Unit Parent Guides and By-Laws


Many units work off the philosophy that the only by-laws the unit needs are the Oath or Promise, and Law. They may or may not create a parent guide to help answer parent's questions about the unit. Other units incorporate additional rules, over and above the BSA rules. Sometimes these rules are placed into additional documents. In this page we will look at some example parent guides, unit handbooks and supporting documentation that units have put together.

We encourage the use of a "Troop Guidebook" or "Pack Guidebook" that contains information about the who what when where and how of the Troop. The BSA has a set of by-laws and would prefer that units not use the expression "by-laws".

Some Guidelines

  • Keep it short. Parent Guides that are longer than 15 pages will not be read. If you have a lot to communicate, consider a short parent guide, and place additional information into handouts for a particular activity. For example, instead of incorporating a sample parent permission slip, and all the rules associated with an outing, into the Parent Guide, simply say that there will be permission slips issued prior to an outing and that no Scout can attend the outing without one.
  • Make the font at least 12 point (remember, we are all getting older). If the guide is hard to read, it will not be read.
  • Write it with the parent in mind. Try to anticipate the questions the parents will have. Parent guides tend to be read by people just entering the unit. Ask youself: What was it that I was concerned with when I joined the unit? For example, tell a Boy Scout parent about uniforming, sleeping bags, and tenting. Don't go into details about white water rafting, since a 11 year old won't be participating in that activity.
  • Don't let your program suffer. Paper is fine, but the boys are active in Scouting because of the program. Don't get caught up in administrative details at the expense of the program.
  • Many Scouters advise not calling anything a by-law. That is an official term that has a lot of hidden meaning. Call your handbook a 'guide'.

Examples

Here are a few links to parent guides different units.

We have some example parent guides at US Scouting.

BSA Troop 237 in Orinda, CA has a troop handbook at their website.

BSA Troop 86 at Osan AB, South Korea has their guide at: http://www.geocities.com/yosemite/gorge/5386

Some units have created additional documents that outline requirements for different troop positions. See: Troop Positions, Service Projects and Library Manual by George Hutcheson

For example of Cub Scout documents, see the Netcommish Cub Scouting pages.

For example of Boy Scout documents, see the Netcommish Boy Scouting pages

For more ideas for unit documents see our US Scouting Document Library.

 

Created by: Bill Nelson, Assistant District Commissioner, Salt River District, Grand Canyon Council, Boy Scouts of America. Please let me know of any additions or corrections.  

 


Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2014 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Web Stats | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
USSSP is Proud to be Hosted by Latisys.com and Lunarpages.com.

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) [Links to BSA Sites], the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at www.ScoutingBooks.com or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)


(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)