Handbook Online




Revision 2014-03-04

1. Introduction

This Handbook has been prepared especially for the Parents and Scouts of Troop 1409. It tells you what Scouting can do for your son and how we do it. It will help guide you to a fuller understanding and appreciation of Scouting, and to the realization that you will benefit fully only by giving fully. It gives an outline of requirements, outdoor programs, financial operations, uniform and equipment, troop organization, and advancement. Keep it for handy reference during your association with Troop 1409.

2. Mission Statement

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 Law.

3. Vision Statement

The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

4. Charter Organization

The Wells Branch Homestead Association sponsors Boy Scouts of America Troop 1409. It is a part of the Blackland Prairie District of the Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

5. Organization

The Troop is organized with a Scoutmaster, Assistant and Junior-Assistant Scoutmasters, a troop level Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Patrols of not more than eight Scouts each. Each Patrol is composed of the patrol level Senior and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol member scouts and any invited Senior Scouts. Scouts can also hold non-leadership positions in the troop that include: Scribe, Librarian, Quartermaster, Historian and Web Reporter. Scouts can also be Den Chiefs for Cub Scout Pack Dens. Two First Class scouts are encouraged each year to attend National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). NYLT training is an intensive weeklong leadership school offered by the Council. The troop will offer partial scholarships to encourage participation in this program. Key to scouting is the 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.6. Scout Participation

Each Scout of Troop 1409 is expected to participate in at least 75% of the Troop activities until he reaches Senior Scout status (14 years old or Star rank and above). Our Troop Committee has learned that only the Scouts that attend regularly receive the full value of the Scouting program. Also, without regular attendance his fellow patrol and troop members are penalized in all their team activities. The Troop Committee has established the policy that a Scout who misses three consecutive months of meetings is subject to review and possible deletion from the Troop roster. Participation in the Troop’s outdoor activities are essential to a boy's membership in the Troop.

7. Requirements For Joining The Troop

The requirements for a boy to become a Scout are that he has completed fifth grade or meet the basic knowledge and commitment requirements, and be at least 11 years but not more than 18 years old. His completed application form should be submitted with the following fees:

  • Initial annual dues are currently $60. First year dues include: Scout Handbook, neckerchief, neckerchief slide, and Registration - as prescribed by National Council.

  • Dues for subsequent years are currently $100.

  • Completed BSA Scout Application (for annual re-chartering)

  • Parts A and B of the BSA Medical Form are to be completed at least annually by participants in all Scouting events. This health history, parental/ guardian informed consent and release agreement, and talent release statement is to be completed by the participant and parents/guardians. Attach a copy of both sides of your insurance card. Part C is the pre-participation physical exam that is required for participants in any event that exceeds 72 consecutive hours, for all high-adventure base participants, or when the nature of the activity is strenuous and demanding.

  • Program cost can be offset by participation in fundraising activities.

8. Adult Participation

Troop 1409 will continue to thrive only with the active interest and participation of interested adults, particularly the parents of individual Scouts. There is usually a marked relationship between parent's participation and the Scout's achievements. Each Scout is required to have one parent registered as a member of the Troop Committee and will be assigned to a subcommittee fitting their interest. Parents are required to actively contribute to troop activities.

The Troop Committee is composed of Scout parents and subcommittee chairs. Its function is to act as the board of directors of the Troop, and through its members is directly involved in advancement, equipment, facilities, finance and records, leadership, membership, and outdoor programs.

  • All the above matters must be the concern of the Committee, to allow the Scoutmasters the time to work directly with the Scouts.

  • In addition to the committee meeting a general parents meeting is held the second Sunday of each month at 3:30 P.M. This is an opportunity for parents to become familiar with the direction of the troop and to begin participating in various sub-committees that offer support to the operation of the troop.

  • Adults are expected to become Merit Badge Counselors for their unique areas of expertise.

  • Completed BSA Scout Application (for annual re-chartering). Forms can be found on the Troop and BSACAC websites.

