As a scout in Troop 858, you are in for great fun, adventure, friendship and camping! You will learn outdoor skills including building fires, handling an axe and knife, compass navigation, cooking, hiking, nature study and first aid. You will soon feel at home in the wilderness as you complete the trek to First Class rank with your patrol. Achieving First Class marks the beginning of your trek to Eagle Scout. On your trek to Eagle, you will explore more exciting hobbies and hone your life skills by earning merit badges and serving others. You will also step up as a troop leader and pass along your knowledge and skills to the new scouts that follow in your footsteps.
Troop meetings are normally held on Sunday afternoons. The uniform is Class "A" unless otherwise designated. Scouts should try to attend every meeting and come prepared with the Boy Scout Handbook, merit badge class materials, etc.
Troop 858 scouts always wear a complete Class A uniform (scout shirt, pants, belt, socks, neckerchief) to scout meetings, official scout gatherings, camporees, ceremonies, service activities and during travel to/from Troop events. Merit badge sashes will be worn to courts of honor, scoutmaster conferences and boards of review. Class "B" uniforms (Troop 858 T-shirt, pants, socks) are worn on camping trips and when work clothes are appropriate including some service projects and athletic activities. Troop 858 will provide you with a troop neckerchief, shoulder patch and T-shirt when you join the troop. The rest of the uniform and patches are your responsibility. Uniform items can be purchased at the Scout Store at the Ventura County Council office in Camarillo or online through BSA Scoutstuff.org.
One big difference between Cubs Scouts and Boy Scouts is how advancement requirements are handled. Your parents do not sign-off on your requirements. You complete advancement requirements with other scouts during scout activities. Please make sure that you save every bit of paperwork, like merit badge cards, certificates and your handbook until you have earned your Eagle Scout rank. Remember that everyone in the troop is dedicated to helping you on your trek to Eagle Scout rank.
The Advancement Coordinator keeps your official advancement records. See him or her for a print-out of your advancement record before every Scoutmaster Conference. Make sure that you report all of your advancement milestones to the coordinator and check your record for accuracy.
The Scoutmaster conference is an opportunity to review what the scout has learned, how comfortable he is with his knowledge, his plans for his next steps along the Path to Eagle, and a chance to discuss the troop "one on one" with the Scoutmaster. It's also an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to make sure that the Scout can feel comfortable with that part of the Scout Promise that says "I Will Do My Best" with regards to having met the rank requirements and can wear his new rank with pride.
The Scoutmaster Conference should be scheduled only after all the other requirements for rank have been completed. Please contact the Scoutmaster personally to schedule a conference.
BOARD OF REVIEW
A Scout, having met all requirements for advancing to a higher rank, and having completed his Scoutmaster Conference, should schedule a Board of Review as the final stage in his rank advancement.
At the Board of Review, the scout should have his papers completed and be in his best Class "A" uniform. He will meet with several members of the adult leadership of the troop, and will discuss with them what he has done to meet the requirements for rank advancement, and in general what his plans for his next steps in the troop are to be. As it will be necessary to gather several adults together for a Board of Review, the scout should plan ahead for scheduling. To request a Board of Review, contact the Troop Advancement Coordinator personally. Upon completion of the Board of Review you have earned the associated rank.
COURT OF HONOR
The Court of Honor is an important ceremony, conducted by scouts, where your achievements are officially awarded and recognized by fellow scouts and families. Troop 858 has three Courts of Honor per year. It is the policy of the troop that once a scout has passed the Board of Review, the scout may wear the badge of rank he has earned. He will receive the formal award at the upcoming Court of Honor.
The troop holds regular classes for the most popular merit badges during scout meetings. Merit Badge classes are also a big part of summer camp. Special merit badge classes are offered by various groups from time to time, and will be announced when they come up.
When you work on a merit badge, keep track of all of your paperwork until you receive the patch and certificate/card at the Court of Honor. When you start the merit badge work, you will fill out a "blue card." Record requirements on the blue card and have your merit badge counselor sign it as soon as you complete each requirement. Then, if you take a break from working on that badge, you can continue with a different counselor if necessary. The blue card is an important document, so take care of it.