FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Table of Contents

    Organization

  1. What is the overall leadership structure of the troop?
  2. What is PLC and who should attend meetings?
  3. What are the responsibilities of the program patrol and the service patrol?
  4. What does the Committee do and when does it meet?
  5. What is a Scout account and how does money get into it?
  6. What can a Scout account be used for?
  7. How can I add an email address to receive troop 87 news?
  8. How can I remove my email address from the troop's news list?
  9. If my boy wasn't in Cub Scouts, can he still be a Boy Scout?
  10. Camping

  11. What is CDH and MKB - Camp Don Harrington and MK Brown?
  12. Who decides where the boys go on campouts?
  13. What do I need to take on a campout?
  14. What camping gear do we need to purchase?
  15. What is a chuck box?
  16. Who buys food for the boys on their campouts?
  17. Can Scouts bring a cot on all campouts?
  18. If I drive for a campout, how and when do I get reimbursed for gas?
  19. Can parents attend campouts?
  20. Can siblings go on the campouts?
  21. Advancement

  22. Differences between the Boy Scout and Cub Scout advancement processes?
  23. How does a boy earn a merit badge?
  24. What merit badges should my son concentrate on?
  25. How can I find out what requirements are not completed on the merit badges that a Scout is working on?
  26. If a Scout has an interest in a merit badge, can he start it on his own?
  27. If a Scout completes a requirement for a merit badge, who should he discuss it with?
  28. Who signs off on advancement requirements?
  29. What is a Blue Card?
  30. What are the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout?
  31. Can I teach a merit badge?
  32. What is MBU - Merit Badge University?
  33. What are service hours and why are they important to my son?
  34. What is a COH - Court of Honor?
  35. What is appropriate attire for the Court of Honor?
  36. What is an Eagle project?
  37. How often does the troop hold elections?
  38. What does a Scout need to do if he wants to run for a leadership position?
  39. Why is it important to hold a leadership position?
  40. Do all leadership positions provide rank advancement credit?
  41. What does "bulletin duty" consist of?
  42. What Scout skills should new Scouts concentrate on?
  43. Uniforms

  44. What is a Field Uniform (Class A), what does it consist of, and when should it be worn?
  45. What is an Activity Uniform (Class B) and when should it be worn?
  46. Does troop 87 have a uniform closet?
  47. What are acceptable t-shirts on campouts/outings?
  48. Fundraising/Costs

  49. How many fund raisers does troop 87 do per year?
  50. What are the proceeds from troop fund raisers used for?
  51. Misc.

  52. What is OA - Order of the Arrow? What are the qualifications to be nominated?
  53. What is a Venture Crew?
  54. For more information

    Organization

  1. What is the overall leadership structure of the troop?

    Troop 87 is organized following the traditional troop methods - an organization chart is available here.

    The BSA says that “empowering boys to be leaders” is the core of Scouting. A Boy Scout troop is a small democracy. With the Scoutmaster's direction, the boys are formed into patrols, plan the troop's program, and make it a reality.

  2. What is PLC and who should attend meetings?

    The troop organization chart shows the official members of the Patrol Leader's Council (commonly referred to as the PLC) but boys in any leadership position are encouraged to attend these meetings.

    “The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the only way. Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout troop.” — Robert S. S. Baden-Powell

  3. What are the responsibilities of the program patrol and the service patrol?

    The Program is responsible for developing and executing a planned program, for the month assigned by the Scoutmaster. The Service Patrol is responsible for setting up and putting away needed tables, chairs, and flags for troop meetings as well as cleaning up as necessary.

  4. What does the Committee do and when does it meet?

    Every Scouting unit (pack, troop, team, or crew) is managed by a group of adults approved by the organization who serve as the unit committee. The committee's principal responsibility is to select the best-qualified leaders for the unit and see that they are supported in carrying out the unit program.
    The Committee has typically meets on the 2nd Thursday of each months to conduct troop business. All leaders and parents are encouraged to attend and help the troop through service on the Committee.

  5. What is a Scout account and how does money get into it?

    A Scout account is a financial record of money a given Scout has earned through fund-raising or from depositing funds. These funds are tracked by the Troop Treasurer and maintained in TroopMaster Software.

  6. What can a Scout account be used for?

    The account's funds can be used for scout trips, activities and supplies/equipment. You can be reimbursed expenses spent on Scout supplies or equipment by presenting receipts to the Troop Treasurer.

  7. How can I add an email address to receive troop 87 news?

    To receive troop emails, just send an email to this address:
    troop87email-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

  8. How can I remove my email address from the troop's news list?

    To stop receiving troop emails, just send an email to this address:
    troop87email-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

  9. If my boy wasn't in Cub Scouts, can he still be a Boy Scout?

    Most definitely! Come to any troop meeting and we will get you all the information you need.

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  10. Camping

  11. What is CDH and MKB - Camp Don Harrington and MK Brown?

    Camp Don Harrington and MK Brown are the two permanent camps owned and maintained by the Golden Spread Council.

