For Prospective Members
Troop 628 OverviewINTRODUCTION
The Charter Organization for Troop 628 is the New Market District Lion’s Club. Our second Charter Organization is the New Market United Methodist Church.
TROOP MEETING LOCATION
New Market United Methodist Church, Route 874 & North Alley, New Market, Maryland
TROOP MEETING DAY AND TIME
Thursday nights, 7:00 – 8:30. Please call or email to verify as the Troop sometimes meets at other locations for special activities.
Troop 628 is boy led—the Scouts design and run their own program within the framework of BSA rules with oversight by the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and the Troop Committee.
Our goals are (1) to help the boys to develop moral strength and character; (2) to learn and practice good citizenship, (3) to develop physical, mental, and emotional fitness; and (4) to have fun.
These goals will be accomplished in the following ways:
- Ideals. The ideals of Scouting are explained in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. The Scouts measure themselves against these ideals and continually try to improve.
- Patrols. The patrol method gives Scouts experience in group living and citizenship. It places a certain amount of responsibility on the boys and teaches them how to accept it.
- Outdoors. Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that the Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that skills and activities practiced at Troop meetings come alive.
- Advancement. Scouting provides challenges and recognition through rank advancement. The Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge. He is rewarded for each advancement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
- Adult Association. Boys learn from the positive examples set by their adult leaders. Association with adults is an important element in a boy's development.
- Personal Growth. As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. Doing "Good Turns," by helping others, is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting.
- Leadership Development. Scouting encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared leadership and total leadership situations.
- Uniform. The uniform makes the Scout Troop visible and creates a positive youth image. Wearing the uniform shows a commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting.
JUNIOR LEADER POSITIONS
The key youth leadership positions include:
- Senior Patrol Leader
- Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
- Patrol Leader
- Quartermaster (Scout)
- Chaplain’s Aid
- Troop Guide
- Order of the Arrow Rep.
- Den Chief(s)
Active parental participation, particularly the first year, will show in the success of a Scout! There are many ways that parents can be involved with the Troop, including serving as Assistant Scoutmasters, Troop Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselors. Something as finite as coordinating and leading a fundraiser or a weekend campout is an immense aid. Don’t underestimate the value of such assistance, both to the Troop and in the eyes of the Scouts. Training is necessary to adult participation, but it is reasonably easy and usually painless. Scoutmasters require a little more dedication over time to complete all of the necessary training, but much of it is actually fun.
Scouts and adults are expected to live by the Scout Oath, Law, and Motto. All Scouts are required to have a signed Troop 628 Code of Conduct on file before participating in any Troop activities. Compliance with these tenants is mandatory during Troop activities. Use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, or tobacco will not be tolerated by Scouts or adults during Troop activities, nor will the use of profanity. Behavior should be commensurate with the activity—there is a time to be quiet and attentive and a time to be loud and boisterous, and Scouts need to recognize the difference. Dangerous behavior, as defined by the adults supervising an activity, is not permitted. Scouts and adults who repeatedly violate these simple rules, or disrupt meetings or activities, will be asked to leave the Troop.
To achieve a safe Scouting experience, certain medical requirements exist. Maintaining a healthy body is also a core Scouting value. Also, adult leaders responsible for your Scout need to know of any medical conditions that may exist—finding out your Scout is allergic to peanuts after eating a PB&J sandwich is not the right answer!
The Boy Scouts of America has established minimum standards for providing medical information prior to participating in various activities, and requires all Scouts to complete a BSA medical form. In addition, individuals desiring to participate in any high-adventure activity will not be permitted to do so if they exceed a weight limit specified by BSA.
In order to ensure that boys understand what is expected of them, and that the Troop has the necessary information to conduct a successful Scouting program, each boy joining Troop 628 completes the following forms as a condition of membership:
- Boy Scout Application
- Troop 628 Code of Conduct Contract
- BSA Personal Health and Medical Record
- By-Laws Parental Signature Page
In addition to Troop meetings, the Troop’s Patrol Leader Council plans monthly activities. These include camping trips, field trips, and service projects. An outdoor program is instrumental in Troop 628’s success, and a variety of outdoor activities are included in the program, dictated heavily by the desires of the youth leaders.
