A BSA Troop is a volunteer-run organization. We honor the role our parents play in their son’s lives, and we expect that commitment to carry over into your son’s Scouting life.
This page outlines the two basic ways a Parent should expect to contribute to the Troop:
- Your role as a Scout Parent
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Uniformed Roles
- Committee Roles
- Merit Badge Counselors
- Events and Projects
- Board of Review
Your Role as a Scout Parent:
The following is a basic set of expectations for each of our families:
- Support your Scout, but don't do things for them. Your Scout will take on growing responsibilities and self-sufficiency starting on Day 1 in Scouts. Both parents and the Adult Leaders in the organization will be there to support and guide the Scouts, but parents should begin a purposeful transition away from doing things FOR their son and towards allowing their son to do for themselves. Being responsible for their own progress towards Rank Advancement, packing their own bags for outings, and finding answers to their own questions are good examples of transitioning towards being responsible and self-sufficient.
- Stay Connected. We use Scoutbook as the administrative tool for communication, calendars, tracking participation, rank advancement, merit badges. Parents and Scouts will both be actively using Scoutbook throughout your time in Scouting.
- Read and Respond to Communications. Email is the primary communications tool of the Troop. Reading, acting upon, and responding to emails will keep you and your Scout up-to-date and greatly assist the operations of the Troop. The volunteers working in the Troop will greatly appreciate prompt communications as it will greatly reduce the time and energy they donate to the Troop.
- Calendar and Outings RSVP. The Troop Calendar is in Scoutbook which contains our Outings Calendar and RSVP tool. Parents and Scouts should keep their planned participation up-to-date for each outing. Even if your Scout is not attending an event, you need to update their status as such.
- Fundraising. While the Scouts are responsible for fundraising activities such as popcorn and camp cards, parents will need to assist and encourage their Scout in those efforts. Fundraising keeps our costs low, provides the Scout with spendable funds in their Scout Account, and greatly supplements our activities, equipment, and outings.
It is often said that, “Many hands make light work.” Your participation can come in many forms. Attendance in support of weekend campouts, providing needed transportation, joining us at Summer Camp, fundraising, service or even food preparation activities; the list goes on. Together, we can determine in what capacity you can best support the Troop and your Scout. We need and must require your active participation for two very important reasons:
- Your Scout will get more out of the program if you show an active commitment.
- The Troop cannot provide the best possible program without your participation.
All registered leaders, including "Uniformed" Leaders, Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselors are required to be Youth Protection Training (YPT). Non-registered adults going on outings for 72 hours or more (such as summer camp) must take the new YPT (the 72 hours are cumulative, not consecutive).
Quick Link: BSA Youth Protection Website.
There are a variety of jobs that must be done to keep Troop 431 running smoothly. Some require a bit more time; others are more occasional and less demanding in nature. If you choose to participate in a Committee or Leadership role, training or mentoring is available for the following positions:
We have a number of "Uniformed" Roles, including Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster. These are the front line guides, mentors, and instructors.
Troop Committee and Roles:
We have a number of vital, easily manageable roles in the Troop in which parents can actively contribute.
Merit Badge Counselors:
One of the easiest and most impactful contributions all parents in the Troop can make is to become a Merit Badge Counselor. With so many Merit Badges, there are plenty of Merit Badges that will match your unique skills, experience, and interests. Please ask a Leader to find out which Merit Badges the Troop needs specific help with and which ones might match your interests and skill sets.
Events, Projects, and Campouts:
To support the Scoutmasters and Committee, parents may also get involved in events or short-term projects, such as:
- single events such as a organizing a banquet or outing
- attending 1-2 days at summer camp to provide adult supervision coverage
- volunteering at an Eagle Scout project
- organizing or participating in a service project
Board of Review
Upon completion of the requirements for a new Rank, each Scout sits for a Board of Review. The Boards are held at the weekly Troop meeting and are comprised of Committee Members (i.e., non-uniformed parents in attendance). The Board's purpose is to test the Scout's knowledge of the particular Rank Requirements, engage them in conversation about their activities and Scout experience, and approve his completion of the requirements. In addition to completing their Rank, This is a great opportunity for Scouts to build their communications skills, self-confidence, and professional interactions.