TROOP 127 Guide for Scouts and Parents
Welcome to Carmel Valley Troop 127. By being part of Troop 127, you will be involved in the adventures of scouting with friends and family. The Promise of Scouting, as explained in the Boy Scout Handbook, includes things like the great outdoors, friendship, personal development, goal setting, and life experiences. This is a tremendously important and rewarding endeavor that will turn into a life transforming adventure for you and your family.
The following pages are designed to help all Scouts and parents understand the basics of the Scouting program in Troop 127. Reading this will acquaint the families of Scouts with the basic operations of our Troop. We also suggest you add this page to your Favorites or Bookmarks for ease of reference as you progress in Scouting. Members of the committee, the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters encourage you to discuss any questions or comments you might have with them.
There are some fundamental differences between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. The biggest is perhaps personal accountability and independence. Whereas in Cub Scouts the den leader was accountable for providing learning experiences and advancement opportunities, in Boy Scouts that is largely left to the Scouts themselves.
Troop 127 has an annual Crossover Camp where new scouts are welcomed into the brotherhood of Troop 127. This is usually in May of each year, and signifies that Cub Scouts are crossing over to Boy Scouts. See a Crossover Camp Slide Show produced by Robert Conant Photography.
School breaks and summer aside, we usually meet weekly on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 at Sanctuary Bible Church, which is at the corner of Schulte and Carmel Valley Rd. However, to accommodate scouts involved in sports and other extracurricular activities on Tuesdays, once a month we will meet on a Wednesday, usually at Community Church of Monterey Peninsula next to Carmel Middle School. We strive for monthly indoor and outdoor activities, as well as at least two Courts of Honor – a formal award ceremony. These generally are help in the third weeks of October and April. During summer months we focus on outings, camps, high adventure treks and youth leadership camps rather than regular meetings.
We invite parents and boys to visit Troop meetings and ask questions prior to committing to join the troop. To become a member of the troop, you need to turn in the following items to the Committee Chair:
- Completed BSA membership form with parent/guardian signature.
- Annual dues: currently $100.00 (includes Boy’s Life Subscription and initial troop uniforms, scarf and numerals, and one replacement set of the shirts when the scout outgrows the original troop shirts.)
For scouts to begin participating in most outdoor activities, the troop must have a completed Annual Health & Medical Form. Part C, requiring an annual doctor’s examination, is required for summer camps and high adventure treks. We encourage families to use this form at a normal doctor’s appointment to avoid the necessity of a special visit. Back to Top
The Boy Scout Handbook is essential to each scout’s career. In addition to the valuable information it contains, it provides a means for tracking advancement progress. Requirements for rank advancement will be signed off on pages in the handbook. Parents are required to read and discuss the attached pamphlet “How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.” before the scout can begin rank advancement. Reminder – Scouts should bring his handbook to all meetings and camps. It is the responsibility of each scout to present the handbook from time to time to our Advancement Chair who attends most meetings so that the scout’s progress can be updated in the troop database (TroopMaster.) Also, after each Scoutmaster Conference the scout must present the handbook to the Advancement Chair.
Each scout will be provided with an advancement notebook upon obtaining the Rank of Tenderfoot. This is the First Step on the Trail to Eagle. The advancement notebook provides a place for the scout to keep track of requirements for all ranks, outings, camping events and activities, requirements for Eagle merit badges, holders for advancement cards, holders for the scout’s portion of merit badge cards - everything in one place. Scouts should review the advancement requirements carefully with parents. Back to Top
Troop 127 is a uniformed organization. The standard BSA uniform (aka Class “A” uniform) is the official tan Boy Scout Shirt with green epaulets, 127 numerals, Council patch, rank patch, and troop position patch as required. It is available at the local scout shop in the Sherwood Gardens Center at 919 N. Main St., Salinas, as well as Outdoor World in Monterey. The American Flag and Troop numbers 127 are attached to the sleeve. For proper placement of patches and insignia please see the Boy Scout Handbook or BSA uniform.
A scout belt and sash to display earned merit badges are also worn at formal ceremonies. A troop neckerchief is given to all new scouts and secured with a neckerchief slide. Tan, Green or “khakis” style cargo pants or shorts are acceptable substitutes for official Scout slacks or shorts. Shoes should be hiking style. Shower shoes, open toed sandals or flip flops are not acceptable uniform attire at Troop meetings or around campsites.
Formal events require full Class A uniform, including the neckerchief and merit badge sash and proper footwear and socks. Examples of formal events are:
- Courts of Honor
- Scoutmaster Conferences
- Boards of Review
- Activities where we represent the Troop or Boy Scouts in a public setting.