Week-long summer camp is a part of Troop 628’s normal routine. Summer camp offers opportunities for character development and advancement that are difficult to duplicate in other forums. Life-long memories are created and friendships formed. Scouts of all ages should plan to attend camp. ASMs (especially of new scouts) should look to support the Troop by considering spending at least half of the week at camp with their son(s). All parents are encouraged to attend the Parent Night dinner and festivities on the last night of camp.
COURTS OF HONOR
Courts of Honor are an opportunity to recognize the Scouts’ accomplishments and celebrate advancement. Typically, about three Courts of Honor are held per year. In recognition of the outdoor program, periodically the event is held outdoors. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend.
Both Scouts and adult leaders are required to have a full BSA Scout uniform. In addition, Scouts and adults are required to have a minimum of one Troop 628 shirt and one Troop 628 hat, and a Troop 628 windjacket.
For Scouting activities, we have two levels of uniform: Class A and Class B:
Class A Uniform
- Boy Scout Uniform Shirt with patches sewn on correctly
- Troop 628 T-shirt (under Class A)
- Troop 628 neckerchief and slide
- Boy Scout (or olive green) shorts or long pants
- Boy Scout socks
- Boy Scout web or leather belt
- Troop 628 hat
- Merit Badge Sash (for Courts of Honor only)
Class B Uniform
- Troop 628 T-shirt
- Boy Scout (or olive green) shorts or long pants
- Boy Scout socks
- Boy Scout web or leather belt
- Troop 628 hat
As a rule, the Class A uniform is to be worn to Troop meetings, all Courts of Honor, ceremonies, and other special occasions. The Class B uniform is to be worn at all Troop meetings between Memorial Day and Labor Day of each year, and to outside events as communicated in advance. The Scout’s name should be placed on all parts of the uniform with an indelible marker.
In all cases, the Scouts must be neat in appearance. Shirttails must be tucked in, unless otherwise approved. Footwear should consist of tennis shoes, dress shoes, or hiking boots. For safety reasons, open toed shoes are not allowed in any case. Scouts are never allowed to display a body piercing or tattoos. Non-Scout hats should not be worn with the uniform.
Scouts advance in rank based on merit and accomplishment, and not by age, grade, or social status. The Scouting ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. We try to get a new Scout to First Class within their first year. The rank of Eagle is achieved by only 4 percent of Scouts. While achievement of Eagle is the ultimate threshold, we view a Scout successful if they enjoy the experience and grow in character, knowledge, physical strength, and leadership in a manner consistent with the Scout Oath, Law, and Motto, and slogan.
Merit badges are earned in specific areas of endeavor. The primary purpose of the merit badge program is to introduce the Scout to different life skills and experiences. Merit badges are required for rank advancement beyond First Class, including a specified number of “Eagle-required” merit badges that cover core skills such as first aid.
The lower ranks (Scout through First Class) serve to introduce youth to Scouting and provide them with the basic Scouting skills. Advancement through First Class is largely dependent on completion of a list of objective requirements limited only by the availability of opportunities to complete them. The upper ranks (Star through Eagle) complete the development of a Scout through completion of a wide variety of activities. These ranks are where a Scout needs to show improvement in maturity, independence, leadership, and character.
After completing the requirements for each rank, a Scoutmaster conference is conducted. This conference is a meeting with the Scoutmasters to discuss the Scout’s participation in events, general knowledge of the material required for rank advancement, and other aspects of Scouting development. This is a good time for the Scout to tell the Scoutmaster what is on his mind (good and bad) and any recommendations for improving the Troop. If the Scoutmaster does not feel the Scout is ready to advance in rank, he may work with the Scout until he is satisfied.
The final step for rank advancement is a Board of Review. The Board typically consists of members of the Troop Committee and may include other Scouters. The Board will discuss the Scout’s advancements and ask questions related to his Scouting activities. The Board is not a test, but in unusual circumstances the Board may reject the rank advancement if it believes the Scout has not completed the requirements. A significant goal of the Board is to provide the Scout with an opportunity to communicate with adults he may not be familiar with. In the upper ranks, the Board also starts to prepare the Scout for his Eagle Board of Review, which is conducted by district representatives rather than the Troop.
Equipment lists abound and no two are alike. In addition, Scouting finances can be daunting, particularly initially. While Scouting is really no more expensive than many other activities, such as contact sports, the “start-up” cost can be intimidating.
