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How to Join the Troop

Welcome to Boy Scout Troop 291.

To join the Troop, please follow the steps outlined below.

The steps guide you through the process of joining Boys Scouts, completing necessary paperwork and getting access to the Troop’s online calendar and message board.


Registration Process


1. Scout Application

Complete the required new Scout and Adult Applications and turn in at your bridging ceremonies or as soon as possible at a Monday Troop Meeting.

Print out and complete the "Youth Application" form linked here:

Download Scout Application Form - "Youth Application"
Full Link to forms: https://www.scouting.org/resources/info-center/forms/

This is a fill-able PDF form. You may simply fill out page 5 (Local Council Copy) and then print and turn in 1 copy of pages 5 and 6 to the troop and save a copy for your files. Questions: email committeechair@bsa-ncac-troop291.org.

A newly bridged Scout can attend Monday meetings immediately but can’t advance, attend camping events, or even work on merit badges until their applications are processed due to insurance/liability issues. Please bring completed forms to your bridging ceremony or a Monday troop meeting. Check our troop calendar for the troop meeting schedule: http://www.bsa-ncac-troop291.org/home/calendar 


2. Adult Application and Youth Protection Training

Print out and complete the "Adult Application" form linked here:

Download Adult Application Form - "Adult Application"
Full link to forms: https://www.scouting.org/resources/info-center/forms/

You may simply fill out page 4 (signature page) and page 5 (Local Council Copy) and then print and turn in 2 copies of pages 4 through 7 to the troop and save a copy for your files. If you already have a BSA membership number, write this on top of page 4 of your application.

All adults who will have contact with scouts must take BSA Youth Protection Training. YPT is required so that the scouter parent understands the expectations, limitations, and restrictions for safe adult leadership. YPT is online training found at Internet website: https://my.scouting.org/ To take YPT, either sign in to your existing BSA online account or create a new BSA account (save your password for future use). You are required to create a verified BSA account so your YPT certificate may be formally documented and registered to you. You will also be asked what BSA Council you are in. Our troop is in the National Capital Area Council - Bethesda, MD 082.  You will not have your BSA Identification Number yet. Don’t worry. Please print out a hard copy of your certificate and save a PDF version. You can submit your YPT certificate to a scout leader at a troop meeting and/or send the electronic copy to: committeechair@bsa-ncac-troop291.org.

Youth Protection Training (YPT): 
http://www.scouting.org/Training/youthprotection.aspx


3. Scout and Adult Troop information forms

Please complete two online forms linked below that provide the troop with vital information about you and your scout. This information is stored in the troop's Troopmaster database and greatly streamlines communication with you and your scout.

This information is very important. It ensure that the troop has accurate contact information, allergy and vehicle information for new scout families.

Click on each link below to complete each form. Both forms are required.
Turning ↺ your mobile device for better viewing.


4. Medical Forms

The scout and parents going to camping trips need to fill out Parts A and B immediately to attend troop camping events and outings. Part C requires a physical and will be needed by scout and/or parent if they plan on attending summer camp, ski outings, whitewater rafting, or any outing lasting longer than 72 hours.  Make 3 copies of your medical forms for the troop files and summer camp, along with 3 copies of the front and back of your insure card. Please keep your original medical forms at home in a file in case we need an additional copy. Questions: email medical@bsa-ncac-troop291.org. Medical forms must be turned in on hard copy; we are not allowed to accept them via email.

Download the form here: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_ABC.pdf



5. Online training for adults

All adults who will have contact with scouts must take BSA Youth Protection Training (YPT). The training is very important and takes only 25 minutes to complete. YPT is required so that the scouter parent understands the expectations, limitations, and restrictions for safe adult leadership.

Learn more: http://www.scouting.org/Training/youthprotection.aspx

To complete YPT training online visit: https://myscouting.scouting.org/
Sign in to your existing BSA online account or create a new BSA account (save your password for future use). You are required to create a verified BSA account so your YPT certificate may be formally documented and registered to you.