  12. Who decides where the boys go on campouts?

    The Scouts, at the Annual Planning meeting, discuss and elect which campouts and summer camps the boys would like to attend.

  13. What do I need to take on a campout?

    Look here - there are packing lists for various seasons.

  14. What camping gear do we need to purchase?

    Much of the camping gear is provided by the troop. Each Scout will need to provide bedding (typically a sleeping bag), uniforms, and any other personal items that they need.

  15. What is a chuck box?

    A chuck box is maintained for each patrol.  It is a large wooden container use to hold pots, pans, utensils, and cooking gear, including a gas stove.

  16. Who buys food for the boys on their campouts?

    Each patrol develops a menu typically a week prior to leaving and elects one or two Scouts to go shopping for the patrol. The Scouts who sign-up to go camping are responsible for their share of the food and are required to reimburse the elected Scouts for their portion of the food.

  17. Can Scouts bring a cot on all campouts?

    It depends upon which tents are to be used and the size of the cots. Being able to sleep on small, lightweight cots is a great benefit during the warmer months. Be mindful of the cot feet and make sure they do not pose a threat to the floor of the tent. Scouts may be asked not to bring cots on some campouts due to limited packing space.

  18. If I drive for a campout, how and when do I get reimbursed for gas?

    If you drive on a trip and carry more than just your son, you may keep your gas receipts and promptly turn them in for reimbursement from the Troop Treasurer. The number of vehicles needed is determined by the Outdoor Coordinator. Electing to drive your vehicle beyond the number needed may exempt you from being reimbursed.

  19. Can parents attend campouts?

    Yes. We would love to have you and at times may need you to attend to help provide necessary transportation and/or supervision. At all times, the troop will maintain proper oversight and two deep leadership as prescribed by the Boy Scouts of America.

  20. Can siblings go on the campouts?

    Not usually, but the troop does host a family campout, typically in May.  We welcome your entire family's attendance for this event.  Keep in mind that the troop will follow and maintain all prescribed regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.

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  21. Advancement

  22. Differences between the Boy Scout and Cub Scout advancement processes?

    In Cub Scouts, parents are asked, as Akela, to work with their Scout to complete advancement requirements their boy is interested in. This is also true with Boy Scouts but requirements are more rigid and the Scout must work with a registered Merit Badge Counselor to complete the badge. If the parent is the Counselor, the troop asks that they have another adult leader review and sign off on their Scout's completed work.

  23. How does a boy earn a merit badge?

    The Boy Scouts of America estiblish requirements for each of the 120+ official Merit Badges used for advancement. The requirements are published by the BSA and can be found of MeritBadge.org. Each Scout works with a registered Merit Badge Counselor in completing and reviewing work from the merit badge worksheet. Once a requirement is completed, the MB Counselor will record the items on a Blue Card.

  24. What merit badges should my son concentrate on?

    Each Scout, in working with a MB Counselor, may work on merit badges that interest them. The Star, Life, and Eagle ranks require a certain number of a subset of merit badges be completed to attain the rank.  This list can be found here.

  25. How can I find out what requirements are not completed on the merit badges that a Scout is working on?

    Each Scout's progress is tracked in TroopMaster software and a report can be generated by the Advancement Coordinator. Often referred to as an IHR (Individual History Reports), these reports detail rank advancement, merit badges completed, current requirements remaining on each and dates for all.

  26. If a Scout has an interest in a merit badge, can he start it on his own?

    No. Each Scout must work with a Troop Counselor or registered Council Merit Badge Counselor. This way, progress may be tracked and recorded on official BSA Blue Cards.  It is good to keep the Scoutmaster informed of which merit badges the Scout is working on so that he can guide the Scout and help with resources needed for completion.

  27. If a Scout completes a requirement for a merit badge, who should he discuss it with?

    As Merit Badge requirements are completed, the Scout should contact their Merit Badge Counselor or the Troop Counselor to have the progress recorded on an official BSA Blue Card.

  28. Who signs off on Advancement?

    The Scoutmaster, a designated Assistant Scoutmaster, or a Merit Badge Counselor may sign off on advancements.

  29. What is a Blue Card?

    A Blue Card is the official documentation for merit badge completion. Each Blue Card records the Scouts name, date, merit badge and list specific requirements for completion of the badge. Blue Cards are the "proof" that the Scout has completed the requirements and has earned the badge.

  30. What are the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout?

    Follow this link for complete information or see the BSA Handbook.

  31. Can I teach a merit badge?

    Yes. You may submit a Merit Badge Counselor form to the Golden Spread Council Office and register yourself as a qualified Counselor for each area of your expertise. This is a great way to provide leadership and service to the troop, district, council, and surrounding community in your vocation or area of expertise.

  32. What is MBU - Merit Badge University?

    Merit Badge University is a day of training provided annually by the Golden Spread Council enabling Scouts to begin work on various merit badges. The Council secures a number of Merit Badge Counselors with various areas of expertise to teach merit badge classes for a large number of Scouts. Merit Badge University is typically held in January.

