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Boy Scout Troop 1776
(Chino Hills, California)
 
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Use this section to find out about the BSA Program and how 1776 operates the “BSA way”

What is "Boy Scouting"


Scouting is unlike anything your son has ever experienced before.  

 

Unlike school, organized sports, or perhaps even in the home setting, in a Boy Scout troop the youth are the ones who are in charge.  THEIR desires become our agenda.  THEIR ideas for adventure, fun, and excitement are what the adults guide them to bring into reality.  In Scouting, THEY speak, and the adults listen. 

 

By practicing representative democracy, they pick their own leaders who form the "Patrol Leader Council" which creates the monthly/yearly agenda.  Scouts work together on every issue, from what to eat at camp to deciding who will wash dishes and shop for food.  They learn and PUT INTO PRACTICE communication, public speaking, teamwork, conflict resolution, and leadership... all the skills they will need to excel in the "real world".

 

By taking advantage of any of the 135 possible merit badges, they gain exposure to areas of interest ranging from Rifle Shooting to Chemistry, from Small Boat Sailing to Aviation, and from Reading to NuclearScience, and more.  Statistically, the Merit Badge program often leads to life-long hobbies and even career choices.  At a minimum, Merit Badges help a young man try things he may never have had a chance to do if not for the Scouting experience, such as rifle shooting, archery, sailing, or camping. 

 

While boys are busy "being Scouts" and having fun, they start to embody the virtues of Scouting defined in the Scout Oath and Law.

 

What is Scouting? It's "fun with a purpose".





What is behind the phrase, "Aims and Methods"?

 

Simply put, the AIMS are "what the BSA is trying to teach your son" and the METHODS are "how the National BSA teaches".  For a more"official" answer, keep reading...

 

THE AIMS AND METHODS OF BOY SCOUTING

The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

Ideals

The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy 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 and who he becomes.

Patrols

The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.

Outdoor Programs

Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and humankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.

Advancement

Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Association with Adults

Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

Personal Growth

As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, 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. Probably no device is so 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 Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.

Leadership Development

The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both 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.

Uniform

The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides away for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.



What is the purpose of a "patrol"?

 

A significant part of the Scouting experience is to get plenty of HANDS ON activity.  From knot tying, to cooking on a fire and stove, to learning how to use a pocket knife or axe...   Scouts "DO".

In order to make sure everyone gets a chance to DO, boys are divided into smaller groups within the Troop so that everyone gets ample opportunity to participate.  This is part of what the BSA calls, "The Patrol Method".

Within a patrol-sized group, boys do not get "lost among the crowd" or feel as though their opinions (and votes) don't matter. Each plays a critical and important role in the Patrol's success.

The definition of the "Patrol Method" from the National Council's website...

 

“Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members.”



What do boys do as "Boy Scouts"?

 

The Boy Scout Of America Program is a 108 year old, professionally crafted, program of education and character development.  By using the "Outdoor Method" (camping, fishing, rock climbing, etc.) boys work together to "do the things boys like to do".  In the process, they learn the value ofteamwork, honesty, communication, mutual respect, and more as they work towardstheir goal and overcome any obstacles they encounter.

By employing the METHODS of Scouting, we reinforce the AIMS of Scouting, which are reflected in our Oath and Law.  The goal is to see that they become permanent fixtures in the character of each Boy Scout as we teach them to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrift, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Most boys get to do things and go places they would havenever had the opportunity to do if not for being involved in Scouting.  

  • Ever try shooting rifles, shot guns, black powder muskets, and bow & arrows?
  • Ever try fishing?  Howa bout Ice fishing?
  • Ever cook over an open fire?
  • Ever go backpacking into the wilderness caring everything you need on your back?
  • Ever seen the “Bridge no Nowhere”
  • Ever spend the night in a tent?  How about an "emergency shelter "you created in the woods?
  • Ever see the stars from parts of California where there's no "light pollution"?... a sky so clear you can see the Milky Way?
  • Ever climb though a lava tube?
  • Ever camped on an Air Force base and sat in an F16?
  • Ever Camped on the beach?

 

WE HAVE !



What do you mean by "Boy Led"?

 

A Boy Scout troop leads itself.   Adults are present to guide and ensure safety & compliance exists, but it is the YOUTH who make keydecisions.  The primary role of the Scoutmaster is to teach the Senior Patrol Leader how to run/lead his troop.

The Scouting program using The Patrol Method means the Troop members ELECT their own leaders; individual Patrol Leaders and a Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) who takes on "ownership" and holds the actual leadership position within the Troop.  The SPL appoints an assistant scout (Assistant Senior Patrol Leader - ASPL) and various other leadership positions, all of whom serve at the Scoutmaster's discretion.

