This handbook has been developed to give Scouts and their parents information on Troop 45, the Scouting program, and the role of Scouts and their families in the troop.Scouting was started by Sir Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell in 1908 in England.What started from one lone idea at the first experimental camp on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbor, 1907, has grown into the worldwide Scouting family: Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Venture Scouts.William Boyce, a Chicago publisher, started scouting in the US in 1910.In 1952, Boy Scout Troop 45 was chartered to the First Methodist Church of Starkville, MS.The Troop has been continuously chartered since that time.Troop 45 has a tradition of excellence that challenges a boy to become all that he is capable of becoming.The program is year-round and features a strong outdoor agenda leading to the building of character, citizenship, and personal fitness.The aims of the movement are embodied in the duties given in the Scout Oath:Duty to God and Country, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self.Scouting is one of the last programs which allows a boy to fail, learn from failure, and then succeed. So long as he keeps trying, he is on the path to success.No premium is paid for rapidity, but rather for achievement of a standard, whether it takes one month or one year. Scouting asks each boy to demonstrate leadership, and he does not have to be the fastest, smartest, best-looking, best athlete, or any of the other criterion established through peer pressure.

TROOP ORGANIZATION SPONSORSHIP--Troop 45 is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church.FUMC provides a place to meet as well as financial support.The Troop is in the Choctaw District of the Pushmataha Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

TROOP COMMITTEE--The Committee is composed of parents and adults interested in Troop 45.The committee is like a board of directors and has two major responsibilities:support of the troop program, and troop administration. The committee is headed by a Committee Chairman and has subcommittee chairmen in charge of finance, advancement, transportation, equipment and facilities, service, program, etc.Adults work on these subcommittees in order to allow the Scoutmaster and his assistants to work with the boys.Parents have a blanket invitation to join the committee.Parents are often called upon to help in fundraising projects, boards of review, special events, etc.

SERVICE TO OTHERS--Service is a keystone in the Scouting movement. Advancement in rank requires that each Scout do his duty to help others and do a good turn daily.Service projects are scheduled on a regular basis.The Troop has a standing service project:Scouting for Food.Other service projects are planned and developed by Eagle Scout candidates and the membership provides the manpower for such projects.

RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES--The 12th point of the Scout Law says “A Scout is Reverent”.Troop 45 promotes a non-sectarian, ecumenical religious philosophy.Devotionals and Church services are conducted any time the Troop is away for a weekend or for long-term camp.Scouts are encouraged to exercise their faith, exchange ideas, and to work on the religious award sponsored by their particular religious organization.A belief in God is essential to Troop 45's program.

DISCIPLINE--The Scout Law espouses discipline in each Scout and sets forth a code of conduct.Good manners are essential for Troop 45 Scouts.The use of “pretty words’ [please, thank you, yes Sir, no ma'am] is required as is the proper form of address for adults.Swearing is forbidden as is the use of alcohol and drugs.Proper behavior is expected at all functions and disobedience is not tolerated.A misbehaving Scout will be required to counsel with one of the adults.The measure of discipline depends on the infraction.Reinstatement requires a meeting of the Scout and his parents with the Scoutmasters and the Troop Committee. Troop 45 requires payment of costs for trips in advance so that the appropriate food and other costs can be purchased. Scouts will be notified by email and at the meeting about trip sign up deadlines.If a Scout is unable to make a trip after paying for it, a reimbursement will not be made. If the trip included an additional fee for admission to a special museum or other attraction that has not already been paid by Troop 45, that portion of the cost will be reimbursed to the Scout. For each Scout we keep a record of the amount of profit earned from the sale of popcorn each fall in an individual account. Each Scout is given credit for this amount based on the commission for the popcorn he sells. His individual account money may be used to pay for any Scout related expense. This includes paying for trip costs, Scout uniforms, and Scout gear (backpack or other equipment). If a Scout leaves the troop, this account is retained by the troop. If a Scout has earned his Totin' Chip card, he may possess and use a knife, with a maximum blade length of 4".

