Troop 501 Eagle Scouts

Andrew Jackson - 2011

Project: Recycle Bins at the World Bird Sanctuary

William "Billy" John Fisher, III - 2012

Project: Fire Truck Reading Center at Arnold Branch Library

Christopher "Blake" Hufford - 2013

Project: Flag Pole Installation and Beautification Project at New Hope United Methodist Church

Paul Morton Claeys - 2013

Project: Playground Renovation and Update; Construction and Installation of Benches at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Drew Vitello - 2014

Project: Development and Installation of interactive, 3-D, educational playground mural at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Patrol Method

“The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.”

—Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder

The Patrol

The patrol is a group of Scouts who belong to a troop and who are probably similar in age, development, and interests. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success. A patrol takes pride in its identity, and the members strive to make their patrol the best it can be. Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements. At other times they will compete against those same patrols in Scout skills and athletic competitions.

The members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age. To give more youths the opportunity to lead, most troops elect patrol leaders twice a year. Some may have elections more often.

Patrol size depends upon a troop’s enrollment and the needs of its members, though an ideal patrol size is eight Scouts. Patrols with fewer than eight Scouts should try to recruit new members to get their patrol size up to the ideal number.


Common Types of Patrols

There are three common kinds of patrols: new-Scout patrols, regular patrols, and Venture patrols.

1 New-Scout patrols are for 11-year-old Scouts who have recently joined the troop and are together for the first year in the troop. An older, experienced Scout often is assigned as a troop guide to help the new-Scout patrol through the challenges of troop membership. An assistant Scoutmaster should also assist the new-Scout patrol to ensure that each Scout has every opportunity to succeed right from the start.
2 Regular patrols are made up of Scouts who have completed their First Class requirements. They have been around Scouting long enough to be comfortable with the patrol and troop operation and are well-versed in camping, cooking, and Scouting’s other basic skills.
3 Venture patrol is an optional patrol within the troop made up of Scouts age 13 and older. These troop members have the maturity and experience to take part in more challenging high-adventure outings. The Venture patrol elects a patrol leader, who works with an assistant Scoutmaster to put the patrol’s plans into action.


Patrol Meetings

Patrol meetings may be held at any time and place. Many troops set aside a portion of each troop meeting for its patrols to gather. Others encourage patrols to meet on a different evening at the home of a patrol member. The frequency of patrol meetings is determined by upcoming events and activities that require planning and discussion.

Patrol meetings should be well-planned and businesslike. Typically, the patrol leader calls the meeting to order, the scribe collects dues, and the assistant patrol leader reports on advancement. The patrol leader should report any information from the latest patrol leaders’ council meeting. The bulk of the meeting should be devoted to planning upcoming activities, with specific assignments made to each patrol member.


Patrol Activities

Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also conduct day hikes and service projects independent of the troop, as long as they follow two rules:

  • The Scoutmaster approves the activity.
  • The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function.


Patrol Spirit

Patrol spirit is the glue that holds the patrol together and keeps it going. Building patrol spirit takes time, because it is shaped by a patrol’s experiences—good and bad. Often misadventures such as enduring a thunderstorm or getting lost in the woods will contribute much in pulling a patrol together. Many other elements also will help build patrol spirit. Creating a patrol identity and traditions will help build each patrol member’s sense of belonging.

Every patrol needs a good name. Usually, the patrol chooses its name from nature, a plant or animal, or something that makes the patrol unique. A patrol might choose an object for its outstanding quality. For example, sharks are strong swimmers and buffaloes love to roam. The patrol may want to add an adjective to spice up the patrol name, such as the Soaring Hawks or the Rambunctious Raccoons.

A patrol flag is the patrol’s trademark, and it should be a good one. Have a competition to see who comes up with the best design and who is the best artist. Make the flag out of a heavy canvas and use permanent markers to decorate it. In addition to the patrol name, the patrol flag should have the troop number on it as well as the names of all the patrol members. Mount the flag on a pole, which also can be decorated. Remember, the patrol flag should go wherever the patrol goes.

Every patrol has a patrol yell, which should be short and snappy. Choose words that fit the patrol’s goals. Use the yell to announce to other patrols that your patrol is ready to eat or has won a patrol competition. Some patrols also have a patrol song.

Other patrol traditions include printing the patrol logo on the chuck box and other patrol property. Many troops designate patrol corners somewhere in the troop meeting room; patrols may decorate their corner in their own special way. Some patrols like to specialize in doing something extremely well, such as cooking peach cobbler or hobo stew.


