Frequently Asked Questions
How is Boy Scouts different than Cub Scouts?
Here are some primary differences:
Boy scouts is boy-run wherever possible. Never do for a boy what a boy can safely do for himself is a good rule of thumb.
The patrol method is the primary vehicle for achieving the previous objective.
Every patrol has a patrol leader, who is responsible for leading his patrol. There is also a Senior Patrol Leader that leads the whole troop. Boys are elected to these positions by their peers.
The ranks in Boy Scouts are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. We strongly encourage boys to achieve the First Class rank in their first year as a Boy Scout.
Merit badges (see below).
High adventure trips for the older boys (generally at least 14 years of age), which are planned by the boys.
What are merit badges?
Merit badges can be earned by any scout of any rank, though scouts with a rank of lower than first class are generally encouraged to work primarily on rank advancement. They cover a variety of subjects, from Basketry to Family Life. The idea is to give the boy enough exposure to the topic to help him determine if he might want to pursue it as a hobby or even a career.
The process that a boy goes through to earn a merit badge is roughly as follows:
Prior to starting work on the merit badge, obtain permission from the Scoutmaster in the form of a signed merit badge card. The Scoutmaster may also provide the name and phone number of a merit badge counselor.
Contact a counselor for the merit badge you want to work on.
Complete the requirements for the merit badge.
Review your work with the merit badge counselor, and have them mark as complete and sign the merit badge card (they will cut off and keep one of the three sections of the card
Turn the completed Application for Merit Badge section into the Advancement Chairperson, keeping the Applicant’s Record portion of the card.
What’s a Scoutmaster conference?
A Scoutmaster conference is a one-on-one conference between the Scoutmaster and a Boy Scout (but held in full view of other adults for youth protection purposes). This conference is a requirement for all rank advancements, and is held when a boy has completed all of the other requirements for that rank. A Scoutmaster conference can also be requested by a boy or by the Scoutmaster just to catch up”, or if there is some sort of issue that should be addressed.
It is a boy’s responsibility to request a Scoutmaster conference to be scheduled when he is ready for one. A boy is required to be in full uniform in order to have a Scoutmaster conference.
What’s a Board of Review?
For all ranks except the first one (Scout), a board of review is held following a successful Scoutmaster conference. The board consists of three or four adult leaders in the troop. These adults are not registered as a Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster, and are not directly related to the scout.
The board may review, with the boy, his experience in achieving the rank, what he enjoys and what he thinks could be improved and in general try to get to know the boy a little better. A full uniform is a requirement for a board of review also.
How does the troop decide what activities, campouts etc. to do?
Each year, a planned program is put together, with the boy leadership (PLC) working with the Scoutmaster and ASMs to define campouts, activities and themes for the coming year. This is typically done in late Summer, though some work may have to be done prior to that due to reservations, etc.If a change in plans is required, the PLC, with help from the necessary adult leaders, will choose an alternate.
I’ve never camped out before how will I know what to do if I go on a troop campout as a leader?
Just ask! There are many experienced leaders and scouts in Troop 32 that can help you out with preparation for camping. The Council offers Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) training, which is an excellent way to learn more about camping, and also learn how to be an effective leader to the boys on a campout. There are, of course, many printed and Internet resources available as well. Check out the Scout Shop, and http://www.usscouts.org/.
Isn’t it dangerous to go camping when it’s 20 degrees outside?
Be prepared! We have a number of adult leaders that have participated in the Okpik cold weather camping course offered by our Council, and the troop has an extensive history of camping all year round. Camping in the Winter is safe and fun, if you prepare properly for it!
Where do I get a Boy Scout Handbook?
The troop will provide this if it was not already provided by the pack you came from. You might want to consider getting one of the Velcro-edged black book covers for your son’s Scout Handbook. It makes a huge (positive) difference in the useful life of the book, and is available at the Scout Shop. Also, have your son write his last name on the top or bottom edge of his Handbook so it can be easily identified without opening the cover.
What about a uniform?
It is Troop 32’s policy that boys wear their Scout field uniform to all troop meetings, for traveling to and from scouting events and at other activities (see the Troop policy). The complete uniform consists of a khaki shirt, Scout pants or shorts, scout belt, scout socks, neckerchief and slide. The khaki shirt that you may already have from Cub Scouts will do fine, though the patches will need to be changed, of course.
Please make sure your boy has the full uniform as soon as possible, as rank advancement is not possible without it (see "Scoutmaster Conference”, above). All of the above are available from the Scout Shop. For patch placement information, ask the Scoutmaster or an assistant Scoutmaster or pick up a copy of the Boy Scout uniform inspection form at the Scout Shop.
For Summer camp, Troop 32 t-shirts are available at a modest charge, and serve as the "Activity” uniform while we are there (you’ll probably want to get two). A limited inventory of new t-shirts is available. Also, the troop has some hand-me-down uniform pieces that have been donated when boys have outgrown them or left the troop. It may be that there’s something in our closet that would fit your boy. Ask the Scoutmaster if you’re interested (and don’t forget to send over your own hand-me-downs in a couple of years!).