1. 1 What is Scouting?
    1. 1.1 Mission
    2. 1.2 Scouting Anniversary Celebrations
    3. 1.3 Scout Programs
    4. 1.4 Cub Scouts
      1. 1.4.1 Boy Scouts 
      2. 1.4.2 Varsity Scouting
      3. 1.4.3 Venturing
    5. 1.5 Order of the Arrow -Scouting's National Honor Society
    6. 1.6 Outdoor Activities
      1. 1.6.1 Cub Scouting
      2. 1.6.2 Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing
    7. 1.7 Scouting Publications
    8. 1.8 Handbooks
    9. 1.9 Merit Badge Pamphlets
    10. 1.10 Scouting is "fun with a purpose!"
  2. 2 Goals of Troop 88
  3. 3 Who Can Join Troop 88
  4. 4 Troop 88 Meetings
  5. 5 How many Scouts are in Troop 88?
  6. 6 How are Scouts in Troop 88 organized?
    1. 6.1 Patrols 
      1. 6.1.1 Troop Historian
      2. 6.1.2 Librarian
      3. 6.1.3 Instructor
      4. 6.1.4 Chaplain Aide
      5. 6.1.5 Den Chief(s)
      6. 6.1.6 Quartermaster
      7. 6.1.7 Troop Guide(s)
      8. 6.1.8 Scribe
      9. 6.1.9 Webmaster
      10. 6.1.10 Leave No Trace Trainer
      11. 6.1.11 Order of the Arrow Representative
  7. 7 Why aren’t younger, less experienced Scouts mixed in patrols with older, more experienced Scouts?
  8. 8 Why Organize Into Patrols?
  9. 9 What is meant by “Boy Led”
  10. 10 Troop 88 Dues and Payments 
    1. 10.1 Annual Fees
    2. 10.2 Outing Fees
    3. 10.3 Outing Meals
    4. 10.4 Summer Camp / High Adventure Camp Fees
  11. 11 Scout Advancement 
    1. 11.1 Boy Scout Ranks 
      1. 11.1.1 Scoutmaster Conferences
      2. 11.1.2 Boards of Review
      3. 11.1.3 Important note to Scouts and Parents: 
  12. 12 Uniforms 
    1. 12.1 Troop 88 Uniform Guidelines 
      1. 12.1.1 Standard BSA Field (Class “A”) Uniform
      2. 12.1.2 Standard BSA Activity (Class “B”) Uniform
      3. 12.1.3 Optional Outerwear
      4. 12.1.4 Unacceptable Items (applies to everyone on any Scout activity)
      5. 12.1.5 Uniform Sources
      6. 12.1.6 Uniform Item Re-Use
  13. 13 Troop 88 / Patrol Equipment 
  14. 14 Troop 88 Scout Personal Gear (Suggested, recommended or required) 
    1. 14.1 Initial gear needed by the Scout: 
    2. 14.2 Required for an outdoor Camping activity: 
      1. 14.2.1 Optional Gear
    3. 14.3 Required for an outdoor Backpacking activity: 
      1. 14.3.1 Optional Gear
      2. 14.3.2 Local Retailers
      3. 14.3.3  Online Retailers
  15. 15 Outdoor Programs 
  16. 16 Participation in Troop 88 Outdoor Activities  
  17. 17 The Campout
  18. 18 Merit Badges
    1. 18.1 Earning a Merit Badge processPick a Subject of Interest
      1. 18.1.1 Scout Buddy System.
      2. 18.1.2 Call the Counselor.
      3. 18.1.3 Show Your Stuff.
      4. 18.1.4 Earn the Badge.
    2. 18.2 Recommendation: 
    3. 18.3 Merit Badge Requirements. 
  19. 19 Troop 88 Communications 
    1. 19.1 Newsletters
    2. 19.2 Calendar of Events
    3. 19.3 Contact Lists
      1. 19.3.1 Important Troop 88 Contact email addresses are:
    4. 19.4 Permission Slips
    5. 19.5 Troop 88 Website
  20. 20 Patrol method
  21. 21 Troop Leadership
    1. 21.1 Scoutmaster 
    2. 21.2 Assistant Scoutmaster(s) 
  22. 22 Troop Committee
    1. 22.1 Chartered Organization Representative
    2. 22.2 Troop Committee Chairman 
    3. 22.3 Troop Secretary 
    4. 22.4 Troop Treasurer 
    5. 22.5 Troop Advancement Chair 
    6. 22.6 Troop Equipment Coordinator 
    7. 22.7 Troop Outdoor/Activities Chair 
    8. 22.8 Troop Membership Chair 
    9. 22.9 Troop Training Chair 
    10. 22.10 Troop Uniform and Clothing Chair
    11. 22.11 Troop Public Relations Chair 
    12. 22.12 Troop Friends of Scouting (FOS) Chair 
    13. 22.13 Troop Scouting for Food Chair 
    14. 22.14 Troop Fundraising Chair 
    15. 22.15 ScoutParent Unit Coordinator
  23. 23 Do’s and Don’ts
  24. 24 Parent Participation 
  25. 25 Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable (EDGE) method
  26. 26 What is a Blue Card
  27. 27 Scout Oath 
  28. 28 Scout Law 
  29. 29 Scout Motto 
  30. 30 Scout Slogan 
  31. 31 Outdoor Code 
  32. 32 Eagle Rank application
What is Scouting?


The BSA National Website ( has the following description about Scouting:


The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

 Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Scouting Anniversary Celebrations

Cub Scout blue and gold banquets, Boy Socut Troop red and white dinners, and community window displays are held throughout the month of February as a part of the yearly observance of:

The BSA’s birthday, celebrating the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910

Scout Sabbath, observed the Saturday after February 8

Scout Sunday, observed the Sunday before February 8

Scout Programs

Cub Scouts

Motto: Do Your Best

For boys in first grade through fifth grade (or seven through 10 years of age)

2010 membership, packs, and leaders:

226,211 Tiger Cubs (first grade)

707,868 Cub Scouts (second and third grades)

573,522 Webelos Scouts (fourth and fifth grades)

1,507,601 total Cub Scouts

47,259 Cub Scout packs

421,405 Cub Scout leaders

Boy Scouts 

Motto: Be Prepared

Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily

For boys who are 11 through 17 years of age, or have earned the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light award and are at least 10 years old, or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old

Ninety-five percent of all Boy Scouts participated in Cub Scouting at some time.

2010 membership, troops, and leaders:

792,202 Boy Scouts

40,099 Boy Scout troops

493,852 Boy Scout leaders

Varsity Scouting

For young men 14 through 17 years of age

Built on five program fields of emphasis:


High adventure

Personal development


Special programs and events

2010 membership, teams, and leaders:

59,863 Varsity Scouts

8,539 Varsity Scout teams

22,806 Varsity Scout leaders


For young men and women 14 years of age, or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade through 20 years of age

2010 membership was 227,994 Venturers:

31.2 percent of membership was female.

18,856 Venturing crews

61,080 Venturing leaders

Order of the Arrow -Scouting's National Honor Society

The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is to recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives and promote camping and responsible outdoor adventure, leadership development, and cheerful service to others.

Order of the Arrow includes more than 170,000 youth and adult members in nearly 300 local councils through the United States and its territories.

Outdoor Activities

Cub Scouting

Day camps: one- to five-day program with daylight and early evening activities, with no overnight activities

Resident camps: at least two nights of camping with a developed theme of adventure and excitement held at a council facility under the direction of trained leadership

Council-organized family camps: overnight camping involving more than one pack; held at a council-approved facility; with the council or district providing staffing, food service, housing, and program

Pack camping: overnight camping involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities, conducted at council-approved locations, and under the direction of BALOO-trained adults

Cub World: venues using make-believe themes, such as castles, frontier forts, pirate ships, and more; usually part of a Cub Scout resident or family camp

Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing

Camporees: camping with other troops, involving competition using Scouting skills and knowledge

Summer camps: weeklong camps with troops learning outdoor skills

Scouting shows: gala events demonstrating to the public how Scouting serves youth in the community

National and world jamborees: camping events held at four-year intervals where Scouts and leaders from the BSA or the World Scouting Association come together

National High-Adventure Bases

Philmont Scout Ranch

Located in northern New Mexico, this high-adventure base offers a variety of rugged activities, including backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs. Volunteer leaders may attend the Philmont Training Center each summer for a weeklong conference.