The Patrol Leaders’ Council

As a patrol leader, you are a member of the patrol leaders’ council, and you serve as the voice of your patrol members. You should present the ideas and concerns of your patrol and in turn share the decisions of the patrol leaders’ council with your patrol members.

The patrol leaders’ council is made up of the senior patrol leader, who presides over the meetings; the assistant senior patrol leader, all patrol leaders, and the troop guide. The patrol leaders’ council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. It then meets monthly to fine-tune the plans for the upcoming month.


Your Duties as Patrol Leader

When you accepted the position of patrol leader, you agreed to provide service and leadership to your patrol and troop. No doubt you will take this responsibility seriously, but you will also find it fun and rewarding. As a patrol leader, you are expected to do the following:

  • Plan and lead patrol meetings and activities.
  • Keep patrol members informed.
  • Assign each patrol member a specific duty.
  • Represent your patrol at all patrol leaders’ council meetings and the annual program planning conference.
  • Prepare the patrol to participate in all troop activities.
  • Work with other troop leaders to make the troop run well.
  • Know the abilities of each patrol member.
  • Set a good example.
  • Wear the Scout uniform correctly.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show and develop patrol spirit.


Ten Tips for Being a Good Patrol Leader

1 Keep Your Word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
2 Be Fair to All. A good leader shows no favorites. Don’t allow friendships to keep you from being fair to all members of your patrol. Know who likes to do what, and assign duties to patrol members by what they like to do.
3 Be a Good Communicator. You don’t need a commanding voice to be a good leader, but you must be willing to step out front with an effective “Let’s go.” A good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone understands what’s going on.
4 Be Flexible. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to “plan B” when “plan A” doesn’t work.
5 Be Organized. The time you spend planning will be repaid many times over. At patrol meetings, record who agrees to do each task, and fill out the duty roster before going camping.
6 Delegate. Some leaders assume that the job will not get done unless they do it themselves. Most people like to be challenged with a task. Empower your patrol members to do things they have never tried.
7 Set an Example. The most important thing you can do is lead by example. Whatever you do, your patrol members are likely to do the same. A cheerful attitude can keep everyone’s spirits up.
8 Be Consistent. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who is one way one moment and another way a short time later. If your patrol knows what to expect from you, they will more likely respond positively to your leadership.
9 Give Praise. The best way to get credit is to give it away. Often a “Nice job” is all the praise necessary to make a Scout feel he is contributing to the efforts of the patrol.
10 Ask for Help. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You have many resources at your disposal. When confronted with a situation you don’t know how to handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and direction.

The Aims and Methods of Boy Scouting

The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

Ideals

The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.

Patrols

The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.

Outdoor Programs

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Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and humankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.

Advancement

Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Association with Adults

Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

Personal Growth

As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.

Leadership Development

The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

Uniform

The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace Award Patch

Leave No Trace Principles


The tremendous rewards of high-adventure treks are drawing more and more people to the backcountry. At the same time, the vast territory suitable for treks is shrinking in size. More people and less land mean we all must be careful not to endanger the wild outdoors we have come to enjoy.

A High-Adventure Ethic

A good way to protect the backcountry is to remember that while you are there, you are a visitor. When you visit a friend you are always careful to leave that person’s home just as you found it. You would never think of dropping litter on the carpet, chopping down trees in the yard, putting soap in the drinking water, or marking your name on the living room wall. When you visit the backcountry, the same courtesies apply. Leave everything just as you found it.

Hiking and camping without a trace are signs of an expert outdoorsman, and of a Scout or Scouter who cares for the environment. Travel lightly on the land.

The Principles of “Leave No Trace”

“Leave No Trace” is a nationally recognized outdoor skills and ethics education program. The Boy Scouts of America is committed to this program. The principles of Leave No Trace are not rules; they are guidelines to follow at all times.

The Leave No Trace principles might not seem important at first glance, but their value is apparent when considering the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. One poorly located campsite or campfire is of little significance, but thousands of such instances seriously degrade the outdoor experience for all. Leaving no trace is everyone’s responsibility.

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.

Proper planning ensures

  • Low-risk adventures because campers obtained information concerning geography and weather and prepared accordingly
  • Properly located campsites because campers allotted enough time to reach their destination
  • Appropriate campfires and minimal trash because of careful meal planning and food repackaging and proper equipment
  • Comfortable and fun camping and hiking experiences because the outing matches the skill level of the participants

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.

Concentrate Activity, or Spread Out?

