Orientation for Parents of New Scouts
Welcome and thank you for your interest in Troop 1176. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to tell you a little bit about what you need to know about Scouts BSA and our troop.
Scouts BSA is like the Scout uniform shirt. It has a “showy” side on the outside and a plain side on the inside. The showy side of the program is what attracts our youth—the fun and outdoor adventure. That’s the fun stuff and colorful stuff, the stuff you look at and point at and say, “That’s cool—I want to do that.” The adults are more concerned about the other side, the inside. On that other side, our eyes are not distracted by the colors and designs, or by the showy stuff.
A the adult you want to look at what the Scout shirt—the Scouts BSA program—is made of. You want to feel the fabric. You want to see the aims and purposes of the program clearly. And although we’re glad that the Scouts are drawn to the colorful stuff on the outside, we know that what really matters is on the inside.
The Scouts BSA program has three aims or purposes: character development, citizenship training, and physical and mental fitness. What makes Scouts BSA unique is that it has eight methods it uses to achieve those aims. Those eight methods define Scouts BSA and show how it is different from other programs.
Ideals—The ideals of Scouts BSA are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. Scouts measure themselves against these ideals and continually try to improve.
Patrol Method—Patrols are small groups of Scouts within a troop who camp together, cook together, play together, and learn together. Patrols are where Scouts learn citizenship at the most basic level. They also take on responsibilities within the patrol and learn teamwork and leadership. Patrols sort of look like Cub Scout dens, but there is one big difference: Patrols elect their own leaders, and through these patrol leaders, Scouts have a voice in deciding what activities the troop will put on its calendar. Patrols are one component of what we call youth-run, or youth-led, troop.
Outdoor Programs—Scouts BSA is designed to take place outdoors. We camp. We hike. We get dirty. We get up close and personal with bugs and spiders. There’s no way around it. Our program is largely built around outdoor activities. You can’t have Scouting without the outing.
Advancement—Scouts BSA has a system of ranks in which Scouts learn progressively more difficult skills and take on progressively greater responsibilities. The highest of these ranks is Eagle Scout. Becoming an Eagle Scout is an important achievement that your daughter can be proud of her entire life. But turning out Eagle Scouts is not what the program is all about. Advancement is probably the most visible of the Scouting methods, and the easiest to understand, but it is only one of eight methods. We strongly encourage advancement, but we never force it—advancement is the Scout’s choice, and they set their own pace. We don’t do “lockstep” advancement. And many great Scouts, and great people, never became Eagle Scouts.
Associations With Adults—Youth learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases, a Scoutmaster, a merit badge counselor, or one of the troop parents who is willing to listen to the girls, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives. Adult association is also part of what we call a youth-led troop. Adults understand that their role is to create a safe place where Scouts can learn and grow and explore and play and take on responsibilities—and fail, and get up and try again. If you were involved with Cub Scouting, this is a very different role that can take some time getting used to.
Personal Growth—As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept, or "doing good deeds", is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Girls will grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn.
The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Scout to determine her growth toward Scouting’s aims.
Leadership Development—The Scouts BSA program encourages youth to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to lead in some way, whether as part of a team, or as the leader of a patrol or as the senior patrol leader of the troop. Leadership development is another component of the youth-led troop.
Uniform—Like most sports teams, Scouts wear a uniform. Like most sports teams, we expect our Scouts to wear the uniform when they are doing Scouting, and to wear it properly. It is a symbol of who we are and what we do. The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Scouts BSA is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows that each Scout is committed to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood and sisterhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is also practical attire for Scout activities and provides a way for Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
THE ROLE OF THE SCOUT
In Scouts BSA, the role of the Scouts is to have fun activities and generate achievements. The role of the adults is to promote the “process” of Scouting. What is important for us is
Not the food on the campout, but that the girls cooked it.
Not a sharp-looking flag ceremony, but that the girls put it together.
Not who would make the best patrol leader, but that the girls elect one.
Not that Jenny learns first aid, but that Brenda teaches her.
Not that we cover everything on the meeting agenda, but that the senior patrol leader is in charge.
