April 24, 2018

Boy Scout Troop 55 Fact Sheet

Serving area youth since 1978 Sponsored by St. Francis Episcopal Church 9220 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia

Clike here to learn more about Troop 55 History

Philosophy – Troop 55 is dedicated to the fulfillment of the Mission and Vision of the Boy Scouts ofAmerica and places a strong emphasis on providing the tools and training for young men to learn to make ethical decisions while having fun and adventure.

Mission – 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.

Scout Oath - On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the
Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Scout Law – A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Vision – The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values based leadership training. In the future scouting will continue to:

  • Offer young people responsible fun and adventure.
  • Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Train young people in citizenship, service, and leadership.
  • Serve America’s communities and families with its quality, values-based program.

Organization – Troop 55 strongly endorses and rigorously implements the Boy-Led concept of troop leadership. With the guidance, encouragement and training from the adult leaders, the scouts of Troop 55 plan and implement the program of the troop through the utilization of the patrol method. Scouts function in patrols of 7 to 10 boys without the direct participation of adults and learn to depend on each other. While parents are encouraged to contribute to the troop in many ways, Scouting is not a father/mother and son program. Boys learn the skills of self-sufficiency and independence, working with other boys their age.

Leadership – Every uniformed adult leader of Troop 55 has completed the minimum suite of training courses proscribed by the Boy Scouts of America. This includes “Fast Start,” Youth Protection, and Assistant/Scoutmaster training. Most of the (non-uniformed) Troop Committee members have also
completed one or more of these programs. Several leaders have completed more advanced training

Requirements – A youth may join Troop 55 upon reaching age 11, or upon completing the 2nd Year Webelos Cub Scout program, or upon completing fifth grade. We expect of each scout the following:

  • Attendance: Regular attendances at all scout activities including weekly meetings and monthly overnight outings. Troop 55 meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 until 9:00 PM in the St. Francis parish hall.
  • Full Scout Uniform- We stress the importance of PROPER UNIFORMING. Scouts should wear official scout pants (or shorts), scout belt, scout socks, and a scout shirt with proper insignia. The troop neckerchief with slide is worn for Court of Honors and other special events. A troop T-shirt may be worn in lieu of the scout shirt on certain occasions as authorized by the Scoutmaster.
  • Behavior: Scouts are expected to conduct themselves in accord with the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Handbook – Scouts should bring their copy of the official Boy Scout handbook to every troop meeting and campout.

Advancement - Troop 55 is very proud of the accomplishments of our scouts. The goal of every scout is to become an Eagle Scout, Boy Scout’s highest rank. More than 45 scouts in Troop 55 have reached this pinnacle. The troop’s activities are centered on learning and doing the things that scouts need to do to advance. A scout who has completed requirements for a rank may advance after participation in a conference with the Scoutmaster and a review by the Troop Committee’s Board of Review. It’s the scout’s responsibility to ask for this review. We present awards at a quarterly “Court of Honor” attended by all parents and other family members.

We keep the “Outing” in “Scouting” – The Troop’s annual program consists of weekly troop meetings, quarterly Courts of Honor, at least 9 weekend campouts or day hikes, and a one-week summer camp. Older scouts also may attend “High Adventure” camps during the summer.

  • Troop-Provided Equipment - The troop owns a trailer and camping equipment that provides each patrol with a dining fly, cooking equipment, axes, saws, shovels, stoves and lanterns.
  • Scout-Provided Equipment – please refer to the Equipment section of this handbook for detailed information on materials scouts need to obtain. Please note that absolutely no camouflage attire or electronic devices of any kind are permitted on trips. This includes cell phones.

Troop Dues - The Troop is funded through annual dues paid by each Scout. The amount of the annual dues are established each fall by the Troop Committee and pay for all Troop camping equipment, awards presented to Scouts in recognition of their advancement, training programs provided to youth and adults, Troop administration expenses, Boys Life Magazine for each scout, registration fees paid to the National Scout office, and other miscellaneous expenses. Scout’s transferring from other units (even Cub Scout Packs) need to pay a pro-rated fee at the time they join.

Fundraising - The troop focuses its fundraising efforts on one or more events in the spring. It is a requirement of scouts to participate in this fundraiser as it raises funds for the troop as well as the scouts. Scouts earnings are based on the amount of sales they obtain, and on their level of participation in the activity. The profit earned during the drive is divided between the Troop and those scouts who participated. In past years, several Scouts have earned hundreds of dollars through their efforts.

A Scout is Thrifty - Troop 55 provides opportunities for scouts to “pay their own way.” We maintain an account, within the troop, on behalf of each scout who participates in the annual fundraisers. Withdrawals can be used to pay for any scout-related expenses such as dues or summer camp fees.

