Troop 33 Handbook: Program

Patrol Method

Patrols are smaller teams of boys of varying ages and ranks within the Troop, each with its own name and sense of identity. Each patrol generally consists of six to eight Scouts. Each patrol elects its own Patrol Leader from among its ranks. The Patrol Leader, or in his absence, the Assistant Patrol Leader, is responsible for organizing and leading all activities of his patrol, including, for example, the preparation and implementation of duty rosters for campout or program activities.

The patrols are the most important units of the Troop. Troop activities are generally carried out by the patrols. At Troop meetings, each patrol is given time to have a patrol meeting in which to plan meals, and other activities. In camp, patrol members help one another set up tents, cook meals, and do cleanup. Troop 33 also encourages each patrol to have activities separate from normal Troop activities when necessary. The patrol should become a team of good friends working together to make things happen.

New Scouts may be organized into a new Scout patrol for the first year.. A new Scout patrol will normally have a Troop Guide (an older experienced Scout) to assist in its patrol activities.

PLC/Greenbar Meeting

The Troop is governed by a Patrol Leader's Council, "PLC" or "Greenbar" (a reference to the Greenbars on the patch of office for Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders) which is made up of the Troop's Senior Patrol Leader, the Patrol Leaders from each of the patrols, Troop Guides, and sometimes certain other Troop officers. Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leader elections are held once a year, in September. All candidates for these positions should also participate in junior leadership training campout. Troop Guides are appointed by the adult leaders. Other positions are appointed by the SPL, with the advice and consent of the Scoutmaster, and, require the rank of Tenderfoot or above, but preference is usually given to those higher in rank. Satisfactory service in such a leadership position is a requirement for rank advancement above the level of First Class. Scouts will be counseled about fulfilling the responsibilities of their leadership roles. Those who do not satisfactorily discharge their duties are subject to removal at the discretion of the Scoutmaster and will not advance pending completion of the necessary leadership requirements.

The PLC/Greenbar meets at immediately before the Troop meeting at 6:45, and immediately after the Troop meeting until 8:45. All members of the PLC should attend every meeting. If you are carpooling and you do not want to make your carpool wait, a ride will be arranged for you.


Regular participation in the activities of Troop 33 is necessary if a Scout is to be eligible for advancement in rank. This may be described in Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster conferences in greater detail with regard to a specific Scout's schedule and his attendance at meetings, campouts, summer camp and special events.

Scouts are asked to let their Patrol Leaders know when they will be unable to attend a meeting or activity and to be responsible for obtaining any information they may have missed. Meetings are an important means of communication. Troop meetings are at Westminster Presbyterian Church, in the Scout Room, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. each Monday during the school year. A Scout should call his Patrol Leader for information about the meeting (if he is absent).

Scouts sit by Patrol at all Scout meetings. The Scout sign is used at meetings to call for order, quiet, and attention, and should be observed by both Scouts and adults.

Attendance at Scout Sunday at Westminster in January or February is extremely important. This is our best chance to show off the troop to our sponsor. Parents are welcome at the service. Information about the upcoming year's Scout Sunday will be given out during January's meetings.


A Troop's outdoor program is the main attraction that Scouting has for most boys. The PLC/Greenbar, supported by the adult leaders and Troop Committee, works to provide a variety of outdoor camping experiences which are coordinated with the advancement and merit badge programs.

At the campouts every Scout learns to be responsible for himself and his own camping gear. He will be asked to contribute to his patrol's success and, as he advances, to take on more responsibility as a junior leader in the Troop.


Campout planning is done by each patrol at the Troop meeting one to two weeks before the campout. At that meeting, the patrol leader selects who will get the food, patrol meals are planned, attendance and rides are arranged, and a campout duty roster should be completed.

Note: A Scout planning to attend a campout, who is not able to attend the Troop planning meeting, should inform his Patrol Leader of his plans as soon as possible so that campout transportation, food and duties can be adjusted. A Scout who plans to attend at a campout should always inform his Patrol Leader (or the acting Patrol Leader for the campout) if the Scout's plans change, so assigned campout duties can be revised.

Camping-Out Rules

At campouts, patrol members camp together in the location designated for their patrol. Each Patrol Leader designates individual Scouts to be in charge of planning patrol menus, preparing equipment, buying food ("Grubmaster"), cooking and clean up. Scouts are expected to do their share of patrol duties.

Most Troop campouts focus on Scouting skills; as a result, attendance at campouts of non-Scout siblings is discouraged, as this tends to detract from the program focus and undermine enforcement of Troop and camp rules.

