Experience Troop 55 Riverside

Shaping the Future of Youth

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Who We Are

Children have so much to offer to the world - we believe in the power that they hold, and know that they will mold future generations to come. At Troop 55 Riverside, we are here to give them the support they need in order to shape them into leaders of the future. We have a number of leadership initiatives that help nurture our youth and help them develop the skills they will carry throughout their lives. 

Projects and Community Service

Helping those who need help

Service

Troop 55 Riverside empowers youth in the Riverside and surrounding area to reach their fullest potential through a wide range of service and projects. We care about our children and provide them with a number of enrichment projects to help shape their identity. Our service projects provide our youth with the chance to get involved in the community and meet new and exciting faces from all walks of life. Come experience it for yourself today!

Projects

At Troop 55 Riverside, we strive to empower the lives of youth in the East Providence community through our variety of projects. Our Project Opportunities are designed to provide young people with all the tools they need to be great leaders tomorrow. We are happy to be the driving force behind the development of our children, and hope to continue making a difference in their lives.

Merit Badges

We are centered on instilling strong values into our youth and provide a space for them to expand their mind while meeting new and interesting challenges

FAQ

The Answers You Need

· Interested In Joining?


If you would like more information click on the Contact button at the top of the page and enter your information, someone will get back to you shortly. For any youth (or adult) interested in joining we ask that you check us out. Come to a couple of meetings and get a feel for the program and the people involved. Ask questions. Our meetings are open to visitors.

Our troop meets weekly on Monday nights at St. Andrew's Lodge, 18 Turner Ave., Riverside RI, from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM. Meetings start promptly at 6:30 and the doors open shortly beforehand.

Scouts are divided into patrols of 4 - 8 Scouts. They are lead by their Patrol Leader, who is elected by his fellow Patrol members. The entire youth membership elects their own Senior Patrol Leader. It is this Scout's job to oversee the activities of the patrols, guided by the adult leaders.

Adult leadership is provided by trained adult volunteers, consisting of the Scoutmaster, his Assistants, and the Troop Committee.

Prospective Scouts must have a parent or guardian meet with the Scoutmaster before we will accept a registration. We want to make sure you know what to expect before you sign on the dotted line.

Any youth who is either 11 years of age at the time of registration, or who has completed the 5th grade (even if they are not yet 11 years of age), or who has received their Arrow of Light Award through the Cub Scouting program AND is at least 10-1/2 years of age, but who is otherwise not yet 18 years of age is eligible to join.




· How much does Scouting cost?


The Troop charges an annual fee of $100 or $10 a month. This yearly or monthly fee helps to pay for annual registration, Boys Life Magazine subscription, numerous awards, badges, pins, campground fees, equipment and more. It usually is NOT enough for all expenses and we rely on fundraising activities to cover the rest.

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Monthly "camp fee" (food fee) - . The troop creates their own menu for the monthly camping trip and can decide to raise or lower this fee to be aligned with their menu choices. TYPICALLY, this is $20.00 each month.

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Summer Camp Fee - Week-long Summer Camp is a great experience, and we encourage Scouts to attend every year. The average fee is $400. Please start saving for this NOW so that Camp is not a "financial burden" when payment is due (usually May of each year).

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Fundraising - held as needed to supplement the cost of running the Troop. Covers new/replacement equipment (tents, stoves, cook gear, propane tanks, etc), or to cover the cost of more elaborate camping destinations.
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· Will my child be intimidated by the older Scouts?


If you would like more information click on the Contact button at the top of the page and enter your information, someone will get back to you shortly. For any youth (or adult) interested in joining we ask that you check us out. Come to a couple of meetings and get a feel for the program and the people involved. Ask questions. Our meetings are open to visitors.

Our troop meets weekly on Monday nights at St. Andrew's Lodge, 18 Turner Ave., Riverside RI, from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM. Meetings start promptly at 6:30 and the doors open shortly beforehand.

Scouts are divided into patrols of 4 - 8 Scouts. They are lead by their Patrol Leader, who is elected by his fellow Patrol members. The entire youth membership elects their own Senior Patrol Leader. It is this Scout's job to oversee the activities of the patrols, guided by the adult leaders.

Adult leadership is provided by trained adult volunteers, consisting of the Scoutmaster, his Assistants, and the Troop Committee.

Prospective Scouts must have a parent or guardian meet with the Scoutmaster before we will accept a registration. We want to make sure you know what to expect before you sign on the dotted line.

Any youth who is either 11 years of age at the time of registration, or who has completed the 5th grade (even if they are not yet 11 years of age), or who has received their Arrow of Light Award through the Cub Scouting program AND is at least 10-1/2 years of age, but who is otherwise not yet 18 years of age is eligible to join.