The informal uniform (aka Class “B” uniform) consists of a Troop 127 polo shirt and optional red fleece jacket (both have our red-tailed hawk logo). In general, this option is worn for most meetings and travel. We also have a Class C uniform (a blue synthetic material t-shirt normally worn in outdoor physical activities.) At summer camps, a Class D uniform is worn at one camp meeting to distinguish us as a unique troop: it is the scout’s favorite Hawaiian shirt. The bolder, the better. The photographs below show the formal Class A, Red Class B, Blue Class C, and Hawaiian Class D.
Scouts should bring all uniform options to camping activities where other Troops will be present, including Camporee and Summer Camp. Back to Top
Troop 127 is currently in the Santa Lucia District of the Silcon Valley Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Troop is chartered by Carmel Valley Scouting, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed by parents of former Troop 127 scouts. Under the rules of the chartering process, the charter organization effectively owns the Troop, and as such, must approve the selection of Scoutmaster and Troop Committee Chair. To learn more on this topic, go to our Troop Structure Page. Back to Top
At an annual weekend camp called the Green Bar (named after the two green bars on troop leadership position patches) the scouts have several meetings at which they discuss and select activities, outings, camps, merit badges, monthly themes, and high adventure treks for the year. Each month, the youth leaders in the Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC) meet to plan and implement the following month’s activities and meetings consistent with the decisions made at the Green Bar. This means that the Scouts make the decisions on troop programs, and are responsible for the implementation of those decisions. The adult leadership is there to support the Scouts’ efforts, provide guidance as appropriate, and ensure that the safety and well being of the Scouts is not compromised. As a chartered Boy Scout Troop, we adhere to the policies and procedures as set forth by the Boy Scouts of America and our local Boy Scout Council.
Upon joining the troop, Scouts will be assigned to a Patrol. Patrols contain 8-10 Scouts which work as a unit at meetings, in skills instruction, and in competition at some events. Patrol members choose a Patrol Leader who is responsible for coordinating (not doing) all the necessary plans for each outing, e.g. menus, food, tents, transportation. The Scouts also elect an Assistant Patrol Leader who serves as Patrol Leader in the Patrol Leader’s absence.
The organization of the boy-led troop begins with the Patrol Leader’s Council (PLC). The PLC is comprised of the Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders, and various leadership positions. Candidates apply or are nominated for the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) position. The SPL is elected by the Troop 127 scouts. The SPL, after consulting with the Scoutmaster, then appoints two Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL). A Patrol Leader is elected by each patrol. Under the direction of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, PLC meetings are held to perform more detailed planning of upcoming activities, and to deal with general troop business. The Senior Patrol Leader serves as a liaison with the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee members to ensure that appropriate adult support will be available and the policies of Boy Scouts are adhered. Please see our Troop Structure Page for more details on scout Positions of Responsibility (POR) within the troop. Back to Top
The assistance of parents is key to the success of any Boy Scout troop. The more a parent is involved, the more the Scout is likely to stay involved and advance in rank. Troop 127 is blessed with a full cadre of parent volunteers, and we do not pressure any parent to take on leadership roles or become directly involved in the activities of the troop. However, parent participation is encouraged and welcome at any time!
Parents may support the troop by:
Attending Parent Committee meetings
Driving and/or participating in outings
Helping with fund raising activities
Assisting in planning for activities
Serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster
Serving on the Troop Committee
Serving on Boards of Review to assist in rank advancement
Being a merit badge counselor
Becoming trained Scouters. (Training courses in different aspects of Scouting are offered through our local District and are open to all parents.)
Even if not directly involved in any of the above activities, we have found that the successful scouts are those whose parents assist their sons in these ways:
Attending troop and committee meetings regularly or at least from time to time.
Reading their Scout’s handbook and understand the purpose and methods of Scouting. (Parents can familiarize themselves with the basics of scouting by borrowing the Boy Scout Fast Start video tape.)
Being knowledgeable of the troop program and calendar.
Actively follow their Scout’s progress (or lack thereof) and offer encouragement and a gentle “push” when needed to your son and other members of the troop.
Show support to your son and the Troop by attending every Court of Honor. Back to Top
The BSA is principally a volunteer organization. The BSA does have paid professional Scouters at the local and national levels, as well as paid support staff. At the troop level, all adult participants are volunteers, primarily from troop parents.
In accordance with BSA guidelines and procedures, all adult volunteers must submit to a background check by the local council when registering as troop adult leaders. Please see our Troop Structure Page for details on adult leader positions.
