Troop Policies

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Mission Statement

It is the purpose of Boy Scout Troop 197 to provide for scouts an effective program to build d esirable qualities of character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to help develop personal fitness. See this page for a more complete articulation of the troop's mission statement.



Camping is one of the best-known methods of scouting. Troop 197 has two important pages with general and detailed information.

  • General camping information, gear lists, past, and upcoming campouts.
  • Detailed planning guidelines from meeting time, sign up procedures, logistics, patrol procedures, etc.


  • The Boy Scouts of America uses eight fundamental methods to meet scouts' hope for fun and adventure, and to achieve Scouting's aims of encouraging character development, citizenship, and mental and physical fitness. One of those eight methods is advancement


  • Learning to communicate via written, verbal, and electronic forms is an important life skill that our scouts to learn and master in order to succeed in today's world. Scouts should be able to communicate with their scoutmasters and others to be a member of the troop.
  • We naturally expect that younger scouts will need help learning to communicate with others in the troop; however, by the time they reach 1st-class or the 6th-grade, we expect each scout to take on the primary responsibility of communicating and advocating for themselves.>
  • Communication (written and verbal) to and from the scout (without parental involvement) is fundamental for leadership and rank advancement.
  • BSA Social Media Guidelines should be followed at all times.
  • All electronic communication (email, messaging, social media, etc.) are governed by Westminster's Internet Acceptable Use Policy
  • Troop 197 is chartered by Westminster Schools and is considered a school club, thus it is perfectly acceptable to use school email and laptops for scouting activities.
  • The Troop's electronic policy, governing usage of electronic policies while conducting Scouting activities, can be found here.

Merit Badges

  • Merit Badges are the second main area of the Boy Scout advancement program. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. A sub-group of merit badges are known as Eagle required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned although some are "either/or" badges. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned
  • See this page and this page for Blue Card and Merit Badge procedures.


  • Service to others is an important part of scouting. Service takes many forms and is a required part of rank advancement. Service projects benefit the community at large, a nonprofit, or charitable organization. Service hours are awarded for participation in approved service projects.
  • The Scoutmaster must approve service projects in advance. Scouts are encouraged to participate in troop-wide service projects more than individual activities. However, individual activities may be approved by the Scoutmaster in advance.
  • Fund raising activities, leadership duties, scouting events (that do not incorporate a service component), and commercial activities will not be approved for the award of service hours.


  • See this page for policies and procedures for scout meetings
  • Committee meetings are typically held twice a year (in August and in January) or when circumstances warrant.


Troop finances are held by the Westminster Schools with oversight by a Troop appointed Treasurer. Funds collected throughout the year include annual dues, summer camp and high adventure fees, activity fees, and funds from fundraising events. This BSA document describes how scouting is funded while this council document provides fundraising guidelines. Other Troop finance policies include:

  • Disbursements require the approval of two Troop officers.
  • Dues are set yearly, typically in August, by the Troop committee and cover the scouting year (August to August)
  • Summer Camp Card policies can be found here.