Our troop is in the National Capital Area Council - Bethesda, MD 082.
You may not have your BSA Identification Number yet - that is ok, please complete the training as soon as possible.

After completing your online training: Please print out a hard copy of your completion certificate and save a PDF version if you know how. You can submit your YPT certificate to a scout leader at a troop meeting and/or send the electronic copy to: committeechair@bsa-ncac-troop291.org.


6. Troop Annual Dues

Dues are $90 annually and cover registration for the scout and scout parent(s). Newly bridged scouts pay dues at bridging, with the next dues not owed until September of 7th grade. After that, dues are collected annually each September. For families with more than one scout, the dues are $125.


Sign up for Troop Communications


Our troop uses the Google ecosystem for communications, calendar, file sharing, and collaboration.  Every parent and scout that does not already have a Google Account or Gmail eMail address should strongly consider creating a Google Account with out Gmail. This process allows you to have a Google Account and use your existing email and password, if you choose, as a log in and account name for Google services. Please use the link following link:  https://accounts.google.com/signupwithoutgmail.

1. Join the Troop 291 Google Group

All troop communication is handled through our Google Group, so sign up immediately.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/bsa-troop-291-north-potomac-md

To sign up using non-gmail email addresses, Select: “Subscribe to this group”, enter your email address, enter the code listed, and click “Subscribe”. You will receive a confirmation email. In this email select “Join This Group” and our administrator will add your email to the Google Group.


To sign up using gmail email addresses, select “Apply for Membership”, click “Send me an email for every new message” in the dialog box, and select “Apply to join this group”. Your email will be verified and you will be a member of the Google Group.

Post new Troop 291 messages to the Google Group addressed to the following email:
bsa-troop-291-north-potomac-md@googlegroups.com


2. Subscribe to the Troop Calendar

The Troop calendar lists all troop activities and events including troop meetings, camping outings and other troop events.

The troop calendar is available in multiple formats on the troop website. http://www.bsa-ncac-troop291.org/home/calendar You can always view the calendar on the website.

To make sure you know about troop activities we recommend subscribing to the calendar from your personal calendar.
Visit the website for links to specific instructions for your calendar.




3. Use the Troop Website

Visit the Troop 291 website: www.bsa-ncac-troop291.org
Website information includes: names of scout and adult leaders, calendar, rank advancement info, files for downloading (e.g., health forms, permission slips, trip info, etc.), photos of troop events, and much more.




Additional Information for Webelos and New Scouts


When can scouts start participating in troop activities?

Once scouts have bridged, they can start attending troop meetings right away and camping events as soon as they submit a youth application. The May camping trip is geared towards new scouts to help prepare them for summer camp. Unlike Cub Scouts, siblings are not invited to attend troop camping trips. Siblings are invited to the annual Pig Roast in the fall and Troop Picnic in June. Parents may attend camping trips if they are registered with the troop and have completed YPT. Troop events include troop meetings, patrol meetings, parent meetings, camping trips, leadership training, day hikes, Eagle projects, and service projects. Mandatory events include the Pig Roast and Mulch Day (the annual troop fundraiser).


About the Uniform, Scout Handbook and Scout Bag

  1. The Uniform: All scouts must have a “Class A” uniform, which is required for meetings and trips. This includes a brown shirt, green pants with belt, neckerchief and slide, hat, and Troop 291 patch (We will provide you with a Troop “291” shoulder patch - you do not need to buy the individual 2, 9, and 1 numbers at the Scout Store. Our troop number patch is way cooler!). Scout socks are also handy to have. The staff at the Scout Store can help you determine everything you need-just ask.

  2. The Scout Handbook: All scouts must have the newest edition of the official BSA Scout Handbook, which can be purchased at the Bethesda Scout Store - 9190 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814 - (301) 530-9360. 

