About Us ...

Boy Scout Troop 707 Information

Boy Scout Troop 707 was started back in 1966.   The troop is sponsored and supported by the Calvary Episcopal Church located in Downtown Columbia.  The primary goals of the troop are threefold: to develop leadership, instill citizenship, and to build character.  These goals are achieved through an active outdoor program combined with a leadership structure that places the boys (subject to Scoutmaster and Troop Committee review and supervision) in charge of all activities, meetings, and campouts.  The financial support for the Troop comes from annual dues and several fundraising projects.

I. The Boy Led program
Leadership by the boys, the Patrol method, the Troop Leaders Council, an exciting camping program, and every-other year Supertrips are critical to the success of Troop 707 and are foundations upon which our program is based.  Underlying all the fun is Advancement that enhances a boy’s personal development.

I.A. Boy Leadership
Leadership positions are Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant SPL (ASPL), Patrol Leaders (PL), and Troop Officers of Quartermaster, Scribe, Librarian, Bugler, Chaplain Aide, Historian, Instructor, and Den Chief.  Consult our most recent troop roster to determine who is filling those positions.

Note: Troop elections for SPL and PL are held twice a year (Usually in September and February).  A scout must be at least First Class rank to run for PL and at least Star rank to run for SPL.  Troop officers are appointed by the SPL and have no rank requirements.

I.B. Patrol Method
Patrols are subdivision of the troop of approximately 6 to 8 scouts led by a Patrol Leader.  PL's are experienced scouts who have attained at least the First Class rank.  In Troop 707, patrols are dissolved and reformed twice each year (at the same time as troop elections).  This biannual reforming of patrols permits other First Class scouts an opportunity at being Patrol Leader and also allows boys to try out other patrols.

A new scout is permitted to join any patrol he chooses unless that patrol is already at full strength.   The Scoutmaster and SPL will discuss the available patrols with each new scout.   Very rarely, but with Scoutmaster approval, anentire entering Webelos group may form its own new patrol rather than separating into existing patrols.  In such a case, either the First Class requirement for PL will be waived or a First class scout will be assigned to the new patrol to serve as PL.

I.C. Troop Leaders Council
The troop leader’s council, TLC, consist of SPL, ASPL, PL, Troop Officers, and all members of Senior Patrol.  The TLC is responsible for the vast majority or the day-to-day leadership and planning within the troop.  This leadership and planning include specific activities and decides what scout skills will be taught at each meeting and which scouts will teach the skills, which games and activities will be conducted, and when and where campouts will be held.  The TLC is also responsible for broader questions involving troop policy, discipline, and advancement.   The TLC meets on the last Tuesday of every month at the Church.

I.D. Campouts
Each of Troop 707’s monthly campouts usually has a theme which is developed during the meetings preceding the campout.  The themes of the campouts are varied and are limited only by the imagination and desires of the TLC.  Some common campout themes and descriptions are:

Map and Compass: The scouts are blind-folded and dropped off by patrol in wilderness locations approximate five miles from the central campsite. Each patrol uses map and compass skills to make its way to the campsite.

Competition: Each patrol competes for points and prizes toward “Honor Patrol” award and patch.   Events vary from year to year but may include: relays, knot tying relay, obstacle course, first aid, tree climbing, reflector oven cooking, trailing and stalking, and capture-the-flag.

Cooking: This campout focuses on refining our outdoor cooking and camping skills.   Expect Chicken Kiev, Shish Kabobs, but hotdogs have no place on this campout!

Misery: This is usually a guaranteed snow campout.  Usually held in January, the scouts pack their packs and wait for the first big snowfall or biting cold.  They may receive only two hours notice prior to the campout.  The troop official record was set in February 2004 at -12°F!!

Primitive: No utensils, no flashlights, no tents, no matches!!!! Scouts build primitive shelters, start fires with flint and steel or bow and drill, cook with no utensils or pots or pans!  One of the favorite campouts of the scouts.

Rappelling and Zip-line: The rappel is from 20 to 75 foot high cliffs.  The zip-line is a hair parting ride hanging from a trolley running the 200 foot length of a steel cable!!

Other campout themes over the past years have included, Survival, Biking, Caving, Swimming, Hiking, Parent/Son canoe trip, and Pioneering.

I.E. High Adventure Supertrip
High Adventure is an integral part of the regular Troop 707 program;  Winter canoe float, cliff rappels, caving, and midnight Capture-the-Flag outings are just a few examples of the kind of adventure that a 707 scout can expect.  However, another high adventure feature of Troop 707 is our biennial Supertrip.

