Scouting Overview
Troop Meetings

Scouts BSA Meets Every Monday at 7pm at Temple Shalom: 23190 Utica Ave, Port Charlotte FL (just off Kings Hwy.) 

School Schedule – Our troop meets on every school day.  Meetings on days schools are closed is determined by the troop the week before. Please check our calendar and with your youth to confirm troop meetings.

Major Holidays – the troop does not meet on most major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc)

We learn skills at every meeting; attendance & participation is crucial!

Summer Program  (June & July)

  • Our troop offers a summer time swim safety program every Saturday at South Country Regional Poll in Punta Gorda. Our troop is very fortunate to have a trained lifeguard available to teach necessary swimming skills.
    • You must RSVP for each swimming day.
    • You must pay the regular pool entry fee
    • Siblings are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult over 21 at all times
  • The troop does not meet or camp in the summer due to low participation and the extreme heat.  

 

Youth Chain of Command

If you have a question, concern or activity request, to your  patrol leader first. You will continue up the chain of command in the following order:

  1. Patrol Leader
  2. Senior Patrol Leader
  3. Scoutmaster
  4. Committee Chair
Patrols & Leaders

Youth leadership changes every 6 months, you should know which patrol you are in and who your patrol leader is.

Youth-Led - You Are In Charge!!

A troop consists of patrols. A patrol has 8 members and is led by a patrol leader.  Patrol Leader’s may have assistants. The job of the patrol leader is to guide their troop and help their troop members advance in rank.  Patrols can determine what advancements and merit badges they work towards. It is up to the Senior Patrol Leader to determine patrols, but the patrol members elect their leaders.

If you don’t like your patrol or patrol members, talk to your Senior Patrol Leader.

A Senior Patrol Leader and one or more Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders coordinate the patrols.

There are many other positions of responsibility in the troop, including Historian, Librarian, Quarter Master, etc. Positions and Position responsibilities can be found in your hand book.

Adult Chain of Command

Note to Parents: If an adult has a question about an activity, including safety-related concerns, he/she should first discuss it with his/her child.  Scouts BSA is a youth-led program. Each youth is expected to know the details of their activity. If the youth doesn’t know, ask them to find out.  If the youth is unable to find out, then the adult may discuss it with other leaders, including the Scoutmaster.

Concerns of a sensitive or severe nature

If the concern regards child abuse, and the situation is dangerous, call 911. Other issues regarding possible child abuse should be reported to the Scoutmaster and/or Committee Chair who will make sure the situation is handled in the proper manner.

The chain of command for adult matters are:

  1. Scoutmaster
  2. Committee Chair and the Committee
  3. Chartered Organization Rep (COR)
  4. Unit Commissioner
  5. Scout Executive

Billing questions should be discussed with the Treasurer. Fundraising questions should be addressed to the fundraising chair for that fundraiser.

Things You Need

You will need to buy:

  • Scouts BSA Handbook
  • Official Field Uniform Shirt (often referred to as a class A)
  • Olive green shorts or long pants with buttons. Athletic shorts are not acceptable!
  • Sneakers or hiking shoes. Closed-toed shoes are required at all outdoor activities.
  • Activity shirt – The color of this shirt changes, ask your patrol leader what color to choose

The complete field uniform is not required and includes:

  • Official Scout BSA Uniform Shirt with patches placed correctly
  • Official Scout BSA long pants, shorts or switchbacks
  • Official Scout BSA web belt and buckle
  • Official Scout BSA crew socks
  • Official Scout BSA Merit Badge Sash (30 inch)
You Will Need to Purchase
  • A Scout BSA handbook. Digital devices are not permitted at most meetings and scouting events, please purchase a paper handbook. PUT YOUR NAME IN YOUR BOOK!
  • An official Scout BSA uniform shirt.
  • Olive green shorts and/or long  pants. These do not need to be official scout attire.
  • You may also want to purchase a sash for patches
  • Activity t-shirt. Ask a your patrol leader for the current color, Insignia’s are ironed-on
  • Reusable water bottle, hat and sunglasses are required on all scout activities.
  • 10 Essentials – Check your scouting handbook for the list of the 10 essentials you should bring on each trip.

Where to buy

The scout shop is located at council HQ:

Southwest Florida Council Scout Shop1801 Boy Scout Drive, Fort Myers FLor order online at http://www.scoutstuff.org/

You may also find used or discounted uniforms on ebay.com or Amazon.com.  

Troop 95 will supply
  • Green shoulder loops for your Uniform
  • Scout BSA Troop 95 numbers
  • Scout BSA Membership I.D.card  (once issued by the Council Office)
  • Southwest Florida Council Patch and World Crest patch, if not on your shirt already
  • Merit badge pamphlets for borrowing
Camping & Camp Gear Gear

For camping, you will need to provide your own personal gear. Our troop often has a surplus of personal camping gear. If you need assistance getting some things, please talk to the Scoutmaster.