Parent Participation - We expect all parents to contribute in some fashion for the betterment of the Scouting program of Troop 55. Troop 55 is a large organization and areas where we need parent help may be found in this handbook.

If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to ask any of the uniformed leaders you see at a
troop meeting. In addition, you may contact the following individuals at any time:

Gary Pan, Scoutmaster
Claude Andersen, Committee Chairman


Troop 55 encourages all of our adult volunteers (scout leaders, committee members, and parents) to get training in Boy Scout programs, Youth Protection, and first aid. Our troop policy is consistent with the Powhatan District program, which states: “It is of paramount importance to have all adult leadership (including Troop Committee members) of all troops in our District trained”. To participate in troop or patrol outdoor activities, adults must, as a minimum, have Fast Start and Youth Protection Training. For activities including water sports, Safe Swim and Safety Afloat are required. For high adventure trips other special requirements may apply.

By attending training you can help support the troop, support the boys in their journey to Eagle, and promote a safe learning environment. Listed below are the recommended classes. Periodic updates are provided for upcoming course offerings, and some courses are offered on-site during the scout meetings.

If you do take training – please let the Troop Committee’s “Membership and Communications Subcommittee”
chair know so we can keep our records up to date.


Fast Start Orientation: Orientation video for new scout parents – you probably have some questions on how this all works? What are the roles of the committee members? How are the patrols organized? How does the “boy-led” troop concept work? The Fast Start video provides excellent summary of how the Boy Scout program works including troop meetings, the outdoor program, and the role of the troop committee. The video is shown periodically during the weekly scout meetings.

Youth Protection Training: This training is highly recommended for all adults who will be working with the boys. BSA Youth Protection Training is now required for at least one adult present during any event or activities needing a local or national tour permit. Further, every adult participating in nationally sponsored events and activities must be trained in BSA Youth Protection. The training must also be renewed every two years. Troop 55’s policy is that all adults attending activities with the boys have current Youth Protection training. Youth Protection is offered periodically on-site and at District Roundtable meetings. This course is now also offered online. Check the following link. http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.

Leadership Training: Useful for all adults, highly recommended for adult leaders and committee members, this course is a continuum of training offered by the District including New Leader Essentials, Leader Specific Training, and Outdoor Leader Skills. To be considered “Trained” and receive a “Trained” patch for uniforms a Committee Member must take Leader

Essentials and Leader Specific Training for Committee Members. Committee members are encouraged to take the entire sequence. For a Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster to be considered “trained” they must complete all three components. The Powhatan District web site has a good description of the training continuum and what’s covered in each. To find out more about upcoming Powhatan District activities, visit the District’s home page at http://www.boyscoutsncac. org/district/powhatan/. The District typically offers the full sequence in the fall and spring.

New Leader Essentials: This “walk-in” class is offered to brand new leaders in the Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venturing program. From now on, if you take this course as a Cub-level leader, this course does not need to be taken when becoming a Boy Scout leader.

Boy Scout Leader Specific Training: Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster Training: A ½ day class. All Scoutmasters are required to, and all Assistant Scoutmasters are encouraged to, attend the Troop Committee training, which will also be offered on the same day at a time that does not overlap their training time. There is no extra charge for them to attend that training.

Troop Committee Training: A 3-hour class. This class reviews the roles of the committee and strategies for working with volunteers. All Troop Committee members are welcome and highly encouraged to take all of the leader-specific training for Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters.

Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills: Typically offered in spring and fall, this is a Friday night to Saturday night course, including camping at Lake Fairfax, that puts YOU through most of the skills required for a first class scout. This session is a handson training program to prepare leaders to take their units camping. The students are organized into patrols and have to plan the campout, practice knots, lashing, orienteering and other basic skills. There’s even some patrol competition at the end. The course is fun and informative and provides lots of useful training materials.

NO WALK-INS FOR THIS OUTDOOR SESSION! Pre-Registration and attendance at the Orientation/Planning Session is required!!

Safe Swim Defense/Safety Afloat: This is a 1-½ hour course reviewing safety and procedures involving water sports. Typically required for adults attending summer camps and water related high adventure activities. A summary is provided in “Guide to Safe Scouting” publication that can be accessed on-line (http://www.boyscoutsncac. org/training/health/index.html). The course is offered periodically at the District.

CPR for Adults: Recommended for adults attending outdoor activities, especially high adventure activities. Available from City of Fairfax Fire Department and Reston Hospital. We also expect to offer CPR on-site periodically.

Other Advanced Training:

  • Wood Badge: Boy Scout sponsored course providing advanced training in troop management and leadership skills. Training is provided over two consecutive weekends.
  • Wilderness First Aid: Training in first aid oriented to the special challenges of remote locations. A privately offered course is available in Alexandria through the Wilderness Safety Council. For more information see www.wfa.net

For more information on Leadership Training, check for fliers and registration forms at: