Resources and General Information

This page contains resources and general information about Troop 497 for Scouts, Adult Leaders, and Parents.
Last Update: 8 June 2024 Click your browser's refresh button to ensure you are looking at the most recent update to this page.
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Merit Badges

Updated 25 March 2024

Changes to Merit Badges

Posted: 25 February 2024

Every year requirements for rank advancement and merit badges are examined and sometimes modified.  If you have started a rank or merit badge under the existing requirements you may continue to use them for that rank or merit badge.  There is no time limit on how long you take to complete the requirements. Or, you may choose to complete the rank or merit badge under the new requirements.

Changes to CyberChip, Swimming MB, First Aid, Sustainability, Camping, Cooking (all Eagle required Merit Badges) and numerous other merit badges are on this years list of revisions so it is important to use up-to-date information if you are considering these advancements.

You can find a list of the 2024 changes at the following link:

Creating and Managing Zoom Meetings for Troop 497

This presentation has information on creating and managing Troop 497 Zoom meetings for increased security and efficiency. It is, in part, a response to hackers bombing Zoom meetings. Please follow these recommendations for all Zoom meetings associated with Troop 497 including Troop Committee, PLC, Thursday to First Class, and Merit Badge meetings.

Scouts, Parents, and Adult Leaders

Help us keep contact information up to date

If you change your e-mail address, phone numbers, or information on the roster – NOTIFY us of the change – just send an email to with the updated information.

Sign Up to Receive Tweets

  1. Open your Twitter account and Click on the Find On Twitter button.
  2. Enter ScoutTroop497 (exactly as shown – one word) into the area. Who are you looking for?
  3. Click on Search.
  4. A link to our Twitter page should come up.  Please click on ScoutTroop497.
  5. Please click on Send request.
  6. We will confirm your request and you will then receive all updates to your twitter account or to your cell phone if you enable text messages.

Sign Up to Receive Troop Committee Updates

If you would like to receive Troop Committee email updates, please notify Ken Krach.

BSA Medical Form for Scouts and Adult Leaders


Updated 19 May 2022

An annual physical is required for Scouts and Adult Leaders participating in events lasting 72 continuous hours and resident campers. That includes everyone going to summer camp.

See the Information/Major events page for more information about completing medical information for summer camp 2022.

Troop 497 Handbook  PDF Document

Must reading for every Scout and Adult. This handbook explains the workings of Troop 497. You will learn about Troop meetings, camping trips, advancement and many more activities relating to our Troop.

Troop 497 Song and Cheer

Troop 497 Song Troop 497 Cheer
We’re the troop of 497,
You’ll know when we’re around,
Since we’ve got all the spirit,
We make the loudest SOUND!
We’re pretty hard to beat,
And you’ll soon find out why,
You’ll know it’s us,
When you see the lone star in the sky.
SPL: Give me a four! All: 4!
SPL: Give me a nine! All: 9!
SPL: Give me a seven! All: 7!
SPL: What does that spell? All: 4-9-7!
The best this side of heaven!
Always first!
Never last!
Never Worst!
Always Best!
Down in Hell or up in Heaven,
We’re the troop of 497!
SPL: Give me a four! All: 4!
SPL: Give me a nine! All: 9!
SPL: Give me a seven! All: 7!
SPL: What does that spell?
All: 4-9-7!
The best this side of heaven!

Sign up to drive Scouts to camping trips

Each Scout Family is required to drive Scouts on one long camping trip or two short trips each year. Sign up to drive Scouts using the link in the events page or the announcement for each trip. 

2023-2024 Parents Meeting Presentation

If you were not ale to attend the recent Parents' Meeting please review the presentation from the meeting (click). Talk with the Scoutmaster or other adult leaders if you have any questions about anything you read in the presentation. Adult help is needed in multiple areas - get more involved in Scouting by becoming a volunteer.

Sign Up for Advancement

There are now 3 ways to move forward with merit badges.