The Troop completes a "Police Call" of the camping area at the end of each campout. Boy Scouts should always leave an area better looking than we they came. Unless a Scout has an urgent need to leave early, and has been excused by the SPL and Scoutmaster, all Scouts are expected to remain in camp until dismissed by their Patrol Leader after the Police Call.

Order and discipline on campouts is generally in the hands of the Scoutmaster, SPL, and JLC. Each Scout and parent must review and agree to abide by the following rules:

Troop 33 Weekend Campout Rules

Scouts and adults are expected to adhere to the Scout Oath and Law. Scouts and adults are also reminded of the following specific Troop 33 rules.

  1. Wear your full Class A Scout uniform to and from the campout if required. Class B uniform (Troop33 t-shirt or Camp Ajawah t-shirt) is encouraged for other campouts.
  2. A Scout may touch another Scout's equipment or belongings only with permission.
  3. No hazing or harassing (physical or verbal) of any kind. Fighting is not permitted.
  4. Parents may be required to travel to camp at their expense and take a Scout home who fails to abide by the troop and camp rules.
  5. Camping and duties will be by Patrol. Scouts will perform duties in cooperation with the Senior Patrol Leader, their Patrol Leader, and Assistant Patrol Leader.
  6. "Buddy System" is in force for all water activities or when outside immediate camp area.
  7. Lights out at 11 P.M. (or otherwise at Scoutmaster's discretion).
  8. No fires will be left unattended.
  9. Once something has been in the fire, IT STAYS IN THE FIRE!
  10. Fire safety rules will be strictly enforced.
  11. Scouts will maintain their tents and gear in inspection condition.
  12. The consequences of failing to abide by the Camp and Troop rules include extra work detail, calls home, and being sent home.
  13. Read and know the Troop 33 Handbook.
  14. At campouts, patrol members camp together in the location designated for their patrol. Members of each patrol should share tents whenever possible.
  15. Staff should discourage Scouts from being in the Staff area, unless they have a specific need to be there. Scouts should stay in their Patrol Site while cooking or cleaning is being done.
  16. Every patrol needs a duty roster. Scouts and adults perform their duties in accordance with the duty roster
  17. The Troop completes a Police Call of the camping area at the end of each campout.
  18. Unless a Scout or adult has an urgent need to leave early, and has been excused by the SPL and Scoutmaster, all Scouts and adults are expected to remain in camp until dismissed by their Patrol Leader after the Police Call.
  19. Prohibited Items:


  1. The consequences of failing to abide by the Troop 33 Camp Rules or of any behavior deemed inappropriate by the Scoutmaster include: quiet time isolation, extra work details, telephone call home and/or being sent home. Scouts and Scout Parents understand that if a Scout is sent home, the Scout's parents may be required to pick him up at the campsite and take him home.
  2. A warning system will be in effect for minor inappropriate behavior problems. Consequences will be assigned as warranted. The most severe consequences may be assigned directly without the assignment of less severe consequences first.

Camping Gear

The Troop provides shared patrol gear, including tents and cooking equipment, for each patrol. Each Scout is responsible for his personal gear. Scouts should strive to bring the minimum gear necessary, and to pack it so that all gear can be carried by the Scout to his patrol's campsite in a single trip. The Boy Scout Handbook has helpful information on camping and camping gear.

Recommended Personal Gear for each Scout:

Every campout:

  1. Scout uniform (if required)
  2. Sleeping bag appropriate to the weather
  3. Sleeping pad or thermarest
  4. Duffel bag or Backpack
  5. Tent (probably provided by your Patrol)
  6. Ground cloth for tent
  7. Water bottle(s) or platypus-type water sack with drinking tube (minimum 2 liters)
  8. Reusable cook kit/cup (even if your Patrol provides cook kit, it is a good idea to always have your own)
  9. Folding knife (less than 3")
  10. Fork and spoon kit (see #8)
  11. Sturdy rain jacket and pants (most ponchos generally do not provide sufficient protection), which should always be packed at the top of your pack for easy access in case of sudden rain.
  12. Small 2 AAA battery flashlight or head lamp
  13. Waterproof or water resistant boots
  14. Hat
  15. Extra socks and underwear (this is very important)
  16. Scout Handbook (with the Scout's name written across the outside edge of the book), pen, notebook
  17. Small towel
  18. Toiletries (soap, toothbrush)
  19. Non-aerosol insect repellent and sunscreen (as appropriate by time of year)

October - April Campouts (depending on weather)

  1. Synthetic or down filled sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees or better
  2. Warm jacket
  3. Gloves, at least one pair.
  4. Warm hat

Prohibited Items:
See list above under "Camping Rules."