The Troop Committee is organized under the leadership of the Troop Committee Chairman. He/She reports to the CVSI and to the BSA for the overall Troop 127 Scouting Program. The troop committee is comprised of adults and is charged with the business aspects of running the troop. Responsibilities of the Troop Committee include:
Adequacy of troop equipment
Recruiting adult leadership
Maintaining official troop records
Advising the Scoutmaster
Ensuring adherence with BSA and Troop policies
Providing adequate facilities for scouting programs
Membership in the troop committee or on various subcommittees is open to all parents and others with an interest in the scouting program. Our Committee meetings are open to all adults and scouts, except where matters of a confidential nature are discussed. Back to Top
Studies consistently show that vibrant, successful troops have trained adult leaders. Troop 127 expects the “direct contact” leaders to attend Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster training and outdoor skills training. Committee members are also encouraged to take this training. BSA’s policy is that at least one adult on every outing must be a trained adult. This means it is important to have numerous trained adults in the troop to ensure we can conduct all the outings selected by the scouts. These training events provide important information, skills and networking opportunities. It is a great opportunity to hear what fun things other Troops are doing. Back to Top
Troop 127 fundraising activities are mostly selling ice cream at major racing events at Laguna Seca Raceway each year, selling Trail’s End Popcorn, volunteering at an aide station at the Big Sur International Marathon and selling Christmas wreaths . The ice cream sales at Laguna Seca is our primary money maker and is a successful event which provides a rich and unique educational opportunity for the scouts of Troop 127 to learn many important life skills (i.e. a full day’s work, leadership, organization, team work, time management, cash handling, accounting, inventory control, retail sales). It is the policy of the troop that each scout volunteer to work at least 4 race-days each year, and a parent of a scout volunteer on at least 2 race-days.
The troop sets aside a portion of the funds raised in troop fundraising efforts into individual Scout Accounts based on each scout’s fund raising efforts. These funds can be used for scout related activities including camps, outings, dues, equipment, outdoor clothing, etc. Individual scout account balances, if any, revert to the troop three months after a scout turns 18 or when a scout drops out of scouting. If a scout joins a venture crew or a different troop, his scout account funds can be transferred to that crew or troop upon request. Back to Top
The descriptions of each rank and their requirements are listed in the Boy Scout Handbook. These requirements may be updated between printings of the Scout Handbook. Refer to the current requirements guide (available on-line) for the latest requirements.
Scouts who attain the rank of Tenderfoot are given a binder entitled, “Trail to Eagle” to track progress toward rank and to keep their information and awards in a neat and logical place.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT A SCOUT KEEP A RECORD OF EACH THING HE DOES, INCLUDING SERVICE PROJECT HOURS AND DATES AS WELL AS CAMP-OUTS. The binder and handbook are excellent places to record this information.
Each Scout must provide documentation of:
Requirements fulfilled for rank advancement
All merit badges earned
All service project participation
Camping trips/Backpacking trips
All troop activities
Positions of responsibility in the troop/patrol
Rank Advancement Guidelines
All scouts should participate in 70% of the troop meetings and 30% of the outings in order to advance to the next rank. The Scoutmaster and Advancement Chairman will determine if this requirement has been met. All scouts should be prepared to correctly repeat the Scout Oath and Law at each Board of Review.
Some requirements must be completed after earning the previous rank (for example, tenure and Positions of Responsibility).
All scouts advancing to the rank of Star, Life or Eagle must meet the leadership requirements as established by the Scoutmaster and Advancement Chairman. These leadership positions are available within the troop. All service projects (requirements for Star, Life and Eagle) must have the prior approval of the Scoutmaster.
Each rank includes a requirement to show Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law in daily life. Fulfilling this requirement is a subjective decision of the Scoutmaster and Board of Review (Committee). While the Scout cannot be evaluated round the clock, behavior and participation in Troop events is a good indicator.
The following represents the recommended advancement schedule:
11 - 11 ½
11 ½- 12
12 - 12 ½
2 ½ - 3
13 ½ - 14 ½
14 ½ - 15 ½
15 ½ - 18*
*A scout must complete all requirements for Eagle prior to his 18th birthday
Just about every endeavor has some recognition of elite status. Actors aspire to bring their characters to life a small percentage are recognized with Oscars. Authors desire to create great literary works a small percentage are recognized with Pulitzer prizes. Athletes strive to be the very best a small percentage are elected to a Hall of Fame.