  • In high-use areas, campers should concentrate their activities where vegetation is already absent. Minimize resource damage by using existing trails and selecting designated or existing campsites.
  • In more remote, less-traveled areas, campers should generally spread out. When hiking, take different paths to avoid creating new trails that cause erosion. When camping, disperse tents and cooking activities-and move camp daily to avoid creating permanent-looking campsites. Always choose the most durable surfaces available: rock, gravel, dry grasses, or snow.

These guidelines apply to most alpine settings and may be different for other areas, such as deserts. Learn the Leave No Trace techniques for your crew’s specific activity or destination. Check with land managers to be sure of the proper technique.

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.

Sanitation

Backcountry users create body waste and wastewater that require proper disposal.

Wastewater. Help prevent contamination of natural water sources: After straining food particles, properly dispose of dishwater by dispersing at least 200 feet (about 80 to 100 strides for a youth) from springs, streams, and lakes. Use biodegradable soap 200 feet or more from any water source.

Human Waste. Proper human waste disposal helps prevent the spread of disease and exposure to others. Catholes 6 to 8 inches deep and 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites are often the easiest and most practical way to dispose of feces.

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.

Minimize Site Alterations

Do not dig tent trenches or build lean-tos, tables, or chairs. Never hammer nails into trees, hack at trees with hatchets or saws, or damage bark and roots by tying horses to trees for extended periods. Replace surface rocks or twigs that you cleared from the campsite. On high-impact sites, clean the area and dismantle inappropriate user-built facilities such as multiple fire rings and log seats or tables.

Good campsites are found, not made. Avoid altering a site, digging trenches, or building structures.

Minimize Campfire Use

Some people would not think of camping without a campfire. Yet the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires and increasing demand for firewood.

Lightweight camp stoves make low-impact camping possible by encouraging a shift away from fires. Stoves are fast, eliminate the need for firewood, and make cleanup after meals easier. After dinner, enjoy a candle lantern instead of a fire.

If you build a fire, the most important consideration is the potential for resource damage. Whenever possible, use an existing campfire ring in a well-placed campsite. Choose not to have a fire in areas where wood is scarce-at higher elevations, in heavily used areas with a limited wood supply, or in desert settings.

True Leave No Trace fires are small. Use dead and downed wood no larger than an adult’s wrist. When possible, burn all wood to ash and remove all unburned trash and food from the fire ring. If a site has two or more fire rings, you may dismantle all but one and scatter the materials in the surrounding area. Be certain all wood and campfire debris is dead out.

Respect Wildlife

Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Considerate campers practice these safety methods:

  • Observe wildlife from afar to avoid disturbing them.
  • Give animals a wide berth, especially during breeding, nesting, and birthing seasons.
  • Store food securely and keep garbage and food scraps away from animals so they will not acquire bad habits. Help keep wildlife wild.

You are too close if an animal alters its normal activities.

“Leave No Trace” Information

For additional Leave No Trace information, contact your local land manager or local office of the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, or the Fish and Wildlife Service. Or, contact Leave No Trace at 800-332-4100 or on the Internet at http://www.lnt.org.

For posters, plastic cards listing the Leave No Trace principles, or information on becoming a Leave No Trace sponsor, contact Leave No Trace Inc., P.O. Box 997, Boulder, CO 80306, phone 303-442-8222.

Respect Others

Thoughtful campers

  • Travel and camp in small groups (no more than the group size prescribed by land managers).
  • Keep the noise down and leave their radios, tape players, and pets at home.
  • Select campsites away from other groups to help preserve their solitude.
  • Always travel and camp quietly to avoid disturbing other visitors.
  • Make sure the colors of their clothing and gear blend with the environment. (NOTE: During Hunting Season, it may be better safe than sorry and wear BRIGHT clothes – especially ORANGE Colors)
  • Respect private property and leave gates (open or closed) as found.

Be considerate of other campers and respect their privacy.

Master of Leave No Trace Training Course

Master of Leave No Trace training courses are available from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in cooperation with four federal agencies (the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service). Approximately 18 courses are taught throughout the country each year in all types of environments from alpine tundra to deserts.

The Master of Leave No Trace course has three components:

  1. low-impact camping skills,
  2. wild-land ethics, and
  3. teaching techniques.

A five-day field course provides students with a comprehensive overview of Leave No Trace techniques through practical application in a field setting comprising a short backcountry trip.

If you are interested in attending a Master of Leave No Trace course, call the Leave No Trace hotline at 800-332-4100 ext. 282. Also call that number for a list of Leave No Trace masters in your area.

Low-Impact and No-Trace Camping & Hiking

Low-Impact and No-Trace
Camping & Hiking

As an American, I Will Do My Best to:
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation-minded.

