FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: 7/1/2015

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General

Q: What do I need to know about being in Troop 652?

A: Read the “Getting Started with Troop 652” webpage.

Troop

Q: How long has this Troop been around?

A: Troop 652 was started in 1965 when St. Basil’s was built. The first Scoutmaster was Tom Kane.

Q: How many Eagle Scouts does the Troop have?

A: The number of Eagle Scouts active in the troop varies from year to year. There’s a list of Eagle Scouts from the troop on our web site. Over the
last 5 years, we’ve had 1 or 2 scouts achieve Eagle Rank each year.

Q: When and where are the troop meetings?

A: The meetings are held every Wednesday night at St. Basil’s Parish Center at 7:00 p.m.

Q: Are the boys in the same group with older boys?

A: New Scout Patrols are formed in the spring, usually from Webelos Scouts. Walk-on’s join throughout the year. The New Patrols operate as a regular patrol with the assistance of the Troop Guide (an experienced scout) and at least one Assistant Scoutmaster. The New Patrol method helps in the transition from Cub Scouting and allows the boys to participate directly with their age peers. After Summer Camp, the New Scout Patrol is merged into the “regular” established Patrols. There is also a Venture Crew 652 affiliated with the troop which includes members over the age of 18 and females as well. Minimum age to be in the Venture Crew is 14 and some of our scouts are members of both units. The Crew started in 2006 to accommodate the desire of many of our scouts to remain active past the age of 18. Crew members are also from other troops and includes some with no prior scouting experience.

Q: How does my son join the troop?

A: Complete a Scout application and submit it to the Scoutmaster. Specific joining requirements are listed in the Boy Scout Handbook. After meeting those requirements the boy has a conference with the Scoutmaster at which time he will receive his Boy Scout Badge. Boys who have completed their Webelos Arrow of Light will be familiar with these requirements.

Q: Who runs the troop activities?

A:
Troop meetings and campouts are run by the scouts with the advice of adult leaders. Planning of meetings and campout activities are done by the scouts themselves though the Patrol Leaders Council. The Scoutmaster is responsible for seeing this occurs.

Q: What is a Patrol?

A:
Scouts are organized into Patrols as sub-units of the troop. This is ideally 8 boys. This team works together to prepare demonstrations, plan troop meetings, work on skills, and camping preparation.

Q: How are the Patrols organized?

A:
Each Patrol has a Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, etc., and as such, is a miniature model of the troop. This prepares the scouts through leadership experience and responsibility. Patrol Leaders are elected by the patrol.

Q: Are there other activities besides camping and troop meetings?

A:
Service is a vital part of scouting and many service projects are scheduled throughout the year. Leadership training programs for both scouts and adults are offered throughout the year. Training makes better Scouts and is fun as well. Additional breakout sessions are offered as well to provide opportunities and challenges for our older and more experienced scouts (Venture Crew and Venture Patrols).

Q: What are the adult leader responsibilities?

A:
Adult leaders are a resource to the scouts in planning and carrying out the troop program. The primary responsibility is to provide guidance. The ultimate goal is to let scouts run the program and develop the skills to make decisions themselves.

Q: How are the adult leaders qualified?

A:
After a successful completion of the adult leader application, many training opportunities are available to adult scouters. These are offered through Council and District to help troops improve and assure the quality of the program. Each adult leader is also trained in Youth Protection as a matter of policy.

Q: What are the requirements for adult leaders?

A:
A completed BSA Adult Leader application should be submitted to the Committee Chair. This is reviewed by the Committee and Charter Organization prior to submitting to the BSA Council.

Q: How are special needs (medication, dietary, etc.) handled?

A:
It is essential that special needs be communicated to the troop. A completed health history is part of the BSA application. Medication should be placed in the care of the Scoutmaster for camping activities, unless you are accompanying the troop on the campout. If adult leaders are aware of special needs, they work with you.

Uniforms

Q: What are the uniform requirements?

A:
Each scout needs a complete “Class A” uniform. This includes Scout shirt and insignia, belt, scarf and slide, scout socks, and green pants or shorts. These are required for Summer Camp, travel, Council or District events,and meetings. A “Class B” uniform shirt can be either the red BSA “Activity” shirt or the troop T-shirt shirt which may be worn at outdoor events. Scouting is a uniformed activity and we feel that being in uniform supports team spirit. We have our own troop t-shirt design which can be
purchased from a local store.

Q: Is a uniform required for all activities?

A:
Full uniform is required at all troop meetings. The troop always travels to activities in full uniform. Any exceptions to this rule will be announced in advance.

Q: Can my son wear any Cub Scout awards?

A:
A Scout who has earned the Arrow of Light as a Webelos Scout may wear that insignia at the bottom of the left shirt pocket. If any religious awards were earned as a Cub Scout, the appropriate knot may be worn above the left shirt pocket with a small pin to indicate that it was earned as a Cub Scout. Service stars earned as a Cub Scout may also be worn above the left pocket.

