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New Troop 96 How to Guides

Check out the new “How-to Guides”  in the Troop 96 on-line Library.  Find the Library over on the right!


What’s on the menu for the revamped Cooking merit badge, served up later this year?

Cooking MB is set to become Eagle-required on Jan. 1, 2014

Any Scout who has already earned Cooking will not need to re-earn it. His existing, Cooking merit badge will count toward the Eagle rank beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

A Scout who has sewn the green-ringed Cooking merit badge onto his sash may replace it with a silver-ringed version beginning on Jan. 1, if he chooses. It’s not required.

Release date for redesign?

The revamped Cooking MB is due before Thanksgiving 2013. Hey, just in time for all those Scouts to help Mom and Dad prepare their family’s feast.



How does Life to Eagle Work?



Do you want to be an Eagle Scout? 

Do you want to know the steps and ‘secrets’ of the entire process?

Click the Eagle Patch, above, to view the training slides (in PDF format).  

Technology Guidelines in Troop 96

Effective 01 March 2013, the troop is adopting new guidelines to help incorporate the use of technology in Scouting.  The attached file“Technology Guidelines and the Scout Law” was drafted and reviewed by the Troop Committee, the Scoutmaster Program Staff and the Patrol Leader’s Council.

All Scouts and registered leaders are expected to implement the Guidelines as part of their personal use of technology in Scouting.

Rather than create a series of “DO’s and DONT’s,” the troop is relying on the Scout Law to guide our next steps.  Please read and use the Guidelines.

Scouts will need to have a signed Techno-Chip card, similar to a Totin’ Chip to be able to carry and use smartphones, etc while participating in a Scout function.  Parents/guardians will need to co-sign the card as well.  Cards are available at any troop meeting and will be renewed annually.

Click to download the presentation “Technology Guidelines and the Scout Law”. Big file = slow download.

To download the text only Word file, click here.

What Makes a Trained Leader?

BSA has prepared this great overview (click Read More, below) to help understand the various training programs for adult leaders in Scouting.  Check it out…thanks to Kevin Wehde for sending this along.  Click on this link to get the one page overview.

What do Adults do on Campouts?

Here is some information we try to give parents on their first campout with the troop.

Camping is the heart of Boy Scouting, so please take a few minutes to read this sheet. Boy Scouting is absolutely different from Cub Scouting or Webelos! And while parents (and sometimes whole families) often accompany the Scouts on campouts, the Scouts camp with their patrol and not with their parents and family members.



Here is a summary of our troop (and BSA) policies, followed by the reasoning for the policies. There are exceptions, but these policies are in effect on most outings.

Scout Tenting & Meals—Scouts tent with their patrol in a patrol site separate from the other patrols. Patrols plan their own menus, and cook and eat together as a team. In general, adults do not eat or tent with a boy patrol.

Adult Tenting & Meals—Adults tent with the adult patrol in a patrol site separate from the other patrols. We plan our own menu, and cook and eat together as a team. In general, adults do not eat or tent with a boy patrol.

Adult/Boy Tenting—BSA youth protection policies forbid an adult and a boy sharing the same tent. While youth protection policies may not apply to a father and son tenting together, it is troop policy that boys tent with boys and adults with adults. If a father tents with his son, it has been our experience that the boy will lose out on many opportunities to make decisions and be part of the patrol team! [Yes, you are probably the rare exception, but it wouldn’t be fair to the other adults to single you out.]

Smoking/Drinking—Drivers may not smoke while Scouts are in the car. Adults may not smoke or use tobacco products, nor drink alcoholic beverages during a Scout activity. Adults who must smoke or chew must do so discretely out of sight of the Scouts.

Boy Leadership—Adults should not interfere with the functioning of boy leaders, even if they make mistakes (we all learn best from our mistakes). Step in only if it is a matter of immediate safety or if the mistake will be immediately costly. If possible, involve a uniformed adult leader first.

