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2010 NEW PARENT INFORMATION

Welcome to Boy Scout Troop 1074! We are excited that you and your scout have chosen our troop to affiliate with as you begin this next big step in your son’s scouting career. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about us, who we are, how we operate, where we meet and what is in store for your new Boy Scout.

Our Troop’s charter organization is St. Thomas Aquinas Church. They generously provide us with meeting space and storage space for our equipment.  We are a part of the Sam Houston Area Council (SHAC), which is composed of some 36 districts in the Houston, Texas area. We are in the Arrowmoon District, which is the northernmost district in the council. This Council serves over 164,000 youths annually and supports over 2,600 scout units.

Organization. Our troop is run by a Troop Committee, which provides direction to our Scoutmasters, who in turn guide our youth leaders. We strongly believe that the objectives of the Scouting program are (1) character and leadership development, (2) citizenship training, and (3) personal fitness, and 4) skills development. To this end, we try to guide the boys as they develop and display leadership in the actual planning, preparation and conducting of troop activities. We find that as the boys gain more knowledge, learn more skills, and mature in character; they are able to pass on those skills to the younger scouts while making a major contribution toward the actual running of the troop. We have an annual planning session in August where the Scouts get together with the adult leaders and make plans for the upcoming year - planning campout dates, locations, monthly themes, and other troop activities. Please review our Org Chart and Calendar to become familiar with the Trop and planned activities.

Patrols. Boy Scouting is built around the patrol method. Boy Scout troops are divided into “Patrols”. The patrol method allows the Scouts to interact in small groups and experience group living and participatory citizenship. It places responsibility on the boys and teaches them to accept both responsibility and leadership. Each patrol has a “Patrol Leader” and an “Assistant Patrol Leader” who are responsible for the boys in their patrol. These leaders report to the “Senior Patrol Leader” and “Assistant Senior Patrol Leader” who are the youth leaders for the troop. The Scoutmasters divide the boys into the various patrols, each with approximately 6-8 boys.  Scouts of similar ages and ranks make up a patrol. We hold elections every 6 months to elect the Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leaders. We also have other youth leadership positions in the troop, including Scribe, Quartermaster, Librarian, Historian, Troop Guide, Order of the Arrow Representative, Den Chief, Chaplain Aide, Instructor and Junior Asst. Scoutmaster. (position descriptions are available under “Advancements”) By assuming these leadership positions, the boys play a major role in the operation of the troop by planning and running the meetings and campouts.   Developing leadership skills is a major objective of Boy Scouts.  Leadership positions are required for advancement to Star, Life and Eagle ranks.

Our Troop currently has four patrols - the Kinighits, Panthers, Golden Eagles and Black Dragons. The Scouts come up with their own name for their patrol as well as a patrol flag and a patrol yell. In addition to their youth leaders, each patrol has an adult leader assigned to it as Patrol Advisor and the 'new boy patrol' made up of new Scouts that cross over in February will also have a older Scout guide until after summer camp.

Meetings. Our troop meetings are held every Monday night from 7:00-8:30pm. Our meetings are held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. We will have quarterly Courts of Honor during the year where the boys receive their various awards. The Scouts are expected to wear their uniforms, known as their “Class A” uniform, to the meetings and special functions. We normally have one campout per month and one Patrol Leaders Council (PLC), where the youth leaders and adult leaders meet to review the events of the last campout and plan the agenda for the upcoming monthly meetings. Upcoming events can be viewed on our Calendar.

In addition to our troop meetings, we have meetings for our adult leaders, or “Scouters” as they are referred to in Scouting. Our Troop Committee meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00. You are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the troop meetings and adult meetings to see what your Scout is doing or how your Troop is being run. We are glad to hear about any concerns you may have. We also encourage you to become involved in our Troop as an adult leader and volunteer. We are extremely proud of the help and support that we get from all of our parents. It truly reflects in your Scout’s success in the Troop to have an active and supportive parent involved with them. It is also a wonderful opportunity to watch them interact with others, mature and attain personal achievements.  The troop cannot function without active adult leaders.

Uniforms. The Scouts will wear their khaki shirts as their Class A uniform with red or green epaulets, and Troop “1074” number. The Sam Houston Area Council patch and the World Crest patch can be purchased at Burdett and Son in College Station or at http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsasupply. This uniform will be worn to each meeting and to all formal scouting events such as Boards of Review and Courts of Honor. The Class A uniform is also worn whenever we travel, whether on local outings or campouts. For meetings and other scouting functions where the Class A uniform is not required, the boys should wear what we refer to as a “Class B” uniform which is any shirt with the troop or Boy Scout emblem on it.  We do not require official Boy Scout pants with the uniform, however, as Scouts advance to the higher ranks and are involved in activities outside of our troop, they may be required to have the full uniform, including pants.

Books. Each boy is required to purchase his own official Boy Scout Handbook. These come in both paperback and hardcover. The paperback versions with the spiral ring actually seem to hold up better to the “rigors” of Scouting and are recommended. Some type of cover is also a good idea. This book is of vital importance in that it not only covers the information needed for advancement, but it the Scout’s official record of the advancement requirements he has completed. Once they earn their next rank, we have a copy of their record in our troop file, but as they are still working toward a rank, all the records are kept and signed off on by the Scoutmasters in their own book. Another paperback book that you may want to consider getting is the Requirement Book. This book lists the requirements for all of the ranks, merit badges, and special awards all in one book. It is useful when you are trying to decide which merit badges you would like to work on and you can look at a listing of all the requirements for each particular badge.

