Weekly Troop Meetings
The Troop meets on a weekly basis on Tuesday evenings at the Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church. Meetings start at 7:00pm and run for about an hour. Parent involvement is always welcome, we have a variety of volunteer opportunities.
What is the required uniform for the troop meetings?
Troop 313 follows a uniform policy. This is part of our ongoing efforts to instill good behavior, discipline and scout spirit in the troop. The uniform for meetings consists of:
- Official khaki scout shirt (not the troop T-shirt) with proper patches sewn on
- Neckerchief with slide (not a rubber band or other makeshift device)
- Official scout belt (the kind with the brass slide buckle)
- Blue jeans (not black jeans or Dockers or any other kind of pants – we are going for uniformity) or Official scout pants or Official scout shorts with official scout socks
How about for camp outs?
Uniforms are not required for camp outs when the troop is conducting an outing on its own. Uniforms are required when the troop is attending an event organized by the Council or District such as Camporees or Summer Camp. For most other activities outside our regular meeting place, such as fun nights, uniforms aren’t required, but listen for instructions on this from adult leaders.
Each scout is issued one free troop T-shirt the first time he goes to summer camp. Additional shirts are available to purchase for $5 each.
Just as a boy is expected to wear a full uniform for a sport, he is expected to wear a full uniform for scouts. A proper uniform is part of what brings a team together and keeps them working toward common goals.
Does my boy have to attend all meetings and camp outs?
Scouting is unique in its approach to the development of leadership. We strive to develop young men through an outdoor program that provides opportunities to practice camping, hiking and leadership skills. Our meetings are designed to prepare for the outings and are critical to the success of the Scouting program.
From its inception, Troop 313 has recognized the importance of the Scouting outdoor program. For that reason, the troop bylaws are structured to ensure attendance at both meetings and camp outs. In fact, the acknowledgment form the scouts sign annually outlines the troop’s rules for conduct and attendance.
Boys registered as members of Troop 313 are expected to be active participants. A troop member must:
- Show consistent advancement.
- Participate in at least 75% of scheduled Troop Meetings and Troop and Patrol activities, including excused absences.
- Participate in at least 50% of scheduled weekend activities. This includes camp outs, day hikes, bike rides and other activities sponsored by the troop and programmed by the Patrol Leader Council. A camp out participation form is required to be completed BEFORE attending a Scoutmaster conference.
- Scouts who fail to meet attendance requirements will not be eligible to advance in rank, regardless of badges earned or other requirements met. Also, as outlined in our bylaws, scouts may be called to meet with the Scoutmaster and a committee member to determine what course of action is best for the troop as well as the scout.
We believe that scouting teaches skills that last a lifetime. It is a program that is every bit as relevant as sports, if not more so. No sports team in existence will allow boys to continue who do not attend practice or show up for games. If the activities at our meetings and outings do not provide challenge and enjoyment for a scout, then he must give serious consideration to whether the scouting program is right for him.
It is our sincere hope that all of our scouts will make the decision to remain active participants in the troop’s meetings and outings.
How to obtain an excused absence
The scout must call his patrol leader BEFORE the meeting to let him know that he will not be in attendance. If he cannot reach his patrol leader, he should call the assistant patrol leader. Next in line would be a patrol member who is attending, or the Assistant Scoutmaster assigned to the patrol. Excused absences apply to meetings, not camp outs. There are no excused absences for camp outs as the 50% figure allows for flexibility.
At various times throughout the year, your boy made have the opportunity to participate in a service project. Specific participation goals are part of the Second Class (1 hour), Star (6 hours) and Life (6 hours) ranks. In order to achieve the rank of Eagle, your scout must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project benefiting any religious institution, school or community.
Court of Honor
Three times a year (September, February and June) the troop holds a special meeting for families to recognize boys who have earned merit badges and rank advancement. This meeting starts at 6:00 with set up by the scouts. At 6:30 the meeting is opened and the families proceed through the potluck food line. After dinner, scouts are recognized for their achievements.
All families must bring their own plates, silverware and beverages. Food is assigned as follows:
- Last names beginning with A through M – main dish and dessert
- Last names beginning with N through Z – main dish and salad
You will sometimes hear this event referred to as a “dime-a-dip.” This refers to a tradition of donating 10 cents per dip of food (perhaps a throwback to the casserole era?). We place a donation basket at the beginning of the line.
The troop has a discipline policy outlined in its bylaws. In fact, every year before summer camp, we have each scout sign a form acknowledging that he will abide by the troop’s rules. Here’s a summary:
Scouts striking, taunting, physically “picking on” or throwing objects at others, or using foul language will not be tolerated. Repeated occurrences will be cause for removal from the Troop. A Scout who does not follow those rules will first be given a warning. If there is a second occurrence, the Scout will be asked to leave the meeting or activity and his parents will be called by the Scout to pick him up. If there is a third occurrence, the parents and the Scout will have to appear before the Troop Committee and outline a corrective action program or the Scout will be asked to leave the Troop.
Unfortunately, we have had several incidents of inappropriate behavior in the past. Most of these have fallen into the category of bullying. In dealing with boys with an age range from 11 to 18 years, we have to be very diligent in supervising any activity that involves physical interaction between boys of different sizes.
Any parent has the right and the responsibility to call a halt to inappropriate behavior. If you see such behavior taking place at a meeting or on a camp out, immediately stop the offending scout and seek guidance from an Assistant Scoutmaster.