  3. Please purchase the spiral bound handbook and the cover with zipper pocket or velcro closure. Your scout’s handbook is their reference and documents their road to Eagle Rank and it is very important it stays in great shape. Make sure your scout puts their name and cell phone in the handbook’s information front page and use a sharpie to put first initial and last name on the closed handbook’s paper edges so everyone can easily see who your scout’s book belongs to when they leave it behind.
  4. Scouts should bring their Handbooks to all meetings and camping events so that advancement requirements can be signed off and as an important reference.

  5. The Scout Bag: The Scout Motto is "Be Prepared" and that means that scouts should always have with them basic materials needed for meetings and activities. The Scout Bag is a way to ensure that they always have their scout handbook, paper and pens and documents regularly used in activities.

Summer Camp

One of Troop 291’s most popular activities and highly encouraged for new Scouts to 1) get a head start on rank advancement, 2) get to know their fellow Troop members, 3) prepare for the experience of outdoor education in 6th grade, and 4) give them more familiar faces in their new middle school. Summer Camp is the first or second week after MCPS school is out. Look on the Troop website for information and be sure to attend the meetings where Summer Camp will be discussed.

    General Guidance on Rank Advancements

    Boys scouts lets boys advance at their own pace and each scout is responsible for their own advancement. New Scouts should keep in mind the following guidelines.

      1. Advancement can’t be started until the BSA youth application is received by Troop 291

      2. The first rank is Scout which includes basic requirements and should be achieved prior to summer camp

      3. Rank advancement happens at an individual scout’s own pace, not at the end of each school year


    About Rank and Merit badges

    The advancement program for Boy Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America is symbolized by the earning of seven ranks. The ranks being Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-class, First-class, Star, Life, and Eagle which is the highest rank in scouting.

    The advancement program is often considered to be divided into two phases. The first phase from joining to First Class is designed to teach the boy Scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group and to learn self-reliance. The Scout badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.

    The second phase of Star, Life and Eagle is designed to develop leadership skills and allow the Scout to explore potential vocations and avocations through the merit badge program. The Star and Life ranks require that the boy serve in a position of responsibility and perform community service. Except for Scout rank, all ranks as well as Eagle Palms require that the candidate participate in a Scoutmaster conference and pass a Board of Review.  Source: Wikipedia

    Merit badges are achievements earned in specific areas of interest by scouts. Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers by earning merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges, and any Boy Scout or Venturer may earn any of these at any time.

    The scout handbook has more information about merit badges. Or checkout these online resources:
    Scouting.org
    Meritbadge.org


    More information about the Troop 291 merit badge advancement process can be found on the website in the Troop 291 Guidebook.


    Troop Meetings and activities

    The troop meets regularly for Troop Meetings, Patrol Meetings and Troop outings.
    • Troop meetings include all scouts and are held most Monday nights Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. We start meetings at 7:30pm and end by 9:00pm.
    • Patrol Meetings include smaller groups of similar age scouts. New scouts are placed into patrols with an older more experienced patrol leader. Patrols meet about once per month to work on advancement, service or other scouting skills.
    • Troop outings include campouts, service projects and advancement opportunities.

    View a more detailed list here: https://sites.google.com/a/bsa-ncac-troop291.org/newhome/home/troop-291-guidebook/activities


    Troopmaster

    The Troopmaster Database is used by the troop to help parents and Scouts track their rank advancements and merit badges. It also contains contact information for registered adults and Scouts.


    We need your support!

    Boys Scouts is boy-led, but maintaining a vibrant and active troop depends upon the participation of all scout parents. There are many opportunities for getting involved, both big and small, short term and long term. Please consider volunteering; signups occur at the troop picnic in June, or by asking the committee chair, scoutmaster, or assistant scoutmaster about troop needs. All volunteer opportunities include mentoring.




    If you are reading a printed version of this Information, it can also be viewed online here:
    https://sites.google.com/a/bsa-ncac-troop291.org/newhome/home/troop-291-guidebook/how-to-join-the-troop

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