Procedures, rules, and traditions
of CVBC's troop72
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

(Last modified: $Date: 2017-08-14 10:01:23-05 $)           Visitors since 5/8/2006:
Table of Contents

(Click on any section heading or subheading to jump directly to that part.)


History and purpose

What each boy needs



Rules of conduct

Outside organizations

Troop structure

Troop operations

Troop finances



This is the official "Guidebook" for BSA Troop 72 of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Our intent is to capture all of our procedures, traditions, and rules into one document, that everyone can refer to. This should be especially helpful to parents of new scouts, so we encourage you to sit down and read the whole thing!

If you are reading this in a paper version, you should know that this is all on the web, at "". The paper version is handy if you want to read it in your easy chair or on a campout, or if you like to circle and highlight sections. But you might find it very useful to look at the version on the web, too, since the online version is full of links to other parts of this document as well as to other information on the web. In particular, the table of contents and glossary are full of links to the insides of this document.

Since this guidebook is on the web, we can treat it like a "living document," and make updates whenever we come up with them. So you will want to check back often whenever you have a question about anything.

We hope that this publication helps you get up to speed! If you notice any errors, or have suggestions for things to add, please let us know. The best way is to send email to "".


Tom Arneberg
March 2002

History and Purpose

  • Boy Scouts of America --

    From "":

    "The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America -- incorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916 -- is to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness.

    "Community-based organizations receive national charters to use the Scouting program as a part of their own youth work. These groups, which have goals compatible with those of the BSA, include religious, educational, civic, fraternal, business, and labor organizations; governmental bodies; corporations; professional associations; and citizens' groups.

    Of the seven different programs, "Boy Scouting is program for boys 11 through 17 designed to achieve the aims of Scouting through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster."

    From "":

    "The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.

    "Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop American citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation's role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society."

  • Troop 72 -- The history of Troop 72 really began in the 1970's, for it was in that decade that six of our original eight adult leaders were themselves Boy Scouts active in troops across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kentucky.

    As for troop 72, the idea for a new troop at Chippewa Valley Bible Church was first discussed by Tom Arneberg and Darin Thomas in 1997. (Darin had just moved to Chippewa Falls from Houston, where he was a Scoutmaster. And Tom had always intended to some day start a troop, a desire strengthened by the birth of his four sons.) They wrote a May 1999 article in the CVBC newsletter announcing their intentions, and several men responded favorably. However, Tom and Darin were a little disappointed that nobody made a commitment in response to the September 2000 article about the leadership training offered.

    Despite their discouragement, they decided to press on, and went ahead with the troop charter with three boys on the roster in January 2001. Once the troop launch was imminent, however, men started stepping forward. By the time the first meeting was held on March 19, 2001, there were a dozen boys and seven men involved! Four of the other leaders also went for all three levels of the Scoutmaster Fundamentals training (Glenn Woods, Mark Hedrington, Steve Nutzmann, and John Mathwig), so the troop was blessed with no fewer than SIX MEN who were fully trained, within a month of the first meeting. (Other men who helped in the first year but hadn't gone through the full training yet include Jamey Mauk and Paul Lasiewicz.)

    By the end of the first year of existence, five boys had dropped out, but new ones kept coming. As of March 2002, the troop's one-year anniversary of their first meeting, there there were 18 officially registered boys in the troop, with 23 boys having been on at least one campout. The troop is looking forward to a bright future!

    One question you might have is, Why did we want to form a new troop when there were already three other good troops right here in Chippewa Falls? That's a question we asked ourselves, and District Executive Dave Higgins encouraged us to go ahead with a new troop. The reason is, we have an Awana program at our church for kids through grade 6, that draws a lot of kids from the community. Awana features Scripture memory, but borrows a lot of other things from the Cub Scout program. So we thought it would be a natural thing to offer a Boy Scout program that starts with those who have finished fifth grade, and that would be a complement to the existing Jr./Sr. High youth group (but that would stress different goals specifically for boys -- character, responsibility, adventure, and leadership).

    Sure enough, that strategy proved to be very valuable, as a full 100% -- EVERY BOY in the TROOP -- was new to the Scouting program! There were no Cub Scout crossovers. So it's quite possible that none of the 23 boys who participated in the troop's first year would have ended up getting involved in Boy Scouts, if it weren't for a troop meeting right there at their own church, with boys and leaders that their families already knew.

What each boy needs

The troop is open to any boy over the age of 11, but the boy will not have a good experience in Scouting unless he is equipped properly. This section will outline a few things that are the responsibility of each boy.


  • Scout rank advancement -- Rank advancement is a big part of the Scouting method. Scouts can measure their growth in skills by climbing through the ranks. Here is an overview of Scout ranks:

    Rank Overview of requirements
    Scout very simple -- just have to explain a few things
    Tenderfoot Campout; basic skills; memorization; physical tests
    Second Class 5-mile hike; fire/ax; service; first aid; swimming
    First Class Orienteering; cooking; plants; knots; swimming
    Star 6 merit badges (4 Eagle-req.); service; 4 months troop leadership
    Life 5 more merit badges (3 more Eagle-req.); service; 6 months troop leadership
    Eagle 10 more merit badges (5 more Eagle-req.); Eagle Project; 6 months troop leadership
    Eagle Palms 3 months and 5 more merit badges for each (bronze, gold, silver)

  • Merit Badges -- Merit Badges are awards earned by Scouts, and are required for rank advancement past First Class. There are about 120 different merit badges available. (Some are added or deleted each year. For example, new badges added in 2011 include Robotics and Chess.)

    A merit badge "blue card" can be signed only by an official merit badge counselor, which is an adult pre-approved by the Council Office in Eau Claire and is registered with the Boy Scouts of America.

    Most Scouts in Troop 72 earn most of their merit badge at the week-long summer camp (which is enough time to earn several badges) or at "merit badge clinics." Clinics are usually offered once a year in area towns like Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Barron, and Rice Lake. Watch for all-troop emails that are sent for merit badge clinic sign-ups. Scouts must sign up for merit badge clinics through the troop, but transportation to and from the clinic is on your own (although carpooling is frequently done among Troop 72 families).

    We also sometimes earn merit badges as a troop, either on a camporee or campout, or at troop meetings. Even when done as a group, however, each Scout must prove competence in each requirement before he can be signed off.

    If you want to work on a merit badge outside of summer camp or a merit badge clinic, you can call (715-832-6671) or email ( the Council office in Eau Claire to get the list of counselors available for a specific merit badge. (Members of Troop 72 can also see the list of counselors available within our troop.)

    Regardless of what venue you use to work on a merit badge, it's very helpful to print off a merit badge worksheet to guide you through the process.