Q: Why a uniform at all?

A:
Scouting is a uniformed activity in much the same way your sports teams work. It is felt that the uniform promotes team spirit.

Cost

Q: What does it cost to join the troop?

A:
New Scouts currently registered as Cub Scouts can join the troop by transfer. Please note the Pack number on your registration form. The troop will pay the transfer fee. New Scouts not currently registered pay $43.00 prorated from March.

Q: How is the troop financed?

A:
Primary troop financing comes from the annual sale of pop and water at the “Brecksville Home Days” fair in late June. This money is for equipment and activities.

Scout popcorn is sold in October-November. A percentage from the sale of the popcorn goes into a special account for each boy. This is used to help defray camping costs. Currently, all popcorn sale proceeds are credited to the scouts’ camping accounts – the troop does not keep any of the popcorn sale proceeds provided the “pop sale” generates sufficient funds for troop needs.

Car washes or pancake breakfasts may be scheduled, if and when needed.

Q: Are scholarships available?

A:
When a need is identified the Committee can approve Camperships to assist boys with financial needs. No boy will be denied the opportunity of Scouting due to financial needs.

Advancement

Q: How does a Scout advance?

A:
Advancement is based on rank requirements specified in the Boy Scout Handbook. Each Scout is required to have his own personal copy. This book is the “Bible” for scouting experience. The troop provides a book to new scouts.

Q: Who works on Scout advancement?

A:
The Scout is responsible for his own advancement work and should use his Boy Scout Handbook to record his work. As an achievement is accomplished it is the Scout’s responsibility to have his book initialed and dated to record this accomplishment. An assistant Scoutmaster may sign for all requirements. First Class Scouts, with the approval of the Scoutmaster, may sign for Tenderfoot and Second Class achievements. Star Scouts and above, with the Scoutmaster’s approval, may sign off for requirements for the next lower rank. All achievements should be reported to the Scoutmaster. He in turn reports them to the Advancement Chairman so the accomplishment can be recognized.

Q: Who will work with my son on rank advancement?

A:
Older Scouts and adult leaders will review your son’s progress and help provide opportunities to learn and have fun. Some achievements require work outside of the troop environment and will require your help and encouragement. The most valuable thing a parent can do is to review and support their son’s progress. This helps you be aware of what he is doing and shows that you think what he is doing is worthwhile.

Q: Will my son be working on merit badges?

A:
First year Scouts concentrate on achieving the First Class rank with the associated skills. No merit badges are required to achieve First Class. Merit badge work may be done in areas of specific interest as the opportunities arise and may spread out the load for merit badge requirements after First Class rank.

Q: Who works on merit badges?

A:
Any boy may work on merit badges. A wide variety of interests are covered and are outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook. Specific merit badges are required for advancement after First Class.

Q: How are merit badges offered?

A:
Some merit badges are offered through the troop. Adults associated with the troop may serve as counselors. Additional opportunities are also offered through the District and Council. If you have a specific skill or interest you can share, please communicate it to the Committee. Most scouts earn merit badges at Summer Camp.

Q: What is a Scoutmaster’s Conference?

A:
As a Scout advances from joining requirements through Eagle, he will schedule a Scoutmaster’s conference prior to his Board of Review. The purpose of this conference is to allow the Scout to share his thoughts and achievements in the program and allow the Scoutmaster to discuss them with him. This provides valuable feedback to both the Scout and Scoutmaster in evaluating program objectives.

Q: What is a Board of Review?

A:

After completion of requirements for a rank and a Scoutmaster conference, the Scout is ready for a board of Review. The Board of Review is scheduled with the Advancement Chairman. This board is made up of adult Committee Members (excluding the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters). The Scout should prepare for the Board of Review by reviewing the accomplishments for the particular rank and be ready to answer questions about them. This is not a final exam, but an opportunity to communicate accomplishments and points the Scout in the direction of his next rank. It also is an opportunity to suggest improvements that may be necessary for the Scout or the Troop. If for any reason, the Board feels that the Scout has not met particular objectives, the Scout will be given guidance to meet those objectives and a time set to re-schedule the Board. Boards of Reviews may also be used to discuss lack of progress and aid Scouts who are not advancing.

Q: What is a Court of Honor?

A:
A Court of Honor is a special troop meeting held once or twice a year to recognize achievements and advancement. Parents and Troop members meet together to recognize milestones in Scouting.

Camping

Q: What camping equipment will my son need?

A:
There is a section on the troop web site labeled “Getting Started with Troop 652” with an more detailed explanation of Gear recommendations. The minimum equipment required for each boy should include: A sleeping bag, a mess kit (plate/bowl, silverware & cup), a small 2 cell flashlight, and a sturdy bag to carry gear to and from camp. Tents are available from the troop. Buddy tenting is encouraged to minimize the amount of gear that has to be hauled. Additional special requirements will be published for each campout.

