Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Troop 36 Philosophy

What does it mean to be a boy-led troop?

Scout Advancement Processes

What should a new Scout focus on?
I need to participate in a Service Project? - When are there opportunities? How do I sign up?
How/when does a scout earn merit badges?
I need a Merit Badge Book.  Where do I get one?
What is a Blue Card? - How do I get one?. What do I do with it?
I'm ready for a Scoutmaster conference - What do I do?
I'm ready for a Board of Review - What do I do?
What is the Trail to Eagle binder? Where do I get one?
How quickly does/should a scout move through the ranks?

Outings

How do I sign up for an outing?
How are outings put on the troop calendar?

Wolfeboro

What should a first year scout do at Wolfeboro?
What merit badges are good for new scouts? Second year scouts? Older scouts?
How are the scouts activities tracked?

Scout Leaders

How is the Troop structured? - Who interfaces with who?
What is a PLC? - Who attends?
How is a Troop Meeting run? What is the flow of a typical night?
How do I become a Scout Leader? What positions are available?  What does a position involve?

Adult Leaders

How can I participate? - How do I get started?
How do I sign up to be an Adult Leader?
What training is required?  - Where do I start?
What is a Committee Meeting? Who attends? What is done at Committee Meeting?

Outings & Adult Leaders

How do I lead an outing?
What is a Tour Permit? - How do I get one?

Getting Information

How do I get weekly updates on Troop activities?
How do I know what outings are happening in the future?
What information is on the web site? - How do I use the web site?
How do I get the password to the web site?

If you didn't find the question you are trying to answer in this list, please send the question to info@troop36.net or ask one of the uniformed adult leaders at a a Troop meeting.

Troop 36 Philosophy

What does it mean to be a boy-led troop?

Our Scouts are responsible for developing, planning and executing the Troop's activities both meetings and outings.  They are responsible for choosing the meeting topics and delivering the content.  They are also responsible for selecting outing types and locations and then working through their planning and execution.

The scout in charge of the Troop is the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).  He is elected by the scouts and serves a 6-month term.  The SPL, along with help from the Scoutmaster, chooses a cabinet of other scouts responsible for specific duties.  The members of the current cabinet are listed under Scout Leaders.

Adult leaders are there to help coach the scouts through the process and mentor them along the way.  Adult leaders are also there to insure safety and will step in immediately if any issue arises.

Scouts that have questions should work up their chain of command:  first ask their Patrol Leader or Troop Guide, then the Senor Patrol Leader, and finally the Scoutmaster will always point them them in the right direction or answer their questions.

For parents, you'll generally interface with one of the parents known as Scouters.  They will be wearing Scout uniforms at meetings.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of them.

More information is available in the Scout and Parents Guide under the Outings section.

 

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Scout Advancement Processes

What should a new Scout focus on?

New scouts should be working on earning the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.  These ranks teach the basic skills needed for scouts throughout their scouting life.  The scout can work on the requirements for all of these badges concurrently, but the ranks must be earned in order.

The Troop Guide assigned to the Scout's patrol should assist the scout in progressing through the ranks and is normally the scout signing off on these requirements (although any Scout with a rank of First Class or above can sign off on the requirements).  Parents do not sign off on requirements.

More information is available in the Scout and Parents Guide under the Scout Ranks and Rank Advancement Process sections.

I need to participate in a Service Project? When are there opportunities? How do I sign up?

Service Projects occur on a regular basis.  They usually take on two forms:  Eagle Projects organized by scouts working on their Eagle Rank and other Service Projects that are typically overseen by the Scout Chaplain Aid.  Service project details are listed in the Troop Bulletin, Activities, and Calendar.   Service Projects are announced at Troop meetings and a sign-up sheet is posted.  The Scout should consult with his parents on his schedule and then signup for the service project he is interested in.

How/when does a scout earn merit badges?

A Scout should first focus on getting to the First Class rank before turning attention to Merit Badges.  Our belief is that for their first summer camp attendance at Wolfeboro that it is more beneficial for the scout to attend the Trailhead sessions that teach the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class skills rather than merit badge classes.  

There are two exceptions, the Scout can start working on the Hiking and Camping merit badges by getting a "Blue Card".  This allows them to get credit for the hikes and campouts they participate in as a junior scout. 

I need a Merit Badge Book.  Where do I get one?

The Scout Librarian maintains a collection of Merit Badge books that have been donated by other scouts.  Ask the Librarian if he has books for Merit Badges you are interested in.

If the Troop does not have a Merit Badge book, you can purchase these at McCaulous located at 589 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville, or at the Boy Scout Shop located at 800 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill.

