FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
For new Scouts and Parents
This FAQ page is an attempt to aid new Scouts and their parents in quickly coming up to speed on the basics of being member of Troop 86. We request that new parents take the time to review this page with their Scout.
Introduction As all Boy Scout Troops are supposed to be, Troop 86 is boy-led, promoting the Scouting ideals as spelled out in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. Troop 86 has ample leadership opportunities for all of our Scouts as they progress.
Troop meetings start promptly at 7:00pm sharp Monday evenings at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 339 Route 82, Wappingers Falls, NY. The Hall is on the south-bound side of Route 82, approximately five hundred feet south of All Angel’s Hill Road (County route 94). To join Troop 86, a Youth Application must be completed; Parts A and C of the BSA Medical Form must be completed (these two parts of the medical form do NOT require a doctor). All forms are available for download under the "Forms" section of both our main website and the Scoutlander one.
Dues For detailed dues information please see the "Dues" section of our website.
Uniform and Handbook A new Scout needs a Boy Scout Handbook, and should have a Boy Scout Uniform. Historically, the Troop supplies custom neckerchiefs to our new Scouts.
The latest edition of the handbook is necessary. As explained in the section on "Advancement" this is where a Scout's progress towards ranks is signed off. Uniforms, handbooks, and other Scouting materials may be purchased at the Little Darling Shop on Route 9 in Wappingers, the Council Scout Store in Newburgh, or online through www.Scoutstuff.org. We also have a uniform exchange program within the Troop, and can sometimes assist a new Scout in acquiring a previously worn uniform.
Equipment At a minimum, the Scout should have his own sleeping bag (zero degree Fahrenheit rating), hiking boots, mess kit, canteen or water bottle, flashlight, and toiletry kit. A day-pack is also recommended. Larger back packs are necessary later when the Scout is ready for long distance, overnight hiking. For hikes, wool or acrylic hiking socks and hiking boots or suitable trail shoes are required.
The Troop also owns tents. If a tent is needed the Scout should reserve one at the Troop meeting preceding the trip and return it the Troop meeting after the trip. He is responsible for caring for the tent and ensuring that it is returned in the same condition he found it.
Rules for the use of knives and axes on outings are discussed in the Safe Scouting Practices section.
Advancement Boy Scouts must take individual initiative to pursue advancement. Unlike Cub Scouts, they move through advancement at their own rate. It is up to the individual Scout to examine the requirements for upcoming ranks and ask other Scouts (First Class and above) or adult leaders to assist and sign them off on requirements. It is up to the Scout to be aware of the advancement activities he needs to complete.
Upon completing a requirement a Scout's book should be signed by an adult Scout leader or a First Class and above Scout. The Scout must make sure that he informs the Scoutmaster of his completed requirements so that the Troop database can be updated. This is important in the event he loses his Handbook. Parents cannot sign off on a Scout's requirements, even if they are leaders.
Outings Scouts plan, acquire, bring, and prepare their own meals by Patrol. They are provided with the necessary stoves and cooking utensils by the Troop, and are responsible for cleaning and maintaining all Troop equipment that they use. Adults participating in an outing typically plan, acquire, bring, and prepare their own meals independently of the Scouts.
Parent Participation All parents are invited to join the Troop Committee, or on occasion assist in some way when volunteers are needed. Most events are preplanned at our annual Program planning meeting, and will have an adult leader/coordinator assigned at that time. All parents and boy-leaders (SPL, ASPL, and PL) are expected to attend this meeting, and all adults are expected to volunteer for coordinating an event or to help with transportation.
All parents are encouraged to register with the BSA as adult leaders even if not assuming a specific leadership position. Insurance regulations require that trips be led by registered adult leaders, so registration is required even if a parent's only activity for the year is to lead a single trip. A photocopy of the adult's driver's license must be submitted with the registration form for the equivalent of a criminal history background check.
Parents are expected to refrain from smoking while in the presence of the Scouts. We don't expect a parent not to smoke during an entire campout; however we do ask that you remove yourself from the area and view of the Scouts. This includes all functions, i.e. campouts; meetings; fundraisers, etc.
Insurance regulations require that any car used to drive Scouts to/from a Scouting event be registered on the trip permit. For this reason all parents are asked to supply the Troop's Outings & Risk Management, Permits, Training leader with the following information for any cars that may be used during the course of the year for transporting Scouts:
- Kind, year, and make of vehicle
- Number of seatbelts
- Number of passengers
- Owner's name
- Driver's license number
- Will everyone wear a seatbelt? (YES)
- Insurance coverage:
- Liability per person
- Liability per accident
- Property damage
Safe Scouting Practices
The Scouting program as defined by the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 86 has extensive measures in place to ensue a Scout's safety. This section is only an overview of those measures:
Personal Responsibility First and foremost, a Scout must adhere to the Troop 86 Guidelines so as to not endanger himself or others. Failure to do so can result in expulsion from a Troop activity, or even the Troop itself.
Adult Skills and Safety Training The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) requires specific training for adults leading a Scouting trip. For example, Youth Protection Training is needed by least one registered adult on a trip. All overnight trips required an adult with Planning and Preparing for Hazardous Weather training. Trips involving swimming or boating require a CPR certified adult plus a Safe Swim Defense and/or Safety Afloat trained adult. Climbing/rappelling require a Climb On Safely trained adult, etc.
Most of the training is offered online, the link is under Web Links on the left of this page. The typical online training course takes less than an hour.
Scout Knife, Ax, and Fire use No Scout is allowed to bring and/or use a knife, ax, or saw on an outing unless they have earned a Totin' Chip. A Totin' Chip is a card certifying that the Scout has received basic training in the use of these camp tools. Totin' chip training is usually conducted by the Scoutmaster or his designated adult leader at the earliest opportunity, typically on a Scout's first campout with the Troop. It is also offered at summer camp. If upon receiving a Totin' Chip card a Scout is found to violate any of the safety rules a corner of the Totin' chip's card will be cut. A Scout getting four corners of his card cut loses privilege to use these camp tools for 6 months and must repeat the training to regain the privilege.
THE ONLY KNIVES PERMITTED FOR USE BY SCOUTS ARE FOLDING KNIVES UNDER 3," NO FIXED BLADE or SHEATH KNIVES.
Youth Protection including 2-on-1 and 1-on-2 All adult leaders undergo a screening process by the Boy Scouts of America. All adult leaders are required to participate in the BSA's online Youth Protection Training every two years. No exceptions. Each Scout outing requires two deep adult leadership with at least one leader having up to date youth protection training. All parents are encouraged to register with the BSA (as Committee members) and take the youth protection training. The link to the youth protection training (and all other BSA online training) is under Web Links on the left of this page.
Key aspects of the BSA's safe Scouting procedures that must be understood by all adults and Scouts are the following:
- No adult is permitted 1-on-1 contact with a Scout other than their own child. There must be either more than one adult or more than one Scout present for any adult/youth interaction (i.e. 2-on-1 or 1-on-2). Scoutmaster conferences for example generally will take place off to the side of a Troop meeting within sight of his Troop. Similarly, if a Scout is to be reprimanded that Scout will typically be taken aside and spoken to within sight of the group. A parent cannot drive alone with a Scout other than their own child, etc.
- No adult is permitted to sleep in the same tent with other than their own child (1-on-2 is not permitted in this case). Generally, Scouts are expected to tent with another Scout.
- No adult is permitted to sleep in a vehicle with anyone but their own child.
- No adult is permitted to enter a locker room, bathroom, shower facility, etc. where Scouts are present, unless there is an extreme emergency.