|OUTDOOR PROGRAM, RECHARTERING, TRAINING, AND POLICY|
|Excerpted from BSA Troop Committee Guidebook|
For Successful Troop Operation
Copyright 1998, Boy Scouts of America, ISBN 0-8395-4505-3
|The troop committee, working in support of the Scoutmaster, should make every effort to give their Scouts an outdoor experience every month. This goal is not easy to accomplish. It takes people (leaders, transportation) and money (food, equipment), but this challenge can be met with the help of the troop committee.|
|Two registered adult leaders, or one adult leader and a parent of a participating Scout, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips or outings.|
|For complete information on current policies and procedures for safe activities, consult the Guide to Safe Scouting, available from the local council.|
|Tour permits establish high standards of health and safety for your troop and assure parents and the council that your tour will be wisely planned, safe, and fun.|
|The Local Tour Permit Application must be filed with the council service center two weeks in advance of a scheduled trip of less than 500 miles.|
|A National Tour Permit Application must be submitted to your local council office for approval at least one month before your departure on a trip of 500 miles of more. The council office forwards it to the regional office for its approval.|
|Safety is the number one concern when arranging transportation for troop outings. For trips beyond hiking distance, you may need to arrange for private cars. Trucks may not be used for transporting boys except inside the cab. Insurance companies may refuse to accept responsibility if this rule is violated. Private cars or licensed buses should be used.|
|General guidelines are:|
- 1. Seat belts are required for all occupants.
- 2. All drivers must have a valid driver's license that has not been suspended or revoked for any reason. If the vehicle to be used is designed to carry more than 15 persons, including the driver (more than 10 persons, including the driver, in California), the driver must have a commercial driver's license (CDL).
- 3. An adult leader (at least 21 years of age) must be in charge and accompany the group.
- 4. The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: When traveling to an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (at least 21 years of age) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions:
- a. Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)
- b. No record of accidents or moving violations
- c. Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders
- 5. Passenger cars, station wagons, or sport utility vehicles may be used for transporting passengers, but passengers should not ride on the rear deck of moving vehicles.
- 6. Trucks may not be used for transporting passengers except in the cab.
- 7. All driving, except short trips, should be done in daylight.
- 8. All vehicles must be covered by automobile liability insurance with limits that meet or exceed requirements of the state in which the vehicle is licensed. It is recommended that coverage limits are at least $50,000/$100,000/$50,000. Any vehicle designed to carry 10 or more passengers is required to have limits of $100,000/$5000,000/$100,000.
- 9. Do not exceed the speed limit.
- 10. Do not travel in convoy (See page 5, No. 2. in Guide to Safe Scouting.)
- 11. Driving time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours and must be interrupted by frequent rest, food, and recreation stops. If there is only one driver, the driving time should be reduced and stops should be made more frequently.
|If you use the troop resource survey to identify willing drivers and ask for their help well in advance, you should be able to secure the needed cars.|
|TYPES OF TROOP CAMPING|
|Short-term camping is usually done over one or two nights on the weekend. The troop equipment must be adequate for the number of boys involved. These short-term camps allow advancement opportunity, fun, and fitness. As we pointed out earlier, troops should camp monthly.|
|Resident camping lasts at least a week and sometimes longer. This will be at a
boy scout summer camp facility.
The scouts select the camp they want to attend. We have been attending
Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation for the past several years. This is
an out of council camp.|
|It is the troop committee's responsibility, in cooperation with the Scoutmaster, to secure adequate numbers of tents, cook kits, and other outdoor gear. Because of the cost of this equipment, a troop money-earning project will usually be organized (see chapter 6). The equipment coordinator should work closely with the troop quartermaster to maintain the troop's equipment with adequate repair and storage.|
|Near the end of your charter year, your council will provide an application for charter renewal. This is a computer printout of information previously furnished. Your task of reregistering the troop is much easier than when registering it initially. You need only update the printed information. An instruction sheet will accompany the renewal papers.|
|You will receive a printout with all youth and adults presently registered, from which the unit commissioner and troop committee will conduct a membership inventory. The commissioner and committee chairperson then hold a charter renewal meeting attended by the commissioner, chartered organization representative, executive officer of the chartered organization, Scoutmaster, and all other adult volunteers. At this time, they identify which youth and adults to reregister. Your completed charter renewal application is then submitted to the local council.|
|QUALITY UNIT AWARD|
|One measure of a Boy Scout troop's success is fulfilling the requirements for a national Quality Unit Award. There are 10 requirements of which four are mandatory*:|
- * 1. Training. The Scoutmaster will complete Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Training and Scoutmastership Fundamentals.