· What do Scouts do as BSA Scouts?


The Boy Scout Of America Program is a 100 year old, professionally crafted, program of education and character development. By using the "Outdoor Method" (camping, fishing, rock climbing, etc), Scouts work together to learn the value of teamwork, honesty, communication, mutual respect, and more as they work towards their goals and overcome any obstacles they encounter. By employing the Methods of Scouting, we reinforce the AIMS of Scouting, which are reflected in our Oath and Law. The goal is to see that they become permanent fixtures in the character of each Scout as we teach them to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.




· What are some of the things THIS troop has done?


... Camp EVERY month
... Hiking
... Cooking over open fire
... Canoeing
... Biking
... Fishing
... Rock climbing
... Klondike Derby
... Yawgoog, week 5 every Summer
... High adventure at West Point
... Parades
And there is so much MORE. We do not limit the level of "adventure" the Scouts want to have. Scouting is a YOUTH LED program. THE SCOUTS decide what we do, and strong, trained, committed adults help them achieve their goals.

What do YOU want to do?




· What "age limits" exist in the BSA program?


The ONLY age requirements established by the National Program are as follows:

10 years old to join (If completed 5th grade or earned AOL, otherwise must be 11)

12 years old by July 1st, to attend a National Jamboree contingent

13 years old to participate in COPE (14 preferred, 13 with Scoutmaster's recommendation)

13 years old to join a Venture Patrol

14 years old to join a Varsity Team

15 years old to join Sea Scouts or a Venture Crew

16 years old to become a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

16 years old to be Youth Staff at a camp or Jamboree

Day before 18th birthday - the last day you are a BSA Scout or Varsity Team member (includes Venture patrol). PRIOR to this birthday, all work (rank and badges) must be DONE. The Eagle Board of Review can occur after the 18th birthday, but work/project must be done PRIOR to the 18th birthday.

Day before 21st birthday - the last day you are a Sea Scout or Venture Crew member

There are NO age requirements for ANY merit badges or youth leadership positions (other than JASM and Camp Staff)

National publishes no "minimum age" for Eagle Scout Rank, but the earliest possible age a Scout could become eagle is 11 years and 5 months of age.




· Uniforms. What's "official"?


Officially, the BSA has ONE uniform, and any historical version of it is acceptable (once official, always official). It is found in the front pages of every Scout Handbook. The official BSA uniform is comprised of: a troop-issued hat *
a troop neckerchief *
BSA tan shirt (with patches placed in the proper spots)
a Merit Badge Sash **
BSA olive pants
BSA web belt w/ buckle
BSA socks This is THE official uniform, but in many pieces of BSA literature it may be referred to as the FIELD uniform, or commonly, the "Class A" (a military term the BSA prefers NOT to use as the BSA does not wish to be perceived as a paramilitary organization).

* Technically, hats and neckerchiefs (and how they are worn) are optional in the BSA Uniform Guide, but if the wearing of either is adopted by a troop, they are then considered official components of the uniform. We wear both. The hat is the "baseball cap" variety imprinted with our troop number, and the neckerchief bearing our logo is to be worn UNDER the collar with the top button of the shirt unbuttoned.

** The Merit Badge Sash, worn over the right shoulder, is impractical for most Scouting-related activities. It is therefore only worn at ceremonial events or select meetings such as a Court of Honor.

It is not always practical to wear the Field Uniform shirt every minute a Scout is involved in a scouting-related activity. The BSA offers a variety of polo-type shirts and tee shirts imprinted with BSA logos, and many troops (ours included) often opt to have custom printed shirts made.

It is customary practice that when a troop (as a whole) agrees on a standard shirt, they will opt to wear it INSTEAD of the BSA olive shirt, and in many items of BSA literature, this will be referred to as an ACTIVITY uniform, or sticking with military nomenclature, "Class B".

Historically, the BSA offers major redesigns to the uniform about every 20 years. This past year, the BSA announced the "Centennial Uniform" with "switchback" pants and some color changes to troop number decals and shoulder loops. This is the 5th major redesign in the BSA's 100 year history.




· What's the difference between Rank & Merit Badges?


Rank is an interesting word choice, clearly derived from Scouting's origin as a program modeled after a military structure. Those holding a "higher rank" do not order around those of "lower rank". In Scouting, the term "rank" is a PERSONAL measure of his progress along the "Trail to Eagle"... or more appropriately thought of as his "trail to adulthood".

When a Scout joins BSA Scouts, the first POSITION is one of " Scout".

