Troop By Laws
updated March 22, 2016
downloadable version in pdf format
The Troop will be operated using the principles and guidelines of the BSA National Council. All Troop Bylaws will also be in accordance to policy and guidelines set by the BSA National Council The Patrol Leaders Council (aka Green Bar) will plan and carry out all Troop functions, with help and support from the Scoutmaster and the troop committee.
The basis of operation will be the patrol method, whereby each patrol camps, cooks, hikes and participates in troop meetings as a unit, cooperating with other patrols under the direction of the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). Guidance, training, leadership development, program approval, and basic policy will be supplied by the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee. High standards will be maintained at all times with an emphasis on the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, Scout Slogan, and the Outdoor Code.
The troop is chartered by the Bushkill Township Volunteer Fire Company, and will follow the rules for the Fire Company Social Hall as set by the Fire Company. The Troop will also perform service projects for the Fire Company at their request and as agreed with the Charter Representative, Committee Chairperson and the Scoutmaster.
A. Regular Meetings
C. Financial Responsibilities
D. Individual Scouting Accounts
E. Camping Trips
H. Dissemination of Information
I. Membership – General
J. Adult Leadership
L. Scout Leadership Positions
N. Program Planning
O. Additions and Changes to Bylaws
- Meetings are every Tuesday night from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Bushkill Township Firehouse unless otherwise noted.
- Troop meetings will run from the first Tuesday school day of the Nazareth Area School District (NASD) school year calendar until the Troop Picnic in June. If NASD cancels school or closes school early due to foul weather, there will be no meeting. On dates that school is scheduled to be closed, the Green Bar will determine if there will be a meeting. [Top]
Field (Class A) Uniform:
- The Class A uniform is the complete Boy Scout uniform as mandated by BSA, including the Scout tan shirt, Scout green pants and Scout neckerchief (the Troop 44 blue neckerchief) with slide. All Scouts are expected to wear the official scout pants or shorts; the Troop accepts green/olive khaki pants in lieu of the official scout green pants as part of the class A, but wearing of the official uniform pants is encouraged.
- When to wear: The Class A uniform is worn to all meetings, Court of honor ceremonies, Scoutmaster Conferences, boards of review, while traveling to and from outings, at devotions and flag ceremonies. [Top]
Utility (Class B) Uniform:
- The Class B uniform is any current or past Troop 44 designed T-shirt (or other scout themed shirt i.e. summer camp shirt) or polo shirt and any type of pants or shorts.
- The class B is typically worn when the class A is not required. The class B is worn during camping trips and work activities. The troop sells class B shirts if desired. [Top]
C. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
- Troop dues are $50.00 per Scout, $25.00 per Registered Adult per year. Dues are due by December 1st of the preceding calendar year for the following calendar year. This enables us to re-charter in January, as required by BSA and Minsi Trails Council. Dues not paid by December 1st will result in a 20% late fee. If dues are not paid by December 31st the individual will be dropped and will not be chartered as a member of Troop 44. If a member is dropped due to not paying dues and applies for membership the following year the late fee for dues still applies.
- Monies from Troop dues will be put into the Troop fund and used to pay for re-chartering with BSA including the registration fee and insurance. The Troop Neckerchief, epaulets, slide and Boy Scout Handbook which are provided to new Scouts. Dues also provide for badges, pins, stationary supplies, camping necessities, and any other supplies/equipment deemed necessary by the Troop Committee. Troop dues are non-refundable.
- Scouts or leaders joining the Troop mid-year will have the Troop dues pro-rated.
- In addition to the Troop dues, Scouts will be asked to participate in at least one troop fundraiser per year. Participation in these events is encouraged for both Scouts and Parents.
- The annual Popcorn Sale is voluntary. Scouts who participate will receive all monies given to the troop by Council, put into the Scout account by the Troop 44 Treasurer. These monies can be used to pay for camping and other Scouting related expenses. [Top]
D. INDIVIDUAL SCOUTING ACCOUNTS
- In the event that a Scout, for any reason, decides he no longer wants to be a member of Troop 44, no money will be handed to the Scout or his parents, regardless of the amount of money in his account.
- If the Scout is transferring to another Troop, leaders of the new troop will be contacted by leaders of Troop 44, and a check will be written to the new troop, not to the individual scout.