Northern Tier National High Adventure Program

This adventure base, located in Minnesota and Canada, offers wilderness canoe expeditions and cold-weather camping.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

Sea Base offers aquatics programs in the Florida Keys.

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

Located in New River Gorge, West Virginia, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is the newest high-adventure base in Scouting. It will be the permanent home of the national Scout Jamboree and the site of the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The Summit property is on 10,600 acres adjacent to the New River Gorge National River area. This area provides access to incredible outdoor terrain in the Appalachian Mountains, which includes some of the world’s best whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Scouting Publications

Boys' Life Magazine

Produced monthly for 1.1 million subscribers in three demographic editions:

For all Tiger Cubs and Cub Scout subscribers through age 8

For Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts 9 years and older

For all Boy Scout-age subscribers and all other subscribers

Scouting Magazine

Produced six times a year for adults registered in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing.


The BSA publishes handbooks for all phases of the Scouting program for use by youth members, adult leaders, and parents.

Merit Badge Pamphlets

More than 130 merit badge pamphlets for Boy Scouts have been produced.

The information above tells you about the organization, how many people are in it, what is available to Scouts, what is involved with Scouting, but what is Scouting to your child?

Scouting is "fun with a purpose!"

Watch your son (or in Venturing – your daughter) as they interact in the events, outings, adventures, etc.  They are having FUN while learning life skills that will serve them well!

Prominent Americans in diverse walks of life were BSA members as youths. Over two-thirds of all astronauts have had some type of involvement in Scouting, and eleven of the twelve men to walk on the Moon were Scouts, including Eagle Scouts Neil Armstrong and Charlie Duke.

Goals of Troop 88


Scouting in Troop 88 means adventure and challenge, but also an opportunity to grow as a leader.  The BSA’s goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs.  Every activity we undertake is designed to teach boys the value of leadership, self-reliance, responsibility and respect.

Who Can Join Troop 88


Troop 88 welcomes any interested boy of Scout age (either 11 years old OR have completed the fifth grade OR have earned the Arrow of light, whichever occurs first). A boy does NOT have to graduate from Cub Scouts or WEBELOS to become a Boy Scout. 

Troop 88 Meetings


Troop 88 meets two to three times a month on Sunday evenings at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at St. Katharine Drexel Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. 

The Troop does not typically meet on holidays or days when there is no school or when there has been an activity that weekend. We recommend that a Scout attend as many meetings as possible, since that is when we do a lot of advancement work and provide information about upcoming activities.  But no Scout has to attend all meetings to participate in Scouting, since sports and academics can often conflict with Troop meeting schedules.

How many Scouts are in Troop 88?

As of the new Scouting year in 2017, Troop 88 has 65 registered Boy Scouts that range in age from 11 to 17.  In recent years, Troop 88 has been growing in size and has gained between 5 – 10 new Scouts and lost (due to age or other interests) 2 – 3 Scouts.  Troop leadership expects the Troop to range from between 40 and 60 Scouts for the next few years, based on current age of Scouts, expected new Scouts and natural attrition, i.e., sports, family relocation, etc.  The troop has sufficient equipment to outfit a troop of 60+ scouts.

How are Scouts in Troop 88 organized?

“The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the only way. Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout troop.”  Robert S. S. Baden-Powell

Troop 88 is a “Boy Led” organization of Scouts organized into Patrols.  Currently the Troop is structured into 7 patrols; 2 New Scout patrols of new or younger Scouts and 5 Regular patrols of seasoned or older Scouts. The number of patrols fluctuates with Troop size.

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. Troop 88’s Senior Patrol Leader assigns an older, experienced Scout to act as the Troop Guide* for that patrol to help the new-Scout patrol through the challenges of troop membership. These patrols, like the older experienced Scout patrols, have an elected Patrol Leader, an Assistant Patrol Leader and a Patrol Quartermaster.  This allows the New Scouts to experience the leadership responsibilities expected of a Boy Scout, while giving them a seasoned Scouts to help “guide” them.  As Scouts become First Class or gain a year of Troop activity experience, they shift out of the new Scout patrols.  This usually happens just after local Cub Scout Packs “Bridge Over” their WEBELOS II Scouts into Boy Scouting.  In many cases the entire Patrol will simply become a Regular Patrol, staying mostly intact. 

The Regular patrols are made up of Scouts who have completed their First Class requirements or have at least one year experience with Troop activities and one summer camp experience. 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.


Led by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), who is elected by the Troop Scouts.  Within Troop 88 elections are held approximately every six months.  The SPL has ultimate responsibility for all the Scouts in all the patrols of Troop 88. He runs all troop meetings, delegates responsibilities, and interacts with adult leadership. The SPL answers to the Scoutmaster.  The SPL must be First Class rank or higher.  The SPL is assisted by two elected Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) to help him with the SPL duties. The ASPLs fill in for the SPL when needed and are second in command.  The SPL is also responsible for the other Leadership Positions within the Troop (other than the PLs).  These are:

Troop Historian

Collects and maintains troop memorabilia and information on former troop members.


Keeps troop books, pamphlets, magazines, audiovisuals, and merit badge counselor list available for use by troop members.


Teaches one or more advancement skills to troop members.

Chaplain Aide

Assists in troop religious services and promotes religious emblems program.

Den Chief(s)

Works with Cub Scout Pack 88 (and others) to help Den leaders and acts as a guide.


Responsible for troop supplies and equipment.

Troop Guide(s)

Assigned to a New Scout Patrol and acts as a guide for those Scouts and the new Scout Patrol Leader


Troop 88 secretary.


Maintains the Troop 88 and Pack 88 website under supervision of an Assistant Scoutmaster. This position requires specific permission from the Troop 88 Scoutmaster before assignment.

Leave No Trace Trainer

Helps train the Troop Scouts on principles of Leave No Trace.  This position requires formal training from LNT / BSA prior to assignment.

Order of the Arrow Representative

He is the youth liaison between the local Order of the Arrow Lodge and Chapter and coordinates service opportunities, unit OA elections, camp promotions and OA inductions with the local Order of the Arrow Lodge and Chapter .

Scouting is age appropriate activity, and this organizational structure allows the new younger Scouts to learn and experience Scouting (share tents, buddy system, etc.) with Scouts of similar ages.  They also aren’t in “competition” within their own patrol structure with older Scouts.

However, all the Scouts in the Troop participate in games, Scouting activities, camping, etc., and patrols will work as a team, young and old.

*The Troop Guides themselves have an Adult Assistant Scoutmaster assigned by the Scoutmaster to act as a mentor as they guide and help the new Scout patrols members. In short the SPL runs the Troop meetings and events, the Troop Scout Leadership (Patrol Leader Council) makes the decisions about what events and activities to do each year, the Scoutmaster and other Adult leaders give the boys support and guidance, the Troop Committee members handle administration and funding and the Charter Organization Representative interacts with our sponsor organization and the Committee / Troop Leadership.

Why aren’t younger, less experienced Scouts mixed in patrols with older, more experienced Scouts?

Many troops do mix boys of different ages in their patrols.  In some cases it works out OK, and in others, not so much.  Troop 88 follows the BSA grouping of Scouts by age and since New Scouts really need to focus on success in what is expected of them as Boy Scout, having newer and younger Scouts grouped makes it easier for their successful integration into Scouting. 