While serving as Senior Leaders, the SPL and ASPL cease to be members of their respective patrols and function as peers with the adult leadership. The SPL and ASP execute Program decisions, lead the meetings, plan agendas, pick camping destinations, and LEAD BY EXAMPLE when executing the agenda that the boys themselves created and agreed to follow.

Patrol Leaders are responsible for the well being and actions of their individual patrol and will REPRESENT their patrol in the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC).

At the PLC meeting (chaired by the SPL and monitored by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster), Patrol Leaders plan future trips and troop meetings.  Through a model of Representative Government, THEY choose the trips and activities THEY want to do, and appoint other scouts to serve as skill instructors, or lead games & other activities.  Adult leadership keeps them on track with suggestions and advice, but the decisions are ultimately left to THE YOUTH.

Once the future meetings/camping trips are planned, the SPL and Scoutmaster present the PLC's plans to the Troop Committee for review. The agenda is checked for issues such as fund requirements, unique equipment/skills, camp ground reservations, and is given an over-all inspection to confirm that trips are aligned with the purpose of the Scouting Program.   If the plans are approved, the SPL goes forward with leading the weekly meetings or delegating others who will lead all/part of the meeting.  The model is "boys leading boys" unless the skill instruction needed is currently beyond the skill set of the Scouts or relates to merit badge requirements, then adults will render assistance.

ADULTS are a RESOURCE for guidance and ensuring that things are done the "BSA way" for safety, youth development and general direction setting.

"Boy Leadership" really means the Troop is doing the things the BOYS want to do, and in doing so, they will develop the leadership, communication, problem resolution, and organizational skills that underscore why Scouts excel in all other areas of their lives.


If Scouting is "boy led", why have adult leaders?

 

A Boy Scout troop is "boy run", and the functioning boss is one of the Boy Scouts who serves as the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).  He's elected to that position by all the Scouts in the troop and typically serves for a 12 month term. 

However, just because a patch is sewn on your sleeve designating you as the "leader", it doesn't mean that you actually know HOW to lead.  That's where the adults come in.    

The Scoutmaster's job is to teach the boys how to lead their own unit.   That seems to be more of a "journey" than a "destination" because in 12 months, a new election is held.  The next Scout to be elected as the SPL may have strong leadership skills or may be starting to develop them for the first time so getting to a "100% boy run" status is difficult.

Sometimes we're able to be more "out of the way" than others, but our goal is to let the youth leaders "lead" and only step in when necessary, even if that means letting them make a few mistakes along the way.


Where would I fit as an adult leader?

 

Boys are Scouts. Adults are Scouters.

As a Scouter, you can serve in 3 capacities in a Scout unit. Other positions exist at the District level, but we're focused on the Troop on this FAQ.

Scoutmaster (SM)/ Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM)- these Scouters work closest with the Scouts and ensure the program is running as it should.  Their primary focus is to support the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader by guiding them in leadership of the Troop while delivering the "Program".

Merit Badge Councilor (MBC) - a MBC works with Scouts on an individual basis to work on the specific badges that the MBC is registered to teach.  A MBC works with the Scouts "on demand" when he is contacted by the Scouts requesting time to complete badge work.

Committee Member - the role of the committee is to provide the Scoutmaster with the support needed to deliver the program that the Patrol Leader Council chooses as the "Program".  The Committee provides the logistical support (funds/fund raisers, camping equipment, Treasury, recording advancement, Boards of Review, registration/recharter, etc.) needed to support the Troop.   The Committee also has the responsibility to ensure that the Scoutmaster and the PLC are delivering a program that is aligned with the BSA Charter.  If not, the Committee can recommend replacements. The Committee Chair would report to the Charter Organization which has the authority to hire/fire adult leaders.

The Committee is headed by a Committee Chairman who functions as the "organizer" to make sure that sub-committees are on-task in their roles within the troop, such as ensuring a Treasurer delivers a Treasurer's report... Outdoor Chair is making campsite reservations....  Quartermaster is maintaining the camping equipment.. etc.  To avoid "power plays" the Committee Chair is more of an "organizer" than a "position of authority". Committee decisions are made following Robert’s Rules of Order.  The Committee Chair does not get to cast a vote unless votes are tied.  By design, the Scoutmaster and assistants are NOT members of the Committee, and therefore cannot vote on committee decisions.  

There are a myriad of positions needed to staff a strong committee, so most adults in a troop are registered as Committee Members.

 



What happens at camping trips?

 

Camping trips usually follow the following format.