Parents Please Note:

Cotton clothes are a poor choice for camping, as cotton is bulky, cold and slow to dry when wet. When possible, one or two light layers, made of quick-drying synthetic materials, such as supplex, should be used. Polartec, or a similar synthetic fleece, is excellent for layering and remains warm even when wet.

If a Scout is taking medication during a campout, the Scout's parent should advise the adult leadership before the campout. If the parent wishes an adult at the campout to supervise this, written instructions should be provided as to when and how the medication is supposed to be taken.

How Parents can help their Scout advance:

Make sure your son knows what rank he is working on. Encourage your son to take his handbook to every meeting, campout, swim, and service project, or other activity where he might pass something. Familiarize yourself with the requirements, so you know what he should be working on. All rank requirements appear in the handbook: Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class on pp. 14-16, Star, Life and Eagle pp. 594-96. A scout can be working on requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class all at the same time. For example, if your son hasn't completed Tenderfoot yet but there is an Orienteering Meet, he can still go and pass the First Class orienteering requirement. Also, make sure your son attends activities so he can pass the requirements. Some requirements, like tying a Square Knot, can be passed any time, but some, like service projects , swimming, completing an orienteering course, and cooking meals, are best done when we do those activities as a troop.

To help your son complete Merit Badges, you can help by encouraging him to:

Scouts tend to want to pass all of their merit badges with Troop leaders that they know. But the rules say a Scout should earn no more than 5 merit badges from any one counselor, and no more than 2 of the 11 specifically required for Eagle from any one counselor. It's especially hard for some Scouts to telephone an adult they don't know, but it's a useful thing to learn to do. Fortunately, most of these counselors are friendly and like kids and want to help them advance. Parents need to encourage their Scouts to do this as Troop33 does not have counselors for every merit badge.

Adult Leadership and Troop Committee

Troop 33 requires support and participation by adult leaders who provide invaluable assistance, support and guidance. Adults participate in and support Troop 33 through their roles as adult leaders (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters), merit badge counselors, and Troop Committee members. All parents are encouraged and expected to be actively involved in Troop 33, either as adult leaders who assist with program activities, as Troop Committee members who set policy and provide administrative support for Troop activities, by participating as a Merit Badge Counselor for a skill in which you have training for, or by accompanying the Troop on campouts to ensure that there is sufficient supervision by maintaining at least a 1 adult to 10 youth ratio.

Everyone's help is needed. Troop volunteer opportunities exist to match the level of interest and availability of every adult. The adult leader and Troop Committee commitments can be brief, e.g. as board of review panel member, short term e.g. merit badge counselor or Subcommittee Chairman, or longer term, e.g. Assistant Scoutmaster or Troop Committee officer.

The Troop's Scout-led patrols, meetings, and outdoor program are supported by the Troop's adults, especially the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters. Troop Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters must successfully complete training in Boy Scout Leader basic training, and are actively encouraged to attend the Wood Badge training for advanced adult leader training.

All adults are strongly encouraged to take the Boy Scout Leader basic training course. This helps all parents understand the Troop's program and goals. Adults who plan on attending more than 2 weekend campouts must attend Boy Scout Basic Leader Training offered by the Metro Lakes District of the Viking Council, or by another district of the council. Exceptions may be granted only by the Scoutmaster, under conditions he may set.

All merit badge counselors and adults participating in campouts should attend Boy Scout Youth Protection Training.

The Troop Committee is made up of interested parents and other adults. Troop 33 has a very active committee which has the responsibility of behind the scenes planning of the Troop policy and activities. The committee helps out with things such as bus maintenance, fundraising, and recruitment. All parents are invited to participate in the Troop Committee which meets at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 7:00 P.M. the first Tuesday of each month. Please feel free to call any of the Committee members for information.

Adult Participation in Campouts

  1. Adults who expect to participate in more than 2 campouts with the troop, or who want to participate in any high adventure camp, must attend Scout Basic Leader Training, offered by the Metro Lakes District or another district of the Viking Council.
  2. The primary aim of adult participation in campouts is to "act like Scouts." Accordingly, adults should review the Scout campout rules and adhere to them, including the wearing of the Scout uniform.
  3. The principal benefits for Scouts of the outdoor program are the self reliance and sense of accomplishment that come with individual achievement. Therefore, parents should refrain from assisting their son(s) (or son's patrols) with camp activities. Scouts should seek guidance from their Patrol Leaders or Assistant Scoutmasters. Adults should bring problems or concerns (and compliments!) to the attention of the Senior Patrol Leader or the Scoutmaster.
  4. Attendance at campouts of non-Scout siblings is discouraged, as this tends to detract from the program focus and undermine enforcement of Troop and camp rules.
  5. Adults ordinarily will camp in their own designated staff campsite. Adults do not share tents with Scouts, including their own sons, and generally should avoid the area of their own son's patrol as this generally tends to be a distraction for the other boys in that patrol.
  6. Every adult on a campout will have an important job - assisting or instructing Scouts. Every adult attending will be assigned duties on the Duty Roster.
  7. Adults will eat all meals with the staff patrol.
  8. Maintain "two deep leadership" on all activities.
  9. Do not bring alcohol on campouts. BSA policy prohibits the use of alcohol at any activity involving Scouts.
  10. Smoking in the presence of Scouts is strongly discouraged. BSA policy encourages adults to refrain from smoking at activities involving Scouts.