    Once a Scout completes a merit badge, the counselor will sign the blue card and return it to the Scout. The Scout must get the signature of the Scoutmaster. Then the Scout should KEEP the middle section of the card for his own records, and give the front part of the card to the Troop Advancement Chair, who needs to use it to get the badge at the Scout Office.

    If the records are ever questioned (especially during the Eagle Scout application process), the Scout's copy of the blue card can be a life-saver to prove he earned the badge. (One convenient way for the Scout to keep track of his completed blue cards is to store them in baseball card plastic pockets in a three-ring binder.)

    NOTE: If a merit badge is completed at summer camp, then blue cards are NOT issued. Rather, the troop is given a printout of all the badges earned by each Scout in the troop. (These are scanned and uploaded to the troop's members-only web page for reference.)

    Most merit badges have an associated Merit Badge Pamphlet that is very helpful for earning the badge. Some merit badge counselors require the Scout to have a pamphlet. Scouts are welcome to purchase one from the Scout office or summer camp or a merit badge clinic if they want to keep it, but they can also check one out from the troop library. If the library doesn't have an up-to-date pamphlet for a particular merit badge, the Scout can also buy one to use, and when he's done, he can add it to the troop library and turn in a receipt along with an expense report to get reimbursed.

  • Service Projects -- Service projects are required for several rank advancements. A huge project typically requiring hundreds of man-hours is done for the Eagle Project. For the next two lower ranks of Star and Life, six hours of service is required, and one hour of service is required for Second Class.

    For Life, Star, and Second Class, service projects must be approved in advance by the Scoutmaster. Projects must benefit the community or the church or some worthy nonprofit organization. Usually the Scout uniform must be worn. The purpose of the service project is to get the Scout thinking of helping others and making his community better, but it is also to let the world know what Scouting is about, and recognizing a Scout in uniform performing these deeds is important.

    The Eagle Scout candidate must work closely with advisors at the Council level before, during and after his project. Eagle projects should be open to all members of the troop, rather than to a hand-selected group of older Scouts, for these reasons:

    1. Working on an Eagle project helps younger Scouts fulfill their service hours requirements
    2. It gives younger Scouts a great glimpse into what an Eagle project is all about
    3. It will help encourage younger Scouts to pursue the Eagle rank some day
    4. Yes, it's harder for the Eagle candidate to lead younger Scouts than it is to lead only his older friends...but who said getting Eagle is supposed to be easy? ;-)

  • Scoutmaster Conferences (SMC) -- When a Scout has fulfilled all his other requirements for a rank advancement, he participates in the Scoutmaster Conference. This is the final check of all requirements being met before the Board of Review. The Scout must initiate this conference. It is usually done during a normal meeting night, or on a campout.

  • Eagle Project Workbooks -- The Eagle rank has a whole set of unique requirements.

    Eagle Project Workbook -- Proposal

    Before the Eagle Project can begin, the Scout must complete the Proposal section of the Eagle Project Workbook. The Scoutmaster won't sign off on it until the Scout does the following:
    1. Fill in all the text -- This proposal part of the document will always be part of the official write-up, so it must be typed on a computer, and use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Have someone else proofread it.
    2. Send PDF file to the Scoutmaster -- when it's done, email a PDF file to the Scoutmaster. He will upload it to an internal web page, so that all the other adult leaders of the troop can review it and weigh in with their advice and consent.
    3. Make modifications as needed -- The Scout can make modifications to the proposal based on input from troop leaders. When it's all done, then the Scoutmaster can sign off on it and the project can officially begin.

    Eagle Project Workbook -- Final Version

    Before the Scout can schedule a Scoutmaster Conference for the Eagle Rank, he must have completed the Eagle Project Workbook, including:
    1. Filling in all the text -- remember, this is an official document that will live on for years. It's not a facebook comment or informal email. So use complete sentences, avoid slang, spell out abbreviations, and have it proofread by someone else!
    2. Photos with captions -- you need several photos documenting the work of the project, with "before" and "after" versions where applicable. Each photo must have a caption to explain who is doing what in the picture. These also must be saved in pdf format. The easiest and best way to do this is to create the photo section with software like Microsoft Publisher or Word. Then you can resize photos, edit captions, etc., and easily print out a pdf file. If that's not possible for you, then you can always do it the old-fashioned way: physically paste photographs onto 8.5x11 sheets of paper, and physically paste captions (typewritten) below each photo. Then you scan scan in each page to produce a pdf file.
    3. Drawings, receipts and tables scanned in -- Anything else that goes into the project write-up should also be scanned in. This includes drawings, receipts, tables, etc.
    4. Letters of Recommendation -- when we receive the letters of recommendation, we'd like those scanned in, too.
    5. Create one big pdf file -- when everything is done, we need to merge all the pdf files into one big file. (The Scoutmaster can help with this step if needed.) We upload this file to our web page to let all the troop leaders review the final write-up. When this is done, THEN the Scoutmaster Conference can be scheduled. Note that having the final write-up on the web also serves as inspiration and ideas and examples for future Scouts to follow.

  • Board of Review (BOR) -- For each rank advancement starting with Tenderfoot, the Scout must go before the Board of Review (BOR) after all the other requirements are set. The BOR consists of three to six adults, not including the Scoutmaster or the Scout's parent. Normally, any dad at a meeting or on a campout will be invited to sit in on a BOR. They typically take 20-30 minutes per Scout, although that time often goes up for higher ranks.

    BORs for the Eagle rank are held at the Council level and have their own special requirements.

    The main objectives of a BOR are to make sure the Scout has completed the requirements for the rank, to see how good an experience the Scout is having in the troop, and to encourage the Scout to progress further. For information, see the Guide to Conducting Boards of Review.

  • Court of Honor -- The "Court of Honor" (COH) is an event where each boy gets public recognition for the awards and rank advancements he has earned since the last COH. It's also a good time to communicate with parents, such as discussing summer camp or high-adventure activities coming up.

    In our troop we hold a COH three times per year, usually around March, July, and October.

    The Court of Honor for a Scout earning the highest rank, Eagle, is usually separate from the normal tri-annual COH (see below).

  • Eagle Court of Honor -- The Eagle Court of Honor (ECOH) is perhaps the peak experience of Scouting. It is a chance to honor the Scout who has earned his way up to the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. It also has secondary goals of motivating younger Scouts to keep working toward their Eagle, and it also may attract outsiders to join Boy Scouts.

    Despite what you may have heard or read, there is actually no standard ceremony or requirements for the ECOH. The candidate himself, along with his parents, can decide exactly how they'd like the ceremony to go, where they want to hold it, and what kind of reception to have, if any. Of course, the troop will help out as much as the family desires. (If you want to see an example ceremony, see details from our troop's first ECOH on 10/29/2006.)

