As a scout, you will be required to learn, demonstrate, and use knots during meetings and campouts. Knots are a lifelong skill that you will use the rest of your life. Knots save you time and effort if you know their uses and the techniques for tying and untying them. Many adults, who were never scouts, wish they learned them as a youth. Below are lists of the basic knots you will be required to know, just click on them to see a PDF learning sheet.
Our Troop 31 "KNOT OF THE MONTH" program is intended to help get the troop back to the basics of scouting which includes camping, cooking and hiking. The rope is part of the Class "A" uniform and should be worn at all times with Class "A." There will be a new knot each month - scouts are expected to know the current month's knot and all previous months' knot. The rules tying knots are:
- Any Adult Leader can ask any scout to tie the knot
- SPL can ask any scout
- ASPL can ask any scout except the SPL
- PL can ask any scout in their patrol
- A scout with advanced rank can ask a Scout.
This is a "COOL" website that demonstrates knot tying: Animated Knots by Grog. CHECK IT OUT!
Scout Oath (or Promise)
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.
Do a Good Turn Daily!
The Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors
Be conservation minded
How Does Boy Scout Advancement Work?
If you were in Cub Scouts, each year you set your sights on earning a different badge. In Boy Scouts, all the boys, regardless of their age or grade, work on the same set of badges.
All Scouts when joining a troop must pass the joining requirements listed on page 4 of the Scout Handbook to receive the Scout badge. Scouts who have just crossed over from Cub Scouts will recognize these requirements – they are very similar to the requirements for the Arrow of Light.
Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class
The first set of ranks - Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class - is designed to teach new Scouts the basic camping, first aid, and safety skills needed to go camping. Some Scouts can do all of the requirements in less than a year; some scouts will take longer.
You may pass any of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class at any time. For example, if you fulfill a First Class requirement before you are a Second Class Scout, you may get the First Class requirement signed off. You may not receive a rank, however, until you have earned the one before it.
Rank requirements are signed off by your fellow Scouts or a Scoutmaster. A Scout who is two ranks above the rank you are working on is allowed to sign off. For example, a First Class Scout (or above) can sign off on all Tenderfoot requirements. For an online primer to rank advancement, check out the video primers at the National BSA Website. Click on any of the rank badges and then choose a requirement to see a short clip about the requirement.
One requirement that Boy Scouts have for rank advancement is that whenever you complete the requirements for a rank, you need to have a Scoutmaster Conference. At this meeting the Scoutmaster will review the requirements with you to make sure that they have been learned correctly. He will help you to set up the goals for the next advancement, and he will have you share your ideas about the troop (how it's going from your viewpoint, what you would like the troop to do more of, any problems you see occurring...).
Board of Review
All rank advancements, except for the Scout badge, also require a Board of Review. The members of a Board of Review are adult leaders in the troop - except for the Scoutmaster or any of his Assistant Scoutmasters. The main purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest the skills a Scout has learned, but to see what the Scout's spirit is, gauge how the troop is doing in helping the Scout along and meeting Boy Scout objectives.
Court of Awards
When you complete a rank advancement, you may continue to work towards you next rank. Twice a year, Troop 31 holds a special meeting called a Court of Awards; typically once in the Fall and once in the Spring. This is a formal ceremony to recognize you and your fellow Scouts for rank advancement and other Scouting achievements. This event is held with an audience of family, friends, Chartered Organization officials, and troop leaders.
Path to Eagle
Once a Scout has reached First Class and learned the basic skills of Scouting, he is ready for the challenge of becoming an Eagle Scout. The Path to Eagle has three ranks: Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout. Here the requirements for advancement consist of earning merit badges, doing and participating in service projects to help the community, showing that you can lead other Scouts as a Patrol Leader or some other leadership position, and demonstrating to others that you have Scout spirit.
Court of Honor
When you have completed all the requirements of Eagle rank, including all the Eagle required Merit Badges, the Eagle Service Project, and paperwork, you will sit before an Eagle Board of Review at your local Council. Once you pass the Eagle Board of Review, you will be approved for the Rank of Eagle as of that date, although the Troop will recognize and honor your achievement at a special meeting called a Court of Honor. This is a formal ceremony to recognize you and your fellow Eagle Scouts in front of the Troop, Families, along with local and state officials.