What is a Blue Card? - How do I get one? What do I do with it?.

A "Blue Card" is a paper form used to track progress and completion of a Merit Badge.  A scout must go to the Scoutmaster before beginning work on a merit badge and request a Blue Card. 

The Scout is then responsible for keeping track of the Blue Card and contacting the merit Badge Counselor before beginning work on the requirements.   The Merit Badge Counselor will sign off on each requirement as it is completed.  When all of the requirements are met, the Merit Badge Counselor signs the card. The card is then separated into 3 sections (it is perforated).  The Merit Badge Counselor will keep the Counselor's Record section for their records.

The Scout must then have the Scoutmaster sign the Unit Leader line on the card, after the merit badge has been completed.  The scout turns in the Application for Merit Badge section to the Troop Scribe, normally at a Troop meeting. The Scribe passes it on to the adult Advancement Chair who will record it in the Troop's records and report the merit badge completion to the Council for official BSA record keeping.

The scout should retain the Applicant's Record section of the Blue Card in their Trail to Eagle binder.

Warning: if you lose your Blue Card, you start over.  Make sure it is not in your pocket when you wash your uniform!

I'm ready for a Scoutmaster conference - What do I do?

The Scout is responsible for contacting the Scoutmaster - either at a Troop meeting or outing, or by email to arrange for a time convenient to both the Scoutmaster and Scout to meet to discuss the Rank the Scout is completing. The Scout should come in full uniform along with their Scout Handbook and be prepared to demonstrate they have mastered the requirements of the rank.  The Scoutmaster will also likely lead a discussion of the Scouts participation in the Troop outings and service projects and ask the Scout how he lives by the Scout Oath and Law.  The Scoutmaster may also review what the next steps are in the Scout's rank progression.

I'm ready for a Board of Review - What do I do?

The Scout is responsible for contacting the Board of Review Chair - either at a Troop meeting, or by email to arrange for a time convenient the Scout to appear before a Board of Review. Troop 36 usually holds Boards of Review during Troop meetings and during the Wolfeboro summer camp. A Board of Review typically consists of three adult leaders from the troop.  The Scout should come in full uniform along with their Scout Handbook.  The Board of Review is not there to test the scout, but rather to discuss his experiences in Scouting and how he plans to progress going forward. The board will likely lead a discussion of the Scouts participation in the Troop outings and service projects and also ask the Scout how he lives by the Scout Oath and Law.

What is the Trail to Eagle binder? Where do I get one?

The Trail to Eagle binder is the place to save and organize all of the records the scout has associated with rank advancement throughout their Scouting experience. This should include photocopies of the Scout handbook for rank advancement pages, all Blue Cards, and Rank and Merit Badges completion cards awarded at Court of Honors.  It should also contain all records of service hour completions.  Other records include leadership positions held, training completed, and any membership information for honor societies such as Order of the Arrow and Wolfeboro Pioneers.

The Scoutmaster will give the scout a Trail to Eagle binder when they complete their first Troop 36 Scoutmaster conference.

More information is available in the Scout and Parents Guide under the Rank Advancement and Record Keeping section.

How quickly does/should a scout move through the ranks?

A typical scout will advance to Tenderfoot in 5 months, Second Cass in 8 months, and First Class in a year. Star takes about 3 years, Life about 4 years, and Eagle typically takes 6 years in Troop 36.  Current statistics for Troop 36 are available under Troop Statistics.

 

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Outings

How do I sign up for an outing?

Outings are announced at Troop meetings and the Outing SPL will post a sign-up sheet and possibly a Outing flyer on the signup table. If the outing has any participation requirements such as Rank or Age, the Outing SPL will highlight these in his announcement. The Scout should consult with his parents on his schedule and the appropriateness of the outing and then signup for the outing he is interested in.  If there are any costs associated with the Outing, the Outing SPL will identify these and collect these at the Troop meeting before the trip (please make checks payable to Troop 36).

More information is available in the Scout and Parents Guide under the Outings section.

Warning: if you signup for a trip, you are responsible for paying the fees - the Troop will be paying fees for you even if you don't attend the outing.

How are outings put on the troop calendar?

If you've got a great idea for an outing you'd like to go on, the Scout should have his Patrol Leader bring the idea to the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meeting.  This is a monthly meeting of scouts responsible for leading the Troop.  The PLC is responsible for the determining the outings the Troop goes on.  If the PLC likes the idea for the outing, they'll work to find the right slot in the schedule for your Outing.  The scout and his Patrol Leader should talk to the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) before the PLC meeting to discuss the idea and get on the PLC agenda.

