Lord Baden Powell (the founder of the Scouting movement), referred to scouting as a "game" where youth have an opportunity to learn life and leadership skills from fellow scouts with the great outdoors as the playground. Learning from other scouts is what Baden Powell referred to as "a boy led troop". Scouts are organized into patrols (the equivalent of dens in cub scouts) and function as a team during meetings and outings. Baden Powell felt so strongly about patrols that he said "the patrol method is not one method of organizing a scouting program, it is the only way".
The Troop Committee, Scoutmaster, Senior Assistant Scoutmaster and all active Assistant Scoutmasters and parents desire to deliver a safe, high quality scouting program for the scouts and families of Troop 514. We volunteer our time because we believe in the merits of scouting. Our focus is on continuously improving our troop and making scouts and their families aware of all the various opportunities for personal growth and advancement available via scouting.
The Patrol Leaders Council ("PLC") meets monthly to plan upcoming meetings and outings. The PLC is comprised of a combination of elected and appointed scouts of various ages, ranks and maturity. These young leaders are equipped by various adults before, during and after PLC meetings to assist them with their responsibilities to their fellow scouts. The adults focus on being as hands-off as possible to allow PLC members to grow to their fullest during their six month terms in office (Troop 514 elections are held bi-annually in March and August).
The Boy Scout Handbook serves as the single source for rank advancement requirements. All scouts (and their families) should consult the handbook often and solicit the help of the Scoutmaster, Senior Assistant Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair should there be any questions. Merit badge opportunities are available during summer camp, at the two Camp Belzer day-camp options ("Baden Powell" and "Dan Beard"), during our annual Troop 514 Merit Badge Marathon and at various other times as planned by the PLC. Various other requirements for rank advancements are available during regular troop meetings and during troop outings.
During their time in scouting, youth learn the benefits of setting goals, being persistent, and managing their time. While the troop would like to see all scouts advance and earn their Eagle rank, that goal must be pursued most passionately by the scout himself. The troop will always match the energy level and excitement a scout has for advancing in ranks. An attachment to this page provides a resource that scouts and their families can use to plan their advancements. This resource shows scouts earning two ranks during their first year in scouting (Scout & Tenderfoot), two additional ranks during their second year (Second class & First class), one rank advancement during their third year (Star), and one rank advancement during their fourth year (Life). Following this schedule would result in scouts earning their Life rank before they turn sixteen (16) years old. Doing so provides a scout two years to complete their remaining merit badges and Eagle service project prior to turing eighteen (18) years old (the point at which no further merit badges or rank advancements can be earned). Prior experience would indicate that scouts who are active in numerous extracurricular activities (band, debate club, sports etc...) should accelerate this sample advancement schedule by one year. Earning Life rank by age fifteen (15) provides some much needed extra time for busy scouts who desire to earn their Eagle rank.