A merit badge is an invitation to explore an exciting subject. With more than a hundred to choose from, some merit badges encourage you to increase your skill in subjects you already like, while others challenge you to learn about new areas of knowledge. Many of the merit badges are designed to help you increase your ability to be of service to others, to take part in outdoor adventures, to better understand the environment, and to play a valuable role in your family and community. Earning a merit badge can even lead you toward a lifelong hobby or set you on the way to a rewarding career. Look for more information about merit badges on our Advancement page, or visit the National Council website and check out their merit badge primer at www.scouting.org.
Totin' Chip and The Firem'n Chit
These are two Scout awards that are usually of interest to new Scouts. When a Scout demonstrates that he knows how to handle wood tools (knife, axe, saw) he may be granted "totin' rights". Until a Scout has earned his Totin' Chit, he is not allowed to carry a pocketknife. If a scout is found handling wood tools incorrectly, a corner of the Totin' Chip card is often cut off. When all four corners are gone, so are the Scout's totin' rights.
The owner of a Firem'n Chit has demonstrated knowledge of safety rules in building, maintaining, and putting out camp and cooking fires. Until a Scout has earned his Firem'n Chit, he is not allowed to carry matches.
How is the Troop Organization Arranged?
Patrols are the building blocks of Scouting. As a member of a patrol, you plan together, learn together, and you all pitch in to turn exciting plans into action. Patrols, generally made up of 6-8 boys, are such an important part of Scouting that a part of a troop meeting (called Patrol Corners) is usually set aside for each patrol to meet by itself. Every patrol has a name and every Scout in the patrol wears a patch on their right sleeve with their patrol's emblem. Each patrol has a flag they design and make that they carry at troop meetings and at campouts. Every patrol has a yell, too. You give the yell when your patrol wins a contest or performs well at any other event.
Your patrol will elect one of its members to serve a Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader is in charge of the patrol at troop meetings and during outdoor adventures. He will also represent the patrol on the Patrol Leaders' Council. While there is only one Patrol Leader, every member of a patrol shares the duties of leadership. If you're not the Patrol Leader, you could be the one who finds the way on a hike, is the chief cook at camp, or who teaches other Scouts how to tie a knot.
New Scout Patrol
The New Scout Patrol is a group of boys who have just become Scouts. They are helped by a Troop Guide -- an older, experienced Scout who can help show them the way. Members of a New Scout Patrol choose their Patrol Leader, plan what they want to do, and take part in outings and troop meetings just like any patrol. They also learn the basic skills they need in order to enjoy hiking, camping, and other Scouting adventures. Before long, members of a New Scout Patrol will discover that they are completing many of the requirements for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.
Senior Patrol Leader
This is the top boy leader of the troop and is elected by all of the Scouts. With guidance from the Scoutmaster, he is in charge of planning and running troop meetings as well as the Patrol Leaders' Council, and does all he can to see that the patrols succeed.
Patrol Leaders Council
The activities of your troop are planned by a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). The PLC is made up of your Patrol Leaders, Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster, and other troop leaders. The PLC discusses future meetings and outings for the whole troop. Your Patrol Leader's responsibility is to share the ideas that have come from you and other Scouts in your patrol to the PLC and to report decisions made by the PLC back to you and the patrol.
The Scoutmaster is the primary adult leader of your troop. He is in charge of training the Senior Patrol Leader, advising the Patrol Leaders' Council, meeting with each boy as they are ready for advancement (Scoutmaster Conference), and directing the activities of the various Assistant Scoutmasters.
Unlike Cub Scout packs, most troops meet every week during the school year. Troop 31 meets every Monday (whenever school is in session) from 7:15 to 8:45 pm at Third Presbyterian Church. In addition, there may be separate patrol meetings to prepare for an activity, such as building a Klondike Derby sled, a monthly outdoor activity such as a campout, and any number of service projects.