Some resources to consider:
- www.alpsmountaineering.com offers sleeping bags, self-inflatable pads, backpacks, and other equipment at a quality level that is near impossible to match for the price. They offer Boy Scouts a 45% discount through a companion site at www.scoutdirect.com. They are highly recommended.
- Campmor is a dependable web site and if they have what you are looking for, it is probably reasonably priced.
- Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and REI stock generally good gear. Cabela’s ships quickly if you order from their website. Bass Pro Shops has a large store in Arundel Mills Shopping Center and REI has a large store in Gaithersburg so you can see and touch what you are purchasing.
- Trail House, located at 17 South Market Street, is a local backpacking store with quality equipment. Mention you are a Scout for a 10% discount.
- Trailside Outfitters, located at 44 Sauder Road in Brunswick, has some official BSA merchandise (uniforms, patches, merit badge pamphlets, etc.) and camping gear.
The first campout—Highest priority equipment
Upon joining the Troop and prior to attending his first camping trip, each Scout will need the following:
- Class A and Class B uniforms
- Boy Scout Handbook, pen, and notebook
- Lightweight, synthetic-filled, mummy style sleeping bag, 30° or lower rating (recommend Scoutdirect.com)
- Sleeping pad, foam or self-inflating (recommend Scoutdirect.com)
- Mess kit (we recommend NOT getting the bulky metal mess kit, rather get a strong collapsible bowl and a collapsible cup)
- Eating utensils (a plastic “spork” works great)
- High quality rain gear (jacket and pants)
- Water bottle (recommend some type of Nalgene bottle—it’s nearly indestructible)
- Small personal first aid kit/survival kit
- Camp chair
- Personal hygiene bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, etc.
- Duffle bag (or similar) for packing their clothes and equipment
There is additional equipment that is lower priority but still needed, probably within the first six months:
- Good quality hiking boots, water proof is best (Also need heavy, non-cotton hiking socks)
- High quality compass (recommend Silva, Suunto, or similar)
- Backpack (internal or external frame) (recommend Scoutdirect.com)
- LED Headlamp
- Pocket knife (Scouts can’t carry one until they earn their Totin’ Chip)
The Troop provides tents to all youth members. Adult volunteers are asked to provide their own tent. (We recommend the Alps Mountaineering Taurus Outfitter tent. A 2-man tent lets you sleep comfortably and have your equipment in the tent with you.)
The Troop maintains an inventory of other equipment including dining tarps, cooking equipment, and other camping gear. This equipment is purchased from the proceeds of Troop fund-raising activities and the annual registration fees. The Scoutmaster may appoint an Assistant Scoutmaster to oversee the Troop’s equipment if he deems it necessary.
Troop dues are $75 for new Scouts joining the Troop. BSA registration and insurance fees are $25 in full for new scouts. If the Scout paid in full for the year as a Webelo, he only needs to pay the $1 transfer fee. If a Webelo's registration was prorated by the Pack, then he only needs to pay the balance for the year.
After the first year, the annual Troop re-chartering dues are $75 per Scout.
BSA re-chartering occurs in December, and is usually $25 per scout for that fee with the option of adding Boy’ Life magazine.
The Troop will assess a $50 Patrol Equipment Fund Fee to all new scouts joining the Troop. This will be payable upon joining.
No boy will be denied admission to the Troop due to an inability to pay the registration dues. If such a situation exists, please contact the Lions Liaison.
MONTHLY ACTIVITY COST
A pro-rata share of expenses may be charged for monthly camping or other activities. Food costs are shared by each member.
Troop 628 conducts some (limited) fundraising to support both the Troop’s finances and a Scout’s individual campership account. Scouts are expected to participate in sales and by working at events, as all Scouts benefit from the proceeds. In addition, our fundraising efforts provide our Scouts with an opportunity to earn money for their campership account. Many Scouts earn enough to pay for summer camp as well as a few other outings.
SCOUT CAMPERSHIP ACCOUNTS
Typically a percentage of the money earned by a Scout in support of Troop fundraising activities is deposited into the Scout’s campership account. The Scout can use the account for any Scout-related function, typically campouts or summer camp fees. However, the balance is the Troop’s resources and will not be provided to the Scout or his family upon separation from the Troop. Separation is evidenced by failure to re-charter in the annual Troop re-charter process. Scout campership accounts do not earn interest.