The Scout then works on the first 3 RANKS; Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. Within the requirements of these ranks, a Scout learns the SAFETY aspects of Scouting; basic first aid, how to choose a safe camp spot, how to properly dress for an outing, how to find their way with map/compass, what to do if they get lost, etc...

Now a demonstrated "safe" Scout... they are ready for the next period of personal development, which is LEADERSHIP. In the pursuit of Star, Life, and Eagle, a youth is learning (and then mastering) the skills of leadership. By holding leadership positions within the troop, a Scout learns to lead, instruct, and inspire others. A Scout learns to "give back" to others, and also learns their emerging place in Society as a citizen.

There are 121 various Merit Badges available (only 21 needed for Eagle). To ensure that the Scouts are getting a taste of the opportunities available, the higher badges of rank require a set number of merit badges be completed (including some designated as "Eagle required").

Merit Badges offer exposure to a diverse background of interests, adventures, and opportunities that Scouts may never experience IF NOT for the Scouting program (Aviation, Scuba, Reptile Study, Shooting Sports, etc). It is not uncommon that exposure to a topic via the Merit Badge Program leads to life-long hobbies and career choices, as well as "needed skills" like Home Repair, Auto Mechanics, and Public Speaking.

There is no limit on the number of Merit Badges a youth may earn.




· Does my child have to come every week?


We certainly won't send the "Scout Police" out to find you if you don't show up, but you miss out on a big part of the BSA Program if you don't attend regularly.
Scouting is NOT just playtime, or "weekend fun". Scouting is a carefully crafted character-development program. A Scout who shows up sporadically DEPRIVES themself of the chance to make key decisions within the troop; choose trip ideas and destinations, make menu selections, divvy out workload, and build close friendships. Every meeting includes a period of valuable skill instruction and fun competitions that may relate to the upcoming camping trip. If a Scout misses a meeting, they will find themself less prepared for the upcoming weekend in the outdoors. The troop meetings are where we "learn", but the camping trip is where we reinforce the skills by putting them into practical use.

Scouts should make every effort to attend meetings on a regular basis. Those who don't are missing out on the full experience of their limited Scouting years.




· Which political party does the BSA endorse?


By National policy, the BSA is APOLITICAL. We have no affiliation with any one political party, nor are Scouts (in uniform) permitted to act in ANY WAY that would be interpreted as giving support to any 1 political party or political issue.
Uniformed Boy Scouts may serve as the Color Guard at political events, but must exit the stage before any political speeches or grand-standing takes place.

By Constitutional Charter, the President of the United States is the Honorary President of the BSA.




· Does the Troop have some "Bylaws" that I can read?


Bylaws are not necessary in Scouting units. Every aspect of how the Program should function is already laid out in clear detail in the Scoutmaster's Handbook, the Scouting Handbook, Guide to Safe Scouting, and the National Council's training documentation for the Troop Committee and the various Committee positions. Why would a unit try to recreate a 100 year old Program that is already perfected? Try getting some BSA training instead folks.....

SPL runs the Troop meetings and events
PLC makes the decisions
Adult leaders give the Scouts support
Committee members handle administration and funding
COR or Charter Organization hires/fires those who need to do their jobs correctly.




· Can a Scout be "demoted" or have badges taken away?


Once a RANK or a Merit Badge has been earned, it can never be taken away. In addition, once a Merit Badge Councilor signs a "blue card" stating that the badge requirement has been completed, no one has the authority to overturn the decision or refuse to award the badge to the Scout. (BSA policy) Firemen' Chit and Toten' Chip are safety badges and it is at the discretion of the Troop Leadership to revoke a Scouts PRIVILEGES for fire-starting or knife/axe use. Should this ever happen, the corrective process is usually retaking the instructional course. Until that happens, a Scout is not permitted to carry/use a knife, nor may they start or tend a fire.




· How do Scouts earn Merit Badges?


The day a Scout signs his BSA application, they are eligible to start working on Merit Badges. Completing a Merit Badge involves 4 people... The Scout, the Scoutmaster, the Merit Badge Councilor (MBC), and the troop's Advancement Chair.

The process:

1. Scout chooses a badge (or badges) that they would like to work on (alone or with another Scout).

2 The Scout informs the Scoutmaster of their intention to work on a badge, and is issued a "blue card" and given the contact information for a registered Merit Badge Councilor (MBC). A MBC can be ANY registered MBC in any Council. A Scout is not obligated to work with councilors in their home unit or Council. CONTRARY TO URBAN MYTH, the Scoutmaster can NOT deny any Scout the opportunity to work on any badge, nor can he delay the badge being awarded once the MBC signs the "blue card" showing that it is complete. Judgment as to whether a Scout successfully completed the badge requirements rests solely with the MBC.