Boy Growth—Never do anything for a boy he can do himself. Let him make decisions without adult interference, and let him make non-costly mistakes.

Adult Training & Resources—The Boy Scouts of America provides an outstanding handbook for adults, and an excellent training course to help us understand the goals of Scouting and how to attain them. The adult manual is called the Scoutmaster Handbook, and it’s worth your time to read it. The training is called Scout Leader Basic Training, and is offered in our area regularly. It’s also a good investment of your time.


Boy Scout camping activities center on the patrol, where boys learn teamwork, leadership, and most camping skills. It is important that adults not be in the middle of patrol activities such as site selection, tent pitching, meal preparation, and anything else where boys get to practice decision-making.

A key difference between Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting/Webelos is leadership. Look for the word “leader” in a job title, and you will begin to appreciate the difference. The responsible person for a Cub/Webelos den is the adult Den Leader. The responsible person for a Boy Scout patrol is the boy Patrol Leader.

This isn’t token leadership (like a denner). A Patrol Leader has real authority and genuine responsibilities. Much of the success, safety, and happiness of six to ten other boys depends directly on him.

Boy Scouting teaches leadership. And boys learn leadership by practicing it, not by watching adults lead.

So what do we adults do, now that we’ve surrendered so much direct authority to boys? Here are our troop’s guidelines on the indirect, advisory role you now enjoy (no kidding, you should enjoy watching your son take progressively more mature and significant responsibilities as he zooms toward adulthood).

The underlying principle is never do anything for a boy that he can do himself. We allow boys to grow by practicing leadership and by learning from their mistakes. And while Scout skills are an important part of the program, what ultimately matters when our Scouts become adults is not whether they can use a map & compass, but whether they can offer leadership to others in tough situations; and can live by a code that centers on honest, honorable, and ethical behavior.

Boys need to learn to make decisions without adult intervention (except when it’s a matter of immediate safety). Boys are in a patrol so they can learn leadership and teamwork without adult interference.

Being an adult advisor is a difficult role, especially when we are advising kids (even worse, our own sons).  If a parent goes on a campout, you are an automatic member of th Adult patrol. This patrol has several purposes—good food and camaraderie (of course), but more important is providing an example the boy patrols can follow without our telling them what to do (we teach by example). Since a patrol should camp as a group, we expect the adults to do so also; that way, adults don’t tent in or right next to a boy patrol where your mere presence could disrupt the learning process.

Quite simply, our troop policy requires adults to cook, eat, and tent separately from the Scouts (even dads & sons). We are safely nearby, but not smotheringly close. Sure, go ahead and visit the patrol sites (not just your son’s), talk to your son (and the other Scouts), ask what’s going on or how things are going. But give the guys room to grow while you enjoy the view. Show a Scout how to do something, but don’t do it for him. Avoid the temptation to give advice, and don’t jump in just to prevent a mistake from happening (unless it’s serious). We all learn best from our mistakes. And let the patrol leader lead.

What do adults do?  Camp as their own patrol separate form the boys, watch for safety/hazing issues, let the boy leaders do their job, work with/through the Program Staff (Scoutmaster/Asst. Scoutmasters), work on their own adult training, enjoy the food, the outdoors and watch the Scouts grow.

Your job is tough, challenging, and ultimately rewarding, because your son will be a man the day after tomorrow.


Send comments, suggestions or rebuttals to ONMYHONOR@AMERITECH.NET

The Merit Badge Process – Revealed!

Ever wonder how to get a Merit Badge?  Depending on your time in Scouting, it may seem simple or complicated.  Basically, the steps are as straightforward as:

The Scout finds a Merit Badge he’d like to explore,

The Scout requests a counselor from the Advancement Chair (Mrs. Goger) to help him earn the badge,

The Scout obtains a Blue Cards and fills in the required information,

The Scout obtains the Scoutmaster’s signature prior to beginning work,

The Scout completes the requirements and the Counselor approves,

The Scout submits the Blue Card to the Scoutmaster for approval,

The Scout submits the completed Blue Card to the Advancement Chair for recording and processing of the award,

The Scout is recognized with the Merit Badge patch as soon as possible,

The Scout is formally recognized at the Troop Court of Honor.