We will always wear our Official Scouts BSA Uniform for camp arrivals and departures!

Camping Gear You Will Need to Provide:

  • Sleeping bag (or sheets and blanket), pillow and sleeping pad. Please put these items in a backpack or compression bag.
  • Sleeping mat or pad
  • Your Field  uniform
  • Your Activity uniform
  • Personal Hygiene non-aerosol deodorant, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, towel, and floss)
  • Unless otherwise directed, the 10 essentials as listed in your handbook
  • Day Bag (small backpack)
  • Camp Chair
  • Camp Clothes (Field and Activity Uniforms, a change of clothes for each day, plus an extra pair of clothes)
  • Closed-toed shoes are required at all troop activities!

The Troop will Provide

  • Transportation to and from the camp-out
  • Tents – The troop has a supply of tents youth and adults may use on Troop camping trips.  Tents are kept in the troop trailer unless you are asked to take it home to dry it.
    You may bring your own tent if you prefer, but tents must be of reasonable size.
  • Camp cooking equipment (stoves, pans, cooking utensils, etc)
  • Tables & Food Prep Equipment
  • Dishes
  • Cleaning supplies
  •  

Patrols will Shop For

  • The Patrols meet the Monday before each camping trip to determine the camp menu and duty roster
    • Any special needs should be discussed at this time
    • Attendance will be confirmed and transportation details finalized
    • Payment is due at this time
  • The Thursday before the camping trip, patrols shop for the equipment, food and supplies needed for the camping trip
    • If payment hasn’t been made, it must be made at this time

Don’t Bring:

  • Sheath Knives
  • Video Games *
  • Computers/Cell Phones/Radio/Tape/CD/MP3 players *
  • Butane lighters
  • Fireworks
  • Valuables

* Exceptions may be made for use of these items while in the vehicle for long trips; these exceptions will be outlined by the Scoutmaster before the trip. Responsibility for loss or damage of these items will be the Scout’s.

The Trained Adult Leaders reserve the right to confiscate any item that is deemed inappropriate. The item in question will be returned to the Scout’s parents.

Uniform Definitions, When to Wear

Field Uniform (aka, Class A )

The official scout uniform is called a Field Uniform Uniform.  Your Field uniform will be worn at every troop activity, when traveling to and from, special events or activities (your patrol leader will let you know) and for council sponsored fundraisers.  Field Uniforms can not be worn for troop fundraisers.

 If you are unsure of what to wear, wear your activity shirt and bring your Field Uniform.

Activity Uniforms (aka, Class B)

The Activity  Uniform is your patrol shirt and shorts in the appropriate color and style as determined by your Patrol Leader.  You are required to bring your Activity Uniform on every camping trip. Your patrol leader will tell you when you need to wear your Activity Uniform.

Uniform  Patch Placement Guide

Review your book for instructions on where to place patches.  Look under “Uniform” in the index. 

Fees/Dues

Yearly dues of $27 are collected each year in August. These dues are used for patches, supplies and insurance and is in addition the annual registration fee charged by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Please make every effort to ensure that these dues are paid in a timely manner.

*Webelos & Cub Scouts that join Troop 95 mid-year will need to complete a new Scout BSA Application Form to transfer or complete their registration with Troop 95.   There is no fee for tranfering, but dues will need to be paid on a pro-rated basis.

Payment for camp and activity fees are due prior to the event.

Troop 95 will hold fundraising events throughout each year. Scouts will have the opportunity to earn money at these events to offset camping and equipment fees.

Required Fundraisers

Our troop receives free patches and can camp for free at Camp Miles or Camp Flying Eagle if we participate in, and meet out goal for, certain fundraising activities.

Official Field Uniforms are worn for these fundraising activities. The official field uniform is not worn for any other fundraising activitiy.

  1. Popcorn – Popcorn sales are around August of each year. We ask everyone to sell at least one bag, but it is suggested that you sell more. Participation in popcorn sales earns our troop free camping at Camp Miles and Camp Flying Eagle
  2. Friends of Scouting (FOS) Donations -The troop has an FOS presentation each year.  If we meet our fundraising goal, we will get all of our patches for free. This is an enormous savings and your generosity is appreciated!
  3. Camp Cards – Camp Cards are sold March & April of Every year. Cards include two instant-use coupons and thousands of online coupons throughout the country (there are better savings up North!) Cards are sold for $10 and $10 goes directly into the youth’s account.  This money can be used only by the individual selling the cards for camp fees, camp gear and annual registration fees.  (Camp cards are for youth only.) The troop will arrange for store-front sales of these cards.  
Financial Assitance

Financial assistance may be available to a Troop 95 member that may not be able to afford necessary equipment or fees. Please contact the Committee Chair for details. All requests for assistance will remain confidential.

