New Parents Guide
Welcome to Troop 70!
Troop 70 was founded in 1989. Since then we have produced 52 Eagle Scouts.
Membership is open to all boys who have completed the fifth grade, or who have earned the Arrow of Light Award, or who are eleven years of age but not yet eighteen. To join Troop 70, parents please do the following for your son:
- Complete a BSA Boy Scout Application
- Complete Parts A and B of the BSA Health and Medical Record (covers health history, parental informed consent, and hold harmles/release agreement).
- Complete the attached Personal Resource Questionnaire
- Pay the annual dues, prorated to time of joining
Note: Part C of the BSA Heath & Medical Record will be needed for scouts prior to participation in summer and winter camps.
New scouts will receive the following (paid for as a part of the annual dues):
- A Boy Scout Handbook
- Green shoulder loops for the shoulder epaulets
- A"70" patch for the left sleeve
- A Troop 70 "class B" t-shirt
Parents Join In!
Please complete the following (for all adults):
- Take Youth Protection Online Training (YPT), print out the certificate and submit to the training coordinator or scoutmaster
Membership is open to parents planning to participate in scouting events, to work directly with scouts, or to participate in the troop committee. You do NOT have to be a member to attend the annual family camp-out.
To join Troop 70 as an adult committee member, after taking YPT (above):
- Complete an adult application and volunteer to assist the committee
- Complete Parts A&B of the BSA Health & Medical Record for yourself
This can be as much of an adventure for the parents as for the boys.
Lend a hand. There are many valuable roles. Every family needs a job in the troop. Your participation improves your scout’s participation.
- Meet the adults who will help guide your son
- Let go of your maturing, new scout
- Have your scout attend summer camp
- Find ways to help out the troop
- Get trained, get a uniform
Note: Part C of the BSA Health and Medical Record will be needed for scouts and adults prior to participation in summer or winter camp. Part D is needed only for high adventure participants. Click here for more information about the BSA Health and Medical Record.
Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, who is known as our chartering organization, sponsors troop 70. As a service to the community, the church provides meeting facilities for our troop. In return the troop supports the church through service projects and other means.
Troop 70 is nondenominational in the operation of the program. The only religious requirement is a reverence to God and to the teachings of the Scout's family. Scouts are expected to respect the religious beliefs of others.
Troop 70 meets every Monday, year round, at 7:00 p.m. in Ross Hall at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. The meetings end at 8:30 p.m.
Meeting starts with Opening Ceremony, includes flag ceremony and scout oath and law and announcements
Skill Time – a patrol leader or boy instructor teaches a skill that is appropriate for the activities of the month
Chapel Time - restock pews as a service to our host church
Patrol Time – plan meals and assignments for upcoming campouts or work on other patrol specific business
Game Time – boys play a game brought by one of the patrols. It is outside if weather allows or in the gym.
Scoutmaster Minute and Closing Ceremony
The Boy Scouts of America is a uniformed organization and Troop 70 is a uniformed Troop. Scouts are required to wear their uniform to every Troop 70 meeting. The uniform stands for the principles of Scouting, helps make every boy an equal, and tells the world that we are Scouts and proud of it. The full uniform is required for the Scoutmaster conferences for rank advancement, Board of Reviews, and Courts of Honor.
In addition to the uniform, each Scout is required to have a Boy Scout Handbook and to bring it to troop meetings.
During the school year, the Class "A" uniform is worn. This consists of:
- B.S.A. Short Sleeve Shirt - Buttoned and tucked into pants; worn over a long sleeve shirt during cold weather
- Green epaulet loops (green is for Boy Scouts)
- Scout pants or Scout Shorts or similar (jeans, khakis or similar shorts are fine, basketball or other sport shorts/warm ups are discouraged)
- Scout socks (optional)
- Scout Web belt
- Appropriate Scout insignia (refer to your Boy Scout Handbook for correct placement of the insignia on the Scout shirt):
- Council Strip (Capitol Area)
- American Flag
- Numerals 70
- International Brotherhood of Scouting patch
- Patrol patch (will be provided by the Troop)
- Badge of Rank (will be provided by the Troop)
- Other insignia as approved by the Boy Scouts of America
- During the summer months, Troop 70 wears the Class "B" uniform, which consists of a Troop 70 or other B.S.A. T-shirt with Scout shorts and socks.
- Scout sash (optional and only for formal events such as Courts of Honor). The sash is a convenient way to display the merit badges awarded to the Scouts as they advance through their ranks. The sash is worn over the right shoulder or folded neatly and tucked into the belt.
