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Troop 650 Information

MEETING: At 7:00-8:30 at Pinewood Presbyterian Church at 198 Knight Boxx Road in Middleburg. We will not meet on holidays unless specified.

TROOP MEETING:

 1) Uniform: Scouts must wear the complete Class A uniform to all troop meetings. This includes the neckerchief and socks (no socks necessary if wearing sandals). For each campout, each scout must arrive in full Class A uniform. We have donated uniforms in the troop cabinet for scouts to use if they cannot afford one.  Class B uniform is the troop t-shirt.  It is worn under the Class A shirt and is normally worn for campouts and during game time at troop meetings when the Class A shirt is removed.  Class B troop t-shirts, troop numbers, and troop neckerchiefs are available for sale within the troop.  Please see the Treasurer. 

2) Meeting Schedule:  Meetings are boy run under the leadership of a Senior Patrol Leader.  He receives his guidance in running the troop from the Scoutmaster.  The suggested format for running a troop meeting includes an Opening (Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, and Scout Law) followed by Announcements, Training (usually based on monthly campout activity planned), Patrol Breakout Session (to conduct patrol business such as planning a menu for a campout), Troop Game (which should be based on training), and Closing with Circle Up.

3) Circle Up Time: This is the last 15 minutes of the troop meeting where all final announcements are made for the scouts. Adult members are encouraged to be in the circle to listen to the announcements because most scouts seem to forget the information they have been given. Recognitions are made based on meeting accomplishments such as rank advancement.  The Scoutmaster says a few words of wisdom in his "Scoutmaster Minute" then the troop closes in prayer with "The Grandmaster of Scouting be with you until we meet again."  If you have business with one of the Scout Leaders, please conduct it at the beginning of the meeting or during the meeting to ensure that all business in concluded so that the Scout Leader may participate in Circle Up Time.

 TROOP COMMITTEE:

1) Meetings: This is for all registered adults within the troop. This is where decisions are made on running the troop. Here, you get a lot of information about the troop including: campouts, dues/budgets, dates, fundraisers, just to name a few. The committee meets the Monday after Roundtable (which meets the first Thursday of each month) at 6:30. Any adult of the scout can attend these meetings, however, they cannot vote on important decisions if they are not a registered committee member. 

2) Membership: Parents are encouraged to register as an adult leader within the troop.  Becoming a committee member ensures that you have a vote on troop issues, your covered by the BSA insurance and are able to participate in troop activities, as well as distributing the workload in running a troop.  There are a variety of ways you can help with the troop committee that fits your schedule.  Please see the Committee Chair for more information.

TROOP FINANCES:

1) Dues: Dues are paid quarterly. The first payment is March 1st, then every three months. You are allowed to pay in smaller amounts, if needed, or in one lump sum. This troop is very flexible on payments. If a scout needs assistance with his dues, he can apply for scholarship funds that are available or have his payment adjusted. Please talk to the Treasurer, Francis Dollinger, for assistance.

2) Summer Camp: Payments for summer camp start early. The first down payment is due January of $75.  Individual campership accounts are set up for record keeping.  Deposits for summer camp as well as funds earned from fundraisers are entered into these individual accounts. 

3) Refunds: Once registration for summer camp has been submitted, refunds for individual payments are not normally possible if the scout has to cancel.  Please check with the Treasurer or Summer Camp Coordinator for the deadline for refunds.  Each camp has their own schedule.  Refunds will not be given for dues paid if a scout becomes inactive (missing meetings and activities) and there has been no advanced notification that the scout is quitting or transferring to another troop.  Refunds for funds earned during fundraisers is not allowed.

FUNDRAISERS:

1) Popcorn

2) BBQ

3) Camp Cards

4) TPC The Players Champion

 OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:

1) Camping: Weekend campouts are normally scheduled for the 3rd weekend of each month (August through May).  In the Fall, the troop may choose to participate in the District Camporee.  The annual District Merit Badge Fair held in March is always in our annual plan as well as a Family Campout held in May in which the entire scouts family is invited to camp with the troop.  A week-long summer camp is scheduled in June or July.  Locations in the past have taken us to northern Georgia and North Carolina in an attempt to get away from the Florida heat. A trunk with a lock is recommended for summer camp. 

2) Please assist your son with keeping track of the times he went camping with the troop. There is a place in the back of his Scout Book for this purpose.  The Camping Merit Badge (an Eagle required) requires 20 days and 20 nights of camping with scouts. Of course, if your scout attends all campouts, then this requirement can easily be accomplished.