The three points of the trefoil stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath.
The shape of the Scout badge means that a Scout can point the right way in life as truly as does a compass in the field.
There are two stars on the badge. They symbolize truth and knowledge.
The eagle and shield stand for freedom and a Scout's readiness to defend that freedom.
The scroll bearing the Scout motto is turned up at the ends as a reminder that a Scout smiles as he does his duty.
The knot at the bottom of the scroll serves as a reminder of the Scout slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily.
Origin of the World Scouting Symbol
In Scouting's early years, critics accused Baden-Powell of trying to turn boys into soldiers, holding up as evidence the Scout symbol, which they called "a spear-head, the emblem of battle and bloodshed". The Founder quickly replied, The crest is the "Fleur-de-Lis", a lily, the emblem of peace and purity.
In truth, he had chosen as Scouting's emblem the sign for the North Point, universally shown on maps, charts and compass cards, because "it points in the right direction (and upwards), turning neither to the right nor left, since these lead backward again..." Lady Baden-Powell added later, "It shows the true way to go."
Baden-Powell explained the origins of this sign. In the Middle Ages, mariner Flavio Gioja designed it to make the seaman's compass more reliable. In Italian, North was "Tramontana". Gioja used a capital "T" to mark it, and in deference to King Charles of Naples, whose crest was the Fleur-de-Lis, combined the letter with that emblem.
To explain the meaning of the Scout emblem, Baden-Powell said, "The two stars on the two side arms stand for the two eyes of the Wolf Cub having been opened before he became a Scout... The three points of the Fleur-de-Lis remind the Scout of the three points of the Scout's Promise..."
In the World Scout emblem, the Fleur-de-Lis is surrounded by a circle of rope tied with a reef knot to symbolize the strength and unity of the world brotherhood of Scouting: "Even as one cannot undo a reef knot, no matter how hard one pulls on it, so as it expands, the movement remains united."
The three tips of the Fleur-de-Lis represent the three main parts of the Scout promise: duty to God, obedience to the Scout Law, and service to others. The two five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge, and the 10 points on the stars remind us of the 10 points of the Scout law. The ring holding the emblem together represents the bond of brotherhood and one-ness ties at the bottom by a square knot, a symbol of service..
The symbol is white on a royal purple background, colors Baden-Powell chose because, in heraldry, white stands for purity and purple for leadership and helping others.
Since Scouting began, over 200 million Scouts have worn the Scout symbol, making it one of the more highly recognized emblems in the world. Today, over 150 World Scouting countries and territories, more than 16 million members
The 1995 Insignia Guide states that the World Crest should be centered horizontally over the left shoulder and vertically between the left shoulder seam and the top of the pocket.
Policy on Uniforms and Dues
All scouts should strive to be in full Class A uniform at every meeting, unless noted on the calendar. A points contest is held yearly in which points are awarded for complete uniforms. Full Class A uniform includes: Shirt, Shorts, Belt, Neckerchief, Slide, BSA Socks and Shoes (hiking boots or atheltic shoes - hats are not part of our uniform.) If noted on the Calendar, Class B uniform must be worn. A Class B uniform constists of a Troop 31 Tee Shirt or another BSA approved Tee Shirt and a pair of shorts (blue jeans are not acceptable).
Dues have always been part of scouting. In the other Troops, dues are part of the funding for the programs that the Troop participates in and the fees for National membership. Because of our Christmas tree fundraiser, true weekly dues are more about responsiblity. All boys are required to bring in 50¢ per week. The positive collection of the dues are also calculated for the Points contests. These dues go directly back towards the boys by funding the prizes and incentitves for the Points contests.
100 Degrees of Frost – An award given to scouts and adults who have accumulated 100 degrees F camping in below freezing temperatures.
APL – Assistant Patrol Leader. Scout appointed by the Patrol Leader, who stands in for the Patrol Leader when needed.
ASM – Assistant Scoutmaster. An adult leader, appointed by the Scoutmaster to assist at meetings and on camping trips.