  • Parts A and B of the BSA Medical Form are to be completed at least annually by participants in all Scouting events. This health history, parental/ guardian informed consent and release agreement, and talent release statement is to be completed by the participant and parents/guardians. Attach a copy of both sides of your insurance card. Part C is the pre-participation physical exam that is required for participants in any event that exceeds 72 consecutive hours, for all high-adventure base participants, or when the nature of the activity is strenuous and demanding. Forms can be found on the Troop and BSACAC websites.

  • Each participating parent will be required to complete a minimum of the BSA Youth Protection Training (YPT), which is renewal annually. We highly recommend that you the Texas classroom BSA Youth Protection Training, which is renewed every two years. The classroom YPT is required for adults volunteering at camps with overnight stays.

9. Financial Operations

Dues and fundraising provides individual, patrol, and troop awards; food for weekend campouts; insurance; equipment repair and replacement and other incidental expenses. Long-term camping fees and expenses and special activities fees are assessed separately. The Troop's primary money raising projects are the Annual M.U.D. Fourth Fest, Scout Spaghetti Dinner, and Movies in the Park, managed by the Troop Committee. Each Scout without exception is required to share in these projects. These funds are used to fund Scout accounts that in turn can be used for camps, program costs and the purchase of new equipment.

10. Transportation

Transportation is essential for the camping program and is arranged for by the Troop Committee. A transportation coordinator will send out an annual schedule and processes the council travel permit. The travel permit requires identification of the automobiles to be used and insurance limits.

11. Advancement

The activities program of the Troop are planned with regular advancement in scouting ranks put into consideration. The learning necessary to complete the advancement requirements give the Scout the chance to develop "Strong in character, a healthy in body, skillful with his hands, and keen of mind, ready to be of help to other people.” (Baden-Powell).

To this end, frequent Boards of Review are conducted by the Troop Leaders Council to determine a Scout's progress. The Scout Handbook discusses in detail all requirements for advancement, and should be referred to constantly by Scouts and parents.

The Troop employs several online methods of keeping records of Scout Advancements and Awards. The primary method is “ScoutBook”. Parents and leaders will be invited to the online program and are expected to utilize this system to track the progress of their scouts. Parents without ready access to a computer or Internet service can request access to printed reports of a scout’s progress.

12. Troop And Patrol Equipment

Patrols are supplied with cooking kits and ample equipment, (Dutch oven, frying pan, etc.) for patrol cooking. These items of equipment are the property of the Troop and have been paid for by the efforts of the Scouts. Any equipment issued to a Scout is to be returned to the troop Quartermaster. Damaged or lost items must be repaired or replaced by the responsible Scout.

13. Troop Library

In the Troop Library, there is a selection of Merit Badge pamphlets. These may be checked out on the same basis as a Public Library. Scouts can also refer to meritbadge.org for a complete listing of merit badge requirements and worksheets.

14. Troop Program

Boy Scout Troop 1409 carries out an active year-round program. In addition to weekly troop meetings the Troop also participates in District, Council Special Events and monthly camping trips. The Troop maintains a website (http://www.troop1409.com) with an online calendar that lists dates all scheduled events. Each family has ample opportunity to consider this schedule in its own planning. Regular web site updates are made and it is the responsibility of every Scout and parent to remain up to date on Troop Activities. It is essential that a Scout attend at least 75% of all summer and winter activities.

14.1. Troop Meetings

The Troop meets at Wells Branch MUD Annex, 14611 Wells Port Drive, Austin, Texas on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 to 3:30 pm, Scouts should arrive a few minutes early. Patrol Leaders meet the first Sunday of the month from 1:00 to 2:00pm to plan for upcoming meetings and events and also to maintain the quality of the program.

14.2. Remember - Scouting Is Fun

The Scouts in Troop 1409 will participate in many worthwhile activities. It has been the history of the Troop to maintain a good active camping program summer and winter. A Scout will learn to take care of himself in the out of doors, while he enjoys the activities in the Troop. A successful Troop may best be insured by consistent parental participation in Troop activities. We encourage Parents to attend any or all campouts.