Once the PLC approves the Outing, the adult Planning Chair will add it to the Troop's Activities Summary and Calendar.

 

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Wolfeboro

What should a first year scout do at Wolfeboro?

The most important thing is to have fun!

While there, the scout should focus on attending Trailhead where the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks are taught.  Normally, scouts who attend Trailhead can complete most of the rank requirements for these ranks.  The Troop Guides for the scouts patrol will actively encourage all new scouts to attend Trailhead.

Scouts may be attracted to the many activities such as Archery, Rifle Shooting, and Canoeing,  We would encourage them to defer working on Merit Badges for these activities until after they have completed their First Class rank. There are plenty of free-time sessions to enjoy these activates without starting on merit badges too early.

What merit badges are good for new scouts? Second year scouts? Older scouts?

First year scouts should focus on rank advancement and not merit badges.  If they do end up with spare time, the Basketry merit badge can be completed quickly.

For second year scouts, they should look to focus on the Eagle required outdoor merit badges offered.  Environmental Science is a great choice. Others?

For older scouts, particularly after they have completed their Eagle merit badges, they often turn to Rifle Shooting or Archery. These badges can take a great deal of time to complete to refine your skills to meet the shooting criteria.

How are the scouts activities tracked?

Unfortunately, every year seems to bring a different mechanism for tracking the Scouts progress at Wolfeboro.  We generally find out how the camp is going to handle it on the Sunday we arrive in camp.

The Adult leaders will then determine how we can obtain daily progress information for each scout and provide feedback to the Scout and Troop Guides.

At the end of the week at Wolfeboro, all of the items successfully completed by the Scout will be recorded in their Scout handbook.

 

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Scout Leaders

How is the Troop structured? - Who interfaces with who?

The scout in charge of the Troop is the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).  He is elected by the scouts and serves a 6-month term.  The SPL, along with help from the Scoutmaster, chooses a cabinet of other scouts responsible for specific duties.  The members of the current cabinet are listed under Scout Leaders.  A description of the responsibilities of each scout position is listed under Leadership.

A scout is assigned to a Patrol.  Members of the patrol elect a Patrol Leader to head up their Patrol for a six-month period.

The members of the cabinet and the Patrol Leaders make up a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) which is responsible for planning and executing the Troop meetings and outings.  The PLC meets monthly and all members are expected to attend the meetings.

Scouts that have questions should work up their chain of command:  first ask their Patrol Leader or Troop Guide, then the Senor Patrol Leader, and finally the Scoutmaster will always point them them in the right direction or answer their questions.

More information is available in the Scout and Parents Guide under the Troop Organization and Scout Leadership Positions  sections.

What is a PLC? - Who attends?

The members of the SPL's Cabinet and the Patrol Leaders make up a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). The PLC is responsible for planning and executing the Troop meetings and outings. 

The PLC normally meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month.  All PLC members are expected to attend the meetings.

PLC meetings are listed in the Troop Bulletin, Activites, and Calendar.

How is a Troop Meeting run? What is the flow of a typical night?

The typical meeting has the following components:

The SPL is responsible for the Troop Meeting.  At the PLC, patrols are assigned responsibility for the Meeting Activities for a particular meeting.  The patrols work with an adult Meeting Coach to develop the content for the meeting activities.

How do I become a Scout Leader? What positions are available?  What does a position involve?

For background on the Leadership Positions and terminology, you should first read the Troop Organization, Scout Leadership Positions, and When We Meet  sections in the Scout and Parents Guide

Next, take a look at the Leadership section of the web site.  It describes which positions are appropriate for each rank and from there you can see the details of the position responsibilities.  In order to get credit for a leadership position, you must meet complete all of the duties for the position.  Taking on a leadership position also means committing to attending additional meetings including the initial Junior Leadership Training (JLT) session at the beginning of the term, as well as monthly Patrol Leader Council (PLC) meetings.

Once you have identified a position you are interested in, you should speak to the SPL to apply for the position.  You can also talk with the Scoutmaster if you have any questions about a position that is appropriate for you.

 

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Adult Leaders

How can I participate? - How do I get started?

For background, take a look at the Scout and Parents Guide under the Participation in Scouting section.

The easiest thing to do is stop by at a Troop meeting and tell any of the adults wearing a uniform that you'd like to know more about getting involved.  They've all got name badges on so you'll know their name before they know yours. They can either answer your questions or they will direct you to the right person.  As a last resort, ask the Scoutmaster who is at the meeting and he'll take care of you.

