Troop 12 Guide for Parents and Scouts 2017/2018
Troop 12 of Montclair, NJ was organized more than 90 years ago. It is one of the oldest troops in the country. The troop has generated over 350 Eagle Scouts to date. It meets every Friday evening at St. James Episcopal Church at 7:00 PM. The troop is a member of the Lenape Trail District of the Northern New Jersey Council. Troop 12’s official website is www.troop12montclair.org (you’re already there if you’re reading this right now!).
Uniform – The complete official uniform includes the Scout shirt with olive green shoulder loops, Scout pants or shorts (Scout socks to be worn with shorts), Scout belt, buckle, and neckerchief slide. It is the responsibility of the scout to provide his own uniform which is available at the Northern New Jersey Scout shop in Oakland, Ramsey Outdoor Store on Route 17, Zeppelin Hobbies in Wayne, and via the internet at nnjbsa.org. Some items may be available on E-Bay. Troop 12 also has its own custom neckerchief to be worn with the Scout slide. Patches are applied to the shirt: the Northern New Jersey Council Patch, the Troop Numeral, the Badge of Rank and the World Crest Emblem. The troop supplies the scout with these items.
Troop 12 also has its own custom neckerchief to be worn with the Scout slide. Patches are applied to the shirt: the Northern New Jersey Council Patch, the Troop Numeral, the Badge of Rank and the World Crest Emblem. The troop supplies the scout with these items.
Handbook – Each scout is issued “The Boy Scout Handbook” by the troop.
Structure of the Troop
Under the supervision of the scoutmaster, the troop is structured using the Patrol Leader Method. Patrol Leaders are scouts who have achieved various scouting skills and are developing leadership skills. The Patrol Leaders lead a patrol of younger scouts. Each patrol acts as an independent unit at various scouting functions and plans many of their own activities. In addition to the Troop meeting on Fridays, scouts are expected to meet with their patrols during the week to discuss and plan patrol activities.
Under the Patrol Leader Method, the Scoutmaster teaches the Senior Patrol Leaders/SPL’s (also known as staff). The SPL’s teach the Patrol Leaders, the Patrol Leaders teach the Assistant Patrol Leaders who teach the younger scouts. Even the younger scouts are teachers of skills that they master.
Structure of the Troop Meeting
The scouts meet each Friday from 7 PM – 8:45 PM. The meeting is broken into 5 basic parts:
- The Opening Ceremony which includes the presentation of the colors and the flag salute.
- Game Time where the scouts have some competitive fun (and a chance to burn off a little steam).
- Instructional Session where scouts participate in lessons such as knots, first aid, safety, etc.
- Merit Badge Class where the scouts break up into smaller groups in a classroom to work on merit badges under the guidance and supervision of a merit badge teacher or counselor.
- Closing Ceremony which includes troop announcements and the closing flag ceremony of the troop meeting.
Ranks & Advancement
Ranks – As scouts achieve various scouting and leadership skills as well as earn merit badges, they advance through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Requirements for advancement are included in the Boy Scout Handbook. Here is a link to the current BSA’s official Requirements page on their site, and here is a link to another resource here discusses some of the more recent changes in the requirements.
Merit Badges – Merit badges are required for the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle. Specific badges (13) are required for Eagle Scout as they round out the skills expected of every Eagle Scout. Others (8 required for Eagle Rank) come from a list of over 100 badges that allow the scouts to explore other areas of interest. After achieving the Eagle rank, scouts continue to have the opportunity to earn badges of interest and pursue Eagle Palms. Scouts have the opportunity to work on merit badges during troop meetings as well as independently. See the Merit Badge Procedures section of this Guide for further clarification.
Camping/Hiking – Camping and hiking are important parts of the scouting experience. Troop 12 plans at least one camping and/or hiking activity each month except December. The Troop owns a cabin at Camp Glen Gray in Mahwah. Each year, the Troop takes a camping trip to a national historical landmark. Additional outings are added to the calendar during the year.
Community Service Projects – The scouts are required to actively participate in community service projects. The planning and completion of a major community service project is a requirement for the Eagle rank.
Summer Camp – Scouts are encouraged to attend summer camp with the troop. This year, the camp will be at Ten Mile River in Upstate New York from July 10th –16th, 2016. It is a great opportunity to learn scouting skills and earn merit badges.
The Troop Cup – Healthy competition is encouraged among the scouts. The patrols are awarded “points” during their activities. These points could be awarded for many displays of scouting spirit: wearing the uniform properly, 100% attendance by all scouts within the same patrol, the tastiest food cooked by a patrol at a campout, and many more opportunities. At the end of the year, the patrol points are totaled and the patrol with the most points wins the Troop Cup. The Troop Cup belongs to that patrol for the entire subsequent year.
Deposits – Deposits are typically required from the scouts for various activities. These deposits enable Troop 12 to take advantage of “early bird discounts” as well as to provide firm headcounts when planning activities. Deposits are treated as commitments by the scouts and therefore are non-refundable if the scout cancels his participation.
Recognition – Scouts are recognized for achievements they earn at an award ceremony called The Court of Honor. Troop 12 holds three Courts of Honor, one late September/early October to recognize summer achievements, one in February, and one in June. The Eagle Court of Honor is a dignified ceremony where our new Eagle Scouts are presented to the Troop and the community.