While it is desired that Patrols be "semi-permanent groups" who become close friends learning teamwork together as they become well functioning units, there are times.  In fact, since the Troop is ‘Boy Led” on occasion, during some election cycles that, the Scouts decide to reorganize patrol membership and Scouts will shift from one patrol to another. 

Why Organize Into Patrols?


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 members to serve as patrol leader. In Troop 88, once a Scout is elected as Patrol Leader, he then appoints an Assistant Patrol Leader and a Patrol Quartermaster.  Troop 88 typically requires the Scout to be at least a Second Class Scout to be eligible for election to patrol leader. An exception to this is within our New Scout Patrols, where the Patrol Leader may not have actually earned Scout Rank prior to the formation of the patrol and the election of the Patrol Leader.  This is allowed since there is a senior, older and experienced Scout assigned as Troop Guide for the Patrol that can step in to help and mentor the New Scout Patrol Leader.  This arrangement of patrols give more Scouts the opportunity to learn leadership skills.  In Troop 88, elections are held twice a year.

The Boy Scouts of America describes Patrols as typically formed into 3 groupings, 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)      A 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.

Scouts "DO" and in order for them all to get every opportunity to DO, the patrol organization, called by BSA, “The Patrol Method,”is a perfect way to make that happen.

The Patrol Method takes some getting used to, especially for us adults who think that we can run things more effectively than the boys can. But remember that it takes practice to learn anything, and the Patrol Method allows the boys to practice under the watchful eyes of responsible adults. The Patrol Method challenges the boys to do things that they never thought possible. While they may occasionally fail at a particular task, we view failure as a chance to explore new ways of doing things. It is important to understand that, while a meal may burn or another "disaster" might strike; adults are always present to ensure the safety and well-being of each Scout.

Once a year, typically in the July time-frame, the PLC (with Adult Leader guidance) will conduct an annual program planning conference. The Troop's yearly plan is discussed among the Scouts, approved by the Scoutmaster and then submitted to the Troop Committee for approval. The Troop Committee either approves the plan or makes alternative suggestions for the PLC to consider. Usually once every month or month and a half, the SPL holds a patrol leaders' council (PLC) to organize and assign activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings and outing activities. 

The Scouts, not the adult leaders, are responsible for planning and conducting the troop's activities. The PLC is composed of the following voting members: SPL, ASPL, PLs and Troop Guide(s) and non-voting member: Troop Scribe.  At these periodic PLC meetings, Troop 88 meeting activities and event activities are discussed and planned.  Notes are captured and a meeting / activity plan sheet is recorded.  The Troop Committee interacts with the PLC through the Scoutmaster.

What is meant by “Boy Led”


The BSA's definition is that “empowering boys to be leaders” is the core of Scouting.  A Boy Scout troop is a small democracy. With the Scoutmaster's direction, the boys are formed into patrols, plan the troop's program, and make it a reality.

Unlike Cub Scouts, where the adult leaders plans the activities, organizes and then helps the Cub Scout attend and complete the activities, Boy Scouts are led by the Scouts themselves.

Troop 88 follows this overarching guidance and the Scouts in the Troop, formed into patrols actually plan and carry out all the activities undertaken each year.  The Scoutmaster and the assistant Scoutmasters mentor, guide, ensure safety and BSA rules are followed, but the Troop Scout Leadership actually runs the Troop. 

Scouts in Troop 88 elect their leadership twice a year, usually in November and again in May, and those elected leaders serve for 6-months.  The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) works with elected Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL) and various other leadership roles (with the Scoutmaster’s guidance).  In some cases where more than one Scout desires a leadership position, the Scouts hold elections for that position as well.

The SPL (and ASPL) executes Troop 88 decisions, lead the Troop meetings, and with the Patrol Leader’s Council plan agendas, pick camping and other activity destinations.

Each of the Troop Patrols hold Patrol only elections for the position of Patrol Leader.  The patrol leader in turn selects an Assistant Patrol Leader and appoints (with Scout concurrence) a Patrol Quartermaster to assist the Troop Quartermaster appointed by the SPL.  Patrol Leaders are responsible actions of their patrol.  They are members of the Troop’s Patrol Leaders Council.

This Troop 88 leadership organization chooses trips, activities and events, as well as schedule what weeks to hold Troop meetings.  They also plan, with guidance from the Scoutmaster, what activities will be held at each of the Troop meetings and Troop activities and events.  This entails assigning Scout members of the Troop to serve as skill instructors, using the EDGE method, to teach less experience Scouts in the Troop advancement and other skills.  The Scoutmaster and other adult leaders mentor them to keep within BSA guidelines, but ultimately the Scouts make the decisions.

The Adult leaders will review the PLC’s plans for issues such as necessary fund raising, unique equipment/skills, camp ground reservations, trip / tour permits, safety, and alignment with the BSA guidelines and purpose. 

Troop meetings, events and activities are led by the boys, unless and activity calls for specialized skills beyond those skills of the Scouts, i.e., spelunking, CPR, merit badge, etc., then an Adult or other person will be involved.

The overall purpose of this is so that each Scout learns by doing and will develop leadership, communications and organizational skills, problem solving, planning, etc.  All of these activities reinforce and lead the Scout on the path to earning Eagle Scout rank. It is also one of the biggest reasons why young men who participate in the Scouting program excel in other areas of their lives.

Troop 88 Dues and Payments 

Annual Fees

There is a joining / annual fee that is paid for each Scout and Adult leader.  This is set by BSA National and pays for processing, insurance, etc.  Currently BSA charges $36.00 per year for membership.  There is also a fee for a subscription to Boys Life which is $12.00. The Troop strongly recommends that each Scout pay for and receive a subscription to Boys Life, as this magazine keeps the Scout informed about Scouting throughout the nation and the world.  This fee is paid each year at the time the Troop applies for re-charter. (No Scout will be denied membership in Troop 88 based on an inability to pay the Troop fee – talk to the Scoutmaster if this fee will be a issue preventing your son from joining)

Outing Fees

Troop 88 operates outings on a “pay as you go’ basis.  This means that each Scout attending an outing will pay an equal fee to defray just the cost of the outing.  These costs are for items like, cabin rental fee, park fees, etc.  Adult Leaders will also share the costs for fees as discussed above.  Summer camp fees may be an exception.  In some instances BSA summer camps give discounts or waive fees for leadership attending with Scouts.  In those cases the total cost of Adult Leadership fees, less the discounted or waived fees, will be equally divided among the leaders attending.

Outing Meals

In addition, each patrol determines the meals it will consume during the outing and each member of the patrol will equally share the cost of that food.  One assigned Scout will purchase the food and provide the cost per Scout bake to each member attending.  Those Scouts are then required to reimburse the Scout purchasing the food items.  If, for whatever reason, the assigned Scout cannot afford to front the total amount needed to purchase the food, the patrol should estimate the amount and collect funds up front.  The Purchasing Scout would then adjust the total amount spent with the previously collected amount and either reimburse or collect the difference.

Adult Leaders plan, purchase and cook their meals separately from the Patrols.  As such each Adult Leader attending an event is responsible for their portion of the meal costs.

Summer Camp / High Adventure Camp Fees

Summer camp and High Adventure treks typically cost between $230.00 to over $1,000.  Over the past few years, summer camp has cost on average $325.  This pays for the camp fees, travel costs, etc., and vary with the camp / activity and distance traveled.

Each summer Troop 88 participates in a summer camp either within New Birth of Freedom Council or outside of Council.  Notification of the planned trip will be soon after the PLC chooses the location of the summer camp and fees for the camp are obtained (Usually in July a year in advance).  Usually there is a discount to pay these fees early (typically prior to April the year of the camp). 

High Adventure treks are very similar for planning, but are usually more expensive and have the added costs of transportation, which may be air, train or lengthy car / bus transportation. 