GEAR LIST For Adults Participating in Campouts
See the Scout Gear list, above.

Adults Driving to Campouts
Troop 33 is lucky enough to have a very nice bus which is generally available for most campouts. However, there are times when for one reason or another the bus is not available and we will need to ask parents for assistance in getting the boys to a campout.

Adults attending campouts are expected to provide rides for Scouts who need them. Adults attending campouts are required to file with the Troop current driver's license and insurance information required for Troop Tour Permits and BSA insurance.


For each campout, each Patrol will designate its Grubmaster, who is responsible for obtaining menus for the campout from the Patrol and purchasing the food. He collects the necessary money from each patrol member at the start of the campout. This is a learning experience that requires planning and the execution of that plan. In order to emphasize working skills, set menus and lists of ingredients may be provided for campout meals, and should be observed. Parents should provide minimal help in the shopping - absolutely refrain from doing it all. . A Patrol Grubmaster should contact his Patrol Leader to verify the number of patrol members attending. If a Scout tells his Patrol Leader that he is coming on a campout, and then does not show up, that Scout is still responsible for his share of the cost of food. Which he will be expected to pay at the next Troop meeting.

Camp Ajawah

Summer Camp is a great time for advancement and having fun. The Troop attends Camp Ajawah and boys have the option of attending one or both of the boys sessions that are offered. It is particularly important for the new Scouts to attend summer camp, although all Scouts will benefit. Excellent facilities are provided for difficult-to-obtain merit badges such as Canoeing, Rowing, Life Saving, Environmental Science and several others. It also provides a necessary requirement for election into the Order of the Arrow. Attendance at summer camp may require additional or updated medial forms.

High Adventure Camps

The Boy Scouts of America (National) offers outstanding high adventure programs in which our Troop has participated. Our troop routinely attempts to organize trips for Scouts 14 years of age and older to Moab Utah, for a Spring Break wilderness backpacking experience. Additionally, other camping adventures for the older Scouts may involve the canoe trip to Canada for ten days, or other incredible trips!!! The age minimum for these trips is generally 13 or 14. Troop 33 endeavors to engage in a variety of these programs every year. Attendance at high adventure camp may require new or additional medical forms.

Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is a national brotherhood of Scout honor campers, based on brotherhood with fellow Scouts and cheerful service to others. Its purpose is to:

The Order of the Arrow program is conducted through a separate lodge, in Minneapolis it is the Tonkawampus Lodge, under the local Boy Scouts of America executive. Troop members are nominated and elected to membership by fellow Scouts during our fall elections. They must meet certain entry qualifications, which include: hold a rank of First Class or higher, and spend at least 15 days and nights of camping (6 of which must be at long term summer camp, and the remainder of which should be weekend trips). More information on the OA can be obtained by contacting the OA Troop Representative.

Service Projects

Service projects, which include Troop projects and projects organized by Scouts who are working on their Eagle rank, are an integral part of the Scouting program designed to aid the development of character and citizenship. Hours (outside Troop meetings) working on approved Troop and/or Eagle Scout projects are required for advancement to most ranks. Announcements and sign-ups for service projects generally take place at Troop meetings and announcements will usually be posted on the Troop web site.

Wreath Sales

The sale of the Christmas Wreaths is the critical element in the fund raising program for funding Troop 33 activities. Each Scout in the Troop is expected to make a commitment to this program, as each Scout has or will benefit from the funds that are raised in the effort. Therefore, it is Troop 33's policy that all Scouts will sell at least 25 wreaths. Participation in wreath sales is an important element in showing the Scout Spirit required for advancement for all ranks. If a Scout does not adequately participate in such sales, he may have to pay additional fees for certain events, such as the Houseboat Trip, or the Washington D.C. Trip. Troop 33 maintains a very active program which requires a good deal of money to fund. Without Scouts selling wreaths we would not be able to have the kind of program we currently have.

The sale begins in late September or October every year, and wreaths are delivered the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Return to the Troop 33 Handbook