    Here is how costs are handled for an ECOH:

    Troop pays for: Family pays for:
    Eagle badge & pin
    Eagle parent pins
    Printed programs
    Requests for letters of commendation
    Frame for Eagle certificate & pin
    Speaker honoraria (if needed)
    Food for reception (if desired)
    Paper goods for reception
    Photo displays for reception
    Hall rental (if not CVBC)


  • "Ask your patrol leader" -- The phrase most often heard around a campsite or Scout activity is "Ask your patrol leader!" New boys are notorious for asking nonstop question of any adults around, but the Scout Method puts great emphasis on giving patrol leaders responsibility for their boys, so adults should be careful not to interfere with that. Of course, adults can help out from time to time to teach skills and impart wisdom, but let the PL do his job.

  • Email lists -- Email is by far the preferred method of communication in Troop 72. We have an email list for everyone connected with the troop -- Scouts, leaders, adults, relatives, helpers. If you are at all connected with the troop, please be sure that you are subscribed to our email list! Just send your subscription request to (and be sure to mention your name and phone number and how you're connected with the troop). The troop72-all email list typically sees about one or two messages per week, mostly announcements and reminders.

    We also have an email list just for adult leaders of the troop. That list gets much more traffic, as we plan, discuss, and brainstorm. And we have a third list just for the PLC. In 2009, we started yet another list, "troop72-friends". This one is for friends of the troop -- people who like to get occasional announcements about big events such as Courts of Honor and pancake breakfasts, without having to put up with all the smaller details of an active troop. The "friends" list usually gets only a few messages per YEAR. Anyone formerly associated with Troop 72 is encouraged to keep in touch with the troop by subscribing to "troop72-friends".

  • web pages ( -- The web is another way we communicate in Troop 72. This Guidebook you're now reading is on our web page, with hypertext links into many sections and subsections from the table of contents at the top, and also cross-links within the document.

    In addition to this Troop Guidebook, our troop web page features information like this:

    • Thousands of photos of past campouts
    • Names and phone numbers and email addresses of adult leaders
    • Permission slips for campouts
    • Packing list for various types of trips
    • Annual calendar overview
    • Plans for upcoming meetings
    • Forms of several kinds
    • Links to lots more information
    • Latest news about the troop

    One important component of our troop web page is the members-only section. Every troop family should have the user name and password for this; if you don't, email the Scoutmaster. The members-only section has information like this:

    • A table of the current rank of each Scout
    • Leadership positions and patrol assignments
    • Troop roster with phone numbers and addresses
    • Troop election ballots
    • Details on summer camp
    • Details on fundraisers
    • Attendance charts (from Troopmaster software)
    • Merit Badges earned by each Scout (from Troopmaster software)
    • Certain event details not for public consumption
    • Advancement record details for each Scout

  • Facebook group -- In 2014, we also added a private Troop 72 Facebook group to our communications arsenal. That is a great way to reach Scouts and families who aren't so good at checking email every day. In addition, it allows for posting photos and links, and fosters communication among the troop since anyone can post or reply to posts. This is a members-only page, so only families in our troop can see the posts.

Rules of conduct

Boy Scouts is a boy-led environment, but there do need to be some ground rules of conduct laid out for Troop 72:

  • Christian ministry emphasis -- The Boy Scouts of America is NOT tied to any one religion; they only require a belief in God. Many troops are chartered by schools, rod and gun clubs, etc.

    However, each Troop can focus on an area of religion if their charter organization so desires. There are troops chartered by Mormons, Catholics, Buddhists, Baptists, whatever.

    Troop 72 is first and foremost a ministry of Chippewa Valley Bible Church. As such, our primary goal is to teach godly Biblical values to boys.

    We make no assumptions about the spiritual or religious background of any boy joining the troop, but we treat boys as if they are Christians -- expecting the behavior of a Christian, holding worship services, sometimes Bible studies and discussions, integrating Scripture into some of the teaching, etc. All meetings and outings begin with prayer. (Note: CVBC is a non-denominational church; we use God's Word as our guide. For more information about the church, see the web page at

  • Adult leaders' behavior -- Adult leaders of Troop 72 are expected to maintain a standard of conduct, even outside of troop time. For example, anyone who is involved in an extramarital or premarital affair will not make a suitable leader, nor would someone who abuses drugs or alcohol (i.e., gets drunk). Given the rampant abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and various drugs in our culture, we request that our adult leaders set a good example by not using any tobacco on troop outings or activities. As for alcohol, there is an official policy with our national organization:
    "The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members."
  • Male leadership -- Adult leaders in Troop 72 are by and large male. There are some women who have some behind-the-scenes roles like troop treasurer, and other positions such as merit badge counselors. But our chartering organization requires campouts to be all-male events. (Exceptions must be approved by the elders of CVBC.) This simplifies logistics, and provides important role-modeling for adolescent boys. If you are a female who wants a leadership position on troop campouts, we encourage you to check out the other excellent troops in the Chippewa Falls area.

  • Two-deep adult leadership -- The rules of the Boy Scouts of America's national organization require "two-deep" leadership at all events, for the protection of the boys. This means that at no time can only one adult be with a boy or boys on a campout or other activity. If a second adult cannot be found to accompany the group, then the event must be canceled.

  • Respect for adults -- Boys in Troop 72 address adults by their proper title, e.g., "Mr. Hoffmann." We realize this isn't very common these days, but it is a good way to get the boys to show respect to their adult leaders (and it's what they already do for teachers and most coaches).

  • Respect for peers -- While a little friendly teasing and rough-housing is natural and healthy for adolescent boys, we try to encourage and enforce respect for peers. (E.g., we will try to prevent excessive teasing and mean-spirited making fun of other boys, as well as any use of profanity.) Also, boys are expected to pay attention when someone is talking to the group.

  • No electronic gadgets -- We do not allow devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and Gameboys on troop outings. There is nothing inherently wrong with these activities, but it robs the boy's time and attention away from other activities that are more helpful to his development. Believe it or not, boys in the 21st century still can have a lot of fun the old-fashioned way! (Note that adults may carry cell phones for emergency use and to provide a heads-up for return time.)

  • Soda pop & junk food -- Similarly, we try to limit junk food and soda pop on campouts. Pop is heavy to pack, can get messy and sticky if spilled, attracts bugs and animals, can lead to behaviour problems with the sugar/caffeine blast, and requires boys to pack out the empty cans. It just isn't worth it! Some sweets are allowed for desserts and snacks, but the boys are encouraged to plan well-balanced meals since that's required for some rank advancements.

  • Other contraband -- It should go without saying, but we'll say it just in case. We will swiftly deal with any boy who brings any "contraband" to any Scouting activity -- alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, pornography, firearms, etc. Repercussions may include expulsion from the troop.

