Program for Older Scouts

As the boys become more skilled in the outdoors they are able to take on different challenges. Troop 27’s older scouts are in a Senior patrol. Many of our older scouts are also members of Venturing Crew 27.

Troop Guides and the Instructor Corps

In keeping with our focus of being a boy-led troop, older scouts are expected to be “Troop Guides”. They mentor younger scouts and teach them scout and leadership skills. Troop guides are Instructors in the Instructor Corps (ICs) at summer camp. They build, staff and run the Troop’s summer camp.


Scouts are eligible to be Troop Guides or Instructors under the following options:

Any scout who has earned his Eagle rank.

  1. Scouts who completed 8th grade and hold Life Rank or higher.
  2. Scouts who completed 9th grade and hold Star Rank or higher.
  3. Scouts who completed 10th grade and hold First Class Rank or higher.

Additionally, the Scout’s maturity and leadership skills will be evaluated by the Scoutmaster and the IC Advisors before he can become a Troop Guide or an Instructor. The candidate must be proficient in the skills of his rank, and be able to instruct those skills to other Scouts. Lastly, he must have completed NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) or scheduled to attend the NYLT course in the current year.


To use the Troop Guide or Instructor position for a rank advancement leadership requirement, a scout is expected to:

  • Qualify based on rank, age (school year completed) and summer camp participation.
  • Be active in the leadership position as defined by attending at least 75% of the meetings and outings.
  • Support the Troop at least once per month, at the Scoutmaster or IC Advisor’s request, by either helping in the meeting or by providing a skills demonstration or instruction session of at least 10 minutes duration. The skills demonstration should show the Instructor’s competence and have adequate preparation. The needs of the Troop, in terms of support or demonstration time and content should be coordinated in advance with the PLC and approved by the Scoutmaster.
  • Instruct at least three new scouts in Totin’ Chip skills, (based on new scout recruitment)
  • At a T27 overnight outing, act as a Troop Guide by working with scouts on rank advancement activities up to the First Class level; or assisting in teaching a merit badge; or supervising younger scouts in outing activities such as cooking, camp set up, etc. or as needed by the Scoutmaster or IC Advisor.
  • Attend and staff the T27 summer camp (for leadership credit during the summer).
  • Set a good example at all times for the younger scouts and the other Troop Guides/ICs.


The Troop Guide position is appointed for a 6-month period, and all of the above expectations should be fulfilled during this time. A Troop Guide can be removed from this position at ANYTIME if he has not fulfilled the expectations of the IC Advisor or Scoutmaster. The office is renewable at the discretion of the Scoutmaster and IC Advisor(s), who will base renewal, in part, on prior performance.


Venturing Crew 27

 V27 is a related scouting unit also chartered by the Hillsdale United Methodist Church. It allows boys and girls ages 14 through 20 to participate in high adventure scouting activities including climbing, rappelling, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and backpacking. Many of our older scouts are also members of V27. Member candidates who are not from Troop 27 must be sponsored by an existing V27 member in order to ensure their training in proper outdoor skills (equivalent to those of a First Class scout). The Crew meets at the Church on the first and third Tuesday of the month at the same time as the Troop. Crew members also assist the Troop, teaching high adventure skills to the scouts. V27 participates in our two family outings (the Ski Trip and Family Camp), helps build our summer camp and sets up and runs the annual Treasure Hunt outing for the Troop, in addition to its own outings. V27 has a “Supertrip” each summer, focused on its high adventure activities, sometimes in a domestic location, sometimes international.

Venturing Crew members do not hold the same ranks as scouts, nor earn the same awards. Crew members work to earn the following awards:

  • Ranger (recognizing a challenging high-level outdoor/high-adventure skills advancement program)
  • Bronze (there are five National Venturing Bronze awards: Arts and Hobbies, Outdoor, Sea Scout (Ordinary Award), Sports, and Youth Ministries; the Crew can also design a Crew specialty Bronze award. Youth must learn and teach skills to achieve the Bronze awards.)
  • Gold (recognizing the significant accomplishment in a Venturer’s life as he or she has proven outstanding performance in a broad spectrum of activities relating to Venturing’s six experience areas of leadership, citizenship, social, outdoor, service, and fitness.)
  • Silver (provides a pathway for personal development; encourages Venturers to learn, grow, and serve; and recognizes the high level of achievement of those who acquire Venturing skills.)

Boys who are dual registered can earn awards through both the Venturing Crew and the Troop. They should support and participate in the Troop activities first, and the Venturing activities second. This is important since the boys’ advancement in Boy Scouts depends upon participation in Troop activities and leadership with the Troop. When possible, we try to avoid conflicts between T27 and V27 when scheduling activities


Order of the Arrow

OA (Order of the Arrow), is BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers. The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:

  1. To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
  2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
  3. To promote Scout camping
  4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others


To become a member, a youth must hold at least First Class rank. The youth must have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the two years before his election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America (i.e., our summer camp). The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow troop members, following approval by the Scoutmaster.


The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is conducted at a Scout camp (usually Cutter Scout Reservation) and is the first step toward membership. After 10 months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.


After two years of service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.


Each Order of the Arrow lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application by the local council. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure. Troop 27’s OA members belong to Ohlone Lodge, and wear its “otter” pocket flap on their right shirt pocket.