3. The Scout(s) contacts the MBC and make arrangements to meet as often as necessary to complete the badge requirements (following Youth Protection guidelines at all times). Upon the first meeting, the Scout presents the MBC with the blue card, which the councilor keeps so that he can update completion dates and keep track of the Scout's progress.

4. Upon completion, the MBC will sign all 3 segments of the blue card, and return it back to the Scout who in turn, presents it to the Scoutmaster for final signature indicating final recognition that all work is complete. Again, the Scoutmaster does NOT have the authority to deny, "retest", or delay the formal completion of any MB work.

5. The Scoutmaster will pass the signed segments along to the troop's Advancement Chairperson who will record the work on the Troop and Council levels, and ensure the Scout is presented with the badge on the next possible opportunity. *

* While NOT mandatory that a badge be presented right away, the BSA strongly encourages "instant recognition" for effort. The typical model is to present the badge by the next meeting, and present the "pocket card" during a formal presentation at the next Court of Honor.

6. The Scout will be given 1 segment of his blue card which must be kept so that it can be produced when applying for Eagle Rank. The Troop should also retain a segment for their records. How many merit badges can I work on? There is no limit to the number of merit badges a Scout can have "open" at one time. A Scout may start working on Merit Badges the day a registration form is signed and has until the 18th birthday to complete the work. Some units impose their own limits, but that is NOT BSA policy, and therefore, we do not endorse such restrictions.

That being said, the idea is to LEARN about a particular topic through the Merit Badge Program. A Scout will be best-served if they strive to complete the work for a badge in a short enough time frame that ALL the information/lessons remain relevant. Again, this is at the Scout's discretion.




· How many merit badges can I work on?


The day a Scout signs his BSA application, they are eligible to start working on Merit Badges. Completing a Merit Badge involves 4 people... The Scout, the Scoutmaster, the Merit Badge Councilor (MBC), and the troop's Advancement Chair.

The process:

1. Scout chooses a badge (or badges) that they would like to work on (alone or with another Scout).

2 The Scout informs the Scoutmaster of their intention to work on a badge, and is issued a "blue card" and given the contact information for a registered Merit Badge Councilor (MBC). A MBC can be ANY registered MBC in any Council. A Scout is not obligated to work with councilors in their home unit or Council. CONTRARY TO URBAN MYTH, the Scoutmaster can NOT deny any Scout the opportunity to work on any badge, nor can he delay the badge being awarded once the MBC signs the "blue card" showing that it is complete. Judgment as to whether a Scout successfully completed the badge requirements rests solely with the MBC.

3. The Scout(s) contacts the MBC and make arrangements to meet as often as necessary to complete the badge requirements (following Youth Protection guidelines at all times). Upon the first meeting, the Scout presents the MBC with the blue card, which the councilor keeps so that he can update completion dates and keep track of the Scout's progress.

4. Upon completion, the MBC will sign all 3 segments of the blue card, and return it back to the Scout who in turn, presents it to the Scoutmaster for final signature indicating final recognition that all work is complete. Again, the Scoutmaster does NOT have the authority to deny, "retest", or delay the formal completion of any MB work.

5. The Scoutmaster will pass the signed segments along to the troop's Advancement Chairperson who will record the work on the Troop and Council levels, and ensure the Scout is presented with the badge on the next possible opportunity. *

* While NOT mandatory that a badge be presented right away, the BSA strongly encourages "instant recognition" for effort. The typical model is to present the badge by the next meeting, and present the "pocket card" during a formal presentation at the next Court of Honor.

6. The Scout will be given 1 segment of his blue card which must be kept so that it can be produced when applying for Eagle Rank. The Troop should also retain a segment for their records.




· What if my child is not advancing?


Advancement in Scouting is STRICTLY the responsibility of each individual Scout. Through the Patrol Leader, a Scout should voice a desire for trip destinations, activities, and opportunities to complete the various rank requirements and attend trips.

The Scout is responsible for informing the Scoutmaster (in advance) of the choice to begin working on a Merit Badge; the completion of which is up to THE SCOUT and the Merit Badge Councilor. Through INDEPENDENT work (with a friend or family member - to comply with Youth Protection) the Scout will work with the MBC to complete Merit Badge requirements at their own pace.

At meetings and on camping trips, AMPLE opportunity is made to complete work and FREQUENT reminders are made to encourage Scouts to "step up" to make the most of their opportunities.