Scouts arrive at Archibald’s Drive-Thru in Chino Hills (15421Fairfield Ranch Rd) in full Field Uniform on a Friday evening, typically at 5:30 PM so we can depart by 6:00 PM. Once all gear is packed in the troop trailer and a final check for permission slips is complete, we depart for our camping destination.   Upon arrival, the first order of business is to choose camp sites, set up tents, and the kitchen/cook areas.  Time permitting, the boys will have "Cracker Barrel" (snack) and the remainder of the night (until 10:30- 11 PM) is "free time" for Scouts to unwind and burn off some energy.  Lights out is signaled by the playing of Taps by the Troop Bugler.

Saturday mornings begin with the Bugler playing Reveille between 6-7 AM and the patrols starting to prepare breakfast.  Patrols are encouraged to eat together.  Each patrol will have their own cooking and dining area.   Once KP is complete, there is a flag ceremony and then the Program portion of the day begins with a break for lunch around noon.    Program(Scout-skill related activity, and/or the purpose of the camping trip) continues until around 5 PM when dinner preparation begins.  After dinner, dished are cleaned and the flag is lowered ceremoniously. Next there is free time until the camp fire program (at dark).  At the camp fire, boys often perform skits, tell jokes, and enjoy Cracker Barrel before lights out.

Sunday begins with preparing breakfast and then we begin breaking down camp. After the trailer has been loaded, the Troop forms up for a trash sweep following the principals of “Leave no Trace”.  After the trash sweep is complete, the Troop is lead in a "Scouts' Own" prayer service by the SPL and Chaplain's Aid; a boy appointed by the SPL to lead closing prayer.   Last, we depart for home targeting a return to Archibald’s by 11 AM. 



Uniforms. What's "Official"?

Scouts in Troop 1776 wear two uniforms as described below.  The Scoutmaster or Senior Patrol Leader will announce the uniform prior to each event or activi­ty.  At a minimum, Scouts will travel to/from Troop activities in one of the two uniforms.

 

Field Uniform (Class A):  Consists of the official Scout shirt with all badges and insignia; neckerchief (scarf) with slide orbolo tie; and neat pants or shorts. Optional items in­clude a cap (either the official Troop cap, or other BSA cap), the official pants or shorts, official socks, merit badge sash and hiking boots/shoes.

 

Activity Uniform (Class B):  Consists of either theTroop T-shirt or BSA T-shirt, worn with neat pants or shorts.  Optional items include a cap (ei­ther the official Troop cap, or other BSA cap), the official pants or shorts, official socks and hiking boots/shoes.


The difference between Rank & Merit Badges?

 

Rank is an interesting word choice, clearly derived from Scouting's origin as a program modeled after a military structure.

Those holding a "higher rank" do not order around those of "lower rank".   In Scouting, the term "rank" is a PERSONAL measure of his progress along the "Trail to Eagle"... or more appropriately thought of as his "trail to manhood".

When a boy joins Scouting, he begins working on the first 4 RANKS; Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class.  All 4 of these ranks can be worked on simultaneously.  Within the requirements of these ranks, a Scout learns the SAFETY aspects of Scouting; basic first aid, how to choose a safe camp spot, how to properly dress for an outing, how to find his way with map/compass, what to do if he gets lost, etc... 

Now a demonstrated "safe" Scout... he is ready for his next period of personal development, which is LEADERSHIP.  In the pursuit of Star, Life, and Eagle, a youth is learning (and then mastering) the skills of leadership.  By holding leadership positions within the troop, he learns to lead, instruct, and inspire others.  He learns to "give back" to others, and also learns his emerging place in Society as a citizen. 

There are 130+ various Merit Badges available (only 21needed for Eagle).   To ensure that the Scouts are getting a taste of the opportunities available, the higher badges of rank require a set number of merit badges be completed (including some designated as "Eagle required").

Merit Badges offer exposure to a diverse background of interests, adventures, and opportunities that Scouts may never experience IF NOT for the Scouting program (Aviation, Scuba, Reptile study, shooting sports, etc.).    It is not uncommon that exposure to a topic via the Merit Badge Program leads to life-long hobbies and career choices, as well as "needed skills" like Home Repair, Auto Mechanics, and Public Speaking.

There is no limit on the number of Merit Badges a youth may earn.

 



How do Scouts earn Merit Badges?

 

Completing a Merit Badge involves 4 people... The Scout, the Scoutmaster, the Merit Badge Councilor (MBC), and the troop's Advancement Chair.

 

The process:

 

  • Scout chooses a badge (or badges) that he'd like to work on (alone or with another Scout). 

  • He informs the Scoutmaster of his intention to work on a badge, and is issued a "blue card" and given the contact information for a registered Merit Badge Councilor (MBC).  A MBC can be ANY registered MBC in any Council.  He is not obligated to work with councilors in his home unit or Council. 