Rank Advancement Overview

Your Responsibilities

With your parent, you must complete the safety pamphlet at the front of the book to earn your first rank. 

**Excluding the safety pamphlet, parents, guardians and close relatives cannot sign books even if they are leaders or counselors.  **

You can work on most requirements at any time for any rank, but you must advance rank in order, i.e. Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life then Eagle.

It is your responsibility to make sure you get items signed off and to make sure your logs are completed! Tasks should be submitted via the scoutbook app.

  1. Complete Tasks – When you have completed a task in your handbook, make sure you get it signed off by your patrol leader, the instructor or an adult (not a relative) who is present.
  2. Complete Logs – You must complete the camping, service and leadership logs in scoutbook. Your parent can help with this. There are also logs in the back of your book.  If you use your book, each record must be signed by your patrol leader or an adult (who is not a relative) present for the activity.
    1. Camping Logs – Campouts are required for rank advancement.  Take your handbook with you and get it signed on each campout.
    2. Service Logs – Volunteering is required for rank advancement. As a troop, we will provide opportunities to volunteer. If you wish to volunteer at other tasks, you must discuss it with the scoutmaster first. If approved by your scoutmaster, you may record your volunteer activity in your logs. 
    3. Leadership & Training – Record all troop positions held as well as training (youth protection, NYLT, Den Chief Training, etc) and leadership activities like being a Den Chief for a pack.  Your book lists the leadership positions that are acceptable for advancement to the next rank. Some positions require training.
    4. Hiking Log – Hikes are required for advancement, therefore it is important that you keep track of the hikes you participate in with the troop.
  3. Scoutmaster Conference – Once all tasks have been completed for rank, ask your scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference.
  4. Board of Review – After your Scoutmaster conference, ask the committee for your board of review. You must be in your Field uniform for the board of review. You must have complete logs (per above) and completed all tasks the the rank. All rank and rank progress can be viewed in scoutbook.  

Note: We recommend you use the checklists at the back of your book to keep track of your progress since digital devices are not permitted on most scout activities.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Set goals for yourself. Pick a target date to complete rank requirements for your next rank. Your first goal is to attain the Scout rank right away. If you earned your Arrow of Light you should be able to perform the Scout rank requirements within 30 days and/or immediately.
  • Bring your Scout BSA Handbook to every Scout activity.

Everything you need to know is in your scout handbook!

Court of Honor (Awards Ceremony)
  • The Troop periodically holds a Court of Honor, with refreshments, to recognize Scouts for their rank advancements, present merit badges earned and other awards that have been earned.
  • We will also discuss upcoming activities and the scouting program with parents.
  • Be sure that your family comes to each Court of Honor.
Earning Merit Badges

General

  • You can start earning merit badges as soon as you join Scout BSA, BUT you must get your scoutmaster’s approval first.
  • We will work on Merit Badges during troop activities.  
  • You can also earn merit badges during merit badge days, Winter Camp and Summer Camp. Merit badges can be earned on your own. 
  •  If a merit badge counselor is not available in our troop, scoutbook can be used to find a merit badge counselor.
  • You can find out about merit badge requirements and download helpful worksheets on the Internet. Some useful websites are meritbadges.org or boyscouttrail.com 
  • You can borrow merit badge pamphlets from the Troop Library (please sign out merit badge pamphlets with the Troop Librarian), or you can buy merit badge pamphlets at the Scout Store
  • Some merit badge books are available on Kindle. If buying a digital pamphlet, make sure you have the most recent version.

Merit Badges and Blue Cards ( BSA Form 34124)

As of 2019, Blue Cards are not required for merit badges; however, many leaders still use them. The troop has a supply of blue cards available for your use. If you nd one, please ask the troop librarian or committee.

DON’T LOSE your “Blue Cards” – save them in the file you create. 

If a blue card is not used, scouts may discuss and complete portions of the merit badge and check them off in the ScoutBook app. The counselor will approve the activities. You can view your progress toward a merit badge at any time using ScoutBook.

Health Forms & Medication
  • You must complete Health forms Part A and B before you can attend a troop outing. This form must be renewed each year.All
  • You must complete Part C prior to any camping trip that is more than 2 nights (like Summer Camp and Winter Camp) Part C must be signed by a doctor
  • Medication during Winter Camp and Summer camp – All medication must be in original containers and must be turned in to an adult leader.
  • Medication on short camp-outs –  If the parent and leader feel the youth is responsible enough to manage his medication, then the youth may be permitted to keep it with him.  Make sure there are clear instructions with the medication. Day/Night vitamin packs are acceptable and convenient as long as you have documented the medications and vitamins in the health forms.