Scout Advancement 

Boy Scout Ranks 

            There are seven Scout ranks in Boy Scouting.  These are:



•Second Class

•First Class




 When a youth first joins Scouting they must qualify first at the Scout Rank.  For those familiar with the Cub Scout Program, Scout Rank requirements are similar to the requirements for earning the Arrow of Light award.  A new Scout will learn the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, Motto and Outdoor Code, as well as learning about the Scout emblem, the handshake , Scout sign and salute.  In short, it helps a new Scout have the basic understanding of Scouting to use as a base to begin his advancement in Scouting.  Once the new Scout has demonstrated this common understanding, they will meet with the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster’s Conference. 

Scoutmaster Conferences

Allow the Scoutmaster to assess the understanding of the Scout for earned rank and to allow positive feedback and encouragement to the Scout.

Each of the ranks beyond Scout works very much the same, except that for Tenderfoot through Eagle the Scout must be presented to a Board of Review after passing the Scoutmaster’s Conference.

Boards of Review

Are typically scheduled by the Committee Advancement Chairman and is comprised of three or more committee members (not usually Assistant Scoutmasters) and again is to assess the understanding of the Scout for earned rank and to allow positive feedback and encouragement to the Scout.

The first three Scout ranks (beyond Scout), Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class, focus on developing skills required for self-reliance, such as cooking, map and compass, camping and first aid, among other things. The last three Scout Ranks, Star, Life and Eagle, focus on developing lifelong interests, leadership, service and required skills.

While the first three ranks rely on demonstrating specific skills and learning Boy Scout skills, the last three ranks offer a Scout customized learning and ability to explore different areas of interest, primarily by earning of various merit badges.

For each rank there are a number of requirements that must be met by the Scout.  More experienced Scouts teach the Scouts using the Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable (EDGE) method each of those requirements during time set aside at Troop meetings, Patrol meeting and during outing.  Once the Scout has learned and demonstrated knowledge of the requirement, they present themselves to either the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster and demonstrate or explain the requirement.  This is an important aspect of advancement for the Scout.  Unlike Cub Scouts where the Scout Leader presented the material and then made sure the requirement was “signed” off, in Boy Scouts the Scout must take the initiative to seek out a leader and demonstrate, show or explain they have learned the skill or information needed for the requirement.  In Troop 88, only the Scoutmaster and or an Assistant Scoutmaster can sign as completed a Rank Advancement requirement.

Important note to Scouts and Parents: 

1) The Tenderfoot requirement number 10:

10.a.      Record your best in the following tests:




Standing long jump

1/4 mile walk/run

10.b.      Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a after practicing for 30 days.


            This one Tenderfoot requirement often seems to slow completion of Tenderfoot Rank requirements for many new Scouts.  The requirement is for 30 consecutive days of exercise.  Please encourage and work with your Scouts at home to ensure they work on this requirement, starting as soon after earning Scout as possible.  Most Scouts are in 6th grade and have PE in school, some of that can count towards this requirement.  If you have questions about this, ask early so that your Scout isn’t delayed unnecessarily for advancement to Tenderfoot.

 2) Only 2-3% of all Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. It is the goal of the Adult Leaders of Troop 88 to offer the opportunity to every one of the Scouts in our Troop to reach the top – Eagle Scout.

Parents and Family can help by offering encouragement and support. Be active in Scouting with him, and strongly encourage him to attend as many meetings and activities as possible, because active Scouts are often the most successful in advancing in Scout Rank.

3)  Boy Scouting is not Cub Scouting.  In Cub Scouting advancement is conducted by Adults (parents and with WEBELOS - the Den Leader).  Camping opportunities are limited, even for WEBELOS.  Cub Scouts often advance in rank as a group, while the for the Boy Scout advancement is conducted by Scouts teaching with the EDGE method and the SM or ASM validating the learning.  Activities like camping, backpacking, hiking, treks, Summer Camp are central components of the Troop 88 program.  A Boy Scout advances at his own pace and is required to seek out advancement opportunities and Scoutmaster Conferences.


This is probably the second most important thing a new Scout can do to in order to identify with the Scouting program.  Having a complete Scout uniform after moving up from Cub Scouts or taking the step to join Scouting helps him not only identify with our Troop, but also “show” to the world he is now a Boy Scout! 

 Wow, that is a powerful incentive to help him succeed in Scouting.

Troop 88 Uniform Guidelines 

Each troop selects from among the many BSA uniform options. Here are details about the BSA Uniform options chosen by Troop 88.

 The Troop 88 Permission Slip and also the Website Activity Schedule shows which activities require uniform, and calls out any special uniform options (such as Activity T-Shirt instead of standard Field shirt).

In general, Scout and Adult Leaders will wear full uniform to all meetings, to and from all outings / events /campouts, and typically any time we are in the public eye.

Standard BSA Field (Class “A”) Uniform

 Hat—Optional (Note that wearing a hat is usually optional, but is recommended)

• Boy Scout short-sleeved, tan-colored shirt

• Neckerchief & slide—Troop 88 neckerchief (the BSA Bolo Tie optional, as is the Eagle and NYLT neckerchief) & any slide you make or buy (in good taste).

• Boy Scout olive-green pants—Either Boy Scout trousers, Boy Scout shorts, Boy Scout Switchbacks™. (Similar olive green pants or shorts are acceptable but not recommended). BSA Trousers and shorts are cotton-polyester; Switchbacks are lightweight nylon with zip-off legs. We strongly recommend shorts or Switchbacks for spring/summer/fall. Some Scouts will continue wearing these through the winter, but most prefer trousers for wintertime.

• Boy Scout web belt with Boy Scout buckle—Note that the “Switchbacks” come with a special BSA nylon belt, although they also have loops to accommodate the standard belt.

• BSA olive-green socks—Several options, including low-cut ankle socks, crew socks, and various “hiking” socks, all olive. Knee socks are acceptable with shorts.

• Footgear—Any shoes with soles suitable for running and playing. Dress shoes not recommended. NO flip-flops or open toed shoes of any kind.

• BSA merit badge sash - Available in two lengths. Merit badges are sewn 3 across. Sash goes over the RIGHT shoulder. DO NOT wear the sash “tucked” into the belt.  Certain awards (those not attached to a pack or swimsuit) can be worn on the back side of the merit badge sash if desired by the Scout, i.e., National Outdoor Award patch, High Adventure Base patches, etc.

Members of the Order of the Arrow also have a sash denoting what level of OA membership they have attained.  It is important to remember – DO NOT wear both the Merit Badge sash and the OA sash at the same time.

• Shirt insignia (Follow BSA Guidelines) —Shirt comes with US flag pre-sewn on right sleeve. In addition:  BSA green shoulder loops

LEFT SLEEVE—New Birth of Freedom Council shoulder patch (several versions available), numeral 88 and the Trained patch if Scout has attended NYLT.

RIGHT SLEEVE—US flag, patrol medallion & current-year Quality Unit patch (free from troop)

LEFT POCKET—Badge of rank (free from troop) on pocket; Arrow of Light (if earned) below pocket; World Scout Crest above pocket ~3” below shoulder seam, religious knot (if earned).

RIGHT POCKET—Order of the arrow on pocket flap if scout is a member, ONLY one (1) temporary patch may be worn at a time on Right Pocket.  Jamboree patch above pocket ONLY for Scouts that attended as participants, interpreter strip if qualified.

 A guide to proper wearing of the uniform and placement of the insignia can be found at (

Standard BSA Activity (Class “B”) Uniform

Same as Standard Uniform except:

• Troop 88 T-shirt instead of Field Shirt, neckerchief and slide. 

Scouts will be informed when wearing this "Class B" uniform is appropriate. Scouts are expected to take care of their "Class B" shirt. In case the shirt is lost or destroyed, Scouts will be able to purchase a new one through the Troop.  The cost is $7.00 / each for the 50/50 cotton shirt and $14 for the poly wicking shirt.  It is recommended that each Scout have a “Class B” shirt for each day at resident camps, i.e., summer camp.