Periodically, all Scouts will attend a Board of Review (BOR). Scouts advancing to their next rank MUST attend the BOR as a requirement, but the Advancement Chair is also responsible for scheduling periodic BORs for Scouts who are NOT advancing to inquire as to the reason they are not progressing, or finding out what is "missing" in the Program.

AT ANY TIME, Scouts (with/without their parents) are free to inquire about advancement to the Scoutmaster or his Assistant Scoutmasters.

The SCOUT is ultimately responsible..... that's what makes the "Eagle" rank so significant and valuable. Attaining "Eagle" tells the world, that this is a youth who is responsible and a leader.




· Can I keep working closely with my child?


If you mean "work with your child" like you did in Cub Scouts, the answer is NO. There is little 1-on-1 work as a BSA Scout. Make no mistake... You are welcome, but BSA Scouts is a new phase of personal development.

Your presence at Cub Scouts helped to guide your child, keep them under control, and reinforce the importance of "family", but as a BSA Scout, the youth needs to focus more on themself, and on working with peers.

Your Scout is becoming a young adult and needs to start interacting with other adults like the Scout Master, Assistant Scout Masters, and various Merit Badge Councilors. Your Scout also needs to become comfortable working without adults hovering as they work with their patrol.




· What is the ONE bit of advice for a Scout?


READ THE BOOK !

The BSA Scout Handbook does an EXCELLENT job explaining the BSA Program.

It also provides valuable skill instruction and has the potential to IGNITE dreams of adventure, exploration, and fun for youth of all backgrounds and abilities.... all of which are POSSIBLE in this troop!

"I'm bored" are the 2 words NO Scout has a right to say, as we are determined to help bring all their ideas into reality.

Spend time with your child each night (especially if they are new to Scouting). Read the book with them. Quiz them on a skill, or "challenge" them to a knot tying contest. Ask them how they see themself living up to the Scout Law.

Don't let Scouting be "1 hour a week" each Monday night, but a regular and routine part of every day.




· What kind of knives can Scouts carry?


Contrary to urban myth, the only regulation on this (other than earning the Toten Chip award) is the restriction that may exist at part of State/Local law. National BSA DOES allow Councils and Districts to set their own rules, so long as the rules result in a SAFER result. While the BSA strongly encourages folding (preferably locking) pocket knives, fixed-blade, or sheath knives are allowed. In fact, the Guide to Safe Scouting specifically lists "fillet" knives as a prime example of a sheath knife that is appropriate for Scouting purposes (Fishing MB requirements). Fixed blade knives are big, bulky, heavy, and generally far more "knife" than a Scout needs.

Some BSA camps impose their own limitations, which visiting Scouts are obligated to respect, regardless of Troop or BSA/BAC policy.

Troop 55 respectfully asks that adults encourage their children to carry the appropriate knives (small, folding pocket knife), as these are more than adequate for 99% of all scouting activities.




· What badges are "Eagle Required" ?


There are a total of 21 Merit Badges required for the rank of Eagle. 12 of these badges are Eagle Required "White Bands" (merit badges with white/silver border stitching around the edges).

The remaining 9 (or more if you choose) may be any badges from among the remaining 109 non-Eagle required "Green Band" merit badges (badges with green stitching around the border).

While there are 15 possible Eagle Merit Badges, there are some that are "optional". Refer to the picture to clearly understand which badges qualify for Eagle, and which ones do not. Earning MORE THAN ONE of the optional badges will NOT afford you the choice to NOT earn other required badges, but "extra" Eagle badges can be counted towards the mandatory total of 21.




· What is a Court of Honor?


Court of Honor is a Boy Scouting awards ceremony, commonly held quarterly thoughout the year. At the Court of Honor, Scouts and their families gather for a formal recognition of advancement(s) and accomplishments that have been earned since the last Court of Honor. There are also periods for the Troop's Committee Chairperson to speak to the state of the Troop, or for some other event such as Scouting's annual Friends of Scouting campaign. By ceremoniously recognizing the value of advancement and hard work, we hope to strengthen a Scout's motivation to continue being active within the Troop. The Court of Honor also gives parents/guardians valuable insight to accomplishments or Program happenings they may not see due to their lack of presence at the weekly meetings. As always, the goal is to ENCOURAGE, through positive reinforcement and praise.




· What is the minimum age to become an Eagle Scout?


The BSA does not list a minimum age before a Scout can earn his Eagle rank. However, a boy must be at least 10 years old to join a BSA Scout troop, then there is a 30 day requirement in Tenderfoot requirement 10b, at least 4 months between First Class and Star, 6 months between Star and Life, and then 6 more months between Life and Eagle.





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