Troop 205 Alumni News and Trip Reports

About Troop 205

Meetings | Patrol Method | Boy Leadership | Leadership Training | Costs | Rank Advancement
Diversity and Participation | Reverence and Respect for Nature | Troop 205 Disciplinary Plan (PDF)

Troop meetings are every Monday night, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, in the dining room of the First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

On occasion, meetings are held off-site and notice of these are given in advance.

Patrol Method.
Our scouts are organized into patrols, which, unlike other troops, actually function as independent units within the troop. Each patrol is comprised of 8-10 scouts and they vote every six months for their leader. Additionally, each patrol meets outside of the troop and may even pursue their own camping program or other activities, if they choose. Of course, these are done in addition to the troop program and don't conflict with those activities-but they help form a stronger bond between patrol members, and this leads to strong patrols.

New scouts are organized into a separate patrol and, depending upon the number of new scouts each year, are encouraged to express a preference for one of the existing patrols or from their own. Currently, we have six patrols in our troop.

Each patrol is issued a compliment of equipment for camping each fall, for which they are responsible. They may add to this equipment as they wish with patrol funds, and they can use this at their discretion for scouting activities.
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Boy Leadership.
It is the scoutmaster's policy of having a Senior Patrol Leader elected by the scouts for once each year. The candidates for this position are determined upon review of credentials by the Scoutmaster, for those interested in the position. Generally, there will be two candidates. The Scoutmaster will consider the scout's leadership, attendance, attitude and knowledge in determining eligible candidates.

Each six months, patrol leaders are elected by scouts in each patrol. Assigned leadership positions determined are determined every six months as well. Assigned leadership positions are recommended by the SPL and have final approval by the Scoutmaster.
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Leadership training is provided to the PLC regularly.
It is the Scoutmaster's policy that Life Scouts are generally not assigned leadership positions, unless they have gone through two patrol leader elections. Also, that every assigned leadership position need to be fulfilled.

The boys operate through the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC), which meets once per month or so, to plan and execute the scouting program. The PLC meetings are attended by the Scoutmaster and one Assistant Scoutmaster, who advise the council on decisions. The Scoutmaster must approve the PLC plans as having met troop goals and BSA guidelines.

The PLC evaluates the performance of assigned leadership positions and determines whether such leaders have performed their duties. Assigned leaders may be removed at the discretion of the PLC or Scoutmaster if they fail to meet the responsibilities necessary to earn leadership credit for advancement.

The Scoutmaster corps consists of a wide variety of individuals from many different backgrounds who contribute their time and energy to making the troop work. Each Assistant Scoutmaster can choose an area of interest to pursue and determine the amount of time and commitment they feel comfortable to giving the troop.

Assistant Scoutmasters and boy leaders report to the Scoutmaster, who has ultimate decision making regarding troop operations and programs on a day-to-day basis.

There is a parent committee that meets once each month and which ultimately oversees the Scoutmaster. The parent committee is also responsible for serious disciplinary actions, budgeting, charter organization relations, policy formulation and special events planning.
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In the 2009-2010 school year, dues to join our troop are $40 per year, which includes a subscription to Boy's Life magazine and insurance. There is a $40 camping fee each year as well, which covers costs associated with attending many weekend camping trips through out the year, or other activities. These are due in September of each year.

Some camping trips will require additional costs to be paid. High Adventure trips are priced separate from other camping activities and usually have payments spread throughout the year, to soften the economic effect on families.

Additionally, scouts can earn funds through their sales of holiday wreaths each year, which can be applied to any trip or other cost associated with the troop.

Financial aid is available for families in need. If you believe you are in need of such assistance, please see the Scoutmaster or Parent Committee Chair for additional information.

Equipment for camping and a official Boy Scout uniform are required for scouts to participate in our troop. Help in getting these materials is also available on a need basis.
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Rank Advancement.
The Boy Scout advancement program is exciting and fun, while placing a series of challenges in front of the scout which need to be met. Self confidence is built through the successful mastery of these skills.

Basically, there are four steps in the advancement process:
1.) Learning
2.) Testing
3.) Review
4.) Recognition

Each rank advancement requirement must be met, before a scout can request the paperwork necessary to be tested and reviewed. Generally, the requirements are signed off by a qualified member of the troop for each scout, in their handbook for ranks through First Class. Merit badges may be completed using a troop form or BSA Blue Card.

Paperwork for advancement is available from the Assistant Scoutmaster responsible for the Advancement Table. Parents are encouraged, especially at the Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks, to help their sons with the paperwork required to complete these advancements, as sometimes this can be confusing to young boys.

The ultimate advancement rank is Eagle Scout, of which approximately two percent of all scouts achieve nationally.

Additional details on the process of advancement can be found in a separate area of this web page.
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Diversity and participation.
Troop 205 is open to boys of every economic background, religion, race, culture and color. Handicapped boys will be accommodated to the greatest extent possible within our troop programs as well.

America was built strong through the interaction of such ethnic and cultural diversity and so has our troop. No discrimination will be tolerated on these matters.

Parents, alumni and other adults from the community, men and women, are welcome to participate in any position of Troop Leadership.  All Leadership applicants must undergo a criminal background check and annual physical, once their application is approved by the Troop Committee, Charter Orginization and our local Boy Scout Council.

Our troop has a "don't ask, don't tell" interpretation of the BSA policy regarding the matter of partner preference for its leaders.

High Adventure trips and other activities may at times be limited to those people physically fit enough to participate. Such determination will be made by through the Scoutmaster corps using BSA High Adventure policy.
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Reverence and respect for nature.
It is difficult to experience the awesome beauty of nature in its wilderness state and not be humbled
by her and her maker. Our scouts are encouraged to practice their beliefs actively in regard to the divine. Belief in God is a requirement of participation in the troop, however. All religions are welcome in our troop.
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