Boy Scout Fast Start Troop Meeting BOY SCOUT FAST START PROGRAM As new Scout leaders and parents, you are probably trying to envision how the Scouting program works. This Fast Start training is a quick orientation to help you get ready for your first Boy Scout meeting. OVERVIEW OF THE TROOP MEETING This section gives you an overview of the troop meeting. This 90-minute, weekly event is truly boy-run. The goal is to use the patrol method to develop leaders and enable the boys to "run the show." Your role as a Scoutmaster is to facilitate the patrol method, offer advice, and guide the boys throughout the process. BOY-RUN PROGRAM • The boy-run program is delivered through the patrol method. • "The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the only way. Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout troop." —Robert Baden-Powell Troop Meeting THE PATROL METHOD • With the Scoutmaster's direction, the boys are formed into patrols, plan the troop's program, and make it a reality. Patrols are made up of small groups of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Although patrol size varies depending on a troop's total enrollment and needs, the ideal size is eight boys. • Each patrol selects a name for itself and takes pride in its own identity. Its members strive to make theirs the best patrol possible. • The patrols elect boys into key leadership positions: – – Senior Patrol Leader Patrol Leaders SENIOR PATROL LEADER • Elected by all members of the troop. • In charge of troop meetings from beginning to end. • The Scoutmaster works with SPL before and after the troop meeting to give guidance. • SPL runs the meetings. The Scoutmaster gives him the tools to succeed. PATROL LEADERS • A patrol leader is elected by members of the patrol. • Responsible for the patrol's activities. • Represents the patrol as a member of the patrol leaders' council. Troop Meeting THE PATROL LEADERS' COUNCIL • Holds monthy meetings to plan activities. • Organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for weekly troop meeting. • Holds annual program planning conference to create yearly plan for the troop. • Patrol leaders' council, not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning troop activities. THE ROLE OF THE SCOUTMASTER The Scoutmaster is the adult leader responsible for working directly with the Scouts to help them create the program for the troop. One of your most important challenges as Scoutmaster is to train boy leaders to run the troop by providing direction, coaching, and support. They will make mistakes now and then and will rely on your to guide them, but only through hands-on experience as leaders can boys learn to lead. THE ROLE OF THE SCOUTMASTER • Trains and guides boy leaders. • Works with other responsible adults to bring Scouting to boys. • Uses the methods of Scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting. • Can be male or female, but must be at least 21 years of age. • Is appointed by the head of the chartered organization. Troop Meeting THE TROOP MEETING Surprisingly, for boys in these age groups, your meeting should be very organized. There are seven parts of a troop meeting that can be adapted to the activities you need to accomplish in a 90-miniute meeting. This sevenpart agenda keeps your troop meeting at a rate that maintains the attention span of the boys. The troop's senior patrol leader conducts the entire meeting under the Scoutmaster's watchful eye. THE TROOP MEETING: SEVEN PARTS • Preopening Activity • Opening Ceremony • Skills Instruction • Patrol Meetings • Interpatrol Activity • Closing • After the Meeting Troop Meeting STEP ONE: PREOPENING ACTIVITY • What do you think would make a good preopening activity? • Sit quietly waiting for the meeting to start. Not very realistic. Boys need to burn some energy before the meeting starts. • Provide some sports equipment and let them play whatever they want. Good for burning off energy, but many sports games don’t accommodate the addition of players as the boys arrive. • Plan an upbeat activity that allows boys to join in as they arrive and promotes cooperation among the boys. This is the best strategy for a preopening activity. There are plenty of these activities provided in Troop Program Resources. STEP ONE: PREOPENING ACTIVITY • Occurs as Scouts begin arriving. • Should include physical activity. • Begins 15 minutes before the meeting starts. • Facilitated by the senior patrol leader and the assigned patrol. STEP TWO: OPENING CEREMONY • Why have a set opening ceremony for each meeting? • The set opening focuses the boys on the reasons they are in Scouting and consistently reinforces the values of the program. Troop Meeting STEP ONE: PREOPENING ACTIVITY • What do you think would make a good preopening activity? • Sit quietly waiting for the meeting to start. Not very realistic. Boys need to burn some energy before the meeting starts. • Provide some sports equipment and let them play whatever they want. Good for burning off energy, but many sports games don’t accommodate the addition of players as the boys arrive. • Plan an upbeat activity that allows boys to join in as they arrive and promotes cooperation among the