The purpose of this guide for new Scouts and Scout parents is to acquaint you with the Scouting program, Troop 446 in particular, and prepare you for the first few steps on the path to Eagle.
About the BSA (from scouting.org)
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Troop meetings are held on Monday nights from 7pm to 8pm. Some meetings take a bit longer. The first Monday of each month is reserved for the Patrol Leaders Conference (or PLC for short) which includes Scouts who hold leadership positions in the Troop. We do not hold a regular Troop meeting on those nights. We often don’t have a Troop meeting immediately following a campout. Check the calendar on the Troop website for updated information.
Troop meetings and PLC meetings are usually held in the St. Simon Parish Life Center (8155 Oaklandon Road, Indianapolis, IN 46236). The door is on the north side of the building. If the location for a meeting is anything other than the Parish Life Center, the Troop will make an announcement.
Fees and Dues
Troop 446 dues are $85 per year for youth and $25 for adult leaders. This includes the cost of registration, a subscription to Boy’s Life, Troop insurance, cost of equipment, badges, and awards, etc.
Weekend camping trips range from $15 to $80 depending on the activities involved. All camping trips include a $2 tent maintenance fee. The cost of one week at summer camp is around $250 (this figure changes year to year).
The boys are encouraged to participate in fundraisers such as popcorn and wreath sales to offset the cost of campouts and registration. Scouts who sell popcorn and wreaths can earn money in the individual Scout accounts (ISAs). This account can be tracked by logging into the Troop’s website with your email and password provided by the Troop webmaster (see the contacts page).
By helping to pay for some portion of their own Scout activities, they learn about responsibility and money management.
The Troop requires Class A uniorm be worn for meetings, courts of honor, and flag ceremonies.
Class A includes the khaki Scout shirt with patches and proper insignia, which includes shoulder loops and Crossroads Council patch on the shoulder. Consult the Scout handbook for details on patch placement.
You will also hear Scouts talk about a Class B uniform. This refers to a Troop 446 T-shirt, usually worn on campouts.
All boys are required to have a Boy Scout Handbook. The Troop will also provide additional literature and a notebook to help Scouts advance and organize their paperwork.
On their journey through the first few Scout ranks, everything they will need to learn, practice, or memorize can be found in that book.
It also includes logs for service hours, rank advancement requirements, and merit badges. Scouts are strongly encouraged to bring their books to meetings and campouts.
- Troop Meetings
- PLC meetings – typically held on the first Monday each month at 7pm. This is the meeting for the patrol leaders, senior patrol leader, and other officers in the Troop to plan and discuss activities for the rest of the month.
- Boards of Review (BoR) – Scheduled on the same evening as the PLC. Scouts must schedule a BOR one week in advance with the Advancement Chair. Scouts must have a Board of Review in order to advance in rank.
- Committee Meeting – typically held the Sunday prior to the PLC.
- Court of Honor (CoH) – a special Troop meeting to recognize Scouts for their achievements. Scouts who earn merit badges and rank advancement will receive their patches and cards at this event.
- Church service projects such as putting up Christmas lights in the prayer garden
- Annual fundraising efforts
- Summer Camp
- Scout Sunday
- Ski Trip
- Advancement Weekend Campout
- District Events
- Monthly Roundtable Meetings – second Wednesday of every month at Camp Belzer
- August Kickoff meeting
- Popcorn Sale Fundraiser
- Fall, Winter, Spring Camporees
- Scouting For Food
To keep communication flowing, we use an email distribution list via Google Groups. Upon joining Troop 446, provide your email address and you’ll be added to the list.
Remind is a system for sending out email or text alerts for meeting reminders or to communicate changes in schedules or plans. ToThe Senior Patrol Leader usually manages this tool.
To sign up, to go: https://www.remind101.com/?rid=13641152
Visit our website: http://www.indytroop446.org for the troop calendar, photos, check your Scout Account balance, and RSVP for campouts and other events. Upon joining Troop 446, provide your email address to the webmaster and you’ll receive an email with your login information.
In the BSA, there are 7 ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. To attain a certain rank, the Scout will need to complete certain requirements. These requirements are noted in the backs of their Scout handbooks. Some of these can be done at home, after which the Scout can come to a meeting and show evidence of the completion to get an adult leader to sign for it. Sometimes we will work on these as a troop. Sometimes these requirements can be done on campouts. The Most Unexceptional thing to do is to encourage your Scout to take the initiative themselves with rank advancement and seek opportunities to complete requirements.
The scout should complete all the other requirements before requesting a Scoutmaster’s conference. Once that conference is complete, the Scout should contact the Advancement Chairperson to schedule a Board of Review.
The patch and the card for the rank will be given to the Scout at the next Court of Honor.
Like ranks, merit badges have requirements the Scouts must complete to earn them. Each merit badge represents a skill or an area of interest or career path.
Some merit badges are required for Eagle, so they often take a bit more time to complete. Some ranks like Star and Life require a certain number of merit badges.
Badges can be earned at summer camp, classes like Merit Badge University (see troop calendar) or by seeking out an individual merit badge counselor. See the troop website’s leadership dashboard for more information on merit badge counselors in our troop.
Once earned, the Scout will receive the patch and merit badge card at the next Court of Honor. The patches are worn on a merit badge sash at events like Courts of Honor. They can be sewn on or iron-on materials can be used to fix the patches to the sash.
Order of the Arrow
Order of the arrow is a service organization that operates in conjunction with the BSA. In order to join, scouts are elected by other scouts, not just other members of OA. Through the local lodge and chapter, OA members do service projects, hold fellowship campouts twice a year, put on an annual banquet, as well as provide ceremonial support for Webelo-to-Scout crossover ceremonies.
Learn more at http://www.oa-bsa.org/
Like Order of the Arrow, Firecrafter is a service organization within the BSA. Firecrafter as a program is associated with Crossroad of America Council. Unlike OA, though, Firecrafter membership and ranks are designed more like Boy Scout ranks. Boys work through camper and woodsman on their way to becoming a Firecrafter.
Learn more at http://www.firecrafter.org/