Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Logistics - Basics for meetings / events / etc.
Where and when does the troop meet?
The Troop has a dedicated Scout Hut located behind Dunwoody United Methodist Church on Mt. Vernon Road in Dunwoody.
The Troop meets on Mondays from 7:00pm until 8:30pm. The Troop does not meet on the Monday following a camping trip. That week is reserved for the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) to plan for the upcoming month.
What if my scout cannot attend a meeting?
While attending meetings is encouraged, Scouts BSA is a self-paced program. If your Scout misses a meeting (or multiple meetings), he may still be considered an active member of the troop by participating when possible and working on advancement outside of the meetings. Many members of the troop have other commitments (sports, jobs, etc.) and still find time to be active in Scouts BSA.
What is Scoutbook?
Scoutbook is a tool we use for advancement tracking, messaging, and calendar. We use it as the primary means of email communication in the Troop, so it's important to ensure parents and scounts have access. Here's a helpful intro video.
What if I don't have a Scoutbook account?
Scoutbook uses the same login credentials as my.scouting.org. Even if you don’t have a Scoutbook account, but you have a my.scouting account, don’t worry; just login to Scoutbook (https://scoutbook.scouting.org) with your my.scouting account and one will be created for you automatically. Click here for more info.
How do I give my scout access to Scoutbook?
A parent is the only one that may grant a scout access to his records online. Click here for more information.
Rank advancement process
The four steps of rank advancement are learn (do the requirements), test (get the requirements signed off in your book), review (have a scoutmaster conference, then Board of Review), recognize (Court of Honor). Below explains the details of each step of this process.
What is the process for rank advancement?
The Scout reviews the rank requirements in the back of the Boy Scout Handbook or read them on-line (https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/).
The Scout seeks out the Patrol Leader, Troop Guide or other Scout who has attained the rank of 1st Class to plan or execute the requirement.
The Scout should not try to remember a time over the course of their scouting career when they may have performed the requirement. Just do it, record it, and get it signed off.
Some requirements require the Scout to accumulate a certain number of outings, camping nights, service hours, etc. There are logs at the back of the Scout Handbook for tracking these. Use them.
Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class requirements may be achieved at any time in any order. For example, you do not have to complete all Tenderfoot requirements before getting signed off for a Second Class or First Class requirement.
The Scout seeks out the Assistant Scoutmaster (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class) or Scoutmaster (Star, Life, and Eagle) and asks for a Scoutmaster conference. The Scoutmaster conference is not a retest and it doesn’t have to be the last requirement for achieving the rank. However, a Scout should be prepared to have a meaningful discussion on their experiences while performing the requirements.
Once a Scout has completed all requirements for the rank and has them signed off in his book, he can request a Board of Review. He should request the Board of Review from the Advancement Chair or Committee Chair.
Who is responsible for making sure my Scout advances?
Each Scout is responsible for his own rank advancement. There are multiple resources available to him including his Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, and Assistant Scoutmasters.
What’s a Troop Guide?
The Troop Guide is a Troop leadership position. The Troop Guide works with new scouts. He helps them feel comfortable in the Troop and helps them earn their Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks. The Troop Guide is earning a leadership requirement for his next rank advancement; new Scouts should know who he is and keep him busy.
Who can sign off on rank requirements?
These are the only individuals in the troop who can initial/sign a scout’s book. The preferred option is bolded and underlined.
For Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks: First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Scouts; Assistant Scoutmasters; Scoutmaster.
For Star, Life and Eagle (Scoutmaster).
When and how does the Scout schedule a Scoutmaster Conference?
Once a Scout is ready to complete a rank, request a Scoutmaster Conference from the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class).
The purpose of the Scoutmaster Conference is to review how the Scout is enjoying scouting and learning the skills.
The Scoutmaster Conference should be scheduled ahead of time rather than requesting one as the Scoutmaster is entering or leaving the meeting.
The Scout can request a Scoutmaster Conference by using the sign-up sheet in the Scout Hut or by emailing the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster. The Scout should always cc another adult when emailing a troop leader.