boys. This is the best strategy for a preopening activity. There are plenty of these activities provided in Troop Program Resources. STEP ONE: PREOPENING ACTIVITY • Occurs as Scouts begin arriving. • Should include physical activity. • Begins 15 minutes before the meeting starts. • Facilitated by the senior patrol leader and the assigned patrol. STEP TWO: OPENING CEREMONY • Why have a set opening ceremony for each meeting? • The set opening focuses the boys on the reasons they are in Scouting and consistently reinforces the values of the program. Troop Meeting STEP TWO: OPENING CEREMONY • Opening Ceremony - Five minutes in length • Senior patrol leader calls the troop to fall into patrols. • Senior patrol leader calls on a Scout to lead the troop in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Scout Oath, and the Scout Law. • Reinforces values. • Scout Oath On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. • Scout Law A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. STEP THREE: SKILLS INSTRUCTION • Skills Instruction - 15 to 20 minutes in length Troop Meeting STEP FOUR: PATROL MEETINGS Patrol Meetings - 15 to 20 minutes in length • Plan for upcoming outdoor activities--menus, equipment, etc. • Conduct routine weekly meeting business such as attendance, dues. • Prepare patrol's assignment for the next troop meeting. • As the boys finish their business and grow restless, move on to the interpatrol activity. STEP FIVE: INTERPATROL ACTIVITY Interpatrol Activity - 15 to 20 minutes in length • Fun • Hands-on • Reinforces a Scouting skill • Suggestions are available in the Scoutmaster Handbook and Troop Program Resources. STEP SIX: CLOSING Closing - The Scoutmaster's Minute. • Scoutmaster gives a closing message. • The message reinforces the values expressed in the opening ceremony. • Quiet, serious time. • Messages can be found in Troop Program Resources. Troop Meeting STEP SEVEN: AFTER THE MEETING • Review the current troop meeting. • Offer praise for things that went well. • Offer encouragement and suggestions to handle things that did not go well. • Review assignments for the next troop meeting. GETTING EXTRA HELP Where do you get meeting themes and ideas? • Five months are covered in the Scoutmaster Handbook. • Troop Program Features has three volumes with three years of meeting plans. • Scouting magazine offers monthly themes. • You may download the Troop Meeting Plan form and Tips for Effective Troop Meetings by clicking here. Troop Committee OVERVIEW OF TROOP COMMITTEE • What does the troop committee do? • Ensures quality leadership is recruited and trained, including Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters. • Assigns qualified assistant Scoutmasters to continue the program if the Scoutmaster slot is vacated. • Supports leaders in carrying the program. • Responsible for finances, adequate funds, and disbursements based on the annual budget developed by the committee • Serves on boards of review and courts of honor. MAIN POSITIONS Committee Chair • Organizes the committee to ensure all functions are delegated, coordinated, and completed • Maintains a close relationship with the charteed organizations representative and the Scoutmaster. • Creates an agenda and presides over troop committee meetings. Secretary • Keeps minutes of meetings and sends out committee meeting notices. • Prepares a family newsletter of troop events and activities. • Reports minutes from last meeting at each committee meeting. Troop Committee Treasurer • Handles all troop funds. • Pays bills on recommendation of Scoutmaster and authorization of committee. • Keeps adequate records in the Troop/Team Record Book. • Supervises money-earning projects that support the troop¹s programs. • Reports to the troop committee at each meeting. Outdoor • Helps secure permission to use camp sites. • Serves as transportation coordinator. • Secures tour permits for all activities. Advancement Coordinator • Works with troop scribe to maintain all Scout advancement records. • Arranges quarterly troop boards of review and courts of honor. • Ensures Scouts are recognized for their accomplishments. Chaplain • Provides spiritual tone for troop meetings and activities. • Promotes regular participation of each member in the activities of the religious organization of his choice. • Visits homes of Scouts in times of sickness or need. Training Coordinator • Ensures that troop leaders and committee members have opportunities for training. • Responsible for BSA Youth Protection training within the troop. • Stays up-to-date on all BSA training materials, videotapes, and other training resources. Troop Committee TROOP COMMITTEE MEETINGS • Are attended by all committee members and the Scoutmaster. • Can include invited guests, such as chartered organization representatives or the unit commissioner. • Promote the support and administration of an active troop. • Last approximately 1 1/2 hours. Troop Committee SUGGESTED TROOP COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA • Call the meeting to order—Chair • Welcome and introduction of new members and guests—Chair • Approval of previous meeting's minutes—Secretary • Reports – Scoutmaster (troop progress, actions of patrol leaders' council, disciplinary problems, attendance, monthly outing plans, other troop needs) – Secretary (newsletter, additional resource surveys) – Outdoor/activities coordinator (outdoor plans, special activities, district and council activities, summer camp update) – Treasurer (report on current financial standing, money-earning projects, Friends of Scouting) – Advancement coordinator (troop advancement progress, boards of review, courts of honor) – Chaplain (update on chaplain support to troop members, religious emblems program) – Training coordinator (new training materials, youth leader and adult volunteer opportunities for training) – Equipment coordinator (status of new and existing troop equipment and of troop needs, new procedures for safe use and storage of equipment) • • • • Old business (reports on task assignments from previous meeting) New business (assign tasks as issues are discussed) Announcements (including date of next month's troop committee meeting) Adjournment Outdoor Program OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW As new Scout leaders and parents, you probably know that the outdoor experience is a vital part of Scouting. This section will show the steps involved in creating successful outdoor programs. Camping is a unique tool used in Scouting where Scouts and their Scoutmasters are together in nature for a definite period of time for individual training in character, initiative, and physical and moral development. It can be a "laboratory for life." OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW A few reasons why a strong outdoor program is vital: • The outdoor program provides the Scoutmaster with the opportunity to create moments of positive influence in a boy's life. • Nature is a classroom without walls that is ideal for teaching and learning Scouting skills and relationship skills. • When Scouts walk the same trail and cook and eat together, they learn to respect others' opinions, do their full share, and develop lasting friendships. • The outdoor program gives boy leaders opportunities to develop working teams and to face real leadership tests. • The outdoor program enables boys to experience the greatness and inspiration of nature. Outdoor Program PROGRAM PLANNING This section gives you an overview of the steps you need to take to plan safe, effective outdoor programs. There are six key parts in planning an outdoor program: • Establishing a purpose • Selecting a site • Building a program of activities • Providing two-deep leadership • Taking care of physical requirements • Using the patrol method PART ONE: ESTABLISHING A PURPOSE • Although keeping the boys engaged and focused are side benefits to building a program of activities for each outdoor program, the real purpose is to ensure every outing enhances their skills and helps the boys achieve their rank advancement. • This reinforces the aims of Scouting: character, citizenship, and mental fitness. PART ONE: ESTABLISHING A PURPOSE • Enables boys to pick up new skills and improve upon old ones. • Coordinates with a theme based on a monthly program feature. • Gives members of the patrol leaders' council an opportunity to develop their leadership skills as they plan and conduct their troop's campout. Outdoor Program PART TWO: SELECTING A SITE How do you find a good campsite? • Check with your local council for a list of suggestions. • National, state, and local parks and forests often have appropriate camping areas. • Even a community park can be the setting for a good outdoor experience. Once you've found your site, make sure you: • Contact the owners or managers of the site in advance. • Understand and obey any regulations to the letter. • Ensure your troop members protect the natural resources by adhering to guidelines and using the principles of Leave No Trace camping. Outdoor Program PRINCIPLES OF "LEAVE NO TRACE" • 1. Plan ahead and prepare. Proper trip planning and preparation helps hikers and campers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably while minimizing damage to natural and cultural resources. Campers who plan ahead can avoid unexpected situations and minimize their impact by complying with area regulations such as observing limitations on group size. • 2. Camp and travel on durable surfaces. Damage to land occurs when visitors trample vegetation or communities of organisms beyond recovery. The resulting barren areas develop into undesirable trails, campsites, and soil erosion. • 3. Pack it in. Pack it out. This simple yet effective saying motivates backcountry visitors to take their trash home with them. It makes sense to carry out of the backcountry the extra materials taken there by your group or others. Minimize the need to pack out food scraps by carefully planning meals. Accept the challenge of packing out everything you bring. • 4. Leave what you find. Allow others a sense of discovery: Leave rocks, plants, animals, archaeological artifacts, and other objects as you find them. It may be illegal to remove artifacts. • 5. Minimize campfire use. Some people would not think of camping without a campfire. Yet the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by the overuse of fires and increasing demand for firewood. • 6. Respect wildlife. Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Considerate campers observe wildlife from afar, give animals a wide berth, store food securely, and keep garbage and food scraps away from animals. Help keep wildlife wild. • 7. Respect others. Thoughtful campers travel and camp in small groups, keep the noise down, select campsites away from other groups, always travel and camp quietly, wear clothing and use gear that blends with the environment, respect private property, leave gates (open or closed) as found. Be considerate of other campers and respect their privacy. Outdoor Program PART THREE: BUILDING A PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES • Although keeping the boys engaged and focused are side benefits to building a program of activities for each outdoor program, the real purpose is to ensure every outing enhances their skills and helps the boys achieve their rank advancement. • This reinforces the aims of Scouting: character, citizenship, and mental fitness. PART THREE: BUILDING A PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES Help the patrol leaders' council develop Scouting activities the outdoors seems made for—nature, advancement skills, exploration, tracking and compass challenges, environmental awareness, cooking specialties, star hikes, and conservation Good Turns. Stress safety and use the patrol method all the way. PART FOUR: TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP One of your most important jobs as an adult leader is ensuring the protection of your troop members. To ensure safety, every campout and short-term camp must have qualified adult leaders. As a rule, Scouts may not conduct an activity unless two or more adults as a minimum of leadership are assured. In this section, we'll explain the purpose of this two-deep leadership and also review the Youth Protection policies established by the Boy Scouts of America. Outdoor Program PART FOUR: TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP Two-deep leadership is required on all trips and outings: • Two registered, approved leaders. OR • One registered leader and a parent or guardian of a participant, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age. • For large groups, it is advisable to take several adult leaders and parents. In addition to two-deep leadership, adhere to BSA's Youth Protection policies. • Beginning January 2003, the local and national tour permit applications will require Youth Protection training for at least one of the adults who will accompany the Scouts. The national tour permit will require all registered adults to have Youth Protection training to participate in a nationally sponsored event or activity. • National tour permits are required on all Scouting tours or trips that are 500 or more miles one-way. The local council establishes the requirements for local tour permits, which are required on all Scouting tours or trips that are shorter than 500 miles. Outdoor Program PART FOUR: TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP Two-deep leadership is required on all trips and outings: • Two registered, approved leaders. OR • One registered leader and a parent or guardian of a participant, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age. • For large groups, it is advisable to take several adult leaders and parents. In addition to two-deep leadership, adhere to BSA's Youth Protection policies. • Beginning January 2003, the local and national tour permit applications will require Youth Protection training for at least one of the adults who will accompany the Scouts. The national tour permit will require all registered adults to have Youth Protection training to participate in a nationally sponsored event or activity. • National tour permits are required on all Scouting tours or trips that are 500 or more miles one-way. The local council establishes the requirements for local tour permits, which are required on all Scouting tours or trips that are shorter than 500 miles. Outdoor Program No Hazing Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited by the Boy Scouts of America and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity. Appropriate Attire Proper clothing is required for all Scouting activities. Skinny-dipping is not condoned by the Boy Scouts of America. Junior Leader Training and Supervision Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior leaders and ensure that Boy Scouts of America policies are followed. In the New Leader Essentials Video, there is a segment on "Safe Scouting" that covers additional safety issues. There is also a Guide to Safe Scouting book for your reference. Outdoor Program PART FIVE: TAKING CARE OF PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENTS • Tour permit • Equipment • Food • Transportation • Adult leadership help • Troop program plan PART SIX: USE THE PATROL METHOD • Enables boys to develop into youth leaders. • Teaches Scouts how to cooperate and work together. • Enables boys to learn from each other. • Promotes advancement. • The patrol method is detailed in the Troop Meeting section and the