ASPL – Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Scout appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader. In our Troop, the Senior Patrol Leader usually appoints two Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders – one in charge of programs, and one in charge of trips.
Bear Bag – Tarp rigged to hold food items overnight, generally tied to a tree and elevated where bears and minibears can’t get at it.
Blue Card – Card on which the merit badge counselor records progress on a merit badge. There are three portions – when you are finished, the counselor gets one part, the scout gets one part and the Advancement Chair gets the third part. See the information about merit badges on the Advancement page.
BOR – Board of Review. All rank advancements, except for the Scout badge, require a Board of Review. The members of a Board of Review are adult leaders (generally Committee Members) in the troop except for the Scoutmaster or any of his Assistant Scoutmasters. The main purpose of the Board of Review is not to retest the skills a Scout has learned, but to see what the Scout’s spirit is and how the troop is doing is helping the Scout along and meeting Boy Scout objectives.
Breakout – To dissolve into smaller groups for a meeting, e.g. patrols.
Buddy System – To have another Scout with you at all times.
Camporee – A District campout with many troops. Generally patrols compete in various events, testing Scouting skills and knowledge.
Class A’s – Tan BSA uniform shirt, troop neckerchief and slide. At some events, we don’t wear the neckerchief. (See "Uniform" under SCOUT area.)
Class B’s – Troop 31 t-shirt. Worn on service projects and other events that could lead to mud or other forms of dirt.
COA – Court of Awards. A formal ceremony, held two times a year, to recognize you and your fellow Scouts for rank advancement and other Scouting achievements. This event is held with an audience of family, friends, chartered organization officials, and troop leaders.
COH – Court of Honor. A formal ceremony, held to recognize a Scout who has earned their Eagle. This event is held with an audience of family, friends, chartered organization officials, troop leaders and honored local political representatives.
Cracker Barrel – An informal meeting for leaders with snacks held during a campout.
Den Chief – A scout approved by the Scoutmaster and the Cubmaster to assist in a Cub Scout den. The Scout is generally a First Class Scout or above. The Den Chief Training given by the council is recommended for scouts interested in being a Den Chief.
Fall In – A call by the Senior Patrol Leader or one of his Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders to gather. Scouts usually stand in patrols.
Firem’n Chit – A card showing that the Scout has earned the right to use matches and build cooking fires and campfires. Usually, a Scout will earn this on his first camping trip. If a scout is found behaving unsafely, a corner of the Firem'n Chit card is often cut off. When all four corners are gone, so are the Scout’s right to use matches and build cooking fires and campfires. If a scout loses these rights, he may get them back by taking the lesson again.
FOS – Friends of Scouting. An organization that supports Scouting at the council level. The Seneca Waterways Council does not collect membership fees and is supported by the efforts of Friends of Scouting fundraising and individual contributions. Friends of Scouting also runs many council events. Annually, Friends of Scouting is invited to conduct a fundraising appeal at one of the Troop’s Court of Honor ceremonies.
Greenlee – A bear-proof metal locker that is used at camp for storing food.
Grubmaster – The person responsible for buying food for a campout. The grubmaster should know how many scouts he is buying food for, and the menu for the trip. He should remember “A Scout is Thrifty” when he makes his choices at the supermarket.
Instructors – Scouts appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader who are responsible for teaching Scouting skills and knowledge to the other Scouts.
Klondike Derby – A district sponsored event during the winter. Patrols compete in various Scouting activities, with the ultimate activity being a race to haul a patrol-built sled around a designated course.
Librarian – A Scout appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader to keep track of the Troop’s collection of merit badge pamphlets.
MBD – Merit Badge Day. An Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity sponsored event at Syracuse University, held on a Saturday generally in March. Merit badge counselors from the fraternity, university and Syracuse Longhouse Council volunteer to run classes for various merit badges. Prerequisites are generally outlined and must be completed prior to attending the MBD.
MBU – Merit Badge University. A Council sponsored event at St. John Fisher College, held on a Saturday in either January or February. Merit badge counselors from the council volunteer to run classes for various merit badges. Prerequisites are generally outlined and must be completed prior to attending the MBU.