3) Medical Forms: Each scout and registered adult leader is required to fill out parts A and B on the medical form for each troop campout. Part C must be filled out by a doctor for each summer camp the scout or adult goes on. You can find these forms online and fill them out electronically and print them out. You can find the link to these forms in the "BSA Health Form" announcement on the main page.

 MERIT BADGES/RANK ADVANCEMENT

1) Scout Book: Before each campout make sure the scout has an updated copy of the requirements signed off in the book. This is your proof that you have completed the requirements. We had scouts recreate or redo some requirements due to a loss on their part or at the council level. This is the SCOUT'S RESPONSIBILITY to keep track of what they had done. PLEASE NOTE: Higher ranked scouts  can sign off on their rank requirements.  For Tenderfoot through 1st Class, Star and above may sign off requirements.  For ranks higher that 1st class, the Scoutmaster or other adult leader will normally sign off these requirements.

2) Merit badges: The best opportunity to work on a merit badge or rank requirement is at troop meetings, campouts, merit badge fairs, and, of course, summer camps. To work on a merit badge, the scout first gets approval from the scout master and then gets a "Blue Card" from the advancement chair. This "Blue Card" is a three-parter. When the merit badge is completed, make sure the advancement chair sees both the scouts' portion and keeps their portion. For more info on these merit badges please visit the merit badge website. On this site, there are worksheets available to help scouts organize their work. They can be truly helpful, but we are not requiring the scouts to use them. The exceptions are merit badge fairs, summer camps, or individual merit badge counselors that require them.

3) Scout Master Conference: When the scout has completed all requirements for the specific rank, it is now time for the scoutmaster conference. The scout should discuss with the scoutmaster what he had worked on, what improvements need to be made, goals, etc. For this, the scout should be dressed in full Class A uniform.  Prior to meeting with the Scoutmaster, the Scout should have his Scout Book reviewed by the Advancement Chair for completeness and accuracy and meet the Treasurer to ensure all dues and fees are paid up to date.  The Scoutmaster may choose not to conduct a scoutmaster conference or sign off the requirement if a Scout is delinquent with dues or fees.

4) Board Of Review: After the scoutmaster conference has been successfully completed, the scout is ready to move forward with a board of review. This is where a scout stands in front of a panel of three adult committee members to be reviewed for next rank advancement. For this, a full Class A uniform is required to participate in a board of review. At the start of the board of review, a full Class A uniform inspection will commence. If the scout failed the board of review, he will be told what needs to be corrected before the next board of review.

5) Court Of Honor: This is a special ceremonial occasion that takes place one time every few months that announces the ranks as well as merit badges the scouts have earned. With the Class A uniform that the scout must wear for the ceremony, the scout also wears the sash that hold all of his merit badges. Parents usually bring a light snack and/or a dessert to the ceremony, as well as pizza bought by the troop to the ceremony, but we usually will not eat until after the ceremony.

EAGLE RANK:

 1)  Eagle Advisor: Once the rank of Life is achieved, the scout should meet with the troop's Eagle Advisor, Bill McCowan.  He will help ensure the scouts Eagle Project is appropriate and approved by the District, records are accurate and the application is processed properly.  A scout may choose to work on their own however our experience has shown that scouts who do not work with an Eagle Advisor have more mistakes in the rank advancement process.  We have seen scouts having to start a second Eagle Project because they didn't get the appropriate approvals before hand.

2) Eagle Project:  This is a test of a scouts leadership ability.  Projects should be selected that are complex enough that the scout not only has to organize the plans, funds, and materials for the project but also the people to complete the project.  All scouts completing Eagle Projects should invite the troop to participate.  It gives the scout the opportunity to lead his troop as well as allowing younger scouts the opportunity to see what goes into an Eagle Project and earn community service hours.

3) Eagle Board of Review:  This is different from a troop Board of Review.  A member of the District will be present and conduct the Board of Review.  At least one Troop 650 committee member will be present.  In addition there may be leaders within the community.  The scout will be presented to the Board by the troop's Scoutmaster.  The Board will most likely last at least an hour.

4) Eagle Court of Honor:  This is a very special event and is held separate from a Troop Court of Honor.  The Court of Honor is planned by the Eagle Scout and his family.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  A reception is normally held afterward.  The troop will provide the cake.  Ideas for Eagle Court of Honor are available on the web as well as from some of our senior troop leaders.