The rank of Eagle Scout is Scouting’s highest recognition of elite status. And, like the examples given above, a small percentage of Scouts attain this level. Not reaching this level doesn’t equate to failure in Scouting, or by Scouting. Just as there are many fine actors, authors and athletes who don’t achieve there highest honors, there are many fine Scouts who do not reach Eagle. The journey is just as important as the destination. Back to Top
To advance in rank, a scout must complete a SMC, and for all ranks besides the Scout rank, a BOR. When a scout believes he is ready to advance in rank, he must obtain a report from one of the specified adult leaders who maintain advancement records in a program called TroopMaster. The report must show all rank requirements have been completed (except for certain requirements the Scoutmaster signs off at the SMC. These are generally Show Scout Spirit and complete a SMC and a BOR.) If advancing to Scout, the required report is an Individual Progress Report. For all other ranks, it is a Board of Review Summary. Once the scout obtains this report, he must provide it to the Scoutmaster with a request for a SMC, and BOR if applicable. The Scoutmaster will then advise the scout of his scheduled conferences. (These are generally done in the three meetings preceding the next Court of Honor.) For more details for this process, click here.
The goal of the merit badge program is to expand a Scout’s area of interest and to encourage the Scout to meet and work with adults in a chosen subject. Merit badges are earned by a Scout working with a registered merit badge counselor. There are over 120 merit badges authorized by the BSA, and certain merit badges are required to make the Eagle rank.
The steps in working on and earning a merit badge are as follows:
The first step in pursuing a merit badge is to find the requirements of the badge. These requirements can be found on-line at
USScouts.org or MeritBadge.org or in the annual “requirements” book available through the scout store. (Our scout store is at the Sherwood Gardens Center on North Main St in Salinas across from the Salinas Rodeo Grounds.)
A Scout then requests a Blue Card and permission to work on a Merit Badge from his Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster will give the Scout the names and phone numbers of available merit badge counselors.
The Scout obtains and reads the merit badge pamphlet. He should try to understand all the requirements before working on the badge.
The Scout contacts the merit badge counselor to arrange for a time and place to meet and discuss the requirements for the badge.
The Scout begins working on the Merit Badge, keeping in regular contact with his counselor. The scout should print a merit badge worksheet available for free here, and make notes in the worksheet as work is done. Most Troop 127 merit badge counselors require this worksheet to be brought to each session. The Scout learns from, and demonstrates his knowledge and understanding to the counselor. The counselor will test the Scout’s knowledge and completion of the requirements.
Once the Scout completes the requirements the Merit Badge counselor will sign off the requirements on the Blue Card. The counselor will keep one portion of the blue card for his records.
The Scout then takes the Blue Card to the Scoutmaster for his signature. The Scout gives the signed blue card to the Advancement/Awards adult.
The Scout will receive the Merit Badge at the next Court of Honor.
Merit badges require independent work – homework and completing the worksheet. Scouts should not expect to complete all the requirements in the company of the Merit Badge Counselor. Merit Badge Workshops are held throughout the year by the various districts. Information about upcoming opportunities to earn Merit Badges will be announced at Troop meetings. Scouts also have an opportunity to earn Merit Badges at Summer Camp. Blue cards, signed by the Scoutmaster are also needed for these events – be prepared!
When earning Merit Badges at Camps or clinics, it is often the case that all the requirements cannot be completed during the event. The preferred option is to complete any prerequisites prior to the event. Otherwise the scout will have a “partial” sign-off on the blue card. The scout can then find and work with a merit badge counselor to complete the outstanding requirements. It is very important to keep track of the blue card until it is fully signed off and turned into the Troop.
All parents of Troop 127 Scouts are encouraged to become Merit Badge Counselors for any of the available merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. If interested, contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair who can provide the application form required to be sent to the local council. These forms must be submitted annually for all counselors. Meritbadge.org is an excellent resource for teaching and earning merit badges. Back to Top
These award and recognition ceremonies are held two times a year to recognize rank advancement and award merit badges and special awards to those who have earned them. All scouts, parents and siblings should attend! If your son has advanced a rank, parents will be called up to be recognized with their son. Remember, behind every successful scout are caring and concerned parents.
Scouts achieving the Eagle Rank plan and host their own Eagle Court of Honor, often with one or more friends who also achieve Eagle near in time. Their parents usually help of course.
All Scouts and Scouters of Troop 127 are expected to exhibit “Scout Spirit”, which is defined as the daily living of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Scouting should be fun and challenging while providing a safe and supportive environment in which Scouts can learn and grow without unnecessary roughness, physical or verbal intimidation, foul or offensive language or disrespectful behavior. All Scouts should help build Troop unity and an effective, enjoyable program. These are the basics of Scouting.
