Troop 511 FAQ

This sheet will provide some quick information and endeavor to answer some of the more frequently asked questions. Please feel free ask any adult leader, committee member, or one of our parents questions.
Uniforms
Field Uniform (“Class A”) - Button down BSA khaki shirt with patches & troop neckerchief, olive shorts or pants, belt, socks, closed toe shoes (athletic or hiking style). A non-branded, troop, or BSA t-shirt may also be worn under the uniform shirt. This uniform is worn at all troop meetings and events unless otherwise specified.
Activity Uniform (“Class B”) - Troop t-shirt or any BSA t-shirt worn with scout uniform pants or shorts. Worn during specific activities, frequently on campouts; also worn on the last meeting of
the month.
Accessories - any hats, sweatshirts, jackets, or additional items worn during a BSA or troop event should be a troop, or BSA branded item. When wearing shorts, BSA socks must be worn.
Court of Honor or Board of Review Uniforms
Field Uniform with pants and sash are typically worn during a Court of Honor or Board of Review (see below for definitions) with dress shoes or hiking boots. No hats.
Rank Progression
Scout -> Tenderfoot -> 2nd Class -> 1st Class -> Star -> Life -> Eagle -> Eagle Palms
Scout rank is earned first and may be worked on as soon as joining the troop. This rank is earned before any other rank is worked on.
Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class rank requirements may be worked on in any order once Scout rank is earned. The ranks will be awarded in order. In the event your scout earns a rank in between Courts of Honor, they will be awarded during a scout meeting and recognized again at Court of Honor.

TIP: Summer camp usually offers a “Trail to First Class” course that will complete a majority of the requirements for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. Scouts new to the troop are encouraged to take this program at their first summer camp.

Rank Advancement
Every time your scout has completed one or more of the requirements for rank, it needs to be signed by the Scoutmaster (SM) or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM). In certain instances, the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), or a Patrol Leader (PL) may sign off on a scout’s requirement.
Scouts should bring their Scout Handbook to every meeting and campout, as requirements may be completed and signed off on at the conclusion of the event or meeting.
TIP: If your scout works on a requirement at home, as a parent, you may initial to the left or under the requirement to note you have witnessed the event being completed. The SM or ASM must still sign off on the requirement.

Scoutmaster Conference & Board of Review (BoR)
The last items for rank advancement are the SM Conference, followed by the Board of Review. After completing all the other requirements, the scout may request a SM Conference with any of the ASMs, or the SM. While the conference should be completed prior to Board of Review (BoR), it may done on the same day.

Boards of Review are typically scheduled for the week or two before one of our three Courts of Honors. BoRs may be requested at any time and may be scheduled more often. This is just a conversation with the scout, *not* a retesting! The BoR gives the scout an opportunity to discuss his experience up to that point with the Troop Committee members.

Court of Honor (CoH)
Court of Honor is a troop activity where all scouts, their families, and their guests come together to celebrate and receive a scout’s awards, and have a good time together. It is important for the scouts' family members to be there for their scouts receiving his rank advancement, merit badges, and other awards. It is also important for scouts to participate in a court of honor because it counts towards the Second Class Req. 3a and First Class requirement 3.0.

Scout Positions of Leadership
Your scout may be elected or named to a position of leadership. Many are part of a rank requirement and there are a number of positions available. Any scout in office will be asked to attend the training for their leadership position. These will be scheduled by the Scoutmaster every 6 months for each term. They help govern and run the troop. Those who accept office will be required to attend the Patrol Leaders Conference (PLC) weekly, also known as “Green Bar.”
Examples of Leadership: Den Chief, Scribe, Librarian, Historian, Quartermaster, Jr Asst Scoutmaster, Chaplain Aide, Patrol Leader (PL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and a few others.

Merit Badges
Your scout may begin earning merit badges as soon as he is a registered scout. When beginning a merit badge, the scout should approach the merit badge counselor (MBC) to let them know of their wish to start. The MBC will then “open a blue card” so they may begin. Merit badge requirements are tracked through a physical blue card.

There are places in the area where your scout can enroll in a “camp” to earn merit badges.  These can be week long summer day camps, a day or two over winter/spring break or weekends.  Examples of agencies providing merit badge classes: Houston Natural Science Museum, Houston Health Museum, Idea Lab Kids, Moody Gardens, and Sam Houston Area Council (merit badge fairs or university).

Meetings
The meetings in the troop will feel very different than the cub scout meeting. Only scout adult leadership and the scouts participate in and lead the meetings.Parents do not need to attend the meetings, but are welcome to stay and observe from the back of the room.  There is a time at each meeting for announcements which are often very helpful for parents. It a good time to speak and ask questions with/from the other parents.

The meetings structure often consists of scouts participating in rank advancement activities, planning for campouts, scout leadership elections, and such.  The time before and after the meetings can be used to have Assistant Scoutmasters and/or Scoutmaster sign off on rank requirements, Merit Badge counselors sign off,or to schedule Scoutmaster conferences.

Camp-Outs
The troop plans monthly camp-outs.  The camp-outs are scout led and planned.  Unlike cub scouts, parents are not required to attend camp-outs and parents who are not part of the adult leadership team will have very little if any responsibility on the camp-outs.  For example, the boys plan their own meals, shop for them and cook them with the leadership and assistance of older boys in the troop. The camp-outs are a great way for the scouts to earn rank requirements.
Parents may attend campouts - please speak with an adult leader if interested.

Scoutbook and the Scout Handbook
Your scout’s progress is tracked through their physical Scout Handbook and the online, web-based program Scoutbook.com. You and your scout can keep an eye on progress on the web; no special app is needed.

Communication within the Troop
You and your scout should sign up for our Troop Yahoo! Groups page. It is a closed and private group, only for our members. All communication is posted. You may adjust the frequency you receive the posts via email on your own account. If you do not have a Yahoo! email account, it is worth creating one for troop emails and notifications. However, you may opt to have the notifications sent to a non-Yahoo! email account. Occasionally, Scoutbook will email notifications as well.

(Updated April 11, 2017)