If you’d like to learn more, click on the attached document:  The Merit Badge Process – Revealed

Scout Accounts in Troop 96

Scout Accounts in Troop 96

Troop 96 encourages all Scouts to ‘Earn their Way’ in Scouting by participating in Troop 96 fundraising activities. The purpose of this guideline is to promote Scout participation in fundraising activities and to provide a means to help defray the costs for participating in the Troop 96 Scouting program.  By participating in fundraising activities, a Scout shows his Scout Spirit and demonstrates the Ninth Point of the Scout Law: A Scout is Thrifty.


Scout Accounts are for registered Scouts of Troop 96 to help pay for Scout-related expenses. These accounts are not true bank accounts with a bank, but are entries (per Scout) in an accounting spreadsheet. No interest is earned on these accounts. The money is in a Troop 96 bank account and is held in the account on behalf of the individual Scout.


Scouts can have money deposited into their Scout account, typically in three ways:

1)    Money is transferred from another Scout Unit to Troop 96.  For example, a Scout crossing-over from a Pack may arrange for his Pack to transfer funds to his account.  Troop 96 does not request these monies on behalf of the Scout.

2)    A Scout can have money deposited in his account based on his sales in various troop fundraisers, including Popcorn sales, Christmas Wreath sales and Spaghetti Dinner ticket sales.

3)    A Scout or his parents may choose to add money to his account directly through a payment to Troop 96.


1)    BSA, NEIC and Troop 96 fees may be paid from these accounts. Troop 96 will typically pay the organization directly, not the scout. Examples of these fees are: re-charter, camporees, gear auction purchases, campouts, summer camp fees, Order of the Arrow dues and event fees, high adventure trip fees (Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, and the National Jamboree).

2)    The following are examples of approved items for reimbursement:

a)   purchases from the NEIC Scout Shop and other BSA stores,

b)   purchases from the BSA “” website,

c)   purchases for gear needed for scout campouts or events. (i.e., gear for camping, backpacking, biking, fishing & water trips),

d)   payment for an annual Scout physical,

e)   purchases for athletic equipment used to be “physically fit,”

f)     purchases of books and other media used to be “mentally awake.”

3)    Requests for reimbursements must be accompanied by an itemized receipt, be approved by the Scoutmaster, and requested within sixty days of purchase.  Receipt is not required when the receipt would be issued by the Troop (e.g., summer camp fees, gear auction, etc).

4)    Money will not be paid to the Scout without a receipt for these items.

5)    Requests for reimbursement for items not mentioned above may be submitted to the Troop Committee for a decision as to whether or not reimbursement will be allowed. If it is allowed, a receipt will be required for reimbursement.

Termination of Membership

If an individual does not re-register with our unit or ages out of scouting, funds remaining in his Scout Account can be paid to the Scout by troop check.  It is the practice of the troop to request that the remaining funds be considered a donation; however, it is the Scout or parent’s choice.  If no decision is received within three months from the Scout/parent, the funds will be transferred to the troop general fund.


Requests for Scout Account balance by a Scout or his parents should be directed to the Troop Treasurer.

The Troop cannot make payments to Scouts unless it is a reimbursement for a Scout-related item as described above.

Boy Scout Advancement

Rank Advancement in Boy Scouts can be confusing to anyone new to the program.  It has its own language, rules and processes that can be tricky to learn.  This article is written to help give you a good understanding of Boy Scout advancement and how it works to develop young men.

Advancement is the method by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank.  Please remember, though, that advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself.  While there are ranks and badges, blue cards and requirements, Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review, all of it is designed to foster the Aims of Scouting.

Click Read More (below) to get a link to the full article.


Here’s the link to the full article: Boy Scout Advancement in Troop 96

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