14.3. Court of Honor

Court of Honor programs are held regularly during the year, where advancements are recognized and awards presented. Program arrangements are generally made by the Senior Scouts, with assistance from the Patrols and Troop Committee. These are important events, and parents are expected to attend.

14.4. Scoutmaster Conferences

Scoutmaster conferences are held at least 2-4 weeks prior to a Court of Honor for all scouts, and scouts can request an early audience with the scoutmaster at anytime. Scoutmaster conferences allow the scoutmaster to review rank advancements; changes in positions within a Patrol or Troop; and approval of merit badge work and other awards

14.5. Summer Activities

    • The first year scouts and scouts under 14 years of age will spend one week at Lost Pines Scout Reservation, or other scout facilities that are approved by the Troop Committee to complete a “Eagle Quest” program, that helps new scouts get started toward the Tenderfoot rank and initial skills based merit badges.

    • Scouts at Tenderfoot or high rank can participate in merit badge courses offered by the summer camps.

    • Scouts at age 14 and above can participate in high-adventure programs as offered by the Troop and Council.

14.6. Winter Activities

    • A weekend activity is scheduled each month during the school year, and includes campouts and camporees. It is here that outdoor scouting skills are learned, developed, and demonstrated.

    • The Troop also participates in a Winter Camp offered by Lost Pines Scout Reservation, or other scout facilities that are approved by the Troop Committee.

14.7. Good Turns And Conservation Projects

The Troop engages in Good Turn and Conservation Projects as an integral part of its program. These are planned and carried out by the Scouts, with the assistance of the Troop Committee.

Through these projects Scouts will gain an appreciation of our natural resources and service to their community.

15. Conduct

Troop 1409 is a skillful, self-disciplined, well-conducted Troop and expects each Scout to conduct themselves as such. All Scouts and Parents are required to read and agree to the Troop 1409 Code of Conduct. Scouts and Parents must sign and turn in to the Scoutmaster the Troop 1409 Code of Conduct Agreement.

15.1. Uniform, Clothing And Individual Equipment

The Scout uniform will be as prescribed by the Troop. Please refer to the Scout Handbook for detailed information on the proper uniform and when to wear it.

UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED AT TROOP MEETINGS. Uniforms will be required at council and district events, and flag ceremonies at summer camp.

The following are part of the required boy scout uniform.

  • Brown/Tan BSA Shirt

  • Green epaulets worn on should loops

  • Scout Handbook

  • Left Sleeve

    • 1409 numerals

    • Capitol Area Council Patch

    • Position Patch (if applicable)

  • Right Sleeve

    • American Flag Patch

    • Patrol Patch

  • Right Pocket

    • Rank Patch

    • Knot patches (if applicable)

  • Left Pocket

    • Religious Insignia or pin

  • Troop Burnt-orange neckerchief

  • Merit Badge Sash

  • BSA slide

Scouts are required to wear their uniform to all troop meetings. Scouts can optionally wear the neckerchief, slide, sash and pins.

The following is a typical checklist for a one or two night campout:

  • Outdoor shoes

  • Poncho or rain suit

  • Change of underwear

  • Outer wear according to season

  • Extra socks

  • Soap, towel, toothbrush, comb, canteen

  • Individual mess kit (deep bowl, fork, spoon and cup)

  • Special equipment for passing tests

  • Scout knife

  • Scout Handbook

  • Flashlight

  • Sleeping bag*

  • Pack*

  • Tent*

*Please consult with Scout Leaders before purchase packs, tents or sleeping bags.

15.2. Electronics Policy

Violations of the policies outlined below will result in the device being taken from the scout by the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster for the duration of the meeting or campout and returned at the end of the meeting or upon arrival back to the scout house.

Cell Phones

    • Not allowed at Troop meetings.