  • Safety -- Boys do the planning and lead the way on Scout campouts and activities, but the adults are there to make sure that a minimum level of safety standards exist. For example, some parents cringe at the thought of their "little boy" wielding an ax or saw to cut firewood, but that is a privilege that the boy must earn by getting his "Totin' Chip" card.

    The Boy Scouts of America puts out a document that has all the minimum rules of safety that every Boy Scout troop needs to follow:

    "The Guide to Safe Scouting" (GTSS)

    Please read that and let us know if you have any questions. It covers safety while in the water (swimming, canoeing, sailing, etc.), safety while camping, first aid, youth protection, transportation, stoves and campfires, winter activities, and others.

  • Tips for new dads on campouts -- Fathers of Scouts are always welcomed and encouraged to join us on campouts! (Keep in mind, however, that some trips such as high-adventure have strict limits on crew size.) The main concept to keep in mind is that we are a boy-led troop. Here are some tips for dads who may be new to our troop:

    • No alcohol -- Alcohol is completely forbidden at any Scouting event by the Boy Scouts of America.
    • No tobacco -- smoking is prohibited on the grounds of L.E. Phillips Scout Reservation. If you must smoke on other campouts, please do so discretely so that boys don't see you, and never in a tent or cabin or vehicle with boys.
    • No firearms -- Guns are permitted only on official Boy Scout rifle ranges, not on normal campouts.
    • Avoid profanity -- remember that adults are serving as role models for the boys, so let's avoid swearing.
    • Avoid disciplining your own son -- This one is sometimes tough for parents. Try to work through the chain of command in the troop if there are behaviour issues. The last thing you want is for your son to wish you didn't come on the campout.
    • Let your son sleep in a tent with his patrol -- many new dads think they're doing their young son a favor by sleeping with him, but we find that it's better for the Scout to bond with the boys in his patrol and get a little independence from Dad. He'll appreciate that you're nearby, even if he doesn't show it.
    • "Never do what a boy can do" -- that is the slogan of Scouting's founder, Baden Powell. Yes, all of us dads love to build fires, hang the bear bag, split wood, etc. But if boys aren't allowed to do that (sometimes painfully slowly), they won't learn. You may need to bring a book on campouts to keep you busy!
    • Work through chain of command -- every Scout reports to his patrol leader (PL), and patrol leaders all report to the senior patrol leader (SPL), who reports to the Scoutmaster. If you see a Scout that should be doing something (or should STOP doing something), try to avoid directly commanding that Scout if possible. Rather, mention it to his patrol leader. Better yet, work through the SPL, who will work with that Scout's PL. That keeps the youth leaders in the loop, and being responsible for their boys is how they learn leadership.
    • Help make the Turtle Patrol the best ever! -- to avoid interfering with a boy-led troop, all the dads on a campout are in their own patrol, the "Turtle Patrol." We try to show off and out-do the other patrols in cooking, building camp gadgets, or whatever. You can channel your creative energy and camping experience in helping make the Turtle Patrol a great example for the boys, without directly interfering with their patrols.

Outside Organizations

Although Troop 72 is an independent organization under the authority of Chippewa Valley Bible Church, there are several organizations and activities larger than our troop that help to enhance our Scouting experience:

  • Area Council & District -- We are part of the Chippewa Valley Council, which serves over 5000 boys in ten counties in Northwest Wisconsin. The Scout Office for our Council is by Perkins in Eau Claire ( see map). Our council's main campground is L.E. Phillips Scout Reservation. The Chippewa Valley Council is divided up into four districts: Blue Hills, Clear Water, Tall Oaks, and our district, Glacier's End. (Notice the apostrophe -- "glacier's" is possessive, not plural, despite what you might read elsewhere! ;-) The Glacier's End District covers Chippewa County and parts of a few others, I think. (Let me know if you know more about this.)

  • Order of the Arrow --
    The Order of the Arrow (OA) is sort of an honor society for Boy Scouts. The purpose of OA is to recognize Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, and to promote camping traditions.

    An OA lodge has members from several area troops. Scouts are elected to OA by their fellow troop members. To be eligible, the Scout must be First Class or above, must have spent at least 15 nights camping in the previous two years, and must be approved by the Scoutmaster. For more information, see the "OA Basics" web page.

  • Camporees -- A Camporee is a weekend event where several troops from a district or council get together for a shared campout. Usually each troop has their own campsite and cooks their own food, but many of the day's activities are held jointly. Often a camporee is focused on earning a merit badge together, such as Orienteering (May 2001), Pioneering (Sept. 2005), Cycling (Aug. 2010), etc.

  • Jamborees -- A Jamboree is a national or international campout of Scouts. The National Jamboree is always held near Washington, DC, and draws 40,000 Scouts and Scouters. It is held every five years (2000, 2005, 2010).

Troop Structure

Scouting at its core is to be a boy-run program. The boys have a detailed organizational structure, implemented with elections and appointments. Adults are needed, of course, to provide transportation and oversight, but should operate in the background whenever possible.

  • The "Patrol Method" -- All of scouting revolves around the "Patrol Method." With the exception of a couple key troop leaders, all Scouts are divided into patrols. Patrols should consist of 3-8 boys. But since many boys can't make it to a given campout or meeting, we need to start with slightly larger patrols, so that we hit the 3-8 target in actual attendance. Boys are divided into patrols by the SPL, and can be reallocated once every six months, immediately after the SPL election. The founder of Scouting described patrols as "natural gangs" -- boys who would hang out together if given the choice. (Read more about the Patrol Method.)

  • Troop Elections -- There are two offices in the troop that are elected: the Senior Patrol Leader of the troop, and the Patrol Leader of each patrol.

    SPL Election
    The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is elected twice a year, in March and September. Any registered scout who is at the rank of Star or above and who has been to NYLT will be on the SPL ballot. (If fewer than three such boys exist, then the NYLT restriction may be relaxed.) Exception: In March 2012, we adopted a term limit policy. A Scout is limited to three six-month terms as SPL, in order to give others a chance to lead. (And in April 2015, we tightened the SPL term limits to TWO terms, since we have so many great candidates right now, and our purpose is not just to have a smooth-running troop, but to develop young men into leaders, and serving as Senior Patrol Leader in a busy troop is really best way possible to do that.)

    Votes can be cast in person at a designated regular meeting, or in writing before that meeting. A valid election requires the votes of over 50% of the active boys on the official troop roster. Whichever boy receives over 50% of the votes cast will be the new SPL for six months. If no boy gets 50% of the votes, then the top two will face off in another election that same night. If the runoff election also ends in a tie, it will be re-held, and if still a tie, then the Scoutmaster will decide how to pick the SPL from the two. Within one week of his election, the new SPL will appoint his ASPL and possibly other troop leaders.