Financing the Troop’s Activities – As with any organization, financing is necessary to remain operational. The main sources of financing for Troop 12 are:
- Dues – $75 per year payable in January. The dues cover insurance and other costs that are necessary to be a chartered troop in the Lenape Trail District.
- Popcorn – The sale of popcorn is a major fundraiser each October.
- Plants – The plant sale has been one of the most successful fundraisers each spring.
- Other – The troop welcomes all ideas.
As with any activity that our children participate in, adult involvement is critical to its success. Adults that work individually with the scouts are required to participate in Youth Protection Training. The training takes only an hour and is available as a video or through the internet. It teaches the adults to recognize the signs of child abuse as well as prevent child abuse. Hazing and bullying are also prohibited activities in Boy Scouts.
Scoutmaster(s) – Carl Joslyn is Troop 12’s scoutmaster, the adult leader who guides the scouts.
The Assistant Scoutmasters are adults who assist in troop activities. Like the Scoutmaster, they are registered with the Northern New Jersey Council as scout leaders and wear the Scout Leader uniform.
The Troop Committee is the advisory committee who oversees the operations of the troop including the financial budget. Minutes are taken at the Troop Committee meetings that include discussions of the Troop’s direction.
Merit Badge Counselors & Instructor These adult coordinate the merit badge process for the troop. Not all troops conduct merit badge classes. Troop 12 is fortunate to have several adults who are willing to work as instructors with the scouts at each troop meeting on merit badges in a classroom format. The Merit Badge Counselors are approved by the Northern New Jersey Council to review and approve the work of the scouts.
Advancement Committee – The Advancement Committee tracks the advancement of each scout.
Other – Assistance is always needed in the activities of the troop: Camping Chaperones/Cooks, Court of Honor Ceremonies, Fundraising, Carpooling, and much more. Every adult has at least one talent that is useful to the Troop! An adult can donate as little or as much time as he or she can. Involvement is the key to the success of the troop and the scouts.
Merit Badge Procedures – Troop 12 is proud of its ability to support the scouts through its comprehensive Merit Badge Program. With the goal of helping every Troop 12 scout achieve scouting’s honor ranks (Star, Life, Eagle), the troop offers three cycles of parent-taught merit badge classes at the Friday troop meetings during each scouting year (September – June). A scout who conscientiously participates in this Troop-run merit badge program and who also earns additional merit badges at summer camp (e.g., badges well-suited for a camp environment including camping, swimming, etc.) should easily be able to earn the required number and types of badges that are needed to reach the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle.
There are over 100 unique merit badges. As the Troop cannot possibly teach all badges that a scout or family may find interesting, the Troop supports its scouts pursuing additional badges on their own. In order to maintain the integrity of the merit badge system and ensure that the scout learns the skills included in the requirements for each badge, the following process needs to be followed by all scouts if they wish to pursue a badge outside of the scope of the Troop 12 offerings. Information on all merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America can be obtained from Troop 12’s Merit Badge Coordinator(s). A complete list of badges, requirements, and worksheets can be found on the meritbadge.org website.
- Prior to starting a merit badge not taught during Troop 12 meetings, the scout must receive approval from Troop 12’s Merit Badge Coordinator(s). The Merit Badge Coordinators will also confirm that there is a registered counselor for that merit badge in the area/Troop 12’s district.
- Upon full completion of a badge’s requirements, the scout must present the merit badge worksheet to the Merit Badge Coordinator(s) for review. Depending on the quality of the work, the Merit Badge Coordinator/s may ask for some tasks to be re-done before it is submitted to the registered counselor for that specific badge.
- Assuming that the worksheet is complete, the Merit Badge Coordinator(s) will assist the scout in connecting with a registered counselor to sign off on that merit badge. The Merit Badge Coordinator will provide a blank “blue card” to the scout. The “blue card” will include the Scoutmaster’s signature indicating his permission for the scout to pursue the badge. The registered badge counselor will also review and critique the scout’s worksheet and work and may ask for additional information before signing off. When finished, the registered counselor will complete the “blue card”. The scout is responsible for turning the “blue card” into the Merit Badge Coordinator.
• Badges earned will be awarded at the next scheduled Troop Court of Honor.
Please contact the Troop 12 Merit Badge Coordinator (currently Jennifer Bell) with questions. We are confident the above procedures will encourage scouts to pursue their own interests while maintaining the integrity of our program.
The following is a suggested packing list for a typical troop camping trip:
- On all trips, scouts should arrive in full Class A uniforms. (They usually change after they get to the campground).
- Hiking boots with good hiking socks should be worn.
- Extra sneakers are advised on trips that include hikes in case the scout gets blisters.
- Extra socks
- Extra underwear
- Layered clothing (weather appropriate) – t-shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, sweatpants
- Hats, gloves (if they don’t need them, they can keep them in their pockets)
- Rain Gear (poncho)
- Daypack (for water, trail mix)
- Water Bottle
- Sleeping Bag & Mat
- Plastic Bag
- Flashlight & Fresh Batteries
- Personal First Aid Kit (band-aids, gauze, tape, antiseptic)
- Knife (only if the scout has the Totin’Chit)
- Scout Handbook
- Personal Items
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, towel, soap
- Medication – speak to scoutmaster if this is needed
- Patrols should plan menus, utensils, etc.
- Absolutely no AEROSOL CANS (Deodorant, cooking spray, whipped cream, etc.)
- Please do not bring any food items with peanuts or other nut products.