Click here for a guide to the Boy Scout Uniform. These items may be purchased through the Boy Scout office. The Troop Committee also maintains a uniform exchange closet. Please check with the Troop Committee Chair if you are interested in the uniform exchange.
The Troop designates an official Troop 70 Scout T-shirt. These will be available through the Troop and may vary from year to year.
Members of Troop 70 are divided into small groups of eight to twelve boys known as Patrols. Each patrol has an identity and work together well. Troop 70 has four patrols Eagles, Dolphins, Badgers and Bears.
Each patrol elects a patrol leader. The patrol leader serves for six months and then another boy is elected. In this way, every boy should have a chance to assume a leadership role and learn valuable leadership skills.
Each patrol will be assigned a Troop Guide. This is an older, more experienced Scout who will help the younger Scouts in the patrol. The Troop Guides assist a patrol for six months. Troop Guide positions rotate among the boys in the same manner as the patrol leader positions.
The troop elects one of its older Scouts to be Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The Senior Patrol Leader presides at all Troop meetings, events and activities. He chairs the Patrol Leaders Council. The SPL appoints an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL). The ASPL fills in for the SPL when he is not available and also manages the “Staff” roles including Scribe, Quartermaster, Instructor, Chaplain’s Aide, AO Rep, Bugler, Librarian, Historian, and Webmaster.
The Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) is composed of the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders and Troop Guides from each patrol. The Patrol Leaders Council meets once a month (usually the Monday following a week-end campout) to plan the troop meetings for the next month. The Scribe, Quartermaster and Instructors are optional, non-voting, attendees to the PLC meeting.
Scoutmaster The Scoutmaster serves as counselor and guide to the Senior Patrol Leader and other Junior Leaders. He is responsible for the training of all Junior Leaders and for the health and safety of the Troop. He is helped by his Assistant Scoutmasters and is supported by the Troop Committee.
Assistant Scoutmasters Parents who enjoy working with and teaching boys, enjoy camping and the outdoors, and can devote some spare time to the troop are invited to serve as Assistant Scoutmasters. The ASMs are specifically trained adults who interact with scouts and assist the scoutmaster. They
- Work with the new scouts,
- Help with activities at meetings,
- Oversee troop equipment,
- Assist with camp-out activities
- Provide instruction and guidance
Troop Committee Troop 70 encourages all parents to become active members of the Troop Committee. Parent volunteers support the work done by the Youth Leaders, the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters. The troop committee:
- Advise the scoutmaster
- Secure meeting facilities
- Manage budgeting and finances
- Organize fundraising drives
- Obtain permits and reserve campsites
- Serve on boards of review and assist with courts of honor
- Maintain equipment including the trailer and common camping gear
The Troop Committee meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. and are held in Ross Hall.
The leadership positions of this committee are: Troop Committee Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Chartering Organization Representative, Chairperson for Advancement, Chairperson for Outdoors, and Chairperson for Troop Meeting Programs.Troop 70 needs and values your presence, opinions and ideas.
We communicate by email lists. Please be sure we have your email address and you are receiving updates. Our website is http://www.troop70austin.org
The website provides answers to many questions you may have. Please take some time to explore it. There is useful information about the troop, scout skills, training links, registration links, other council links, calendar and our latest events and activities.
We maintain an annual calendar of all regularly scheduled troop activities and campouts on Troop 70’s website. Troop 70 also posts a monthly newsletter on its website. The newslettercontains information about Troop leadership and upcoming Scout activities.
Scouts are responsible for bringing their Scout Handbooks, a notebook and a pen to all meetings. They are responsible for listening at Troop meetings, taking notes and transmitting this information to their parents. Communication is handled within the Troop through the Troop leadership, from the Senior Patrol Leader to the Patrol Leaders to the individual Scouts (in both directions). Communication of Troop Activities is Through the Boys — The Troop Does Not Send Notes Home to Parents Parents – ask your son about his troop meeting and if he has any leadership activities to follow through with between meetings.
Service to others is a cornerstone of the Scout movement. Troop 70 supports Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church through service projects throughout the year. We also organize community volunteer opportunities for the scouts.
Service to others is required for rank advancement to the ranks of, Star, Life, and Eagle. Troop 70 encourages all Scouts to be active in community service whether they are currently working on rank requirements. They are also encouraged to participate in Eagle service projects conducted by our Eagle Scout candidates. To insure that service hours are appropriate to meet rank advancement requirements, the Scoutmaster must approve service projects in advance.
Troop 70 receives funding from several sources. Annual dues are collected from each Scout at the time of troop rechartering in January. This amount will vary depending on the money available from troop fund raising activities and anticipated expenses for equipment and activities. Troop 70 historically has participated in a major fund raising activity such as selling fresh greenery for the Holiday Season.