When and how does the scout schedule a Board of Review?
Once a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank and has signatures in their book, he can schedule a Board of Review.
The Scout can request a Board of Review by emailing the Committee Chair or Board of Review Coordinator. The Scout should always cc another adult when emailing a troop leader.
The purpose of the Board of Review is “to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank. If so, the board not only approves his advancement or Palm but also encourages him to continue the quest for the next rank or Palm.”
Board of Reviews may occur during the regular weekly meetings or during the PLC on the Monday evening following the monthly outing. The Scout should wear their field uniform (aka dress or Class A uniform).
The Board of Review (BoR) usually consists of three troop adults. The Scoutmaster and ASMs are not allowed to sit on the BoR nor are the Scout’s parents. It’s typically committee members but any troop adult may be asked to sit on a BoR.
What’s a Court of Honor and when is it held?
The Court of Honor is a ceremony held three times per year during which the Scout is presented with the rank advancement and merit badges he has earned.
The Court of Honor is a special event, the whole family is invited to attend. They are on the Troop calendar on the Scoutbook website.
How can I track my scout’s progress?
Following the Board of Review, the Troop Advancement Chair records the advancement in Scoutbook.
The Scout can go to the Scoutbook website and confirm that all the requirements have been marked as recorded and the rank is recorded as completed.
Use Scoutbook to see the current rank status of your scouts including your scout’s history of rank advancements, leadership positions, and merit badges.
Note: Individual rank requirements are recorded in the scout’s handbook and recorded in Scoutbook following the Board of Review. Therefore it’s important to keep up the handbook.
If the Scout has had his Board of Review and it’s not recorded in Scoutbook, he should send an email to the Data Entry Chair. It is important that an official record is maintained thus the Scout needs to provide a photocopy of the Scout Handbook showing the signatures (placed in the Data Entry mail slot in the hallway of the Scout Hut).
How does a Scout track troop event participation, service hours, camping nights?
The Scout should always sign-in and sign-out at service projects. He should sign-in at Scout meetings. In addition, he should record these in the back of his Scout Handbook after each event as a back-up to Scoutbook.
What’s a merit badge?
Advancement beyond First Class scout requires earning merit badges. A Scout must earn 21 merit badges to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. There are 13 required badges and over 100 elective badges. Some can be earned in a day, others require months of activity or the accumulation of multiple nights of camping, meals cooked, etc. You can read about merit badges at scouting.org (https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/).
Merit badges can be earned at any rank.
How does a scout earn a merit badge?
Scouts can earn merit badges at summer camp, at merit badge clinics, or working individually following a plan they’ve created with a merit badge counselor.
The Scout starts with a Blue Card and a meeting with a merit badge counselor.
The Scoutmaster must sign off on every Blue Card to start the Merit badge and to complete the Merit Badge.
There are numerous merit badge clinics throughout the year. One resource you can use to find them is http://meritbadge.info.
What if a Scout starts a merit badge at a camp or clinic without a blue card and doesn’t finish?
Many times Scouts work on part of a merit badge at summer camp or a clinic.
Sometimes the Scout did not have a blue card when they started the camp or clinic.
If that happens the Scout should obtain a copy of the completed requirements and bring them to a Merit Badge Counselor to get a blue card to complete the merit badge.
How does a Scout find out the requirements?
The merit badge requirements are located at scouting.org (https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/).
All Merit Badges have companion pamphlets to assist in learning and earning the merit badge. See the troop Librarian to borrow a pamphlet if the troop has it (make sure it’s current). If you buy a pamphlet and are finished, consider donating it to the troop for other scouts.
Optional worksheets are available at http://usscouts.org/mb/worksheets/list.asp
Who can sign off on requirements?
The merit badge counselor signs off the requirements on the Blue Card.
If the merit badge is earned at a clinic the merit badge counselor at the clinic will sign off on the individual requirements.
Be aware some requirements must be earned at facilities recognized by BSA or under safety guidelines of BSA.
To avoid not getting credit for a requirement a Scout should always discuss the requirement and how they plan to achieve it with the counselor before they start working on the merit badge.