Q: Will my son need a backpack?

A:
The first year Scout will not normally need a backpack as it would usually be only required for backpacking campouts. However, backpacks do have the advantage of providing an organized way of keeping camping gear together. If you do buy a backpack, consider one that has adjustment options that can grow with your boy.

Q: Do all boys go on the campouts?

A:
Many boys attend every campout. However, others choose only campouts which meet their interest. The camping program is designed to meet a variety of interests. Campouts also provide specific opportunities to learn and meet scout skill requirements needed for the first year scout to advance in rank.

Q: What charge is there for a campout?

A:
Each campout has a fee based on the number of meals, any site use fees, or special event fees. Sign-up is required in advance and specific timing requirements are published prior to the campout. Fees and sign-ups must be done in a timely manner to allow disbursement of food money, acquire council tour permits, etc.

Q: What kind of campouts do you do?

A:
The troop camps once a month, offering a variety of opportunities including district events, one or two summer camps, winter camping, family camping, backpacking, hiking, high adventure trips, and more.

Q: Does my son need to bring money on a campout?

A:
Generally no. If there is a need for fast food on a long travel campout or for pocket money on an extended campout, such as Summer Camp, it will be identified in the campout information sheet.

Q: How are boys transported to camping events?

A:
The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters usually are able to accommodate transportation to most campouts. However, there is an occasional need for parents to assist in transportation. Any parent may participate in a campout.

Q: Is Summer Camp necessary for my son?

A:
Summer Camp is not a requirement, but it is of utmost value to the New Scout in that it is usually the first long-term outing many Scouts will experience. It is of particular value in that most Council camps provide special opportunities for new Scouts to work on Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class rank requirements in a camp setting. Merit Badge classes are offered, but the first year Scout should be careful not to overload on merit badge classes and allow time for scout skills, work and most importantly, fun!

Q: What kind of cooking equipment is provided?

A:

Each patrol is assigned a patrol box with cooking utensils, a propane stove and essentials.  This serves as the kitchen on campouts.  A patrol fly provides a sheltered area for this activity.  Grills and Dutch ovens are available as needed.  All fuels are provided by the troop.

Q: Who does the cooking on campouts?

A:
A cook and assistant are assigned by the Patrol Leader for each campout.

Q: Why do we need a permission slip?

A:
A permission slip is required for each campout or outing outside the normal troop meeting. This form should be turned in at the meeting prior to the campout. This gives adult leaders permission to get medical attention for your child if necessary. Fortunately this is rarely needed. It also gives additional information about currant medications and needs to assist the adult leaders in supporting your boy.

Q: Are there things my son should not take on a campout?

A:
No electronics (games, music players, etc). The purpose of camping is to enjoy and learn from the outdoor experience. Also food and beverages for meals are part of the patrol’s team effort. Extra items are not needed, particularly carbonated beverages and candy. These items will be placed in the care of the Scoutmaster if found and returned after the campout.

Committee

Q: What is the charter organization?

A:
Our troop is sponsored by St. Basil the Great Catholic Church. They provide the primary resource in a successful troop program in the form of a meeting place and service opportunities. The troop recognizes this through service projects. We help at the annual Church picnic, Fall Fest and other special events.

Q: What does the Committee do?

A:
The Committee provides the resources that make the troop work. This includes providing a Scoutmaster and appropriate direct leadership required for the troop to function. The Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving adult leader applications. Members of the Committee participate in Boards of Reviews.

Q: Who is on the Troop Committee?

A:
The Committee is a group of interested individuals who have taken the responsibility of providing the resources and support for the troop activities. Troop 652’s Troop Committee is made up of BSA registered members. The positions are: Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Advancement Chairman, Chaplain, Services Projects Coordinator, Outdoors Coordinator, Recruitment Coordinator and Charter Organization Representative. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, although not on the Committee, are usually present at all Committee meetings.

Q: What can I do to help the troop?

A:
Lots of things. A special skill or interest may qualify you to work with boys on non Eagle required merit badges. The Committee may require help on fund raising or coordinating a Court of Honor, transporting to a campout or organizing a campout Every parent has a skill or resource that can help the troop provide a first class program. Go to a Committee meeting. They meet the last Sunday of the month. If you don’t call us we’ll call you!

Q: How do I know what’s going on?

A:
The Troop maintains a web site (www.troop652bsa.org) and has an email list service which allows members of the troop to send email messages to all other members without having to maintain a separate membership list. In special cases, there are handouts and/or newsletters distributed at the meetings which are also posted to the troop web site.

Q: What does the Troop Committee do in the event problems occur?

A:

The Troop Committee has a Troop Policy Manual. The manual provides the adult leaders guidelines. It provides Troop 652 with a mission statement, lists the adult leader’s duties and responsibilities, and provides common sense guidelines to assist the Scoutmaster.