The Troop provides each new Scout two (2) Troop 50/50 T-Shirts that can be worn at various times, such as outdoor activities and occasional weekly meetings. 

Optional Outerwear

• Appropriate warm outerwear for the conditions.  (Red Wool Shirt/Jac, BSA light jackets, rain gear, etc.)  The Troop offers a cotton "hoodie" and Sweatshirt with in Troop Red with logo.  The "hoodie" is $25 and the sweatshirt is $15

Unacceptable Items (applies to everyone on any Scout activity)

BSA policy forbids wearing T-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, or other visible garments that display pictures or messages that are inappropriate to Scouting or to youth activities. These include items with “adult” or sexual content or foul language, racial/ethnic/religious/etc stereotypes or slurs, or anything displaying the name or image of alcohol or tobacco products.

Uniform Sources

The nearest source for uniforms and Scout supplies is the NBOF Council Scout Store just off of Rt 114 on Baden-Powell Road.

Uniform Item Re-Use

As Scouts outgrow or age out of Scouting, some parent donate their unused Scout uniform articles back to Troop 88.  These are available to New Scouts on a first come, first serve basis by contacting the Troop 88 Committee.

Troop 88 / Patrol Equipment 


Troop 88 maintains tents, cooking equipment, dining fly, ropes, stakes, axes, saws, etc., for use by the Scouts in each patrol.  Each Patrol has a Patrol Box that contains cooking utensils, pots / pans, stove, spices, soap, etc. used by the Patrol on outing.  Each Patrol is responsible for maintaining the consumables within the box, and with notifying the Troop Quartermaster in the event a utensil or other gear wears out or breaks and needs to be replaced.  The Troop Patrol boxes have plates and bowls, but these are not for personal use, rather for serving food.  Each Scout should always bring their personal “mess kit” to outing, unless otherwise notified by the Permission slip gear attachment.

The equipment is stored in the Troop 88 trailer and is maintained by a Scout assigned as the Troop 88 Quartermaster.  Each patrol also assigns a Patrol Quartermaster that tracks and helps with the issue, maintenance and stowage of gear used by each of the Patrols, under the guidance and direction of the Troop Quartermaster.

For most outing, other than backpacking, bicycle treks, visits, etc, Troop 88 will bring the trailer to the outing. Upon arrival at the event camp site the Troop Quartermaster assisted by the Patrol Quartermasters (and other as required) will assign equipment to the Patrols and Scouts.  The Patrol Quartermaster will maintain a list of “what” equipment is assigned to “which” Scout for the outing and will provide a copy to the Troop Quartermaster.

Following an outing the Troop Quartermaster and or the patrol Leader of each Patrol will assign equipment that needs to be taken home by a Scout and cleaned.  For example, tents and tarps will be taken home by one of the Scouts that used the tent for the outing and set up to air dry completely, as well as to be cleaned on debris inside and out.  Best effort by the Scout should be made to return the equipment at the following Troop meeting.  Upon return and before the equipment is re-stowed neatly in the trailer, the Troop Quartermaster will inspect the gear / equipment. 

The Troop also has a lend / loan locker for specific event items, like backpacks, backpacking stoves & tents, etc.  If a Scout desires to try an outdoor activity and does not have the gear, it may be "borrowed" from this locker if available on a first come, first serve basis by contacting the Troop 88 Committee, for the first time.

Troop 88 Scout Personal Gear (Suggested, recommended or required) 

Scouting activities are aligned around outdoor activities that include hiking, camping, backpacking, etc.  While not all Scouts will participate in all activities, it can be expected that during the time a Scout spends with Troop 88, they will (and are strongly encouraged to) take advantage of these outdoor activities whenever possible.

There is usually no reason for a New Scout to purchase all the gear immediately.  A better recommendation is for the New Scout and Parents to talk to outer Scouts and Adult leaders to find out what has worked best in the Troop over the years.  However, at a very minimum a Scout will need the following to enjoy their first outdoor camp with the Troop:

Initial gear needed by the Scout: 

Mess Kit and eating utensils (See link for an example of this mess kit) ( Utensils (^8^01RTL&) 

Water bottle or canteen (recommend a non-breakable Nalgene type water bottle) (^8^01RTL&)

Flash light or head light (recommend the hands free head lamp) (^8^01RTL&)

Personal First Aid kit (made up as a rank advancement requirement - Requirement 6.b. of the Second Class rank Requirements)

Sleeping bag (3 season) (30 degree rating should suffice for most outings)

Poncho or rain gear

Scout Handbook

Required for an outdoor Camping activity: 

Mess Kit and eating utensils

Water bottle or canteen (recommend a non-breakable Nalgene type water bottle)

Flash light or head light (recommend the hands free head lamp)

Personal First Aid kit (made up as a rank advancement requirement)

Duffle bag or plastic bin (size to Scout)

Sleeping bag (3 season) (30 degree rating should suffice for most outings)

Poncho or rain gear


Optional Gear

Pocket Knife (Must have Totin’ Chip earned)

Sleeping pad

Backpack (external or internal frame) (NOT a school book bag)

“Camelback” type water bladder


Lightweight tent lantern (battery type)

Required for an outdoor Backpacking activity: 

Mess Kit and eating utensils

Water bottle or canteen (recommend a non-breakable Nalgene type water bottle)

Hiking boots (purchase and break in well in advance of the outing)

Flash light or head light (recommend the hands free head lamp)

Personal First Aid kit (made up as a rank advancement requirement)

Sleeping bag (3 season) (30 degree rating should suffice for most outings)

Poncho or rain gear

Backpack (external or internal frame) (NOT a school book bag) (Backpack fitting guide at or at

Backpack weather cover (could be large plastic bag)

Backpacking tent (lightweight 3-season) (Troop does not provide backpacking tents)

Personal lightweight propane / multi-gas backpacking stove


Pocket Knife (Must have Totin’ Chip earned)


Optional Gear

Pocket Knife (Must have Totin’ Chip earned)

Sleeping pad

Backpack (external or internal frame) (NOT a school book bag)

“Camelback” type water bladder

Hiking sticks

Lightweight line or rope (50 ft)


As each Scout becomes more involved with outdoor activities, there may be additional items and other gear that he finds useful and could be purchased.

Note: Parents remember these items and many others could make perfect gifts throughout the year at birthdays, etc.

Suggested sources of Scouting Gear (while many of the Troop 88 Scouts shop at these locations, Troop 88 does not endorse any retailer other than the official BSA Scout Shop.)

Local Retailers

·         BSA Scout Shop (located at the NBOF Council offices on Baden-Powell Lane just off of Rt 114 and also online at

·         Dicks Sporting Goods (located on the Carlisle Pike and online at

·         Walmart (located at the junction of Carlisle Pike and RT 114)

·         Target (located in the Wegmans Shopping center on the Carlisle Pike)

·         Gander Mountain (located on Devonshire Road off of Jonestown Road, Harrisburg)

·         Bass Pro Shop (On Paxton St just off of I-83 in Harrisburg)

·         Cabela’s Retail Store (Just off of I-78 north in Hamburg, PA)

 Online Retailers

·         BSA Scout Shop (online at

·         Scout Direct ( or contact Sarah at (reseller of Alps Mountaineering gear) (really good source for backpacking gear)

·         REI ( (They also have a store in Towson, MD and Conshocken, PA).

·         Sunny Sports (

·         Campmor (

·         Gander Mountain (

·         Backcountry (

·         Cabela’s (

·         Amazon (

·         Steep and Cheap (

·         Piragis Northwoods Company & The Boundary Waters Catalog ( (really good source of gear for the Northern Tier high adventure trek).