A supertrip is a 10-day high-adventure trip held around the first week of August every other year.  To be eligible to attend a Supertrip, a scout must be 14 years old by August 1 of the Supertrip year, have attained Star rank, and been active with the troop for one full year preceding the trip.  Scoutmaster approval is also required.  A Supertrip is planned and run entirely by the boy participants.  Previous amazing latest super trips were a 10-day backpacking trip in Wyoming, and 10-day canoe trip to Canada (“Oot n Aboot” 2004).  The “Oot n Aboot” was in pristine Canadian wilderness, where the boys literally ran out of road, and canoed for six days on the Albany River.  Since the boys were at the end of the roads and paddling away from civilization, you need to ask one of the boys who went on the trip how they returned from the awesome Canadian wilderness!!

I.F. Advancement
Scouts advance in rank (Scout to Tenderfoot to 2nd class to 1st class to Star to Life to Eagle) by having requirements checked off in their scout books.  These requirements may be checked off by the Scoutmaster, any of the Assistant Scoutmasters, or any boy scout who has himself already achieved the next higher rank.  For example, a 1st class scout may check off any requirements for a Scout, Tenderfoot, or 2nd class.  He may not check off that requirement for a fellow 1st class scout, even if he himself has already had that requirement checked off.  With a few notable exceptions, parents usually should NOT check off requirements for their own son.  An example of when a parent may check off a requirement is when the scout is required to discuss certain matters with his parents (drug and child abuse) or when the scout is require to engage in a joint activity with his parents (home fire inspection).  The “no parental check-off Rule” does not mean that parents may not assist their son in advancement!  Parents are strongly encouraged to work with their son to master the skills necessary to advance.  It is a truism that no scout attains Eagle without strong parental support!

Once a scout has everything in his book checked off for the next rank, he must arrange for a scoutmaster conference and must appear before a board of review.  The scoutmaster conference is usually 10 to 15 minutes meeting with one of the scoutmasters to discuss the scout’s status and goals.  The board of review is a bit more formal and entails a panel of the Troop Committee Members inquiring into the scout’s spirit, leadership, and citizenship.  This is also an opportunity for the Troop Committee to get feedback about how the boys view the Troop.


II. Necessary Logistics of Troop 707

II.A. Meetings

Troop707 holds its meetings every Tuesday night of the every month except August.  All meetings begin promptly at 7:00 pm and are over between 8:30 and 8:40 pm unless otherwise noted.

Please note: The last Tuesday of every month is the Troop Leaders Council meeting during which the boy leaders plan the activities for the upcoming month.  Only those scouts who are members of the TLC are required to attend this meeting.  TLC members are the SPL, ASPL, PL, and Troop officers and members of Senior Patrol.  Other scouts may attend if they desire but are not expected to attend.   All other Tuesday nights of the month are regular troop meetings that all boys should attend.

II.B. Meeting location
Most meetings are held in at parish hall of Calvary Episcopal Church, Ninth and Locust Streets.  During fair weather months, Mayish through Septemberish, the troop at times schedules outdoor meetings at other locations.

Note: When in doubt about the meeting locations, scouts should call their patrol leader.  During months which are not so fair, and for TLC meetings, the troop usually meets inside at the Church.

II.C. Rain-out/Inclement Weather
Troop 707 will usually not cancel or postpone a campout on account of adverse weather.  Rain, sleet, and snow, or shine, Troop 707 will camp.  An exception to the “No rain-out” policy is when the planned theme requires a particular weather conditions.  For example, it may be necessary to postpone a swimming campout if it snows, or postpones the misery campout if it does not snow!  If we postpone a campout, we will try to give as much notice as possible.  If any scout ever has any questions about a postponement, he should first call his patrol leader or the SPL.

II.D. Calendar of Troop Events The Troop Committee with help from the Advancement Chair produces a calendar of the boy-planned events for each year.  Copies are available for all scouting families.

II.E. Campouts
Most of Troop 707’s campouts are 2-day activities with the scouts leaving around 7:00 or 8:00 am on Saturday and returning around 11:00 or 12:00 on Sunday morning.  We rely on parent volunteers to drive the scouts to and from the campouts.  Drivers are coordinated by the Troop Transportation Chairperson. Please do what you can to help when the chairperson calls. Most of our campouts take place within 20 miles of Columbia in Federal designated wilderness areas or state forests.

II.F. Camping Gear
Backpack: Troop 707 incorporates backpacking into every campout.  As a result, each scout needs to obtain or have access to a backpack.  This does not mean that every scout should rush out and spend $200 --- plus on a state-of-the-art backpack.  Instead, we recommend digging into the attic and finding Dad’s old backpack or borrowing a backpack from a neighbor or from Troop 707 (the troop has several backpacks that new scouts may borrow) for the first few campouts.  Alternatively, consider doing a little garage sale shopping or even purchasing a modestly priced pack at a discount store.

Hiking boots: Our scouts will be traversing all kinds of terrain – in dust, mud, and snow – so for good foot care, a reasonable quality hiking boot is essential.  Whether backpacking or not, a good pair is much safer than a pair of sneakers.