Basic Concepts of Scouting section. Outdoor Program SCOUTMASTER RESPONSIBILITIES Although you should stand back and let the boys run the outdoor program, you as a Scoutmaster play a key role in its success. In the outdoors, as well as during every troop activity, you are leading by example. Scoutmaster Responsibilities for the Outdoor Program • Make sure the six steps of outdoor program planning are followed. • Ensure your troop has a monthly outdoor activity. • Plan a long-term camping experience or high-adventure activity at least annually. Basic Concepts BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING So, what makes Scouting work? What is the formula that makes this program so different? In this section, you'll explore the basic concepts behind the Scouting organization—concepts that have helped build character, citizenship, and patriotism in our youth for nearly a century. BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING: OVERVIEW Scouting is a program with a purpose. It is a way for youth to gain strong ethics, moral fiber, and duty to God, all while learning valuable skills. And it is a way to develop future leaders. The world has changed, but the basic concepts of Scouting have remained constant, with values, aims, and methods that continue to mold boys into exceptional adults. BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING: VALUES • Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. Scout Motto • Be Prepared. Scout Slogan • Do a Good Turn Daily. Scout Oath • On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Scout Law • A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. Basic Concepts BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING: METHODS • This section gives you an overview of the methods of Scouting. The Boy Scouts of America uses eight fundamental methods to give boys fun and adventure and to achieve Scouting's aims of encouraging character development, citizenship, and mental and physical fitness. Basic Concepts BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING: VALUES • Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. Scout Motto • Be Prepared. Scout Slogan • Do a Good Turn Daily. Scout Oath • On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Scout Law • A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. Basic Concepts BASIC CONCEPTS OF SCOUTING: AIMS Character Development • Encompasses a boy's personal qualities, values, and outlook. • A Scout learns confidence, honesty, and self-respect. • A Scout respects other people, regardless of differences. • A Scout practices his religious beliefs. Citizenship Training • A Scout works among others in a troop with rules based on the common good. • A Scout learns about and takes pride in his own national heritage. • A Scout understands social, economic, and governmental systems. • A Scout learns service, tolerance, and community involvement. Mental and Physical Fitness • A Scout improves his physical condition through exercise and outdoor activities. • A Scout encourages good health habits. • A Scout discourages drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. • A Scout learns sound judgment, resourcefulness, and decision-making skills. Basic Concepts EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: THE PATROL METHOD Within the larger community of the troop, the patrol is a Scout's "family circle." Often made up of boys who are close in age and experience level, each patrol helps its members develop a sense of pride and identity. The boys themselves elect the patrol leader, divide up the jobs to be done, and share in the satisfaction of accepting and fulfilling group responsibilities. The Patrol Method • Involves groups of six to eight boys each. • Each patrol elects a leader and has its own identity. • Leadership changes regularly. • Enables boys to discover what they're good at and work on skills they need to improve. Basic Concepts EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: THE OUTDOORS The outdoor experience is the very essence of Scouting. It's a place where Scouts can practice the skills and activities they've learned at troop meetings and learn to live with each other—and work as a team. The Outdoors • Outdoor experiences can occur almost anywhere—from a camp to a community park. • Troops should camp out every month. • Every Scout uses the Leave no Trace camping method to preserve the environment. • Every Scout learns valuable outdoor skills. EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: ADVANCEMENT Advancement • Recognizes achievements. • Sets a lifelong pattern of setting positive goals and reaching them. • Builds confidence. EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: ASSOCIATION WITH ADULTS Association With Adults • Boys learn by watching adult conduct. • Scout leaders become positive role models for troops. • Association with adults accelerates personal growth and the maturity of the boys. Basic Concepts EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: PERSONAL GROWTH Personal Growth • Scout-age boys experience dramatic physical and emotional growth. • Scouting helps them channel this change into productive endeavors. • Scouting