    PL Election
    After the SPL election, we'll know who is left for the regular patrols. If any patrol reallocation needs to be done, now is the time for that. When patrol rosters are solidified by the SPL, then each patrol elects a Patrol Leader. Scouts can vote for their PL in person at the designated meeting (usually the week after the SPL election), or in writing before that meeting. We need votes from over 50% of the boys in the patrol, and the Scout who receives a majority of the votes cast will be the new patrol leader. If no majority is reached, the top two will be voted on again in a runoff election. If the runoff is also a tie, it will be re-held, and if still a tie, then the SPL will decide how to pick the PL. The PL will appoint his APL within one week of his election.

  • Leadership Positions -- Once the SPL is elected, the ASPLs are appointed, and the various Patrol Leaders are elected, then the SPL may choose to appoint other boys to troop leadership positions. (Boys appointed to other troop leadership positions remain in their patrols.) All troop leadership positions expire at the end of the SPL's term (six months after his election).

    In order to advance in rank past First Class, boys must serve in a troop leadership position. Any qualified boy can fill out an application for the position(s) he's interested in. The SPL can fill none, some, or all of the troop leadership positions, depending on availability and troop need. Once appointed, each boy signs a contract owning up to his duties and responsibilities of that position. Here's a list of troop leadership positions qualified for rank advancement, and their requirements (as approved by the PLC in September 2008):

    Leadership position Minimum rank Meeting attendance Campout attendance
    Junior Ass't Scoutmaster Eagle, former SPL 67% 67%
    Senior Patrol Leader Star, NYLT graduate 67% 67%
    Assistant SPL First Class, NYLT graduate 67% 67%
    Patrol Leader Second Class 67% 67%
    Quartermaster Second Class 67% 67%
    Bugler Second Class 67% 67%
    Scribe Second Class 67% 67%
    Librarian Second Class 67% 67%
    Chaplain's Aide Second Class 67% 67%
    Troop Instructor Second Class 67% 67%
    Troop Guide Second Class 67% 67%

    If a boy fails to meet the minimum attendance set up by the PLC, he may or may not be replaced by the SPL, but he will not receive credit for time served in that leadership position for rank advancement. Exceptions due to special circumstances may be granted by the PLC on a case-by-case basis. (NOTE: many boys are very involved with sports, band, etc. It is perfectly fine if they come to Scouts whenever they can! We'd much rather have a boy on ONE CAMPOUT a year than not at all. However, I'm sure you'd agree that a boy who can participate in only a small fraction of the campouts really is not taking on the full responsibility of a true troop leader.)

  • Job Descriptions --
    • Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) A Scout under age 18 who has been appointed by the Scoutmaster to help in guiding the troop and youth leaders. Typically, the Scout is an Eagle Scout and former SPL. The JASM is involved in more subtle "second level" leadership; i.e., helping and mentoring the SPL and other troop leaders in leading the troop. The JASM sits in as a non-voting member of the PLC.
    • Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) -- he's the guy in charge. He runs the meetings and campouts, and runs the PLC (Patrol Leaders' Council) meetings where troop decisions are made. He appoints all troop positions except for Patrol Leaders. The SPL can sign off most rank requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class.

    • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) - First Aid -- helps the SPL in training and giving direction to the troop and patrol leadership. He fills in any time the SPL can't be at a meeting or event. The ASPL also serves on the PLC. The ASPL-1st Aid is also responsible for maintaining the 1st Aid kit at all meetings and campouts, and teaching Scouts 1st Aid skills (in conjunction with the Troop Instructor).

    • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) - Washline -- This is the Scout in charge of the "wash line" for all campouts. He makes sure dish soap is there. He works with the patrol in charge of setting up the wash line to ensure that it's done correcting. He also gives a demo at each campout to make sure everyone understands the procedures, and usually will be watching like a hawk as Scouts go through the line to make sure they don't make a mistake like dumping lasagna into the wash water. The ASPL-Washline is also responsible for the trash at camp, and for taking out recycling cans in the church building.

    • Patrol Leader (PL) -- is elected by his patrol, and is in charge of it. He runs patrol meetings and helps make troop decisions on the PLC. He is the first line of leadership for most boys in the troop, and is especially valuable to new boys coming in. He makes the final decisions for patrol menus for campouts, makes sure his patrol has the right gear, and creates work charts. One of his main responsibilities is helping his newer scouts advance to First Class rank.

    • Scribe -- the "troop secretary" who handles all records and written notes:
      • Collects and maintains attendance records at meetings and outings;
      • Records results of uniform inspections;
      • Collects permission slips and money for campouts;
      • Records choices for merit badge clinics;
      • Serves as non-voting member of the PLC to record notes

    • Quartermaster -- responsible for the troop's equipment. Duties include:
      • Responsible for troop's flags and banner, bringing them to all events and returning them to storage.
      • Keeps inventory of troop camping equipment: ropes, stoves, tents, cooking gear, water filter, etc. Checks out gear to patrols or scouts as needed.
      • In charge of loading/unloading the trailer on campouts.
      • Responsible to repair or replace damaged gear.

    • Librarian -- maintains the troop library. The library is a resource for the troop while working on merit badges or planning events. His duties include:
      • Keep inventory of all merit badge pamphlets. Authorize purchase of additional pamphlets as needed.
      • Remove old merit badge pamphlets that do not meet current requirements.
      • Keep track of other troop written resources, such as Patrol Leaders' Guide, Fieldbook, Outdoor Cooking books, Boy's Life, etc.
      • For each merit badge clinic, looks through the list of sign-ups to see what badges each Scout in the troop is taking, and brings each required book to the clinic for their use.
      • Keep records on all materials checked out, and compile statistics on their usage.

    • Chaplain's Aide -- responsible for the spiritual development of the troop. He opens meetings and travel with prayer, and working with the Troop Chaplain, plans informal chapel services for campouts. Responsible for "Words of Wisdom" for every troop meeting.

    • Troop Instructor -- responsibility to teach skills and help boys advance in rank. Works with patrol leaders to help new boys get up to First Class rank. Plans and teaches specific skills at meetings and campouts such as "Fireman Chit" (campfire-building), first aid, cooking, "Totin' Chip" (knife and ax), pioneering, orienteering etc.

    • Troop Guide -- responsible specifically to help the New Scout Patrol (if there is one). The Guide will work with the newbies helping them learn to cook, organize patrol activities, and learn basic Scouting skills. The Troop Guide will work with the Troop Instructor to make sure all the new Scouts progress in sign-offs and learning.