Sleeping bags: Troop 707 camps year-round, so a warm but light-weight sleeping bag is important.  Look for a bag that can be rolled or stuffed tightly for easy packing and that is rated at or below zero degrees.

Note: If anyone anticipates financial difficulty in obtaining a backpack, a sleeping bag, or any other necessary gear, please contact the Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Chair.  It has always been the policy of this troop that we will not let the lack of finances prevent a child from participating in scouting.

II. G. Scout Uniform
In Troop 707, each scout is required to wear a full-scout uniform (as defined below) at all troop functions. A partial uniform is not acceptable!  The full uniform requirement applies to meetings and campouts.  At meetings the uniform is worn at all times. On campouts, the uniform is worn on the hike in and on the hike out.

Except for Courts of Honor and other rare formal occasions, full-scout uniform does not necessarily mean a Class A uniform.  At all non-formal occasions, including most meetings and campouts, a Class B uniform is permissible.

Class A: Formal collared scout shirt with all appropriate patches, official scout pants or shorts, socks (any color if wearing pants, scout socks if in shorts); shoes or boots (no sandals), scout belt, campout totem.

Class B: Collared polo scout shirt or Supertrip t-shirt or other official scout shirt with emblem (summer camp t-shirt), scout pants or shorts; socks (any color if in pants, scout socks if in shorts), shoes or boots (no sandals), scout belt; and campout totem.

The primary difference between A and B is uniforms is that in B, a scout t-shirt may be worn.

Note to Scouts: Please show up in full scout uniform each and every time.  Excuses such as “it’s dirty” or “it’s got a tear in it” are all unacceptable.  If your uniform is wrinkled, dirty, or wet, you should still wear it.  We won’t hold it against you!  If your uniform has a tear, grab a needle and thread, and we will get it repaired.  If you won’t have an opportunity to go home to change after school and must go directly to the meeting, then try to remember to bring your uniform with you to school so that you may change into it when you get to the meeting.

Note to parents: Although is the scouts responsibility to show up in full scout uniform, any reminders will be appreciated. III. The Parent-Side of Troop 707

III.A. Organizational Information

These campouts and High Adventure trips cannot happen without help for parents.  The Parent Committee approves the program and activities and overall operating budget.  The Troop Committee is a subgroup of the Parent Committee.  The Troop Committee is responsible for the working details of the Troop.

The Parent Committee meets on the Tuesday evening before a scheduled campout.  At this meeting, transportation issues will be resolved, camping locations announced, and an update from the Troop Committee will be given.

Troop Committee Officers are Committee Chairperson, Advancement, Outdoor Program Coordinator, Equipment Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, and Membership Coordinator.

Note: The Troop Committee normally meets on the Tuesday preceding the monthly campout.  The committee meetings are held at the same time and locations as the regular troop meeting.  All parents are encouraged to attend Troop Committee meeting.  This is an excellent way to keep track of what is going on in the troop and to help us with adult level planning of the troop.  This will be a regular meeting night, allowing parents to attend the Troop committee meeting while their sons attend the scout meeting.   At this meeting, we review the upcoming campout, the budget, the advancement of the boys, the upcoming fundraisers, and the general business of the Troop.

III.B. Annual Fund Raisers
Troop 707 has four regularly scheduled fundraisers.  In general, the dues that are paid by the boys do NOT cover the cost of the high-adventure program Troop 707 supports.  Fundraisers for the general operating of the Troop are needed.  In these cases, the boys work for the greater good of the troop as a whole.  In some cases, fundraisers support individual boys as they earn funds for summer camps or high-adventure Supertrips or BIKEMO trips.

The first is the wood-cutting traditionally held in early December.  We try to cut and sell about 20 pick-up loads of firewood each year.  Parents run the chainsaws and provide and drive the delivery trucks.  We generally combine the wood-cutting with a campout.  Parents are encouraged to keep an eye out for possible cutting locations.  Proceeds support general troop operating expenses.

The second fund-raiser is our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Super in February or March.  The Pancake Super gives boys the opportunity to sell tickets and earn their annual dues, credit toward summer camp fees, and/or the cost of a high adventure trip.  Each boy is credited with 75% of the funds and the remaining 25% goes to support the troop program.  Scouts can easily earn enough to pay their annual dues of ($80), and even pay for most or all of summer camp.

The third fund-raiser is sale of Boy Scout Popcorn.  Popcorn is sold in November and delivered in December.  Proceeds are turned into individual scout accounts for use with Boy Scout Summer camp or a high adventure trip or other scout related expense.

For the past eight years, Troop 707 has worked at the Memorial Day Air Show.  We have been in charge of one of the large food and beverage tents, and we have also been in charge of one of the smaller soda tents when needed.  We provide service to the event but also receive 10% of the tent’s gross for our effort.  Proceeds from the Memorial Day Air Show support the Supertrip.