About Our Troop Program
Scouting is an outdoor program. Our Troop is a Catholic faith based troop that emphasizes activities that teach and test you in your outdoor skills. Our calendar and program plans run from September through August of the following year. At the end of this Guidelines document are details on the camping gear and other equipment you should have and where you can buy those items.
Annual Program Plan
The PLC has a special planning meeting in May or June to decide on the Troop's goals and objectives for the coming year. The PLC also decides what activities and outings the Troop should do. They look at school, church, and District calendars and decide when best to schedule Troop activities and outings. This is another opportunity for Scouts through their Patrol Leader to make sure the kinds of activities you and your fellow patrol members like to do are included in the Troop's plans. The PLC's Annual Plan is reviewed and approved by the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee to ensure that the Troop has the funds and other resources to support the PLC's plans.
Based on the Annual Plan, the Troop publishes it's annual calendar at the beginning of the Troop program year (September) to provide everyone with plenty of notice about Troop activities and outings. This helps everyone minimize conflicts with their family calendars and maximize participation in Troop and advancement activities. Highlights of the Scout year include:
Jun. annual planning meeting
July pack backing hike
September through next June is unknown territory
Troop outings, including camping trips, are planned around the above events, normally once or twice in the Fall and again in the Spring. A cold-weather camp out usually is planned for December or February. Camping is often done by Patrol, so there are numerous opportunities to participate.
Courts of Honor are scheduled at least 3 times during the year (in place of weekly meetings) to recognize Scouts who have earned Merit Badges, rank advancement, or otherwise participated in Scouting activities.
The PLC does its best to include training and advancement opportunities when planning campouts and other Troop activities. But, it is up to you to take advantage of those opportunities. If you participate in Troop activities on a regular basis, and do your best, you can expect to advance through the ranks and earn merit badges in a reasonable time. Be sure to read Section 3 carefully for all the details on advancement.
Our Troop meets the first three Sundays (four in five-Sunday months) of every month from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm. We meet in McClunn Hall or Walsh Hall depending on space availability. When this happens, you will be informed via e-mail as to the new meeting place. Most of our meetings include some kind of special presentation or skills instruction, as well as Patrol Meeting time and an inter-patrol game or competition you have helped put together through the PLC.
The last Sunday of the month is usually reserved for Patrol Leader Council (PLC) meetings, which we also have at the same time and place as our regular Troop meetings. The PLC meetings are just for the SPL and the other Troop leaders.
Scouts' Conduct at Troop Meetings and Outings
Courtesy and respect for fellow Scouts and leaders is always essential. Every Scout is expected to behave properly, not to speak out of turn, and to be courteous to others at all times. In addition to all the fun we have at our Troop meetings and on outings, we also do important Troop business. Scouts who are disruptive will be required to stay after the meeting and meet with the Troop leaders to address ways to eliminate disruptions. If they misbehave again, their parents will be called and they will be sent home from the meeting or from the outing even if that outing is several hours drive from home.
Note: If a Scout's behavior fails to improve after the Scoutmaster discusses the problem with the Scout's parents, the Scoutmaster may decide to suspend the Scout from the Troop.
Troop Information Sources
Web Site. Yay! You are currently viewing our website.
Calendar. The Troop maintains an annual activity calendar with monthly updates. This can be found at the top of the webpage.
Troop Newsletter. The Troop Committee would like to publish a quarterly newsletter to keep Scouts and parents informed about Troop activities and business; Volunteer needed.
Email. The Troop maintains a complete e-mail list of parents as the primary way to distribute Troop information.
Troop Records. A Troop Committee member (Database Coordinator) maintains a computer database, which records the dates of completion for rank advancement requirements and merit badges throughout a Scout's career, along with participation in campouts, service projects, and other Troop activities. Scouts must also keep their own records of activities and requirement completions with associated dates (month, day and year). The database also includes some personal information (parents' names, address, telephone number, patrol, and leadership positions held in the Troop). The Patrol Leaders and the Senior Patrol Leader have copies of your records in their Patrol and Troop binders.
Scout Records. Scouts must keep their copy (Applicant Record) of merit badge cards and rank advancement cards they've earned in a safe place at home. One handy way to organize and store them is in plastic cardholder sheets (like those used for trading cards), which fit in a 3-ring binder. Also, the back of the Boy Scout Handbook, the Rank Requirements has a special layout to check and the adult leader to date and initial the completed requirements. It is a Scout's responsibility to keep good records of their advancement achievements; adult Patrol Guides will generally assist the younger Scouts. Check with the Troop Database Coordinator to verify accuracy and completeness of your Individual History Report at least quarterly. Contact the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster to resolve discrepancies. If a scout has to leave the Troop, his handbook and 3-ring binder become the primary record of achievements to carry over to a new Troop.
How We Pay for Our Troop Program
Scout Dues. Dues are $160.00 per year for the first Scout in each family (about $3.00 a week). Additional siblings pay $100.00 per year. You should use your own allowance or money earned doing chores to pay your Troop dues. The Troop Committee treasurer will collect dues once a year during the month of October. The money we collect from dues payments helps the Troop pay for merit badges, rank patches, equipment, and other materials we need.
Fundraising. Our Troop sells evergreen wreaths during the Christmas season. Besides your dues payments, this is the other major source of money to pay for our Troop equipment, uniform patches, and other Troop expenses. This project also provides an opportunity for Scouts to earn money towards their summer camp fees.
Donations. The Knights of Columbus in the Mount Vernon area provide generous support to Troop 680 with donations to help pay for our equipment and other expenses.
Annual Membership Fee. Every year the Troop must re-register Scouts with the BSA. The process begins in mid-to-late October and must be completed by December 31. The Troop usually submits its re-registration package shortly after Thanksgiving. Part of the registration includes paying a registration fee, which supports the BSA organization. The current fee is $65 and is included in the Troop dues ($160) listed above. Scouts may opt to pay an additional $12 for an annual subscription to the BSA's youth magazine, Scout's Life.