  33. What are service hours and why are they important to my son?

    Service hours are a great way for your Scout to give back to the local Community. Each rank advancement requires a certain number of service hours for completion. The troop hosts a monthly service project of cleaning up trash around the McDonald Lake area. Scouts can also complete service hours through working on Eagle Projects.

  34. What is a COH - Court of Honor?

    Troop 87 typically holds Courts of Honor four times per year to provide a celebration of Scouts rank and merit badge advancement.

  35. What is appropriate attire for the Court of Honor?

    Court of Honor's are a formal ceremony and celebration of the Scout's work. Because of this, we ask Scouts to wear their official BSA Field uniform including Merit Badge sash and/or OA sash, if a member.

  36. What is an Eagle project?

    As a Life Scout, Scouts must complete a project that gives back to the local community. This project is not a chance for the Scout to perform the work but rather to plan, organize, and manage the project to completion and provides an opportunity for the Scout to display his leadership skills.

  37. How often does the troop hold elections?

    Elections are held every 6 months followed by required training to equip each Scout for his position.

  38. What does a Scout need to do if he wants to run for a leadership position?

    If a Scout desires to run for a particular leadership position, two weeks prior to election, the Scout should complete a leadership form and submit it to the Scoutmaster.

  39. Why is it important to hold a leadership position?

    Certain ranks require a Scout to hold and complete a term of 6 months in a leadership position.  Aside from that, the troop needs boys to take the lead in running the troop.

  40. Do all leadership positions provide rank advancement credit?

    All official leadership positions provide the rank advancement credit necessary except for the Assistant Patrol Leader position. This position is a great way for a Scout to prepare themselves for an upcoming position and provide support for the current Patrol Leader.

  41. What does "bulletin duty" consist of?

    Troop 87 serves St. Thomas the Apostle Church by preparing (i.e., stuffing) the bulletins for each week's services. This responsibility is rotated on a weekly basis between patrols. Troop 87 performs this service as a way of showing our appreciation for all that the church provides for the troop.

  42. What Scout skills should new Scouts concentrate on?

    Each Scout should work to complete their 1st Class rank. The Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class ranks provide essential skills the Scout will use throughout his Scouting career and life.

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  43. Uniforms

  44. What is a Field Uniform (Class A), what does it consist of, and when should it be worn?

    The official uniform of the Boy Scouts of America is the Field Uniform (aka, Class A). The Field Uniform consists of a tan BSA shirt, with proper patch placement (see here for complete details), green BSA pants or shorts (blue jeans may be worn as alternate pant selection as long as there are no tears or holes), BSA  belt, green BSA socks, troop 87 neckerchief (a bolo tie may be worn after reaching the Star rank), and a troop 87 cap (official BSA Scout hats may be worn as an alternate to the troop 87 cap).

    The Field Uniform is to be worn at all troop meetings, unless otherwise noted. Troop 87 also typically wears the Field Uniform while traveling to and from all camps or campouts.

  45. What is an Activity Uniform (Class B) and when should it be worn?

    The BSA Activity Uniform (also referred to as the Class B) is identical to the Field Uniform with the exception of wearing the troop 87 blue t-shirt.

    The Activity Uniform is typically worn during service projects and other predetermined times.

  46. Does troop 87 have a uniform closet?

    Troop 87 collects uniforms from previous Scouts and Scouts who have outgrown them. These uniforms are held in the troop's "uniform closet" and are available to any Scout for free. We only ask that as uniforms shirts, pants, shorts, belts, socks and boots no longer fit a Scout, that he return them to the uniform closet for the next Scout who needs them.

  47. What are acceptable t-shirts on campouts/outings?

    Troop 87 outings are a great way to show the world who we are and what we've learned. We believe we should look the part so we ask that Scouts wear the official blue troop t-shirt or another official BSA t-shirt.

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  48. Fundraising/Costs

  49. How many fund raisers does troop 87 do per year?

    Under the guidance of the Fund Raising Chairman, the troop provides a number of fund-raising opportunites each year. Troop 87 requires each Scout to participate in a minimum of two fund-raisers. Annual fund raisers that support the troop are typically the Council Popcorn Sale and the Troop Garage Sale. Additional fund raisers conducted by the troop have included but are not limited to the following: Holiday season greenery sales, Coke sales, and Sonic card sales. Other fund raisers are made available based on opportunity and needs of the Scouts.

  50. What are the proceeds from troop fund raisers used for?

    Proceeds from the troop fund raisers are used to offset the costs of troop activities. They also allow a way for Scouts to earn money to pay for their own activities. Each year the Committee, in conjunction with the Fund Raising Chairman, vote to establish needed funds to complete its activities and works to provide the greatest benefit to the Scouts.

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  51. Miscellaneous

  52. What is OA - Order of the Arrow? What are the qualifications to be nominated?

    Complete information can be found here.

  53. What is a Venture Crew?

    Complete information can be found here.

  54. For More Information contact:
    • Scoutmaster - Dallas Gimpel, e-mail
    • Committee Chairman - Mike Reed, e-mail
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