- * 2. Two-Deep Leadership. We will have one or more assistant Scoutmasters registered, trained, and active. One registered adult is assigned responsibility for Youth Protection Training.
- 3. Planned Program. Our troop will conduct an annual program planning conference, publish an annual troop program calendar, and present it to parents at a family activity.
- 4. Service Project. Our troop will conduct a service project annually, preferably for the chartered organization or the community.
- 5. Advancement. Sixty percent or more of our Boy Scouts will advance a rank, or we will have a 10 percent increase in total rank advancement over a year ago. Approved rank advancements for this recognition include Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.
- 6. Boys' Life. Fifty percent or more of our Boy Scout members will subscribe to Boys' Life magazine, or we will have a 10 percent increase over a year ago.
- * 7. Outdoor Activities. The troop will conduct six highlight activities (such as hikes, campouts, trips, tours, etc.) and attend a Boy Scouts of America long-term camp.
- 8. Membership. We will renew our charter with an equal or greater number of youth registered over a year ago.
- 9. Patrol Method. We will conduct troop junior leader training as outlined in the Scoutmaster Handbook and hold monthly patrol leaders' council meetings.
- * 10. On-Time Charter Renewal. The troop will complete its charter renewal before its current charter expires.
|All adult leaders should take advantage of the available training opportunities. Fast Start training can be done in your home or, if a new troop, at your first committee meeting by a district or council representative. Contact your district executive or a member of the training committee to schedule training. Within the first few weeks, new committee members should review the following Boy Scout Leader Fast Start videos:|
|The Troop Meeting
|The Outdoor Program
|Viewer's guide booklet
|These are available at your local council service center.|
|On a monthly basis, districts conduct roundtable meetings, which emphasize troop program. Adult leaders, including troop committee members, meet and learn new program ideas, get information on upcoming events, and share solutions to common problems. Roundtable meetings are excellent training opportunities. Each month has a program feature and a training feature.|
|UNAUTHORIZED AND RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES|
|The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America:|
|All-terrain vehicles (ATV's) are banned from program use. ATV's are defined as motorized recreational vehicles with three or four large, soft tires, designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.
|Boxing, karate, and related martial arts - except judo and aikido - are not authorized activities.
|Chainsaws and mechanical log splitters may be authorized for use only by trained individuals who are over the age of 18, using proper protective gear in accordance with local laws.
|Exploration of abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity.
|Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.
|Fireworks secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities is unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert.
|The selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or money-earning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils.
|Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental class aircraft, hot-air balloons, parachuting, and flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission are unauthorized activities.
|Motorized go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. All motorized speed events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies, and related events, are not authorized activities at any program level.
|Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events and council or district sponsorship of rodeos are not authorized.
|The activity commonly referred to as "war games" - in which individuals shoot paint or dye at one another - is an unauthorized activity.
|Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.
|(The purpose of this policy to to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips.) However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting experiences provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety eductation might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.|
|Motorized personal watercraft, such as jet-skis, are not authorized for use in Scouting aquatics, and their use should not be permitted in or near BSA program areas.
|Except for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the BSA hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.)
|Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat or by any other means, is unauthorized.
|All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock cord jumping) are unauthorized.
|For detailed information, consult the Guide to Safe Scouting.|
|YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING|
|The BSA offers a training program for adults that explores the various forms of child abuse. Using a video presentation and discussion guide, the causes, signs, and proper response to and reporting of child abuse incidents are explained in detail. For the protection of yourself, as a leader, and the boy in your troop, every adult associated with the troop, including merit badge counselors, should attend this seminar. To participate in Youth Protection training, contact your local council district executive for the next training session.|
|YOUTH PROTECTION GUIDELINES|
|Child abuse is a critical problem in America, with several million incidents reported each year. Emotional abuse occurs when a young person is continually berated and denigrated, and the youth's self-esteem is severely harmed. Physical abuse involves the bodily injury of a child. Sexual abuse is any sexual activity between an adult and a child or between children when there is an unequal distribution of power, as is the case when one child is significantly older or larger. |
|The Boy Scouts of America recognizes child abuse as an unacceptable, and has developed a five-point strategy to combat such abuse.|
- 1. Educate Scouting volunteers, parents, and Scouts to aid in the detection and prevention of child abuse.