Our goal is not to get things done, but to create a safe and healthy environment with the training and resources that the Scouts need, and then let them do it. It can sometimes be a very messy business, and painful to watch. Meetings, where the Scout leaders are in charge, can be very chaotic. And it can be very tempting for adults to jump in and sort things out because that is what adults do. But we have to remember that that is the process of Scouting. That is how they learn—even from disorganization and failure. We just have to remember that our business as adults is not the same as the business of the Scouts. It is up to them to get things done. It is up to us to make sure they have what they need, but (within the bounds of health and safety) not what they do with it.
The Boy Scouts of America has had a very strong program in place for many years to protect our youth from abuse of all kinds. We require all of our leaders to be trained in Youth Protection and to refresh that training at regular intervals. There are some rules we follow that you will hear about, such as “two-deep leadership” and no one-on-ones. That means that there should not be a situation where a Scout leader is alone with a single Scout. There are other rules and policies as well, and we encourage you to take the training and learn about Scout Youth Protection.
WELCOMING NEW SCOUTS
Our goal is to make your new scout feel welcome as a full-fledged participating member and an integral part of our troop from day one.
New Scouts will be placed in a patrol with other new or younger scouts while they work on achieving their first rank of Tenderfoot. This helps build a common bond among other scouts of similar age. It also provides an environment that allows the new scouts to begin building their leadership, personal responsibility, and self-governance skills.
The new scout patrol is assigned an older, experienced scout who serves as their “Troop Guide” to teach scout skills, help break the ice and get them interacting with other scouts in the troop.
Significant interactions, involvement, and focus by our leadership core along with our Scoutmaster.
To further instill the scouting sprit and the bonding with the troop, it is highly recommended and encourage that all new scouts attend summer camp during their first year….it’s a great time and experience!
CAMPOUTS & ACTIVITIES
Campouts usually consist of two nights out. Scouts typically leave Friday early evening and return on Sunday by early afternoon.
Monthly Campouts typically cost between $25 to $35 and Summer Camp typically costs in the range of $350 to $550 (est.)
Fees cover food, transportation costs, and campground fees.
Camping & activities fees can be paid from the Scout’s personal “Scout Account”.
Typically, the troop provides Tents and Patrol Boxes (which contain cooking equipment) along with troop related supplies for the activities. Because we are a relatively new troop we do not currently have this equipment. Fundraising and donation efforts are ongoing in order to obtain this equipment & supplies.
A minimum of two Scoutmasters/Adults will be present at all events. At least one adult will always be a female.
Adult family members are invited and encouraged to attend campouts and activities.
Please note that during campouts, adults must sleep in their own tent or in a tent with other adults.
Each Scout is expected to have the necessary personal equipment to camp safely. Each Scout should do their own planning and packing of their items at home. They have a sample for weekend outings in their Scout Handbook as well as posted in the Scout section of the website.
Participation from all adults is needed to enable all of our Scouts to have the opportunity to go on as many outings as possible. We never want to limit the number of Scouts on a campout or outing due to transportation problems, which is only possible with the full cooperation of all adults.
Our Troop participates in a variety of fundraising activities and we are always open to suggestions. Our main fundraisers:
Ojai Valley Century Bike Ride
Upon joining the troop, each scout is set up with an individual “Scout Account”. Your Scouts' portion from fundraising will be added to their account. Families can also provide funds to add to their Scouts' account, this is recommended especially for new Scouts who have not had the opportunity to fundraise yet. Scouts can use the money in their individual Scout Account to pay for Scouting activities such as campouts summer camp and other Scouting activities. Funds in the Scout Account can also be used to pay for Scouting related items such as uniforms, personal camping equipment, and other personal Scouting supplies. All activities and items must meet the approval of the Troop Committee.
To use funds in a Scouts' account for activities and supplies offered by the Troop or Council etc. the Scout simply lets leadership know that they want to use their account to pay for the activity or item. If a Scout purchases an item themselves at a store then a receipt must be provided and the amount will be deducted from their account and given to the Scout as reimbursement.
BSA APPLICATION (one time).
PERMISSION SLIPS for each activity (campouts, service projects, beach day, etc.)—recurring
BSA HEALTH AND MEDICAL RECORD form (required for camping and outdoor activities)
—updated annually for both scouts and adults who want to participate in activities.
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout Is:
Do a Good Turn Daily!
The Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to -
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation minded