The “Spirit of Scouting” dictates high expectations for the behavior of all Scouts in Troop 127. Thus, every scout and adult leader must sign and adhere to our Troop 127 Code of Conduct Agreement, also available from the Committee Chair.
Child abuse is a major problem affecting our society. Because of the significance of the social problem, the Boy Scouts of America has declared child abuse as one of the “unacceptables” to receive special attention by those involved in the Scouting program.
The BSA has developed a five-point plan to combat child abuse and improve the environment in which young people live. This is called “Youth Protection” and is a mandatory emphasis in scouting. The key elements of this strategy include:
Educating Scouting volunteers, parents and Scouts themselves to aid in the detection and prevention of child abuse.
Establishing leader-selection procedures to prevent individuals with a history of child abuse from entering the BSA leadership ranks.
Establishing policies that minimize the opportunities for child abuse to occur in the program of the Boy Scouts of America.
Encouraging Scouts to report improper behavior in order to identify offenders quickly.
Swiftly removing and reporting alleged offenders.
The Youth Protection Program provides essential information to Scouts and their families. A detachable booklet in the front of the Boy Scout Handbook, “How To Protect Your Child From Child Abuse and Drug Abuse: A Parent’s Guide,” provides information to help families to increase self-protection skills. Completion and review of this booklet by you and your son that will get you and your Scout off to a great start in Scouting and mandatory for his Scout Rank Requirement.
Our Troop holds Youth Protection Training for all parents and Scouts, and such training is available on-line. Any suspected offenses of the Youth Protection program must be reported immediately to an adult leader in charge who is not involved in the incident, who must report the incident to the Troop Committee Chair. All reports are taken seriously and appropriate action is taken to ensure the safety of the youth.
The troop conducts an outing or activity approximately once per month. The Troop Calendar lists the activities planned for the current year. Each scout must share in the costs of the outing he participates in. This will include food, transportation and any equipment rentals. Usually the boys will cook as a patrol. Troop dress will be determined for each outing.
Note: If a scout has signed up to attend an outing and cannot go, he may still be responsible for his share of the expenses, unless he is able to locate a replacement who will reimburse him accordingly. For this reason it is important for all parents to find out what their scout has signed up for after each scout meeting! Back to Top
The troop attends a one week summer camp in California each year. Summer camp is an excellent learning experience for the scout and a great opportunity for Scouts to earn merit badges and other awards. The scouts select the summer camp for the troop at the Green Bar meeting. Past camps have been in many parts of California, offering a wide range of experiences to the scouts. Troop 127 frequently receives top honors at these camps.
Youth Leadership Training Camps: The Troop encourages scouts to attend leadership camps offered by the White Stag Leadership Academy. In the past, the Troop has often reimbursed one half the cost of these camps upon completion of the full session because of the leadership skills which the scout then brings to the troop. Back to Top
The High Sierras, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, Florida Sea Base, and Philmont Scout Ranch are just a few of the past adventure treks for Troop 127. Every year we offer at least one such trek to the scouts, who again select the treks at the Green Bar meeting. Local hikes and camps occur on a regular basis to provide frequent outing opportunities to all the scouts and to help prepare for the Treks and their strenuous nature. Back to Top
Scouts will need personal equipment for the outdoor events (hiking boots, backpack, rain gear, eating utensils, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc.). However, we recommend that you do not purchase equipment before discussing it with your troop leaders. First year scouts should consider renting or borrowing some of the more expensive equipment (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags). The troop has some group equipment like cooking gear, stoves, lanterns, dining flies, and first aid kits. Equipment required for specific outings will be discussed prior to each outing. Back to Top
All parents are encouraged to share in the transportation where needed, with reimbursement for most travel costs allocated among the participants. Tour Plans are required for travel outside of the local council area, and the adult leader in charge must complete the Tour Plan at least two weeks before the trip. Back to Top
The internet is full of valuable information about the Boy Scout Program. Many sites are not run by the Boy Scout organization itself, but by any number of dedicated volunteers who are enriched by their involvement in Boy Scouts. There are dozens of discussion groups and threads on just about every scout topic. Some of our favorite are:
http://www.svmbc.org/svmbc/ (Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council)
www.scouting.org (Official BSA site)
www.scoutstuff.org (Catalog of official scout merchandise)
www.usscouts.org (Scouting Websites by Scouters)
www.meritbadge.org (Merit Badge Resource)
www.scouter.com (A Scouter Network)
http://www.boyscouttrail.com/ (Resource for Scouters)
Thank you for reading this Guide. We hope you found it useful and informative. We appreciate your feedback or suggestions, so please send us an email if you have time.