- If a Scout quits scouting completely or leaves due to age requirements , then any money left in the Scouts account will be transferred into the Troop Account, and considered a donation to the Troop. The Scout may request that the money in his account be transferred to another Scout within Troop 44 as an alternative. [Top]
E. CAMPING TRIPS
- The troop typically plans an outdoor trip every month of the year. Sign-up sheets for the trips are out at every meeting and are also available on the troop website. We require that Parents look at the sign-up sheet to see what trips their Scout has signed up for, to verify that he will be able to go on that date.
- The scout is responsible for his portion of the trip expenses. The expenses typically include food, campsite fees, rentals, entrance fees and a travel fee when necessary. Scouts can use the money in their troop account to pay for these expenses.
- Parents must leave us with a contact number that they will respond to if different than what is recorded on the medical form.
- Any medications that the Scout is on, both OTC and prescription must be given to an adult in charge of the trip along with written dosing instructions. Even if the Scout’s Parent/Guardian is in attendance all medicines will be turned in as previously described. If your son is on a medication, it is best that he not discontinue that medication during a overnight outing with the Troop.
- Should it be necessary for a Scout to be picked up at camp due to illness, disciplinary problem, or unresolved homesickness, it will be the responsibility of PARENTS to pick their scout up from camp. This is to ensure adequate leadership and the safety of the remaining scouts.
- Items such as radios, tape players, CD players, MP3, Ipods, DVD players, electronic games are not allowed while we are on outings but may be used during travel to and from outings at the discretion of the driver of the vehicle. Cell phones, smart phones and cameras are permitted at the discretion of the parent as the Troop holds no liability for loss or damage. Trip leaders have the leeway to suspend all or part of this rule depending on the parameters of the trip. All unauthorized devices will be confiscated for the duration of the trip. Use of electronics devices during meetings and COH’s is not allowed other than cameras/video recorders as appropriate; failure to comply will result in device confiscation for the duration of the event.
- No sheath knives or double bit axes are allowed at any scout function and they will be confiscated. No firearms, tobacco, fireworks, aerosol cans, or incendiary devices (other than matches or approved fire starters), illicit drugs or alcohol are allowed at any scout function by either Scouts or Adults. Individuals will be immediately expelled from the function. Parents will be called to pick up the Scout. Additional action may be taken.
- Attendance on camping trips is at the discretion of the Scoutmaster or trip leader.
- Fees and costs are expected to be paid for outings if you have signed up for the outing and you cancel after the Tuesday before the outing. Exceptions will be approved by the Troop Committee Chairman.
- The BSA Guide to Safe Scouting will be followed.
- All adults who stay overnight must complete the Youth Protection and meet all PA Act 15 requirements and provide record of completion. This is required for anyone 18 years or older irrespective of whether you are a registered leader with the Troop. See the Troop website for directions on how to take the course [Top]
- All requirements for advancement are tracked using the Boy Scout handbook. Individual requirements for the ranks up to First Class are signed off by the Patrol Leader, other senior Scouts (First Class or above), or an Adult Leader. All requirements must be initialed and dated in order for the advancement to be awarded.
- Advancement information for each Scout in Troop 44 is maintained through the use of computer software by the Advancement Chairperson. The Scout must bring his handbook to all meetings and activities in order for requirements to be initialed and dated. Advancement cards, received upon completion of requirements for ranks and for merit badges, should be kept in a safe place, as they may be necessary to document the Scout’s advancement.
- Scouts start by earning the Scout rank. The requirements can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook. These skills must be demonstrated to the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop Guide, or another qualified Scout, who will then initial and date the Scout’s handbook. The initials or signature and date are required for the rank or badge to be rewarded.
- The ranks of Tenderfoot Scout, Second Class Scout, and First Class Scout require skills learned at campouts, hikes, other troop activities and troop meetings, and service hours (given to the community or chartering organization). Please ensure all service hours are documented if not done as a troop activity. The Scoutmaster (SM) or Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) or a qualified Scout will initial and date requirements as they are completed. The Scout may work on the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class in any order, but they will receive the ranks in order (i.e., Tenderfoot before Second Class, Second Class before First Class). Therefore, it is advisable to place emphasis on completing the requirements for the next rank.
- Since the Scout skills required for lower ranks have already been learned, the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle are achieved by being active in the troop, demonstrating Scout spirit, taking part in service projects, completing merit badges and serving in positions of responsibility within the troop.