    • Troop Historian -- in charge of maintaining the history of the troop. He keeps track of all kinds of troop records and trivia, "Halls of Fame" (e.g., SPLs, PLs, QMs), other awards like Zero Heros, etc. He presents some of these at every Court of Honor and campout, and also at some meetings.

    • Bugler -- helps run troop activities with bugle calls. Must bring the bugle to every meeting and campout. Plays "To the Colors" during the flag ceremony at every meeting and campout; plays "Retreat" during the lowering of the flag at the end of every meeting and "Taps" at lights-out on campouts. Also plays "Reveille" for the wake-up call, "Mess Call" for meals, and "Assembly" any time the SPL wants to gather everyone together. Since most troops (sadly) don't have a bugler any more, the Troop 72 bugler is usually asked to play for all the troops at Camporees and other multi-troop functions such as merit badge clinics. The bugler doesn't have to be perfect, but strives to the best he can with accuracy and tone quality.

  • Troop organizational chart -- The troop is all about the boys. Adult roles are informal and in the background. The SPL (Senior Patrol Leader) is the Scout in charge of the whole troop, and he runs the PLC (Patrol Leaders' Council), the main decision-making body of the troop.

  • Current personnel -- You can see the names of all the Scouts in the current leadership structure any time on the troop's members-only web page:

  • Troop Committee -- [TO BE WRITTEN]

  • National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) -- NYLT is an intense one-week training course held in early June at L.E. Phillips. To be eligible, Scouts must be at least 13 years old and have earned a rank of at least First Class.

    Because having trained youth leaders is so important for the future of the troop, Troop 72 pays for the cost of the camp (around $220) for eligible Scouts, except for the $50 deposit that the Scout must pay. (Scouts eligible for paid tuition include a Scout who has been a member of Troop 72 for at least two years, during which he has attended at least 67% of troop campouts, and who pledges to make it to at least 67% of future campouts in order to justify the troop investment.)

    During NYLT, which runs from Sunday morning to Saturday, Scouts cook three meals a day over an open fire, and get trained in various aspects of leading a Scout troop. Scouts at NYLT must have FULL uniform, including Scout shirt, pants, and even socks. Neckerchief and Scout hat are provided by NYLT.

    Scouts who do very well are often invited to be trainers for the following year. Trainers don't have to pay for the week, but being a trainer involves a commitment of several weekends from January through May.

    Scouts who have approval from the Scoutmaster should fill out the NYLT application and send it into the Scout office (710 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire, WI 54701) with their deposit check. The troop will pay the balance of the funds for certain Scouts (see above), but this is with the assumption that the Scout will finish the course. If he comes home early because of behavior issues or because he just didn't want to be there, then the family is responsible for reimbursing the troop for the cost of NYLT.

    For more info, see the NYLT page on the members-only section

    Adult Leader Training -- [TO BE WRITTEN]

  • Other parental involvement -- While we don't want adults to interfere with the leadership of the boys, there are many ways for parents to get involved with the troop. Here are a few examples:
    • Coordinating a fund-raising activity such as parking cars at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair
    • Serving as "Popcorn Kernel," the person in charge of the annual autumn BSA fundraiser
    • Introducing new concepts to the troop, such as when Mr. Randy Cassellius taught us how to do a proper flag retirement ceremony in 2010
    • Serving as Merit Badge counselor in your area of expertise (either work or hobby)
    • Teaching specialized skills like winter camping
    • Helping the Quartermaster buy new equipment
    • Helping the Chaplain's Aid plan chapel services and "words of wisdom" for meetings
    • Serving on Boards of Review for Scout rank advancment
    • Helping new Scouts and dads get registered with BSA
    • Keeping track of awards (merit badges and rank advancements)
    • DRIVING THE TROOP TRAILER to campouts!
    • Driving one of the church vans to a campout
    • One thing parents do NOT do in our troop is buy groceries or cook meals for the boys. The boys do all that themselves, by patrol. That's how they learn...and they get pretty good at it!

Troop Operations

  • Weekly Troop Meetings -- The goal of our Monday night meetings is never to be boring. To do this, each meeting must have a purpose. The main purposes of our meetings is to prepare for the next campout. Specifically, the Monday immediately before a campout is always devoted to buying groceries. The Monday before that usually includes making menus and planning activities. The Monday meeting after a campout is usually canceled, to allow recovery time. So the bottom line is that with an average of one campout per month, there is usually only one meeting per month that needs much planning, and even that one is sometimes taken up with a field trip to the YMCA pool, or Mouldy's archery range, or city hall, or troop elections, or a school holiday.

  • Troop camping -- Scouting is all about camping! We try to have a campout around once a month. Regular campouts on our annual calendar include Klondike Derby, Scout Island, bike trips, backpacking trips, and canoe trips. In the winter months, we often "camp" in a heated cabin at a Scout reservation. The cabins at L.E. Phillips have running water, but the ones at Fred C. Andersen do not.

    In 2009 we started doing "High Adventure" trips:

    • 2009 -- Northern Tier (16 guys, 6 days canoeing in the BWCA)
    • 2010 -- Philmont (12 guys, 12 days backpacking in New Mexico)
    • 2011 -- South Dakota (25 guys, 7 days exploring the Black Hills)
    • 2012 -- HUMICAT (18 guys, Hundred Mile Canoe Trip, 7 days on the Nakekagon and St. Croix Rivers)
    • 2013 -- Northern Tier (24 guys, 7 days canoeing in the BWCA)
    • 2014 -- Philmont (14-24 guys, 12 days backpacking in New Mexico)

  • Patrol Leaders' Council -- The Patrol Leaders' Council, or PLC, is the primary decision-making body of the troop. It is run by the SPL, and also consists of the ASPL and the Patrol Leader for each patrol. (The Scribe is a non-voting member of the PLC.) The PLC typically meets before or after or during meetings, and once or twice during each campout. They are responsible for planning themes and activities for meetings and campouts.

  • Troop-owned equipment -- The troop owns most of the equipment needed for camping: tents, cooking gear, stoves, trailers, water filters, etc. Our goal is not to include equipment payments in campout fees, to keep those fees affordable for everyone. To do this, we rely on donations from parents and other friends and support from our charter organization. If Scouts want to bring their own tents or backpacking stoves or water filters, that's fine with us! But those things should not be on the required packing list for individuals.

  • Loaner backpacks -- Since most boys coming into the troop do not own good backpacks, the troop has decided to have a few on hand for the purposes of loaning them out for backpack trips. The goal is to enable boys to get a taste of backpacking, while encouraging them to buy their own backpacks eventually. There is a nominal charge of $5 per weekend (including subsequent weekends after the campout, to encourage its timely return).