You must let an adult know if you take medication, including vitamins, on a regular basis.

Buying Camping Supplies

Sleeping Bag

After  footwear problems, the next  biggest cause of a bad camping experience is being cold at night.  One of your most important purchases will be your sleeping bag. Get a good quality bag  with a 30° temperature rating and you will be prepared for any outing that the Troop might undertake. Also, buy a “stuff sack” so that your sleeping bag will be easy to pack.

Mattress Pad and Tarp

You will be more comfortable sleeping on a roll-up mattress pad than on the cold ground.  Be sure that your pad has straps to keep it rolled-up. Also, get a small, inexpensive plastic tarp.    It will have many uses, but primarily it will keep your sleeping gear dry if the ground is wet.

Water Bottle

Get a reusable water  bottle or canteen that  you can carry with you. After each camping trip, fill it,  and follow the manufacturer’s directions to sterilize it.. Rinse it thoroughly. Inspect it before each use for dirt and mold (black dots.)

Pocket Knife

You must have your Totin’ Chip to carry your pocket knife. DO NOT buy a hunting, fixed-blade or sheathed knife.  Get a small pocket knife like a Swiss Army Knife or BSA Pocket knife, the blade can be no longer than the palm of your hand. Consider getting a BSA nylon belt holder for your pocket knife. You may bring your pocket knife to any Troop campout, but you may not use your pocket knife until you have taken knife, axe and saw training and receive your Totin’ Chip card.

The Totin’ Chip lets you cary a pocket know onto council property, it does not give you permission to carry a knife in public or government places including the school.  Follow the rules for the places you are visiting.

Compass

Get an inexpensive, flat, rectangular, see-through map-type compass with the rotating top.

Backpack

Get a small lightweight backpack for day hikes  to carry your supplies (i.e. snacks, water, etc.) Having an easy to carry pack will make life easier when you attend merit badge classes at summer camp.

Footwear

Nothing can end a great outdoor experience quicker than painful blisters, pinched toes or even injuries caused by inappropriate footwear. Never wear new shoes to camp!

Socks

Having the right socks is one of the most important ways to avoid foot problems at camp or on the trail. Here are some tips:The

  1. Don’t wear cotton socks because they absorb water and perspiration and hold it next to your skin.  If you get into a situation where you are hiking with wet feet and the temperature drops below freezing, you risk getting frostbite.
  2. For long hikes, consider wearing two pair of socks.  The first pair next to your skin should be polyester liner socks that “wick away”  moisture. The second outer pair should be heavy-weave wool or synthetic rag socks for cushioning.

Shoes

Scouts usually outgrow shoes in a short time, so don’t spend a lot of money on your trail shoes or boots.

  1. Comfort and fit are the most important features:a
    1. When trying on boots, wear the socks you plan to wear on the trail.
    2. Boots should feel snug but comfortable, so you can still wiggle your toes.  Most hiking boots won’t feel instantly as comfortable as sneakers, but they shouldn’t pinch, cause  hot spots, or constrict circulation. They should sit securely around your ankle and instep.
    3. When  trying on  boots, try walking down an incline.  Your feet should not slide forward, nor  should your toenails scrape against the front of your boot.  If your foot slides forward, the boot could be too wide. If the  back of your heel moves around, your boots might not be laced up tight enough.
  2. Boots with a lug sole for better traction are usually a good choice, especially for rugged terrain.
  3. Choose boots that are designed to support the load you expect to be carrying. If you plan to go backpacking with a full load, then you will need boots with more support.
  4. Remember that great hiking boots do not have to cost a great deal.
  5. Today’s high-tech materials have replaced the traditional metal shank and other heavy elements that provide stability in a boot. As a result, hiking boots are lighter, but still offer great support.
  6. Consider the various advantages of fabric versus leather boots.  Fabric /leather boots are lighter in weight and easier to break in.  Many hikers today are returning to traditional leather hiking boots for added protection and durability in rigorous terrain.
  7. Leather boots are supportive and water resistant, yet they still will allow your feet to breathe.
  8. Consider the advantages of  a waterproof boot. Today’s top-quality hiking boots have a Gore-Tex® lining that  lets perspiration escape while keeping water out. Gore•Tex® is more expensive, but you can walk through puddles and shallow streams and not get your feet wet.
  9. Consider protecting your boots with some kind of spray-on water repellent.

IMPORTANT: Break-in your boots by wearing them for short periods well before you plan to use them.

Contact one of our great leaders!