— The Outdoor Code


Back-country areas are places to seek solitude and a “wilderness experience” away from crowds, noise, and daily pressures of life. By using Leave No Trace skills, trail users can reduce their impact on the diverse, fragile, and spectacular areas in our country. The following are guidelines that will assist trail users in successfully enjoying the American wilderness.


Leave only footprints
Take only memories


Seven Keys to Low-Impact and No-Trace Camping

Pretrip Plans

  • Wear a uniform or other clothing that will blend into your surroundings.
  • Obtain as much information as possible before venturing out. This includes topographic maps, recreation maps, information sheets, and guidebooks.
  • Learn about regulations and restrictions of the area prior to traveling.
  • Avoid popular areas during times of high use.
  • Select areas that are right for your activities.
  • Plan 12 or fewer in your group or patrol.
  • Check ahead to see if the area can accommodate and/or will allow your group size.
  • Repackage food into lightweight containers that can easily be carried out with you.
  • Be prepared to filter or boil all water during your trip.
  • Leave a detailed itinerary with someone prior to venturing out.
  • Take along trash bags and use them.

Travel

  • Stay on designated trails and avoid any cross-country travel.
  • If unavoidable, select hard ground or snow for cross-country travel.
  • Do not cut across switchbacks.
  • Read your map carefully to avoid having to build cairns.
  • When encountering equestrians, step to the downhill side of the trail and remain quiet.

Campsites

  • Use designated or already impacted campsites when appropriate.
  • Choose sites free of fragile plants.
  • Hide your campsite from view, out of site of trails, streams, and lakes.
  • Stay as few nights as possible in one place. Before leaving the area, naturalize it as much as possible.
  • Select a campsite 200 feet or more from trails, lakes, streams, trails, and wet meadows.
  • Avoid constructing structures or digging trenches.
  • Do not ditch tents.

Fires

  • Use a lightweight stove for cooking rather than building a fire.
  • If having a campfire, use existing fire rings instead of building new ones.
  • Build fires only were approprate, away from trees, rocks, shrubs, and meadows.
  • Make sure the fire is dead out.
  • Scatter the ashes and naturalize the area.
  • Use only dead and down wood. Never cut green trees or bushes.
  • Know the fire restrictions for the area.
  • Replace sod or ground cover to erase burn scars.

Sanitation

  • Burn food scraps completely in a fire or put them in a plastic bag and carry them out.
  • Pack out everything that you pack in.
  • Do all washing 50 feet (about 75 steps) away from camp and water sources.
  • Dig latrines 200 feet or more from camps, trails, and water sources.
  • Bury sump holes and latrines when you are through with them, and restore ground cover.

Horses and Pack Animals

  • Keep groups small and carry lightweight equipment.
  • Keep the number of animals to a minimum.
  • Select a campsite that has enough feed for your stock.
  • Keep stock 200 feet or more from lakeshores.
  • Bring pellets, grain, or weed-free hay to areas where feed is limited or grazing is not allowed.
  • Remove (or scatter) manure; Remove excess hay and straw.
  • Use hitchlines, hobbles, and pickets to constrain pack animals. Hobble or picket in dry areas.
  • Tie to sturdy trees or rope.
  • Move picket pins and temporary corrals several times per day.

Courtesy

  • Hikers step off a trail to let horses pass.
  • Do not pick wildflowers. Enjoy them where they are, then leave them for others to see.
  • Keep noise down when you are around other campers and hikers. Leave radios and tape players at home.
  • Attempt to be as courteous to others as possible. Excessive noise, unleashed pets, and damaged surroundings distract from the quality experience in the backcountry.
  • Please remember that visitors can help preserve these sites for future generations by not disturbing them in any way.

More Information

  • The national Leave no Trace program, which advocates leaving minimal impact while using an area for recreation purposes, is another good source of information. This program provides comprehensive information that can assist in achieving a stewardship ethic. For more information, contact: The National Leave No Trace Program 1-800-332-4100
  • Boy Scout Handbook (#30176)

The Outdoor Code

Outdoor Code Wallet Card

Outdoor Code


The wording below is from the back of the Outdoor Code Wallet Card shown above (#33428A) and may differ from that in the Boy Scout Handbook.


I agree to join with the Boy Scouts of America in protecting my country’s natural beauty and conserving her natural resources.


The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to –

  • Be clean in my outdoor manners.
    I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
    I will take care of it for myself and others
    I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
  • Be careful with fire.
    I will prevent wildfire.
    I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.
    When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.
    I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • Be considerate in the outdoors.
    I will treat public and private property with respect.
    I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.

and

  • Be conservation minded
    I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.
    I will urge others to do the same.