Expenditure of funds occurs in several areas. The Troop pays an annual fee assessed by the Boy Scouts of America for each boy in the Troop. This annual fee includes a subscription to Boys Life magazine. The Troop spends funds for camping fees at state parks, rank and merit badge insignia, and miscellaneous items.
Monthly camp-out fees are collected to cover the expenses of that camp-out, which are mostly the patrol meals. Those who buy food for the camp-out are expected to submit their expenses to be reimbursed from the collected fees.
Troop 70's Code of Conduct form must be read and signed annually by the Scout and his parents.
Scouts should strive to live by the Scout Oath and to obey the Scout Law. Of course our Scouts are not perfect, nor are they expected to be, so disciplinary action is from time to time unavoidably required.
In the event that the Scoutmaster or other registered adult finds the actions of a Scout to endanger anyone, or be disruptive, disrespectful, disobedient, or abusive, disciplinary action will be taken. Normally, the first step of disciplinary action is a verbal warning. If the situation continues or is of a more serious nature the Scoutmaster will hold a private conference with the Scout.
If a verbal warning or a conference with the Scoutmaster is not effective and the inappropriate behavior continues the Scout will be asked to leave the meeting, campout, or summer/winter camp and the parents will be called. The Scout may also be asked to stay home from one or more Troop meetings or campouts, as the Scoutmaster may deem necessary.
The Authorization to Participate in Troop Activities and Medical Release form (Parts A and B of the BSA Health and Medical Record) must be completed and on file before any Scout or adult leader can attend any Troop 70 activity away from the church. This form is updated annually.
All Scouts traveling with the troop to an activity away from the church are required to wear seat belts, and ride in a vehicle driven by an adult at least 21 years of age. The parents within the troop share transportation duties to and from campouts and other activities, and it is expected that all parents will do their share by volunteering to drive several times during the year.
During Scout activities away from the church, it is imperative that the adult trip leaders be aware of all prescription medication anyone on the outing is currently taking. The dosage, doctor's name, and phone number are also required. This information will be kept confidential and used only in the event that medical attention is needed.
Scouts are required to wear their Class A uniform driving to and from any scheduled camp or activity. Troop 70 provides a Class B shirt that the Scout can optionally wear once they arrive at camp. When returning from a campout, it is a tradition in Troop 70 to stop for lunch. Scouts should remember to bring money to the campout for this lunch stop.
Troop 70 conducts a full program of camping activities year round. Monthly weekend campouts are held monthly from September to May. During winter break our troop annually attends our Councils Winter Camp. In the summer we like to head for the cool mountains of Colorado or New Mexico. Both camps offer a great opportunity for our scouts to earn exciting Merit Badges. For our older scouts (14 years or older) we annually rotate between the high adventure camps of Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base.
Campouts are usually held within a two-hour drive of Austin. Both car camping and backpacking treks are offered during the year. Campout activities may include skill instruction, service projects, rank advancement work, campfires, a Sunday devotional service, and free time. Planned activities will generally be centered on a Scouting theme.
Campouts are held rain or shine, and will only be postponed or canceled if a traveler's advisory is in effect. Each Scout should bring all necessary equipment he will need during the campout, and be prepared to adequately protect himself from expected weather conditions, insects, blisters, and other potential hazards. Instruction in outdoor skills is provided to the Scout by regularly attending the Troop meetings and by studying the Scout Handbook. Part of the Scouting program teaches Scouts how to deal with adversity, such as bad weather, how to plan, and to be prepared.
No flames of any kind are allowed in tents. This includes candle lanterns. Additionally, no gas, propane, or flammable liquids of any kind are allowed in the tents. Battery powered lights are recommended for use in tents.
The Troop maintains a supply of stoves and other cooking equipment that are assigned by patrols. The Patrol/Scout is responsible for returning items in the condition they were issued. If items are lost or damaged the Scout/Patrol must repair or replace them at their expense.
A checklist for backpacking and trips and a list of sample menus are provided on Troop 70’s website. These lists are also useful in planning for campouts that do not involve backpacking. It should be noted that camping gear, including backpacks and sleeping bags, are available for rental at several Austin area outdoor equipment stores.
Ice chests may be brought if the campout does not involve backpacking. The Scoutmaster will alert the troop if Scouts need to carry water. Water will generally be available at the campsites.