1. First Thursday to First Class 2. Group Merit Badge Session Signup 3. Schedule a Counselor for a Personal Session

If you have questions email Mr. Grim at

Cyber Chip Sessions

For those scouts that need the Cyber Chip for either the Scout or Star ranks now is the time to complete them. For those scouts working on Star be aware that you will need to earn the Cyber Chip again as the one you earned for Scout does not qualify for the rank of Star.

Please contact Mr. Chris McClelland at to begin working on the Cyber Chip.

The Cyber Chip requirements for Scout can be found here:

The requirements for the Cyber Chip have changed for 2024. There are a series of Personal Safety Awareness Videos which need to be viewed. There are four of them for Scout and will take around 30-40 minutes to complete. For the rank of Star, you will need to watch the four Scout videos and the four additional videos specified for Star for a total time of around 50-60 minutes.

Once the videos have been viewed you will need to discuss them with Mr. McClelland. Those discussions can take around 45 minutes. He will be setting up working sessions for those working on it for the rank of Scout at the First Thursday to First Class meetings. For those working on it for the rank of Star, you can also work with him at the First Thursday sessions. An online Zoom meeting can also be requested if those sessions cannot be attended. Due to the length of the discussion needed, trying to have it during a troop meeting is not possible.

Unlike the requirements prior to 2024, there are no longer contract or presentation requirements. If you have already started working on the Cyber Chip prior to 2024, you are able to complete it by completing the requirements as they were in 2023. But if you wish to restart under the 2024 requirements, that is allowed.

Please contact Mr. McClelland with any questions.

Monthly boards of review for Star and Life

Monthly boards of review for Star and Life are held during the first Troop meeting of each month. A scout who would like to plan a review must contact Dr. John Milto, our Troop Advancement Chairman, to schedule the Board of Review at least one week ahead of time. You will need to be in full uniform, have your Scout Handbook, dues paid in full, and merit badges confirmed.

Religious Emblems Programs

Troop 497 supports programs for Scouts to earn religious emblems for several different faiths. Click on this document to read information on earning the religious emblems for your faith and for the contact information for Troop 497's Religious Emblems Counselor.

United Way Contributions

The Parents Club of Troop 497 directed donation number for the United Way is #7537. Use this number is you want your donation to go the Parents Club of Troop 497.

Adult Leaders

Troop 497 Adult Leaders Handbook  PDF Document

Must reading for every adult working with the Scouts or who wants to work with Scouts. This handbook explains the dos and don'ts for adults. It covers most of the items you will need to know to join us on an outdoor activity from camping to a day trip.

Updated Youth Protection Training - MUST BE COMPLETED BY ALL ADULT LEADERS and recommended for any adult camping with the scouts

An updated Scouts BSA youth protection training is available for staff, leaders and parents (Youth Protection Y01). The training includes a three-module course and a Certification Test that all leaders are required to complete this training annually (even though it says online that the training is good for two years).  View the instructions for taking the new course and login to your BSA account at to take the course. The course and test will take about 90 minutes to complete but can be completed a module at a time. Email a copy of your completed certificate to Adam Spence.

Adult leaders are also required to have current Youth Protection Training provided by the Archdiocese. You can contact Jenn Reedholm ( to check on your Virtus status Click Virtus Online for the link to this training. Log in to the site with your account and password or click the "First-Time Registrant" button to set up a new account and take the training. Contact Adam Spence with any questions and email him a copy of your completed certificate.

All Merit Badge Counselors Must Register/Re-register with National BSA

All adults who are, or want to be, Merit Badge Counselors must register/re-register with National BSA and be entered into the BSA database of Merit Badge Counselors. This is important because failing to register could invalidate a Scout's Merit Badge and prevent a Scout from having the badge accepted on an Eagle application. This is a new requirement as of June 2019. Here is the information to guide you through this process.

National BSA Criminal Background Checks - Responses Required by All Adult Leaders

The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs. Registered adult leaders should have received an email with this information in October 2019 but in case you have not received this information and plan on registering this year you need to complete this request. Once you have printed and signed the form please give it to Adam Spence.