Outdoor Programs 

Troop 88 offers at least one activity each month, including at least 12 nights of camping each year. A solid Scouting program involves learning that takes place during outdoor activities.  These type of activities also are a great way for Scouts to complete advancement requirements while having fun, and have included winter camping, white water rafting, canoe / kayak camping trips, bicycle camping trips, backpacking the Appalachian Trail, etc.

New Birth of Freedom Council and the Adventure District also have activities throughout the year that Troop 88 Scouts will join.  These are activities like Camporees, Klondike Derby (a winter activity), the Merit Badge College, University of Scouting (geared toward Adult Leader education, but has some Scout specific training), etc.

During the winter, the Troop usually offer opportunities to camp in tents and also in a cabin heated with a wood stove.

The Troop attends a week of summer camp every other year in NBOF Council at either at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation or Tuckahoe Summer Camp and on the alternate years at a summer camp out of council chosen by the PLC.  All Scouts are strongly encouraged to attend summer camp, since it provides a structured framework for both New Scouts and seasoned Scouts to work on Scout skills and meet and work with Scouts from other Troops.

Troop 88 also tries to have at least one High Adventure Trek every other year and possibly more often.  High Adventure trips in the past have been to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a Mountain Man camp, to the Northern Tier High Adventure base in Canada to canoe the Boundary Waters, to the Philmont Ranch High Adventure to hike in the New Mexico mountains, to the Sea Base High Adventure base in Ft Lauderdale, FL to sail and swim in the Florida Keys, to the Adirondacks in New York to hike the mountain trails and most recently a week long Bicycle Trek from Pittsburg to Washington DC along the C & O Canal.

Most High Adventure is an opportunity for more seasoned Scouts (usually 14 or older) to participate in an exciting adventure that they help to plan. It is usually at least a week-long trip in the summer and is in addition to the regularly scheduled summer camp.

Requirements to participate are dictated by the High Adventure Base requirements and are usually 14 years of age or older by the day the adventure starts. The goals of these treks are stretch each Scout with a more challenging outdoor event. Due to the nature of this trip, it is not be appropriate for new Scouts, or for older Scouts that have not been active in earlier outdoor activities.  These treks are usually much more challenging than a campout or other activity and take physical preparation prior to the event.  For example, those Scouts attending the bicycle trek will have biked several times a month, with increasing distances each time to prepare for a 335-mile bicycle trip.  This would not be something a Scout that seldom bikes long distances would be able to accomplish without training and preparation. 

Participation in Troop 88 Outdoor Activities  

In order to organize logistics for an outdoor event, Troop Leaders will need to know in advance who will be attending. For each event an Activity / outing permission slip with attached recommended gear is sent via email to each registered Troop 88 Scout and Adult leader.  Scouts are expected to indicate their intent to participate promptly by returning the signed permission form along with any payment as indicated on the form to the NEXT Troop meeting.

This will allow Adult Leaders to complete a Tour Permit (required by Council for insurance purposes), reserve the locations, and finalize travel arrangements. Scouts need to reimburse / pay the Scout purchasing the food for the trip.

While it is generally the policy of Troop 88 that if a Scout has not indicated his desire to participate and made payment by the deadlines indicated in the permission form, he will not be allowed to attend the outing, however, with compelling circumstances and on a case-by-case basis a Scout may be allowed to attend. So if there are extenuating circumstances, please bring the situation to the Scoutmaster's attention, he has the sole authority to make an exception.  Any exceptions will be made only in the case where suitable arrangements can be made and will not place an unnecessary hardship on trip organizers.  

The Campout

Just what goes on at a campout or other camping type activity?

Usually Troop 88 departs for a weekend campout around 5:30 – 6:00PM on a Friday evening.  We try to have everyone show up at the departure point (usually SKD parking lot) about a half hour before departure.  Everyone needs to be in their Full Class “A” (Field Uniform) for the trip, both going and returning.  If there is a change to this uniform requirement it will be noted in the permission slip information.

Scouts SHOULD NOT BRING electronics, cell phones, etc., to an outing.  Each Adult Leader will have a cell phone or other communication device, so that if a parent must be reached the Scout or Leader can use one of them.  Please remind your Scout NOT to bring electronics.

Once we assemble, one of the Scout leaders will make sure permission slips have been submitted by all Scouts going on the trip.  Any medicine (prescription or otherwise) will also be collected by one of the ASMs.  Concurrently the SPL will be assigning Scouts and gear to the various vehicles being used to transport the Troop to the activity point.  The SPL will also assign 1-2 Scouts to help prepare the Troop trailer for attachment to the vehicle towing it (all other Scouts will stay back away from this work for safety).

Under most conditions, the Troop will depart, rain or shine.  If it is raining or rain is forecast, please have the Scouts bring ponchos or rain gear.

Once all the gear is loaded, the trailer attached and checked for safety, and all the Scouts are in their assigned vehicle, the group will depart.

Once the Troop arrives at the campsite, the first thing to happen is the SPL will make sure the assigned Patrols are setting up the Troop community gear, i.e., dining fly, filling water containers, fire water buckets, etc. The patrol quartermasters will check-in with the Troop quartermaster at the trailer and start checking out Patrol tents and the patrol boxes.  They will then assign the tents to Scouts and note the names of the Scouts and which tent they obtained for future reference.

Once all the common gear is set up, Scouts will then begin to set up their own tents.  When completed they will unload their gear from the cars / trucks (if allowed to drive into the camp), otherwise they will pick up their gear from where it was placed and stow it in their tents.

In the late spring, summer and early fall, most of the set up will be done in daylight, however, from mid-fall through late spring, Scouts should plan on setting up common gear and tents in the dark.  Wearing headlamps are better than using flashlights, since it leaves hands free.

Time permitting Friday evening after all set-up is completed, the Patrols may choose to have a “Cracker Barrel” (snack) prior to “taps”.  Taps for most campouts is 10:00 PM if near other campers or in a BSA camp activity.  Scouts may continue to speak softly in their tents, but are and will be reminded that if they can be heard outside the tents they may be adversely impacting other campers.  When the Troop is staying at an isolated or distant camp site and will not impact other campers “taps” is usually extended to 11:00 PM.  On some outings when astronomy gear has been brought for use, time frames slip to allow viewing.  When the Troop has a Scout that can play taps on a Bugle, then that Scout plays taps softly to allow all the Troop to know when to turn in.

Saturday mornings begin early, Scouts assigned to fix breakfast are up early and starting to prepare breakfast.  Patrol eat at the same time and together.  Each patrol has their own patrol box with cooking / food preparation gear.  Scouts should have and use their own personal “mess” gear, i.e., plate / bowl, fork, knife, spoon and cup.

After eating, assigned Scouts will clean up and prepare for the morning Flag ceremony and any comments from the SPL.  Once concluded the Scouts begin the activities planned for the outing.  They will break for lunch and usually wrap up around 5 in the evening with a flag ceremony to lower the flag.  At which time the assigned Scouts prepare dinner and afterward clean up.  The Scouts then have some free time prior to the evening campfire and campfire activities, skits, songs, jokes, stories, etc. and have another Cracker Barrel / snack period.  It is especially important that each Scout realize that any and all jokes, skits, etc shared does not cross the boundary of appropriateness and adheres to Scouting guidelines.  No off-color, crude or rude jokes or skits should be used for any Scouting campfire or other activities.  If in doubt ask the SPL for guidance.  Usually those Scouts working on the Communications merit badge will act as Master of Ceremonies for the campfire.

Sunday mornings are a repeat of Saturday mornings, Scouts are reminded that a cooked meal is required, unless there is some compelling reason.  This is for two reasons, first, many of the junior Scouts need to prepare cooked meals for rank advancement, second, a cooked meal usually provides a better meal than grabbing something cold, i.e., pop-tarts, donuts, etc.