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT--Scout families, especially new ones, are faced with many options for equipment.The following list is meant to help families in securing the proper equipment without spending excessive funds. We have listed items in order of purchase:
(1) Boy Scout Handbook
(2) Scout uniform [short sleeved shirt, short pants & socks if summer; long pants if winter, belt, insignia]
(3) sleeping bag [made from synthetic fiber, rated to 20
(4) poncho (lightweight)
(5) compass [Silva, about $10 at Wal-Mart]
(6) pocket knife
(7) flashlight [light weight, compact type]

We have catalogs for equipment and locations where one can buy inexpensive equipment.DO NOT buy a metal canteen or a personal cook kit.Plastic water bottles are fine as canteens.A deep plastic bowl, fork, and spoon are all that are required to eat.Patrols have the cooking gear for preparing meals.

ADVANCEMENT--Basic Scoutcraft skills are covered in the first three ranks, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class.The Star, Life, and Eagle ranks represent advanced skills and leadership.Adults pass off rank requirements, but most instruction is done in patrols or at the Troop meetings.The outdoor program provides the opportunity to try out new skills.Merit Badges are considered as advanced study in various areas.The program is designed to allow Scouts to interact with experts in the various subject matter areas.Generally, merit badges are worked on after the 1st Class rank is earned.Parents are urged to become merit badge counselors in their areas of expertise.All counselors must fill out an adult application form, but no fee is required.Summer camp offers each Scout the chance to earn advancements, especially in the area of aquatics, not generally covered in monthly Troop programs.Special merit badge opportunities are scheduled as needed.Active participation in ALL Troop activities is required for advancement in the program.Casual attendance will result in a Scout being dropped from active membership, after which a Scout will be required to re-apply for membership.Membership in the Troop 45 fellowship requires a commitment on the part of both Scout and parent. Failure to be active is a waste of both personal time and the time of those working with the Troop. For each rank requirement, a Scout must be certified by an adult Board of Review.Parents are frequently asked to serve on such boards.Upon approval, the Scout is immediately recognized at a Troop meeting and presented with his award as soon as received.Formal recognition is reserved for one of the Courts of Honor held by the Troop.Parents, families, and friends are expected to be present at these Courts to honor your Scout’s achievement.

ADULT LEADERSHIP--The adults working most closely with your sons are the Scoutmaster, Allen McBroom, and Assistant Scoutmasters, Gary McFadyen, Chris Driskill, Randy Follett, Michelle Williams and Justin Huff.Each Assistant Scoutmaster oversees one or more areas of the Troop’s programs.

ADULT MENTORS—The adults who work closely with your son to stay on track with advancements.These adults are parents and assistant scoutmasters.

BOY LEADERSHIP--The boy responsible for running the Troop operation is the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).He works directly with the Scoutmaster to implement the program of the Troop.The SPL appoints the officers (Scribe, Quartermaster, Librarian, Historian, and Chaplain’s Aide) to act as a sort of cabinet.The officers have troop level responsibility in their various areas, but are members of patrols.The SPL is elected by majority vote of the boy membership of the Troop.He must be at least a First Class Scout and must have been a patrol leader. Patrol Leaders (PL) are elected by the boy members of the Troop, and must be at least 1st Class in rank. Patrol Leaders are responsible for the day-to-day operation (planning through execution) of the Troop’s program and for the ‘care & feeding’ of patrol members.They are the motivators, spirit builders, and principal teachers of scouting skills.They have Scouting’s toughest job. Almost as important is the job of Den Chief.Den Chiefs are responsible for assisting adults in the Cub Scout program with their dens.Working with these younger boys provides excellent experience for a PL position at a later date. At the boy level, all decisions on program, outings, planning, etc. are made by a Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) comprised of elected Patrol Leaders.The SPL presides over all PLC meetings and votes in the case of a tie.The Scoutmaster works closely with the PLC to develop the program and leadership.He approves all Scouts for leadership positions and forwards proposed plans for troop program to the Committee for final approval.

TROOP FUNDING--With the exception of funds provided by FUMC, the Troop generates all funds used in support of its program. We encourage Troop members to pay their own way (a Scout is Thrifty).Troop fees are $45.00/year and are payable in a lump sum when the Troop recharters each January.These monies cover the Scout’s registration fee, Boy’s Life, insurance, Troop T-shirt and dues.Scouts who join at different times of the year are charged a prorated fee.