- The last two requirements for all ranks are a Scoutmaster’s Conference and a Board of Review. Prior to the Scoutmaster conference for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class there is knowledge review conducted by 3 Scouts who are at least the rank of First Class. The Scout’s Patrol Leader or Troop Guide is responsible for arranging the review and should be a member of the review panel. The results of the knowledge review will be communicated to the Senior Patrol Leader. Upon successful completion the Patrol Leader will recommend the Scout for a Scoutmaster conference. Any reviews that do not result in a recommendation for a Scoutmaster conference will be communicated to the Scoutmaster by the Senior Patrol Leader so an appropriate course of action can be arranged to assist the Scout in question.
- The purpose of the review is to ensure basic knowledge and skills have been learned and to ensure consistency in the program standards for knowledge and skill signatures. The ranks of Star, Life and Eagle will have no Scout administered knowledge review prior to the Scoutmaster conference. At the Scoutmaster’s Conference, the Scoutmaster and Scout review the requirements for that rank and previous ranks. If the Scoutmaster feels confident that the Scout demonstrates the knowledge and skills required, he will initial and date the handbook and arrange for a Board of Review.
- The Board of Review is to be comprised of at least three Committee Members but never more than six. The Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters and the Scout’s parents cannot be on the Board. The Scout must present himself in a neat, clean Class A uniform and have his handbook. Upon completion of the Board of Review, the Board confers and announces the results to the Scout and Scoutmaster.
- For the Eagle rank, a Life Scout appears before the Troop Committee as part of the Eagle Project planning process, and when his project is completed, has a Scoutmaster conference and an Eagle Board of Review before a District Committee. [Top]
- In order to fulfill Rank Advancement Requirements and derive the most benefits from the Scouting program, a Scout is expected to be active in the Troop, participating in both weekly meetings and camping trips, and to demonstrate Scout Spirit.
- Scouts are required to participate in Community Service projects performed throughout the year to advance in rank per BSA requirements.
- Scouts will never be told that “they cannot advance”, because of poor attendance, only that their new rank will be delayed until ALL requirements are met, including “Participation”; and “Demonstrate Scout Spirit”[Top]
H. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION
- All schedules, schedule changes, forms, information and reminders will be sent to Scouts and Parents via e-mail or available on the Troop website. All scheduling and future outings will also be available on the Troop website. Printed hardcopies of the schedule will not be provided.
- On certain occasions, the Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader or Patrol Leaders, may phone Scouts to remind or notify of any schedule changes.
- Troop 44 will make every effort possible to maintain an updated Internet Web Page with updated reminders and any schedule changes. Comments and recommendations for website improvements should be directed to the Webmaster or Committee Chair. [Top]
I. MEMBERSHIP – GENERAL
- Any person wishing to become an Adult Leader must complete the Medical Form Part A/B, PA ACT-15 requirements, required training (in particular Youth Protection) and the BSA Adult Application, and have it approved by the Committee Chairperson, Chartered Organization Representative, and Council.
- Any boy wishing to join Troop 44 must complete the Medical Form Part A/B and the BSA Scout application, and have it approved by the Scoutmaster or Committee Chairperson. [Top]
J. ADULT LEADERSHIP
- Although BSA provides and recommends an extensive list of titles to be filled, as per the BSA Troop Committee Guidelines (e.g.: Outdoor Activities Coordinator, Advancement Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Equipment Coordinator, etc.), the following will be the absolute minimum amount of leaders/titles retained by Troop 44:
– Charter Representative
– At least one Assistant Scoutmaster
– Committee Chairperson
– At least two other committee members, including a Treasurer
- Committee meetings will be held once a month at regularly scheduled times, unless cancelled by the Committee Chair. Additional committee meetings may be held if needed.
- If any existing Adult Leader is negligent in fulfilling his or her duties, or is deemed to have an adverse affect on the boys in the Troop, or operates contrary to the teachings of BSA, or is obstructive in any way towards the general steady, successful operation of the Troop, a vote can be taken by Committee Members, as to whether that leader should be asked to relinquish the position.
- In general, decisions by the committee are reached by a consensus of opinion, but a formal vote may be asked for by any committee member. The Charter Representative or Committee Chairperson can veto a vote if found to be contrary to BSA policy and/or the Guide to Safe Scouting.