    • Allowed during travel to and from campsite or backpacking trailheads, but will remain in vehicles except for emergency use or other use approved by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters.

    • Backpacking – Scouters only (except for travel time)

GPS Devices

    • Allowed during related programs and activities. Scouts may use the units during camping trips, backpacking and other uses approved by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scout Masters.


    • Allowed during all functions and activities with approval from leaders to document Troop activities.

    • Cameras are never allowed in restrooms or bathhouses.

    • Consent must be given by those individuals to appear in a photograph.

    • Photographs may never be posted to social media sites without consent.

Gaming Devices (Nintendo DS, PSP, etc.), MP3 Players and Tablets

    • Not allowed at Troop meetings

    • Allowed during travel to and from campsite or backpacking trailheads, but will remain in vehicles during the duration of the scouting function.

16. Troop 1409 Code of Conduct

Participation in the BSA program is a privilege and all members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law.

All Scouts, Adult Leaders and Parent Participants are representatives of their community, family, Troop 1409 and the Capital Area Council. Therefore, all Scouts and their parents are required to sign this Code of Conduct as a condition for membership in Troop 1409, with the further understanding that serious misconduct may result in immediate expulsion from any activity, meeting or if the situation merits, expulsion from Troop 1409.

Troop 1409 Code of Conduct applies to the Boy Scouts, Adult Scouts and all Parent Participants as well as other family participants.

  1. Each scout shall show respect to Adult Leaders/Parent participants, as well as his fellow scouts as all times.

  2. Bullying, threatening or intimidating another person through actions or words will not be tolerated at any time.

  3. Using language that can offend or degrade another person, including derogatory, foul or profane language will not be tolerated at any time.

  4. Actions or language that is discriminatory or offensive with respect to race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation will not be tolerated at any time.

  5. Each scout will demonstrate respect for Troop equipment, public property, and the property of other scouts, and will be personally responsible for cleanliness and any loss, breakage, or vandalism of property.

  6. The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at any activity involving participation of youth members. Prescription drugs must be checked in according to BSA policy.

  7. No guns or other weapons can be brought to any scouting event. Tools described in the Totin’ Chip booklet are permitted if the Scout has his Totin’ Chip. All tools will be immediately confiscated if the Scout does not have his Totin’ Chip card on his person.

  8. A clean and neat Boy Scout uniform with updated and appropriate insignia will be worn to all meetings and events. Please refer to the above guides for Uniform, Clothing And Individual Equipment.

  9. During meetings/activities Scouts will be confined to the meeting/activity area. Permission to leave the area must be obtained from an Adult Leader or Parent participant, noting the specific need to leave the area, and must follow the buddy system. The meeting/activity area must be kept neat and left clean, including the bathroom area.

  10. No electronic devices for Scouts, with the exception of flashlights or medically required devices shall be taken on Boy Scout outings. Please refer to the above Troop Electronics Policy.

Troop 1409 has a zero tolerance policy for bullying, threatening or intimidating another person. This behavior along with possession of illegal drugs, alcohol and unauthorized weapons will be grounds for immediate suspension from Troop 1409.

At the discretion of the Scoutmaster, a Scout may be told to leave an event. A parent of the Scout is responsible to pick up the scout from the meeting/activity. No reimbursement of fees, or any other cost incurred by picking up the Scout will be provided.

When instances of misconduct occur, a personal meeting between the scout, parent, Scoutmaster and Troop Committee Chair will take place. One or more of the following actions will result.

  1. Letter of apology prepared by the Scout to be read to participants affected by the behavior.

  2. Ineligibility to serve in a leadership position without approval of Committee and Scoutmaster.

  3. Suspension from all future troop activities until proper behavior at patrol and troop meetings is demonstrated.

  4. Ineligibility of rank advancements until proper behavior at patrol and troop meetings is demonstrated.

  5. Revocation of Scout membership to Troop 1409.

  • Download PDF version of Handbook

  • Download "Code of Conduct Agreement" signature page

  • Download "Photo Release Permission" signature page