  • The Scout(s) contacts the MBC and make arrangements to meet as often as necessary to complete the badge requirements (following Youth Protection guidelines at all times).   Upon the first meeting, the Scout presents the MBC with the blue card, which the councilor keeps so that he can update completion dates and keep track of the Scout's progress.
 
  • Upon completion, the MBC will sign all 3segments of the blue card and return it back to the Scout who in turn, presents it to the Scoutmaster for final signature indicating final recognition that all work is complete.

  •  The Scoutmaster will pass the signed segments along to the troop's Advancement Chairperson who will record the work on the Troop and Council levels, and ensure the Scout is presented with his badge during the next Court of Honor

  •  The Scout will be given 1 segment of his blue card which he must keep so that it can be produced when applying for his Eagle Rank.  The Troop should also retain a segment for their records as will the MBC for his records.

 



What is a Scoutmaster Conference?

 

After a Scout completes all the required tasks towards his next badge of rank, the next step is for the Scout to meet with the Scoutmasterfor a "Scoutmaster's Conference".

The conference is a chance for the Scoutmaster to make sure all requirements are signed off, and then engage in a comfortable, yet detailed, discussion on how the Scout is feeling about the Program and how Scouting is fitting into his life as a whole.

The Scoutmaster wants to hear from the Scout exactly what he likes, doesn't like, might want to do different, etc.  He wants to know what his ambitions are in Scouting and "life".  The ultimate goal is to make sure the Scouting experience is of real benefit to the Scout's development. 

Once the Scoutmaster is convinced the Scout is ready to move forward towards the next rank, the Scoutmaster will direct the Scout to meet with members of the Committee, where a similar meeting will take place.  This is known as a Board of Review.



What is a Board of Review?

 

After a Scout completes his Scoutmaster Conference, he is to appear for a Board of Review.

Amazingly, its functions just like a job interview (this is not by accident) where the Scout will basically be addressing 2 specific topics: 

1. How is the Program (including adult leaders) running, and is there anything the Committee should/need to do to make the Program better?

2.Why does the Scout feel as though he has earned his rank and is ready to move forward to the next rank?

There will be several questions put to the Scout by 3 Committee members comprising the Board, but ultimately, the 2 questions above are what is being addressed.   For example, a Scout will not be asked to tie a square knot, but may be asked "which knot was the hardest, and how did you get yourself to finally learn it?"

Like a job interview, the Scout MUST come properly dressed; wearing the full (clean and presentable) BSA Field Uniform.  Per BSA policy a Scout should be in "as much of the uniform as possible" for a Board of Review.   We prefer that Scouts be appropriately dressed as to help them realize that advancement is something "special".

After meeting with the Scout, the Board will debate and if they are in unanimous agreement, will allow rank advancement to be recognized.



What is the Order or the Arrow?

 

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is the Honor Society of Scouting.  

Purpose

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

 

Eligibility

The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
  • Youth must be under the age of 21, hold the BSA First Class rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, be elected by the youth members of their troop or team.


What's so special about "Eagle Scout"?

 

Becoming an Eagle Scout is no small achievement.  In fact, among adults who have gone on to become astronauts, doctors, politicians, or business leaders, most of them will say that earning their Eagle is clearly among the most important achievements in their lives.

Back to the question... WHY?

Look at it from this angle.... ADVANCEMENT is completely up to the individual Scout.   If he has no desire or sense of commitment to advance in rank, that is his choice.   IT IS POSSIBLE for a boy to attend EVERY meeting and EVERY camping trip, and never make it through 1/2 of the available ranks if he isn't motivated enough to take the extra step of demonstrating skills or earning merit badges. Statistically speaking, only 2 out of 100 boys in Scouting will push themselves to become Eagle Scouts.

The "Trail to Eagle" is one of persistence, dedication, well-rounded learning experiences by earning 21+ merit badges, strong attendance at meetings and camping trips, and many of hours of community service.... all culminating with the planning and complete execution of his "Eagle Project" before his 18th birthday.

The "Eagle Project" is SO MUCH MORE than "giving something back to the community" (which it is, and let's not minimize the importance of community and charity).   It is actually his "final exam" in Scouting.  

HE manages his Eagle Project.  He will put to use all of the lessons he learned as a Boy Scout; communicating, organizing, recruiting, conceiving an idea, selling the idea, planning the work, assigning work details to those helping him, being the "accountant" that tracks the hours worked and the money spent, etc.   In every conceivable way, HE is the "project leader".

THESE are the highly desirable skills and traits that makes"Eagle Scout" stand out on a job resume or college application, and the fact that such skills and moral foundations are learned/mastered before"society" recognizes him as an "adult"...  simply amazing!