- All registered Adult Leaders in Troop 44 are welcome to attend committee meetings, however, the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are not permitted to vote on issues brought before the Committee as per BSA rules. While they cannot vote their opinions will be given strong consideration in matters directly related to the program. [Top]
- The pre-existing “TROOP 44 RULES AND REGULATIONS as OUTLINED BY BSA” will be used to govern any disciplinary problems that may occur. Discipline problems may also be dealt with by the Greenbar, under advisement from the Scoutmaster. [Top]
- Elections for Scout Leadership positions will be held in September and March. The Scoutmaster will determine the Scouts’ eligibility for elected and appointed positions.
- In order for a Scout to fill any elected office, scouts must be first class or above and should:
A. Have a good attendance record
B. Show Scout Spirit
C. Be responsible
D. Take the initiative
E. Be attentive
- Leadership training is expected to be completed by all Scouts in Leadership positions as soon as practical after appointment. This requirement can be fulfilled in a variety of methods as agreed with the Scoutmaster including National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), Council and Troop offered classes.
- Other requirements are as follows:
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) – Twelve month term elected in March. The SPL must have been a Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader or a Troop Guide, is Star rank or higher. Scoutmaster nominates boys eligible for the position. SPL is responsible for supervising all other boy leaders and running all troop activities.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) – Twelve month term, appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader in March. Must meet the requirements to be SPL. Assumes all SPL duties in the absence of the SPL.
Patrol Leader (PL) – Six month term elected in September and March. First Class rank or higher. Responsible for leading a patrol of scouts during troop meetings and trips.
Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) – Six month term, appointed by the Patrol Leaders. Assumes all Patrol Leader responsibilities in absence of the Patrol Leader.
Scribe – Six month term elected in September and March. Responsible for tracking attendance at all events and distributing minutes of the green bar meetings. NOTE: Scribe must have access to a computer in a secure locations such as your home, and have Internet access.
Quartermaster (QM) – Six month term elected in September and March. Responsible for distributing and tracking all troop gear for trips and for distributing gear to be cleaned up after trips.
Six Month Positions Nominated by the Scoutmaster (Boys can accept or reject):
Troop Guide (TG) – Is First Class rank or higher. Responsible for training the scouts and leading new scout patrols.
Librarian – Responsible for organizing troop books and videos and checking out books to boys.
Historian – Keeps a scrapbook of troop activities and photos.
OA Representative – Must be OA member. Represents the Troop at OA meetings. Assists with the Troop annual OA election.
Chaplain Aide – Helps run religious functions such as Vespers and prayers at the troop meetings.
Den Chief – Is First Class rank or higher and must complete Den Chief Training. Works with a Cub Scout den. Develops a list of responsibilities with the Den Leader and performs those duties.
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster – Assist the Scoutmaster and SPL in their duties. [Top]
M. GREEN BAR
- The positions that constitute membership in the Troop Green bar patrol are Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Troop Guides. The SPL or Scoutmaster can request additional specific Scouts to attend as required.
- There will be a Green Bar meetings held periodically in order to plan the weekly troop meetings and other events. In additional a review of patrol activities and advancement requirements will be completed. The Scoutmaster and other representatives of the Adult leadership attend in an advisory and resource capacity. Adult participation is at the discretion of the Scoutmaster; two deep leadership will be enforced.
- Scouts in all leadership positions are encouraged to attend Green Bar meetings, but are not permitted to vote on Green Bar decisions.. All Scouts are strongly encouraged to add suggestions and recommendations for outings and activities to the Green Bar members however.
- Once a year, or as needed, Leadership training will be held. The Scoutmaster and other representatives of the Adult leadership will conduct the training; two deep leadership will be enforced. [Top]
- See Green Bar above. [Top]
O. ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO BY LAWS
- Leaders of Troop 44 acknowledge that there may be a need to make a change or create additions to the BY LAWS at any time in the future.
- Additions that are required due to changes by local or national council are not to be voted on and will be communicated to the Troop Adult Leadership by the Committee Chairperson and implemented immediately.
- If a suggested change and/or addition is not agreed upon unanimously, then a vote will be cast with majority passing the motion. More than 50% of the registered Committee Members must be present for this vote.
- Matters not covered by these by-laws will be decided upon by the Troop Committee, using past precedent or majority opinion.
- The bylaws will be made available to anyone who wishes to see them. They will be posted on the troop website – www.troop44bushkill.org They are also available as a .pdf format for download. [Top]