boy has a condition that requires that he be kept from strenuous activities, this should be noted on the health form. Boys should not have medications of ANY kind in their possession without permission of the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster. The Troop Committee Chairman usually is responsible for safekeeping all prescription meds during a camping weekend.
Parents should update the medical information if the boy's medical needs or condition changes between physical examinations.
Equipment Recommendations for the New Scout
In order to enjoy his camping experience with the troop, each boy will need some basic equipment for safety and comfort. In the Outdoor Gear section of this website we have posted a list.Some items are real necessities, some are nice to have, and some are luxuries.Before you buy, ask the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster for the latest information on where to find the best bargains. Their advice is based on extensive experience and training. You can also speak to the troop’s Outdoors Adviser (see Leader’s section of the website).
The Methods and Aims of the Boy Scout Program
There are 8 Methods to the Boy Scouting Program
The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the motto,and the slogan. The Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them he has some control over what he becomes.
The patrol method gives scouts an experience in group living,working together as a small team and participating citizenship and civic duty. It places a certain amount of responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows scouts to act in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.
Much of the scout program is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live and work with each other. It is here that skills activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to Nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for God's handiwork and mankind's place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources. It is also the where most of the lessons in leadership are put to the test.
Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps to overcome. This is done through the Advancement method. The Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge.The Scout is rewarded with each advancement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy to grow in self-reliance, gain self-confidence, and the ability to help others.
As Scouts plan their activities, and progress toward goals they set for themselves, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. There is no device as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn.
The religious emblems program is also part of the personal growth method. Frequent conferences with his Scoutmaster help each scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims.
Boys learn from the example of their adult leaders; and the senior scouts. Troop leadership may be male or female, and association with adults of high character is critical at this stage of a young man's development.
The Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout who desires and puts in the requisite time and effort has the opportunity to participate in direct, indirect, shared and total leadership situations.Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. The Boy Scout program and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals.
The uniform is practical attire for scouting activities, and provides a way for Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
The Boy Scout program works toward three Aims. One is growth in moral strength and character.We define this as what the boy is himself: his personal qualities, his character, his values, his outlook.
A second aim is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the boy's relationship to other people, to the society he lives in, and to the government that presides over that society. As a scout matures he comes to understand he has a responsibility not just to himself and his family, but to the wider community as well.
The third aim of the Boy Scout program is the development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Fitness includes:
The body(well-tuned and healthy),
the mind (able to think, be responsible and self-reliant, adapt and solve problems),
and emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).
The 8 Methods are designed to accomplish these 3 Aims. It is important you know, understand, accept and fully support the Methods &Aims of the Boy Scout program. Other methods are good, but they may bring different results than we are seeking.
The Scout Oath
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To obey the Scout Law
To help other people at all times,
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
The Scout Law
A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly,
Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful,
Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
The Scout Motto
The Scout Slogan
Do a Good Turn daily.
Responsibility for Keeping Equipment Clean & Serviceable
The troop has a substantial investment in camping equipment which is at the disposal of the boys for troop-sponsored camping trips. The equipment has been acquired over the years and is critical to the success of the camping trips.
Keeping this equipment clean and serviceable is a major task. Each time the equipment (tents,tarps, water containers, griddles, cook kits, saws, axes, and other assorted items) is used, it is subjected to wear and tear. It is the responsibility of the boys in the troop who use this equipment to see that it is kept clean and serviceable. The care and maintenance of the troop equipment is the responsibility of the Quartermaster (a scout who is appointed by the SPL to that position of responsibility). After each camping trip, boys maybe sent home with one or more pieces of camping equipment by the Quartermaster. It then becomes their responsibility to see that it is cleaned properly and returned to the troop at the next meeting.
The Troop owns a number of tents for scouts or parents who do no to have their own. If you borrow a troop tent it is expected that after the camp out the tent will be set up at home, swept or shaken out, and thoroughly dried. Mud must be removed and any parts of the tent that need repair are to be reported to the Quartermaster when returned at the next meeting. Tents should not be washed using detergent. Detergent removes the waterproofing which keeps the tents from leaking. Only soap, such as Ivory Snow Soap Flakes, should be used, and this only if a strong cleaning is required. In all cases, tents should be thoroughly dried before being folded and put back in their carrying bags. Wet or damp tents will grow mildew and mildew causes the material to lose its waterproofing property and may cause respiratory illness or possibly severe allergic reactions.
Parents should encourage the boys to exercise their responsibility by keeping troop equipment in good condition. Parents of boys who are careless, who lose or break equipment,are expected to replace that equipment.
Advancement - Important in Troop Success
The program established by Troop 80 provides an opportunity for a scout to advance to the rank of First Class at his own pace, typically within two or three years (especially if the boy attends summer camp). The advancement records are kept by the Advancement Chairman, an adult on the troop committee. It is the responsibility of the scout to report and provide necessary documentation of advancement to the Advancement Chairman. When a scout has completed and turned in to the troop the required documentation for advance mentor merit badge completion, the achievement will be entered in the individual scout's advancement records and be reported to the NNJC on the official advancement report.
When a scout has completed all the requirements for advancement to the next rank the Advancement Chairman will check with the Troop Committee Chairman or the Troop Treasurer to ensure that his dues are up-to-date. The scout (not his parents) should contact the Scoutmaster and request a Scoutmaster's Conference. If the scout successfully passes his Conference with the Scoutmaster he will be recommended for a Board of Review. The Board of Review, not the Scoutmaster, determines if the scout is ready to advance in rank.
Camping as a part of the Troop Program
Troop 80 typically plans at least one camping trip every 4-6 weeks during the school year with most being scheduled in the spring. Typically, one of the senior scouts will be given the opportunity to plan and organize the camp out(scouts are expected to plan a half-dozen or more camping trips over several years after they attain First Class rank). These trips are designed to provide the boys an opportunity to meet the overnight camping requirements for advancement, allow them to experience living outdoors in a variety of seasonal conditions and since most leadership takes place in the outdoors, give them an opportunity to put into practice their leadership training.
After consultation with his patrol members and the SPL or Scoutmaster, a junior scout
typically is responsible for planning the menu for the camping trip.
Scout Behavior Standards Explained
The boys,like the adults, are expected to demonstrate an acceptable level of behavior at all times, whether or not they are in uniform. When a boy is representing an organization such as the Boy Scouts of America, they are representing themselves, their parents, and thousands of others who wear the uniform.
The following apply:
1. Boys are expected to demonstrate model behavior at all times. When behavior is deemed to be unacceptable, the boys will be counseled by a senior scout and an adult;or by two or more adults. If the boy's behavior continues to be unacceptable,the boy's parents will be called and they will be asked to come and pick him up immediately. The troop cannot provide supervision for boys with habitual discipline problems.
2. Boys are expected to be respectful of their adult leaders at all times and to heed their directions unless they feel those directions are unsafe. Scouts and parents should bring safety concerns directly and immediately to the attention of the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
3. Scouts are allowed to carry BSA pocket knives during outdoor scouting functions, provided they have earned the Boy Scout Totin' Chip. Sheath knives or other large knives are not to be carried by boys or adults. Scout leaders can revoke a boy's Totin' Chip and require the boy to undergo remedial training if the boy is found using a knife in a dangerous or inappropriate manner.
Additional information about what behavior is acceptable may be found in the Troop’s Welcome Guide.