- 2. Strengthen leader selection procedures to prevent offenders from entering the Boy Scouts of Americal leadership ranks.
- 3. Strengthen policies that create barriers to child abuse within the BSA program.
- 4. Encourage Scouts to report improper behavior so that offenders can be identified quickly.
- 5. Swiftly remove and report alleged offenders.
|If at any time you suspect an instance of child abuse within the Scouting movement, you must contact your local council Scout executive immediately. Each Scout executive has established contacts with local child protective and law enforcement agencies, and is aware of procedures to be followed to ensure that children will be protected from any further abuse.|
|As a volunteer in Scouting, adult leaders are cautioned not to be investigators of allegations of child abuse. Reports of suspected abuse can best be handled by trained professionals working in cooperation with the local council Scout executive. As long as reports are made in good faith, all states provide immunity from liability to those who report suspected abuse.|
|Child molesters - individuals who sexually abuse children - do not fit into any convenient profile. They may come from any walk of life - even respected community professionals - and may be members of their victim's own families. Children also sometimes molest other children, an activity whose significance is often minimized.|
|With their parents or other trusted adults, all boys joining a Scout troop must complete the exercises in the parents' guide entitled How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse.|
|STANDARDS OF YOUTH PROTECTION|
|While there is no way to detect every potential child abuser in advance of attempted or actual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America clearly conveys the message that Scouting is a hostile environment for individuals who want to abuse children.|
|After selecting the best possible leaders, the BSA structures further protection for children into its programs. The following policies have been adopted by the Boy Scouts of America to provide additional security for youth and to protect adult leaders from situations in which they may be vulnerable to allegations of abuse:|
|Two-deep leadership. Two registered adult leaders or one registered adult leader and the parent of a participant, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all trips and outings. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities. This requirement applies to the activities of provisional troops and of the Order of the Arrow.
|No one-on-one contact. One-on-one contact between adult and youth members is not permitted. IN situations that require personal interaction such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the meeting should be conducted in view of at least one other adult.
|Respect of privacy. Adult leadership must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing into swimming suits or taking showers at camp. In similar situations, adults should also protect their own privacy.
|Separate accomodations. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult who is not that youth's own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use of showers should be scheduled and posted.
|No secret organizations. There are no "secret" organizations within the Boy Scouts of America. All aspects of Scouting are open at all times for observation by parents or guardians and troop leaders.
|No hazing. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited by the Boy
Scouts of America and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity.
|Appropriate attire. Proper clothing is required for all Scouting activities. Skinny-dipping is not condoned by the BSA.
|Occasionally the troop committee may be asked by the Scoutmaster to deal with a problem which might involve disciplinary action or a health issue of an individual youth or adult member. These issues should be dealt with in strict confidence. If the subject concerns a Scout, his parents should be fully informed of the issue.|
|Because serious or recurring behavioral problems may require the troop committee's involvement, the Scoutmaster should share discipline problems with the committee. Such problems should be addressed in a firm, fair manner with the goal to integrate the youth into the Scouting program. Problems that may lead to a youth's permanent removal from the troop should be handled by the Scoutmaster and the troop committee, and should involve the Scout's parents or guardians. Together, the troop committee, parents, and Scoutmaster should work toward a solution with the troop's best interest in mind.|
|SMOKING AND DRINKING|
|It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances is not permitted at encampments of activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.|
|Health is a most valuable possession. Smoking will dangerously impair a person's health. The BSA recommends that leaders maintain the attitude that young adults are much better off without tobacco. Leaders are encouraged not to use tobacco product in any form nor allow their use at any BSA activity. |
|Last revised 2/9/2007|