Troop FAQ's
Especially for new parents!

Q: How much should the parents/guardians get involved in my son's activities? Isn't it supposed to be "boy-run"?

A: This is a hard line to find. We want the boys to take responsibility for getting things done, and to deal with the consequences of not getting things done. However, in the early days of his Boy Scouting experience, gentle suggestions about things you know he needs to accomplish are certainly helpful - we don't expect the boys to become perfect planners overnight!

Q: What does the patrol need to do between bridging and Camporee that won't take place at the Troop meeting?

A: Once the boys have formed patrols (they'll work with the Scoutmaster to do that), they'll need to meet outside of Troop meetings to: 1) Choose a patrol name; 2) Create a patrol flag; and 3) Create and practice a patrol yell. They can also use these meetings (with one of the adult leaders, or an older Scout with First Class rank) to get some of their advancement requirements completed.

Q: What is Camporee?

A: Camporee is an event run by the regional Scouting organization, and involves nearly 2000 Scouts and Scouters (adult leaders) camping together over a weekend in the hills between Simi Valley and Moorpark. There are lots of activities for the boys, and an opportunity to practice their camping skills.

Q: What does the Troop need the parents to do?

A: Troop 642 has a long history of parent involvement, and we would ask that at least one parent join the boys for the Troop meetings, if possible. We have two primary roles for parents - serving as Assistant Scoutmasters, working directly with the boys to provide guidance and ensure their safety, and as Committee members, taking on various administrative functions to keep the Troop running.

Q: Where do I find calendar information for the Troop?

A: See the Troop website, www.bsatroop642.org, and click on the Calendar link on the left side.

Q: Who can sign off on a Scout's advancement requirements in his Scout book?

A: In general, the Scoutmaster and any Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) or any First Class Scout not related to the Scout can sign off on advancement requirements. The exceptions to this are the "Show Scout Spirit in your daily living" and the Scoutmaster Conference, signed off by the Scoutmaster, and the Board of Review, signed off by the Advancement Chair.

Q: How does the rank advancement process work?

A: Boys work on their rank advancement requirements independently or with their patrol or troop. These are separate from merit badge requirements. They may work on advancement requirements for ranks beyond the immediate next rank (e.g., a Scout can work on his Second Class requirements, even before achieving Tenderfoot rank).

After completing all but the last three requirements for any given rank, the Scout schedules a Scoutmaster Conference with the Scoutmaster. Following successful completion of this conference, he schedules a Board of Review with the Advancement Chair. Complete, full uniform is required for the Board of Review, typically conducted during a Troop meeting. Signoff from the Advancement Chair of the Board of Review requirement advances the Scout to the next rank.

Q. What do we do with these blue cards?

A: Blue cards are used for merit badge signoffs. Each boy needs to get a blue card signed by the Scoutmaster prior to starting the merit badge process. The merit badge counselor or his/her designee will sign off on the individual requirements, until the entire merit badge is complete. Partially completed merit badges ("partials") should be retained by the boy until they are complete. Completed merit badge blue cards are returned to the Advancement Chair for processing and recording. The boy should make a backup copy and keep the signed blue card stub in a safe place; it is the final record of proof.

Are there other topics we should address?

Suggestions: E-mail them to Paul Witman (witman@ieee.org)