    If there are more people wanting to borrow a troop backpack then there are backpacks available for a given outing, they will be alloted according to these priorities:

    1. Top priority will go to an adult, if there are not already at least two adults going on the trip with their own packs. (If we don't have two adults, then the trip is canceled!)

    2. Next highest priority category are boys who have never borrowed a troop backpack before. (Within this category, priority goes from highest Scout rank to lowest.)

    3. Next priority goes to boys who borrowed a troop backpack before, but are still in their first year of Scouting (sorted by rank within this category).

    4. Last priority is boys who have borrowed a troop backpack and have been in the troop more than one year (sorted by rank within this category). These boys are last in line because they have already been through one fund-raising cycle, and can choose to earn funds to buy a backpack.

    A troop backpack is available for purchase at any time by a boy, who may use his Scout Account money or a personal check. The amount will be the original purchase price minus the total rental fees accumulated. This gives boys an excellent opportunity to "try before you buy" and make sure everything fits properly.

Troop Finances

Like any organization, operating an active Boy Scout troop requires finances. We have a Troop Treasurer who is responsible for writing checks, depositing income, and keeping an eye on the balance sheet.

  • Needs -- The troop spends money on many things during the year. The dues paid by the boys do not cover it all; we want to keep dues low so every boy can join if he wants. Expenses include camping gear, badges and awards, training fees, and more.

  • Fund-raising -- We do several fundraisers a year -- selling BSA popcorn in the fall, sometimes selling pop at the Pure Water Days parade, sometimes selling candy bars, etc. We'd love to offer more opportunities for boys to earn their own way, so let us know if you think of any!

    We are grateful for the generosity of our charter organization, who pays much of our operating expenses. Because of that, we are able to give back to the boys nearly 100% of the proceeds they earn in their various fund-raising activities. Thus, fundraising in Troop 72 is totally optional! We think it's a good idea for boys to earn their own way, but that decision rests with each boy and his parents.

  • Scout accounts -- Each boy has a "Scout Account" in our troop treasury. This is money set aside in his name that he has earned and that he can use to help defray expenses. Funds in the accounts technically belong to the troop, but boys can use their funds for dues, campout fees, merit badge clinics, and even to buy scout-related equipment. (For the latter, fill out a purchase request and turn it in with a receipt.) Purchase of equipment is discouraged if it interferes with the ability to pay for camp fees.

    When a boy drops out of the troop, then any funds remaining in his Scout Account will revert to the troop's general fund, since most of those funds were given to Scouting in general. (One exception is that if a boy ages out of the troop and has a younger brother in the troop, funds can be transferred to that brother.)

    Parents, grandparents, or friends can deposit money into the Scout Account at any time, which some find more convenient than writing checks for every campout.

  • Donations -- Any donations to the troop are always welcome! If you agree with the goals of Scouting, to raise our boys into responsible young men through outdoor adventure, donating to a troop is a great way to support those ideals. You can write a check to the troop at any time; it's a tax-deductible contribution. (To get a proper receipt at the end of the year for tax purposes, write the check to our charter organizaiton, "Chippewa Valley Bible Church," and put "Boy Scouts" on the memo line.)

    Some people donate their time; some donate their money; some donate both! Also note that if you incur any expenses on behalf of the troop (purchases, mileage, etc.) that are not reimbursed, you can deduct them from your income taxes as charitable donations.


If you are new to Boy Scouts, you may be confused by some of the acronyms and unfamiliar terms that are tossed around. Does your son return from a scouting activity and seem to be speaking a foreign language? Do you note some strange words on a flyer or calendar? This page is an effort to help define some of the more frequently used terms. (If you have suggestions for additional entries to the glossary, please send an email to "") (Note: If you are reading the online version of this Troop Guidebook, there are links from many glossary entries [underlined in blue] that you can follow for more details.)