The followed items are prohibited and may never be brought to a campout:
- Radios, TVs, or electronic games
- Aerosol products
- Carbonated beverages
- Firearms or bows and arrows
- Sling shots
- Fixed blade knives
Troop 70 encourages each Scout in the Troop to advance along the Scouting Trail. Seeking and achieving advancement goals helps the Scout derive something tangible from his Boy Scout activities, and teaches him practical skills that will stay with him throughout his life. Advancement is achieved by active participation in Scout activities and in showing Scout spirit.
The Merit Badge program is one of Scouting’s basic character-developing tools. Earning Merit Badges gives boys the kind of self-confidence that comes only with overcoming difficult obstacles to achieve a goal. There are more than 120 merit badges. Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as they earn these merit badges.
Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible. However, some specific badges are called “Eagle-required” and are necessary for higher ranks.
Visit our website to view the list of merit badges and the counselor volunteer who will help with each one. Also, Read about the SEVEN simple steps to earning merit badges. Scouts will work closely with the scoutmaster, the merit badge counselor and the advancement chair on merit badges and rank advancement. Troop 70 also has assigned specific assistant scoutmasters as rank advancement coordinators.
PATH TO EAGLE
Our goal is to provide each boy with an opportunity to reach Eagle. It is a very personal journey for every scout. Along the way, each scout must pass through several ranks.
The first rank a boy will earn. He will earn this very quickly, usually at his first or second meeting.
A scout will know basic scouting skills to enable him to function successfully in the troop setting. He will be able to set up a tent, cook, and know basic first aid.
Building on the Tenderfoot skills, a 2nd class scout will be more advanced in his outdoor skills.
The final step in learning the core scout skills is 1st Class. These scouts are strong in outdoor skills, including nature identification cooking, first aid, hiking, compass, and much more. Our goal is to allow each boy to achieve 1st Class in their first year in Troop 70.
Star Scouts are self-motivated, and must complete significant leadership and service responsibilities. They also must complete a number of merit badges, including several Eagle required badges.
Life Scouts must perform even more leadership and service. They must complete a number of merit badges, and Eagle required badges.
The final step along the journey. Eagles have leadership, service, and merit badge requirements. They must complete a significant Eagle project which has a lasting impact.
Eagles may also go on to earn Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms, which are even higher achievements.
Active participation is a Troop 70 requirement for all rank advancement. The Scoutmaster and his assistants will be the judges of active participation and will keep attendance records. During each Scoutmaster conference before each Board of Review, the Scout will be asked to describe his active participation. He should be able to discuss his attendance, appearance, and attitude and what he has done since the last rank advancement to meet this requirement.
Attendance is judged by how often the Scout is present at troop meetings, campouts and other troop events. It is expected that Scouts participate in a majority of Troop 70 activities. Scouts should be at the activities on time and ready to participate in whatever is planned.
Appearance is judged by how the Scout looks and takes care of himself. As a member of Troop 70 each Scout serves as a role model for every other Scout. The eleventh Scout Law is "a Scout is clean". Scouts should wear their uniform correctly, completely, and with pride.
Attitude is by far the most important element of active participation. Attitude shows in everything the Scout does and in how seriously responsibilities to his patrol and troop are carried out. Good attitude is portrayed by how fast the Scout becomes quiet when the Scout sign is given, how ready the Scout is to participate in activities, and how fairly and honestly the Scout conducts himself in games and other activities.
Scout spirit is the living of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law both when in uniform and in every day life. It is naturally expected that every Scout will exhibit Scout spirit in all his activities. "Doing a Good Turn Daily" is one of the best ways in which the Scout can show Scout spirit. The ideals of Scouting are much easier to follow when practiced every day, and in doing so positive values, attitude, and behavior are reinforced.
These are the first three ranks of Scouting, and all Scouts are encouraged to achieve the First Class rank within one year. The Boy Scout Handbook is the best source of information for the requirements for advancement to each rank. An introduction to each subject required for rank advancement is covered in the Scout Handbook. Understanding this material will provide the Scout with a working knowledge of the skills that must be learned for each rank.
To satisfactorily complete individual requirements for rank, Scout should:
- Read and understand the requirements as outlined in the Scout Handbook.
- Read the entire section of the Scout Handbook that pertains to the skill studied.
- Meet with his patrol leader, troop guide, instructor, Scout of Star Class rank or above, or an adult leader as designated by the Scoutmaster, complete the requirement as stated in the Scout Handbook, and have the Scout Handbook initialed and dated.
- Submit the Scout Handbook to the Advancement Chairperson periodically for updating the troop advancement records. The Advancement Chairperson will keep track of the Scout's progress and the PLC will use use the information to better plan advancement activities. Note that Scouts may work on any of the requirements for the first three ranks concurrently.