helps boys discover their places in the community. EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership Development • Leadership skills are learned by doing. • Every boy fills leadership positions of increasing responsibility. • Boys learn planning, organization, and decision making. • Boys learn to be effective leaders and good followers. In the Boy-Run Program section of the Troop Meeting segment, you'll see how the senior patrol leader relates to the Scoutmaster while leading the troop through its weekly meetings. EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: THE UNIFORM The Boy Scout uniform gives boys a true sense of belonging to their patrols and troops. When people see a Boy Scout in uniform, they expect someone of good character who is prepared and helpful to those around him. Scoutmasters in full uniform set a good example for their troops and are perceived as community leaders. Basic Concepts EIGHT METHODS OF SCOUTING: THE UNIFORM Take a look at the Official Boy Scout Uniform. F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions About Boy Scout Fast Start The troop I have joined doesn't have any assistant Scoutmasters like shown in the video. Where do I get this support? The troop committee is responsible for adult recruiting. The Troop Committee Guide, No. 34505B, has an excellent section on adult leader recruiting. How do I build more adult support? Ask adults to do a specific task. I will be working with a new/young troop that doesn't have youth leadership developed. The Fast Start video/material pretty much provided experienced youth leadership as a starting point. What do I do? Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific training will give you practical examples of how to teach Scouts to run their own troop meetings. Contact your district or council to learn how you can take part in the training. The troop is not operating like that shown and described in the video. They don't use the patrol method and adults pretty much plan and run the whole show. What do I do? Contact your district or council to learn how you can take part in Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific training. F.A.Q. I have a fairly full schedule and will not have much time for additional training. How important is it that I take additional training, and how soon should I take it? Scouting recognizes the value of your time, so the training has been designed in short modular segments. It lets you continue to grow into your Scouting position. It is recommended that you receive training within the first three months of assuming your position in Scouting. The first part is New Leader Essentials followed by the position-specific training for your volunteer role. Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific training has been developed for troop leaders who meet with the Scouts, and the Troop Committee Challenge is for troop committee members. What if I have to miss a troop meeting or activity? Two-deep leadership is important every time adults are meeting with youth. If the Scoutmaster is not available, assistant Scoutmasters work with the senior patrol leader to conduct the troop meeting or activity. It is important to have two-deep adult leadership present every time an adult is meeting with youth. You may need to ask a troop committee member or a parent to attend. Where can I find ideas for outdoor activities? Contact your council service center for suggestions. Be sure to ask when and where your monthly roundtable meetings are held. These meetings will provide specific program ideas you can use with your Scouts. The roundtable is also a great place to develop a network of other Scoutmasters who are willing to share their knowledge of local camping areas and activity ideas. F.A.Q. Where can I go camping? Contact your council service center for possible locations. Be sure to ask about council camp facilities. What is a tour permit? Where do I get a tour permit as mentioned in the outdoor program section? Tour permits are necessary in planning a safe and successful outing. They focus on transportation safety and are available from your council service center. More information is available in the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific training sessions. Where can I get the Guide to Safe Scouting? This booklet, which provides policies and procedures for conducting activities in a safe manner, is available online at www.scouting.org/pubs/gss. A prited edition is also available (item no. 34416) at retailers in your area that sell BSA merchandise or it can be ordered online at www.scoutstuff.org Our troop committee only has the minimum members. Several positions are vacant. How can I do the job without this support? Don't let the size of the committee be an obstacle. The key is to divide the tasks, which is critical in giving the Scoutmaster a greater ability to work with the youth. Then start to invite other parents to join the committee and give them a task to accomplish or a committee assignment. It is the responsibility of the troop committee chairman to recruit and develop a strong committee with the assistance of the chartered organization representative.