Advancement. The Boy Scout ranks are:

  • Scout
  • Tenderfoot
  • Second Class
  • First Class
  • Star
  • Life
  • Eagle

Each of these ranks has certain requirements that have to be met in order to advance.  The specific advancement requirements are outlined in the official Boy Scout Handbook.  All advancements are subject to official BSA policies and requirements.  In Boy Scouts, the responsibility for completing requirements, seeking conferences and boards of reviews, contacting counselors, and obtaining merit badge are the responsibility of the Boy Scout. 

For the Scout rank, the boys need to meet a few introductory requirements and have a Scoutmaster Conference with the Scoutmaster in order to advance. Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class all have more requirements where the boys learn scouting skills relating to camping, physical fitness, the Scout law, the Scout oath, first aid, knots, etc. After they complete the requirements for each rank, they again see the Scoutmaster for their Scoutmaster Conference. They must make an appointment with the Scoutmaster for the Scoutmaster conference and then fill out and bring the required worksheet to the conference. Advancement requirements and worksheets can be found under “Advancements.” Assuming they satisfactorily complete the conference, they go before an advancement board of three or more adult leaders for their Board of Review.

For Star, you must first have been First Class and hold a leadership position for 4 months. For Life and Eagle, you must hold the previous rank and a leadership position for at least 6 months to become an Eagle Scout, you must complete all of the rank requirements for Eagle by your 18th birthday or you will not be able to advance to Eagle.  Star, Life, and Eagle Ranks also require the scout to perform service to the community.

Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class are where Scouts learn and demonstrate Scout skills. For the upper ranks, Scouts must demonstrate leadership, community service and earn certain merit badges. Scouts can begin to work on merit badges immediately upon joining Scouts, but you cannot advance to those ranks out of order. For Eagle Scout a boy must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and 12 of those must come from a list of “Eagle Required” merit badges. The “Eagle Required” merit badges come into play with the other ranks; also, because for Star, 4 of your 6 merit badges must come from the required list, and for Life, 7 of your 11 merit badges must come from that list.

We work on various Scout skills and some merit badges in our meetings and especially on our campouts. Summer camp is an excellent way to meet rank requirements for Scout skills and earn merit badges. It is very strongly recommended that the Scout attend summer camp so they can keep up with the other Scouts with advancement.  Another great opportunity for earning merit badges is Merit Badge University, which is a one-day event held at Texas A & M University and other institutions each year where a Scout is able to earn 1 or 2 merit badges in one day. Merit badges are also something that Scouts can work on individually with a merit badge counselor for that particular badge. We have merit badge counselors within the troop for certain badges – contact our Advancement Chair for more information. There is also a list, of merit badge counselors in the Arrowmoon District that can be found on the district website. This website also contains a calendar of different events going on in the Arrowmoon District.

We normally have four Courts of Honor each year. Courts of Honor are ceremonies where the boys are presented with their advancements and awards.

Camping. A big part of Scouting involves going camping. We try to go on one camping trip each month, in association with whatever type skill or activity we are working on that month.   For example, if that month’s theme is “hiking”, we will spend the previous meetings preparing for a hiking trip.  We will then plan the campout activities around a hike and choose a campsite where we can have a good hike. 

When we go camping, the troop has tents, cooking equipment, and gas stoves that we use. The boys are responsible for their own personal gear, including clothing, rain gear, flashlights, canteens, sleeping bag, pad or cot, chair, etc.  The boys will also need a daypack.  Before purchasing backpacks, we suggest that you receive advice from an expert on fitting backpacks.  Backpacks must be fitted to the boy to avoid injury on long hikes.  We have Scoutmasters that can advise you on proper backpacks for your son. 

In one of the meetings before the campout, the boys will develop a menu and a duty roster so they know what they are going to eat and who is responsible for cooking or cleaning. They will camp and cook in patrols. Each patrol has its own patrol box with their cooking utensils and supplies in it. They are responsible for keeping it stocked and supplied for what they need. The patrol will also decide on one of the Scouts to be their “Grubmaster”, who is then responsible for purchasing and bringing the food, based on their menu, for the campout.  At that meeting each Scout is to bring food money for that campout, usually $10.00, and the Scribe will collect it and get it to the Grubmaster.   It is imperative that the Scouts remember to bring their food money to the meeting so that there is enough money to purchase food for the patrol. Their Patrol Leader or the assistant Patrol Leader should remind them about that.  Food will be purchased only for those scouts who have pre-paid. 

For campouts, we typically meet at St. Thomas Aquinas Church parking lot by the Youth Room on Friday at 5:30pm. If there are enough adult leaders going on the campout the Scouts will ride with those leaders. If there are more boys than seats in leaders' vehicles, we will need additional parent drivers to get the Scouts to and/or from the camping location. Most of the camping locations are within a few hours drive from College Station. Occasionally, we will make a longer drive to a special camping location. The Scouts will usually return to the Church to be picked up on Sunday at 12:30 pm. Please try to have your Scout at the church on time on Friday evening and pick them up on time on Sunday.

Summer Camp.  Each summer, the troop attends a weeklong summer camp.  Summer camp is an important time for the boys.  It is a time of growing and maturing as young men.  They bond with their fellow scouts, both in the troop and from other troops.  They also learn skills, earn merit badges, and work on rank advancements.  Most important, they have fun and have experiences that they will remember the rest of their lives.  In 2007, we attended Camp Hale in Oklahoma. In 2008, we attended El Rancho Cima and in 2009 the younger Scouts attended Sid Richardson Scout Ranch and the older Scouts did a 50 mile canoe trip on the upper Brazos by Worth Scout Ranch. In 2010 scouts attended El Rancho Cima and Philmont. In 2011 we are scheduled to attend Buffalo Trails Scout Ranch.

Fund Raising.  Our main fund raising activity is popcorn sales.  We also have other fundraising opportunities to help offset the cost of operating the troop.

For more information contact Joe Jilka, Scoutmaster of Troop 1074 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it