Alternatively, join us on an outing - we always need drivers and leaders.  Plan on staying if you can and see how things work. If you want to get more involved, become an Adult Leader.  Signing up is easy to do - it is a simple form and we ask you to take a couple of basic training classes.  From there, there are other opportunities to get more involved as an Assistant Scoutmaster that works directly with the scouts.  Alternatively, there are Committee roles where you are in the "back office" making things work behind the scenes. All of the Adult Positions are described online under the Adult Leader Position descriptions.  If you attend a Committee Meeting, you can see the adult leaders in action and find a position that suits you.

How do I sign up to be an Adult Leader?

Obtain a BSA Adult Application - ask one of the uniformed adult leaders for one.  Fill in the application form. [Note: Troop 36 pays the fees for adults so no payment is necessary.]  Then, go online to http://olc.scouting.org/ and set up a training account and complete the Youth Protection and Fast Start classes. Print out the completion certificates and submit these along with your application to the Troop Committee Chair.  You can usually do this at a Troop meeting while picking up or dropping off your scout.

What training is required? - Where do I start?

The first class we ask every Adult Leader to take is Youth Protection Training which covers the Boy Scout protocol for protecting youth and yourself.  This is available online at http://olc.scouting.org/ and takes only a short time to complete.

The next class is Fast Start which introduces new leaders to the fundamentals of the Boy Scout program.  It is available online at: http://olc.scouting.org/.

Beyond this, training is specific to what you are doing within scouting.  See the Position Descriptions for the relevant training.  Click on one of these positions to see what courses are recommended: Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM), Committee Member, Merit Badge Counselor, Outing Leader.

The available training classes are described under the Adult Training section.  The training class schedule is listed in the council's Smoke Signal newsletter in the Training section (http://bsa-mdsc.org/smokesignals.php). You can take any of the listed classes, even if it is offered by another District.

Troop 36 will reimburse you for course fees after you've successfully completed the course.  Contact the Adult Training Chair for details or any questions you have on training.

What is a Committee Meeting? Who attends? What is done at Committee Meeting?

The Troop Committee is responsible for overseeing the activities of the Troop to make sure it operates safely and in accordance with BSA policy.  The adult leaders of the Troop make up the Troop Committee.  Each adult position is described here: Adult Leader Positions.

We have a monthly Committee Meeting, normal held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in the Parish Hall.  The Committee Chair, Scoutmaster, and Chartered Organization Representative are required to attend.  All other adults in the Troop are invited to attend.  At the meeting, we receive a report from the SPL on the last month's meetings and outings and the plans for the upcoming meetings and outings. The Adult Leaders responsible for the last month's activities will report on how the activities went, discuss any issues, and recommend if we should do the outing again and what changes should occur.  Most importantly, we review all of the upcoming Activities to make sure we have qualified adults leaders responsible for the events, and that there are Scout leaders assigned to lead the activity.  As needed, other Committee members will make reports for items of interest.

 

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Outings & Adult Leaders

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Getting Information

How do I get weekly updates on Troop activities?

The Troop produces a weekly bulletin that is emailed to all Troop members.  The Bulletin focuses on all activities occurring in the next month.  Also distributed with the bulletin email is an Activities document that list all upcoming activities for the next 18 months -- this is useful for seeing when summer camps are scheduled.  During the Troop Meeting, announcements will be made for upcoming activities containing more details or changes that have occurred since the Bulletin was published.

The Bulletin is available online under Bulletin.

The Activities is available online under Activities.

An online Calendar is also available under Calendar that can be integrated into may personal calendars such as Outlook 2007, iCal, and Google Calendar.

If you wish to submit content for publication in the Bulletin, please send an email to bulletin@Troop36.net.

If you wish to submit content for publication in the Activities Summary, please send an email to calendar@troop36.net

If you are not receiving a copy of the Bulletin or Committee minutes, please send an email to webmaster@Troop36.net requesting that your email be added.

How do I know what outings are happening in the future?

Refer to the Bulletin, Activities, and Calendar for details on upcoming outings.

What information is on the web site? How do I use the web site?

Troop 36 has a comprehensive web site that contains all of the records of Troop 36.  The left hand navigation bar allows you to browse through the contents of the web site and explore its content.  You will also find links to other locations such as the BSA National website, the site for our Council, District, and other useful sites.

How do I get the password to the web site?

All content containing full scout names, addresses, or phone numbers is password protected.  You can get the password at a Troop meeting or by sending an email to webmaster@Troop36.net.  The webmaster will verify you belong to Troop 36 and then get the User ID and password to you.

 

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