After breakfast the Troop begins to break down and stow all gear.  The patrol quartermasters assign the tents and ground clothes to one of the Scouts sharing the tent.  They will take the tent home, dry it, clean it and neatly stow it back in the bag.  A tent and ground cloth stowed while wet will grow mildew and perhaps be ruined.  Then at the NEXT Troop meeting return the gear to the patrol quartermaster / troop quartermaster.

The Troop Chaplain will hold Scout Services each and every Sunday morning, either before breaking down the camp or just after – a Scout is Reverent!

Once packed up the Troop head for home.  About 30 minutes out from SKD the leaders in each vehicle will ensure each Scout calls home and confirms the estimated arrival back time.

Merit Badges

"Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible." That said, Scouts are encouraged to focus on Rank advancement first and work on merit badges around that rank advancement.  Within New Birth Of Freedom Council and Troop 88 there will be plenty of opportunity for each Scout to work on merit badges throughout the Scouting year.

In addition to rank advancement, Scouts also earn Merit Badges, and for the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, Merit badges are required. There are 13 Eagle Rank required merit badges and 8 elective merit badges.  Each merit badge has a number of different requirements to complete. A total of 21 merit badges are required for Eagle.

Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as they earn merit badges. There are more than 128 merit badges and any Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible to earn a Merit Badge.

Earning a Merit Badge process
Pick a Subject of Interest

Go to the Troop 88 Website merit badge page, click on the link and go to the BSA merit Badge site.  Read the requirements of the merit badge of interest, and then tell the Scoutmaster or one of the assigned Assistant Scoutmasters that you want to start on the Merit Badge and obtain a Blue Card.  Fill out the Blue Card (BSA Merit Badge tracking form) and have the SM or assigned ASM sign the Blue Card to get started.  There is also a list of New Birth of Freedom (NBOF) Council approved Merit Badge counselors that can then be contacted to start.

Scout Buddy System.

Scouts MUST have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.

Call the Counselor.

Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work that you have already started or possibly completed.  Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time and usually AFTER a Blue Card has been signed. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Many troops and school or public libraries have them.

Show Your Stuff.

When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required. "You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements."

Earn the Badge.

When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your Blue Card. The counselor will keep their part of the Blue Card and give the Scout the remaining parts.  Give the signed Blue Card to your Scoutmaster for signature and then take both parts to the Committee Advancement person, so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you. 

Note:  Make a copy of the Blue Card after it has been signed by Scoutmaster, just in case.  Also, when the Merit badge is awarded, either at a Court of Honor or Troop Meeting, the Scout will receive “his” copy of the Blue Card.  This record must be kept, and if required, presented to the Board of Review for advancement to Star, Life and Eagle Rank. 


Keep a binder with inserts (baseball card sized holders) and insert the Blue Card copy and award card into the sleeve.  Maintain this record of Merit Badges throughout the time in Scouting.  This will become a reference for the Eagle Rank application.

Merit Badge Requirements. 

A Scout is expected to meet the requirements as they are stated in the most current Merit Badge Pamphlet for the badge - no more and no less. They are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what a Scout must do - just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."

Troop 88 Communications 


The Scouts of Troop 88 generally publish a Troop Newsletter quarterly and are distributed at the Troop’s Court of Honor and also available on the Troop 88 secure side of the Troop 88 Website.

Calendar of Events

Troop 88 maintains a listing of the upcoming and past events for the Scouting Year on the public pages of the Troop 88 website (  and also maintain two calendars on the private side of the Troop 88 website.  The first calendar ( maintained by the Troop Scribe lists all Troop, District and Council events that are important to the Troop Scouts and Leaders, and the second calendar ( is associated with the Troop 88 website functions.  This calendar is maintained by those Scouts and Leaders scheduling events throughout the year and desire to send auto-notifications to select members of the Troop or Leadership.

Contact Lists

Contact lists are usually updated quarterly, distributed at the Troop Court of Honor and also available to Troop 88 members only on the secure side of the Troop 88 Website. Contact lists include addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

Important Troop 88 Contact email addresses are:

            Scoutmaster – Mr. Rick Wagner  

Permission Slips

Permission slips are required from the parents and or guardians of each Scout prior to participation in Troop outing and activities.  Permission slips are distributed to Scouts at the Troop meeting and by email.

Troop 88 Website

Troop 88 maintains a website at:

There are public and private sections of the website.  Only registered members (Scouts, parents, and Adult Leaders) have access to the private sections of the website.

            Public Section maintain general information about the Troop and Scouting

            Private section has more specific information about Troop activities, membership, contact information, awards and advancements, etc.

We recommend that Scouts, Parents and Adult Leaders refer to the website often.

Troop 88 is firmly committed to ensuring that Troop 88 Scouts, parents of Troop 88 Scouts and Troop 88 Adult Leaders have access to information in order to be fully informed of the Troop's operation. Everyone within the Troop is encouraged to bring any concerns to the Troop 88 Adult Leadership’s attention. Please feel free to contact the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair at any time.  

Patrol method

Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members.

Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC)

The patrol leaders' council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, who presides over the meetings; the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, all Patrol Leaders, Troop Guides, and others as determined by your PLC. The patrol leaders' council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. The PLC then meets monthly to develop plans for upcoming meetings and activities.

The PLC is composed of the following voting members:

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - Elected by boys in the troop, SPL runs the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) meetings.

Patrol Leaders - Elected by his patrol, the PL represents his patrol PLC meetings and the annual planning conference. Reports PLC decisions to his patrol.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders - Serves as a member of the patrol leaders' council and fills in for the SPL as needed.

Troop Guides - Attends patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.

Scribe - Attends and keeps a log of patrol leaders’ council meetings. The scribe is a non-voting member of the PLC; however in the practices of some troops, scribes have been granted voting privileges.

At the PLC meetings, the PLC organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings. The troop committee interacts with the patrol leaders' council through the Scoutmaster.

When required Troop 88’s PLC will include others who may be assigned tasks and may be voting or non-voting members such as:

Instructors - May be assigned training tasks or report on previous training

Quartermaster - May report on condition and availability of equipment and needs

Librarian - May report on condition and availability of the troop library and needs

Historian, Chaplain Aide, etc.

The PLC is guided by the Scoutmaster and has direct support by key Troop Committee members.

Troop Leadership


The Scoutmaster (SM) is the adult responsible for working directly with the Scouts to help them create the program for the troop. The Scoutmaster trains boy leaders to run the troop by providing direction, coaching, and support. The Troop 88 Scoutmaster must be fully BSA trained for the SM Position and have both current the BSA Youth Protection qualification and a current Harrisburg Archdiocese Youth Protection certification.  The SM will wear the Harrisburg Archdiocese Youth Protection certification badge visible at all meetings, events and activities that have youth present.

The Scoutmaster and the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) hold Troop Leadership training after each of the Troop elections to ensure each Scout is trained in the Troop Position they are filling.  The SM and SPL are assisted by the Assistant Scoutmasters.

Assistant Scoutmaster(s) 

An Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) is one of the adult leaders, age 18 or over, who assist the Scoutmaster in delivering the troop program. The Troop 88 Assistant Scoutmaster must be fully BSA trained for the ASM Position (or in the process of becoming fully trained within 6-months) and have both current the BSA Youth Protection qualification and a current Harrisburg Archdiocese Youth Protection certification.  The ASM will wear the Harrisburg Archdiocese Youth Protection certification badge visible at all meetings, events and activities that have youth present.

The ASMs assist the Scoutmaster and the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) Troop Leadership training after each of the Troop elections to ensure each Scout is trained in the Troop Position they are filling.

In Troop 88, the Assistant Scoutmasters often take on the role of providing support (tracking, permission slips, administrative, reservations, coordination with the Troop Outdoor/Activities Chair, etc.) for a monthly event scheduled by the PLC. 

Assistant Scoutmasters are also assigned by the Scoutmaster to serve as mentor / guides for the Troop Guides assigned to each of the New Scout Patrols.

The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are NOT formal members of the committee. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are advisers to the committee. They may attend committee meetings to communicate scout plans and to coordinate the needs of the Scouts.

This factor is important to remember during Boards of Review because the Boards of Review also serve as quality checks of the Scouting program as delivered by the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters.

Troop Committee

The Troop Committee ensures that quality adult leadership is recruited and trained. In case the Scoutmaster is absent, that a qualified Assistant Scoutmaster is assigned. If the Scoutmaster is unable to serve, a replacement is recruited.  They also ensure adequate meeting facilities are provided by the sponsoring organization, advise the Scoutmaster on policies relating to Boy Scouting and the chartered organization, supports leaders in carrying out the BSA Scouting program, tracks and is responsible for finances, funding and fundraising, the Troop 88 budget plan, obtains, maintains, and properly cares for troop property, provides and supports Scout Board of Reviews, along with the SM works with individual boys and problems that may affect the overall troop program,  provides for the special needs and assistance some Scouts may require and helps with the BSA Friends of Scouting campaign.

The Troop 88 Committee is comprised of the following:

Chartered Organization Representative

The Chartered Organization Representative is the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. This individual is also the organization's contact with the district committee and the Local Council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. The Chartered Organization Representative appoints the unit committee chair.

Troop Committee Chairman 

The unit committee chair is appointed by the chartered organization and registered as an adult leader of the BSA. The unit committee chairman appoints and supervises the unit committee and unit leaders.

Troop Secretary 

The unit secretary is appointed by the committee chairman to keep minutes and records, send notices, and handle publicity.

Troop Treasurer 

The unit treasurer is appointed by the committee chairman to handle unit funds, pay bills, maintain accounts, coordinate the annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign, and supervise fundraising.

Troop Advancement Chair 

The unit advancement chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure that the unit has at least monthly boards of review, quarterly courts of honor, and that the unit has goals of helping each Scout advance a rank each year and for new Scouts to reach First Class rank during their first year. The advancement coordinator is also responsible for record keeping and submitting advancement reports.

Troop Equipment Coordinator 

The unit equipment coordinator is appointed by the committee chairman to work with the youth Quartermaster and is responsible inventory, storage, and maintenance of unit equipment.

Troop Outdoor/Activities Chair 

The unit outdoor/activities chair is appointed by the committee chairman to secure tour permits and permission to use camping site, serve as transportation coordinator, ensure a monthly outdoor program.

Troop Membership Chair 

The unit membership chair is appointed by the committee chairman to help ensure a smooth transition of new Scouts into the unit and orientation for new parents.

Troop Training Chair 

The unit training chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure training opportunities are available, maintain training records and materials, and is responsible for BSA Youth Protection training.

Troop Uniform and Clothing Chair

The unit uniform and clothing chair maintains the Troop’s supply of Class B T-Shirts, neckerchiefs and donated uniform items for re-issue.  The chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure items are available to new Scouts and for purchase by Scouts within the Troop.

Troop Public Relations Chair 

The unit public relations chair is appointed by the committee chairman to inform parents of their responsibilities in Scouting and with the chartered organization. Provides news and announcements about the unit to newspapers, bulletins of sponsors, web sites, etc. Promotes and stimulates service projects, Scouting Anniversary Week, Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath, and family participation in unit events. Promotes new membership and lets people in the neighborhood know that Scouting is available.

Troop Friends of Scouting (FOS) Chair 

The unit Friends of Scouting chair is appointed by the committee chairman to work closely with the unit committee on public relations for FOS; conducts annual FOS campaign to enroll family members and adult leaders in FOS; gives recognition to contributors and enrollees.

Troop Scouting for Food Chair 

The unit Scouting for Food chair is appointed by the committee chairman to coordinate an annual food drive for the unit and reports the result to the district.

Troop Fundraising Chair 

The Unit Fundraising Chair, also called the "Popcorn Kernel" in some councils, is appointed by the committee chairman to supervise Fundraising and ensure that every youth member has the opportunity to participate in Popcorn sales or other council Fundraising events.

ScoutParent Unit Coordinator

The ScoutParents Unit Coordinator is an appointed member of the unit committee or can be an assistant unit leader. Their job is to welcome parents, keep them informed, and encourage them to help with at least one specific task or project each year. Larger units might choose to have more than one ScoutParents unit coordinator. The ScoutParents unit coordinator position became official June 1, 2008 and the position code is "PS." The ScoutParents unit coordinator must be at least 21 years old, complete an adult application, and pay the same registration fee as other adult leaders.


Do’s and Don’ts

Troop 88 closely adheres to all BSA regulations and prohibitions for EVERY activity, and all state and federal laws – Enough Said!

If in doubt ask a Scout Leader.

Parent Participation 

Scouting is run at the Troop level by volunteers.  There is no Troop 88 without dedicated adults who give up countless hours of their time to have fun with the Scouts, helping them to become exceptional young adults.  All parents are welcome to join us in making sure the Scouting program offered through Troop 88 is the best possible!

Therefore, it is desired (is expected too strong) that parents of each Scout will volunteer to help out at some time during the year.  Volunteering can include being a Committee member, or simply volunteering and helping out with a single event.  These might be a Car Wash fundraiser, helping sell Popcorn, running a bake sale fundraiser, helping set up or clean up for a Court of honor, etc.  You will find that working with the Troop is fun, and your son will be glad that you are there (even though he might say otherwise!).

Unfortunately, due to BSA National and our Sponsoring Organizations rules, unless you are a registered Adult Leader and have completed both the BSA National Youth Protection training and have undergone the Archdiocese of Harrisburg’s background investigation for working with Youth a parent or other Adult will NOT be able to join us on treks and other events.  You will be able to participate in all Troop 88 Family events and outings with your son.

Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable (EDGE) method

Explain how it is done - Tell the Scout how it is done.  The Scout trainer explains how something is done.

Demonstrate the steps - Show the Scout how it is done, demonstrating the steps. The Scout trainer demonstrates while explaining again.

Guide learners as they practice - Watch the Scouts do it. The learner tries the skill while the Scout trainer guides him through it.

Enable them to succeed on their own - The learner works on his own under the eye of the Scout trainer. The Scout trainer uses memory aids, has the learner practice and then have them teach what they have mastered.

What is a Blue Card

Troop 7’s website in Ridgewood, NJ had the following to say about Blue Cards, “For some Scouts, a Blue Card is about 50 tiny pieces of blue paper found crumbled up in the filter of the family clothes dryer.  While many of these Scouts will tell you that the stuff you find in the clothes dryer filter is great for starting a campfire, it is not much good for anything else.”

Hopefully in Troop 88 there will not be so many of the tiny pieces of blue paper found in home clothes dryers.

A Blue Card is actually the BSA Merit Badge Application form #34124.  It is called a Blue Card because traditionally the BSA has published the Merit Badge Application form #34124 in blue colored card stock.  It is a three-panel, blue wallet-sized card that (1) shows that the Scout has permission to start working on a particular merit badge; (2) records his progress; and (3), when completed, provides a separate record for the Scout, the counselor, and the unit.

A sample of a “filled out” blue card can be found attached at the bottom of this page or at the awesome US Scouting Project web page .

Scout Oath 

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country;

To obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Scout Law 

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Scout Motto 

Be Prepared

Scout Slogan 

Do a good turn daily

Outdoor Code 

As an American, I will do my best, to be clean in my outdoor manner, to be careful with fire, to be considerate in the outdoors, and to be conservation minded 

Eagle Rank application

After completing all requirements for the Rank of Eagle Scout, each Scout is required to fill out and submit an application for the rank of Eagle.

The application can be found at .

Other information and resources for the Rank of Eagle can be found at the Eagle Scout Organization website