When all requirements are signed off by the counselor, have the Scoutmaster sign the blue card and turn in one third of the card to the counselor and one third of the card to the Data Entry Chair for recording. Keep the last third for the Scout for their records.
How do I sign up for activities?
Sign up for activities at troop meetings (especially camping trips), Scoutbook, and via Sign-Up Genius for other activities (Service Projects).
Upcoming events are posted on Scoutbook.
To participate in camping trips, each Scout needs a current annual medical form on file. https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/
Each adult attending an event must have a current Youth Protection Training (YPT) certificate and a current annual medical form on file. Medical Forms expire every year. YPT expires every two years.
Be sure to attend the Troop meeting the week of the event to participate in planning.
What does a Scout need to buy/bring for an outing?
Typically each Scout is responsible their sleeping bag and pad, mess kit and eating utensil, clothing and uniform. Scouts without tents will be paired with Scouts who do.
Tent and meal plans are made at the Troop meeting the week before the event. It is important to attend.
If you can’t attend the planning meeting, make sure you inform the Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader that you will be absent. They will make sure you are included in the tent, meal and transportation plan.
Each patrol assigns a Grub Master for the outing. The Grub Master is responsible for shopping and transporting the food. Save your receipts, fill out a Grub Master form and give it to the Treasurer for reimbursement. A Scout must be an active participant in the shopping experience if he is doing so for rank advancement credit.
Each Scout needs a permission form for each event and a current annual medical form before they can go on the event. The medical Form Part A/B are required for all outings. Medical Form Part C is required for any outing lasting 72 hours or more (e.g. Summer Camp and High Adventures).
Scouts must travel to and from the destination in their field uniform (aka Class A or dress uniform).
Whom and when do I pay?
The camp master for each outing will accept cash, check, Scout Bucks, or PayPal to collect fees.
The fees cover food for the meals cooked, campsite and activity fees, and transportation. The Scouts may occasionally need additional money for meals on the road (this will be covered at the planning meeting).
Any Scout or adult taking a role in the outing which requires reimbursement (drivers, grub masters) will need to submit receipts to the event leader within 1 month of the outing to get reimbursed.
Who are the current adult leaders?
You can find a list of the adult leaders on the troop website here.
What can I do to be involved if I don’t want to be a leader?
There are many opportunities available to fit any schedule; contact a current leader and let them know you are interested. You’ll need to complete an Adult Application and take the on-line Youth Protection Training.
What do I need to do to go on an outing?
Additional drivers and adults are always needed.
Adults who plan to attend outings should fill out an Adult Application to register with the Troop and agree to a background check.
How do I see photos of Troop outings?
Photos from events are available on the troop website. Select Photos from the main menu.
How do I post pictures of Troop outings?
You can email pictures to the troop Webmaster (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will add them to the website.
Glossary & Acronyms
Patrol – Small group of ideally 8-10 scouts who have a common name and cheer and work together as a team for activities and growth.
PL – Patrol Leader – Boy who is the leader of the patrol.
APL – Assistant Patrol Leader – Boy who assists the patrol leader in leading the patrol when the patrol leader needs help or cannot be there.
SPL – Senior Patrol Leader – Boy who is the leader of all of the Patrols, leader of the troop
ASPLs – Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders – Boys who assist the SPL in troop leadership. Our troop has 3.
PLC – Patrol Leader’s Council – Meeting of the SPL, ASPLs, PLs and other Troop Leadership positions to plan the troop activities.
Troop Leadership Positions – Troop Guide, Troop Historian, Chaplain’s Aide, Den Chief, Troop Quartermaster, OA Representative, Troop Librarian, and Troop Scribe
OA – Order of the Arrow – Honor Society for Scouting
BOR – Board of Review – Panel of parents who review Scouts rank advancements in order to assess the success of the troop.
COH – Court of Honor – Award ceremony to recognize earning merit badges, ranks and other awards.
Ranks – Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle. The first four ranks focus on scout skills. The last 3 focus on merit badges, leadership and service.