APL -- Assistant Patrol Leader
The APL is a boy appointed by the newly-elected Patrol Leader.
ASM -- Assistant Scoutmaster
See Scoutmaster (SM).
ASPL -- Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
The SPL appoints one or more Scouts as his assistant.
Lord Baden-Powell was the founder of the scouting movement. The Baden-Powell training program is designed to get new scouts the basic scout skills and help them to advance to First Class.
BOR -- Board of Review
As a requirement for each rank advancement a scout must appear individually before a group of three to six adults (members of Troop Committee) to ensure that the scout has met the requirements for that rank. The SM and ASMs cannot sit on a BOR. A Board of Review takes place after a Scoutmaster Conference for Rank Advancement, or when a Scout requests it or if the Troop Committee feels the Scout needs it. Eagle boards are conducted at the district level.
A ceremony where Webelos Cub Scouts cross a ceremonial bridge to signify their transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. This is normally done at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting with Boy Scouts from the Webelos' new troop participating.
Campout attended by several troops within the district. Usually there are various competitions between the patrols attending. These are generally held twice a year, usually at the beginning of May and in the middle of September.
Charter Organization
The organization that is officially chartered by the Boy Scouts of America to carry out the scouting program at the local troop level. The main liaison between the charter organization and the troop is the Charter Organization Representative. (COR). Our charter organization is Chippewa Valley Bible Church .
Adult volunteer working at district or council level. Unit commissioners are assigned to units and should be a friendly resource to the unit leaders.
Committee Chairperson
A registered adult appointed by the Charter Organization to chair the Troop Committee. Presides at Troop Committee meetings. Works closely with the COR and Scoutmaster to ensure the scouting program meets BSA guidelines.
C.O.P.E. stands for "Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience." (Although some people claim it means "Countless Opportunities to Plunge Earth-ward.") It's a Boy Scout activity involving heights, trust and team building.
More information:
at Scouters Belay
COR -- Charter Organization Representative
A person assigned by the chartering organization to be the liaison between the troop and the charter organization.
An area of the country consisting of districts, each of which cover many troops. The Chippewa Valley Council, with headquarters office in Eau Claire, covers much of Western Wisconsin, including Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, and Rice Lake.
COH -- Court of Honor
An awards ceremony held periodically at which scouts and sometimes scouters are recognized for their rank advancements, merit badges earned, and other awards. (See Troop 72 COH.)
Cracker Barrel
A cracker barrel is an informal evening social event at which a light snack is enjoyed. The words evoke a memory of a few folks sitting around playing checkers on a barrel and eating crackers at an old-time general store. In Troop 72, we usually don't cook supper on the Friday of a weekend campout, so patrols often plan for a cracker barrel once camp is set up, since most people ate a quick supper at home before 5:00 p.m.
CVBC -- Chippewa Valley Bible Church
"CVBC" is the abbreviation of our chartering organization, Chippewa Valley Bible Church (
A subdivision of a council. Troop 72 is in the Glacier's End District of the Chippewa Valley Council. The Glacier's End district includes Chippewa Falls and Cadott, while the Clear Water District covers Eau Claire.
ECOH -- Eagle Court of Honor
An award ceremony convened specifically to honor one Scout who has earned the Eagle rank. (See Troop 72 ECOH.)
EDGE -- "Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable"
EDGE is an acronym used a lot in NYLT and other training courses.
Fred C. Andersen
A scout reservation on the St. Croix River, north of Stillwater on the Wisconsin side. This one is actually owned not by our council, but by the Northern Star Council in the Twin Cities. But we use it for winter camping sometimes, because several of our troop leaders are familiar with it, having used it while growing up in Scouting, and it's not too far and offers some great caves along the National Scenic Riverway.
FOS -- Friends of Scouting
Annual fund raiser for the council. The council does not get any share of your registration fee and is grateful for your donation.
HAT -- High Adventure Training
Training classes to prepare adults and older youth leaders to plan, lead, and supervise High Adventure Activities such as backpacking, white water, rappelling, wilderness first aid, etc.
Sometimes called "Jambo," it's a Scout meeting or campout on a grand scale. There are national and international jamborees, typically once every 4 or 5 years.
JASM -- Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
A Scout under age 18 who has been appointed by the Scoutmaster to help in guiding the troop and youth leaders. Typically, the Scout is an Eagle Scout and former SPL.
Klondike Derby
A winter event somewhat similar to a camporee. Overnight camping experience in the snow with team building games and activities, but camping is optional -- many troops come only for the Saturday activities.
L. E. Phillips
A scout reservation a few miles west of Haugen, Wisconsin (northwest of Rice Lake), about 55 miles from Chippewa Falls. This is a beautiful piece of land, including 5 lakes and 1400 acres of nearly untouched wilderness. This is owned by our Council, and is the site of our annual week-long summer camp, in addition to training camps, Klondike Derbies, and troop weekend winter camping.
To advance in the more senior ranks a scout must hold a leadership position for a set period of time. The rank requirements in the Boy Scout Handbook (as revised) lists the leadership positions that qualify.
National Eagle Scout Association. Open to membership to any youth or adult who attained the rank of Eagle Scout. The first year of NESA membership is paid for by Troop 72 for any Scout earning Eagle.
National Youth Leadership Training (formerly "JLT," Junior Leader Training), a one-week training course in June. (more info)
OA -- Order of the Arrow
A national brotherhood of scout honor campers of the Boy Scouts of America. Members are elected by their peers after meeting basic requirements of camping knowledge and experience. (See the OA section.)
OA Ordeal
The initiation ceremony experience for new OA members generally involving personal introspection, service to improve camp or trail and ceremonies based on Indian legend or lore.
Palms, Eagle
After a scout reaches the rank of Eagle, he can earn a Palm for every 5 additional Merit Badges he completes. You may wear only the proper combination of Palms for the number of merit badges you earned beyond the 21 required for the rank of Eagle. The Bronze Palm represents five merit badges, the Gold Palm 10, and the Silver Palm 15. For example a scout with 20 additional Merit Badges would wear a Silver and a Bronze Palm. In the first eleven years of Troop 72, only one Scout has earned Eagle Palms, Jasper Arneberg, who earned his fourth in January 2012.
The Patrol is the basic unit within a troop. It's made up of 3-10 scouts who camp, cook and eat together, and work as a team at various activities and events. You can see the current patrol structure in our members-only web page.
PL -- Patrol Leader
The elected leader for the patrol. He appoints an Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) to help in running the patrol.
PLC -- Patrol Leaders' Council
Boy leaders of the troop. (See more info under PLC section of Troop Operations.)
Annual process of re-registering the troop, scouts and scouters. Each unit designates leaders to collect the information and present updated paperwork to the council.
Monthly meeting for leaders to exchange ideas, fellowship, and, a few announcements that is run by the district. The roundtables for the Glacier's End district are usually held in Stanley or Chippewa Falls.
Any registered adult leader.
SM -- Scoutmaster
Adult leader who trains and guides the youth leaders in carrying out the scouting program. One or more Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) help the Scoutmaster and are often assigned specific roles and duties. The boys run the program, but the Scoutmaster sets the vision, does some of the big-picture planning, and communicates often with Scout parents.
SMC -- Scoutmaster Conference
A formal meeting that takes place at a Troop meeting or activity between a Scout and the Scoutmaster, or a person he designates, to review a scouts progress. A Scoutmaster Conference takes place at advancement time before a Board of Review, when a Scout requests it or if the Scoutmaster feels the Scout needs it.
Scoutmaster Fundamentals
The basic Adult Leader Training. Despite the name, this is an excellent training program for any adult wanting to become more involved in the Boy Scout program, or who just wants to learn more about how the program works. It would be useful to help any parent better understand the philosophy behind Boy Scouts, and how the boys learn leadership.
Scouting for Food
National Good Turn: Every year, Scouts collect food for the fight against hunger. Bags for canned food are distributed on a Saturday in April and then collected the following Saturday. The food is turned over to local food banks for distribution to needy families. This is a national "Good Turn" of the Boy Scouts of America.
Scout Island
An island on the Chippewa River owned by another troop in town. This island is actually within the city limits of Chippewa Falls! We are very grateful to Troop 13 for letting us use their island once in a while for some private but close camping.
SPL -- Senior Patrol Leader
The senior-most elected youth leader of the troop. The SPL is in charge of the troop at all functions and activities. He appoints one or more assistants (ASPLs) and other troop leaders to help him in running the troop.
Totin' Chip
A card that enables the bearer to use knives, axes, and saws. It must be earned by the Scout through educational and hands-on safety sessions led by an adult leader. Any time a Scout is observed doing something unsafe with a sharp tool, a corner is cut off his Totin' Chip card. When all four corners are gone, the card is taken away and must be re-earned.
Tour Permit
A document that must be filed with the council office before any official scouting activity can take place. Special permits are required for travel out-of-state, over 500 miles, or for flying activities.
Troop Committee
Adult committee of registered adults that provide oversight, assistance, and guidance to the Scoutmaster in carrying out the scouting program within the troop. The Troop Committee is responsible to provide the necessary resources requested by the PLC and Scoutmaster that are required to carry out the scouting program.
Advanced Training for Boy Scout adult leaders. Woodbadge is also referred to as Advance Scoutmaster Training. Any adult who has taken Scoutmaster Fundamentals) can attend this advanced training course to expand their knowledge of the scouting program and be of more help to the troop.

NOTE: Nothing in this glossary should be considered the official policy of Troop 72 or of the Boy Scouts of America; it is intended only as a short description of some of the more common terms used in scouting. Official BSA or troop policy should be consulted if there are any questions.

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