After all of the requirements for either Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class have been completed, the Scout should contact the Troop Advancement Chairperson or Scoutmaster and present his Scout Handbook. The Scout should then schedule a Scoutmaster conference and a Board of Review.
When the Scout has completed all the requirements for the next rank, he should schedule a conference with the Scoutmaster. During the conference the Scoutmaster will review the rank requirements and merit badges needed for advancement. He may question the Scout on any activity he has completed. The Scout may be asked to explain how he demonstrated "Scout Spirit" since his last rank advancement. Plans for working on the next rank may also be discussed.
For the next rank, the Scout should decide which requirements and badges he is going to pursue and set a goal for their completion. If a leadership position is required for the next rank, the Scout should discuss this with the Scoutmaster.
When the Scoutmaster is satisfied that the Scout is ready for the next rank, he will sign the Scout's Handbook, and he is then ready for the Board of Review.
The Scoutmaster cannot advance a Scout to the next rank. Advancement requires passing a Board of Review, which is the final step in the advancement process. Troop 70 committee members and sometimes scouts of higher rank conduct the Board of Review. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters do not sit boards of review. Parents will not sit on any Board of Review in which their sons are involved.
At the Board of Review the leaders will ask the Scout about his progress. The Board will make sure that the Scout has completed all of the individual requirements for the rank, and mastered the necessary Scout skills. If the Board feels that the Scout has not met the requirements for the next rank, they will so inform the Scout and he will have an opportunity to complete the deficient requirements.
Merit badges, which enable the Scout to learn a wide variety of skills, are available through the Scouting program. Advancing beyond the First Class rank to Star, Life, and Eagle requires that the Scout earn merit badges. To earn a merit badge in a particular skill, the Scout should work with an approved merit badge counselor for that skill. Only adults registered with Troop 70, or an adult registered with the Council as a Merit Badge Counselor, may work with a Scout for a specific merit badge. Troop 70 maintains a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors that are approved by the Troop Committee, and Troop 70 parents are urged to assist as merit badge counselors in any skill in which they are competent.
Scouts should obtain approval of the Scoutmaster on a merit badge application slip in advance before working on any merit badge. Some merit badges may also be worked on as a part of the regularly scheduled Troop meetings.
Requirements for all merit badges are listed in a merit badge pamphlet, which also describes the skills that must be learned and the activities that must be completed to obtain the merit badge. Merit Badge Pamphlets are available in the Troop library, or from the Boy Scout office. Merit badge options can be found on our Merit Badges page.
Upon completing all of the requirements for the merit badge, the Counselor will sign the blue merit badge application slip, which signifies completion of the merit badge. The actual badge will be presented to the Scout at the next Court of Honor, but, for advancement purposes, the merit badge is officially earned on the date that the signed merit badge application slip is returned to the Advancement Chairperson or the Scoutmaster.
Approximately three times a year Troop 70 meets for a Court of Honor. This is a formal ceremony in which the Scouts of Troop 70 are awarded the rank advancements and merit badges, which they have earned since the last Court of Honor. Parents are urged to come to this meeting, which generally replaces a regularly scheduled Monday night meeting. The Court of Honor is an opportunity to recognize to all of the hard work and achievements, which have been completed by the members of Troop 70.
- Experience age appropriate challenges and personal growth
- Learn skills that he will use for a lifetime
- Participates in a structured program in which he determines his rate of advancement
- Develop leadership and learn cooperation
- Makes new friends
- HAS FUN
- Cooperation with fellow Scouts and Leaders
- Active participation in Troop activities
- Personal responsibility for his own advancement
- Self-control and respect of others
- HAS FUN
While the role of parents in Boy Scouting is much different than their role in Cub Scouts, it is no less important. We encourage parents to consider a role in which they can best use their talents and skills (i.e.,Assistant Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Fund Raising, Advancement, Transportation, Merit Badge Counselors, or as an assistant to one of these positions). We have found that in most cases the Scouts who have parents who take an active role in the Troop’s leadership are the Scouts who make a strong commitment to get the most out of their scouting experience. There are training classes to get you started so please do not hesitate to ask the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair how you can help.
Included with this guide are the following attachments:
- Personal Hiking and Backpacking Checklist
- Troop Resource Survey — It is requested that all parents complete and return this form to the Troop Committee so that the unique skills you bring to the troop can be inventoried.
- Authorization to Participate in Troop Activities and Medical Release — This form needs to be completed by a parent or guardian annually. Please complete this form and return it to the Troop Committee.
- Troop Guidebook