Merit Badge Counselor – An adult who helps a Scout earn a merit badge. Interested adults should consult the information about merit badges on the Advancement page.
Minibears – Critters of the woodlands and plains who like to eat your meals and snack on your candy. (NO FOOD IN TENTS!)
NYLT – National Youth Leadership Training. An exciting, action-packed six-day program offered by the Boy Scouts of America and designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others. The NYLT course is presented in an outdoor setting and centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what he must KNOW, and what he must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as the patrol goes on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership. Through a wide range of activities, games, and adventures, participants work and play together as they put into action the best Scouting has to offer.
OA – Order of the Arrow. A national honor society for Scouts.
PL – Patrol Leader. A Scout elected by his patrol to lead them at troop meetings and on camping trips, and to represent them on the Patrol Leader’s Council.
PLC – Patrol Leaders' Council. A Patrol Leaders' Council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, the Patrol Leaders, and other youth leaders. The PLC meets at least once a month to plan meetings and outings.
PLT – Patrol Leader Training. Training conducted by Troop 31 for the Scouts who hold a position of leadership. Sometimes called the JLT, Junior Leader Training, this training is held once a year, before SPL elections and the patrol reshuffle, to train Scouts in their new positions and to plan meetings and events for the upcoming year. PLT is normally held in August over a weekend in Webster Park.
QM – Quartermaster. The person in charge of equipment – packing it for each camping trip and at the end of each trip, issuing equipment to scouts to be cleaned or dried at home.
SC – Scoutmaster Conference. A meeting with the Scoutmaster. At this meeting, the Scoutmaster will review the requirements for rank with the Scout to make sure that they have been learned correctly, help the scout set up the goals for the next advancement, and ask the scout to share ideas about the troop (how it’s going from your viewpoint, what you would like the troop to do more of, problems you see occurring, etc.). A Scoutmaster may request a conference with Scouts at any time, but for the most part the conference is part of rank advancement.
Scribe – The Scout who takes notes for meetings, appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader.
Service Hours – Hours of community service. Most rank advancements include a required number of service hours. For service projects not sponsored by the Troop, Scouts should get a letter from the sponsor, specifying the organization, the date of the service and the number of hours. Service projects sponsored by the Troop may also qualify for hours of community service at the Scout's school.
Signoffs – Signatures on advancement requirements. To sign off on a requirement, a Scout must be two ranks above that requirement. For example, a Second Class Scout may sign off on Scout rank requirements, a First Class Scout may sign off on Tenderfoot requirements, etc.
SM – Scoutmaster. The main adult leader of your troop. He is responsible for training the Senior Patrol Leader, advising the Patrol Leaders' Council, meeting with each boy as they are ready for advancement (Scoutmaster Conference), and directing the activities of the various Assistant Scoutmasters.
SPL – Senior Patrol Leader. The top Scout leader of the troop, elected by all of the Scouts. With guidance from the Scoutmaster, the Senior Patrol Leader is in charge of Troop Meetings and the Patrol Leaders' Council. The SPL does all he can to see that the patrols succeed. To qualify for consideration as SPL, the Scout must have completed NYLT training.
Totin’ Chip – A card showing that the Scout has earned the right to use a knife, ax, and saw. Usually a Scout earns this on his first camping trip. If a scout is found handling wood tools incorrectly, a corner of the Totin’ Chip card is often cut off. When all four corners are gone, so are the Scout’s totin’ rights. If a scout loses his "Totin' Rights" he may get them back by taking the lesson again.
Troop Guide – A Scout designated by the Senior Patrol Leader to help new Scouts with their advancement.
YPT – Youth Protection Training. Also known as “A Time to Tell”. Refers both to the guidelines given by BSA to insure youth protection (always have a buddy with you), and Youth Protection night, where the Scouts view the BSA video, “A Time to Tell” and talk about how to deal with situations of abuse. Parents are invited to attend Youth Protection night, and should be aware that their Scouts may or may not want to talk about it later. It is held during an April Troop Meeting.