How Troop 518 Parents Can Help
Theory of Leadership
Troop 518 is an organization led by boys under the direction of their Scoutmaster. They are assisted by their assistant Scoutmasters, merit badge counselors and Troop Committee in learning the skills necessary to advance through the ranks, earn merit badges, and how to thrive in the outdoors.
The Troop Committee supports the Scoutmaster, youth leaders, and youth members, by organizing fund raising events and doing much of the behind the scenes work that makes the troop function.
Our charter sponsor is St. Mark Lutheran Church. Troop 518 is owned and operated by St. Mark Lutheran Church as one of St. Mark's vital outreach of its youth ministries. The Charter Organization Representative is the liaison between the Troop and the Church and the person who approves committee nominations of adult leaders.
The concept of boy leadership is central to our mission in Troop 518. Unlike a Cub Scout Pack where parents take leadership positions, our Boy Scout program requires the parents to step back from these roles and allow the boys to lead themselves. This transition can sometimes be difficult for new parents and youth, but the end results are worth the effort.
Troop Leadership Roles
All youth members of the Troop will gain experience in various leadership roles during the course of their membership. Even though there may be some reluctance to assume leadership positions by the younger Scouts, parents should encourage and counsel their children on the benefits and responsibilities that leadership experience provides. That responsibility extends to being sure that the family does not schedule events to conflict with the youth's responsibility to the Patrol or Troop.
We Are All Volunteers
All of the adults assisting Troop 518 are volunteers; the only way the Troop can function is if everyone does their fair share. We believe all parents should be prepared to assist in any way possible by contributing to the success of our program.
Additionally, we need help from time to time with our barn and camping equipment maintenance. Additionally we need help to prepare for events such as Courts of Honor and other special events. If parents have a profession or hobby that may be interesting or educational, they may sign up as Merit Badge Counselor.
Join The Committee
All parents are encouraged to join our Troop Committee, which meets informally every Tuesday night during the regular troop meeting. Special Committee meetings are held from time to time during the year. Come and get acquainted, become a committee member, help make the decisions which affect your son's scout troop.
There is a joining fee of $33 per adult for membership, council patch and troop numeral. After that there are no dues for adults. Our Troop's money raising projects pay for all continuing memberships. This pays for yearly membership which includes insurance during Scout functions and activities, as well as a subscription to Scouting Magazine.
Become An Assistant Scoutmaster
Most of our Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters began as parents of children in the troop. We have a proud tradition of very long membership among adult leaders.
If you have an interest in becoming an Assistant Scoutmaster and working closely with the boys on their skills and advancements, please let the Scoutmaster know and we will be happy to have your assistance and support.
The Boy Scout Program offers excellent workshops and instruction for adult leaders. Scoutmaster Fundamentals and Scoutmaster Training are offered at various times within the Chippewa District. Many of our adult leaders have also attended Wood Badge, Youth Protection, Safety Afloat, University of Scouting and other valuable programs designed to provide the skills adults need to offer guidance to youth members.
Emphasize 100% Attendance
Our troop has had a reputation for 100% attendance at most all meetings, campouts and special events. We put a special emphasis on going camping every month and we have a long history of winning awards each year in our district contests.
Scouts who miss a meeting or a campout for any reason can make up their absence by providing service hours to the troop. Scouts who regularly miss events might decide our program is not right for them.
Over the course of the past 57 years, we have learned that parents who get directly involved with their children in scouting get far better results. Dropping off your child week after week without participating can be a disadvantage to your child, yourself and the troop. Regular participation by parents can send the message to your child that your commitment to the scouting program is important.
Our Legacy of Community Service
One of the most valuable aspects of our scouting program is the opportunity to participate in community service projects. Since 1962, the scouts of Troop 518 have been ready, willing and able to lend a hand in their community when called upon in the support of worthy causes.
All Troop 518 Scouts are required to participate in community service projects, both as a group and individually from time to time.
Community Service Hours
We may be asked to help clean up the waterways or highways, collect donations of canned goods to benefit disaster relief or to volunteer our services for charity events. Sometimes we are invited to provide color guard services at public functions or to retire old Flags with a proper ceremony.
Many schools require students to participate in community service opportunities as a condition of graduation. Your Scouting program meets these requirements, and some Scouts have received special recognition for their participation above and beyond the minimum requirements in the form of special awards from their school and scholarship opportunities.
Scout Advancement Service Projects
Many scouts have pro-actively identified projects of a volunteer nature to which they can apply their skills of leadership, planning and management toward a positive outcome. Every Eagle Scout in the history of our troop has organized and executed a well developed community service project as the final requirement to earn that ultimate rank.
All Scouts are encouraged to participate in the Eagle projects of their troop members. When project tasks require a team effort, all Scouts should be prepared to lend a hand. With this spirit of companionship and cooperation, you can count on your fellow scouts to be there and help make your Eagle project a great success.
Troop Service Hours
Since we depend on volunteers to maintain our scout barn and equipment, all scouts are required to provide service hours to the maintenance of the church or our Scout barn and equipment as they advance in rank or to make up for missed meetings, campouts or special events. Your Scoutmaster will advise you of opportunities to fulfill you troop service requirements.
Troop service tasks usually involve a patrol day on a weekend where trash is picked up from the church grounds.
Troop service hours are also an important aspect of our 100% attendance policy. Any Scout that misses a Troop meeting, campout or special event can make up for the absence by providing Troop service hours under the direction of the Scoutmaster.
One basic aspect of advancement in Troop 518 is known as "Scout Spirit." During the advancement process, each Scout will meet with his Scoutmaster for an assessment of his skills and to make sure he is prepared for his presentation to the advancement committee. At this time, his Scoutmaster will determine if he has exhibited "Scout Spirit" in terms of his attendance, his uniform inspections and his participation in troop events and community service opportunities. Also as part of "Scout Spirit", each Scout will discuss how he fulfilled his "Duty to God", "Duty to Country", and "Duty to Self".
A Habit For Life
Scouts that are involved in community service projects as young men are more likely to be involved in community service later in life. The lessons of creating a balance between Service to Self and Service to Others and the habit of volunteering one's time to worthwhile efforts is a noble aspect of good citizenship in the community.
When a Scout is an active participant in service projects, he brings honor to himself and his troop, and to Boy Scouts everywhere. Wearing the uniform of a scout is a declaration of your commitment to living your life according to the Scout Law. Community service is an outward and visible way to show your respect for these values while helping others in a selfless manner.